2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog


M. Spillman, Interim Chairperson


The Department of Telecommunications (TCOM) offers programs and courses designed to prepare students for 21st century careers in multiple media industries. Students can choose from these concentrations:

Digital production—Offers skills and applications courses using digital technology to create content for distribution across multiple platforms, including interactive and mobile media, tablets, podcasts, and the Web, plus television, radio, and film. Concentration areas include digital audio, digital video, emerging media, and digital sports production (requires application to be accepted). Prepares students for careers in developing and changing media arenas.

Film and media studies—Offers courses examining relationships between visual media and society, focusing on critical thinking and multiple academic approaches.  Designed for students interested in graduate studies in film, electronic media, and related fields.     

News—Offers courses in ethically gathering, preparing and presenting news via emerging and traditional media, focusing on telling fair, relevant, compelling stories with words, moving and still images and sound. This program is offered jointly with the Department of Journalism. Prepares students for careers encompassing a range of electronic platforms.     

Sales and promotionOffers courses in the theory and practice of selling and promoting media time and content. Prepares students for careers in sales, promotion, and management.

TCOM emphasizes experiential and immersive learning through media facilities managed by students and professional staff. The department has a history of providing practical learning opportunities through internships at numerous media outlets, including broadcast operations, film studios, ad agencies, and production facilities. The department’s honors include student Academy Awards® and more than 60 regional Emmy® winners, plus awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, Radio Television Digital News Association, Indiana Association of School Broadcasters, College Sports Video Summit, the Heartland Film Festival, and the Indianapolis International Film Festival. 

Before becoming a Telecommunications major or minor, students complete the pre-Telecommunications core of TCOM 101, 204, 206, 207, and 284. (Students in the news concentration do not take courses in the pre-TCOM core.) A grade of C (2.0) in each pre-TCOM course and an overall grade-point average of 2.5 in the pre-TCOM core courses are required. Majors cannot choose more than one concentration in the department, but are eligible to select the Film/Screenwriting minor or the Minor in Sports Studies (see below). Telecommunications courses generally are open only to declared departmental majors, minors, or pre-TCOM students.   

To graduate as a Telecommunications major or minor, students must earn a grade of C (2.0) or above in all courses required by the department (pre-TCOM and concentration, including concentration classes outside the department). All Telecommunications majors also must earn credit in four semesters or the equivalent of one modern or classical language; all Telecommunications minors must earn credit in two semesters or the equivalent of one modern or classical language. Students may earn credit for previous language study through placement tests administered by the Department of Modern Languages and Classics. Film/Screenwriting minors not majoring in TCOM have no departmental language requirement. 

Minor in Film/Screenwriting—An 18-credit minor offered jointly by TCOM and the Department of English that includes 9 credits from each department.  The minor is open to all students except TCOM majors in Film and Media Studies; only ENG 285 may count in both the minor and any TCOM or English major.  Film/Screenwriting minors not majoring in TCOM have no departmental language requirement.

Minor in Sports Studies— A 16-credit minor offered jointly by TCOM and the Department of Journalism. The minor is open to declared majors in Journalism or Telecommunications, and to other majors with permission of the journalism chair. No course in the minor may count toward a major in Journalism, Telecommunications, or Sports Administration. Sports Studies minors not majoring in TCOM or Journalism News have no departmental language requirement. For information, contact TCOM Associate Professor Suzy Smith (sjsmith@bsu.edu).

Department of Telecommunications Transfer Policy

No more than 6 transfer credits are accepted in any Telecommunications major or minor, and transfer credits are limited to 100- and 200-level courses. All TCOM courses at the 300- and 400-levels must be completed at Ball State University.