Student in sound booth


Our major emphasizes hands-on experience that you can gain in a wide variety of academic and professional settings including the college radio station (WJJW), the television and video studio (Beacon Web News (BWN)) and AVID editing suite, a digital production lab for film studies, the award-winning student newspaper (The Beacon), and our student literary magazine (Spires).

professor instructing students on editing equipmentA bachelor’s of arts in Communications combines hands-on skills in digital media production with the kinds of information literacy skills that are needed to adapt to the ever-changing communication environment of the 21st century. You will learn how to tell powerful stories across media and how to best communicate to and engage with audiences. You are encouraged to explore and develop your storytelling skills, whether through writing, digital media production, television, radio,  journalism, public relations.

MCLA's newspaper The Beacon being producedOur program is unique in that it allows students to experience the best of what both the Communications fields and English fields have to offer. In classes and a number of student media outlets you will interact with your peers pursuing English degrees.  Your B.A. in Communications within the English & Communications department will let you be a generalist with extensive humanistic knowledge, capable of adapting your skills and talents to the demands of a number of different career paths.

Your courses in the major fall into three broad areas: foundation courses that everyone in the major takes, concentration courses that focus on your particular professional or academic interests, and electives that expand your knowledge on specific topics.

Foundation courses (24 credits)

Editors at the Beacon newspaperAll majors take the following eight courses.

  • COMM 211 Introduction to Mass Media 3 cr
  • ENGL 200 Communication Research and Methods 3 cr
  • COMM 200 Media Writing and Production 3 cr
  • Literature Studies
    Students Choose ONE course from the following: 3 cr
    - ENGL 250 Introduction to Literature
    - COMM 221 Literary Journalism
    - ENGL 265 Literary Theme
    - ENGL 270 Literary Genre
    - (or one 200-level or above foreign language)
  • Students work on a digital media projectMedia Practice in Context
    Students choose TWO courses from the following, one of which must be a writing course (each 3 cr) 6 cr
    - COMM 205 Introduction to Photography
    - COMM 212 Radio Production
    - COMM 214 Basic TV Production and Broadcasting
    - COMM 312 Radio Practicum
    - COMM 314 Advanced TV Production
    - COMM 321 News Editing Practicum
    - COMM 323 Publication Design & Typography
    - COMM 337 Advanced Photography
    - COMM 338 Photojournalism
    - COMM 427 Senior News Practicum
    - ENGL 2xx any 200+ ENGL or COMM writing course
  • Public speaker at a group meetingMedia & Culture
    Students choose ONE course from the following 3 cr
    - ENGL 204 Media, Self-Identity, and Society
    - ENGL 231 The Power of Words
    - ENGL 331 The Story of English
    - COMM/ENGL 3xx-4xx any upper-division literature or film analysis course
    - COMM 481 From Semiotics to Signification
    - COMM/ENGL 490 Senior Seminar


Concentration Courses

Beyond the foundation courses shared by everyone, you select a concentration. Discuss with your adviser which concentration best meets your interests, talents, and career goals. Many students get the most out of their education and best position themselves for career success by choosing one or more concentrations or minors.


Students working on a working setFinally, you complete your major with additional courses that broaden your preparation. Working closely with your adviser, you choose the electives that enrich your qualifications for such career paths as digital media, journalism, media design, public relations (corporate and not-for-profit), advertising, radio or television production, technical writing, consumer relations, editing, politics, law, teaching, insurance, real estate, and many more.

For example, if you have a concentration in Digital Media Innovation, you might choose:

  • Two courses in Public Relations that both strengthen your concentration and broaden your career options, or
  • Two courses in Journalism that broaden your understanding of story-telling strategies and digital media production techniques, or
  • Two courses in Literature or Creative Writing that best suits your individual needs and preferences, or
  • Any combination of English or Communications courses that interest you--the choice is yours!

Your choice of electives should follow a coherent plan, reflecting your career goals, and broadening your exposure to the field.

MCLA in 4

Meet our faculty

anti-racist commitments

Read the Anti-Racist Pledge from the English & Communications faculty

The Beacon

The Beacon is the weekly student newspaper of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

Beacon Web News

Beacon Web News (BWN) is the weekly student news broadcast of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.


Spires is MCLA's student-run Literary Arts Magazine. In addition to our online platform, students publish a high quality print issue of the journal every spring semester.


WJJW (91.1 FM) is the radio station for Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. We feature a wide variety of programming, 7 days a week, from hip-hop, comedy, vaporwave, folk, metal, and more!

Communications in the News

Isabel Costa and Mei Craig

Mei Craig '22 and Isabel Costa '21 spent the summer reporting on the Berkshires with the Greylock Glass, covering everything from local businesses to performing arts to agriculture.

Shadea Blyther

On her way to achieve her goal of a career in television broadcasting, Shadea Blyther ’16 headed to New York City, N.Y., where she works as a writer and an editor for Bronze Magazine. “I feel like this is the start. I am happy where I am for now, and will keep moving forward.”

England Westminister Abbey

As part of Dr. Rosanne Denhard’s “Arts of Medieval & Renaissance Britain” class, students explored landmark sites, visited art galleries and museums, and took in theatrical productions. “England was overall just an amazing experience,” said Michael Masley Hannett ’19. “I learned about another culture far more than I could have in a textbook or from a website.”