Program Overview

Public Communications is a six-week, 6-credit program that gives high school students the opportunity to take two college-level, credit-bearing courses in the field of Communications and Mass Media in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

Alan Gerry Innovation Lab in Newhouse to hear from Professor Dan Pacheco about VR and AR media technology
Summer College students in the Alan Gerry Innovation Lab in Newhouse hearing from Professor Dan Pacheco about VR and AR media technology

In COM 107 Communications & Society, students will learn about contemporary problems of the media; legal, social, economic, and the psychological implications of their relationships with society. The course that you will take is a six-week version of the very same class taught in the fall to first-year college students. The class focuses on the media industries involved in entertainment, persuasion and journalism, as well as how these industries and the people who work in them interact with democracy and the culture at large in the 21st Century. This is a foundational course for anyone going into any of the communication fields, which is why the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications requires all of their first-year students to take it.

Students in the communications field can look to a broad range of job opportunities from journalism to broadcasting, advertising and more! Facebook, Instagram, CBS, and Fox Network are just some of the company names where communications grads have found their future careers.

Students then select a second 3-credit course from the 2019 Liberal Arts and Sciences course list that does not conflict with the day and time of the COM 107 class. Optimally, this class will enhance the student’s education in communications.

  College is a huge transition, which is often overwhelming. The workload is a big step-up from the average high school curriculum. Students need to learn to manage academic responsibilities with an active social life. I am prepared to face my freshman year due to this intensive Public Communications program. A huge benefit to the program is that I earned college credit. The first year of college is quite challenging for students. With six college credits under my belt, I will have a little less pressure when I step foot on Syracuse’s (wink-wink) campus as a freshman.   -Nina R., Summer College Public Communications student, 2018.

Program Objectives

This program is designed to introduce students to college study and the range of careers in the diverse field of Communications.

Students will:

  • Study with faculty from the prestigious S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications
  • Investigate practices of journalism, television and cable, radio, the music industry, public relations, advertising, and film; and learn about how they are changing in the Information Revolution
  • Enjoy guest lectures by working media professionals
  • Discover how their interests and talents connect with the challenges of professional communicators
  • Be more aware of the socio-political and cultural issues defining our times which are reflected in media

Learn more about Public Communications:

Program Dates & Details Eligibility Requirements Program Cost Program Requirements Typical Day

Program Dates & Details

Session Dates

Session I: June 29 – August 9, 2019
Duration: 6-weeks


Credit: 6 credits

Grading System: A-F

Eligibility Requirements

Students must be rising Juniors or rising Seniors to take this program (exceptions may apply). Students must be a minimum of 15 years of age by the orientation and move-in date. For full Summer College admission requirements, view the Admissions Overview and Eligibility page.

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Program Cost

Program Costs:

  • Residential: $9,930*
  • Commuter: $7,548*

*Please visit our Program Costs page for more detailed information. Program rates are subject to change and will be approved by the board of trustees in March.

Program Requirements


Students should budget for the purchase of required course textbooks

Student Expectations

This is an academically rigorous, college-level program. Students are expected to complete nightly homework assignments and actively participate in group projects. Students are expected to attend all classes every day, arrive on time, and meet all academic obligations. Free time will vary as each program is unique, as is the subsequent workload.

Typical Day

Tentative Schedule

COM 107 Communications & Society is typically offered Monday – Thursday, from 10am – 11:45am. Students will take an additional class and then spend the remainder of the day studying and reading on their own or in study groups. In additional, field trips and activities on campus give students the opportunity to relax, have fun, and make new friends.

When class is over, and on weekends, students can look forward to various Summer College trips and activities. Check out our Campus Activities page for more information!

Final Academic Obligation

Students are permitted to depart campus after August 9, 2019 at 5:00pm. If students have any questions regarding their final academic obligation, we encourage them to reach out to their instructor. Please refer to the Move-Out page for important information regarding the checkout process.