Online Program Overview


Public Communications is a 6-week, 3-credit program that gives high school students the opportunity to take a college-level, credit-bearing course in the field of Communications and Mass Media at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. This course is a requirement for all freshmen Newhouse students! 

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.

The online version of this course will feature videos and web-related exercises outside of class, so that students can use their synchronous class time with the professor to discuss key issues and points raised in the readings and videos.

Students in the communications field can look forward 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 companies where Newhouse grads have found their future careers.

  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 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 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, Times & Details Eligibility Requirements Program Cost Program & Technology Requirements Typical Day Faculty Bio & Office Hours

Program Dates, Times & Details

Session Dates

6-Week Session I: June 29 – August 7, 2020
Duration: 6 weeks
Live (Synchronous) Session Times: Mondays and Wednesdays, 1:00pm – 2:15pm EST


Credit: 3 credits | COM 107 Communications & Society (3 credits)
Grading System: A-F

Class Size

Class size is dependent on the number of enrolled students and the program capacity. Please email Summer College if you would like to know the number of students in this program.

Eligibility Requirements

Students must be of rising junior or senior status or a 2020 high school graduate. For full Summer College admission requirements, view the Admissions Overview and Eligibility page.

Apply Now!

Program Cost

Program Costs:

  • Online ONLY: $3,085

*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.  Discounts and scholarships are also available.

Program & Technology Requirements

Technology Requirements

  • Laptop or desktop computer with a webcam
  • Reliable internet access
  • Appropriate software for viewing videos online: I.e. video player
  • Microsoft Office Suite (will be provided to students upon enrolling in the program)


Students should budget for the purchase of required course textbooks.

Media & Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication
11th Edition  eISBN-13: 9781319068271

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 synchronous classes every day, arrive on time, and meet all academic obligations.

Typical Day

Tentative Schedule

Students must attend live synchronous online sessions  for six weeks, Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:00pm – 2:15pm EST.

When class is over, and on weekends, students can look forward to various Summer College virtual activities to meet and connect with other students across the world. Check out our Virtual Events and Activities page for more information!

Faculty Bio

Brad Gorham- Chair, Communications, Director, Media Studies, Associate Professor: Communications

Brad Gorham enjoys the challenge of teaching communication theory and research to students. He feels that all students, regardless of their major, can benefit from learning more about how the media work and what effects they may (or may not) have on audiences. Gorham’s research focuses on the ways people process media information about social groups, particularly how stereotypes affect the way people make sense of the media content they consume. He approaches the study of media stereotypes from both a psychological and a cultural perspective, incorporating quantitative and qualitative theory and methods to examine the way the mass media contribute to stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination. Gorham’s research has been published in the Journal of Communication and the Howard Journal of Communications, and he has presented top papers at the annual conferences of both the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and the International Communication Association.

Office Hours

Virtual office hours will be offered by appointment.