Name Change for Communication and Media Studies Department

Name Change for Communication and Media Studies Department

06/25/2018 

Over the last decade, SUNY Cortland’s Communications Studies Department has evolved to prepare students for promising careers in an ever-changing field; growing to support what has become one of the College’s most popular majors.

Now its name will better reflect that focus.

Starting July 1, the Communication Studies Department will be known as the Communication and Media Studies Department.

As culture has developed new and innovative forms of communication in recent years, faculty in the department decided its name should more accurately reflect what they teach.

“We’ve been looking at some curricular changes as well for the last decade,” said Professor and Department Chair Paul van der Veur. “There was a consensus within the department that the department name needed to be as inclusive as possible. There are a lot of things within the communication studies degree that are broader than the name implies.

“It was our thinking that to make the name change would give prospective students and others a better sense of what we are all about.”

The department currently offers majors in communication studies and new communication media.

Communication studies focuses on understanding the role of communication in shaping culture and identity. The major includes concentrations in public relations and advertising, journalism and media production.

New communication media offers students hands-on experience in developing digital video and audio content as well as animation and web development, providing avenues to a wide range of careers.

A complete list of undergraduate courses is available online. The department added five new courses for the 2017-18 school year, ranging in topic from popular culture to advanced filmmaking to documentary production. These areas of study align more closely with “media” than “communication,” which was another reason for the department name change.

The department also oversees student clubs such as The Dragon Chronicle, Cortland’s student newspaper; CSTV, the campus television station, and WSUC-FM, SUNY Cortland’s student-run radio station.  

Course offerings and majors are expected to grow in the future as the department continues to adapt and expand.

“It’s an effort on the part of the department to meet the needs of a wider range of students than we were able to do in the past,” van der Veur said. “Already we’ve done that fairly well. Over the 15 years that I’ve been here, the department has grown from about 250 majors to almost 400.”

For more information, visit the department online or call 607-753-4201.


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