American University School of Communication

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School of Communication
AU SOC2c lo.jpg
Type Private
Established 1893 as Department of Communication. 1984 becomes School of Communication. Independent of the College of Arts and Sciences in 1993
Dean Jeff Rutenbeck
Academic staff
50 full-time[1]
Students 791 (undergraduate)/337 (graduate)
Location Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Campus Urban
Nickname SOC
This is an outside view of the newest addition to the McKinley Building

The School of Communication at American University is accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. The school offers five undergraduate majors: communication studies, print/broadcast journalism, public communication, visual media, and foreign language and communication media (jointly administered with the College of Arts and Sciences). Interdisciplinary degrees in communication, legal institutions, economics, and government (CLEG, which is housed in the School of Public Affairs), and multimedia design and development (which is housed in the College of Arts and Sciences).



SOC's journalism and public communication programs are accredited by the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC). SOC's faculty teach courses ranging from web design to Race, Ethnic and Community reporting. SOC's Investigative Reporting Workshop offers additional expertise.

Undergraduates get the basics in web, writing and reporting and work up to courses that could include ethics, law, health reporting and advanced reporting.

Graduate programs specialize in investigative, international or broadcast journalism. A Master's degree can be earned through the weekday 11-month program or the weekend Interactive Journalism program that takes 20 months of Saturday-only classes.

Film and media arts[edit]

SOC's film and media arts program is a member of CILECT, the international association of film and television schools. Faculty include Emmy, Oscar and Sundance award-winners, such as Russell Williams (sound engineer). Students' thesis projects have gone on to win Student Academy Awards and CINE Eagle Awards.

USA Today named SOC’s film and media arts program in a top ten list of “America’s best colleges for a major in film”, highlighting the school’s combination of in-depth classes in film, cinematography, editing and production with hands-on experience to help students refine and master professional and technical skills.[2]

Public communication[edit]

The American University's Public Communication degree program teaches how to target an audience, how to create a compelling message, how to write persuasively, in a world of new media and new technology. SOC's Public Communication alumni include speechwriters, press secretaries, media strategists, crisis communicators, Hollywood agents, sports marketers, public diplomacy experts, nonprofit leaders, advertising executives, and public relations professionals.

Communication Studies[edit]

The Communication Studies division offers interdisciplinary degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels, and are intended for students seeking a broad-based, intellectually challenging course of study.

The undergraduate program in Communication Studies is a liberal arts-oriented major that draws on the strengths and attributes of the School’s journalism, public communication, and film and media arts curricula. The International Media master’s program is a partnership between the School of Communication and the School of International Service, providing a combination of communication theory, media production skills, and academic research techniques to equip students for professional leadership positions in international and global communication. The Ph.D. program in Communication is an accelerated, interdisciplinary curriculum designed around the intersections of media, technology, and democracy.

Notable alumni[edit]


External links[edit]