About the Department
As the only accredited journalism and mass communications department in a small, highly selective, nationally ranked liberal arts college, we are committed not only to broadening minds, but also to inculcating habits of honor, careful analysis, reasoned discourse and excellent writing in an increasingly diverse and pluralistic culture.
Through our signature Knight Program in Media Ethics, we ensure that students understand the ethical dimensions of the decisions they will make.
The department’s demanding professional courses are taught by faculty with extensive academic and professional experience and achievement in newsrooms and public relations. Reid Hall, which houses the department, provides students with an up-to-date technological environment that prepares them for working in multimedia communications. The heart and soul of the building is its third floor, home to a newsroom, TV studio and control room. There, students in several classes work together to produce The Rockbridge Report, a newscast and website that are regularly recognized for excellence by professional journalism organizations.
To make sure students are well grounded in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, they must take more courses outside the department than within. We offer two professionally oriented majors, Journalism and Strategic Communication, and a minor in Mass Communications.
Why Study Strategic Communication at W&L?
The Strategic Communication major prepares students to craft messages for corporations, nonprofit organizations or governmental agencies.
The Mass Communications minor provides students in other disciplines with the opportunity to learn about the professional values, theory and practice of media, while honing their information-gathering, analytical and writing skills.
Opportunities for Students
Our students are stars, in their summer internships and the jobs they land after they graduate and leave W&L. Both Journalism and Strategic Communication majors are required to complete summer internships, opportunities that have taken students from Austin and Boston to Seattle and Shanghai.
Our graduates are running PR and marketing campaigns for clients at the Grey Group, Edelman and Ruder Finn in New York. They devise communications strategies for nonprofit organizations such as a philanthropic foundation in Oklahoma and the Woodberry Forest School in Virginia. And they serve as top executives at firms from coast to coast, from Zillow in Seattle to FleishmanHillard in New York.