Tag Archives: classes

Choosing classes at BU!

 

Is it here yet?

So you’re newly accepted and anxiously waiting for September to start your adventure as a BU COM grad right? I thought so. You just want to skip right over summer and be here already. We know the feeling.

You may be wondering what classes you need to take and how to go about figuring that out. Well, step one -go to our website and click on your program. Then click under degree requirements. This is usually a great place to start. It tells you all your required classes and then some. I recommend getting all of your required classes out of the way first, especially if you’re like me and planning on going to London for your third semester!

Step two – speak to your department head. He/she will be very helpful in telling you exactly what classes you need. For example, for PR, CM 700 is only offered in the Fall. I emailed the head of the department, Professor Wright, and he essentially told me exactly which classes to take my first two semesters in order to ensure I’ll be on track for London. Because I’m in Public Relations, let me give you a preview of what your first and second semesters will look like to get the requirements out of the way.

Fall

  • CM700 – Financial and Strategic Management
  • CM 701 – Contemporary Public Relations
  • CM 722 – Communication Research
  • CM 707 (or) 705 – Writing for Media Professionals/International Students

Spring

  • CM 710 – Communication Theory
  • CM 742 – Media Relations
  • CM 709 or 715 – Corporate or Nonprofit
  • Elective

But that’s just an example for those in Public Relations. And if that’s your track, don’t take my word for it (I’m probably/and usually right), but I would definitely double check.

Step three: You’ll have an adviser assigned to you – usually a professor. He or she could be a big help also! And finally, step four: comgrad@bu.edu is always a huge help. After all, that’s what we’re here for.

Be Well Read

As an applicant to the masters in journalism program at the BU College of Communication, one of the essays that you have to write, along with life narrative and professional experience, is called “Periodicals”.  This is the part of your application where you get to show the admissions committee how engaged you are in the current media landscape as a consumer. The thought is that folks who are interested in becoming journalists are likely inspired by professionals who they have encountered along the way. One of the defining characteristics of a great journalist is a constant thirst for news and information, and in the periodicals essay you have the chance to share with the school how you quench that thirst.

There is a major focus here at BU on electronic media and social media, so in writing your periodicals essay be sure to make it very clear that you not only frequent a variety of online news sources, but that you have at least a working knowledge of the social media scene.  If you don’t have much experience with social media, I would suggest getting a little acquainted with the ways of Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. While you may not use these tools every day while studying here at BU, you will undoubtedly need to use them from time to time.

Listed in the required reading for every jounalism course you take here at BU will be a number of daily newspapers. Being up to date with The Boston Globe, the New York Times and USA Today is expected in the courses you will be taking. Therefore in this essay the ability to demonstrate that you are already in the habit of staying up to date will bode well for your application. And much like I suggested in the social media section, if you are not in the habit of reading daily newpapers, you would help prepare yourself for life at BU by starting.

The fact is that journalism is just as much about reading and staying informed as it is about writing and reporting. In my Journalism Principals and Techniques course in the fall our professor had what he called “The 3 R’s”:  Reading, Reporting, and Writing. In order to be a better writer, it’s vital to be an avid reader. So while you are writing your periodicals essay, be sure to express just how much reading means to you.

Meet Kendal Peirce

My third and final semester is drawing to a close and I find myself looking back on the past year and a half. It’s amazing how fast this program goes by. One minute I was introducing myself to my new peers, the next we are holed up in someone’s apartment cramming for our final comprehensive exam.

Since it’s an accelerated graduate program, I learned a lot in a short amount of time, especially how to cope with unending deadlines and insomnia (thank you spring semester). I can honestly say I am prepared for anything. Meeting-room full of hostile web developers? Bring it. Oral Presentation class taught me the only thing I have to fear is, well, Professor O’Connor. I now have the confidence to speak in any venue, in front of any audience, under any duress.

Surprisingly (though it shouldn’t be), most of the classes I value the most are the ones I’m required to take as part of my major: Communication Studies.

-       Law of Communication prepared me for the ambiguous future of digital law. Always good to know when you’re stealing something. You might say I know too much.

-       Communication Theory illuminated the reasoning behind certain communication strategies. Which will help me as I set out to manipulate consumers and their impressionable minds.

-       Contemporary Media, as someone from a non-communication background, helped set the stage for me in terms of the current state of communication and its possible future. Allows me to be depressed with reasonable cause.

-       Design and New Media II (not required) helped me develop an actual creative portfolio. I even built a functioning microsite – Click Here. Just kidding, I haven’t finished it yet.

Though there is a mountain of work left to do I still force myself to relax and take in what Boston has to offer during the holidays: the Boston Ballet’s annual production of the Nutcracker; Faneuil Hall’s tree lighting, now coupled with a blinding (literally) 140,000 LCD light display; ice skating on the Frog Pond; numerous concerts I probably should have been doing work during; and, of course, the restaurants and bars. You can often find me on Thursday nights, consuming large amounts of nachos at Sunset Cantina or, on Friday nights, hitting up my favorite classy bar, Drink, in the North End (Drink by name and by reputation).

Though I can’t wait for the work to end, I am sad to leave BU and Boston behind. I feel prepared for my chosen career, but I’ll miss the people in the program (students and professors) and the collegiate atmosphere. Maybe I can find a way to stay an extra semester….