Summer Courses in COMM

There are lots of options for taking classes in the College of Communications over the summer. Check out the course listings below and talk to the Advising Office if you have questions about your program of study.

Courses offered at University Park, summer 2014

Maymester - May 12 - June 9

  • COMM 360 Radio Reporting 
  • COMM 497B International Documentary Production

First Summer Session - May 19 - June 27

  • COMM 585     Media & Telecommunications Industries

Second Summer Session - July 12 - August 13

  • COMM 110     Media & Democracy
  • COMM 150     The Art of the Cinema
  • COMM 260W  News Writing and Reporting 
  • COMM 409     News Media Ethics 

Penn State student studying during summer session

Courses offered ONLINE

May 19 - August 13

  • COMM 100WD  Mass Media & Society
  • COMM 150WD  The Art of the Cinema 
  • COMM 160WD  Basic News Writing Skills 
  •  COMM 180WD Survey of Electronic Media & Telecommunications
  • COMM 190WD Gaming and Interactive Media
  • COMM 205WD Women, Minorities and the Media
  • COMM 403WD  Mass Communications Law
  •  COMM 405 Political Economy of Communications
  • COMM 409WD  News Media Ethics 
  • COMM 410WD  International Mass Comm 
  • COMM 412WD Sports, Media and Society

Penn State student taking an online course

STEP Program

Student Transitional Experiences Program (STEP) is a summer initiative for Commonwealth Campus students transferring to University Park in their junior year. It’s a great way to experience the University Park campus in a small classroom setting, make new friends and begin coursework toward your degree. Students may participate in the STEP program in the summer prior to your first semester at University Park.

>COMM Pride Courses for 2014

  • COMM 260W   News Writing and Reporting 
  • COMM 409   News Media Ethics

>Housing, Meals and Costs

Students are admitted on a first come, first served basis. You automatically become eligible for STEP when you are approved for entrance to your major at University Park. To express interest in the STEP program call 814-865-1591.

Your total fees are based on the tuition for the number of credits taken and housing costs. You may find their own housing or have the option to live in the residence halls and purchase a meal plan. If you are interested in living in university housing during the STEP program, please visit the Housing and Food Services Web site at or e-mail or call the Assignment Office for Campus Residences at (814) 865-7501.

For 2014, the Provost's Office will provide $1,000 financial support for all students enrolled in the STEP program.

To Register

  1. You must be approved for entrance to your major at University Park.
  2. To register in the STEP program for COMM, call 814-865-1591. The advising office will determine if you have been approved for entrance into your major. Once approved, the advising office will go ahead and register you in your STEP pride.
  3. Students are admitted on a first come, first served basis.

Penn State students in small discussion group

LEAP Program

LEAP (the Learning Edge Academic Program) provides entering freshmen the chance to begin their journey at Penn State University Park by way of a learning community. LEAP students take two courses together in groups of 24 that are reserved exclusively for first-year students, live together in the same dormitory area, and have an upper class student mentor to guide them through their first semester.

This exciting and comprehensive experience is offered only during the summer and only to first semester undergraduates admitted to University Park. (Students who are admitted to fall semester can change their admission to summer by contacting the Admissions Office if they'd like to be a part of LEAP.)

COMM Prides

There will be two COMM prides focusing on Mass Media in the 2014 LEAP program. Both prides are partnered with CAS 100A.

Students will learn about areas of the mass media (i.e. news media, film, music and advertising) to understand the history and role mass media play in our society while exploring how the media influence students’ understanding of reality. Students will examine the relationship between individuals, groups, and the mass media. Students will discuss, among other things, how different groups are portrayed in the American mass media, what images the media present, how closely these images reflect reality, how companies communicate to these audiences and how the images portrayed in the media affect our perceptions. Weekly discussion groups will inspire students to think critically and actively about issues related to the mass media to increase media literacy. Some discussion will be based on film or television. Instructors from both courses will foster open dialogue about the role the mass media play in our society.

COMM 100S will fulfill 3 credits of General Education Social and Behavioral Sciences [GS] and First-Year Seminar requirements and CAS 100A will fulfill 3 credits of General Education Writing/Speaking [GWS] requirements.


  • COMM 100s  Mass Media & Society
  •  CAS 100a Effective Speech

For more information about LEAP

Phone: 814-863-4174     E-mail:

Page last updated: February 25, 2014