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  Academic Programs / Communications & Theater

School of Communications and Theater

Founded 1967

Concetta M. Stewart, Dean
2020 N. 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122

Goals and Objectives
Special Facilities
Special Programs

Goals and Objectives

The mission of the School of Communications and Theater is to provide leadership in advancing the role of communication in public life.  This mission is pursued through the training of students for leadership careers in communications, media, and theater, through advancing research and creative activity in these fields, and through serving the public need for free and open communication. The School is concerned not only with high standards of professional work but also with encouraging the next generation of artists, teachers, and media managers to develop an intellectual background and a sense of social responsibility. Toward this end, SCT students are encouraged to take coursework in disciplines outside the School. For some, history and political science are related areas of interest; others choose literature and the arts; still others choose business, economics, or the social sciences. In this way, the School participates in providing not only professional training but also a broad humanistic education for its students.

The faculty of the School come from diverse backgrounds. Some have extensive professional experience as filmmakers, journalists, television producers, theater directors, speech writers, advertising executives, and public relations practitioners. Others have come to Communications and Theater through academic study, doing graduate work and continuing the practice of research and scholarship while teaching at Temple.

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The study of communication began formally at Temple University with the founding of the Department of Journalism in 1927. It was the first such department in the Commonwealth.

Theater was an extracurricular activity at Temple until 1931, when formal courses were developed.

Radio-Television became an instructional division in 1947, and extensive film offerings were added in 1967. That year, Journalism and Radio-Television-Film joined Theater to form the School of Communications and Theater. In 1987 the highly-respected Department of Speech moved to the School from the College of Arts and Sciences. A year later, Speech became two departments: Rhetoric and Communication and Speech-Language-Hearing.

The School was restructured in 1995. Radio-Television-Film is now the Department of Film and Media Arts and the Department of Broadcasting, Telecommunications, and Mass Media; Journalism became Journalism, Public Relations, and Advertising; Rhetoric and Communication became Speech Communication. In 1998, the Department of Communication Sciences (Speech-Language-Hearing) moved to the College of Health Professions.

The most recent change in the structure of the School involved the Departments of Journalism, Public Relations and Advertising, and Speech Communication.  Effective Fall 2004, Advertising became a separate department. The Department of Speech Communication changed its name to Strategic and Organizational Communication and includes Public Relations as one of three concentrations:  Public Communication (formerly Speech Communication), Public Relations, and Organizational Leadership.  The Department of Journalism includes sequences in Broadcast Journalism, News Editorial, Magazine, and Photography for the Mass Media.

Renowned for their professional experience, research, and teaching, our faculty prepare our graduates for a wide range of careers in communication industries, as well as lead graduate students towards Ph.D., M.F.A., M.A., and M.J. degrees.

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Special Facilities

The School of Communications and Theater is housed in buildings designed for teaching, research, and production.

The primary location of the School is Annenberg Hall, which houses the Departments of Film and Media Arts; Broadcasting, Telecommunications, and Mass Media; Journalism; and Advertising. Television and film production areas (studios and editing, graphics, and film labs) occupy the first floor. The building also includes extensive video and film editing areas, a 75-seat multimedia screening room, photographic labs, two news writing labs and smart classrooms.

The Theater Department, located in Tomlinson Hall, features two theaters, as well as rehearsal rooms, costume, and scene shops.  The Department of Strategic and Organizational Communication is housed in Weiss Hall.

The Joe First Media Center, SCT's newest addition, is located on the first floor, linking Annenberg and Tomlinson Halls. The Center is a communications and media hub for the school and includes a cyber-café, a multimedia information center, and a venue for displaying student work and film screenings. 

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Special Programs

Temple Update

Temple Update is a production course in which students can gain experience producing, reporting, and editing for an half-hour weekly news magazine format. The program airs on a cable outlet. The course gives the students the opportunity to produce material for a résumé tape and provides students with valuable experience in field work, news writing, video editing, and the pressure of a live program.

Internship Program

Although the requirements may vary, internships are available to junior and senior students of every department in the School. Internships are for academic credit and must involve professional activity related to the student's course of study. The internships must be approved by the administrator or faculty member charged with supervising internships.

Los Angeles Summer Internship & Study Program

Offered by the Film and Media Arts Department, the Los Angeles Summer Internship & Study Program is open to all Temple University students on both the upper-level undergraduate (63 credit hours completed) and graduate levels who have an interest in working within the Hollywood entertainment industry. This 8-credit program runs from late May through July. It includes an on-site internship and six weeks of concurrent coursework.

Study Abroad

The School of Communications and Theater offers several programs for students who are interested in studying abroad and strongly encourages students to participate in these programs.

The School offers a program in London for undergraduate students. Students spend either the fall or spring semester in London studying British theater and media with an international faculty.

Enrollment in the London program is also open to qualified students from other universities and colleges to foster an intellectual exchange among students of varied collegiate backgrounds. Courses are designed to make the best use of the uniqueness of London and the United Kingdom.

Summer Study Abroad programs are also an important feature of the School's special programs. Realizing the inestimable value of direct contact with professionals and other experts, the School of Communications and Theater offers an annual summer seminar in London on British Mass Media. These seminars are offered for graduate and undergraduate credit and can be an integral part of a student's coursework. 

Temple/Dublin is a month-long program offered by the School of Communications and Theater which allows students to experience the old and the new Dublin within a challenging academic experience.  The two-course program includes a foundational course on Irish literature, history and culture taught by a Dublin professor, and a course on Irish media and arts taught by the School's Faculty Director. 

Our newest summer study abroad programs involve month-long media projects in either Cagli, Italy, or Armagh, N. Ireland.  Students and faculty work much like a news gathering and multimedia production company and create a web documentary describing the life and history of these small towns.  Special attention is paid to ordinary people, cuisine and culture, businesses, institutions, and the daily life of the citizens. 

The summer programs, like the academic year program, are open to qualified students from other universities and colleges and to others who choose to continue their education in a less formal manner than in a prescribed program of study.

See International Programs for more information about Study Abroad options. Current information on the London program is available from the Office of the Dean, 215-204-1961.

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