Digital Communications Major

Every organization needs an expert who knows how to pair the right messaging with the right technology. That’s why jobs using digital communications skills are in high demand – and well paid.
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GMercyU’s Digital Communications program is the perfect launching pad for a career in the industry – social media, public relations, corporate communications, content creation, and more. You’ll develop production, editing, writing, and marketing skills and learn how to craft messages with impact.

While you earn your Bachelor of Science degree in Digital Communications, you’ll also have the opportunity to earn certifications that will help boost your employment opportunities and salary.

About the Program

For an introduction, watch this video created by Digital Communications students.

Program Details

Digital Communications degreeAs a Digital Communications major, your hands-on work begins immediately. In your very first class, Introduction to Digital Communications, you will launch your own “brand” by creating your own personal logo and website.

In every class that follows, you’ll add more pages to your website with samples of your work using platforms such as YouTube, Twitter, Soundcloud, etc. – all branded with your logo. By the time you graduate, you will have:  

  • Edited your website into an impressive portfolio to share with future employers
  • Honed skills across a broad spectrum of platforms
  • Gained solid knowledge of how to best represent yourself

In the program, you will also…

Earn Certifications! As part of your coursework, you can pursue industry-recognized certifications and badges to add to your resume:

  • CisionPoint, software for public relations professionals
  • Google Analytics, a platform for measuring website traffic
  • Hootsuite, for social media professionals
  • HubSpot, software for marketers
  • Tableau, data visualization software
  • Twitter Flight Deck, for social media professionals

Create Buzz-Worthy Social Media. Take what you already know about social media to the next level – learn how to develop, implement, and evaluate social media strategies, an integral part of every company’s modern business strategy.

Gain Real-World Experience. GMercyU's campus is situated in the middle of one of the top media markets in the country. Practice the skills you’ve learned in the classroom and intern for major companies in the Philadelphia, New York City, and perhaps even Washington, D.C. areas.

Find Community in our Digital Communications Labs. GMercyU's new studio and lab give Digital Communications majors the space to hang out and build skills together while creating, producing, and editing content. See more on this below.

4+1 MBA Degree Option
Apply for this option during your junior year
Gwynedd Mercy University makes it easy for our business graduates to earn an advanced degree. With GMercyU's 4+1 MBA program option, students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher can earn both a bachelor of science (BS) degree in digital communications and a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) in just five years.

Skip the grad school entrance exams by taking graduate credits during your senior year – as part of your undergraduate tuition – and then seamlessly completing your MBA the following year. 

In addition to general education course requirements, our Bachelor of Science in Digital Communications students will complete the following courses as part of your graduation requirements. 

Pre-Requisites - 12 credits

BUS 207 Principles of Marketing
COMD 115 Intro to Digital Communications
COMD 217 Digital Media, Culture & Society
COMD 201 Mobile Content Creation


Social Media & Digital Communications Core - 33 credits

COMD 200 Digital Analytics & Visualization
COMD 300 Strategies & Tactics for Digital and Social Media
COMD 301 Podcasting
COMD 302 Video Production & Editing
COMD 304 Social Media Law & Ethics
COMD 400 Digital Media Economics 
COMD 405 Internship
COMD 4000 Capstone
CIS 350 Multimedia
CIS 424 Web Design II
COMD 310 DigComCrew


Select 4 of the following major electives - 12 credits

BUS 101 Business Theory
BUS 333 Advertising 
BUS 334 Consumer Behavior
BUS 350 Intro to Sports Marketing
BUS 410 Online Bus Mark / Mgmt
COMD 206 Public Relations
COMD 437 Special Topics
ECN 102 Microeconomics
ECN 103 Macroeconomics

Credit Requirements
A minimum of 120 credits is required for the Bachelor of Science in Digital Communications degree.

Undergraduate Minors
Increase the value of your degree as a digital communication major by adding an undergraduate minor that best suits your personal and professional goals.

Digital Communications studentsWondering what your classes will look like as a Digital Communications major? Here are a few highlights.

COMD200 Digital Analytics & Visualization
Explore digital analytics, big data, and data visualization while earning a Google Analytics certification. Hands-on projects will focus on campaign tracking, tagging, web traffic measurement, dashboards, and more.

COMD 201 Mobile Content Creation
Create visual and audio content for social and digital media platforms using the same smart phone you use every day. Basic skills such as framing, composition, audio quality and website development will be covered in theory and with hands-on application. You will host projects on your own websites. Smartphone and app purchase required.

COMD301 Podcasting
Podcasting in journalism, publishing, and promoting continues to grow. In this course, you’ll build upon the basic audio skills developed in prior courses to produce audience-targeted and technically competent podcasts. We will explore planning, recording, interviewing, editing, structure and storytelling along with technical concepts. Hosting, distribution, and monetizing will also be covered.

COMD400 Digital Media Economics and Budgeting
Digital and social media, media convergence, connectivity and immediacy have disrupted media business models, created space for few major players in social and digital media, changed the way content is produced and distributed and altered advertising and public relations messaging and profit centers. This course explores the broad economic issues impacting digital and social businesses within today’s media landscape. We will discuss key economic principles influencing the communication and media industries including broadcasting, newspapers, motion pictures, music, video games, advertising, and public relations. Includes opportunity to earn Hootsuite Certification.

For all digital communications program course descriptions, please refer to the undergraduate catalog.

Podcasting StudioLocated in University Hall, the studio and lab are equipped with modern equipment and software that students use to create and edit audio and video content, and graphics.

In the labs, collaboration and community are key. Students review each other's creative work and pitch other ideas, but also just hang out. 

"We're all very close. After all of our classes, usually we're all in our lab just talking and working on things," said Digital Communications major Justin Henderson.

In the labs, learn things like...

  • Audio for video
  • Composition
  • Editing
  • Framing
  • Interviewing
  • Lighting
  • Microphone placement
  • Post-production
  • Recording
  • Story-telling

...and more!

Margaret Rakus
Margaret Rakus, ABD
Position: 
Assistant Professor, Program Coordinator of Digital Communications, Marketing, and Sports Management programs
Did You Know? Professor Rakus has held various industry positions in marketing and public relations. She is also an avid kayaker and hiker, and has hiked the Andes Mountains.
Read bio

 

Alan Harper, MBA, PhD
Alan Harper, MBA, PhD

Position: Associate Professor and Program Coordinator, Finance and Management Programs
Did You Know? Professor Harper has 20 years of management experience and has published more than 15 peer-reviewed articles.
Read bio

Melissa Dennis
Melissa Dennis, DBA
Position:
Assistant Professor, Marketing
Did You Know?
Dr. Dennis spent 15 years working for Disney Parks, Experiences and Products in customer relationship and customer engagement, supporting Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Vacation Club, and the Disney Cruise line businesses.
Read bio

 

Maddie Herman, MsEd
Maddie Herman, MsEd
Position: 
Instructor, Sports Management
Did You Know? 
Herman has worked for the Philadelphia 76er's and Wells Fargo Center, and ran GMercyU's Intramurals and Recreation program.
Read bio

 

Luigi Corrado, Jr., CPA, MT
Position: Professor of Practice and Program Coordinator, Accounting
Did You Know? Professor Corrado spent nearly 20 years in the accounting industry as a financial statement auditor, corporate controller, and senior consultant with a variety of firms.  
Read bio 

During my college search, I noticed many other communications programs focused almost entirely on the theory, which is very important, but they didn't seem to focus on as much hands-on material. GMercyU's Dig Comm program teaches podcasting, video editing, social media marketing, and more skills that will be extremely useful in the future. 

Maggie Kraus ’22Marketing Coordinator for Iris Creative

Real-World Opportunities

The Griffin Edge is comprised of five touchpoints -- Excellence, Engagement, Experience, Empathy, and Encouragement -- that become the cornerstones of your Distinctive Mercy Experience as a full-time undergraduate student.

The Griffin Edge includes an e-portfolio for documenting your GMercyU educational and extracurricular experiences (no matter your major), reflecting on those experiences, and receiving feedback from faculty. It's designed to help you take ownership of your educational journey and chart the right career path for you. It will also help you learn how to talk about your college experiences in meaningful ways — and that can make all the difference in a job interview. 

For example, a student might say in a job interview: "I conducted research at the undergraduate level." 

A Griffin Edge student might say: "The opportunity to conduct my own research alongside expert faculty taught me the importance of being exact in my data collection and analysis. I was even able to present my findings at our annual research conference! I know this is the career for me."

Learn more about the Griffin Edge here.

Philadelphia is the home of Comcast, a Fortune 500 media giant, but there are many more local organizations where you could intern and network. Our students have recently interned for these companies.

  • Donna A. Heckler Group
  • ESPN Radio
  • Juma Entertainment television studio
  • Malvern Retreat House
  • Millennium Radio New Jersey
  • NBC10 / WCAU Philadelphia
  • Philadelphia Freedoms
  • Public Relations at GMercyU
  • Saile & Saile LLP
  • Special Olympics Pennsylvania
  • Univest Corporation
  • WMMR - Preston and Steve

The field of digital communications is broad, so you can pursue a career path that best suits your interests. If you’re a “people person,” you may thrive as a communications or public relations manager, while data-driven students may enjoy working as an SEO specialist. Visual types may prefer crafting images and videos for social media – as full-time work or a side hustle. (You might even launch your brand as a social media influencer or YouTuber!)

Here are just a few of the many opportunities for Digital Communications majors.

Communications/Public Relations Manager

Description: Help organizations build and maintain a positive public image by working with the press, sponsoring events, managing crises, and more.
Degree Requirements: A bachelor’s degree
Average Salary: The median annual pay is $66,255.*

Search Engine Optimization Specialist

Description: Once you’ve learned the language of SEO, SEM, CTR, and Google Analytics, you can help boost a website’s rankings with search engines, improving their traffic and consumer reach.
Degree Requirements: A bachelor’s degree. Certifications in platforms such Google Analytics can help boost employment and salary opportunities.
Average Salary: The median annual pay is $62,966.*

Social Media Specialist

Description: Build brand awareness by developing compelling, clickable, and culturally competent social media. Opportunities abound in this field, with a surge in job growth of 23.2 percent over the next 10 years, much faster than the national average.*
Degree Requirements: A bachelor’s degree
Average Salary: The median annual pay is $46,623 – those with six to eight years of experience earn a median annual salary of $65,900.*

*According to Burning Glass Technologies

Other Possible Careers for Digital Communications Majors

  • Assistant Editor
  • Booking Agent
  • Camera Operator
  • Content Marketer
  • Copywriter
  • Data Analyst
  • Designer
  • Editor, writer
  • Electronic Publishing
  • Graphic Artist
  • Marketing Specialist
  • Media Director
  • Online Strategist
  • Producer – radio/television/movies
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Publisher
  • Reporter
  • Social Media Manager
  • Speech Writer
  • Sports Promoter
  • Technical Writer
  • Video Editor

*This is only a partial list and not meant to limit you. Some of these careers may require additional education.

Wondering Where You Might Eventually Work?

GMercyU communications alumni have recently made their mark at these organizations.

  • CBS Interactive
  • Harlem Globetrotters
  • NBA
  • Philadelphia Freedoms
  • The Walt Disney Company
  • University of Florida
  • Us Media, LLC

Communications grad CJ Wolfe
CJ Wolfe '19
Current Position: Founder and CEO of Immortal Vision Studio
In 2020, CJ launched Immortal Vision Studio, a busy Philadelphia-based collaborative studio that produces photography, videography, and digital content for small businesses and clients of all kinds. Along the way, he helped run the Instagram account for a former Philadelphia Eagle, interned with Mural Arts Philadelphia, and methodically gained the experience he needed to launch his passion project. Learn about CJ's GMercyU experience.

Communications grad AnaLee Rodriquez
AnaLee Rodriguez ’15

Current Position: Marketing and Strategic Communications Manager, Office of the Vice President, University of Florida
In addition to her work at UF, Analee runs her own digital marketing company called AR Elite Studio. AnaLee honed the skills she learned at GMercyU with internships at ESPN’s 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia, the Trenton Thunder (the AAA Affiliate of the New York Yankees), and the NBA offices in New York City. At GMercyU, she also served as a resident assistant, editor-in-chief of the Gwynmercian, and co-president of Sigma Phi Sigma. Learn more about AnaLee's experience.

Read more Griffin Success Stories.

Next Steps

Have you already earned college-level credits at other institutions or accounting colleges? GMercyU makes it easy for you to transfer your credits. Learn how on our Transfer Credits page.

In addition, GMercyU offers dual admissions agreements with Bucks County Community College and Montgomery County Community College — as well as the following articulation agreements.

Bucks County Community College
AA business administration to BS in marketing

Delaware County Community College
AS business administration to BS in marketing

Harcum College
AS business administration to BS in marketing

Manor College
AS business administration to BS in marketing

Have questions about GMercyU's admissions requirements? Our Admissions Staff is ready to walk you through the process of applying or transferring to GMercyU’s Digital Communications program.

Email: admissions@gmercyu.edu
Phone: 215-641-5510

Apply now

At GMercyU, we strive to make a quality education accessible to all through financial aid, scholarships, and grants. As a military-friendly university, we welcome service members and participate in all VA educational benefits programs. 

Get the education you need for an exciting career in digital communications. 

Apply now