Mass Communication

Department of Communication

Meet Our Students!


The simple idea of organized shoe boxes turned into a business for Sommer Meyer of Closet Fetish. Meyer was enrolled in a Hawaii Pacific University Advertising/Public Relations class in which students were tasked with drawing up a business plan. At a loss for an idea, Meyer reflected on her long-standing practice of taping photos of her shoes to shoe boxes for easy identification. It worked, but it always bothered her that "all the boxes were different sizes and different colors, so it never looked organized." She decided to create standardized boxes, ordered three sample boxes from China and sent out a press release to see whether anyone might be interested in buying them. "In one week, InStyle magazine, Oprah and Traditional House all
called and said they were going to feature the shoe boxes.” These days, she counts celebrities like Michelle Obama, Halle Berry, Kim Cattrall, and Denise Richards as her clients. Richards showed her Closet Fetish boxes in an episode of her TV show, It's Complicated. She been on Oprah's 0 listand InStyle twice. Sommer specifically and constantly credits her classes at HPU as being the origin of her business. Her business is a direct result of a business plan assignment and press release writing leaned at HPU.

NSAC 2015 Team

Why Study Mass Communication?

Hawai’i Pacific University will start fall 2015 offering a new Bachelor’s of Science degree in Mass Communication. The new degree reflects the convergent nature occurring within the traditional areas of Advertising, Journalism and Public Relations. During HPU’s last three external reviews, by internationally known leaders, we were advised to realign our programs to stay ahead of industry or we might not remain relevant as traditional areas of media transition into New and Social media.

Current students in BS Advertising/Public Relations or BA Journalism may choose to convert to the new BS in Mass Communication or remain in their first degrees (also old general education requirements). Those students remaining in the old degrees will substitute a Mass Communication course for any remaining major requirements within their major.

Why Study in Hawai‘i?

HPU’s ideal location at the hub of the economically vibrant Pacific Rim means outstanding cooperative education, internship and career opportunities. Students have found careers and internships with a wide variety of companies and organizations both in Hawai‘i and around the globe. Students studying in Hawai‘i are uniquely posed to examine emerging and flourishing Asian markets.

Program Overview

The Mass communication program provides a core of basic skills required in advertising, journalism and public relations, such as written communication, oral communication, design, research and First Amendment and intellectual property law. Each student can then pick, based on their area of interest, additional specific mass communication classes. All students will complete their degree with an internship and capstone experience.

Hands On Experiences

Rather than relying solely on textbooks, students in the Mass Communication program apply what they learn in the classroom to actual problems faced by organizations and businesses. In addition, eligible students are encouraged to take COM 3950 - Communication Practicum, an internship offering actual experience in a professional setting. Students select internships in any area of communication including advertising, corporate communication, journalism, public relations, speech, theater or visual communication. Supervision is both by a professional on site and by HPU faculty.

Internships allow students to gain practical experience by working at an advertising or public relations agency, newspaper or television station or in the communication department of a business such as a hospital or hotel. Many internships offer a stipend for spending money.

Career Options

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes of Advertising and Public Relations:

%7e Keen competition is expected for these highly coveted jobs.

%7e College graduates with related experience, a high level of creativity, and strong communication and computer skills should have the best job opportunities.

%7e High earnings, substantial travel, and long hours, including evenings and weekends, are common.

%7e Because of the importance and high visibility of their jobs, these managers often are prime candidates for advancement to the highest ranks.

Career opportunities include advertising managers, marketing managers, promotion managers, public relations managers, social media marketing specialists, advertising media planners, media traffic personnel, copywriters, illustrators, and creative individuals, production managers, directors of advertising and/or public relations, public relations specialists, and account executives.

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Degree Requirements

Course Conversion List

4-Year Course Rotation Plan

Sample 4-Year Plan