School of Communications


Effective 1 June 2017 through 31 May 2018

Please see the Undergraduate Catalog Archives for PDF versions of past catalogs.


Eric Rothenbuhler, Dean

School of Communications website (external to catalog)

Mission Statement

Instructors at the School of Communications are professional media educators, practitioners, artists, and theorists. We seek to promote professional excellence in communication fields; to build on the liberal arts environment of Webster University; and to remain committed to students as they:

  • Learn current and emerging theoretical, technical, creative and managerial aspects of communications;
  • Become aware of the aesthetic, historical, social, ethical and global aspects of communications;
  • Prepare to be future industry leaders, professionals and knowledgeable consumers who can improve all aspects of communications;
  • Engage early in their future professions in communication areas through educational opportunities, field experiences, internships and interactions with professionals;
  • Become life-long learners of evolving communications technologies in this rapidly changing field of study;

The School of Communications houses and supports:

  • The May Gallery, a photographic exhibit space;
  • The Webster University Film Series, a comprehensive alternative film series allowing students, faculty, and community members to view independent features and documentaries, avant-garde films, animation, retrospectives, and short works and offering filmmaking workshops to students and the community;
  • The Journal, an award-winning student newspaper offering print and Internet news;
  • Idea Tree Media, a client services production group;
  • The Galaxy, a student-operated radio station;
  • The Ampersand, an award-winning student magazine offering print and electronic features.

Portfolio Review

Students declaring a major within the School may be required to complete a portfolio as part of their major. In the portfolio review process, students develop personal portfolios in their areas of interest. This portfolio review enables the faculty to gauge the talent, aptitude, and potential of students in their area of study. The review affords faculty the opportunity to speak with students about their academic progress and career goals.

Portfolio reviews are regularly held during fall and spring semesters. Students should contact their academic advisors in the School of Communications for more specific information about portfolio review requirements as soon as they enter Webster University.

Capstone Course

Successful completion of a capstone course with a grade of B or better is part of the degree requirements for each major and emphasis. A capstone course is an advanced class designated by the major in which students demonstrate their mastery of the subject matter. The capstone course should be taken in the students' junior or senior year.

Transfer Students

Transfer students should not expect to obtain a degree in the school in less than four full semesters of sequenced courses. They should meet with an academic advisor to determine a plan of study and placement of prior course work in communications.

Transfer students who have an associate of arts (AA) degree will have satisfied all but one of the school's Global Citizenship Program (GCP) requirements. Transfer students will need only to satisfactorily complete the Keystone Seminar of the GCP requirements.

Grade Requirements

Students must earn a grade of B in their capstone course and a C- or better in any course they wish to apply toward their major. The pass/fail option is not available for courses applied towards a major, unless those courses are offered only under the pass/fail option.

Double Majors

An area of concentration (major) in the School of Communications may be combined with a major in another Webster University school or college as part of the student's bachelor of arts degree plan. Students may not pursue more than one major within the School of Communications.


The following apply to all minors:

  • A minor must be comprised of only credit hours taken at Webster University.
  • No course counted toward a major can also count toward a minor. If a student pursues a minor that requires a course also required for the student's major, the student should contact his or her academic advisor or the department chair to discuss an appropriate substitution.
  • Students may have a major and a minor within the same department in the School of Communications; they may not have a major and minor within the same area of emphasis.
  • Students must earn a grade of C- or better in any course they wish to apply toward a minor.

Certificate Programs

  • Only credit hours taken at Webster University may count toward a certificate.
  • Students must earn a grade of C or better in all courses applied toward the certificate as stated in the program.
  • Students may choose to receive a minor or certificate in a program but not both.

Audio Aesthetics and Technology Department

Tim Ryan, chair

Majors and Degrees



Audio Aesthetics and Technology Department website
(external to catalog)

Department Description

Students majoring in audio production learn the art and science of audio in media. Students learn to work in a variety of audio fields, including music recording, film sound, audio for video, radio, electronic sound synthesis, theatrical sound design, sound reinforcement, audio for computer applications, and audio equipment maintenance. The department offers industry-leading technical ear training using sophisticated software and personal instruction. A hands-on approach to equipment is a key part of the program and complements lectures on audio theory. The history of the audio industry is also an important component of the program, lending perspective and offering insight into the industry's future.

Special Study Opportunities

Students learn about their fields of interest through internships at top facilities around the country, including recording studios, live sound companies, and post-production houses. In recent years, audio production students have secured internships in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Seattle, Cleveland, Nashville, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Spain.

Recent internships have included Atlantic Records, Capitol Studios, Burton Stroube Studios, Emmis Communications, Eighth Day Sound Systems, Fever Recording Studios, KDHX Community Media, Logic Systems Sound & Lighting, Phat Buddha Productions, Quad Studios Nashville, Smithsonian Folkways, Sonic Magic Studios, Stanco Productions, St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Public Radio, Stock City Studios, and Studio X.

Successful graduates of the Department of Audio Aesthetics and Technology will:

  • Function professionally using a variety of audio/media technology;
  • Demonstrate a fundamental knowledge of the theories underlying the science and art of audio production;
  • Perform professionally in the field of audio production.

Communications and Journalism Department

Gary Ford, chair

Majors and Degrees



Communications and Journalism Department website
(external to catalog)

Special Study Opportunities

Students have opportunities to learn about their fields of interest through internships and externships in communication businesses and organizations. In recent years, students in the department of communications and journalism have secured internships at organizations in St. Louis as well as in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City.

Recent internships have included: Boxing Clever, Coolfire Originals, Creative Producers Group, Emmis Communications, Fleishman Hillard, Fox Theater, KMOV-TV, KTVI-TV (Fox 2), Live Nation, KSDK, Missouri Botanical Garden, Momentum Worldwide, MTV Networks,Nine Network of Public Media, Osborn Barr, Ronald McDonald House Charities, St. Louis Science Center, St. Louis Blues, and St. Louis Cardinals.

Independent study and reading courses add further flexibility to the established curriculum.

Electronic and Photographic Media Department

Aaron AuBuchon, chair

Majors and Degrees



*Only offered in Vienna
**Only offered in Geneva and Saint Louis

Electronic and Photographic Media Department website
(external to catalog)

Special Study Opportunities

Students learn about their fields of interest through internships and externships in communications businesses, production houses, and organizations. In recent years, electronic and photographic media students have secured internships in St. Louis as well as in Los Angeles, and New York City.

Internships have included Bruton Stroube Studios, Coolfire Media, Coolfire Originals, Emmis Communications, ESPN, Jennifer Silverberg Photography, Lamplight Productions, Missouri Botantical Gardens, Momentum Worldwide, MTV Networks, Nine Network of Public Media, Pixel Press Technology, Plymptoons, Saint Louis Science Center, Sheldon Galleries, Simutronics, St. Louis Blues, and The Telegraph.