Accreditation and Assessment

Assessment Plan

(Adopted 2018; revised 2022)

The S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication values formative assessment as a means of gauging student learning, reflecting on curriculum needs and maintaining a connection to industry. Every member of the Newhouse faculty participates in the assessment process on an annual basis. Assessment findings are reported both within Newhouse and Syracuse University.

A central objective of a Newhouse education is for graduates to be “Day-One Ready” in their chosen field. Our mission—to educate “agile, ethical, entrepreneurial, multicultural, socially responsible and innovative communication leaders who revere free speech, embrace diversity, have a global outlook and seek to explore and master emerging media and its impact on society”—provides the foundation of our professionally oriented program. This focus on career readiness creates a simple benchmark for assessment, one that empowers our faculty to align curricula to a changing industry.

Student Learning Outcomes

The Newhouse School adheres to the professional values and competencies of its accreditor, the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC):

Additionally, each Newhouse degree program has a program-specific competency to assess a unique learning outcome:

Advertising B.S. and Advertising M.A.: Present advertising ideas, plans, research, strategies and executions in settings appropriate to their career paths.

Arts Journalism and Communications M.S.: Analyze and interpret cultural products such as theater performances, operas, jazz and classical music performances and art exhibits; apply journalistic storytelling to specialized reporting on arts and culture.

Broadcast and Digital Journalism B.S. and M.A.: Effectively communicate ideas and information vocally, applying professional live reporting techniques that employ appropriate technologies.

Graphic Design B.S.: Produce professional quality design work by synthesizing the best practices and current theories of traditional graphic design, motion and emerging media.

Magazine, News and Digital Journalism B.S.: Integrate journalism skills to report, research, write, and produce a range of content types for a variety of platforms and audiences.

Magazine, News and Digital Journalism MS..: Demonstrate cross-platform fluency by producing a range of content types for a digital world.

Multimedia, Photography and Design M.S.: Produce professional quality cinematographic and photographic stories or design work by synthesizing the best practices and current theories of traditional graphic design, still, motion and emerging media

New Media Management M.S.: Under revision in 2022

Photography B.S.: Produce professional quality cinematographic and photographic stories by synthesizing the best practices and current theories of traditional still, motion and emerging media images.

Public Diplomacy and Global Communications M.A.: Apply public communications skills to governments, non-governmental organizations and the private sector.

Public Relations B.S.: Apply an understanding of management principles related to public relations.

Public Relations M.A.: Apply management principles as related to leadership, strategic planning for public relations departments, collaborating on teams, conducting performance reviews, integrating strategic communications with other organizational functions and considering fiscal resources.

Television, Radio and Film B.S. and M.A.: Demonstrate entry-level proficiency in a particular aspect of television, radio or film industry practices by synthesizing the best practices and current theories of the field.

Curriculum Maps

Each program engages in a curriculum mapping exercise at least once every assessment cycle.

Direct and Indirect Measures

Learning outcomes are assessed at both the schoolwide and program levels for undergraduates. At the schoolwide level, first-year students take a knowledge survey that functions as a pre-test. Graduating seniors take the same knowledge survey in the spring. This knowledge survey is a direct measure of student learning. Seniors also complete a reflective exit survey shortly before graduation that measures their own understanding of the ACEJMC competencies.

Each program uses individual direct and indirect measures of student learning specific to their own curriculum.

Undergraduate ProgramDirect Measure(s)Indirect Measure(s)
AdvertisingProfessional review of campaigns presentationAwards / exit survey
Broadcast and Digital JournalismFaculty review of capstone newscastsAwards / exit survey
Magazine, News and Digital JournalismFaculty review of capstone projects, portfoliosAwards / exit survey
Public RelationsProfessional review of e-portfolioAwards / exit survey
Television, Radio and FilmFaculty review capstonesAwards / exit survey
PhotographyFaculty/professional portfolio reviewAwards / exit survey
Graphic DesignFaculty/professional portfolio reviewAwards / exit survey

At the graduate level, most assessment is completed on the program level as there is no common core of classes.

Graduate ProgramDirect Measure(s)Indirect Measure(s)
AdvertisingProfessional evaluations of campaignsExit survey, awards
Broadcast and Digital JournalismPre-post tests, Washington semester evaluations from news directorsExit survey, awards
Magazine, News and Digital JournalismFaculty review of capstone projects, pre/post testExit survey, awards
Public RelationsProfessional review of portfolios, internship evaluationsExit survey, awards
Television, Radio and FilmComprehensive exams, internship evaluationsExit survey, awards
Multimedia, Photography and DesignPortfoliosExit survey, awards


Assessment timeline

Assessment Schedule – Undergraduate / Graduate Programs:

1 LawHistoryEthicsDiversityGraduate
3WritingEvaluationCritical Thinking
6WritingEvaluationCritical Thinking


The school’s director of assessment and program review oversees assessment via a standing committee with representatives from each department and the associate dean for academic affairs. The assessment committee designs and conducts schoolwide assessment. Members also serve as the assessment coordinator for their program.

Use of Information

Assessment information is discussed in most detail at the program level. Program faculty are directly involved in assessment, discussion of findings, and implementing any changes based on assessment. Schoolwide undergraduate assessment findings are reported annually to the entire faculty. All assessment findings are reported annually to the Syracuse University Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment.

Information on Course Override Requests at the Newhouse School.

Newhouse 3 on a fall day

PLEASE NOTE:  The Fall 2024 course override request portals are now open. The portals will remain open through noon on Friday May 17th.
Portals will reopen in early August, date TBA.
All override requests received by May 17th will receive a response by end of day Monday June 3rd.

Current Course Override Forms Available

Please DO NOT submit multiple requests. To verify receipt of your request (if desired), email

If you are requesting a class with multiple potential sections and more than option will work for you, submit a course request for your preferred section. In the comments field, note that other sections would also work for you. It is not necessary to submit a request for each possible section.

Summer 2024 Course Override Requests

If you will be attending the LA Program semester and have been closed out of an ON SITE course, please fill out this form and submit to Robin Howard,

Newhouse LA Waitlist

If a course is full it may not be listed in the override request options. In that instance in order to register for these courses, you must monitor the system for possible openings due to another student dropping the course.

PLEASE NOTE:  We cannot guarantee permission in the section of your choice. You should first try to enroll in an open section, if available, before filling out a Newhouse course override request. If your Fall 2024 schedule works with an open section, we will likely refer you to that open section(s) rather than a section that is closed.



Who should fill out a Newhouse course override request form?

• Any Newhouse major or minor student who has been unable to register for a required Newhouse course. You should only fill out the form after you try to enroll in the course and are unsuccessful.
• Students requesting permission to enroll in a course for which they do not have the prerequisites, or do not meet the requirements for registration.
• Students who have taken alternate courses to fulfill a prerequisite that the system does not recognize.
• Non-Newhouse majors or minors who would like to take a Newhouse course.
Non-Newhouse majors who would like to take a Newhouse course may not receive a response until August as major and minor requests must be processed first.

If a professor gives me permission to enroll in a course, do I still have to fill out a course override request form?

Everyone must fill out a course override request form to request permission to enroll. Professors cannot give permission to enroll in a course, unless it is a course listed with professor or department consent restrictions.