Welcome, Class of 2027!

Welcome to Newhouse! This page serves as a resource for information about courses, advising, registration and other academic topics.

Check out the University’s Required Tasks on the Becoming Orange website. Familiarize yourself with these websites as they include important information and deadlines.

COM 107: Communications and Society

All incoming Newhouse students will take the introductory COM 107: Communications and Society course together in the fall semester. We hope this will help us build a strong sense of community from the very first day.
In order to teach all of you this fall in groups of moderate size, nine faculty members will teach a section of COM 107.  Each section will be slightly different in tone and content, given the varying professional and scholarly interests of the instructors. However, each section will cover the same basic material and use the same books and assigned readings. Paper assignments will be the same across all sections, and all students will have the same number of exams. The faculty members who will be teaching COM 107 want you to undertake some summer reading, viewing, and listening that will prepare you to do well.
Please regularly visit any reputable news website, particularly those run by The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal (you will be able to get free digital subscriptions to these two news sites through the SU library). You might also visit the websites of foreign news producers such as the BBC or China Daily, Al Jazeera, Jerusalem Post, or sites from a particular part of the world. Stretch yourself. Go to news sites curated by professional editors exercising professional news judgment, and make sure to pay attention to the difference between journalism and opinion. Think about how contemporary news sites sustain themselves economically. Go where you have not previously gone in your web surfing.
Listen on occasion to “Morning Edition,” “All Things Considered,” and “Weekend Edition” on your local National Public Radio station or online. Listen not only for content, but particularly for how sound is used to tell the story effectively to audiences who only hear the news.
Notice how effectively (or not) your local news organizations cover your community and reflect its diversity in print, online and on TV or radio. Follow events in the media industries by reading the Business section every Monday in The New York Times (or read it online). Pay particular attention to the media stories, of which there are many. 
University students all over the world are familiar with social media–TikTok, Twitter, Instagram. FacebookSnapchat, etc. Their impact on societies has been revolutionary. If you use a different international media networking site, like Weibo, consider how it may be similar to or different from these U.S. examples.  This unique information will be an asset to our class discussions and to your career development.
Read a variety of magazines (in both hard copy and online), not just those from the mainstream media, but also those in the alternative press such as Wired, National Review, The Nation, or Mother Jones. Look online at sites such as vice.com, slate.com, colorlines.com, salon.com, FoxNews.com, vox.com, blavity.com; at fact-checking sites such as Factcheck.org and PolitiFact.org and at the multimedia pieces on mediastorm.org. Compare and contrast how they are covering the key issues and events unfolding this summer.
We want you to get into the habit of knowing what is going on in the world around you. If you get to campus and you don’t know much about the Republican presidential hopefuls; how potential criminal indictments may impact Donald Trump’s candidacy for president; how inflation continues to vex the economy; how tensions with China impact trade concerns; how the war in Ukraine continues to impact the international diplomatic environment; and how nations are dealing with extreme weather brought about by climate change, then you are not paying enough attention to the news.

COM 117: Multimedia Storytelling

Half of our incoming students will take this skills-based class in the fall, and half in the spring semester. You will not be behind if taking in the spring.

COM 117 is a required introductory visual production course for all Newhouse majors. In this course, you will work in teams to produce a variety of short films that tell three different kinds of stories: stories that persuade, stories that document, and stories that entertain. Basic story structure is taught, as well as how to write and prepare stories for multimedia production. You will learn digital videography and editing for sound and picture. Whether you see yourself as a photojournalist, a screenwriter, an advertising executive, a television director, a public relations manager, an investigative reporter, or a graphic designer, you need to understand how to use story concepts and the tools of storytelling to communicate to an audience. You will work collaboratively during lab time to edit, mix, and finalize your projects. You will be given time in class to screen productions with your fellow students and hear their feedback through constructive critique.
The following textbook is required for all COM 117 classes: Multimedia Storytelling for Digital Communicators in a Multiplatform World Second Edition by Seth Gitner. This book is available for purchase or rental in theSU book store or onAmazon.
Professor Seth Gitner can address any COM117-related questions at smgitner@syr.edu

Grammar Competency Test (GCT)

The Grammar Competency Test (GCT) will assess your understanding of American English grammar and usage as you enter the Newhouse School. The test consists mostly of questions that reveal your ability to detect errors and properly apply the rules of Standard American English that you learned in middle and high school.

IUT Students will take the GCT exam in Fall 2024 with the incoming class.

Students who do not pass the GCT will need to register for COM 101 in the Spring 2024 term to retake the GCT.

Please note that students who require testing accommodations should contact Syracuse University’s Center for Disability Resources ahead of time. For questions and concerns please feel free to contact Professor Brad Gorham at bwgorham@syr.edu.

All Newhouse students must pass the GCT in order to graduate, so it is a good idea to take some time now to prepare. As you prepare, keep in mind that last-minute “cramming” is seldom beneficial; however, careful review and practice during the weeks before the test can lead to success. Fortunately, handbooks, workbooks, and websites are available to help you. The following list is not exhaustive, but it includes print and online resources that many have found useful.

Guides and Handbooks
These grammar guides and handbooks contain definitions, explanations, and examples. Some include brief exercises.
Barrett, Grant. Perfect English Grammar: The Indispensable Guide to Excellent Writing and Speaking. Berkeley: Zephyros Press, 2016.
This is a companion to Lisa McClendon’s workbook (see below). Barrett’s little volume explains the basics of English grammar. Terms and concepts and clearly defined and well-illustrated.
Casagrande, June. The Best Punctuation Book, Period: A Comprehensive Guide for Every Writer, Editor, Student, and Businessperson. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 2014.
In this engaging handbook (useful in all SU courses requiring formal writing), the author describes the punctuation rules of Standard American English and the specific conventions preferred by the AP, APA, MLA, and University of Chicago styles.
Collins, Tim. Correct Your English Errors: Avoid 99% of the Common Mistakes Made by Learners of English. 2nd ed. New York: McGraw Hill Education, 2018.
Those for whom English is a second language will find Collins’ guide especially useful. It deals with the rules of grammar but puts special emphasis upon common issues of diction (word choice), syntax (word order), and idiomatic usage.
Lester, Mark, and Larry Beason. The McGraw-Hill Handbook of English Grammar and Usage. 3rd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2018.
The authors provide good explanations with illustrations of both correct and incorrect practices. Finding and resolving errors gets special attention.
The workbooks listed here all provide definitions and explanations but, in their content, are heavily weighted toward exercises and quizzes that reinforce learning.
Lester, Mark. English Grammar Drills. 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2018. 
This volume contains over 150 exercises designed to help users identify and correctly use a wide range of grammatical elements.  Online resources that support the book are available at no cost.
McLendon, Lisa. The Perfect English Grammar Workbook. Berkeley: Zephyros Press, 2017.
Following the same outline as Barrett’s Perfect English Grammar, this workbook, which has been selected as the required text for COM 101 for the spring 2022 semester, contains both explanatory definitions and exercises. The exercises are brief and to the point, and they provide unambiguous examples to help users apply grammatical principles.
Kaufman, Lester, and Jane Straus. The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation. 12th ed. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, 2021.
This classic compilation of explanations and quizzes focuses upon the grammar issues many of us find the most problematic.
Web Resources
Three helpful online resources are widely used by students at the Newhouse School.
Grammar Bytes!
This popular website, created by Robin L. Simmons, Professor of English and Humanities at Valencia College, describes itself as “Grammar Instruction with Attitude.” Continually growing with the addition of new handouts, exercises, videos, and PowerPoint presentations, it has become an extraordinarily accessible tool for students seeking a better understanding of how our language works.
The Punctuation Guide
A one-stop online compendium of punctuation rules and advice, The Punctuation Guide is easy to use, concise, and authoritative.
Purdue Owl
Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab addresses a multitude of the issues faced by college-level writers. For its grammar discussions, click on “General Writing” on the site’s home page.

Technology Requirements

To ensure you can actively engage in your coursework at the Newhouse School, you will need to have access to equipment that meets the following requirements:

• A computer that is no older than 4 years old (2019), with at least 16GB of RAM and 256GB of free drive space.
• Minimum operating system requirements: MacOS Monterey (12.6.x) or Windows 11
• A portable 1TB hard drive or larger with USB3 and Thunderbolt connectors to store files on
• A smartphone no older than 4 years old with a working camera and microphone

Note: Students who enroll in production-level courses (e.g., AR, VR, Photography, Design, and Video Editing) tend to have portable computers with screens no smaller than 15″, equipped with 32GB of RAM and a 512GB solid-state drive.

If you want to purchase a new computer, we encourage you to go through the manufacturer (e.g., Apple, Dell, HP) or the SU bookstore.

When purchasing a new computer, investing in the manufacturer’s extended warranty coverage is recommended to provide phone support and repair service options while at school.

Students are also encouraged to consider obtaining personal belongings insurance coverage for personal property and any equipment in their possession. Please refer to the university partner Haylor, Freyer & Coon, Inc for additional information.

Professor Seth Gitner can address any COM117-related questions at smgitner@syr.edu

Using your Syracuse Email (SUMail)

We will be sending all communications to your Syracuse University (@syr.edu) email account, SUmail. Important information will be directed to that account and not to the email account you used in your application.

Email communications will go only to you and not to your parents and/or guardians. Be sure to check it at least once a week!

AP/IB/Transfer Credit

Advanced Placement (AP) Exam

Contact College Board to have your scores sent to SU (college code 2823).

Refer to the AP Examination Table for score requirements and a list of SU equivalent courses.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Credit

Contact IB to have your transcript send to nhadvise@syr.edu.

Refer to the IB Credit Table for score requirements and list of SU equivalent courses.

Transfer Credit

Send copies of syllabi for any Newhouse and/or Foreign Language courses to nhadvise@syr.edu for review.

Contact the institution where the class was taken to have your official transcript sent to the Newhouse Academic Advising Office.

Electronic transcripts may be emailed to nhadvise@syr.edu.
(If ordering through Parchment, please select “I’m sending to myself or another individual”, located under the search bar. This will allow you to send transcripts directly to our office for review.)

Hard copy transcripts may be mailed to:
Syracuse University
S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications
Academic Advising Office
215 University Place
316 Newhouse 3
Syracuse, NY 13224-2100

Additional Resources

Newhouse Undergraduate Advising Office

Newhouse School Technology Requirements

Newhouse Visitors Center

New Student Programs

Parents and Families