Communication Studies

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Gain significant advantages with internships, scholarships, special pre-law and honors classes and off-campus programs in the U.S. and abroad


Learn more about Communications internship opportunities

Rigorous coursework combined with work experience gives SMU students a competitive edge upon graduation. Communication Studies students apply for internship credit as they enter their senior year and can work in corporate, nonprofit or government settings in locations including Dallas, Washington, D.C., New York, Taos and London. Dallas is home to numerous Fortune 500 companies and global agencies, providing ample opportunities for internships with organizations including Southwest Airlines, Burson-Marsteller, PepsiCo, Dallas Cowboys, George W. Bush Presidential Center and GolinHarris. Many students complete multiple internships over the course of their studies.


SMU-in-London, now in its 28th year, is a rewarding summer program designed especially for SMU communication students. During the five-week program, SMU students earn six hours of academic credit. The program begins in late May and concludes at the beginning of July. It is based at Regent's College, located in the heart of London in beautiful Regent's Park. Included in the cost of the program is tuition for two courses, room and board, local transportation, day-trips in and around London, a sightseeing bus tour, theatre outings and field trips scheduled as part of individual classes. In addition to a challenging curriculum, students spend time exploring this dynamic city – theatres, museums, historical buildings, cathedrals, business and media centers and British seats of government. Students also travel to cities outside London on group outings and independently. Classes are taught by Communication Studies, Advertising and Journalism faculty, and also include an internship program, which extends the summer program time from five weeks to six weeks for those participants.

There are no prerequisites, but application is required for admission to the program. Applications and brochures for the program are available in the Communication Studies office located in the Umphrey Lee building, or from the International Programs Office located at 3108 Fondren Drive. Space is limited; applications must be received prior to January 18, 2013.


Every June since 1997, students have gone to SMU’s beautiful 300-acre campus in Taos, New Mexico to study the nonprofit sector. In addition to class time (during which students master skills of writing specifically for nonprofit organizations), students also intern for local nonprofits such as Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), Rocky Mountain Youth Corp, Taos Art Association, Habitat for Humanity, Millicent Rogers Museum and Casa De Corazon. Students complete professional-quality materials for the audiences specific to the nonprofit while living at Fort Burgwin, a restored 19th-century fort in the Carson National Forest.

For more information on the SMU-in-Taos program, contact the Communication Studies office at / 214.768.1574.

Washington Studies Program

Communication Studies is partnered with American University to support a semester-long Washington, D.C. curriculum. Additionally, shorter seminars are scheduled yearly as part of our "Hilltop on the Hill" program. During presidential election years, student programs are offered at both the Democratic and Republican national conventions and at the Inauguration, Black Tie & Boots Ball and other events.

SMU Chapter of PRSSA

Connect with public relations professionals in Dallas and throughout the nation and jumpstart your career! Since its inception in 1968, the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) has adopted and taught ethical and professional public relations principles. There are significant benefits to joining the SMU Chapter of the PRSSA, including access to guest lecturers, nationwide job opportunities, conferences, scholarships, developing a business network and more. PRSSA will help you launch your career in the world of public relations.

Communication Studies Honors Program

Students may apply for admission to the Communication Studies honors track after completion of 45 credit hours with a 3.5 overall GPA or better. To graduate with honors, students must take six hours of honors-designated Communication Studies courses and the Communication Studies 4375 Honors Thesis in Communication Theory course. Students accepted to the Communication Studies honors track must maintain a 3.5 or higher overall GPA in all SMU coursework to graduate with the honors distinction. The top 10 percent of each class is eligible for faculty nomination into Kappa Tau Alpha, the national communication honor society.


mustangconsulting is a student-run communications agency that allows top students in the Division of Communication Studies to apply theory, research and skills in the service of clients. Led by Associate Professor Dr. Maria Dixon-Hall, the agency specializes in long-term communication research and strategy development for corporate, nonprofit and religious organizations. The firm has served industry leaders such as Southwest Airlines (Dallas), Dance Theatre of Harlem (New York), Texas Ballet Theatre (Fort Worth), The Ugandan American Partnership Organization (Jinga), The Lydia Patterson Institute (El Paso) and the General Commission of Communication of the United Methodist Church (Nashville).

With a reputation for outstanding work, mustangconsulting often acquires new clients by recommendation from its satisfied clients.

Selection of participating students is competitive and by invitation. A rigorous application process is required as well as successful completion of the Communication Studies core curriculum.

Consultants log an average of 45 hours a month per client (including travel) in addition to their regular course load. mustangconsulting students are graded and retained based on their adherence to professional consulting standards, with emphasis on management by objective, client relations, research/strategic outcomes and professionalism. Alumni of mustangconsulting have been employed by many of the agency’s former clients and other nonprofit and corporate organizations including Southwest Airlines, The Republican National Committee, Burson-Marsteller, KPMG, Paul Quinn University, The Richards Group, Aramark and Weber Shandwick.

mustangconsulting’s work has been featured on CBS, Fox News, The Dallas Morning News, D Magazine, and The New York Times.

Pre-Law Scholars Program

The Pre-Law Scholars program is an outstanding opportunity offered to Communication Studies students through SMU’s acclaimed Dedman School of Law. Students coming into SMU with a pre-declared interest in law may be selected to participate in the pre-law program. If they complete their undergraduate degree and meet all of the pre-law scholars program requirements, they will be automatically admitted to SMU law. This one-hour course is taught by a Dedman law professor; the students enrolled in the course are issued a permission by Chair of the Division of Communications.

For more information on applying to the Pre-Law Scholars Program, contact:

Rebecca Hewitt
Communication Studies Administrator


Communication honors scholarships are awarded each year to outstanding Communication Studies majors. The Douglas Bauer Incentive Scholarship Award and the Communication Studies Advisory Board Scholarship Award are competitive scholarships available to Communication Studies majors through an annual application process that takes place during the spring term. Awards apply to the following academic year.

For information on how to apply for the Communication Studies scholarships, contact:

Rebecca Hewitt
Communication Studies Administrator

Additional scholarships may be available to SMU students. Read about SMU scholarships and Meadows scholarships

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