A student wearing headphones adjusts settings on a complicated looking set of audio and video controllers

Department of Telecommunications

Telecommunications impacts everyone every day. It encompasses a variety of electronic media, including radio and TV, cable and satellite, the internet, and wired and mobile technologies. The department prepares students for careers in media management or production and is an internationally recognized center for research on telecommunications issues.

The department trains students for careers in the telecommunications industries and is an internationally recognized center for research on telecommunications issues. The department's overarching goal is to prepare informed, responsible professionals for leadership roles in telecommunications and to conduct research and outreach that improve the functioning of telecommunications in modern society.

Students in the telecommunications and media industries major benefit from a mix of hands-on, professional work and theoretical approaches as they explore fundamental issues and current industry practices -- with an emphasis on developing the skills to become leaders in all forms of electronic media, including broadcast and cable TV, the internet, radio and telephony.

Through hands-on, real-life experiences students conceive and complete projects such as webcasts of the annual Penn State Dance Marathon (THON) and the Homecoming parade.Those events are viewed by thousands of people all over the world. 

Students may specialize in management and entrepreneurship, audio and video production, law and policy, or international telecommunications. In the rapidly evolving telecommunications field, students are prepared to work in the telecommunications industry in a variety of capacities.

Emphasis on Teaching

Teaching is at the heart of the department's mission. With more than 170 years combined teaching experience, the telecommunications department has one of the strongest faculties anywhere in the world. Our teaching is based on a foundation of industry experience and scholarly research. The telecommunications faculty have more than 80 years combined industry experience, ranging from managing local radio stations to serving as regulatory counsel for some of the largest cable and telephone companies in the world.

Courses, Suggested Academic Plans

Potential Internships & Employers

  • Arbitron Logo
  • ATT Logo
  • Cartoon Network Logo
  • CBS Logo
  • Clear Channel Logo
  • ESPN Logo
  • Google Logo
  • NBC Logo
  • MTV Logo
  • NFL Logo
  • Sirius XM Logo
  • Time Warner Logo
  • Universal Logo
  • Verizon Logo
  • VH1 Logo
  • Walt Disney Company Logo

Featured Alumni

Don King head shot

Don King

Director, Saturday Night Live

1969, Speech

Mark Lima head shot

Mark Lima

Vice President-News, Fusion

1987, Telecommunications

Linda Yaccarino head shot

Linda Yaccarino

Chairman, Global Advertising and Partnerships, NBCUniversal

1985, Telecommunications

Kurt Deichert head shot

Kurt Deichert

Television Producer/Directdor

1984, Telecommunications

Lisa Lucas head shot

Lisa Lucas

Executive Producer, Animal Planet

1985, Telecommunications

Susannah Spellman head shot

Susannah Spellman

Deputy Associate Administrator, Planning and Program Development, U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NTIA

1997, Telecommunications

Joel Molinsky head shot

Joel Molinsky

Studio Director, ESPN

2003, Telecommunications

Erin McMullen head shot

Erin McMullen

Senior Director, Programming, Fox Sports

2007, Telecommunications

Lyle Yablonsky head shot

Lyle Yablonsky

Vice President, AXA Advisors

2001, Telecommunications

Rich Russo head shot

Rich Russo

Director, Fox Sports

1984, Speech Communication

Christie Dockman head shot

Christie Dockman

Production Manager, ESPN

1993, Broadcast-Cable

Dan Kocse head shot

Dan Kocse

Content Editor, ESPN

1999, Telecommunications