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Engaging classroom lectures
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Major in Communication at UVM

Public Communication (PCOM) is the practice of understanding, designing, implementing, and evaluating successful communication campaigns within a framework that serves the public interest. The PCOM program uses communication to inform and persuade, to build relationships, and to encourage open dialogue in organizations and communities toward resilient solutions. This is accomplished by crafting successful messages through the application of research, theory, technical knowledge, and sound design principles.

Public Communication majors focus on a range of topics and can focus their academic plan in one area or pursue an exploratory path within this program. Fields of focus in Public Communication cover applied media studies, journalism, documentary films for social change, community media, communication design through written, video, audio, graphic, and social media, socially responsible marketing, sustainable fashion, professional communication, and more.

Whether they are creating press releases, analyzing case studies, or designing visual components, PCOM students graduate with a competitive portfolio of work that prepares them for this ever-evolving, increasingly global profession.

View in Catalogue

Watch PCOM Works Alumni Videos on YouTube


  • Communication Design
    • Communication Design focuses on designing with the mission of communicating a message, brand, behavioral change, policy, and more.  Using design to communicate allows us to reach a broader audience, be more inclusive, and communicate across cultures.  Students can focus on graphic design, spatial design, publication design, and design innovation in this concentration.
  • Community Media and Journalism
    • Community Media and Journalism students jump into hands-on creation of content that will expand their portfolio before graduating.  Building on a strong foundation of media and journalism theory, students will write, photograph, shoot video, story board, learn interview skills, and more in order to be skilled, thoughtful practitioners telling the story of their community, whether local or global.
  • Strategic Communication
    • Strategic Communication can be any communication with a mission: marketing, public relations, organizational communication, social media, law, policy, and more.  Students can choose from a variety of topics to complete their Strategic Communication concentration from our faculty experts in behavioral change, socially responsible marketing, strategic communication, filmmaking, written journalism, oration, debate, and science communication.

View our Concentrations in the UVM Catalogue

Beyond the classroom

Examples of student work in our media production courses:



  • Senior Manager, Growth Marketing at Adobe
  • Social Media Director, WIRED Magazine
  • Brand Manager, Seventh Generation, Burlington
  • Booking and Promotions Coordinator, World Cafe Live, Philadelphia
  • Communications and Special Projects Coordinator, Essex High School, VT
  • Social Marketing & Communications Manager
  • Head of Sustainability
  • Public Relations
  • Chief Communications Officer
  • Editor in Chief

Where alumni work

  • Adobe
  • Paramount Pictures
  • USA Today
  • Ben & Jerry's Headquarters
  • Eating Well
  • People Making Good PR
  • lululemon athletica
  • Seventh Generation

Graduate Schools

  • Master of Science in Community Development and Applied Economics at UVM
  • Master of Public Administration at UVM
  • Masters of Fiction Writing at New York University
  • Masters of Science in Public Health, Health Policy and Management at Chapel Hill
  • Masters of Public Administration at Northeastern University
  • Masters of Communication Studies at Ohio University
  • Masters in Student Development Administration at Seattle University
  • Masters of Science Educational Studies with a focus in Social Work at Wheelock College
  • Masters of Fine Arts at Arizona State
  • Masters of Business Administration and Marketing at Fordham Gabelli School of Business

Related Information

Unique to PCOM

  • Elevating the public interest through all of our work.
  • Creating meaningful, positive contributions to progress societies, economies, and culture.
  • PCOM's combination of classes helps to build a student's individual confidence and fine-tune their communication skills.
  • Students incorporate knowledge and practice in teamwork, leadership and management, public service, and environmental responsibility into a framework for professional practice.
  • Students can earn academic credit for internships and work on engaging social campaigns on UVM's campus, within Vermont, or related to CDAE's international programs.


Areas of Focus

  • Public Relations
  • Applied Design
  • News and Media Writing and Production
  • Marketing and Advertising
  • Communications Strategy and Implementation
  • Visual Communication
  • Applied Graphic Design
  • Event Planning
  • Communication Design​
  • Community Media
  • Journalism
  • Documentary Film for Social Change
  • Strategic Communication