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First Time Students

Welcome to The Zimmerman School of Advertising & Mass Communications!
Students graduating from The Zimmerman School of Advertising & Mass Communications will earn a degree in mass communications, but will concentrate on a specific sequence while in the program.  The different sequence choices (with their abbreviations) are as follows:

  • Advertising - ADV
  • Multimedia Journalism & Production:
    • News Editorial – JOU
    • Magazine – MAG
    • Telecommunications News - NWS
    • Telecommunications Production - PGM
  • Public Relations – PUR

Why should I major/minor in mass communications at USF?

  • Major courses have a 15:1 student/teacher ratio.  Great individual attention!
  • We have close to $100,000 in scholarship monies that we distribute yearly.
  • We are the largest media market in the State of Florida and one of the top 20 media markets in the nation. This allows for many internship opportunities and a great way to make contacts in the industry.
  • We boast two fully equipped digital multimedia television studios, a complete photography suite, and six computer labs.
  • USF hosts The Oracle, the award-winning student-run newspaper, as well as WUSF television, WUSF radio and WBUL radio. Tampa Bay enjoys two major daily newspapers (including the largest circulation paper in the state), some of Florida’s best-rated television stations and the most successful community radio station in the nation. Our students do internships and later work for these and many other notable local organizations, including professional sports clubs and some of the best agencies in the Southeast.
  • Our alumni become names to watch. Just to name a few:
    • Jordan Zimmerman (1980) founded the 14th largest ad agency in the United States.
    • Kerry Sanders (1982) is a correspondent for NBC News.
    • John Fox (1980) is an executive producer for CNN Headline News.
    • Drew Rashburn (1978) is vice president of Radio Disney.
    • Deb Bruce (1973) is a medical writer with more than 60 books to her credit.
    • Ana Veciana-Suarez (1979) is a syndicated columnist at the Miami Herald.


Earning a B.A. in mass communications prepares students for a variety of careers. Students can pursue a career in advertising, reporting, television production and public relations. Find more information about careers in Mass Communications on our Using Your Degree page.

Tips & Ideas for Incoming Students

  • Make contact with your advisers. They are interested in your academic development. USF students should schedule an appointment online.
  • Have transcripts from ALL institutions (high school, college, community college) and organizations (IB, CLEP, AP) sent to USF for review.
  • This degree has a foreign language exit requirement. Students are required to demonstrate "level 2 proficiency" of a foreign language in college. This major accepts any foreign language offered at USF that has a two semester sequence. If you have experience with a foreign language, you will be required to take a placement exam at USF to determine your proficiency and to see if you can test out of the courses. You are STRONGLY encouraged to complete this placement exam prior to or during orientation. Call 813-974-2548 for more information or visit
  • All freshmen will have an AA hold placed on their account which prevents them from registering for the upcoming semester until they see an advisor. We encourage students to see us in early October to discuss spring registration and early March to discuss summer and fall registration.
  • Visit the College of Arts & Sciences information page for First-Year Students

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the specific requirements to be accepted into The Zimmerman School of Advertising & Mass Communications?
They are as follows:

  • A total of 30 semester hours completed (including at least 15 semester hours for which grades and a GPA have been awarded)
  • An overall GPA of 2.75
  • Completed Freshman English I and II (ENC 1101 and 1102) with a grade of “C” or better
  • A passing score of a 120 on the English Diagnostic Test **NOTE - If a student has already completed MMC 2100 at another institution, he or she must score a 140 on the EDT in order to be accepted into the school of Mass Communications.

What happens when a student has met the above requirements?
The student needs to meet with an Academic Adviser for a New Major Meeting. In this meeting, the student will choose which sequence he or she wants to pursue within Mass Communications and receives the permit for MMC 2100 for the following semester.

Can a student double major within mass communications?
Since the student’s degree will be a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications, it is not possible to "double major" within mass communications. However, each sequence has a certain amount of selective hours required for graduation, which will allow the student to take courses in another sequence.

What if a student wants to minor in Mass Communications?
Things to keep in mind:

  • He/she must meet all admissions requirements.
  • In order to take any sequence courses, he/she must complete MMC 3602 and MMC 2100.
  • Following those two courses, he/she will complete 12 hours (or 4 courses) in mass communications, 9 of which must be at the 3000 level or higher. 
  • MMC 2100 and MMC 3602 may be substituted with comparable courses taken at another institution; however, 18 minor hours must be completed at USF.
  • Students can either major in mass communications or minor in mass communications; they cannot pursue both.

Can a mass communications student pursue a minor?
Yes, and in most cases, they are encouraged to.  Generally, many students will have approximately 14-28 hours to use towards electives or a minor.  Most minors are comprised of 18 credit hours, and students are encouraged to meet with an adviser in the area in which they are interested in pursuing a minor.

How many hours of mass communications courses can a student transfer into the program?
15 hours from a four-year institution or 9 hours from a community college, including MMC 3602 and MMC 2100.