Pathways through the Communication Major

Where could majoring in Communication lead you?

The formal requirements for the COMM major are detailed on the Major in Communication page. Everyone takes courses on the core fundamentals of communication, but there are many different pathways through the major allowing COMM students to pursue the program by taking clusters of classes that relate to their interests. Four popular pathways through the major include a focus on Digital Media Studies, Media Psychology, Journalism, or Political Communication. The COMM Department provides a variety of research opportunities related to these fields. Students often supplement their classroom and lab experiences with internships in their area of interest, and they may ultimately choose a job or graduate degree based on their accumulated knowledge.

Exploring Pathway: Political Communication

In every country around the world, politics depends on communication: the exchange of ideas among members of the general public, the sending of messages from the public to people serving in government, conversation and negotiation among people within the government of a nation and between nations, and more. The study of political communication seeks to understand how these many forms of communication occur, shape what governments do, and shape the lives of their citizens.

At Stanford, the study of political communication is strongly focused on understanding how best to optimize public understanding of the challenges facing their nation and how best to optimize public input into government’s decision-making.

Pathway designations don't appear on your transcript, but they do offer ways to organize your electives and requirements.

Digital Media



Selected COMM Courses

1B Media, Culture, and Society 104W Reporting, Writing, and Understanding the News 116 Journalism Law 120W The Rise of Digital Culture 121 Behavior and Social Media 124 Lies, Trust, and Tech 125 Perspectives on American Journalism 135 Deliberative Democracy and its Critics 137W The Dialogue of Democracy 142W Media Economics 143W Communication Policy and Regulation 145 Personality and Digital Media 151 The First Amendment: Freedom of Speech and Press 152 Constitutional Law 152A The Law of Democracy 153 Political Campaigning in the Age of the Internet 153B Free Speech, Democracy and the Internet 154 Politics of Algorithms 157 Information Control in Authoritarian Regimes 158 Censorship and Propaganda 162 Campaigns, Voting, Media and Elections 164 Psychology of Communication about Politics in America 166 Virtual People 172 Media Psychology 176 Advanced Digital Media 177B Big Local Journalism 177C Health and Science Journalism 177D Narrative Journalism 177I Becoming a Watchdog 177P Programming in Journalism 177SW Sports Journalism 177T Building News Applications 177Y Foreign Correspondence 184 Race and Media 186W Media, Technology, and the Body 280 Virtual Reality Journalism in the Public Sphere 326 Advanced Topics in Human Virtual Representation 350 New Media and Journalism

Research Opportunities

Center for Deliberative Democracy Stanford Computational Journalism Lab Media and Personality Lab Stanford Open Policing Project Political Communication Lab Peninsula Press Political Psychology Research Group Stanford Social Media Lab Virtual Human Interaction Lab Virtual Reality Intensive Training Seminar


The Department of Communication Internships Office forwards information about internships and job listings to our students and manages the Rebele Journalism Internship Program and the Daniel Pearl Journalism Internship.

Internships offer a way to apply what you’ve learned. Recent COMM majors have interned a the following organizations:

PAC 12 Networks
Cantor Arts Center
Stanford School of Medicine
The Huntington
Trevor Project
Austin Film Festival
NBC Today Show
Walt Disney Company
San Francisco Opera
Legendary Entertainment
Via Programs
Thrive Global
Soko Glam
The Daily Show
Place Pass
3 Doodler
The Clayman Institute for Gender Research
Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab
Stanford BEAM
Ace Venture Capital
NBC Sports
GM Marketing
Bureau of Indian Affairs
Martin Luther King J. Research and Education Institute
Prospect Park Alliance
Half Moon Bay Review
The Topeka Capital-Journal
San Jose Mercury News
Trevor Project
Warner Brothers Records
Stanford Magazine
Prime Publishing LLC

Post-Graduation Opportunities

Pathways through the COMM major have led recent COMM majors to pursue graduate work at the following schools and careers with the following companies:

Graduate Schools

University of Southern California
Columbia University
University of Chicago
Boston University
Harvard University
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Stanford University
American University
Georgetown University


Fox Entertainment
Tribe Dynamics
MTV Networks
Stanford University
NBC Universal
Morgan Stanley
Clear Channel Radio
Amazon Marketplace
Accel Partners
20th Century Fox
PAC-12 Network
Cisco Systems
State Department
Proctor & Gamble
Sony Entertainment
Goldman Sachs
BBC News Bureau
Merril Lynch
Gap Inc.
Kaiser Family Foundation
Rogers & Cowan
National Basketball Association
Boston Consulting Group
Deloitte Consulting
Western Digital
Blackstone Group
Cornish & Carey
Major League Baseball Network
Ogilvy & Mather
Creative Artists Agency
Teach For America