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Theatre and Communication Arts

  • Bachelor of Arts Major
  • Minor
  • Erie, Pennsylvania

Theatre and communication arts students have opportunities to study abroad with our many international partners including Mary Immaculate College in Limerick, Ireland. Recent graduates work for Nickelodeon, Disney and Dreamworks.

  • GU Possibilities
    • Graduates work for Nickelodeon, Disney and DreamWorks. They have been nominated for notable awards, including the Emmy for news producing, videography and cartoon writing.
    • The theatre program regularly participates in the International Collegiate Theatre Festival, in conjunction with the Edinburgh (Scotland) Fringe Festival, an annual gathering of more than 20,000 performers.
    • Theatre and communication arts students have opportunities to study abroad with our many international partners, including Mary Immaculate College in Limerick, Ireland, and Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Rome.
    • Gannon University’s student-operated radio station, 90.5 WERG-FM, was the national champion in two categories at the annual Intercollegiate Broadcasting System Conference in 2017, and for the third consecutive year, a finalist for the Best College Station in the Nation award, an honor the station received in 2014.

    You Will Learn

    Theatre and communication arts majors are communicators who excel in plays, musicals, newspaper or broadcasting (school radio and television or internet communication/blogging/social media). Students engage in music, performance, promotion and production. For students who love to connect with others, create and interpret messages that are shared and experienced by one to thousands, the theatre and communication arts program offers unlimited possibilities for future careers.

    Theater and communication skills are transferable to many career paths. Our experienced faculty will help develop creativity in a challenging and caring environment. The theater, communication and media world is exploding with opportunities, and the School of Communication and the Arts is the place to prepare to meet that future.

    You Will Experience

    Theatre and communication arts majors have broad opportunities for internships within walking distance or a short drive of Gannon’s campus. Internship options include:


    • Downtown Cultural District – Erie Art Museum, Erie Arts and Culture, Erie Insurance Arena  
    • Fortune 500 companies – Erie Insurance, GE Transportation  
    • health care – Erie VA Medical Center, UPMC Hamot, Saint Vincent Hospital  
    • local broadcast affiliates of national networks – ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, PBS, and NPR  
    • local radio stations – with formats including country, contemporary hits, mainstream rock and top 40  
    • nonprofit organizations  
    • professional sports teams – Erie BayHawks, Erie Otters, Erie SeaWolves  


    You Will Achieve

    Jobs will be available in large media centers on the coasts and abroad, in media organizations, independent studios and network affiliates, and in small, entrepreneurial organizations. Many people in media find satisfying and lucrative careers as freelancers, able to pursue projects that are of interest to them. Such opportunities include, but are not limited to, the following:


    • acting and directing  
    • advertising communication  
    • audio and visual production  
    • copywriters  
    • corporate communication  
    • design: scenic, lighting, sound and digital animation for stage, film and television  
    • education: K-12 and college theater, media studies and communication instructors and professors  
    • media law: legal support and defense in media and entertainment industries  
    • news: print and online  
    • nonprofit administration  
    • public relations, sales and promotions  
    • web and broadcast radio: production and performance for on-air and behind the scenes  
    • website designers and managers  


    You Will Earn

    Salaries in the field vary depending on the location and type of organization.

    • Starting salary: $40,000
    • Mid-career salary: $69,600
    All salary information is compiled from data gathered from the Bureau of Labor Statistics ( and/or PayScale (  

    You Will Study

    Example Course Descriptions

    Students in the theatre and communication arts program choose from an array of subjects to fill their curriculum. Incorporated into the curriculum is exposure to hands-on learning through Gannon’s radio station, 90.5 WERG-FM, and participation in the Schuster Theatre. Theatre and communication arts majors take various core and elective courses such as:

    ARTS 210: Contemporary Issues in Media and Theatre 

    An introduction to academic theater and media scholarship forming a critical foundation on which students can formulate opinions based on factual observation and argue various points of view relating to current production in theater, radio, television, digital communication and performance studies. This course is both writing-intensive and argumentatively provocative.

    COMM 211: Television Production 

    A skills orientation in the basic technological considerations of television studio production, including camera operation, lighting, audio, graphics, special effects, switching and non-linear editing.

    COMM 357: Animation 

    Animation class is designed to explore the area of visual communication in the digital media, specifically the areas of vector graphics and motion. Through the exploration of various fundamental animation techniques, the student will create a portfolio of moving images and text. Through the accumulation of sensitivities and skills, the student will be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in the digital and electronic medium. 

    Liberal Studies Core

    The Liberal Studies Core Curriculum is one reflection of Gannon University's commitment to its Catholic identity. The Core's design offers students a defined, integrated, shared experience as the foundation for their undergraduate program.