Integrated Marketing Communication (BS)

Program Director: John S. Dahlberg, PhD


The Marketing and Communication departments have pooled their energies and experience to develop the Bachelor of Science degree in Integrated Marketing Communication. This interdisciplinary program will provide students with the skills and knowledge that are requisite to the success of every for profit and not for profit company and corporation: an integrated approach to marketing communication. It gives students a blend of coursework in advertising; communication; consumer behavior; marketing; media (including traditional ATL, BTL and digital and social]; promotions; public relations; social and digital media and marketing; research and sales. It will prepare graduates for careers in advertising, marketing, media (both traditional and online media), promotions, public relations, sales and a range of opportunities in reputation and community management (in social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and more). It will prepare some for the application of these skills and tactics, while it prepares others for the strategic management of these functions. The corporate world sees these skills as overlapping and integrated. We have long advocated that it is proper to pedagogically deliver them in that way.

The value of this program comes in a relatively rare and novel approach to removing, heretofore, artificial barriers between schools of marketing and communication. All of the involved faculty understand the interrelated nature of these various disciplines. Among the faculty who teach in this program are individuals with considerable applied/practitioner experience in marketing communication. They understand the importance of collaboration between marketing professionals, digital experts, consumer research specialists, communication professionals, media experts, creative consultants and more. This is the common experience of those in the industry. 


Majors must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0, a minimum grade of C- in all communication courses, and a minimum overall average of 2.0 in all major coursework. Performance of majors is subject to review relative to their continuation in the program.


All students should have an advisor in the major and should contact the department directly to have an advisor assigned if they do not already have one.  Meetings with academic advisors are required prior to students receiving their PIN for course registration each semester. All majors should work closely with their advisor in discussing career expectations, choosing their major electives, developing their entire academic program and planning their co-curricular or supplemental academic experiences.

Integrated Marketing Communication majors are assigned an advisor at the beginning of their freshman year. If you are a transfer into the Integrated Marketing Communication major or you do not have an advisor, please contact the Communication Studies departmental office at 716-888-2115 so that an advisor can be assigned.

Major Experiences

Internships (COM 488 , COM 498 , or MKT 496) awarding up to a maximum of 12 credit hours may be earned by qualified Integrated Marketing Communication majors at approved locations in Buffalo or other cities. The internships are individually arranged, require department approval and are available only to junior or senior candidates with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 and an Integrated Marketing Communication average of at least 2.7. Students are encouraged to plan early to do internships during their junior and senior years. Interested majors should consult with their advisor or see the department chair for more information.

Double Majors

Students who wish to expand their educational opportunities may decide to declare a double major. This decision may be based on career goals, planned graduate studies, and/or other student interests. Before a student declares a double major, it is important to meet with the appropriate academic departments for advisement.  In order to declare a double major, the student must complete the Major/Minor Declaration form. This form will be submitted electronically and reviewed and approved by each department chairperson as well as the appropriate associate dean. 

Per university policy, each additional major requires a minimum of 15 credits that do not apply to the student's first or subsequent major.  Some double major combinations can be completed within the minimum 120 credit hour degree requirement, but in other cases additional course work may be required. Please note that students will receive only one degree unless completing the dual degree requirement including at least 150 undergraduate credit hours, regardless of the number of majors they complete. Both (all) majors appear on a student’s transcript.

Students interested in declaring double majors within the Department of Communication (Strategic Communication, Digital Media Arts, Integrated Marketing Communication, or Journalism) will be allowed to share a maximum of 9 credits between the two majors. This requires 24 distinct credits for strategic communication, 27 distinct credits for digital media arts, 36 distinct credits for integrated marketing communication, and 24 distinct credits for journalism. Additionally, for students with a double major outside the Department of Communication, students may double count up to 9 credit hours of electives between the two majors. Please note, however, that the second major may not necessarily allow double counting of credits. For more information, please contact the department chair.

Minors in Other Disciplines

Minors provide students the opportunity to pursue additional interests but generally do not require as many courses as a major.  Minors generally range from five to eight required courses. To receive a minor, the student must complete at least 9 credit hours of coursework distinct from their other credentials (i.e., majors, other minors). The complete list of minors is available on the Canisius website and in the catalog and provides links to each minor. Some majors and minors can be completed within the minimum 120 credit hour degree requirement, but in some cases additional coursework may be required. Students must complete the appropriate minor request form.


An Ignatian Foundation

All undergraduate students must complete either the Canisius Core Curriculum or the All-College Honors Curriculum. Many schools refer to their college-wide undergraduate requirements as "general education" requirements. We believe that the core curriculum and the honors curriculum are more than a series of required classes; they provide the basis for a Jesuit education both with content and with required knowledge and skills attributes that are central to our mission.

Free Electives

Students may graduate with a bachelor's degree with more but not less than 120 credit hours. Free electives are courses in addition to the Canisius Core Curriculum or All-College Honors Curriculum and major requirements sufficient to reach the minimum number of credits required for graduation. The number of credits required to complete a bachelor's degree may vary depending on the student's major(s) and minor(s).

Major Requirements

COM 211Introduction to Integrated Marketing Communication3
COM 311Principles of Advertising3
COM 312Public Relations: Principles and Practices3
COM 354Influence and Influencers: Persuasion Theory and Practices3
MKT 201Principles of Marketing3
MKT 320Consumer Behavior3
DMA 201Introduction to Digital Media3
MKT 371Marketing Data Analytics3
MKT 350Digital Marketing3
MKT 370Social Media Marketing3
MKT 397Search Marketing: SEO & PPC3
Select 3 of the following tactical Integrated Marketing Communication electives:9
Media Literacy
Advertising and the Creative Process
Advertising Writing
PR and Promotional Writing
Advertising Campaigns
Introduction to Web Design
Social Media Effects
COM 488Internship I Seminar3-9
or MKT 496 Marketing Internship
Total Credits45-51


COM 211DMA 201
COM 312MKT 201
MKT 320MKT 397
COM 311MKT 350
MKT 371IMC Elective
MKT 370IMC Elective
IMC ElectiveIMC Elective
COM 354IMC Internship

Learning Goals and Objectives

The following learning goals and objectives apply to all Integrated Marketing Communication Studies majors.

Student Learning Goal 1

Students will demonstrate an understanding of the theory and application of principles of:

  • Objective A: How the various functions of marketing, advertising, public relations, and media (both traditional and digital) interrelate.
  • Objective B: How best practices of these functions can be selected and applied to help achieve marketing and marketing communication goals.
  • Objective C: How to evaluate the success of those applications.

Student Learning Goal 2

Students will demonstrate an understanding of strategic planning for integrated marketing communication including:

  • Objective A: how to conduct and interpret basic primary and secondary market research
  • Objective B: how to manipulate and explain simple data analytics involved in the integrated marketing communication environment.
  • Objective C: how to use research to develop/create a workable integrated marketing communication plan.

Student Learning Goal 3

Students will demonstrate an understanding of the tactical skills necessary to implement an integrated marketing communication plan including:

  • Objective A: how to identify and understand a primary and secondary target market.
  • Objective B: how to create messages, both visual and verbal, traditional and digital, that will effectively promote a brand to a target market.
  • Objective C: how to evaluate the effectiveness of an integrated tactical plan.