Communication Studies majors receive a broad-based, liberal arts education, designed to equip them for the challenges of the 21st century, the need to adapt to a rapidly changing workplace, and the likelihood of more than one career. The major encompasses many facets of media and visual culture, relational and organizational communication, and rhetoric and civic engagement. Along with courses in communication studies, the major requires courses in the arts and humanities, the social sciences, and history, and a minor or second major.

The department’s goals for undergraduate majors include helping students to achieve an outstanding education in communication studies, to further their knowledge and understanding of human communication, and to provide leadership in communication activities. In so doing, we hope to help students prepare for successful careers, the duties of citizenship, and productive and rewarding lives.

Learning Outcomes

Students will demonstrate:

  • Totality: Students will be able to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the Communication Studies discipline. They will be able to discuss the central topics in the field related to history, theory, and research. Students’ knowledge of the field will also span several contexts of communication scholarship, including media and visual culture, relational and organizational communication, and rhetoric and civic engagement.
  • Synthesis: In addition to having a comprehensive understanding of the foundational concepts, theories and research domains in the Communication Studies discipline, students will be able to integrate what they have learned in these areas and apply their knowledge to address contemporary issues salient to their personal, professional, and civic lives.
  • Skillfulness: Central to the Communication Studies discipline is the development of strong oral and written skills. Students will be able to construct and deliver high-quality, evidence-based arguments tailored to specific audiences. Additionally, students will be able to thoughtfully and ethically critique the oral and written work of their peers (as well as communicators in other professional and public settings).

Potential Occupations

The Communication Studies major, like many liberal arts majors, provides students with a broad academic background suitable for a variety of jobs in the public and private sectors. Majors are trained to think independently and critically, communicate effectively, and function in a multicultural world. Employers appreciate Communication Studies majors for their multiple skills and their ability to adapt to a variety of tasks and work environments.

Many majors find employment in public relations/marketing, politics, sales, human relations, government, business management, convention and meeting planning, education, and computer-mediated communication. Some students move on to graduate work in communication studies and to post-graduate study in law and theology.

Career opportunities include, but are not limited to employee relations specialist, employment counselor, human resource consultant, industrial relations representative, public relations specialist, labor relations consultant, training director, vocational rehabilitation counselor, advance agent, business communicator, equal opportunity representative, foreign service officer, cooperative extension service worker, politician, lobbyist, speechwriter, press agent, literary agent, interviewer, sales representative, scriptwriter, lawyer, teacher.

Internships are available to Communication Studies majors and are highly recommended to enhance practical training and development. Graduates who seek advanced studies can attain more responsible positions with the possibility of rising to top professional levels.

Concentrations

Effective Fall 2014

Freshman
AUCCCredits
CO 150College Composition (GT-CO2)1A3
SPCM 100Communication and Popular Culture (GT-AH1)3B3
SPCM 130Relational and Organizational Communication (GT-SS3)3C3
SPCM 200Public Speaking 3
Biological and Physical Sciences3A7
Historical Perspectives13D3
Mathematics1B3
Electives 6
 Total Credits 31
Sophomore
 
SPCM 201Rhetoric in Western Thought (GT-AH3)3B3
SPCM 207Public Argumentation 3
Advanced Writing23
Global and Cultural Awareness3E3
Additional Arts and Humanities2 6
Additional History3 6
Additional Social and Behavioral Sciences4 6
 Total Credits 30
Junior
 
Minor or Interdisciplinary Minor5 15
Communication Studies Electives6 15
 Total Credits 30
Senior
 
Select one course from the following: 3
Historical Speeches on American Issues4A,4B 
Evaluating Contemporary Television4A,4B 
Critical Media Studies4A,4B 
Evaluating Contemporary Film4A,4B 
History and Appreciation of Film4A,4B 
Contemporary Speeches on American Issues4A,4B 
Evaluating Contemporary Rhetoric4A,4B 
Rhetoric and Civility4A,4B 
Political Communication4A,4B 
Intercultural Communication4A,4B 
SPCM 479Communication Studies Capstone4C3
Minor or Interdisciplinary Minor5 6
Communication Studies Electives6 9
Electives7 8
 Total Credits 29
 Program Total Credits: 120
1

Select one course with the subject code of HIST from the list of courses in All-University Core Curriculum (AUCC) 3D.

2

Select six credits from the following subject codes: ART, D, E, ETST, L***, MU, PHIL, TH, or WS. No more than one WS course can be counted toward the completion of this requirement.

3

Select six additional credits from courses with a HIST subject code.

4

Select a total of six credits from the following subject codes: ANTH, ECON, ETST, HIST, JTC, POLS, PSY, SOC, or WS. No more than one WS course can be counted toward the completion of this requirement.

5

Students must complete a university approved minor or interdisciplinary minor.

6

Select a total of 24 credits of SPCM subject code courses excluding SPCM 479 and SPCM 495. Students may count up to 3 credits total, in any combination (1 credit maximum per semester, per class), of the following courses toward Communication Studies electives: SPCM 278A-SPCM 278GSPCM 384SPCM 387; and SPCM 486 .

7

Select enough elective credits to bring program total to a minimum of 120 credits, of which at least 42 must be upper-division (300- to 400-level).

Freshman
Semester 1CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
CO 150College Composition (GT-CO2)  1A3
SPCM 100Communication and Popular Culture (GT-AH1)  3B3
Biological and Physical Sciences  3A3
Historical Perspectives  3D3
Elective   3
 Total Credits   15
Semester 2CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
SPCM 130Relational and Organizational Communication (GT-SS3)  3C3
SPCM 200Public Speaking   3
Biological and Physical Sciences  3A4
MathematicsX 1B3
Elective   3
CO 150 must be completed on the end of Semester 2.X   
 Total Credits   16
Sophomore
Semester 3CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
SPCM 201Rhetoric in Western Thought (GT-AH3)  3B3
Global and Cultural Awareness  3E3
Additional Arts and Humanities (See allowable subject codes on Concentration Requirements Tab)   3
Additional History (See allowable subject codes on Concentration Requirements Tab)   3
Additional Social and Behavioral Science (See allowable subject codes on Concentration Requirements Tab)   3
 Total Credits   15
Semester 4CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
SPCM 207Public Argumentation   3
Advanced Writing  23
Additional Arts and Humanities (See allowable subject codes on Concentration Requirements Tab)   3
Additional History (See allowable subject codes on Concentration Requirements Tab)   3
Additional Social and Behavioral Science (See allowable subject codes on Concentration Requirements Tab)   3
AUCC 3A (Biological and Physical Sciences), AUCC 3E (Global and Cultural Awareness), AUCC 3D (Historical Perspectives) must be completed by the end of Semester 4.X   
 Total Credits   15
Junior
Semester 5CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
SPCM***   9
Minor or Interdisciplinary Minor Courses   6
 Total Credits   15
Semester 6CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
SPCM***   6
Minor or Interdisciplinary Minor Courses   9
 Total Credits   15
Senior
Semester 7CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
Select one course from the following:   3
Historical Speeches on American IssuesX 4A,4B 
Evaluating Contemporary TelevisionX 4A,4B 
Critical Media StudiesX 4A,4B 
Evaluating Contemporary FilmX 4A,4B 
History and Appreciation of FilmX 4A,4B 
Contemporary Speeches on American IssuesX 4A,4B 
Evaluating Contemporary RhetoricX 4A,4B 
Rhetoric and CivilityX 4A,4B 
Political CommunicationX 4A,4B 
Intercultural CommunicationX 4A,4B 
SPCM***   5
Minor or Interdisciplinary Minor Course   3
Electives   4
AUCC 2 (Advanced Writing), SPCM 100, SPCM 130, SPCM 200, SPCM 201, SPCM 207 must be completed by the end of Semester 7.    
 Total Credits   15
Semester 8CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
SPCM 479Communication Studies CapstoneX 4C3
SPCM***X  4
Minor or Interdisciplinary Minor CourseX  3
ElectivesX  4
The benchmark courses for the 8th semester are the remaining courses in the entire program of study.X   
 Total Credits   14
 Program Total Credits:   120