The B.A. in Communication provides opportunities for students to explore knowledge of human communication in order to develop their intellectual, moral, and behavioral excellence. The program aims at achieving student learning outcomes relevant to work, life and engaged citizenship in the contemporary globalizing world. Students pursuing this program are expected to experience significant and lasting transformations in their lives in terms of their understanding of the world, their communication skills, and their abilities to integrate and innovate ideas.
This bachelor’s degree enhances students’ analytical, critical, and creative thinking skills in dealing with a broad spectrum of communication contexts. It provides a foundation for careers in business, law, government service, health, the ministry, teaching, public relations, advertising, mass media, and other professions in which an understanding of and facility with the process of communication are essential.
The major program is available in four options: Communication for Social Change, Organizational and Applied Communication, Mass Communication (Advertising and Public Relations), and Intersecting Identities and Relationships. All options require a common set of core courses that provide a theoretical understanding of the nature, functions, and significance of human communication as an interdiscipline (interdisciplinary field of knowledge) from social scientific and humanistic perspectives. These options provide students opportunities to specialize in theory, research, and practice of human communication in specific hubs and contexts.
Each option of the major covers a cluster of the subfields of the discipline represented in the major U.S. and international associations of communication scholarship. The subfields of the discipline include, but are not limited to: Advertising, Argumentation & Forensics, Business Communication, Campaign Communication, Communication Ethics, Communication and Leadership, Communication Theory, Instructional Communication, Group Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Intercultural Communication, Language and Social Interaction, Mass Communication, Nonverbal Communication, Organizational Communication, Public Discourse, Rhetorical Theory and Criticism, and Strategic Communication.
Students interested in using their Communication degree to engage and change the world will find the Communication for Social Change Option appealing. This is a humanities based option with roots in the classical theories and praxis of ancient Greece and Rome. Courses span the pre-Socratics to contemporary critical theorists. The option is ideally suited for students who are interested in critically analyzing current events, actively engaging in public discourse, and developing strategies for implementing social change through communication. Within this option, students explore concepts and theories related to social movements, cultural studies, political campaigns, rhetoric, public argumentation and opinion formation, human rights, and the process of governmental elections. Career paths include law, politics, public policy, urban development, lobbying, and community service and social activism.
Human beings are social animals. Communication is the process by which we seek, build, maintain, support, and end relationships. The Intersecting Identities and Relationships Option explores how individuals, groups, and cultures navigate who we are, and how we are with one another. Through analysis of contemporary and historical examples of discourse and research, courses in this area will look at how social identities like race, social class, gender, sexuality, and nationality, both shape, and are shaped by, our relationships with others. This option is ideal for students who enjoy analyzing relationships, reflecting on the development and maintenance of identity, and learning how we can better communicate across lines of difference. Career paths in this area include: non-profit, organizational, and educational consulting; corporate training; law; higher education administration; human resources; and management.
The Mass Communication Option (Advertising and Public Relations) is specifically designed for students who are interested in job-oriented and mediated communication who wish to pursue careers in advertising, public relations, new media, in-house consumer products marketing, non-profit marketing, integrated communications, etc. Studying Mass Communication enables students to learn about the practical application, structure, processes, aesthetics, responsibilities and effects of mass media. The objectives of this option are:
• To provide students with appropriate training for careers in mass media and communication.
• To help students be analytical consumers of the media understanding the effects and influences on society.
• To refine their visual and writing skills.
The Organizational and Applied Communication Option is specifically designed for students who wish to pursue careers in, or conduct research about, communication as it takes place in corporate, non-profit, governmental, educational, healthcare and other business-related contexts. The courses in this option emphasize how the forces of globalization, changes in technology, and innovations in the way organizations are structured all contribute to a dynamic and changing environment within which human communication is a primary and fundamental process. Career paths include management, consulting, corporate communications, special events coordinator, sports/talent agent, account executive, development and fundraising, media and entertainment specialists.