The Communication Department Mission is to develop core competencies in oral, written and visual communication for our interdisciplinary program. All students should have a basic competency in each of these areas in order to enhance their effectiveness in their chosen communication area of emphasis. Students should have a conceptual grasp of the major communication theories and the impact of technology on the communication process.

Curriculum Rules

  • Complete 5 of the 6 core skill courses (100-200) before taking upper-level courses.
    This block of courses serves as a prerequisite for ALL upper-level courses.
  • Focus on completing the professional expertise courses (300s) before tackling the complex challenge courses (400 level).
    The higher the number, the more difficult.
  • Respect your professor and colleagues by only taking the complex challenge courses (400s) when you:
    1. believe you are ready for the challenges
    2. have completed most of your 300-level courses
    3. can devote the necessary time to classes.

Skills Acquired

Selecting an area of study is an important decision because it will shape your thinking style and personal skills for the rest of your life. Listed below are many of the skills you will refine in the program. Some of the skills are more important in certain areas of emphasis than in others.

  • Organizing a presentation
  • Speaking with confidence
  • Speaking with clarity
  • Being persuasive
  • Speaking with enthusiasm and vitality
  • Telling the right stories
  • Using proper grammar
  • Spelling words correctly
  • Preparing written reports
  • Preparing memos
  • Organizing documents for high impact
  • Proofreading and editing
  • Facilitating a meeting
  • Leading brainstorming sessions
  • Analyzing & commenting on the group process
  • Clarifying expectations of group members
  • Creating consensus
  • Properly evaluating all ideas
  • Creating communication strategy
  • Selecting appropriate names for initiatives
  • Solving communication problems
  • Using proper problem solving techniques
  • Selecting the appropriate channels
  • Becoming comfortable with uncertainty
  • Analyzing audiences
  • Constructing persuasive arguments
  • Discerning underlying communication problems
  • Assessing communication practices
  • Understanding implications of new technologies
  • Asking effective questions
  • Collecting & evaluating research
  • Researching markets & consumers
  • Assessing personality types
  • Being appropriately assertive
  • Adapting communication style to different people
  • Listening constructively
  • Providing corrective feedback
  • Focusing on understanding rather than evaluating
  • Treating others with respect
  • Creating advertising campaigns
  • Selecting the proper visual images
  • Creating proper visual images
  • Managing information overload
  • Developing persuasive images
  • Articulating the benefits of engaging in constructive conflict
  • Initiating conversations between people experiencing conflict
  • Recognizing and using different conflict resolution styles
  • Using negotiating or bargaining techniques
  • Helping resolve disputes as a neutral third party
  • Working as a third party to facilitate larger groups
  • Acting as a bridge during a conflict
  • Listening to corrective feedback
  • Taking action based on feedback
  • Managing time and deadlines
  • Meeting personal commitments
  • Setting priorities
  • Engaging in "small talk"
  • Networking

Interdisciplinary Degree

The Communication program is interdisciplinary and requires you to integrate a broad range of competencies, approaches, and theories. Although a minor is not required for Communication majors, we recommend a minor that complements your study such as Business Administration, Public Administration, or Communication and the Arts.