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(Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science)

The Communication program offers contemporary communication studies emphasizing comprehensive understanding of communication. Students come to understand how communication happens; how messages are put into visual and verbal codes; how messages are filtered through various media; how messages are interpreted and affect different audiences in different ways and in different contexts; and how students construct those contexts.

New information technologies tend to merge media. A major or minor in Communication provides the kind of integrative knowledge that is required for professional careers in the field.

Internships in Communication provide qualified students with opportunities for faculty-supervised experience in professional settings outside the classroom. In addition, several Communication courses involve students in research projects in the community.

Communication graduates have entered a wide variety of academic and professional areas: news reporting, photojournalism, broadcast journalism, television production, printing and publications, advertising, sales and marketing, management consulting, technical writing and editing, public relations, and government service, as well as graduate study in information science, library science, journalism, media studies, and telecommunications.

Communication offers seven areas of emphasis.

  • Students in health communication study internal and external communications in the healthcare environment.  Students will learn how to (1) improve provider/patient interactions, (2) enhance communication within healthcare organizations, and (3) how to inform the public about healthcare issues, threats, and crises.
  • Students in journalism will develop writing and editing skills, including video reporting/editing skills; the ability to do in-depth research and reporting, a concern for people, a strong sense of autonomy, and a well-rounded understanding of important issues in their field through this program and through a liberal arts education. Students will also gain hands-on experience in journalism through participation in on-campus publications and/or through outside internships.
  • Students in mass media need more than just knowledge of production techniques. Professional advancement requires skills in writing, editing, advertising and sales, market and audience research, as well as knowledge of new media and their impact on society and culture.
  • Students in organizational communication develop basic communication skills needed in organizations, such as speaking, interviewing, meeting management, and problem solving using different communication technologies for different purposes. They also learn about sources of communication problems in organizations, strategies for discovering and solving these problems, and current theories of organizational communication.
  • Students in public relations complete requirements that reflect the demand for graduates who can write well, are fully acquainted with the wide range of available modes of communication (graphics, print, broadcast, oral discourse, digital/internet, and their many combinations), and are particularly skillful in at least one of them. Students also learn how to respond to common PR challenges such as announcing changes, promoting events, and responding to crises.
  • Students in social media strategy focus on the strategies and tactics needed to advance organizational goals. Students will be prepared for long-term careers working as social media managers, specialists, curators, and content providers.

  • Students in sports communication focus on the unique dynamics associated with sports media, organizations, teams, and players. Students will be prepared for long-term careers working as sport reporters, broadcasters, media specialists, or public relations professionals.