About the Communication Major
Students who major in Communication will choose from three tracks of study. Most classes within each track integrate theoretical perspectives and practical application. Each track prepares students for entry into the professional workforce or studies at the graduate level.
Personal and Professional Communication Track
By analyzing applicable aspects of our communication, the Personal and Professional Communication track establishes a foundation for successfully navigating our everyday relationships. For example, Comn 200 (Theory and Practice of Public Relations) and Comn 341 (Public Relations Case Problems) develop an awareness of the relationship between organizations and the various constituencies they serve; Comn 212 (Theory and Practice of Argument) highlights the relationship between an audience and the speaker across differing contexts of debate; and Comn 345 (Theories of Interpersonal Communication) and Comn 346 (Conflict, Negotiation, and Mediation) consider the influence of interpersonal communication in a variety of relationships. This track prepares students for advanced studies or careers requiring interpersonal and organizational competence, a critical tool for professional success.
Journalism and Media Track
This track focuses on developing the skills, knowledge, approaches, and professional practices that support the development and production of face-to-face and mediated messages for print, broadcast, and the other electronic creation and delivery systems emerging in our converged digital era. Students in this track are typically oriented toward careers or graduate study in news, radio, television, audio, print/electronic publication, video, public relations, internet communication, advertising, corporate/professional communications, or education. The following core courses provide foundational skills for both this track and for other applications within and outside the Department of Communication: Comn 107 (Foundations of Media Writing), Comn 266 (Radio Production), Comn 267 (TV Production), Comn 277 (Online Journalism). Intermediate and advanced courses include: Comn 280 (Media Practica), Comn 355 (Contemporary Problems in the Freedom of Speech), Comn 363 (Advanced Television Production), Comn 366 (Mass Media Management), Comn 367 (Television News), and Comn 399 (Directed Study).
Intercultural and Critical Studies Track
The Intercultural and Critical Studies track explores communication dynamics associated with cultural contexts. Critical theories are used as a foundation to identify and analyze issues of communication from a global perspective. Courses like Comn 317 (Intercultural Communication) and Comn 362 (International Mass Communication) develop an awareness for intercultural and cross-cultural communication from interpersonal to global mass-mediated contexts. Comn 368 (Research in Media and Cultural Studies) further facilitates students to actually craft their own research from a critical and cultural studies perspective. Other courses, such as Comn 213 (Persuasion and Social Influence) and Comn 355 (Contemporary Problems in the Freedom of Speech), consider the theories and practice of public communication as they influence and are impacted by today’s rapidly changing cultural environment. This track prepares students for advanced studies or careers requiring intercultural competence, a critical passport for today’s global citizen.