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Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies

The Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies provides you with two options:

  1. Communication Studies
  2. Communication Studies in Public Relations.

Both options provide you with an introduction to concepts in communication and the social sciences. A Communication Studies minor is also available. As you progress in your education, you will choose one course from each of the emphases areas of communication: Rhetorical and Cultural Studies, Organizational and Leadership Studies, and Language and Social Interaction Studies. In addition, if you choose the Communication Studies option (#1 above), you will choose a minimum of 14 elective credits from Communication Studies courses. If you choose the Communication Studies in Public Relations option (#2 above), you will take JRNM 451, JRNM 452, and JRNM 453, which is the Public Relations sequence, along with 2 elective credits from Communication Studies. The BA degree in Communication Studies, both options, culminates in a senior capstone course which allows you to synthesize the knowledge and skills you have obtained while working on your degree.

All students are welcome to be majors in Communication Studies. Additional requirements for graduation from Communication Studies are:

1 - You will need to participate in an engagement activity (e.g., community service, service learning, debate, internship, etc.) during your college years.

2 - University requirements for Bachelor of Arts degrees require all students to have successfully completed two years of one foreign language at the high school level, or one year of one foreign language at the college level. American Sign Language is accepted for this requirement.

3 - You must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 by graduation.

4 - You must complete either a minor or certificate.

For transfer students, the Communication Studies department accepts up to 25 transfer credits, from comparable courses, toward our BAs.

What will I study?

Communication Studies (59 Credits)

Foundation (30 credits)

CMST 207 Communication, Community and Citizenship (5)
CMST 208 Mass Media in the Information Society (5)
CMST 309 Communication and Information (5)
CMST 490 Senior Capstone Seminar: Communications Studies (5)
CSBS 310 Foundations of Social and Behavioral Science Theory (5)
CSBS 330 Integrated Social Science Methods (5) 

Core areas (15 credits)

Students will choose one class from each of the following three areas for a total of 15 credits:

Rhetorical and Cultural Studies-Focus on symbolic actions that exercise influence over human life. Emphases are on interpretive research as well as cultural, narrative and rhetorical analyses of cultural phenomena and artifacts.
CMST 450 Rhetorical Theory and Criticism (5)
CMST 451 Argumentation and Persuasion (5)
CMST 452 Cultural Studies (5)
CMST 458 Topics in Image, Messages and Meaning (5)

Organizational and Leadership Studies-Focus on structures and practices influencing communication in private and public institutions. Emphasizes humanistic and social science approaches to leadership in all forms of social organizations.
CMST 430 Communication and Organizations (5)
CMST 431 Communication Law and Ethics (5)
CMST 432 Media Systems and Communication Technology (5)
CMST 438 Topics in Leadership and Strategic Communication (5)

Language and Social Interaction Studies-Focus on sign systems such as language, gesture, film, etc. in human interaction. Emphasizes social scientific research approaches to interaction and language use in face-to-face and small group settings.
CMST 410 Language and Social Interaction (5)
CMST 411 Negotiation Skills and Strategies (5)
CMST 413 Communication and Personal Relationships (5)
CMST 418 Topics in Semiotics (5)

Electives (14 credits)

14 credits from any classes within the Communication Studies Department
or from the Public Relations sequence in Journalism (JRMN 451, 452 and 453),or from advanced CSBS methods classes (CSBS 320 or CSBS 331.)

Note: CMST 200 cannot be taken for credit towards the Communication Studies Majors.

Note: A minor is required for this degree. After your required and minor courses are completed, you may need additional hours to meet the University requirement of 180 hours. You should choose these courses with your needs in mind from either the communication studies offerings or other university offerings. Generally these courses should be 300 and 400 level courses.

Communication in Public Relations Option (66 Credits)

Students seeking a degree in Communication in Public Relations Option must complete the foundation and core area requirements for the BA in Communications Studies, plus the Public Relations core requirements.

Public Relations Core Requirements (17 credits)

JRNM 332 News Writing (5)
JRNM 451 Introduction to Public Relations Theory (4)
JRNM 452 Advanced Public Relations Theory (4)
JRNM 453 Public Relations Writing (4)

Choose one of the following (4 credits)

DESN 360 Publishing for Print and the World Wide Web (4)
or DESN 368 Introduction to Web Page Design (4) 

Note: CMST 200 cannot be taken for credit towards the Communication Studies Majors.

Emphases / Concentrations:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of communications, combined with skills in using contemporary technologies;
  • Present material in written, oral and multi-media formats;
  • Participate in community activities such as debate, internships or others that demonstrate applications of communications study and training;
  • Analyze the relationship between politics, economics, experience and communications media in international settings, and understand intercultural bases for communications;
  • Understand major theoretical positions and implications central to the discipline. Additionally, students will demonstrate competencies in at least two research methodologies.
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