The Department of Communication and Media Studies represents one of the fastest-growing disciplines in higher education. It is founded on the belief that competent communication transforms individuals, organizations and society. Graduating majors are prepared for careers, or for advanced education, in fields as diverse as advertising, entrepreneurship, public relations, broadcast journalism, law, ministry, human resources, higher education and not-for-profit management.

Departmental faculty define oral communication competence as the ability to form and maintain satisfactory relationships as well as the ability to gather, organize and deliver informative and persuasive speeches. Thus, course offerings in the broad areas of corporate communication, media studies and organizational communication are supported by both interpersonal and rhetorical theory. Graduates of the Department of Communication & Media Studies will be able to:

  • analyze the relationship between communication and context by examining how communication functions in specific interpersonal, group, organizational, and public context(s);
  • relate communication and culture in the construction of alternate world views;
  • articulate and apply ethical guidelines for communication practice;
  • think critically about communication situations or problems;
  • effectively use research methods and materials;
  • construct and deliver an ethical, well-organized, and appropriate message using technologically diverse methods.

Department learning outcomes are measured (in part) by the students’ abilities to demonstrate skills in and/or knowledge about (1) message design and (2) message effectiveness in public forums.

Effective message design requires (a) audience adaptation, (b) established speaker credibility, (c) support for claims (through logical argumentation and credible research), (d) adherence to ethical standards (i.e., understanding the intended and untended consequences of manipulating or falsifying information), and (e) a recognition of how various channels influence message reception (e.g., computer mediated information).

Major

(B.A. degree) Thirty-three hours required in Communication and Media Studies, including COMM 115, 200, 250, 305 and 450. Eighteen additional hours, including a minimum of twelve upper level hours, may be selected in the student’s area of interest. (No more than three hours of practicum and three hours of internship credit may be applied to the major or minor.)

Minor

Eighteen hours required in Communication and Media Studies, including COMM 115 and 200. Twelve additional hours may be selected in the student’s area of interest. A minimum of nine semester hours must be 300/400 level.