The Department of Communication emphasizes the study of the nature, diversity, and impact of communication on the evolution of individuals, groups, and institutions within society. The undergraduate major in communication provides a broad, theory-based education and allows for concentration in a specific area, such as public relations, health communication, interpersonal/intercultural communication, mediated communication, and organizational communication. Coursework in the department is also useful for students whose primary interests are in such fields as political science, computer science, management, psychology, English, journalism, or sociology. Courses in communication cover both ideas and applications in preparation for communication careers in business, education, or government, or for the pursuit of graduate degrees in communication and other social science fields.
Graduates from the undergraduate program in communication are expected to achieve these learning goals:
- Understanding of fundamental communication perspectives, theories, and concepts.
- Ability to use communication theories and concepts to analyze human behavior, including interpersonal, family, group, health, organizational, and mediated settings.
- Proficiency in gathering and using evidence to study and understand communication processes and consequences, including asking questions and systematically attempting to answer them, as well as understanding the value and limitations of research processes and conclusions.
- Competency in written, oral, mediated (e.g., email, text messaging), and visual communication for varied purposes (including acknowledgment, apology, clarification, description, explanation, persuasion, request), in varied styles (including technical, formal, casual, intimate), and in varied settings (including academic, business, civic, institutional, relational, ritual).
- Ability to apply communication theories and concepts to social, professional, and civic life (including issues of diversity, ethics, and civic engagement).
Students in the major can choose a specialization in one of the following areas if they wish:
- Strategic public communication and public relations
- Relationship and family communication
- Leadership in organizations and community
- Health and wellness communication
Details about course selections for these specializations are on the school's website.
The communication program also offers a range of courses that are open to
students who are not in the major, such as:
- 04:192:120,121 American Sign Language (Beginning and Intermediate) (3,3)
- 04:192:201 Communication in Relationships (3)
- 04:192:360 Principles of Interviewing (3)
- 04:192:380 Public Speaking (3)