Bachelor of Arts in Communication
The communication major offers tracks and minors in communication studies, mass media and public relations, with an additional minor in health communication. Faculty members teach a range of courses informed by their areas of specialty such as cultural studies, digital media, film, journalism, media history, and interpersonal, organizational and rhetorical communication.
Communication students develop critical analysis, thinking, writing, and speaking abilities to enhance the free, responsible and effective expression of ideas. Students work collaboratively, value diversity, and adhere to the highest ethical standards in interpersonal, professional, public and mediated communication.
Courses in video editing, public speaking, social media, rhetoric, culture and communication, and news production prepare students for career paths in journalism, marketing, public relations, business, human resources, graduate study, and many other expanding fields in which effective communication is a foundation.
Communication degree requirements for previous academic years may be found on the academic catalog page.
Goals Student Learning Outcomes 1. The graduate will be able to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.
1.1 The student should be able to construct appropriate and grammatically accurate written work, including awareness of audience, appropriate organization of content and accurate citation of sources.
1.2 The student should be able to construct appropriate and grammatically accurate oral presentations, including awareness of audience and appropriate organization of content.
2. The graduate will be able to reason and think critically regarding communications issues.
2.1 The student will be able to analyze and critique his/her own work and the work of others for accuracy, fairness, clarity, and/or creativity.2.2 The student will analyze and synthesize communication issues and ethical/legal concerns related to communication professions to create effective oral and written messages.
3. The graduate will be able to use current technology to improve their professional practice.
3.1 The student will demonstrate the ability to access and retrieve relevant information and data using appropriate electronic sources.
3.2 The student will demonstrate the ability to apply tools and technologies appropriate for the production, editing and presentation of visual, aural, textual or other media content.
4. The graduate will have an understanding of and the ability to apply communication theory.
4.1 Speech – The student should be able to identify major theories and principles in human communication.
4.2 Journalism – The student should be able to identify major theories, principles and legal cases that promote freedom of expression.
The communication studies concentration provides students with a deep understanding of the centrality of communication in personal, professional, civic and global contexts.
Faculty members draw on their professional expertise in cultural, intercultural, interpersonal, and organizational communication as well as rhetoric to help students learn practical, analytical and critical thinking skills as they engage in an increasingly diverse and globalized world.
Students learn how to research topics using credible sources, develop and organize ideas, tailor effective messages for a variety of audiences, and effectively deliver written and oral presentations. In addition to providing conflict management and problem-solving skills, the curriculum includes courses designed to help students learn how to analyze organizational, public, interpersonal, and cultural communication; argue convincingly; and respond constructively, respectfully and ethically.
Communication studies courses encourage students to become responsible communicators, critical thinkers, and engaged participants in creating a just, environmentally conscious and equitable society. Several courses explore how race, class, gender, and sexuality shape experiences and perceptions of difference in organizations, the environment, and national/international public communication.
The communication studies concentration provides a competitive advantage in professional and/or academic careers. Employers consistently rank oral and written communication skills, critical thinking, and the ability to work with diverse populations as the most desired characteristics for future employees. Communication studies students learn how to market themselves in any profession including human resources, health communication, business, sales, marketing, advertising, media and politics.
The concentration in mass media focuses on the production, consumption and theoretical analysis of media messages within the context of the evolving fields of journalism and mass communication. The curriculum encourages students to become critical thinkers and mass media practitioners utilizing foundational print and broadcast journalistic practices as well as new media technologies.
In addition, students are exposed to hypothetical and real-world situations that challenge them in problem solving, creativity, ethics and mass communication history and theory.
The public relations concentration uses the study and application of traditional and emerging industry tools and strategies for effective communication and relationship building between organizations and their publics. Through the analysis of the role, influence and practice of planned and responsive communication, students in the public relations concentration are prepared to be both communication specialists as well as critical media consumers.
Students work with real-world clients in the local community to produce publicity and informational materials, develop and implement public relations campaigns and acquire hands-on experience within this rapidly expanding field.
In addition to the three degree programs in communication studies, mass media and public relations, four communication minors provide valuable opportunities for students in other majors across the Upstate campus. Minors are offered in: