Bachelor of Arts in Communications
The Communications major will emerge in the next decade as one of the leading degree programs in the Upstate for students seeking professional training in mass media, public relations and communication studies.
Communication degree requirements for previous academic years may be found on the academic catalog page.
Because the field of communications is so diverse, communication studies students will chose to concentrate their studies in one of three areas: communication studies, public relations or mass media. Students will take courses in their concentrations that will better prepare them for careers in the profession of their choice.
The communication studies concentration focuses on the use of messages to generate meanings, promoting effective use of human communication to engage in the community and understanding the theory of communication prepares students for professional positions in the communications field.
This 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 and arguments, 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 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. Furthermore, communication studies students are prepared to become a critical consumer of knowledge and information and are enabled to understand the centrality and complexity of communication in their personal, professional and civic lives. Several courses explore how race, class, gender and sexuality shape experiences and perceptions of difference in organizations, the environment and national/international public communication.
A 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 majors learn how to market themselves in any profession including, but not limited to human resources, health communication, business, marketing, advertising, media and politics. The applied approach to curriculum and assignments gives students the practice they need to be successful in their future communication interactions and behaviors regardless of their field or discipline.
The public relations concentration uses traditional and emerging industry tools and strategies. Students produce publicity and informational materials, develop and implement public relations campaigns and acquire hands-on experience within this rapidly expanding field.
Through the analysis of the role, influence and practice of planned and responsive communication between organizations and their multiple publics, students in the public relations concentration are prepared to be both communication specialists as well as critical media consumers.
Using traditional and emerging industry tools and strategies, students produce publicity and informational materials, develop and implement public relations campaigns, and acquire hands-on experience within this rapidly expanding field.
The mass media concentration curriculum encourages students to become critical thinkers and mass media practitioners utilizing foundational print and broadcast journalistic practices as well as new media technologies.
This concentration 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.