Communications students work as camera operators


Bachelor of Arts in Communication

The communication major offers tracks and minors in communication studies, mass media and public relations, with a additional minors in health communication and organizational 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.

Communication Studies

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. 

Communication Studies Requirements

Mass Media Concentration

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.  

Mass Media Requirements 

Public Relations Concentration

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.

Public Relations Requirements


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:

  • COMM U375: Communication Research Methods
  • COMM U399: Internships/Independent Study
  • COMM U490: Senior Seminar in Communication
  • JOUR U201: Survey of Mass Communications
  • JOUR U302: Journalism's Role in History
  • JOUR U303: Law and Ethics of the Mass Media
  • JOUR U304: Writing for the Media
  • JOUR U305: Mass Communication Theory
  • JOUR U310: Mass Media and Society
  • JOUR U315: International Media
  • JOUR U328: Fundamentals of Public Relations
  • JOUR U330: TV Studio Production
  • JOUR U333: News and Feature Writing
  • JOUR U334: Writing for Broadcasting
  • JOUR U335: Video Editing
  • JOUR U348: Illness, Culture and the Media
  • JOUR U349:  Health Messages and the Media
  • JOUR U350: Social and Emerging Media
  • JOUR U398: Special Topics in Journalism
    (topics vary by semester)
  • JOUR U428: Public Relations Campaigns
  • JOUR U429: Crisis Communication 
  • JOUR U450: Women in the Media
  • JOUR U480: Diversity in the Media 
  • SPCH U301: Theories and Principles of Human Communication
  • SPCH U303: Ethics in Human Communication
  • SPCH U309: Small Group Communication
  • SPCH U310: Interpersonal Communication
  • SPCH U312: Rhetorical Theory and Criticism
  • SPCH U313: Performance Studies
  • SPCH U330: Interviewing
  • SPCH U333: Advanced Public Speaking
  • SPCH U340: Voice and Diction
  • SPCH U347: Environmental Communication
  • SPCH U348: Introduction to Organizational Communication
  • SPCH U350: Communication & Gender
  • SPCH U360: Visual Rhetoric
  • SPCH U380: Intercultural Communication
  • SPCH U398: Topics in Speech Communication
    (topics vary by semester)
  • SPCH U430: Communicating Difference in
    Social Institutions
  • SPCH U440: Argumentation and Debate
  • SPCH U448: Organizational Communication
  • SPCH U450: Communicating for Social Change  
Communication Faculty
Warren Bareiss
Associate Professor
HPAC Office 110
Michelle Garland
Assistant Professor 
HPAC Office 114 
Suzanne Hall
HPAC Office 116 
Emily Kofoed
Assistant Professor 
HPAC Office 117 

Shuang Liu
Assistant Professor 
HPAC Office 113 

Allison Ludwig
Senior Instructor 
HPAC Office 112 
Gary Mattingly
Senior Instructor 
HPAC Office 109 
Renu Pariyadath
Assistant Professor 
HPAC Office 118 
David Wallace
Associate Professor 
HPAC Office 115 
Carolina (Carolyn) R. Webber
Assistant Professor
HPAC Office 111
See full list with bios  
Student Learning Outcomes

Goals and 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.