Students dedicated to building professional careers in print and online media, film, television, and the closely-related fields of public relations and advertising, as well as those interested in pursuing graduate work, will find degree programs designed by the Communications Department to meet their needs and to challenge their skills and interests.
Departmental curricula are designed to prepare students to pursue careers as communications professionals in the media-rich communications industries and corporations. As such, students will be expected to be adept at basic language and oral communication skills. They also should be aware of professional responsibilities, ethical practices and laws governing the mass media.
Students from other disciplines, seeking to improve their communications skills and knowledge about the media and their impact upon society, will find a variety of course offerings.
PLEASE REFER TO THE UNIVERSITY CATALOG FOR FULL REQUIREMENTS AND COURSE DESCRIPTIONS
The Bachelor of Arts/Journalism Option is designed for students interested in print, online, and broadcast journalism careers. Students who graduate with a journalism degree are prepared for a wide variety of media-related careers, already armed with industry experience.
New technologies and media platforms have created many dynamic opportunities for journalism graduates who possess the skills, principles, and practices for a successful career in the diverse regional, national, and international job markets. We train students in the various practices of contemporary journalists, including news writing and reporting, feature writing, column and opinion writing, interviewing, broadcast journalism, video podcasting, editing, and blogging.
Taught by seasoned journalists from a variety of media outlets, the curriculum focuses on the knowledge, practices, principles, and strategies of successful journalism professionals. In addition to learning effective writing, information gathering, and production techniques, students gain an understanding of how media organizations operate through hands-on internship training and in our news and broadcast production laboratories. Students also develop a keen understanding of how to decipher and navigate through an unprecedented amount of electronic information through media literacy training.
Media Studies Option
The Bachelor of Arts/Media Studies option provides students with the opportunity to study the history, criticism, regulation, and economic practices of film, television, and digital media. Students in the option develop critical thinking skills through the analysis of various media texts and practices. While there is no production option, students are required to take one digital media production course and are able to take additional intermediate production courses in order to gain hands on skills in media production. Students in the option develop a complex understanding of media culture that prepares them for careers in the media industries and graduate studies.
Public Relations/Advertising Option
The department offers the Bachelor of Arts in Communications with an option in Public Relations/Advertising. This program is designed for students interested in careers in public relations, advertising, integrated communications, and the related field of marketing.
Government, civic groups, nonprofit organizations, corporations and educational institutions all require the services of public relations and advertising practitioners to manage their communications programs and to help determine public policy. This process, sometimes defined as strategic problem-solving through communications, encompasses everything from counseling top management to the preparation of communication strategies and campaigns. It includes the entire gamut of informational media materials such as audio and video programs, employee publications, brochures, newsletters and annual reports; surveying and analyzing public opinion; speech writing; lobbying; fund raising and the planning of special events. Students in this emphasis are encouraged to join the department-sponsored Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Chapter.
The department offers an Interdisciplinary Minor in Advertising (18 units), in conjunction with the College of Business Administration and Public Policy, and the Art and Design Department, combining courses in advertising, marketing and graphic design. The Advertising Minor provides an overview of both the business and creative sides of the advertising field.
The department offers a minor in Communications (12 units). The Communications minor integrates rather than segregates instruction in media studies, public relations, and journalism. Students are required to take two basic courses, and then choose their upper division courses based on their interests.