Bachelor of Arts inCommunication Studies

Majoring in Communication Studies involves exploring the ways humans create and negotiate meaning through the exchange of messages. How can cultural differences impact communication? What are the challenges of new and rapidly changing media? How can group communication be facilitated? You’ll specialize in communication technology, family communication, intercultural communication, professional communication, public relations and marketing, sports information or writing as you take 44 to 45 credit hours towards a Bachelor of Arts degree.

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Communication Studies Curriculum Overview

Lifelong skills such as speaking, working in groups, working with new media, organization, critical thinking, and writing, are the foundation of the Communication Studies program. The classroom as well as an on the job internship experience prepares students for thoughtful and informed entry into countless career choices.

The Communication Studies major is based on research data, indicating that employers are interested in potential employees who have oral communication, listening, writing, interpersonal communication, interviewing and small group communication skills, as well as some career training and orientation. For these reasons, Concordia University has developed six career tracks in the communication program.

Prerequisites from General Education
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
COM - 103 Interpersonal Communication 4
COM - 560 Intercultural Communication 3

Students examine their methods of interpersonal communication in various contexts including dyadic, small group, and mediated communication. Individual activities and group work include both oral and written components. Class discussions and small group activities provide opportunities to practice and refine interpersonal communication skills. Objective exams and quizzes focus on cognitive learning of the principles and concepts in the various communication contexts. (COM103 is one of the two choices for the communication general education requirement for all students. It is also a prerequisite for all communication majors.)

This course provides an overview of the major concepts, research, theories, and models that explore intercultural communication, with an emphasis on using these ideas in applied contexts. Important topics include: worldviews, communication styles, skills development in intercultural arenas, societal influences on stereotyping, ethnocentrism and racism, cultural value orientations, nonverbal dimensions of communication, language interaction, gender communication, intra-cultural issues, stereotypes, intercultural transitions, and adaptation.

Required: 44 Credits
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
COM - 205 Small Group Communication 4
COM - 212 Public Speaking 4
COM - 222 Mass Communication 4
COM - 325 Social Media & Public Relation 4
COM - 403 Family Communication 4
COM - 441 Communication Research Methods 4
COM - 442 Communication Theory 4
COM - 443 Persuasive Communication 4
COM - 478 Organizational Communication 4
PUL - 490 Senior Seminar 4
COM - 498 Communication Internship 1

Students study and practice communication in small discussion and task groups. Topics include leadership and facilitation of groups as well as group dynamics. Group activities include problem solving discussions and task completion. Course units include goal setting, cohesion and norms, power, leadership, decision-making and problem solving, conflict and facilitating task and interpersonal relations in face-to-face and virtual groups. (Prerequisite: COM103 or COM212)

Students prepare and deliver various types of public performances including speeches and oral interpretation. The evaluation and criticism of speeches is studied. Videotape helps students adjust to their performance style and improve presentation delivery. Course units include speech construction, presentation and delivery, audience and text analysis, informative, persuasive and special occasion speeches as well as visual aid construction. (COM212 is one of the two choices for the communication general education requirement for all students. It is also a prerequisite for all communication majors.)

Students study and learn to critically appraise various media by exploring the weaknesses and strengths of each. The content of the course includes history of the traditional mass media as well as an exploration of contemporary social media, advertising, public relations, media law and regulation, media ethics, and social responsibility. Video projects develop basic skills of digital image gathering, editing, and distribution. (Prerequisite: COM103 or COM212)

Students develop an understanding of the theory and strategic management of social media especially in the public relations context. By analyzing history, tactics and current trends, students learn how the public relations process and the goal of relationship building with various stakeholders is impacted by various social media applications. Students also become acquainted with social media tactics in various professional settings. (Required prerequisite: COM103 or COM212)(Suggested prerequisite: COM222)

Students examine communication patterns in functional families and interpersonal relationships. Reading and discussion are combined with experiential activities. Course units include diverse family systems, health communication, communicating with aging family members and those with disabilities, communication patterns, family roles, power, decision-making, conflict, stress and coping, ecology, and improving family communication. (Prerequisites: (COM103 or COM212) and COM205)

Basic quantitative and qualitative approaches and methods are applied to communication studies. The course includes question construction, survey research and design, experimental design, quantitative content analysis and comparisons, and qualitative analysis of participant observation, interviewing and focus group methodology. Critical studies and approaches in the field of communication will be discussed. This course is a prerequisite for COM442 because it implements the research proposal. (Prerequisites: COM103, COM212, COM205, and COM222)

Students study and apply theories to human communication including interpersonal and public communication, small groups, mediated communication, persuasion, gender studies, as well as work, friend, and marital relationships. Perspectives on and methods of critical inquiry and research are an integral part of the course content. Research projects are presented to the rest of the class as well as submitted to professional organizations for review. COM442 implements the research proposal developed in COM441. COM442 and COM443 are intended to be a year-long capstone sequence. (Prerequisites: COM103, COM205, COM212, COM222, COM309 and a minimum grade of C- in COM441)

Students study and apply persuasive communication theories to the study and analysis of communication events including speeches, posters, films, campaigns, television programs, advertising, social media and other forms of public communication. Students examine the ways in which beliefs, values, attitudes, and behavior are deliberately affected through various forms of human and electronic communication. The major project is an application of theory and research. Research projects may be submitted to professional organizations or an online journal for review. COM442 and COM443 are intended to be a year-long capstone sequence. (Prerequisites: COM103, COM205, COM212 AND COM222)

Students examine theories of communication systems, processes and assumptions in organization structures. Topics include roles, relationships and responsibilities of individuals within organizations as well as skills in and applications of organizational communication, including communication audits. Interviewing skills in the various demands of organizations will be examined and practiced. Values and ethical communication behaviors are explored through a variety of activities including case studies and self-assessments. Exploration of crisis communication strategies and their effectiveness in organizational image restoration are examined. (Prerequisites: COM103, COM212 and COM205)

This course provides the foundation for the research project. The students will engage in a literature survey of research in the instructor's area of expertise and develop a research proposal consisting of a research hypothesis, a rationale for the work and experimental design.

Students participate in a variety of internship programs in such experiences as editing, publishing, broadcasting, television, human resources, and public relations under the supervision of Communication faculty. Internships are tailored to the needs, interests, and career aspirations of the student. Portfolios, learning logs, and meetings with the internship faculty supervisor are required for all internships. (Prerequisites: COM103, COM205, COM212, COM222, COM325, ENG120 and permission of communication faculty advisor)

Visual Communication
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
ART - 241 Photography I 3
ART - 341 Photography II 3
ART - 282 Graphic Design I 3
ART - 382 Graphic Design II 3
ART - 291 Adobe Creative Suite 3
ART - 342 Digital Photography 2
ART - 383 Web Design I 3
ART - 441 Advanced Photography 4

This course is designed to familiarize beginning students with the fundamental techniques and concepts of photographic practices and processes. The use and operation of the 35mm film camera, experimental and traditional black and white darkroom techniques and new digital technologies will be taught through demonstration and assigned projects. Photographic history and criticism will also be introduced. Portfolio production will be the main form of assessment in this introductory course.

This course expands students' knowledge of the use of the 35 mm camera and black and white darkroom processing and printing. Students learn to control film exposure and development in order to make consistently good prints. Photographic theory is introduced. Students will fully explore their ideas through shooting a lot of film. Learning will be assessed primarily through portfolio development and review, as well as class participation. (Prerequisite: ART 241 or consent of instructor.)

This course lays the foundations of the discipline of graphic design. The course helps students apply concepts of design and color theory into applied arts areas. (Prerequisite: ART102 or ART202)

This course develops sophisticated applications in the discipline of graphic design. The course helps students develop their professional portfolio for applied arts areas. (Prerequisite: ART282)

Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Acrobat, Bridge, Flash and much more. This project based course will explore the core print, web and interactive design possibilities within the Adobe Creative Suite Design Premium software package. The course material will be tailored to the experience level and interests of the students enrolled. The course is intended to be a jumpstart for the Graphic Design and other digital art courses offered by CSP.

This course will investigate the unique approaches to digital photography as an art form. This field will be compared and contrasted with black and white photography and also explored as its own unique area of artistic investigation. Emphasis will be given to seeing and thinking like an artist.

The Web Design course is structured to teach the visual, communication and marketing aspects of a good website. It is a project based course where students will create websites and web content using Adobe Creative Suite software (Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Flash) and other web-related tools. Course material will be tailored to the experience level of students enrolled in the course.

This course is designed to establish personal style in photography. Traditional treatment of the medium will be investigated along with creative and divergent photographic expressions. Computer applications in photography will be introduced and explored. Significant emphasis will be placed on developing skills in formal and iconographic criticism. Learning will be assessed primarily through portfolio development and review. (Prerequisite: ART 241 or consent of instructor)

Public Relations and Marketing
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
MAR - 301 Principles of Marketing 4
MAR - 312 Consumer Behavior 4
MAR - 313 Advertising and Promotions 4
MAR - 470 Social Media Marketing 2
MKM - 425 Global Marketing 3

This course provides an introduction to the study of marketing in business and other organizations. Topics that will be addressed in this course include the marketing environment, marketing ethics, information gathering, product development, pricing strategies, distribution strategies, the promotional mix, decision making, nonprofit marketing, social marketing and international marketing. (Prerequisite: junior standing)

This course addresses the theoretical background for understanding consumer behavior. This course will examine the interaction between the environment, consumer's affect and cognition and a consumer's ultimate behavior. Various theories and perspectives on consumer motivation, attitude formation, information processing, and decision-making will be discussed throughout this course.

This course is designed to provide students with a basic understanding of integrated marketing communications through advertising, promotions, personal selling, public relations and internet marketing. Ethical issues related to these topics will be examined and trends in consumer and business-to-business buyer behaviors will be explored. (Prerequisite: MAR301)

In this course, students will explore the latest tools and trends in social media applied to marketing, advertising, and communication. Using case studies from large corporations, small businesses, and non-profits, students will examine current examples and future opportunities of how marketing professionals use social networks, user-generated content, and blogs for shaping marketing activities.

It is said that contemporary employees compete with other employees worldwide. The economy is global and it is necessary to understand other parts of the world and how business is implemented. Students will create marketing plans to market products to other countries.

Sports Management
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
KHS - 535 Sports Marketing 3
KHS - 393 Planning & Managing Sport Fac 4
KHS - 394 Sports Business 4

This course will examine the application of marketing principles in the sport industry. Elements of corporate partnerships related to sport marketing will also be explored along with business strategies of sponsorships, branding, promotions, and event marketing.

This course helps students understand how to plan, design, and maintain sport facilities. In addition, event management and programming will be examined within the context of stadium and arena management.

This course will include a comprehensive analysis of issues related to sports business. Topics will include finance, accounting and budgeting as it relates to the world of sports business.

Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
ENG - 221 Journalism 4
ENG - 222 Journalism Practicum 1
ENG - 227 Column Writing 2
ENG - 228 Review Writing 2
ENG - 320 Writing in the Workplace 2
PUB - 460 Contemporary Issues 3

This course is an introduction to periodical journalism. It focuses on the contemporary practices, issues, and ethics of the profession. Students will practice extensive in-the field reporting and journalistic writing. (Prerequisite: Minimum grade of C- in ENG120)

Journalism II provides an opportunity for hands-on experience in all aspects of producing a newspaper: writing, editing, layout, photography, business management, etc. This course is strongly suggested for those who wish to contribute to The Sword (the Concordia student newspaper) on a regular basis. It is required for the Editor-in-Chief, Technical Editor(s), and Page Editors. Beginning writers and photographers are encouraged to sign up. This workshop style class meets one hour a week, usually in the evenings.

This course will introduce students to the role of columns as vehicles that affect both public opinion and the identities of periodicals. Study of a range of contemporary artifacts will provide a basis for understanding the balance of opinion and reporting in column writing. Students will both analyze and write columns.

This course will introduce students to the various roles of the review in our culture. Study of contemporary artifacts will provide a basis for understanding the balance of presentation, critique, and edification in reviewing. Students will both analyze and write reviews.

Students in this course will examine the conventions of writing in the workplace. The particular topics of the course will vary depending on the semester. Some of the topics covered might include grant writing, copyrighting, writing for the web, public relations writing, or technical writing. (Prerequisite: Minimum grade of C- in ENG120)

Updates on timely issues including terrorism, severe weather, bio-hazard releases, and SARA Title III requirements.

Bachelor of Arts degrees at Concordia University, St. Paul consists of a major of typically 32 to 44 credits or two minors, general education courses, and elective courses totaling a minimum of 128 credits.

Meet Your Professors

Dr. Alan Winegarden Department of Communication Studies Chairperson, Professor of Communication Studies
Dr. Basma Ibrahim DeVries Ph. D. Professor of Communications Studies

Career Potential

You’ll also have real experience beyond the classroom, with opportunities to work on student newspaper and complete an internship in the Twin Cities metro area, a major media market which is also headquarters to several national advertising/PR/marketing agencies. Because we design our communication studies program to be responsive to the exact needs of the marketplace, it will be a relevant major if you’re considering a career in public relations, advertising, broadcasting, digital media, news writing, sports information, photography, marketing and other communications-related professions.

  • Advertising
  • Broadcasting
  • Digital Media
  • Event Planning
  • Human Relations
  • Management
  • News Writing
  • Photography
  • Public Relations
  • Sales
Student Success Stories Larisa Arnold ’15 - B.A. Communication Studies

"I've learned the necessary skills to make me stand out in the professional world."

Read More

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