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The Breakdown

Every day we’re inundated with messages. From the sign hanging in the deli across the street to an episode of The Daily Show or a g-chat we have with our best friend, we are constantly barraged with thoughts and ideas. Of course, these messages can easily be misconstrued, contorted or simply appear ambiguous. Indeed, how we communicate is just as important as the idea we are expressing.

Communications majors examine written, oral, visual and electronic messages, studying them within a historical, social scientific and critical context. You will learn how communication influences our daily lives and how it affects everything from social interaction to economic policy. Specifically, you will be introduced to communication theories and philosophies and study how to incorporate and apply these ideas into your own projects. While some programs give you a wide overview of the field, others have you choose a focus such as mass communication, organizational communication, political communication, interpersonal communication, media writing or visual communication.

As a communications major, you’ll discover that sound writing and analytical skills will be paramount for success. The ability to read and analyze visual cues will be very important. Moreover, you will need to become a savvy wordsmith, understanding how to construct (and deconstruct) clear and concise messages. Creativity is also a key component in the world of communications and thinking outside the proverbial box is definitely valued.

Nuts and Bolts

Most communications departments provide their students with a balance between theory and application. Classes could include topics such as: Public Speaking, Introduction to Media Literacy, Case Studies in Persuasion, Small Group Communication, Principles of Public Relations, Rhetoric of Social Movements and Political Controversy, Writing for Media, Beginning Audio Production, Digital Filmmaking, Advanced Communication Theory, Nonverbal Communication, Interpersonal Conflict and Television Studio Production.

Decisions, Decisions

Communications majors are drawn to subjects that study the ways in which people, well, communicate. Therefore, they are also frequently interested in subjects such as English, business, marketing, journalism, psychology, television/radio/film, advertising, comparative literature, creative writing, rhetoric, classics, new media and speech pathology.

What's Next

Communications majors are a lucky breed. Indeed, the skill-sets they hone and acquire are quite versatile and can be applied to a number of industries. Certainly, a handful of graduates use their media savvy to land plum entry level marketing and public relations positions. Advertising is also a popular industry for communications majors and some students find jobs as copywriters or account managers. Of course, plenty of majors also become a cog in the media machine working in journalism, publishing and even film production. It’s also common for graduates to take their talents into the business world, often finding positions in sales, human resources and corporate public affairs. No matter where your career hopes and ambitions lay, we’re confident you’ll discover that employers are eager to hire candidates who thoroughly understand what communication is truly about.


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Don Munce