The Communication Major is designed to prepare undergraduate students for the future in two ways. First, students are prepared to become professional communicators. The professional communicator role involves, but is not limited to, public relations, training, investor relations, human resources, community relations, crisis management, and governmental or legislative relations. Second, students are prepared to make contributions to a variety of organizations from a communication perspective. Students have the opportunity to develop special knowledge and skill with regard to conflict, groups, leadership, relationships, public relations, political campaigns, organizations, etc. Whichever path students choose, they can be assured that communication knowledge and skills are highly valued.
Communication majors choose one of two concentrations leading to the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Science degree. The concentrations are Public Relations and Communication Studies.
All majors in Communication must complete: 1) 43-45 hours of Core Curriculum requirements; 2) the 6 to 8-hour B.S. requirement or the 6 to 12-hour B.A. requirement; 3) 6 hours of the School of Communication Core Requirements and 36 hours of a concentration in Public Relations or Communication Studies for a total of 42 hours in the School of Communication; and 4) elective courses for a total of 120 hours. A minor or a 15-hour concentration of conceptually related courses is strongly recommended.
Core Curriculum Requirements (43-45 credits)
In College Core B , all majors in programs in the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences are required to pass a second course in Social and Behavioral Sciences; i.e., CHBS majors cannot fulfill College Core B requirements with a Health and Wellness course.
The concentration in Communication Studies prepares students for positions in both the private and public sectors as well as providing a solid foundation in the Communication discipline for those desiring to continue their education in graduate school. Courses in communication studies combine material from the humanities, fine arts, and social sciences in order to explain how and why people interact in the ways that they do. Students in the Communication Studies concentration will study the ways that people use communication in public life, politics, and social movements. Students will learn how to analyze and evaluate communication practices in a wide variety of settings and be able to apply practical, oral, written and visual communication skills and knowledge necessary for success in the 21st century marketplace.
Total required hours for the concentration: (36 credits)
Required Courses: (24 credits)
Choose three of the following: (9 credits)
Electives in COMS (3 credits)
The concentration in Public Relations prepares students for positions as professional communicators by providing a combination of technical communication skills and theoretic knowledge necessary to make them competitive for entry-level public relations positions.
Total required hours for the major 36
Required Courses (36 credits)
*Students wishing to complete an internship must have a 2.0 GPA in the major and must apply and interview for the privilege of participating in an internship experience.
Electives (9 credits)
No more than 6 hours of internship credit may be used to meet requirements for the major.
Suggested electives include:
Internships are available at approved agencies for qualified students. Students work under departmental supervision in private corporations, public organizations, advertising and public relations agencies, lobbying groups, and other organizations that will provide a suitable environment for learning. To qualify for an internship, a student must be a major in Communication and must be in good academic standing with 75 hours of credit completed. Communication majors have interned at Burson-Marsteller Public Relations, Frankfurt, Germany; Edelman Public Relations, Washington, D.C.; Gray and Rice Public Relations, Boston, Massachusetts; Stanton Communications, Washington, D.C.; United Way, Roanoke, Virginia; Pulaski Rangers Minor League Baseball, Pulaski, Virginia; Police Department, Roanoke, Virginia; Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles; Virginia Tourism; Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, Spartanburg, South Carolina; Blue Ridge Hospice, Winchester, Virginia; The Children’s Museum, Washington, D. C.; Carilion Health Care System; Crawford Long Medical Center; United Network for Organ Sharing, Richmond, Virginia; and the International Association of Travel Agencies.