Communication is the process of conveying messages to others, whether in a one-to-one encounter, in a public speech to many, in a mass medium that reaches millions, or in an artistic venue. Communicators know how to design messages for a variety of media and how to change that message depending on the audience or the medium. Good communicators know that effective messages are structured differently for speech, print, photography, film, visual art, radio, theatre or television.
Knowledge of many areas is essential to successful structuring of these messages; e.g., language, rhetoric, culture, history, art, music, drama, technology and science. Communication is by its very nature a liberal art. Effective and accurate communicators are needed in this information age. Imaginative people, who can speak, write and produce messages for a variety of media, are valuable.
In addition to the conventional Communication major, the Department offers majors in Art, Journalism, and Public Relations.
Four minors are offered: Communication, Art, Theatre, and Photography.
The Requirements of the Communication Major
The Communication Major requires 42 credits in CTA. The major includes the following 26-credit core: Investigative Writing, Media Literacy, Intercultural Communication or Study Abroad, Argumentation, Media Criticism, Persuasion, an upper division Advanced Writing class, and any film class.
The remaining 16 credits (8 of which must be upper division) allow students to design their own emphases, such as film, journalism, or rhetoric.
Communication Major Outcomes
Admission to the Communication Major
Students apply for a Communication major at the end of the sophomore year; they are expected to have a 2.3 (C+) average in three CTA courses. Each candidate appears before a review panel of CTA faculty for informal evaluation prior to admission. Prior to the interview, students must submit an essay about the chosen major and three samples of graded work. Students who are less than one calendar year from graduation are not admitted to the major. Students must choose a minor from another area, or a 20-credit directed course of study, a self-designed minor, or second major in consultation with their CTA advisor. The Department will deny admission to the major for poor performance in the interview, a poorly written essay, or failure to comply with the deadline for application to the major.