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The College of St. Scholastica

St. Scholastica’s communications major is about so much more than writing papers. As a communications student, you’ll learn about intercultural communication as well as interpersonal communication — both essential skills in today’s global marketplace.

You will develop exceptional writing and analytical skills, and you’ll be able to create convincing arguments and strategically deliver messages to targeted audiences. You will gain a new appreciation for historical contexts of communication, as well as cutting-edge digital communications best practices.

The program allows you to choose from four different tracks:

  • Communication Studies
  • Film Studies
  • Media Studies
  • Theatre Studies

Effective communication is at the heart of countless fields, and as a St. Scholastica communications graduate, you’ll be ready to excel in any one of them. Program graduates have gone on to pursue fulfilling careers as journalists, lawyers, publishers, film producers and directors.

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Benedictine Scholarship

All new first-year applicants to St. Scholastica will be awarded either the Benedictine Scholarship or the Access Award, upon admission to the College.

Financial Aid

100% of traditional incoming undergraduates receive some type of financial aid. The average for scholarships, grants and/or loans is $31,841.

Degree Details

Tuition

Are You Looking for a Face-to-Face (on-campus) Experience?

St. Scholastica’s longstanding commitment to inclusivity and generous financial aid packages make our world-class educational programs accessible to students from any background.

Curriculum

Here are some classes you could take as part of this major or minor. Be sure to create your course plan in consultation with your advisor.

Coursework

CTA 1114 – Media Literacy

Analyzes the relationship between media and society through the interaction of technology, business, audiences, culture and government. Through lecture, discussion, field trips and other in-class activities, the course reviews the history and theories of mass communication as they relate to specific media.

CTA 2240 – Intercultural Communication

Employs lectures, documentaries, assigned readings, role playing and research to understand the cultural forces that determine communication behaviors. The course prepares the student to enter another specific culture and communicate more effectively.

CTA 3445 – Argumentation

Examines the elements of persuasive speaking and argumentation. Begins with persuasive presentations and progresses to the formal study of argumentation framed by the Toulmin model of reasoning. Using this model, students will study the four primary types of warrants and the four primary types of argumentative claims. The class concludes with the argument of cases.

CTA 4414 – Media Criticism

Applies a variety of critical-theoretical perspectives to consider issues of media production, texts and audiences. Prerequisite: CTA 1114 or consent of instructor.

CTA 4445 – Persuasion

Studies persuasion from its early Greek roots through contemporary social scientific studies. Various theories of attitude change will be addressed. Prerequisite: Acceptance into the Communication or Advertising/ Public Relations major or minor; exception made by department approval.

ENG 2105 – Investigative Writing

Explores theory and practice of research skills in preparation for writing an article-length essay, report, review of literature, literary or cultural critique, memoir, etc. Focus on developing a proposal, producing a working bibliography, developing an outline or focus statement, writing drafts, and using discipline-specific formats as appropriate. Excellent preparation for McNair students and liberal arts majors intending to pursue graduate school as well as others interested in investigative writing.

Concentrations

Communication Studies

CTA 2201 – The Film as Art

Traces the evolution of nonfiction (documentary) and fiction film forms from 1895 to the present; summarizes research describing persuasive effects by means of lectures, screenings, assigned readings and oral presentations.

CTA 2301 – World Cinema

World Cinema examines a wide variety of artistically acclaimed non-Hollywood films from around the world both through stylistic and cultural analysis. We will engage films in this course by situating them within particular artistic film movements and unique socio-historical contexts. We will examine the collaboration and collisions of art and politics through both classic and contemporary films. Movies will be screened in their native languages with English subtitles. Films will be viewed through the critical lens provided by interactive lecture/discussions, screenings, written work, and assigned readings.

Film Studies

CTA 3301 – Film Topics

Film Topics engages a changing variety of advanced issues of cinematic representation and genre discussion in Film Studies at an Upper Division level with a Writing Intensive focus. Topics change annually, but course requirements remain the same. Readings are advanced and students write about films, meetings, proposals, draft revisions and an in-class writing workshop. The goal is to engage advanced topics in Film Studies through writings and discussions linking film form and content. The ethics of representation is a key focus of discussion along with formal analysis of ‘how’ identities are aesthetically represented.

CTA 4220 – Great Filmmakers

Studies the life, significant work, and unique artistic choices made by different historically significant film directors. The directors studied can be considered auteurs insofar as they establish consistent artistic signatures as authors of films while successfully working within the restrictions of the film industry.

Media Studies

ART 1124 – Design I

Studies the elements and the principles of design and their application to fine art and commercial art. Various media are used to experiment with both two- and three-dimensional structures.

CTA 2307 – Digital Photography

Introduces digital image making. Students work with digital SLR cameras and the latest photographic software to produce an entirely digital portfolio. Composition and visual aesthetics are emphasized. Digital SLR cameras are provided by the school.

CTA 4555 – Internship

Done in a professional business setting or other appropriate setting related to the student’s field of interest. The student is supervised by a site supervisor. Evaluation of performance will be completed by the site supervisor, internship advisor and student. Students may obtain additional information about internships from the CTA chair. Prerequisite: Acceptance into the Communication or Advertising/ Public Relations major or minor; exception made by department approval.

Theatre Studies

CTA 2150 –

CTA 2250 –

CTA 3301 – Film Topics

Film Topics engages a changing variety of advanced issues of cinematic representation and genre discussion in Film Studies at an Upper Division level with a Writing Intensive focus. Topics change annually, but course requirements remain the same. Readings are advanced and students write about films, meetings, proposals, draft revisions and an in-class writing workshop. The goal is to engage advanced topics in Film Studies through writings and discussions linking film form and content. The ethics of representation is a key focus of discussion along with formal analysis of ‘how’ identities are aesthetically represented.

ENG 3300 – Creative Writing: Fiction and Nonfiction

Explores the reading of appropriate fiction and writing of short weekly pieces and a final short story. The class includes presentations on technique. Students need not be English majors. Work from this class is often published in the St. Scholastica literary journal, Out of Words.

Career Outlook

Clear and effective communication is essential in this digital age — and our program prepares students for success after graduation through courses in intercultural communication, media literacy, film, argumentation, persuasion and many others. Internship credits are not always required (and depend on the chosen concentration), although opportunities abound for Communications majors. These experiences provide students with invaluable real-world opportunities as they work with area businesses to enhance their portfolios and general industry repertoires. Program alumni have interned at radio stations, public arts commissions, television stations, advertising agencies, professional sports organizations and a number of other professional environments. The spectrum of job opportunities in the field of communications is constantly expanding as people in every industry can benefit from the skills garnered from this degree. Graduates of the Communications program have gone on to pursue fulfilling careers as journalists, lawyers, lobbyists, photographers, sales representatives, publishers, film producers and directors.

Pair with a Language

Boost your brainpower and give yourself a competitive edge in our global economy by pairing your major with a language. St. Scholastica offers programs and courses in American Sign Language, French, German, Latin, Ojibwe, Russian and Spanish.

Meet Our Faculty

Experienced, Dedicated and Distinguished Educators

Expect to be heard, to be challenged and to be involved. St. Scholastica faculty are world-class scholars and experts in their field who bring their deep experience to online and on-campus classrooms. Our values of community, respect, stewardship and love of learning reflect our faculty’s commitment to lifting up others and celebrating our common humanity.