Overview and Educational Philosophy

Our Mission

The School of Communication offers programs leading to a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts, both in Communication, as well as a combined B.A. and M.A. program known as the Accelerated Master’s Program.

Our undergraduate program features a core curriculum and three areas of emphasis, and is built on several principles embodied in our mission.

  • First-year students should be able to take courses in the major from day one.

    Taking courses in communication in your first year gives you a chance to sample areas within the field to begin to choose an emphasis or even to determine if this is the right major for you. Some colleges or universities make you wait until your second year or later, but we think it is a good idea to jump right in to the major. Of course, you are not required to take a communication course in your first year, and the major can be completed in the four undergraduate years even if you start it later.

  • It makes sense to take a mix of General Education, Communication, and elective courses in most semesters, but especially in the first and second years.

    We advocate a side-by-side curriculum in which you take courses in your major along with the breadth and distribution courses required through the College of Arts and Sciences General Education program, the All-University CurriculumOpen link in a new window, and electives. This approach enables you to make progress toward your major at the same time that you discover other interests, perhaps leading to a second major or a minor, and fulfill degree requirements.

  • Combining the liberal arts and coursework with a vocational focus provides an education best suited for a changing world.

    It will always be important to be able to analyze, critique, read, write, and speak as well as problem solve, discuss, understand numbers and grasp complex ideas. Sounds cliché perhaps, but these abilities, developed through a liberal arts education, enable us to adapt as our careers and the world around us change. At the same time, our students should acquire knowedge and skills relevant to entry-level jobs in communication-related companies and industries. We aim for the right mix of coursework to enable you to graduate ready for the work world but equipped to adapt when it changes or you do.

  • The Communication program that integrates ideas or theories and their application fosters effective learning.

    Suppose for a course assignment you were to create an ad for a product including concept, visuals, and text. Imagine how much better your ad would be if you understood some important principles of advertising to apply and how much easier it would be to learn and remember the principles by applying them. Our coursework recognizes that theory and application go hand in hand and strikes the right balance.

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