Students in the Communication major gain theoretical knowledge and practical skill in the mass media through an interdisciplinary and multicultural curriculum. Students will learn about the social, cultural, economic, political and historical context within which media operate. This major focuses on the full range of communication media —including radio, television, newspapers, magazines, film, advertising, public relations and the Internet—and how it pervades every aspect of our society. Students will study the considerable power media wield in mobilizing public opinion, in cutting across the boundaries between private and public life, and the strong role they play in national development.
Students have the option of a Research track or a Professional track. Under the Research Track, students take a series of courses in U.S. and international media theory. Under the Professional Track, students take a series of courses in either print or broadcast media. Given the Communication major curriculum, transfer students should anticipate needing two years to complete all requirements.
Student Learning Outcomes
Through a critical and cultural studies framework that addresses power differentials in society and through a rigorous schedule of courses in media theory and skills, you, as a Communication major, are expected to:
- Be able to conduct thorough and critical research for both media theory and skills assignments, which is consistent with the LEAP learning outcomes of "Intellectual and Practical Skills" and "Integrative Learning;"
- Understand and analyze the power of the visual image and the written word and their ability to convey and sustain ideologies of gender, class, ethnicity and orientation, which is consistent with the LEAP learning outcome of "Personal and Society Responsibility;"
- Understand and analyze the ethical, legal, political and economic contexts of the mass media, which is consistent with the LEAP learning outcome of "Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Physical and Natural World;"
- Understand and analyze the interdependency of global media systems and develop a critical and historical approach to media production and consumption, which is consistent with the LEAP learning outcome of "Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Physical and Natural World;"
- Develop skills to write, edit and produce across varied media platforms, which is consistent with the LEAP learning outcomes of "Intellectual and Practical Skills;"
- Be prepared for a variety of jobs in mass media such as newspaper and magazine writing, reporting and editing, television and video production and web design.