The School of Communication Studies offers a variety of concentrations for SCOM majors as well as a few minor programs. Acceptance into the School does not guarantee the student will be granted his/her first choice concentration. The following is a listing of the concentrations available in the SCOM major and minor.
Each major consists of 12 hours of required communication studies core courses plus 18 hours of in-depth requirement courses, and an additional nine hours of elective work in the School of Communication Studies. Each concentration has a specific list of required courses which are described in the link provided for each concentration. Three of the additional nine hours of SCOM elective work can be selected at the 200 level, but the other six hours must be at the 300 or 400 level and may include an internship. Click on the title of each to find out more about concentration-based required courses.
This concentration prepares students to understand, critically evaluate and engage the communication theories, processes, media institutions and communication technologies that citizens, political leaders, government officials, public administrators, interest groups and community service organizations use to campaign, deliberate, adjudicate, govern and advocate for social change. Skilled advocates adopt, develop and implement diverse sets of communication strategies that help clients articulate interests and goals, determine social systems and audiences most likely to achieve goals, identify effective media and appropriate goal oriented messages, and develop plans for implementing change.
Conflict Analysis and Intervention
This concentration prepares students to analyze conflict interaction and explore various methods of formal and informal conflict intervention in interpersonal, workplace, legal, political, religious and intercultural contexts. Included among the conflict intervention processes studied are family therapy, community dialogue, negotiation and mediation. A concentration in conflict analysis and intervention can prepare students for careers in human services, human resources, government, peacebuilding, conflict intervention and humanitarian agencies, and dispute resolution. It is also useful for students who wish to pursue the study of law or careers in business management, diplomacy and international relations.
This concentration prepares students to analyze, engage and manage communication situations where cultural identity becomes relevant to the persons involved in the interaction. Students analyze communication processes and theories that help explain dynamics of intercultural interactions in personal and professional contexts. The concentration affords students cultural competencies necessary for personal growth and professional success in increasingly diverse work and social settings. Communication skills learned here prepare students for careers in education, management and training, international relations, and law.
General Communication Option
This option enables students to study communication from a variety of perspectives. Students will complete the major core requirements and, with the help of an adviser, will select 15 hours of courses from three areas: communication skills, communication research and communication theory ans context; plus 9 hours of communication electives from a list of given courses. To learn more about this option, please click on the title above.
Health Communication Studies
This concentration prepares students for careers in patient advocacy, health promotion and education, social marketing, health-related public relations, health-related writing, pharmacy sales and health-related advertising. Students will gain strong writing and research skills, project management expertise, leadership and team building, as well as gain knowledge in the areas of interpersonal doctor-patient communication, health campaigns and public health, culture and health, ethics and health and organizational communication.
Interpersonal Communication Studies
Students analyze how messages are used to manage personal relationships in social and professional contexts. By examining research, theory and processes of interpersonal communication, students learn important principles for managing impressions and building rapport, identifying needs and pursuing influence goals, reducing relational uncertainty and adapting to change. Students completing the concentration learn to communicate the value of healthy relationships, are well prepared for graduate school, and develop relational skills for excelling in careers such as peer counseling, education, family and human services, sales and management, aging services, ministry and community leadership.
Organizational Communication Studies
Organizational communication involves the study of the ways people interact within organizations, such as business, government, education and nonprofit groups. The specific focus of this concentration is internal and external communication of organizations. This concentration prepares students for careers in business, consulting, training and event planning and for the study of law.
Public Relations Studies
This concentration focuses on the management of communication between organizations and their internal and external publics with the goal of mutual understanding and influence. Public relations practitioners work with specific audiences relative to focused goals. Preparation for a career in public relations should include a broad educational base and a variety of communication skills.
Conflict Analysis and Intervention Minor
The minor in conflict analysis and intervention prepares students to analyze conflict interaction and explore various methods of formal and informal conflict intervention in a wide variety of contexts. The program is intended for students not majoring in communication studies who wish to supplement and augment their major area of study. The requirements for a conflict analysis and intervention studies minor are 18 credit hours.
Cultural Communication Minor
The minor in cultural communication is designed to provide students with principles and theories of communication processes that help explain dynamics of intercultural interactions in personal and professional contexts. The program is intended for students not majoring in communication studies who wish to augment their major area of study, develop skills of cultural competence and increase their awareness of diversity.
A minor in communication studies requires 18 hours of course work in communication studies beyond the General Education requirement, including SCOM 240, SCOM 241 and a minimum of nine hours of courses at the 300 level and three hours at the 400 level. Before a student begins a minor in communication studies, the school director and the student's adviser must approve his or her planned program of study.
Health Communication Minor
The minor in health communication is designed to provide students not majoring in communication studies with conceptual and applied knowledge about communication interaction and its effects on health care, health care practitioners and patients/clients. Students will gain strong writing and research skills, project management expertise, leadership and team building skills as well as gain knowledge in the areas of interpersonal doctor-patient communication, health campaigns and public health, culture and health, ethics and health, and organizational communication. It is designed for students pursuing careers in related health care fields or for students who have an interest in health communication.
Political Communication Minor
The School of Communication Studies and the Department of Political Science offer a joint minor in political communication with emphases on political campaigning and interest groups. The purpose of this minor is to provide students with conceptual, practical and applied knowledge in the fields of public and private interest groups and political campaigns. For a full description of this minor, refer to Political Communication Minor. This minor is exempt from the School of Communication Studies minor admissions policy.
The School of Communication Studies is housed in Harrison Hall.