The Communications Studies emphasis exists as a counterpoint to the other emphases within the School of Communications. Whereas each of the other emphases excels in providing specialized instruction in a particular discipline of communications (e.g., Public Relations, Advertising, or Journalism), the Communications Studies emphasis takes a more generalized approach.
The emphasis coursework equips students with a solid foundation in the areas of critical thinking, research, writing, presentation, and communications theory, but then grants students the freedom to select their supplementary coursework from the School’s catalog of elective offerings. These courses span a variety of interests, including digital media, popular culture, advocacy, international issues, and many others. The combination of required and strategically-selected supplementary coursework begets a degree program that is highly customizable. With this freedom, however, comes the charge for students to work closely with their faculty advisor to make their professional goals known, and to work together in the creation of a viable learning plan.
The Communications Studies emphasis acknowledges that the lines between communication disciplines (in many cases) are blurring, and it seeks to equip students with the skills they feel are necessary to succeed in their personalized path—whether this path is professional or academic in nature, and whether it leads them deeper into the communications industry, or on to other disciplines.