Earn a bachelor's degree in communication studies and prepare for a career in the ever-growing media landscape.
Whether you’re interested in journalism, public relations, business, or online communications, you can build a firm base of knowledge while you earn a bachelor’s degree in communication studies at UMUC.
You’ll learn to apply communication theories to both personal and professional situations, developing the “soft skills” that workplaces demand, along with communication techniques. In addition, you’ll learn to work with individuals and groups professionally and manage communications within ethical, legal, and financial parameters.
This program is also available as a minor.
About the Communication Studies Bachelor's Degree
Developed in conjunction with employers, the communication studies program offers a balance of theoretical knowledge and sophisticated communication skills. You’ll have the opportunity to learn how people create and use messages to generate meaning within and across various contexts, cultures, channels, and media. The multidisciplinary curriculum covers speech communication, mass communication and new media, journalism, public relations, business writing, and technical writing.
What You'll Learn
Through your coursework, you will learn how to
- Apply analytical skills in interpreting, using, and delivering information, particularly through mass media
- Create professional and appropriate written, oral, and visual communications for specific purposes and diverse audiences
- Design, create, and select multimedia components and integrate them into print, broadcast, and online formats
- Work with individuals and groups in ways that reflect an understanding of both communication theory and professional expectations
- Understand diverse and intercultural perspectives as they affect communication
- Design and employ specific research methods and tools to gather information
In past projects, students have had the opportunity to
- Write a speech for a hypothetical executive and organization
- Write news articles in various journalistic styles
- Write a comprehensive public relations plan and create messages targeting specific audiences
Communication Studies Bachelor's Degree Requirements
A degree with a major in communication studies requires the successful completion of 120 credits of coursework, including 33 credits for the major; 41 credits in general education requirements; and 46 credits in the minor, electives, and other degree requirements. At least 17 credits in the major must be earned in upper-level courses (numbered 300 or above). See overall degree requirements.
Courses in the Major
- Foundations of Oral Communication (3 Credits, SPCH 100) or any SPCH course
- Understanding Visual Communication (3 Credits, COMM 207) or any COMM course
- Introduction to News Writing (3 Credits, JOUR 201)
- Communication Theory (3 Credits, COMM 300)
- Mass Communication and Media Studies (3 Credits, COMM 302)
- Communication and Gender (3 Credits, SPCH 324)
- Public Relations Theory (3 Credits, JOUR 330) or any upper-level JOUR course
- Mass Media Law (3 Credits, COMM 400) or any upper-level COMM course
- Effective Listening (3 Credits, SPCH 470) or any upper-level SPCH course
- or any upper-level COMM course
- Senior Seminar in Communication Studies (3 Credits, COMM 495)
General Education Requirements
Since some recommended courses fulfill more than one requirement, substituting courses for those listed may require you to take additional courses to meet degree requirements. Consult an advisor whenever taking advantage of other options. See information on alternate courses (where allowable) to fulfill general education requirements (in communications, arts and humanities, behavioral and social sciences, biological and physical sciences, mathematics, and interdisciplinary issues).
- Introduction to Research (1 Credits, LIBS 150) (to be taken in first 6 credits)
Writing and Communications Courses
- Introduction to Academic Writing I (3 Credits, WRTG 111)
or Research Writing (3 Credits, WRTG 291)
or other writing course
- Introduction to Academic Writing II (3 Credits, WRTG 112)
- Foundations of Oral Communication (3 Credits, SPCH 100)
or other communication, writing, or speech course
- Advanced Business Writing (3 Credits, WRTG 394)
or other advanced upper-level writing course
- College Mathematics (3 Credits, MATH 103)
or other 3-credit approved math or statistics course
Arts and Humanities Courses
- Western Civilization II (3 Credits, HIST 142)
or History of the United States Since 1865 (3 Credits, HIST 157)
or other arts and humanities course
- Introduction to Humanities (3 Credits, HUMN 100)
or foreign language course or other arts and humanities course
Behavioral and Social Science Courses
- Principles of Macroeconomics (3 Credits, ECON 201)
or Introduction to Psychology (3 Credits, PSYC 100)
or other behavioral and social science course
- American Government (3 Credits, GVPT 170)
or other behavioral and social science course
Biological and Physical Sciences Courses
- Concepts and Applications of Information Technology (3 Credits, IFSM 201)
or Digital Media and Society (3 Credits, CMST 301)
- Information Systems in Organizations (3 Credits, IFSM 300)
or another computing course appropriate to the academic major
The bachelor's degree in communication studies requires 46 credits of minor and/or elective coursework.
This program is designed to help prepare you for a career in mass media, new media, journalism, public relations, business, or online communication.
Hear how alum Kirk Clear fast-tracked his degree before retiring from the military.