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Communication

Bachelor of Arts in Communication

Woman in a radio station speaking into a microphone

Our undergraduate program features an innovative curriculum that prepares our majors for careers in the 21st century. From core courses in communication theory and methods, to emphasis areas such as media and mass communication, health communication, and strategic communication, the curriculum is forward-thinking and prepares students to compete for careers in the communication profession or to continue their education in graduate school. Our majors develop an integrated skill set in oral, visual, and written communication and learn how to present information and interact in a digital communication environment. This diverse skill set enables students to meet the challenges of the rapidly evolving communication profession.

Whether you hope to manage a business, produce documentaries, coordinate public relations and publicity for a major corporation, promote a nonprofit or tell stories as a news reporter, the secret to success is effective communication. Tell our faculty your thoughts on where you want to be at graduation, and we will work with you to get you there.

Our curriculum is forward thinking, from core courses in communication theory and methods to our focused plans of study listed below. You’ll find that many classes, such as those in broadcast production and public relations, are taught by industry professionals who can give you practical insight that can put you a step ahead at graduation. If you think you want to pursue an advanced degree, this major provides a strong foundation for graduate studies in the humanities, social sciences, business and law.

  • Focused Plans of Study

    Students collaborate with faculty to prepare a focused plan of study in such contexts as:

    Interpersonal Communication: The study of communication behaviors in dyads (pairs) and their impact on personal relationships.

    Organizational Communication: The study and assessment of networks within organizations, including the design of training to improve supervisor-employee communication.

    Media and Mass Communication: The study of the uses, processes, and effects of mediated communication.

    Health Communication: The study of provider-client interaction as well as the diffusion of health information through public health campaigns.

    Public Relations: The study of the management of communication between an organization and its audiences.

  • Career Options

    Graduates from our program have found jobs in:

    Development (fundraising, grant writing)

    Media Production

    Political Communication/Campaign Management

    Public Relations

    Radio and Television Production

    Sales and Management

    Special Events Coordination

    Sports Production and Promotion

    Organizational Training and Development

    Hospitality and Leisure

    Human Resources

    Allied Health

    Social Work and Counseling

  • Apply

    Thank you for your interest in pursuing a major in the communication department. Our goal is to maintain our number of students to that which can be well served by our faculty resources. We strive not for quantity, but for quality in our group of student majors. The information detailed on this page applies only to currently enrolled Clemson University students who are seeking a change of major (e.g., changing from undeclared to communication, changing from psychology to communication, etc.). The department accepts a maximum of only 30 internal transfer students per year. The selection process is very competitive. Meeting the minimum criteria to apply to the major is no guarantee of admission. The typical profile of a successful applicant to the major includes a GPR of approximately 3.0 or higher, a superior writing sample, and an overall application which demonstrates an understanding of and commitment to a career in communication.

    Application Process

    A committee of faculty members will review applications twice a year, according to the schedule printed below. Late applications will not be considered.

    Semester: Fall 2021
    Application Deadline: 
    Monday, August 23 at 4:30 PM
    Decision Date: September 20

    Semester: Spring 2022
    Application Deadline:
    Monday, January 17 at 4:30 PM
    Decision Date: February 15

    Minimum Requirements to Apply

    To be eligible to apply for admission to the Department of Communication, applicants must have completed 15 credit hours, including ENGL 1030 and COMM 2010 (with a C or better). Students must have a minimum GPR of 2.5 to apply. However, as noted above, a GPR in that range is typically not competitive in the application process.

    In order for an application to be considered by the department’s Undergraduate Admissions Committee, it must include a completed online application, statement of purpose (a quality response to the prompt requesting an explanation for interest in pursuing a major in communication), a brief writing sample (e.g., a completed paper from a previous class with the grade removed), and an up-to-date resume. By providing all information listed in the application, the applicant agrees to a full review of all materials, including their transcript to verify the minimum course/GPA requirements are met.

    It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the application is complete. The Undergraduate Admissions Committee will not consider incomplete applications.

    The department will mail notification of acceptance or rejection to students on or about the appropriate decision date noted above. If there are any questions about this process, please contact Lori Pindar, Ph.D., at 864-656-5747 or lorip@clemson.edu.

  • Course List

    COMM 1010: Communication Academic and Professional Development (1 Credit Hour): Introduces students to General Education and Communication major requirements, explains connections between general education and major courses, explores careers in communication, and prepares students to develop digital portfolios, résumés, and interview skills specific to communication professions and/or graduate school. To be taken Pass/No Pass only.

    COMM 1070: Media Representations of Science and Technology (3 Credit Hours): Examines mediated representations of science and technology from a communication perspective. Attention is paid to portrayals/ coverage of science and technology in popular film, television, Internet, journalism, and other media. Students examine an array of theoretical issues and case studies in this area.

    COMM 1500: Introduction to Human Communication (3 Credit Hours): Overview of theoretical approaches to the study of communication, including the theory and practice of interpersonal/small group/intercultural/public communication. Includes a laboratory. Coreq: COMM 1501.

    COMM 1501: Introduction to Human Communication Laboratory (0 Credit Hours): Non-credit laboratory to accompany COMM 1500. Coreq: COMM 1500.

    COMM 1620: Forensic Laboratory (1 Credit Hour): Research, preparation, and practice leading to participation in on-campus and intercollegiate debate and individual events competition. May be repeated for a maximum of four credits.



    COMM 1630: Advanced Forensic Laboratory (1 Credit Hour): Advanced research, preparation, and practice leading to continued participation in on-campus and intercollegiate debate and individual events competition. May be repeated for a maximum of four credits. Preq: COMM 1620.

    COMM 1800 - Introduction to Cross-Cultural Communication (3 Credit Hours): IntroductoryCourse designed to provide an overview to intercultural communication questions stemming from the growing diversity and interconnectedness of the world. Students are challenged to learn about the ways people from different cultural backgrounds think, communicate and behave based on the value systems and worldviews that ground them. 

    COMM 2010: Introduction to Communication (4 Credit Hours): Introduces Communication majors to and prepares them for continued study in the discipline by providing them with an overview of important issues, areas of study, and approaches to the field. Includes a writing laboratory experience. Preq: COMM 1010. Coreq: COMM 2011.

    COMM 2011: Introduction to Communication Laboratory (0 Credit Hours): Non-credit laboratory to accompany COMM 2010. Coreq: COMM 2010.

    COMM 2020: Communication Theory (3 Credit Hours): Students explore the breadth and depth of theories within the major frameworks of the communication discipline. PreqCOMM 2010 with a C or better.

    COMM 2030: Mass Communication Theory (3 Credit Hours): Survey of the breadth and history of theories of mass communication and mass media from the 19th century to the present. Emphasizes contemporary schools of thought, theoretical debates, and the continuing controversies in the field. PreqCOMM 2010 with a C or better.

    COMM 2040: Critical-Cultural Communication Theory (3 Credit Hours): Survey of the breadth and history of critical-cultural theories of society, communication, media and power mass media from the 19th century to the present. Emphasizes contemporary schools of thought, theoretical debates, and the continuing controversies in the field. PreqCOMM 2010 with a C or better.  

    COMM 2100: Quantitative Research Methods in Communication (3 Credit Hours): Explores methods of quantitative communication inquiry, including theory/research relationship, conducting studies, and utilizing statistical software. Methods may include experiments, surveys, and content analysis. PreqCOMM 2010 with a C or better. 

    COMM 2110: Qualitative Research Methods in Communication (3 Credit Hours): Explores methods of qualitative communication inquiry, including theory/research relationship and conducting studies. Methods may include interviewing, focus groups, textual analysis, and ethnography. PreqCOMM 2010 with a C or better.

    COMM 2120: Critical-Cultural Research Methods in Communication  (3 Credit Hours): Explores methods of critical-cultural communication inquiry, including theory/research relationships, conducting studies, and integrating multiple methods. Methods may include discourse analysis, historiography and participant observation. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better.

    COMM 2500, H2500: Public Speaking(3 Credit Hours): Practical instruction in public speaking; practice in the preparation, delivery, and criticism of short speeches. Develops an understanding and knowledge of the process of communication. Includes a laboratory. Coreq: COMM 2501.

    COMM 2501: Public Speaking Laboratory (0 Credit Hours): Non-credit laboratory to accompany COMM 2500. Coreq: COMM 2500.

    COMM 3030: Communication Law and Ethics (3 Credit Hours): Major topics in communication law and free expression and in communication ethics. Preq: COMM 2010 with a or better.

    COMM 3050: Persuasion (3 Credit Hours): Study of the processes by which communication influences attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors in our personal, social, civic, and professional lives. After discussion of definitional and methodological issues, particular theories of persuasion are examined. Treatment of political, market-driven, and social persuasion concludes the course. Preq: COMM 2010 with a or better.

    COMM 3070: Public Communication of Science and Technology (3 Credit Hours): Examines the role of science and technology in society from a communication perspective. Particular attention is paid to this dynamic in public culture. Students examine an array of theoretical issues and case studies in this area. Preq: COMM 2010 with a or better.

    COMM 3080: Public Communication and Popular Culture (3 Credit Hours): Examines artifacts of popular culture, paying attention to their relationship to politics and public life. Explores the structures and constraints of the culture industry. Students apply communication principles to various examples. Preq: COMM 2010 with a or better.

    COMM 3200: Broadcast Production (3 Credit Hours): Explores the broadcast side of journalism. Students produce broadcast video packages, as well as newscasts. Students learn news writing, filming and video editing. Coreq; COMM 3201.

    COMM 3201: Broadcast Production Laboratory (0 Credit Hours): Non-credit laboratory to accompany COMM 3200. Coreq: COMM 3200.

    COMM 3210: Communication Across Media Platforms (3 Credit Hours): Provides an overview of the communication convergence strategies and practices used across multiple media platforms, including print, broadcast, Internet, and social media. Emphasis is placed on media law, ethics, and communication practices used across multiple media platforms. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C.

    COMM 3240: Communication, Sport and Society (3 Credit Hours): Covers the cultural influence of communication about sports on society. Explores how communication enables cultural meaning and values to become associated and established within sports. Exposes students to the ways that factors such as race, gender and nationalism manifest and perpetuate via communication about sports. Preq: COMM 2010 with a Cor better.

    COMM 3250: Survey of Sports Communication (3 Credit Hours): Covers fundamentals of communicating in a sports environment. Includes the basics of communicating for print and broadcast news, as well as communicating for sports information. Also covers ethical considerations in sports communication. Preq: COMM 2010 with a Cor better.

    COMM 3260: Public Relations in Sports (3 Credit Hours): Focuses on the preparation of professional sports communication materials for both internal and external audiences. Topics include the mechanics of creating press releases and other materials, as well as techniques in managing crises. Preq: COMM 2010 with a or better.

    COMM 3270: Sports Media Criticism (3 Credit Hours): Students gain in-depth understanding of sports communication issues through critically analyzing actual media coverage of sporting events, addressing social issues involved in college and professional sports, and developing an understanding of sports promotion and advertising. Preq: COMM 2010 with a or better.

    COMM 3300: Nonverbal Communication (3 Credit Hours): Develops a knowledge of the functions of nonverbal behaviors in human interaction. This includes the study of gesture and movement, physical appearance, vocal behavior, immediacy, time and space, and intercultural differences. Promotes understanding of nonverbal rules. Preq: COMM 2010 with a or better.

    COMM 3480: Interpersonal Communication (3 Credit Hours): Survey of the theories and research in interpersonal communication with emphasis on the application of research findings and developmental strategies for intra- and intercultural relationships. Preq: COMM 2010 with a or better.

    COMM 3500: Small Group and Team Communication (3 Credit Hours): Examines the principles and skills involved in effective small group communication. Preq: COMM 2010 with a or better.

    COMM 3550: Principles of Public Relations (3 Credit Hours): Students learn the principles, theories, process, history and contexts of public relations. Preq: COMM 2010 with a or better. Coreq: COMM 3551.

    COMM 3551: Principles of Public Relations Laboratory (0 Credit Hours): Non-credit laboratory to accompany COMM 3550. Coreq:COMM 3550.

    COMM 3560: Crisis Communication (3 Credit Hours): Examines communication processes that harm or help people’s experiences of risks and crises. Students are exposed to dominant crisis communication theories and models. Preq: COMM 3550.

    COMM 3570: Public Relations Writing (3 Credit Hours): Focuses on principles of editing and public relations writing applied to a variety of potential public relations careers. Students learn the job requirements of editorial positions in public relations, publications, and information management as defined by public relations agencies nonprofit organizations, and large corporations. CoreqCOMM 3571.

    COMM 3571 - Public Relations Writing Laboratory (0 Credit Hours): Non-credit laboratory to accompany COMM 3570. Coreq: COMM 3570.

    COMM 3610: Argumentation and Debate (3 Credit Hours): Basic principles of argumentation with emphasis on developing skills in argumentative speech. The role of the advocate in contemporary society with an emphasis on and an appreciation of formal debate. Preq: COMM 2500.

    COMM 3640: Organizational Communication (3 Credit Hours): Examination of the process, theories, and techniques of communication within small groups and other organized bodies. Preq: COMM 2010 with a or better. 

    COMM 3660: Special Topics in Communication (3 Credit Hours): Consideration of select major areas of practice in the field with a focus on application of communication concepts. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credits, but only if different topics are covered.

    COMM 3690: Political Communication (3 Credit Hours):Examination of the ways institutions and public opinion are shaped by communication practices, focusing on communication and political persuasion, political campaigns and political engagement. PreqCOMM 2010 with a C or better. 

    COMM 3900: Communication Internship (3 Credit Hours): Preplanned, preapproved, faculty-supervised internship provides Communication majors and Sports Communication majors with field experience in areas related to their curriculum.To be taken Pass/No pass only. May be repeated for a maximum of six credits. Preq: Communication or Sports Communication major or minor.

    COMM 3990: Creative Inquiry in Communication (1-4 Credit Hours): In consultation with and under the direction of a faculty member, students pursue small group work on a particular research topic or practical problem. Arrangements with mentors must be established prior to registration. Content varies. May be repeated for a maximum of nine credits. Preq: COMM 2010 with a or better.

    COMM 4020: Mass Communication: History and Criticism (3 Credit Hours): Critical examination of mass communication in America, including discussions of history, theory, and current issues in television, film, popular music, telecommunications, and other media. Preq: COMM 2010 with a or better.

    COMM 4040: Media Communication and Social Identities (3 Credit Hours): Examines the communication of individual and social identities in convergent and mass/social media, and popular culture. Focuses on the communication of identity portrayals and representations, communicative acts in response, and how individuals and groups navigate and create their own media cultures. Addresses factors such as ability, faith, gender, race, age, nationality, subcultures, and/or other areas. PreqCOMM 2010 with a Cor better. 

    COMM 4250: Advanced Sports Communication (3 Credit Hours): Combination seminar and primary research class that explores contemporary sports communication issues. Students write position papers on seminar topics and conduct primary research on sports communication topics of their choice. Preq: COMM 3250.

    COMM 4260: Social Media and Sport Communication (3 Credit Hours): Covers the influence of communication and social media in sports and how these technologies are changing the communicative infrastructure of sports. Students will explore how social media is re-configuring sports media, how sports organizations are managing social media, and how social media affects fan behavior and athlete communication. Preq: COMM 2010 with a Cor better.

    COMM 4270: Communication in Sports Organizations (3 Credit Hours): Examines communication dynamics in sports organizations. Among others, topics may include identifying how sports organizations manage crisis communication, communication with stakeholders, sexual harassment, ethical issues, and dissent. Preq: COMM 2010 with a Cor better.

    COMM 4280: Interpersonal/Family Communication and Sport (3 Credit Hours): Examines how communication functions in interpersonal and family contexts as it pertains to sports. Exposes students positive and negative communication behavior with athletes, coaches and families. Challenges students to identify ways that sports can be a healthy, rather than destructive, communicative topic for families and interpersonal relationships. Preq: COMM 2010 with a Cor better.

    COMM 4550: Gender Communication (3 Credit Hours): Explores the ways communication behavior and perceptions of communication behavior are affected by gender. The effects of gender on a variety of communication contexts are examined, including interpersonal, small group, organizational, and mass communication. Preq: COMM 2010 with a or better. 



    COMM 4560: Public Relations for Associations and Nonprofits (3 Credit Hours): Explores principles of communication, editing and journalism applied to publications, public relations and advertising needs within associations and nonprofit organizations. Students learn the expectations of editorial positions in public relations and publications, as defined by trade associations, nonprofit organizations and large corporations. Preq: COMM 3550

    COMM 4660: Advanced Special Topics in Communication (3 Credit Hours): Consideration of specialized areas of study in the field, emphasizing theoretical depth or extensive research. May be repeated for a maximum of nine credits, but only if different topics are covered. Preq: Junior or senior standing.

    COMM 4700: Communication and Health (3 Credit Hours): Considers institutional and health care communication issues as well as the relationship between social issues, communication, and health. Preq: COMM 2010 with a or better.

    COMM 4710: Health Communication in Communities (3 Credit Hours):Focuses on collective pursuits for health and well-being within communities, with specific emphasis on the primary role of communication in social organizing for health-related initiatives such as advocacy, activism, and campaigns.  

    COMM 4720: Communication in Health Organizations (3 Credit Hours): Focuses on communicative experiences of professionals working within the field of health and human services, as well as pressing institutional concerns for health-related organizations.

    COMM 4800: Intercultural Communication (3 Credit Hours): Introduces the process of communication between and among individuals from different cultures or subcultures. Emphasizes the effect of cultural practices within various communication relational contexts such as interpersonal, small group, and organizational communication. Preq: COMM 2010 with a or better.

    COMM 4950: Senior Capstone Seminar (3 Credit Hours): In-depth exploration and analysis of a special topic in Communication, culminating in a senior project documented in written, oral, visual and/ or multimedia presentations. Topics vary based on faculty expertise and research interests. May be repeated for a maximum of six credits. Preq: Senior standing in Communication and COMM 3010, 3020, or 3150 with a or better.

    COMM H4960: Honors Creative Inquiry Capstone (3 Credit Hours): Capstone course for honors students in the department’s creative inquiry sequence. Working with their department’s honors advisor, students apply theoretical understanding and research skills in completing a written product of conference or publication length/quality. Must be taken for a total of six credits over the course of two semesters. Preq: Two of the following: COMM 2100, 2110, 2120; each with a Cor better; and Senior standing in Communication.

    COMM 4980: Communication Academic and Professional Development II (1 Credit Hour): Students reflect upon curricular relationships among general education, major, and minor courses. They complete and revise digital portfolios for presentation to the major, University, graduate schools, or potential employers. Students participate in résumé building, job seeking, and interviewing activities. Preq or Coreq: COMM 4950 or H4960.

    COMM 4990: Independent Study (1-3 Credit Hours): Tutorial work for students with special interests or projects in communication studies outside the scope of existing coursesMay be repeated for a maximum of nine credits. Preq: Consent of department chair.

  • Academic Advising

    Our academic advisors work with freshmen, sophomores, students changing majors, and transfer students. Services include:

    • Academic advisement
    • Course selection
    • Transferability of courses; and
    • Completion of various academic forms.

    Academic advisors are also available to meet with prospective students considering various majors within the colleges. All students are encouraged to make appointments with an advisor in their intended major.

  • Internships

    Students of communication are gaining wonderful, practical experience in a variety of fields not just across the country but around the world. Over the past ten years, our students have worked in every major job market in America with some of the giants in the communication industry. Communication students can use internship experience to discover their interests or to more finely tune the process of achieving academic goals. Jobs seem to cover a whole spectrum of interests. Places where students have completed internships include:

    In addition, students have worked in a host of television markets and for public relations firms, political organizations and sports teams. Students participating in an internship must work a minimum of 120 hours and are evaluated by the site supervisor. They may complete two semesters of internship experience. For more information, contact Dr. Lori Pindar.

     

  • Change of Major Application

    In order for your application to be considered, all information must be submitted/uploaded by the....

    DEADLINE - August 23 at 4:30 PM


    IMPORTANT

    At the bottom of this page is a link to a form to submit for your change of major request. BEFORE filling out the form, you must submit a Statement of Purpose, Writing Sample and Resume. After uploading these documents, please fill out the form below. 

    Submit Your Statement of Purpose

    Your statement of purpose should be no longer than 500 words. Your statement should make a detailed, compelling argument for your admission that addresses: your reasons for applying to the Communication/Sports Communication major, your coursework, employment, extracurricular activity, and/or community service in Communication/Sports Communication or related fields to date, your professional and/or personal aspirations that would be well-served by a Communication/Sports Communication education, your plan of study if admitted to the major (i.e., courses of interest to you), and your unique contributions to the department, if admitted.

    Submit a PDF file of your Writing Sample in the following format: LastNameFirstNameYearSOP.pdf


    Submit Your Writing Sample

    Submit a PDF file of your Writing Sample in the following format: LastNameFirstNameYearWS.pdf

    Please note ONLY ONE WRITING SAMPLE is permitted.


    Submit Your Resume

    Submit a PDF file of your Resume in the following format: LastNameFirstNameYearResume.pdf

     
    Once you have submitted your Statement of Purpose, Writing Samples and Resume, please
Department of Communication
Department of Communication | 408 Strode Tower