Communication Studies: BS, BA
The Communication Studies program at USU is designed to help students develop a broad range of communication skills and understanding of how communication affects individuals, organizations, and societies. This major is designed to :
- Increase your communicative competence in both public and private settings.
- Help you understand, explain, and transform communication messages in a variety of settings.
- Improve your ability to carefully explore and think through communication related challenges and come up with effective solutions.
The Communication Studies major at Utah State emphasizes three thematic areas:
- Students gain a solid education in organizational communication, which focuses on leadership development, management skills, and team building. Courses in this area equip students with the communication skills needed to succeed in businesses and organizations.
- Students also learn the role of communication in becoming a better citizen in society. They learn about intercultural communication, how communication shapes the world, and how it shapes perceptions and behaviors.
- The third area of focus is influence, where students learn how to become ethical persuaders, using language to be influential, credible, and likeable. Students learn to use these skills in an ethical way and, in turn, how to defend themselves against negative and unethical persuasion.
Students receive a BS by completing all required courses in the major. To receive a BA, students must also gain proficiency in one or more foreign languages.
Since communication is a skill highly valued by employers, and communication is critical to many areas, Communication Studies majors can find careers in many areas. Graduates from the program are also well-prepared for graduate school or law school. Some of the careers Communication Studies majors commonly pursue include:
- Communication consultant
- Employee relations
- Crisis management
- Event planner
- Speech writer
- Human resources specialist
- Hospitality manager
- Mediation (facilitates conversation that helps different organizations or companies agree)
- Negotiation (helps companies negotiate prices for services)
Career Services provides counseling and information on hundreds of job and internship opportunities and even helps students apply and interview.
Beyond Utah State University’s admission requirements, the Communication Studies program has additional requirements. Freshmen and Transfer students can be admitted into a “ppru” major called the Pre-Communication Studies major. The pre-requisites are as follows:
- Freshmen: New freshmen can be admitted into the Pre-Communication Studies major if they have a 2.75 GPA or higher. To be admitted into the full major, see the Admission requirements below.
- Transfer Students: Transfer students from other institutions and students transferring from other USU majors must have a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher to be admitted into the full major, Communication Studies, see the Admission requirements below.
Students are encouraged to apply for the full major as early as possible in their academic career. Application for admission into the full major, Communication Studies, includes the following:
- Completed admission application form. (Forms are in Main 204.)
- Plan for application deadlines to be around the 2nd week of Fall and Spring Semesters.
- Admission to the Communication Studies major will be limited to 30 students each year.
- Admission decisions will be based on:
- Academic record.
- Realistic career or professional study objective.
- Ability of this program to prepare the student for his/her intended career.
- Satisfactory speaking and writing competencies.
- Motivation and creativity demonstrated by class performance, work experience, volunteer activities and other means offered by the student during the application process.
Students not admitted with their first application may apply a second time.
If not admitted on the second application, the student will be permitted to complete a minor, but will not be considered again for the major.
Professional Organizations, Honor Societies, and Clubs
Lambda Pi Eta: This is the National Communication Honor Society of the National Communication Association for undergraduate junior and senior communication students. The goals of LPH are to recognize, foster, and reward outstanding scholastic achievement and to provide an opportunity for faculty members and students to discuss and exchange ideas about their field of interest. It promotes communication, scholarship, and career preparation while providing service programs for the department and university.
Speech and Debate Team: This helps students communicate efficiently, increase competency, and study current events. The team at Utah State has won a number of state and national titles and is open to any student interested in participating.
Labs, Centers, Research
With the second oldest undergraduate research program in the nation, USU offers students a wide range of opportunities to gain hands-on research experience. The Undergraduate Research and Creative Opportunities (URCO) program allows students to apply for grants and receive funding.