Communication Studies

Communication Studies (B.A.)

Communication studies is a discipline that involves the investigation and practice of face-to-face, small group, organizational, public, print, and mediated messages. Effective communication has long been recognized as the hallmark of an educated person and is vital to personal and professional success. The U.S. Department of Labor identifies listening, speaking, creative thinking, decision making, problem solving, reasoning, self-esteem, sociability, self-management, and integrity as qualities for outstanding job performance. Majoring in communication studies develops all of these skills.

Where will your climb take you?

Communication studies is a broad degree offered through the Department of Communication Studies that can lead to job opportunities in many different fields. Some careers pursued by communication studies majors after graduation include event planning, speech writing, employee training, sales, management, public information, development, personnel recruiting, campaign direction, lobbying and negotiations.

You can see our alumni directory for additional examples of successful careers for our graduates with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies. Communication studies is also good preparation for graduate school in many disciplines including communication, law, education, business, public administration, student affairs, instructional technology, and counseling.

Your journey upward awaits

Besides meeting the general education requirements, a student majoring in communication studies will take courses in public speaking, interpersonal communication, small group communication, intercultural communication, communication research methods, and examining communication. Depending on career interests, a student will choose from one of three areas of study: interpersonal communication, leadership and public advocacy, or organizational communication. Students will take five courses in their selected area of study and three additional communication courses as electives.

McCormick Center

Department Chairperson
  Angela LaValley
  1105 McCormick Center


Interpersonal Communication

The Interpersonal Communication area of study focuses on the importance of communication in human relationships. Students develop competencies to explore human interactions, assess barriers to communication in relationships and acquire communication skills necessary for successful personal and professional development. Study in this area prepares students for careers in social and human services such as counseling, public administration, health service management, and the ministry. Courses in the Interpersonal Communication area of study include:

  • Communication Theory
  • Gender Issues in Communication
  • Conflict Management and Resolution
  • Health Communication
  • Family Communication
  • Relational Communication
  • Nonverbal Communication

Public Advocacy

The Leadership and Public Advocacy area of study focuses on the importance of communication in a democratic society. Students develop competencies that allow them to understand the public deliberative process, to assess and create messages, and to enhance their leadership skills. Study in this area prepares students for careers in law, government, media, international relations, speech writing, lobbying, campaign direction, public information, or elected office. Courses in the Leadership and Public Advocacy area of study include:

  • Understanding Social Influence
  • Persuasion
  • Argument and Analysis
  • Community Leadership
  • Media and Visual Culture
  • Strategic Communication
  • Issue and Image Campaigns

Organizational Communication

The Organizational Communication area of study focuses on the importance of communication in business and professional settings. Students studying Organizational Communication develop competencies that allow them to understand communication in professional organizations, develop professional communication skills, and to train others to communicate effectively in professional settings. Study in this area prepares students for careers in personnel recruitment and management, sales, corporate communication, development, fundraising, and employee orientation and training. Courses in the Organizational Communication Area of study courses include:

  • Organizational Communication Theory
  • Computer Applications for Professional Communicators
  • Communication Ethics
  • Interviewing
  • Communication Training in Organizations
  • Corporate Communication
  • Communication for Business Professionals
  • Crisis Communication

Internship opportunities

Communication Studies majors complete an internship as their capstone experience. The internship enables students to gain professional experience while applying the theories and skills they have learned in class. Interns have both an on-site and faculty supervisor to oversee and guide their work.

Student organizations

Many of our majors join the National Communication Association Student Chapter (NCASC). NCASC is the national professional organization for communication scholars and individuals whose jobs or career goals are related to communication. The student chapter here at BU offers monthly meetings that feature professionals who discuss topics such as interviewing, internships, résumé writing, career development, and graduate school.

Lambda Pi Eta is the honor society for Communication Studies students. The honor society's purpose is to recognize, foster and reward outstanding scholastic achievement in Communication Studies. To be eligible for consideration for admission students must have completed at least 60 semester credit hours; have a minimum cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 for all courses taken; be in the upper 35 percent of their institutional academic class; have at least a 3.25 GPA for all Communication Studies courses; completed the equivalent of 12 semester credit-hours in Communication Studies; and currently be enrolled as a full-time student in good standing.