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Communications

Achieve your career goals with a degree in Communications

You’re passionate about people, a natural-born communicator fascinated by the way people connect on a global scale and you have a wide variety of interests and skills. With Urbana’s Communications degree program, you’ll be prepared to inspire, lead and deliver integrated communication plans, strategies and tactics in our rapid and ever-changing digital world. 

Throughout your Communications major courses, you’ll engage in real-world professional practices such as communications planning, audience research and message development. You’ll also learn how to reach and inspire others to action, collaborate in work groups and create digital communications for our digital, multi-screen world. 

Change the way business “talks” with a Communications degree

Urbana University’s Communications degree equips you to shape, lead and execute integrated communications plans, strategies and tactics through a variety of mediums including print, digital and social media. Prepare for your future career and work toward your dream job with this fast-growing degree. Positions in this career field are expected to increase by 11% between 2017 and 2027.1

As you open yourself up to advanced career opportunities with a Communications degree, you will be exposed to new technologies used to maximize effective communication plans; solve communication issues through critical and creative thinking; and perform competitive analyses with a focus on communication strategies. 

Through the Communications program curriculum, you’ll learn to tell compelling and engaging stories. This streamlined program integrates multimedia, preparing you to create visually appealing promotional materials on platforms such as blogs, websites, social media and other digital environments. 

1 Source information provided by Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI).
 

Curriculum & Course Descriptions

120 Semester Hours
Fundamental General Education Core (24 hours)
English Composition (3 hours)

Choose a minimum of 3 semester hours from:

ENG 120 - College Writing (4)
In this course, students acquire the writing competence necessary for conducting and presenting research. A variety of assignments, beginning with personal reflections, build upon one another, as students develop ideas that respond to, critique, and synthesize the positions of others. Students systematize and organize knowledge in ways that will help them in all of their courses. The course also emphasizes the elements of good writing style, appropriate grammar and mechanics, clarity of language, and logical and cohesive development. It culminates in submission of a documented research paper.
Mathematics (3 hours)

Select:

MATH 215 - Statistical Concepts (4)
This course introduces the student to statistics with business applications. The course covers both descriptive and inferential statistics. Topics included are: measures of central tendency; measures of dispersion; graphical displays of data; linear regression; basic probability concepts; binomial and normal probability distributions; confidence intervals; and hypothesis testing. These topics will be covered using a basic knowledge of algebra and Microsoft Excel.

*Choose either MATH 140 Introduction to Quantitative Reasoning or MATH 150 Fundamental Algebra as the prerequisite to MATH 215. Course can count as a University Elective.

Sciences (6 hours)

Choose a minimum of 6 semester hours from the Science discipline.

One must have a laboratory component.

Social and Behavioral Sciences (6 hours)

A minimum of 6 hours of Social & Behavioral Sciences coursework is required.  Choose from Anthropology, Economics, Geography, History, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology.  Must select at least two different disciplines to meet requirements.

Arts and Humanities (6 hours)
HUMN 210 - Intro to Logic & Critical Thinking Skill (2)
The goal of this course is to help you improve as a critical, logical thinker. You will be introduced to the art of formulating and assessing arguments according to the standards of logical thinking and critical analysis. You will discover how to apply these valuable skills to your studies and everyday life, learning how to overcome obstacles to critical thinking, and how to avoid being deceived by means of misleading reasoning.

Choose an additional course from the Art, English Literature, Fine Arts, Humanities, Music, Philosophy, Religion or Theater disciplines.

Additional General Education Requirements (12 hours)
PF 116 - Computer Applications (3)
A course designed to acquaint students with the computer and its capabilities as they relate to business situations. Students will learn computer basics and how to use the computer for various applications including word processing, spreadsheets, internet usage, and presentation software.
UNI 199 - University Seminar (2)
A mandatory course for entering full-time, degree-candidate students at Urbana. This course is designed to help freshmen adjust to the Urbana University and develop strategies for success by providing a "support group" during this critical period of adjustment and examining problems common to the freshman experience. Students must pass the course or be required to repeat it.
GRPH 117 - Graphic Editing Software (1)
This course provides students with advanced instruction in graphic editing software. Projects will use tools, layers and filters to edit and create digital images for use in design. Note: Students without access to Franklin University's computer laboratories will be required to obtain software at the student's expense.
COMM 150 - Interpersonal Communication (4)
By using applied critical and creative thinking, students in this course will develop a set of communication skills that will enhance their personal and professional relationships and endeavors. This course will focus on skill development in key areas such as self, perception, listening, verbal messages, conversations, relationships, conflict management, persuasion, and public speaking.
OR SPCH 100 - Speech Communication (4)
This public-speaking course emphasizes the fundamentals of extemporaneous speaking. Skill-building activities and assignments focus on research, organization, reasoning, style and delivery of presentations as well as listening and audience engagement.
ENG 205 - Business & Professional Writing (4)
This is an intermediate composition course focusing on writing for business and professional purposes. Students will review the writing conventions commonly expected within business and professional environments, as well as strategies for analyzing rhetorical situations within those environments. Coursework includes analysis, revision, and research exercises, as well as substantial practice in composing business correspondence. The final project is an extensive, researched business proposal developed in stages and presented to the class. Students will be encouraged to relate course materials to their major programs and workplace experiences.
Professional Core (19 hours)
COMM 105 - Digital Design (1)
This course starts with principles of good design relevant for print and ends with active learning through the prepress creation of professional communication items like fliers, posters, and brochures. It includes digital prepress techniques and orientation to software used by industry practitioners for layouts. Please note that access to the Adobe Creative Cloud version of InDesign is required for this course.
COMM 202 - Introduction to Mass Media (3)
In this course students learn how to critically engage and make sense of the media around us and become media literate consumers who are knowledgeable and self-critical of mass media content. In addition to introducing students to the use of media, in both contemporary and historical contexts, this course will help students develop the analytical tools that they can use to examine media content, intent, context, and subtext in order to explore what and how we learn from the media, and how media shape our perceptions in regard to race/ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality, geography, and education as well as how media operate and exert their influence on individuals and society.
COMM 205 - Communication Design (1)
Students learn about effective communication through intelligent visual design by creating a tri-fold brochure, a Video-CV, and a professional portfolio using a free webpage builder. All products are customized based on the student's major and professional interests. This hands-on approach to learning message development and communication product design for a range of platforms helps students develop in-demand skills.
COMM 241 - Media Design (3)
This course teaches the theories and practices associated with visual design principles, and layout for professional communication in traditional and new media formats. The focus of this course is on the creation of media content for use in promotion as well as a cursory overview of the Adobe image and web, creation and editing applications. Specifically, students will learn to utilize PhotoShop, InDesign, and Spark in the completion of these endeavors.
COMM 261 - Video Production (3)
This course focuses on the professional production of video content. Students learn the basics of the production process from start to finish, including writing scripts, lighting, audio, and camera basics as well as the process associated with directing and shooting content. Students also learn to use professional editing software as well as how to deliver their final work for use on television, mobile devices, internet and physical media.
OR GRPH 317 - Digital Photography (4)
Digital Photography is a course covering the basics of photography. The focus will be on taking and critiquing photographs with an emphasis on creating professional images for use on the Web. Topics covered include photography and camera basics on how a camera works, lighting, composition, and special types of photography, such as portraiture, nature, landscape, motion, etc. The goal is to shoot professional photographs without manipulation. The course will primarily consist of several focused photography shooting assignments requiring students to take, share, and critique images. The course will not cover digital imaging enhancement, editing, or modification of images (see WEBD 117 - Graphic Editing Software).
MGMT 312 - Principles of Management (4)
This course explores the basic concepts and processes of management. Students will explore the functional roles and processes of planning, leading, organizing, and controlling comprising the manager role. Students develop skills related to the manager function that are required in today's competitive environment.
MKTG 300 - Marketing (4)
Theory, strategies and methods are foundational to the informed practice of marketing. Students investigate the importance of marketing to an organization or cause, the interrelationship of the difference phases of marketing, the marketing of goods versus services, analysis and identification of markets, pricing strategies and digital marketing tactics.
University Electives (34 hours)

Any undergraduate courses offered by the University except developmental education courses.

Major Area (23 hours)
COMM 301 - Theories of Communication (3)
This course serves as an examination of the theoretical foundations of the communication and media discipline. This includes the major approaches to the study of communication and media from the critical, cultural, and empirical foundations. In addition, students will receive an overview of the historical roots, major theory building perspectives and a review of contemporary theories and applications in the various communication contexts and their application in addressing major issues relevant to communication studies, and media content, audiences and effects.
COMM 315 - Communication Ethics (4)
This course examines the strategies involved in effective, ethical communication in professional contexts. Students examine principles of ethical organizational communication and the temporal/cultural/social forces behind those principles, as well as apply reasoning and critical thinking in individual and group assignments. Comparing values and perspectives from diverse cultures, students will respond to cases in an intercultural professional environment.
COMM 321 - Organizational Communication (4)
The course examines the role of communication in organizations. Students will learn the major theories of organizational communication, identifying and defining primary concepts, and applying them to discussions of real-world situations. The role of technology, corporate culture, leadership, teamwork, ethics, and diversity in communication is examined. Effective communication in global organizations and critiques of organization communication systems and structures are also presented.
OR COMM 400 - Intercultural Communication (4)
This course provides an overview of issues, processes, and theories involved with communicating with individuals from different cultures. Topics include thinking and communicating in global contexts and professional relationships in diverse environments.
COMM 335 - Communication in Groups and Teams (4)
The course examines current theories and best practices of working collaboratively in professional contexts. Students apply these concepts to analyze their own work experience, generating strategies for how to improve their performance in work groups. Students will learn basic project management skills and work in online virtual teams to complete a final communication project.
COMM 495 - Communications Capstone (4)
This course examines the strategies involved in planning and managing communication in professional contexts and the ways these strategies are informed by the integration of information provided by other key areas. Students examine principles of integrated applied communication, creating written and web-based communication products in class. Working in collaborative teams, students complete a project that demonstrates planning and managing communication for organizational goals. The course includes media production of communications for a client organization.
MKTG 332 - Marketing Research (4)
Students develop an understanding of the theories and techniques of planning, conducting, analyzing and presenting market studies. Students will study different methodologies with emphasis on primary research including questionnaire design.
Major Electives (12 hours)

Select 12 hours. See Academic Catalog and Course Schedule for available options.

Additional Requirements

All students are required to pass College Writing (ENG 120), and University Seminar (UNI 199) prior to enrolling in any course at the 200 level or above. Interpersonal Communication (COMM 150) or Speech Communication (SPCH 100) must be taken prior to enrolling in any course at the 300 level or above. Students must also meet the University algebra competency requirement. Students must also meet the University algebra competency requirement.

Careers

The opportunities are endless with a degree in Communications. Take your talents to the business world and join a community of conversationalists who are fostering creativity and shaping the way people communicate with one another. Employment opportunities include communication consultant, community relations specialist, copywriter, corporate communications manager, interactive communications manager, public relations specialist, recruiter, technical communicator, web content developer and more.

Program Outcomes

  1. Apply ethical reasoning to professional communications

  2. Explain communication processes and the dynamics of leadership and groups

  3. Apply the forms of effective communications

  4. Analyze human behavior in an organizational culture

  5. Research communication audiences and media effects.

Undergraduate Studies Admission Requirements

Each applicant seeking admission to Urbana University is individually evaluated. Factors considered are past academic achievement, aptitude, extracurricular activities, and any additional evidence supporting the prospect of academic success.

To qualify for admission, applicants seeking an associate or bachelor's degree must present evidence of high school completion in the form of a high school diploma or GED. Careful consideration is given to the applicants academic record to include the curriculum, courses, and/or state mandated graduation tests. Results from standardized testing (either ACT or SAT) are required for first-time freshmen. Students who wish to apply for admission, but do not meet the minimum standardized test scores used for placement in University courses may be required to undergo placement testing.

Undergraduate admission requirements and materials:

A student who meets at least one of the following criteria is eligible for admission as a degree-seeking student:

  • Has provided official documentation of graduation from an accredited high school or its equivalent (see documentation required below), or
  • Has an associate, bachelor or master's degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education, an institution recognized as a candidate for accreditation, or an institution recognized by the Council of Higher Education Accreditation

Documentation required:

1. Documentation of high school graduation or equivalence is required for applicants who are transferring fewer than 24 semester hours that apply towards a degree.

2. If the student has transferable hours of 24 credit hours or more from a regionally accredited institution of higher education, then they will not have to provide a high school diploma or equivalence. Acceptable forms of documentation of high school graduation or high school equivalence for undergraduate admission must include one of the following:

  • Official high school transcript listing the date of graduation
  • Official GED certificate
  • Official documentation of having passed a State High School Equivalency examination
  • Official documentation of a home school completion certificate/transcript
  • Official transcripts from all educational institutions (college, universities, professional schools, etc.) attended

3. Any applicant seeking to be a first-time freshman undergraduate degree-seeking students at Urbana University must supply standardized test scores (ACT SAT) to be used for placement in courses., to determine athletic eligibility, and/or determine institutional scholarship qualification.

At any time the University may require an applicant to meet with the Admissions Committee to address questions that arise in the application review process. If an applicant requests transfer credit, official transcripts from any other regionally accredited institution are required.

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