Create messages that convey meaning and shape interaction
Students in the Communication major study how verbal and nonverbal messages create meaning in various contexts.
This ranges from interactions between two people to interactions within groups. It also encompasses the creation of messages aimed at mass audiences across culture and media. Particular interest is in the effect of messaging on human behavior. Coursework guides students to apply communication principles to a world of increasing complexity.
Communication as a discipline includes the study of communication in:
- Interpersonal relationships
- Organizations and across cultures
- Rhetorical theory and criticism
- Performance studies
- Argumentation and persuasion
- Technologically mediated communication
- Popular culture
- How reality and cultural knowledge are produced, shared and maintained
- The symbolic process of communication
The core courses required of every Communication major provide students with a broad theoretical background for pursuing various employment or graduate school opportunities.
In addition, students will choose from one of four areas of specialization:
- Interpersonal and Organizational Communication
- Public Relations and Advertising
- Media Arts and Broadcast Journalism
- Rhetorical and Cultural Studies
As a Bachelor of Arts in Communication major, you will:
- Develop extensive critical thinking and writing skills
- Learn to utilize the latest communication technologies
- Specialize in an area of communication
- Learn ways to apply solid communication principles in one-on-one interactions, small and large groups, organizations, and across cultures
Students in the Communication major complete their undergraduate education prepared to enter the workforce in a variety of fields or to pursue post-graduate education.
Marketable skills include:
- Writing and oral communication
- Critical thinking, especially for consuming and synthesizing information
- Analyzing issues from multiple perspectives
- Interpreting data
- Crafting persuasive messaging
- Understanding how to be influential
- Ability to meet strict deadlines
- Ability to compare and contrast information
- Project management
Examples of potential careers a Communication major may pursue include:
- Digital media manager for an internet media company, such as Facebook, Google or Twitter
- Enterprise account executive for a software company such as Adobe, Oracle or SAP
- Advertising copywriter or content strategist on the client side or agency side
- Public relations executive for a large corporation or an agency
- Nonprofit specialist for organizations such as charity water, The Red Cross or the Humane Society
- Hospitality manager for international hotel chains such as the Four Seasons, Hilton or Marriott
- Television producer for a major network such as ABC, CBS, TNT or the CW
- Magazine writer at publications such as Vanity Fair or TIME magazine
- Online content creator for companies like Mashable, Buzzfeed or Upworthy
Outside the Classroom
An internship is a valuable opportunity for a student. It provides hands-on experience key to career development. It's a unique chance to experience daily life in a job and decide whether or not it's a good fit for you. You'll also have the chance to network and make important connections for career opportunities.
For example, Tomorrow Huff ’15 put her Communication major to work as an intern with the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers. As an operations assistant for Sixers Basketball and Dance Camps, she handled logistics for the teen and preteen campers, while immersed in a professional sports environment.
The following is a list of internships students have held in the past and should provide Communication majors with some ideas for what is available:
- Austin Film Festival
- Austin Music Network
- Capital internship in D.C.
- Chipps Quinn
- Dateline NBC
- Fox News, NY
- Kinko's Golf Classic
- Manhattan University
- New York Yankees
- Polo International
- SXSW Volunteer Coordinator
- Tate Austin
- Texas Music Commission
- Texas State Capital
Meet the Faculty
Shannan Butler and Corinne Weisgerber
- Book chapter “Empowering 21st Century Learners through Personal Learning Networks,” in Teaching and Learning with the Net Generation
- “Social Media as a Professional Development Tool: Using Blogs, Microblogs and Social Bookmarks to Create Personal Learning Networks,” in Teaching Arts & Science with Social Media
- Presented the paper “Empowering Students through Personal Learning Networks Built on Social Media” at SXSWedu
- Authored book chapter, “Cutting the Meeting Short: Conflicting Narrative Choices in One Woman’s Maternity Leave” for Contemplating Maternity in the Era of Choice: Explorations into Discourses of Reproduction
- Invited to chair the “Race and the Production of Identity via the Technologies of Culture” panel at the National Communication Association Convention
- Authored a book chapter, “The Rhetorical Legacy of Coyolxauhqui: (Re)collecting and (Re)membering Voice” published in Latina/o Discourse in Vernacular Spaces: Somos deuna Voz?
- Authored a book chapter for Dr. Barry Brummett's book entitled The Politics of Style, and the Style of Politics
- Assistant Professor Scott Christopher and co-director Brad Barber won the Grand Jury Award in the Documentary Feature Competition for their film Peace Officer. The world premiere of their film was featured at the 2015 South by South Film Festival.
About the Minor
Students who wish to earn a Communication minor must take the following coursework, totaling 21 hours.
- Communication Theory
- Media Communication
- Interpersonal Communication
- Intercultural Communication
Students choose nine hours from one area of specialization in the major or from the remaining courses in the major's core. Six hours must be upperdivision.
For more information about applicable coursework, please consult the undergraduate bulletin.