Human communication is inevitable. Relationships, family units, businesses, public presentations, and media forms all rely on and are defined by their unique systems of communication.
Opportunities to study communication range from social science – the academic study of the symbols and codes that societies use to exchange ideas, meaning, and social structure – all the way to applied art; using technology to encode ideas in mass mediums (television, film, radio, print, and internet). Our approach to the study and practice of human communication is rooted in the belief that enhancement of the human condition is a distinctively humanistic act—one in which all mankind should participate.
The Bachelor of Arts in Communication features specialized concentrations in Interpersonal Communication, Broadcast Media, or Strategic Communication. The Communication program also prepares those seeking teacher certification (secondary level). Journalism courses may be applied to the non-teacher certification major or minor. The program also offers graduate courses that can serve students pursuing a Master of Arts in Liberal Arts or a Master of Education with a concentration in Communication.
In the Interpersonal Communication concentration, students survey areas of human communication study, including Family Communication, Business and Professional Communication, Relational Communication, and Critical Reasoning. Undergraduate research opportunities are encouraged and available to Communication majors in all three concentrations, both through the annual Undergraduate Research Symposium and the McNair Scholars Program. This concentration prepares students for a broad range of careers, including research positions, teaching, media analysis, corporate strategy, and the legal field.
In the Broadcast Media concentration, students learn to use current technology and equipment from instructors with professional, real-world experience in the media industry. With a both national park and the largest state park in the Texas nearby, miles and miles of natural beauty, the Marfa art scene, an international border, and hundreds of years of west Texas history all within an hour’s drive of campus, a nearly infinite number of stories are just waiting for filmmakers to tell them. Our small class sizes ensure students are hands-on with cameras, sound recording equipment, editing software, and all the other tools of filmmaking from day one. Come learn how to make fiction and documentary films and radio programming with the same equipment working professionals are using in the field. Internships with local radio stations and local productions are possible, too.
The Strategic Communication concentration prepares students for careers in Public Relations, Media Management, Communication Strategy, Advertising, Sales, Event Planning, and Political Advocacy. Strategic Communication majors take courses in Public Relations, Digital Communication, Writing for Digital Media, and more. Strategic Communication majors are also encouraged to apply for positions with the Skyline, Sul Ross’ student-run media organization.
A minor in Communication is available and requires 18 semester credit hours of coursework that includes 1311, 2333, 1320; 3304 or 4301 plus additional 6 semester credit hours.
The minor in Professional Communication and Design offers a focus on the elements of communication in today’s professional world. It is supported by the Department of Fine Arts and Communication and the Department of Languages and Literature. The minor’s cross-curricular focus encourages students to focus on elements of communication and design as a particular support to a variety of majors including English with a Writing Concentration, Business, Agriculture, the Sciences, etc. This minor course of study prepares students to enter the professional arena by developing highly valued skill-sets in professional communication through coursework and practical experiences so they become well-versed in and prepared for the digital and rhetorical age. The minor supports various major fields of study by training students with communication-based marketable skills in their chosen areas. The minor encourages students to complete their degrees with a body of work, writing samples, and skill sets, which would prove foundational resume builders for the work place.
The minor in Communication and Design requires 18 semester credit hours that includes six hours of advanced coursework. Academic advisors consider the student’s major and aspirations and work with each student to design the appropriate curricular choices.
Students who would like a Journalism minor will complete 18 sch in Journalism 2311 and 3301 plus 12 additional semester credit hours with at least 3 advanced, selected from Journalism, IT 2304, or COMM 2308.
Dr. Joey Velasco