Nov 30, 2021  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Academic Catalog 
    
2021-2022 Undergraduate Academic Catalog

Communication Studies, BA


College Arts and Sciences
Academic Award Bachelor of Arts
Credits Required 125 semester credits
Faculty Lead Renee Bourdeaux
Concentrations Human Communication, Media and Society, and Strategic Communication
CIP Code 9.0199

We live in a communication-oriented society. Our world is significantly influenced by both the personal and mediated communication of individuals from diverse social, political, professional and religious groups. Never before has there been such a demand for leaders with advanced communication skills and knowledge. 

Northwest University Communication Studies Major Overview

Competence in communication is fundamental to success in many professions. The major in Communication Studies provides the student with the knowledge and skills needed to fulfill his or her calling to serve Christ in communication-related professions. The major offers courses for aspiring servant leaders who seek to integrate their faith with their communication skills, creative abilities, and appreciation of the arts. 

Apart from the practical value of communication studies for future employment, the major also helps students improve their personal quality of life. Becoming an effective communicator is a process that touches every area of our lives—both at home and at work. 

The program offers many advantages, including the freedom to tailor courses to meet student’s personal or career interests. After completing the core courses, students choose among one of four concentrations for focused study: Human Communication, Media and Society, and Strategic Communication. 

Major Outcomes

Graduates with a degree in Communication Studies will be able to:

  1. Create compelling verbal presentations.
  2. Effectively evaluate messages.
  3. Evaluate communication research.
  4. Investigate praxis between communication studies and their personal Christian faith.

Human Communication Concentration

Students who major in Communication Studies with a concentration in Human Communication focus on the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively use communication in their personal, work, community, and church life. Drawing on the fields of business and psychology, this concentration provides an understanding in how humans interact and communicate effectively. 

Knowledge of the theories and practices of communication permits students to appreciate the complex processes of human relations through the framework of Christian faith and values. The Communication Studies major with a concentration in Human Communication prepares students to work in variety of career fields, in addition to preparing students for graduate studies or seminary. 

Graduates with a concentration in Human Communication will be able to accomplish the following:

  1. Create communication goals to improve interpersonal communication in personal and professional life.

Media and Society Concentration

Students who major in Communication Studies with a concentration in Media and Society seek to understand how storytelling is changing our world.

They are interested in how the news media function, what role government messaging and policy plays in our collective understanding of current events, and how public relations informs our perception of capitalistic enterprise. The Communication Studies major with a concentration in Media and Society helps prepare students with the requisite skills to succeed in careers in government, mass media, and journalism. 

Students in this concentration will learn theories that underpin mass communication, communication technology, and public relations. They will learn basic and advanced concepts for media literacy, becoming adept consumers but also producers of messages. Students in this concentration will understand how businesses and governments alike create and convey ideas through complex media content. Coursework includes such topics as mass communication, public relations, journalism, media law, media history, and communication technology. 

Graduates with a concentration in Media and Society will be able to accomplish the following:

  1. Analyze how media and technological development influence mass communication.

Strategic Communication Concentration

Students who major in Communication Studies with a concentration in Strategic Communication focus on the knowledge and skills necessary to direct, represent, promote, or serve in organizations. Drawing on the fields of communication in addition to public address, the concentration provides an understanding of how humans communicate in organizations. 

Knowledge of theories and practices of organizational communication permits students to appreciate the complex processes of human relations in organizations through the framework of Christian faith and values. The Communication Studies major with a concentration in Strategic Communication helps students to understand the process of communication between organizations and their stakeholders. 

Course work includes an internship in which students serve as interns at professional, faith-based, or other community organizations. Students pursuing this major gain a broad-based liberal arts education and acquire valuable leadership skills—from confidence in public communication to group communication. 

Graduates with a concentration in Strategic Communication will be able to accomplish the following:

  1. Demonstrate mastery of public relations principles.

Core Curriculum Requirements: 60


Humanities: 9


6 credits in this area must be from Writing Practice courses* (see Course Descriptions    for applicability)

  • ENGL xxx3 Any Literature course 3 credits
  • HIST   xxx3 Any Course in History 3 credits
  • 3 additional credits selected from the following 3 credits
    • Art (ARTE), Bible (BIBL), Drama (DRAM), English (ENGL), History (HIST), Language (LANG), Music (MUSI), or Theology (THEO)

Social Sciences: 9


6 credits in this area must be from Writing Practice courses* (see Course Descriptions  for applicability)

  • Select a minimum of two disciplines from the following: 9 credits
    • Business Administration (BUSM), Communication (except COMM 1213), Economics, Education (EDUC), Geography (GEOG), Health & Fitness (PEDU), Information Technology (INTC), Management (BMGT), Marketing (BMKT), Philosophy (PHIL), Political Science (PSCI), Psychology (PSYC), Sociology/Anthropology (SOCI), or User Experience Design (UXDE)

Science and Mathematics: 7


  • MATH xxxx - College-level Mathematics 3 credits
  • SCIE xxxx - Science course with Lab 4 credits

Formation and Calling: 6


Professional Readiness: 2


Two Core Curriculum elective credits are required to be Career Readiness credits. These credits can be earned by taking a combination of Career Readiness Courses and introductory internship and/or job shadowing experiences. 

  • This two-credit requirement is waived for students who transfer 60 or more credits to NU
  • Students with 47-59 transfer credits are required to take one Career Readiness credit

Core Electives: 6


Select any college-level courses

Communication Studies Major: 48


Concentrations: 24


(select one of the following concentrations)

General Electives: 17


Any college-level courses

Total: 125 Semester Credits