Jun 01, 2020  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Academic Catalog 
    
2019-2020 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 Communication for Business, Dramatic Studies, Human Communication, Media and Society
CIP Code 9.0101

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: Dramatic Studies, Human Communication, Media and Society, and Communication for Business.

Major Outcomes

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

  1. Create compelling verbal presentations.
  2. Effectively evaluate messages.
  3. Develop productive relationships to accomplish tasks.
  4. Investigate praxis between communication studies and their personal Christian faith.

Communication for Business Concentration

Students who major in Communication with a concentration in Communication for Business 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 major with a concentration in Communication for Business 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 Communication for Business will be able to accomplish the following:

  1. Demonstrate mastery of organizational communication theories.
  2. Illustrate the four major quadrants of small group communication.

Dramatic Studies Concentration

Students majoring in Communication with a Concentration in Dramatic Studies will develop competence in communication with a focus in the theatrical arts. Such competence includes familiarization with various communication theories and practice with dramatic literature, theory, history, and practical application.

The primary focus of the Dramatic Studies concentration is on the craft of acting. Within this focus, students come to appreciate human experience as presented in dramatic literature, with critique or analysis from a Christian aesthetic or world view.

Students pursuing this concentration learn valuable personal and social skills—from self-discipline and confidence in public communication to risk-taking and successful navigation of group endeavors. Competence in a concentration in Dramatic Studies will prepare students for success in a variety of career areas including the performing arts, education, media, and the ministry, as well as prepare students for graduate study.

Graduates with a concentration in Dramatic Studies will be able to accomplish the following:

  1. Evaluate a diverse selection of dramatic literature.
  2. Demonstrate proficiency in practical, creative skills related to theater production.

Human Communication Concentration

Students who major in Communication 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. Practice effective listening skills.
  2. Generate respectful interpersonal responses.

Media and Society Concentration

Students who major in Communication 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. Evaluate mass-media messages in multiple mediums.
  2. Analyze how media and technological development influence mass communication.

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:
    Business Administration (BUSM), Communication (except COMM 1213), Economics, Education (EDUC),Geography (GEOG), Health & Fitness (PEDU), Management (BMGT), Marketing (BMKT), Philosophy (PHIL), Political Science (PSCI), Psychology (PSYC), or Sociology/Anthropology (SOCI)

Science and Mathematics: 7


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

Formation and Calling: 6


Core Electives: 8


Any college-level courses

Communication Studies Major: 48


Concentrations: 30


(select one of the following concentrations)

Dramatic Studies Concentration: 30


The Dramatic Studies Concentration has one course which mandates a prerequisite course. Before registering for  DRAM 3213 - Shakespeare, students must successfully complete one of the following courses:  ENGL 2133 - Survey of British Literature or  DRAM 4333 - Theatre History 

Select two courses from the following: 6


Select any 2 credits from the following: 2


General Electives: 17


Any college-level courses