Communication

Study in the field of communication involves learning how humans employ widely varied media to produce understanding between people (or not). Learning in the field focuses on balancing general, theoretical studies of communication functions with the critical capacity to evaluate real world practice, and adding to this the enhanced ability to perform varied communication skills.

The core of the major emphasizes courses that introduce students to key concepts for communicating in the 21st century. The core courses provide vital foundations for work in the three areas of study, while the major-specific courses enable students to engage in integration, critical reflection, and application of all they have learned.

As the modes of communication are diverse, so too are the careers in the field, and the three majors (Communication, Journalism, and Public Relations) allow students to choose more specialized arenas of study to better prepare them for their chosen careers.

Communication: The Communication major is designed to enhance students’ skills and understanding of either verbal or media communication in preparation for any career that heavily emphasizes communication practice. This two-track major gives students the opportunity to choose what form of communication they will emphasize: it includes a verbal track and a media track. The verbal track includes skills courses in a variety of oral genres, including public speaking and interpersonal communication. In addition, since “verbal” means “with words,” the major includes a three-class writing skill set. The media track emphasizes communication in a variety of media modes, including publication design, web site development, computer video production, and photography. Objectives for this major include for students to interpret the process of communication and employ communication in real-world practice as they strategically and competently apply verbal or media skills. This major is an excellent second major when packaged with a related field of study in either liberal arts or a professional field.

Career Opportunities

One strength of the three Communication program majors is that they prepare the individual for a wide variety of careers. For example, students who graduate with a Communication major must choose to complete the verbal track or the media track. Communication majors in the verbal track are prepared for careers that focus on communication practice, ranging from law to ministry, politics, business, and more. Communication majors in the media track are prepared for careers in media aspects of organizations (e.g. desktop publishing, video production, web page design) as well as the design and production of corporate publications (e.g. magazines, newsletters and annual reports).

See a full list of course descriptions on the Courses of Instruction page. 

See the Graduate section of this Catalog for more information on Graduate programs offered at Mount Mercy.

Communication: Verbal Track

CO 101Oral Communication3
CO 102Public Speaking3
CO 111Introduction to Communication Studies3
CO 130Basic Media Grammar for Professional Writing1
CO 242Media Theory3
CO 360Law, History and Ethics of Mass Media4
CO 311Communication Analysis3
CO 380Internship in Communication3
CO 480Seminar in Communication3
CO 120Introduction to Journalism3
or CO 280 Writing For Public Relations
EN 123Professional Writing4
or EN 203 Creative Writing
Any one:3
Writing And Analysis Of Literature
Intermediate Creative Writing
Topics In Creative Writing
Literature course numbered 225-309
any FS 200-level course
Any two:6
Effective Group Communication
Professional Selling
Dispute Resolution
Storytelling
Business Etiquette
Basic Helping Skills
Total Hours42

Communication: Media Track

AR 103Art & Graphic Design Fundamentals3
AR 106Photography I (Introduction)3
AR 120Visual Technology3
AR 130Graphic Design I3
AR 220Typography & Design3
AR 280Video on the Computer3
CO 111Introduction to Communication Studies3
CO 120Introduction to Journalism3
or CO 280 Writing For Public Relations
CO 130Basic Media Grammar for Professional Writing1
CO 242Media Theory3
CO 290News Processing for Journalism and Public Relations4
CO 311Communication Analysis3
CO 360Law, History and Ethics of Mass Media4
CO 380Internship in Communication3
CO 480Seminar in Communication3
CS 103Introduction To Web Site Development3
Total Hours48

NOTE: Students majoring in the Communication Department can pursue an additional major in the Communication Department ONLY if they also earn, at minimum, some other non-communication department minor.

Academic Requirements

A grade of C or above (C- does not count) is required in each of the communication department course requirements.