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Communications Major

BA in Communications
College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences

Degree Plan

At the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication the goal is to produce graduates who: are well-educated in communication, the liberal arts and humanities, and in the social, natural, and physical sciences; are ethical, technologically proficient, analytical, and critical; have the cognitive, research, and professional skills required to succeed in their first jobs and to mature as leaders in a constantly changing, challenging, and exciting new information era; and are able to contribute as citizens to a changing and increasingly complex society. Students may choose from a wide variety of concentrations including Advertising, Corporate Communications, Health Communications, Interpersonal Communications, Journalism, Media Production, Media Studies, and Public Relations.

Media Studies

Students who choose the Media Studies track will deal critically with media issues that create and affect public policy. Course materials cover media management, media technology, training, programming, content, marketing and audiences in national and international contexts.

Media Production

Student who choose the Media Production track will acquire the ability to create communications using audio, video, motion picture, photography and computer graphics techniques. An appreciation and ethical concern for the professional values and effects on an audience of utilizing such techniques will accompany both practical and theoretical instruction. Skills needed to perform the research and writing functions that precede actual production of media programs as well as performance studies are included. This concentration provides the preparation for internships and entry-level positions available in a wide variety of careers that require media production knowledge and skills, and the foundation for advancement in those fields.

Journalism

Students who choose the Journalism track will develop an understanding of the political, economic, social and cultural contexts in which news is disseminated. They will acquire the skills needed to investigate effectively the world of news and to report their findings accurately, clearly, completely and in the public interest. They will graduate with the knowledge of critical, analytical, technological and ethical perspectives necessary to succeed in entry-level jobs and in life-long careers. The track offers electives that specialize in Print Media & Broadcasting. The degree plan offers a list of electives and students may choose all of one type of specialization or may choose to combine the two specialization electives.

The Broadcasting specialization prepares students for careers in such performance based fields as broadcast news and sports reporting and anchoring. Some of the skills students may develop throughout their coursework include writing, editing, relevant technical/equipment skills, problem solving, social skills such as teamwork, leadership, and time management/project management.

Students who specilize in Print Media find that their study has prepared them to compete successfully for entry level positions or higher in fields where good writing, reporting, criticism, strategic thinking, and organizational skills are prized. The Print Media course of study includes in-depth practice in writing and rhetorical processes, experiential learning, analytical and critical thinking, and coursework enriched with the offerings of other departments. A significant part of the Print Journalism concentration is involvement in publications in which students research and write articles on news, cultural events, entertainment, opinions, lifestyle, technology, and feature stories in single articles or series.

Advertising
The Advertising track provides basic knowledge, skills and ethical considerations to prepare students for entry into public relations and advertising careers. Students will learn the communication requirements to represent organizations, products, services, operations and policies effectively. Special attention is given to communication in an urban setting. Specific areas of study include theory, principles, analytical and critical skills, ethical requirements, public policy development, campaign design and execution requirements, research methodologies, data analysis techniques and communication skills especially appropriate for an urban setting.

Admissions

Careers

A wide variety of career opportunities are available for Communication majors depending on the track they choose to follow:

Advertising offers career opportunities as Advertising Managers, Marketing Managers, Public Relations Managers, Market and Survey Researchers, Public Relations Specialists, Writers, etc.

Corporate Communications offers career opportunities as Communications Specialists, Audio/Video Producers, Marketing Directors, Media Relations Specialists, Publication Designers, Project Managers, Web Designers, etc.

Health Communications are employed by hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, HMOs, state and local health departments, and other health-related organizations and corporations, etc as Communications Teachers, Public Relations Specialists, Heath Educators, Sales Distributors, Customer Relations Specialists, etc.

Interpersonal Communications offers career opportunities as Family Service Supervisors, Account Executives, University Advisors, Recruiters, Operations Managers, Marketing Specialists, Media Planners, etc.

Journalism offers career opportunities as Copy Editors, News Analysts, Reporters, Correspondents, Technical Writers, Education Coordinators, Instructors, etc.

Media Production provides students with the knowledge and experience to prepare them to enter careers in media and entertainment as Screenwriters, Directors, Cinematographers, Editors, Producers, etc.

Media Studies provides undergraduates with skills that can be applied in a number of professional fields, preparing students for a variety of career opportunities as leaders within media entertainment industries, including Creative Managers, Critics, Developers, Marketing and Regulation Supervisors, Teachers, etc.

Public Relations offers career opportunities as Advertising Managers, Marketing Managers, Public Relations Managers, Market and Survey Researchers, Public Relations Specialists, Writers, etc.

More information regarding job titles, salary information of Cougar Alumni as well as national salary information can be found at Cougar Careers. For assistance in career planning and development, please visit University Career Services.

Contact Information

School of Communications
101 Communications Building
Houston, TX 77204
Phone: 713-743-2873

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