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Common Emphases in Communication Studies:
Charting Your Own Path to the Future

Communication Studies majors are given a good deal of choice in developing a curriculum that meets their personal, professional, and public goals. Many majors find the flexibility of the curriculum appealing, and decide to meet their requirements by taking courses that simply sound interesting to them. Others take a more directed approach, selecting courses that will prepare them for their future careers, or their lives as family and community members and citizens. Here are some common emphases in Communication, which may help you decide what path you'd like to take as you complete your degree at DU:

Family and Relational Communication

Are you interested in a future career in counseling, clergy, or education? Do you want to learn more about how to be a better partner, how to relate better to your parents or siblings now that you're away, or how to help folks who are struggling with broken friendships? Drs. Mary Claire Morr Serewicz, Elizabeth Suter, and Erin Willer study the changing nature of family and relationships within our global society.

For an emphasis in interpersonal communication, consider taking the following courses to meet your degree requirements:

COMN 1100: Communication in Personal Relationships (introducing contexts)
COMN 2140: Dark Side of Relationships (exploring contexts)
COMN 2210: Gender, Communication, Culture (exploring contexts)

COMN 2470: Gender and Communication (exploring contexts)

COMN 3285: Advanced Relational Communication (depth elective)

COMN 3300: Principles of Persuasion (depth elective)
COMN 3990: Family Communication Capstone (capstone seminar)

Communication and Culture

Are you interested in a future career in non-profits, development, education, or international business? Do you want to learn more about how to communicate with people of different races, genders, classes, and cultural identities? How to be a more ethical participant in the globalized world? Drs. Bernadette Calafell, Richie Hao, Kate Willink study the ways that cultural differences and power constrain and enable us as communicators.

For an emphasis in communication and culture, consider taking the following courses to meet your degree requirements:
 
COMN 1600: Communication & Popular Culture (introducing contexts)
COMN 1700: Fundamentals of Intercultural Communication (introducing contexts)
COMN 2210: Gender, Communication, Culture (exploring contexts)
COMN 2220: Race and Popular Culture (exploring contexts)

COMN 2470: Gender and Communication (exploring contexts)

COMN 3015: Culture and Pedagogy (depth elective)

COMN 3050: Feminism and Intersectionality (depth elective)

COMN 3120: Asian Pacific American Communication Studies (depth elective)

COMN 3142: Dialogue, Culture, and Conflict (depth elective)

Rhetoric and Communication Ethics

Are you interested in a future career in politics, the law, clergy, education, or non-profits? Do you want to learn more about how to win arguments or how to persuade others ethically and effectively? How to become a more critical participant in the information economy? Drs. Christina Foust, Joshua Hanan, Darrin Hicks, and Roy Wood study how ordinary (and extraordinary) people have used the art of public persuasion to change policy, set precedents, or operate democratically in the world. They also study how representations in public discourse and popular culture form the basis for persuading others.

For an emphasis in rhetoric and communication ethics, consider taking the following courses to meet your degree requirements:

COMN 1600: Communication & Popular Culture (introducing contexts)
COMN 2030: Social Movement Rhetoric (exploring contexts)
COMN 2040: Inventing America (exploring contexts)

COMN 2300: Fundamentals of Argumentation (exploring contexts)

COMN 2400: Landmarks in Rhetorical Theory (exploring contexts)

COMN 3800: Philosophies of Dialogue (depth elective)

COMN 3850: Communication Ethics (depth elective)

Organizational Communication

Are you interested in a career in business, human resources, public relations, or advertising? Do you want to learn more about how to market yourself in the changing economy? How to communicate in workplace teams or give better presentations? Communication Studies faculty explore the meaning of work, and help students practice the communication skills that they will need to do well at any job.

For an emphasis in organizational communication, consider taking the following courses to meet your degree requirements:

COMN 1550: Communication in the Workplace (introducing contexts)
COMN 1200: Small Group Communication (introducing contexts)

COMN 3285: Advanced Relational Communication (depth elective)

COMN 3300: Principles of Persuasion (depth elective)

Communication Studies Major Progress Review Form

View our informational brochure on the Communication Studies major.