Most employers list “good communication skills” as a requirement for employment, which is why the Communication Studies (BS) degree at Appalachian State University prepares students to enter many different professions. This major educates students in different theories and practical applications of communication skills – such as interpersonal communication, small group communication, public speaking, nonverbal communication and persuasion. Communication Studies also makes an excellent pre-law, pre-seminary or pre-graduate school program.
This degree is structured by theme, yet remains flexible enough to allow students to tailor their courses to their specifics needs. For example, a student could choose to study political communication or organizational communication as part of this major. Students can also work with the Department of Communication’s internship coordinator to find a related internship host site and complete requirements to earn class credit.
Employers: Graduates have gone on to work in communication consulting, environmental advocacy, human resources, political campaigns, non-profit social service organizations, recreation and health care management, and crisis communication consulting.
Graduate School: This degree serves as a solid background for many graduate school degrees including law school and seminary. Students often continue their studies at UNC Charlotte or University of Georgia.
A minor is required. Popular minors include:
- Political Science
Engagement Outside the Classroom
- Appalachian Communicators - a student club for Communication Studies majors
- Intercollegiate debate team - open to all majors
- AppSpeaks - a student club for campus debate and discussion
- Socrates’ Café - part of the on-campus debate/discussion program
- Student Media Showcase - a section of the Department of Communication that highlights student writing, photography, videography and audio work from in-class and extracurricular opportunities.
- National Conference for Undergraduate Research - a national conference held annually at which students are selected to present research.
- Carolinas Communication Association - sponsors the Jarrard undergraduate paper competition.
- Southern States Communication Association - sponsors the Clevenger Undergraduate Honors Conference.
- Celebration of Research and Creative Endeavors - a day at Appalachian devoted to student research, showcasing research in all disciplines by undergraduate and graduate students.
Appalachian is committed to introducing students to different cultures and teaching them how to live and interact in a global society.
The Department of Communication has study abroad opportunities in Poland, Belize and Armenia.
A cumulative 2.0 GPA based on earned semester hours at App State is required prior to declaring the Communication Studies major.
- Students are given opportunities to participate in research and publication with faculty members.
- This program allows students to choose from a broad range of classes, giving them a personalized communication degree to fit their career goals. Examples include: political communication, organizational communication, rhetoric and public culture, health communication, critical/cultural studies and strategic communication.
- The Department of Communication has an internship coordinator to help students find internship host sites and receive class credit for their work.
- The department has a strong alumni network that keeps alumni, faculty and current students connected.
*The Hickory Campus location is pending accreditation from SACSCOC for this program. Accreditation is expected in summer 2023.
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College of Fine and Applied Arts
Dr. Scott Welsh