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.
Core courses are in communication and public speaking, plus theory, ethics and research. Students also choose two courses from each of the following four areas:
- Practices: Courses in this area focus on developing students’ abilities to communicate in a variety of settings. Students can expect a significant level of skills training.
- Perspectives: Courses in this area focus on understanding theoretical approaches to communication. Students can expect significant reading and discussion.
- Contexts: Courses in this area focus on exploring the role communication plays in society, politics, health settings and other realms. Students can expect specialized readings, discussion and practical applications.
- Analysis: Courses in this area focus on conducting original research in communication. Students can expect advanced writing requirements in most of these classes.
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.
There are no admission requirements beyond admission to Appalachian State University.
- 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.
- Students can participate in a dual degree program and earn two undergraduate degrees in communication, one from Appalachian and the other from a partner university in Mexico, the Universidad de las Américas Puebla (UDLAP). Watch video >>
Number of Students
Method of Delivery
On campus and Online
- College & universities
- Consumer magazines
- Educational and professional
- Government agencies
- Meeting planning
- nonprofit organizations
- publishing companies
- Religious organizations
- Retail stores
- Trade associations
- Trade books/magazines
Dr. Jean DeHart