Communication Skills for Work and Life
Gain the skills that many employers consider the most vital to career success in the Communication Studies Bachelor of Arts program at UNC. As a Communication Studies major, you’ll explore message exchange in all its forms—in organizations, relationships, and across cultures—and graduate ready to apply what you’ve learned in the workplace and in your personal life. You’ll also benefit from valuable experiential learning opportunities in the community and beyond, including internship programs with Denver-area businesses, opportunities to present at regional conferences and the chance to join our chapter of Lambda Pi Eta, the national communication honor society. Classes are small and highly collaborative, and led by accessible instructors who are both dedicated teachers and accomplished researchers in the field of communication.
Thomas Endres, Ph.D.
Professor of Communication Studies
Thomas Endres, Ph.D., is the first director of UNC’s School of Communication and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses including the Capstone in Communication, Professional Speaking, and a study abroad class in Barcelona. He is also the author of numerous publications including the 2002 book Sturgis Stories: Celebrating the People of the World’s Largest Motorcycle Rally. Endres has been honored and recognized for his service and research by such organizations as Lambda Pi Eta, the National Speakers Association, the Rocky Mountain Communication Association and the National Communication Association’s States Advisory Council.
Choose from a bachelor's degree or a minor Communication Studies.
B.A. in Communication Studies
Students majoring in Communication Studies complete introductory courses in public speaking, theory, and inquiry. Intermediate courses for majors include studies in persuasion, interpersonal communication, and small groups. A variety of elective courses are available, including studies in debate, family communication, leadership, and communication and technology. Students are encouraged to do internships for up to six hours of credit.
Communication Studies Minor
UNC’s Communication Studies Minor requires 18 credit hours. You’ll take two required courses (Public Speaking and Introduction to Communication), then will customize your minor to fit your chosen career path by selecting courses in Interpersonal Communication, Small Group and Organizational Communication, Communication and Influence, and Communication Studies (courses with COMM prefix or JMS 490).
Experiences to prepare you for real-world success
In the Communication Studies bachelor’s degree program, your learning isn’t confined to the classroom. Through an active internship program (worth up to six credits as part of the major) you’ll apply your learning in diverse professional roles in customer service, event planning, public relations, training and more. Numerous courses offer applied assignments, such as the ’40 Hour Project’ found in select sections of the capstone. In it, you work closely with a professional client to develop a communication initiative based on their needs—such as creating a marketing campaign or planning and promoting an event. Many other projects focus on community service, working with local schools, Boys and Girls Clubs and other community organizations.
"The best part of the Communication Studies program is the learning that goes on both inside and outside of the classroom. You apply communication knowledge every day."
- Casey Luzar, LPH President, Communication Studies: Class of 2013
Gain an edge in the job market while developing professional and interpersonal communication skills that will serve you throughout your life. In UNC’s Communication Studies program, you’ll master a variety of communication challenges including public speaking, persuasion, debate and family communication, just to name a few.
Consider UNC's Communication Studies B.A. if you:
- Want to develop a broad range of communication skills
- Enjoy problem-solving and working with diverse audiences
- Want to lead in your career and in your community
- Effective written and verbal communication skills for home, work and life
- Critical thinking and people skills
- Emerging media and technologies
- Basics of Public Speaking
- Family Communication
- Communication and Technology
- Organizational Communication
- Professional Speaking
When asked to assess job candidate skills as part of a recent study, employers rated verbal communication skills the most important, followed by teamwork and problem-solving ability.* In UNC's Communication Studies B.A., you’ll develop each of these skills in the classroom and in the field with the expert guidance of award-winning faculty.
* Source: Job Outlook 2016, National Association of Colleges and Employers
Where can your degree take you?
Because communication skills are vital in almost any career, our Communication Studies majors and minors pursue a wide range of professional paths upon graduation. These are just a few of the possibilities:
- Community Relations Practitioner
- Motivational Speaker/Trainer
- Communication Consultant
- Sales and Customer Service Professional
- Event Planner
- Human Resources Professional
- Training Facilitator
Our Communication Studies professors are both exceptional educators and noted researchers in diverse fields of study. Current research projects include:
Communication Education for Social Justice
David Palmer, Ph.D., Professor, Communication Studies
David Palmer recently co-edited a book that introduces a unique form of education called communication activism pedagogy (CAP)—teaching students how to use their communication knowledge and skills to intervene with community partners to promote social justice. Teaching Communication Activism: Communication Education for Social Justice includes examples of how communication educators have taught students to intervene to confront social justice issues including gender inequality and violence, ethnic and racial prejudice and discrimination, and health disparities and energy issues affecting those who live in poverty. For his work, Palmer received the 2015 Distinguished Edited Book Award from the National Communication Association's (NCA) Applied Communication Division.