Preparing students for the leadership path
Encompassing public relations, strategic communications, international advocacy, debate and mock trial, the Communication Studies program builds solid leadership and strategic communication skills. Access to outstanding hands-on experiences range from working the Republican and Democratic national conventions to working one-on-one with boards of nonprofit organizations, as well as travel to London, Africa and more, providing students with real-world opportunities unparalleled at any other university.
Communication Studies offers students a foundational understanding of the theories, methods and history of communication, its relationship to liberal education and its disciplinary and professional applications.
Curriculum emphasizes ethical and philosophical relationships of the individual to society. A broad review of advocacy, political communication, organizational communication, research, critical thinking, writing, public relations and contemporary studies of communication undergird the program.
Students typically declare Communication Studies as their major at the end of their sophomore year. Students are expected to apply intellectual rigor and integrity to communication theory and practice as well as demonstrate their excellence in writing and speaking.
Students are encouraged to participate in service-learning opportunities and make important career connections through supervised internships; internships are available both globally and locally.
Accredited by American Communication Association, the Division includes access to award-winning programs such as the SMU Chapter of PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America); mustangconsulting, the student-run strategic communications agency serving corporations and nonprofit organizations; and programs which help students excel in competitive contexts via debate and speech.
In addition to major coursework, Communication Studies students must complete a minor. Determination of the minor should be considered carefully and should enhance and broaden the student’s learning experience at SMU beyond the major. In keeping with the recommendations of the American Communication Association, the Public Relations Society of America’s Task Force on Undergraduate Education and the standards of the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, students should select minors that complement their major with an eye toward building a versatile portfolio of skills for the marketplace. Professors and academic counselors are available to help guide students through course choices.
Forty-two percent of students at Meadows are double majors. Students seeking to double major or minor in another communication-related field may need to complete more than the minimum 122 total hours required for graduation and are encouraged to confer with their professors and academic advisers.