Students are required to take a minimum of 15 credits in one conceptual area of emphasis in the department’s undergraduate program. There are three areas of study, as listed below. Courses in the journalism area are listed in a separate section detailing the journalism program. Click on any of the areas to see a list of courses for that area.

If you were admitted to the major before Autumn 2014, the areas differed slightly. Please click here.

Career Pathways

To help in the career development of our undergraduate students, the Department of Communication has developed the following list of career paths to align with the major’s three Areas of Study, in addition to our Journalism program. This non-exhaustive list is meant to serve as a starting point to help students begin their personal career exploration process.

Political Communication and Rhetoric

Example Industry: Politics / Government

A career in politics or government means being involved in public life, either through campaigns and elections or in government offices directly or indirectly related to those electoral contests. Courses in the Political Communication and Rhetoric Area of Study have the greatest direct relevance to this career path and can help one appreciate the cultural differences of voters, constituents, and the other publics one must relate to in political careers. These courses have relevance to campaigns and offices that have international connections, while also providing students with a command of public speaking, message design, and a critical perspective on society, politics, and culture—all of which can help advance a political career.

Examples of professions on this career path:Emily Kim 200x200

  • Campaign director
  • Elected official
  • Lobbyist
  • Media/polling consultant
  • Speechwriter
  • Legislative Aide > Read about Emily Kim (B.A., 2008) who works at City Council in Councilmember Godden’s Office.

Social and Cultural Communication

Example Industry: Public Relations

A career in public relations includes a dynamic combination of verbal and written communication, knowledge of and the ability to strategically work with the media, an eye for detail, and a keen sense of society and the public. Such careers often create and drive the outward image of an organization, and thus are crucial to an organization’s success and ability to standout. Social and Cultural  Communication courses help students develop strong public speaking and writing skills, which are vital to the art of crafting strategic messages. These courses also help students build knowledge of how to communicate in a range of situations, including on an interpersonal or small-group level or on a larger scale, including the mass media.

Examples of professions on this career path:Angeline Candido 200x200

  • Public relations/marketing Coordinator > Read about 2009 alumna Angeline Candido, who now works as a Marketing Coordinator for a small gift company in Wallingford.
  • Media/public affairs specialist
  • Event coordinator
  • Brand representative/manager
  • Communication strategist
  • Community liaison
  • Fundraiser

Technology and Global Media

Example Industry: Research

From a broad perspective, careers in research and analysis revolve around asking questions and finding answers to those questions. Within the field of communication, these questions often focus on human communication, behavior, and opinion formation, and their relationship with societal factors such as culture, socioeconomic status and other demographics, politics, and the mass media. Classes in the area of Technology and Global Media explore these connections.

Examples of professions on this career path:

  • College lecturer/professor
  • Pollster
  • Research Director
  • Research project manager
  • Data/Intelligence Analyst

Students majoring in Communication are required to take a minimum of 15 credits in one of the three Areas of Study listed above. The Department of Communication also offers a Journalism program, with its own set of requirements and specialized courses.


Example Industry: Print Journalism/Media Writing

Journalists play an important role in our democratic society. While much of the industry has shifted from print to on the web, courses in journalism build a strong foundation in writing, reporting, and interviewing skills. Students also become familiar with journalistic ethics, which are transferable to any medium.

Examples of professions on this career path:Jillian Stampher 200x200

  • Newspaper Reporter
  • Blogger
  • Copywriter
  • Photographer
  • Columnist
  • Documentarian
  • Editor > Read about alumna Jillian Stampher who became an editor at NBC News Digital’s Breaking News after graduating in June 2014.

You can find more examples of various industries and professions in this Area of Study here >>