What is the Communication Major?

“Have you declared your major yet?”

“Yea, I’m studying communication.”

“Communication? What does that mean you study?”

As a junior now, the number of times I have had a conversation much like this one is countless. I’m not quite sure that my answers help people understand any better because my parents still ask me what I study, but here’s another attempt!

Communication is a very broad major with a multitude of ways to personalize it, and find your niche. In a general sense, the major is intended to deepen students’ understanding of messages and their impact on people around the world.

Political communication, critical journalism, global communication, culture and communication, visual communication, media effects, media institutions and policy, health communication, race, gender, and identity, civic communication, messages and marketing, and communication and public service are all the concentrations in the major. You can choose to take related courses in one of these concentrations or not have any concentration at all. In Culture and Communication, for example, you could be taking Sick and Satired: The Insanity of Humor and How it Keeps us Sane—analyzing satire as a form of communication and the significance of it in certain situations. On the other hand, in Messages and Marketing, you could be in Advertising and Society, learning about ad networks and how an advertisement gets sold. Communication is an immense umbrella under which there are so many different topics you can explore, but in one way or another all the topics relate to a form of communication between people.

I chose this major because of its diversity of courses. I do not have a concentration, and I find myself learning different skill sets in each of my courses because of how different they are. A lot of the courses are writing intensive, so you definitely learn to effectively communicate your ideas to a target audience. No matter what field you end up working in, knowing how to communicate well is an immensely important driver of success. If you’re not exactly sure what you want to study and have an interest for people and the different ways we communication with each other, consider taking a Communication class! Plus, even if you don’t end up pursuing the major, the course can count towards a sector/foundational requirement.

-Lucia K, C’20