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Communication (formerly Professional and Technical Communication) BS
The communication major unites advanced education in the theory and practice of spoken, written, and visual communication with extensive instruction in a professional or technical area of interest. This unique combination fosters an understanding of the central concepts and processes associated with the field of communication and a working familiarity with the principles and practices of a particular professional/technical field.
Graduates are qualified for a number of different functions as communication specialists within a specific professional area. Their career opportunities are numerous and varied. The degree also prepares them for graduate work in communication and related academic disciplines.
Students develop skills through a core of required communication courses, which cover communication theory, visual communication, technical writing, professional writing, persuasion, public speaking, and digital design. A professional core of five courses focused on a professional or technical area of interest may be taken from majors within the College of Science, the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, the E. Philip Saunders College of Business, or from majors in other RIT colleges. With approval of an academic adviser, students may design their own professional core. Electives and liberal arts courses complete the curriculum.
Communication, BS degree, typical course sequence (semesters), effective fall 2013
|Course||Sem. Cr. Hrs.|
|LAS Perspective 1, 2, 3, 4, 5‡||15|
|LAS Foundation 1: First-Year Seminar||3|
|ENGL-150||LAS Foundation 2: Writing Seminar||3|
|COMM-342||Communication Law and Ethics||3|
|LAS Perspective 6‡||3|
|STAT-145||LAS Perspective 7A: Introduction to Statistics I||3|
|Choose one of the following courses:||3|
|COMM-303||Small Group Communication|
|COMM-343||Technology-Mediated Communication (WI)||3|
|STAT-146||LAS Perspective 7B: Introduction to Statistics II||3|
|LAS Immersion 1||3|
|LAS Immersion 2, 3||6|
|LAS Perspective 8||3|
|COMM-301||Theories of Communication||3|
|COMM-499||Cooperative Education (summer)||Co-op|
|COMM-401||Research Methods in Communication||3|
|COMM-501||Senior Thesis in Communication||3|
|Total Semester Credit Hours||120|
Please see New General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.
(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.
* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information.
† Professional core may be fulfilled by selecting a 300-level (or higher) course from a discipline outside the liberal arts.
‡ Students will satisfy this requirement by taking either a 3- or 4-credit hour lab science course. If a science course consists of separate lecture and laboratory sections, the student must take both the lecture and lab portions to satisfy the requirement.
Students complete one semester of cooperative education. Co-op is paid, practical work experience that deepens students’ knowledge of their academic fields, allows them to determine their suitability for a particular professional position, and increases their chances for advantageous placement upon graduation. Many students use the extra income earned on co-op to help offset college expenses.
There are a broad range of co-op opportunities, and there is no restriction on geographic location as long as the position is related to communication. The Office of Cooperative Education and Career Services assists students in identifying and applying to co-op and permanent positions with a large and diverse number of employers. Students have held co-ops across the United States at such organizations as Greenpeace, Bausch & Lomb, the Rochester Memorial Art Gallery, the Chicago Hearing Society, Eastman Kodak Co., City of New York Parks & Recreation, and the U.S. House of Representatives.
The size of the major, averaging about 60 students, ensures close contact with faculty and other students. The major attracts energetic students who are actively involved in numerous communication-related extracurricular activities, including RIT’s FM radio station, WITR, and RIT’s award-winning weekly magazine, Reporter. Many students have served as residence hall advisers as well as representatives to, and leaders of, student government.
Every student is assigned a faculty adviser, a co-op/placement adviser, and a peer mentor. Faculty advisers assist in academic advising and career counseling. They are helpful in course selection and scheduling, course planning, and post-graduation work. The co-op/placement adviser, located in the Office of Cooperative Education and Career Services, offers career guidance and advice. Peer mentors, who are upper-level students, are also available to answer questions about classes, clubs on campus, student-run activities, and other matters from the student’s perspective.
Nearly all 18 faculty members in the department of communication hold the highest degrees in their fields. All have proven teaching ability and are committed to professional growth in their areas of expertise. In addition to their teaching, research, and other professional responsibilities, faculty members act as academic advisers to their students. The department also offers students the opportunity to participate in specialized course work and research with faculty members.
Upon graduation, students are prepared for immediate employment and long-term professional growth within the broad field of communication. Graduates qualify for positions in business, government, and the not-for-profit sector, and are employed as technical editors and writers, sales and marketing coordinators, document specialists, broadcast news and segment researchers, public relations practitioners, and staff members for various federal and state government officials.
The major also prepares students for graduate study in law, public relations, communication, health services, and management. The department of communication offers an MS degree in communication and media technologies. Please refer to the Graduate Bulletin or the department website for more information.