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Communication (formerly Professional and Technical Communication) BS

Semester Requirements

Patrick Scanlon, Department Chairperson
(585) 475-2449, pmsgsl@rit.edu

http://www.rit.edu/ptc

Program overview

The communication major combines advanced education in the theory and practice of spoken, written, and technology-mediated communication with focused study in a communication track, and instruction in a professional or technical program related to the selected track. This unique combination fosters an understanding of the central concepts and processes associated with the field of communication as well as a communication sub-discipline, 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.

Curriculum

Students develop skills through a core of required communication courses, which cover communication theory, visual communication, public speaking, mass communications, communication law and ethics, technology-mediated communication, and research methods. Students then focus their studies by selecting a track in technical communication, health communication, or media, rhetoric, and culture. A professional core of four courses related to the selected track may be taken from minors within the colleges of Business, Imaging Arts and Sciences, or Science. Students may also customize a concentration using courses from 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.
First Year
COMM-101 Human Communication 3
COMM-201 Public Speaking 3
  LAS Perspective 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 15
  LAS Foundation 1: First Year Seminar† 3
COMM-202 Mass Communications 3
  LAS Foundation 2: First Year Writing 3
  Wellness Education* 0
Second Year
COMM-341 Visual Communication 3
COMM-342 Communication Law and Ethics 3
  Free Elective 3
  LAS Perspective 6 3
STAT-145 LAS Perspective 7A: Introduction to Statistics I 3
Choose one of the following courses: 3
   COMM-302    Interpersonal Communication  
   COMM-304    Intercultural Communication  
   COMM-303    Small Group Communication  
COMM-343 Technology-Mediated Communication (WI) 3
  Professional Core‡ 3
  LAS Immersion 1 3
  LAS Elective 3
Third Year
  Track Courses 6
  LAS Immersion 2, 3 6
  Professional Core‡ 6
  Free Elective 3
  LAS Perspective 8§ 3
COMM-301 Theories of Communication 3
COMM-401 Quantitative Research Methods 3
COMM-499 Cooperative Education (summer) Co-op
Fourth Year
  Track Courses 6
  Professional Core‡ 3
  LAS Electives 15
COMM-402 Qualitative Research Methods 3
COMM-501 Senior Thesis in Communication 3
COMM-497 Communication Portfolio 0
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. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two Wellness courses.
† The First Year Seminar requirement is replaced by an LAS Elective for the 2013-14 academic year.

‡ 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.

Tracks

Technical communication

Course
Required Course
COMM-142 Introduction to Technical Communication
Electives
Choose three of the following
   COMM-223    Digital Design in Communication
   COMM-345    Ethics in Technical Communication
   COMM-440    Visual Communication of Technical Information
   COMM-441    Writing the Technical Manual
   COMM-xxx    Technical Writing

Health communication

Course
Required Course
COMM-344 Health Communication
Electives
Choose three of the following
   COMM-212    Public Relations
   COMM-221    Public Relations Writing
   COMM-223    Digital Design in Communication
   COMM-322    Health Campaign Management and Planning
   COMM-361    Reporting in Specialized Fields: Health

Rhetoric, media and culture

Course
Electives
Choose four of the following
   COMM-305    Persuasion
   COMM-306    Rhetoric of Race Relations
   COMM-356    Critical Practice in Social Media
   COMM-357    Communication, Gender and Media
   COMM-xxx    Political Communication
   COMM-xxx    Rhetoric of Social Change

Cooperative education

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 employment upon graduation. Many students use the extra income earned on co-op to help offset college expenses.

There is 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.

Additional information

Program size

The size of the major, averaging about 45 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.

Advisers

Every student is assigned a professional academic adviser and a faculty mentor in the department of communication. The professional adviser assists with course planning and registration; the faculty mentor provides advising about career development and planning, including information about research opportunities, graduate school, and jobs. Peer mentors, upper-level communiction students, are also available to answer questions about classes, clubs on campus, student-run activities, and other matters from the student’s perspective.

Faculty

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. The department also offers students the opportunity to participate in specialized course work and research with faculty members.

Careers

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.

Graduate study

The major 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.

[arrow] Click to view program requirements in the Quarter Calendar

Quarter Curriculum - For Reference Only

Effective fall 2013, RIT will convert its academic calendar from quarters to semesters. The following content has been made available as reference only. Currently matriculated students who began their academic programs in quarters should consult their academic adviser for guidance and course selection.

Program overview

The professional and technical communication program unites advanced education in the theory and practice of spoken, written, and visual communication with extensive instruction in a professional or technical program. 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.

Curriculum

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 programs within the College of Science, the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, the E. Philip Saunders College of Business, or from programs in other RIT colleges. With approval of an academic adviser, students may design their own professional core. Electives and liberal arts courses complete the program's curriculum.

Professional and technical communication, BS degree, typical course sequence (quarters)

CourseQtr. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
0535-200 Foundations of Communication 4
0535-311 Rhetorical Theory 4
0535-501 Public Speaking 4
0535-462 Digital Design in Communication 4
4002-206 Web Foundations 4
  Liberal Arts* 8
  Mathematics and Science Requirement‡ 16
1105-051, 052 First-Year Enrichment 2
  Wellness Education† 0
Second Year
0535-481 Persuasion 4
0502-444 Technical Writing 4
0535-450 Visual Communication 4
0535-482 Mass Communications 4
  PTC Elective 4
  Professional Core 12
  Liberal Arts* 16
  Wellness Education† 0
Third Year
0535-445 Theories of Communication 4
0535-412 Communication Law and Ethics 4
  Professional Core 8
  General Education Electives 16
  Mathematics Requirement‡ 4
  University-wide Elective 4
  Cooperative Education Co-op
Fourth Year
0535-315 Quantitative Research Methods 4
0535-317 Critical Research Methods 4
0535-532 Professional Writing 4
0535-446 Writing the Technical Manual 4
0535-595 Senior Thesis in Communication 4
  Liberal Arts* 12
  University-wide Electives 16
Total Quarter Credit Hours 182

* Please see Liberal Arts General Education Requirements for more information.

† Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information.

‡ Please see Mathematics and Science General Education Curriculum for more information.

Cooperative education

Students complete two quarters 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.

Students have access to 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.

Additional information

Program size

The size of the program, averaging about 60 students, ensures close contact with the program’s faculty and other students. The program attracts energetic students who are actively involved in numerous communication-related extracurricular activities, including RIT’s FM radio station, WITR, and RIT’s weekly magazine, Reporter. Many students have served as residence hall advisers as well as representatives to, and leaders of, student government.

Advisers

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.

Faculty

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 for students in the program. The department also offers students the opportunity to participate in specialized course work and research with faculty members.

Careers

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.

Graduate study

The program also prepares students for graduate study in law, public relations, communication, health services, and management. The department of communication offers an MS program in communication and media technologies. Please refer to the Graduate Bulletin or the department website for more information.