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Bachelor of Arts in Communication | Undergraduate Degree Program

Bachelor of Arts in Communication

Are you thinking about earning a bachelors of communications? Ottawa University’s accelerated, online Communications degree program can help you master the concepts and methods of communication in a wide array of settings. In this accelerated program, you will develop communication skills and strategies to achieve, effectively and efficiently, a desired outcome with a specific audience.

About Our Online Bachelors of Communications

Communication majors in our accelerated, online Bachelor’s degree program at Ottawa University learn analytical, critical, and practical skills that will help students to understand and improve communication skills and systems in all types of social settings. Students learn to recognize and understand different communication styles, issues, and systems in order to make decisions effectively and to solve problems.

Education and Qualifications

A bachelor’s degree is required for most careers. For management-level positions, a master’s degree may be required. The decision-making and problem-solving skills gained from earning an advanced degree are important. Additionally, membership in professional societies, such as the Public Relations Society of America and the National Broadcasters Association, afford professionals additional networking and educational opportunities. Graduates of our Communications program often further their education with a Masters in Business Administration or Masters in Leadership.

Curriculum
As you work toward completing your online degree in Communications, you will enhance your critical-thinking skills and an awareness of cultural, social, intergenerational, and political diversity as it relates to communication. Our fully online courses are designed to help you relate marketing communication and business communication insights to your personal and professional life as you become a skilled problem-solver. It is perfect for those who have dreams of pursuing careers in advertising, writing, or public relations. Our online communications degree provides both the skills and knowledge necessary to build positive relationships between organizations and a variety of audiences.

Students gain an ethical perspective through immersive experiential learning and discover how to deploy language effectively and appropriately in order to engage their communities in meaningful dialogue. By incorporating ever-changing technologies and pedagogical techniques, our faculty guides students in navigating both mediated and interpersonal communication theory in order to become exemplary citizen-leaders of local and global communities.

For curriculum and course descriptions for our Bachelor of Arts in Communication, please download a program overview.

Careers in Communications

The ability to communicate effectively is important in your professional and personal life. Upon graduation of our Communications degree program, your career opportunities can include:

  • Public relations and journalism
  • Advertising and brand strategy
  • Mass media
  • Web content
  • Marketing
  • Social media
  • Technical writing
  • Arts communication
  • Government
  • Law

Career Outlook

According to the U.S Department of labor statistics, advertising, promotions, and marketing managers plan programs to generate interest in products or services. Many of these workers are employed in advertising agencies or in corporate or regional managing offices. The median annual wage for advertising and promotions managers was $133,460 in May 2020. The median annual wage for marketing managers was $142,170 in May 2020. Overall employment of advertising, promotions, and marketing managers is projected to grow 6 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. Advertising, promotions, and marketing campaigns will continue to be essential for organizations as they seek to maintain and expand their share of the market.

To learn more about our online Bachelor's degree in Communication - contact us today!

If you are interested in learning more about aligning business strategy with organizational goals, then check out our OU Online Business Blog!

See Also:

Bachelors in Business Administration

Masters in Business Administration

Masters in Leadership

Required Communication Major Courses

Speech Preparation and Delivery | COM 11023 (3 credits)

Provides instruction in speaking before a group. Development of speech content, organization, research, and delivery is emphasized. Includes practice of impromptu, persuasive and informative speeches.

OR

Intro to Human Communication | COM 10163 (3 credits)

Provides an example-based overview of interpersonal communication skills, including how these skills affect individuals and groups in society. Emphasis is on personal and interpersonal strategies for understanding, appreciating, and managing communication skills in personal and career relationships.

Media Writing | COM 20165 (3 credits)

Covers fundamentals of news reporting and writing for broadcast media, public relations, advertising, and the Internet.

OR

News and Feature Reporting | COM 23263 (3 credits)

Instruction in basic print news gathering, reporting and writing techniques. Emphasis given to methods of research and dissemination for twenty-first century news styles and delivery modes.

Critical Listening | COM 24003 (3 credits)

Course examines how environments are constructed to inhibit listening. Poor listening habits lead to poor interpersonal and intercultural skills in both relational and leadership roles. This course does not address the biological process of listening (i.e. hearing) but topics instead focus on the social and communicative nature of how we come to know, embody, and share meaning as well as research in Listening Studies to discover factors that cause information to be passively backgrounded.

Professional Development for Communication Fields | COM 26999 (2 credits)

Introduces career strategies in the discipline.  Supports the development of professional tools such as Communication-specific student resumes and cover letters, portfolios and e-portfolios.  Applies theories of the discipline to practical strategies for job-pursuing, networking, internships, mentoring, etiquette and interviewing.

OR

Online Communication Strategies | COM 38000 (2 credits)

An introduction to basic concepts and tools used in online information research. Emphasis is placed on effective techniques for accessing and searching research databases, subject specific databases, and other specialized online resources. Strategies for critically evaluating information will also be discussed.

Media Literacy | COM 27501 (3 credits)

Course approaches the role of media in contemporary and historical lives. Students learn to discern how the different modes and methods of communication inform, entertain and persuade. Special attention is paid to how the entrenched role of media effects individual minds and culture, writ large.

Interpersonal Communication | COM 30163 (3 credits)

Examines models of relational interaction, verbal and nonverbal messages, language use, critical listening, relational dynamics, self-concept, identity management, disclosure, intimacy, defensiveness, supportiveness, perceptual processes, emotional influences, interpersonal conflicts, and the impact of gender, race and culture on communication.

Small Group Communication | COM 30263 (3 credits)

Examines task and social dimensions of group interaction, problem solving, decision making, roles, norms, leadership skills, cohesiveness, communication climates, conflict management, stages of group development, ethical behaviors, observation techniques, and analytic methods for evaluating group dynamics and accomplishments.

Organizational Communication | COM 30363 (3 credits)

Theory and practice of communication within organizations, including interpersonal factors, motivation, change and conflict resolution, and communication audit practices and procedures. Participate in a communication audit of a local organization. Prerequisite: COM 30163 or consent of instructor.

Visual Communication | COM 30563 (3 credits)

Survey of the theory and practice of visual communication. Includes theoretical explanation, visual grammar and laboratory opportunities to apply and develop visual communication literacy. Provides strategies for effective visual communication.

Communication Law and Ethics | COM 40163 (3 credits)

Examines the law governing mass media as well as ethical dilemmas in media. Explores the process of establishing high standards as well as understanding choices to be made when faced with legal and ethical decisions regarding mass media.

International and Intercultural Communication | COM 40164 (3 credits)

Examines the impact of national and regional cultures, ethnicity, race, and additional cultural components on human communication in a variety of domestic and global contexts.

Seminar in Applied Communication | COM 49100 (4 credits)

Capstone course that guides students in applying key communication theories and research to their chosen specialization. Emphasis on pivotal role of communication professionals in organizations.

OR

Senior Comprehensive | COM 49263 (4 credits)

Capstone course culminating in a project or paper fulfilling senior comprehensive examination requirements for a specific communication emphasis area. Must be taken in final semester of attendance.

Speech Concentration


Speech and Debate Lab | COM 10121 (1 credit)

Provides students with active training in speech communications and includes traveling on the competitive speech and debate teams. May be repeated as needed. Prerequisite: Instructor permission.

Argumentation and Debate | COM 20223 (3 credits)

Studies the principles of argumentation and practice in debate techniques with special emphasis on reasoning and research, case construction, refutation and rebuttal. Use of the collegiate debate question to give practical experience in various forms of debate. Prerequisite: COM 11023 Speech Preparation and Delivery.

Performance Studies | COM 20523 (3 credits)

Develops the understanding that performances are a separate paradigm of communication. Class emphasizes the use of performance as a cultural artifact, a tool for persuasion and a method for processing information. Students research and analyze performances; they develop and create their own.

Advanced Public Speaking | COM 30663 (3 credits)

Theory and practice in delivering common forms of verbal presentations to the community, organizations and at work. Development of speech content, organization and delivery. Practice of broadcasting, impromptu, persuasive, humorous, and informative speeches and presentations.

Managing Conflict | COM 39664 (3 credits)

Focus on leadership as action and understanding others and interpersonal theory as the connection between leadership and communication in an organizational context. Both didactic and experiential teaching methods used. Cross-listed with OAD 39664 Managing Conflict.

Persuasive Communication | COM 40464 (3 credits)

Study of assertive communication skills to diagnose and solve personal and professional communication problems, develop persuasive interviewing skills, listen and respond creatively, give and take productive criticism and use feedback to analyze and enhance communication.

Cooperation and Collaboration | COM 43063 (3 credits)

Course applies concepts of speech and conflict theory.  Topics include enhancing skills in group facilitation, democratic deliberation, advanced argumentation strategies, and working with real communities to solve real problems through dialogue and deliberation.

Strategic Communication Concentration

Marketing and Media Lab | COM 10051 (1-3 credits)

Participation in target marketing, selling advertisement, sponsorship and producing advertisements for multiple forms of media. May be repeated for a total of eight credit hours (cumulative with ART 10051). Cross-listed with ART 10051 Marketing & Media Lab.

OR

Color, Layout, and Typography | COM 20123 (3 credits)

Introduction to journalism editing skills, newsroom leadership and design of newspapers and magazines, including typography, graphics and photographs.  Work related to production of web-based news pages.  Cross-listed with ART 20123 Color, Layout & Typography.

Public Relations | COM 30566 (3 credits)

Survey of public relations, including goal setting, attitude and opinion research, planning, implementation, evaluation and change. Emphasis on communication theory as an integral part of the public relations process.  Cross-listed with OAD 40563 Public Relations.

Principles of Advertising | COM 36964 (3 credits)

Overview of advertising function and its role in the marketing mix. Examines advertising objectives and strategies, client-agency relationships and production techniques for various media. Cross-listed with OAD 36964 Principles of Advertising.

Managing Conflict | COM 39664 (3 credits)

Focus on leadership as action and understanding others and interpersonal theory as the connection between leadership and communication in an organizational context. Both didactic and experiential teaching methods used. Cross-listed with OAD 39664 Managing Conflict.

Strategic Communication | COM 40363 (3 credits)

Focuses on advertising from a managerial viewpoint. Includes administration, advertising research agency relationships, media selection, budget regulation and campaign planning. 

Persuasive Communication | COM 40464 (3 credits)

Study of assertive communication skills to diagnose and solve personal and professional communication problems, develop persuasive interviewing skills, listen and respond creatively, give and take productive criticism and use feedback to analyze and enhance communication.

Internship: Communication I | COM 41063 (3 credits)

Broadcast, public relations, communication or other appropriate and relevant internship with a commercial or public radio, television station or at other businesses or services concerned with mass media, public relations, or an aspect of business communication. Provides opportunities to apply concepts, ideas and techniques acquired in class. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

For curriculum and course descriptions for our Bachelor of Arts in Communication, please download a program overview.

Full Degree Catalog

University Accreditation

Ottawa University, as a whole, is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Specific degree programs within our institution have also been accredited by relevant bodies within the field:

We are proudly recognized for our commitment to student excellence by the following designations:

Why Choose Ottawa
The courses in Ottawa University's programs are 100% online and accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. We make it easy for you to transfer credits in order to help keep tuition costs down. We also offer courses in accelerated 8-week terms in order to reduce your time to completion. These are just a few of the reasons why we are proud to be the best, fastest, and most affordable option locally in the Kansas City, Milwaukee, and Phoenix areas, as well as serving students nationally through our online degrees.

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