Communication BA, Strategic Communication Emphasis

Students majoring in communication must complete a minimum of 36 credit-hours in communication courses. Students may complete either a general communication degree or they may select one of four different emphasis areas as a focus for their studies: Interpersonal Communication, Mass Communication, Applied Visual Communication, or Strategic Communication. To complete the degree with one of these emphases, the student must complete the 21 credit-hour core and at least 15 hours of electives from within the selected emphasis area.  In addition, the skills and knowledge applied in the required Practicum/Internship should be consistent with the selected emphasis area. Students seeking a general communication degree must complete the 21 credit-hour core and can select elective courses from any combination of the emphasis areas.

General Education Requirements

Majors must satisfy the university and college general education requirements. The college's foreign language requirement may be taken in any language. Communication courses may not be taken on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

Degree Requirements

At least 18 credit hours must be taken at UMSL. Furthermore, at least 12 credit hours of the communication courses completed must be numbered 3000-4999 for students seeking a general communication degree, as well as for students pursuing an emphasis area. All students must earn a C or better in each of the required core courses of the major and maintain a 2.0 grade point average in all of the courses applied to the communication degree.

Required Courses
COMM 1030Interpersonal Communication I (MOTR COMM 120)3
COMM 1050Introduction to Mass Communication3
COMM 2231Communication in the Organization3
COMM 2332Intercultural Communication3
COMM 2235Professional Communication3
COMM 3330Research Methods in Communication I3
COMM 4920Practicum in Applied Communication3
or COMM 4950 Internship in Applied Communication
Total Hours21

Emphasis Area Requirements

The strategic communication emphasis area deals with public and inter-organizational communication intended to serve a specific company goal or purpose. It is an interdisciplinary emphasis that can incorporate areas from public relations, advertising, and organizational communication. 15 credits are needed.

Up to six credit hours of Special Topics Courses, Directed Readings courses, and Supervised Research courses offered by the Communication and Media Department can be applied to the emphasis area if the specific topic of the course is relevant to the emphasis area. 

Choose five of the following courses:
Introduction to Advertising
Introduction to Public Relations
Introduction to Health Communication
Advertising Copywriting
Public Relations Writing
Introduction to News Writing
Persuasive Communication
Current Issues in Strategic Communication
Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Communication
Feature Writing
Advertising Technique
Dangerous Messages
Media Law and Regulation
Advanced Health Communication
Social Media in Public Relations
Communication Campaigns
Seminar in Fundamental Communication Theory
Seminar in Fundamental Organizational Communication Theory
Total Hours15

Learning Outcomes

  • Create high-quality print, digital, and video products 
  • Design high-impact messages tailored to specific audiences  
  • Learn the fundamental skills necessary to be competitive in the ever-changing communication field 
  • Interpret and apply strategic communication principles to design, research, and plan strategic communication campaigns
  • Compose written materials in a clear and concise format following the appropriate style utilizing the best communication channel
  • Create ethically sound, legally and socially responsible strategic communication tactics

Four Year Plan

First Year
FallHoursSpringHours
COMM 10303COMM 22313
COMM 10503EXPLORE: Math & Sciences3
ENGL 11003EXPLORE: Humanities & Fine Arts3
CORE: Mathematics Proficiency3EXPLORE: Humanities & Fine Arts3
CORE: US History & Government3Elective or minor3
INTDSC 100311 
 16 15
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHours
COMM 22353COMM 22323
CORE: Information Literacy3EXPLORE: Humanities & Fine Arts 3
EXPLORE: Math & Sciences3EXPLORE: Math & Sciiences3
FGN LANG 10015FGN LANG 10025
 14 14
Third Year
FallHoursSpringHours
COMM 33303COMM XXXX: Strategic Communication Emphasis Course3
ENGL 31003COMM XXXX: Strategic Communication Emphasis Course3
FGN LANG 21013COMM XXXX: Strategic Communication Emphasis Course3
Cultural Diversity Requirement3Elective or minor3
Elective or minor3Elective or minor3
 15 15
Fourth Year
FallHoursSpringHours
COMM XXXX: Strategic Communication Emphasis Course3COMM 49203
COMM XXXX: Strategic Communication Emphasis Course3Elective or minor3
Elective or minor3Elective or minor3
Elective or minor3Elective or minor3
Elective or minor3Elective or minor3
Elective or minor1 
 16 15
Total Hours: 120

Please Note: This plan is an example of what a four year plan could look like for a typical student. Placement exam scores in math as well as the completion of coursework may change the plan. It should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor each semester. All requirements are subject to change.