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The Study of Communication @ Coastal

In the Department of Communication, Languages and Cultures, the study of Communication's primary teaching and learning goal is to integrate theory, practice, and knowledge in the field.  We believe that in the study of Communication, it is essential to understand the core theories and principles that lead to its successful (and ethical) practice, in addition to obtaining the skills, strategies and techniques of that practice.  Therefore, a main goal of the introductory courses in our major is to build the foundation for the kind of thinking and learning that is expected from our students, as well as prepare them for the rest of their studies in the field.

To that end, we offer a basic definition of the field: at its core, we view Communication as “the study of human interaction.”  In this undertaking, we use a mix of research approaches, including observation, survey research, and experimental methods.  We also employ many lenses through which to interpret our observations (e.g., interpretive, realist, critical, etc.).  While it’s true that “human interaction” can become a particularly complex concept as the media through which we interact become more complex, that is fundamentally what we are all interested in.

This basic definition of the central concept of study helps to build a kind of scaffold for students, starting them down the path of understanding communication as we define it in the field, being able to recognize it when they see it, and thinking about what they observe in scholarly terms.  Once they have a core understanding, students can then set about narrowing or specifying this definition in a direction tailored to their interests as they proceed further through their course of study.

In summary, for us the faculty and for our students studying communication, we encourage these efforts in the context of the study of human interaction.  We believe that this approach will best inform our student’s understanding of the discipline of Communication.

(Statement by Dr. Corinne Dalelio)

Communication Majors select a Concentration from one of four areas of focus: 


  • The Communication Studies Concentration prepares students by providing a strong background in such areas as oral communication, group communication, organizational communication, and gender and communication.
  • The Health Communication Concentration prepares students for positions in a variety of health related fields and provides them with the academic foundation necessary for graduate study.  Students gain a wide range of knowledge including how to strategize and design health messages and how to effectively communicate about health in interpersonal situations. 
  • The Interactive Journalism Concentration equips students with the core competencies, values and knowledge to succeed in the rapidly changing interactive journalism and media landscape. The Concentration provides instruction and experience that prepare graduates for entry-level positions as journalism professionals and also provides them with the academic foundation necessary for graduate study.  Specifically, students acquire the skills necessary to think and write clearly, to use the tools of technology, and to understand the relationship and role of media and their effects on society.
  • The Public Relations/Integrated Communication Concentration provides a comprehensive understanding of the principles and best practices guiding the fields of public relations and integrated corporate communication. Students develop skills necessary to strategically manage communication with a variety of organizational stakeholders including media.  Students conduct research, plan programs and corporate communication campaigns that include writing for different media, developing message strategies, and evaluate campaign effectiveness.

Communication Major

CATALOG 2012-2013

I. COMMUNICATION FOUNDATION - 24 Credits (required in each of the 4 Concentrations)

    COMM 101 Introduction to Communication
    COMM 140 Oral Communication
    JOUR 201 Foundations of Journalism and Mass Communication
    COMM 275 Communication Theory
    COMM 276 Communication Research
    COMM 491 Communication Capstone Thesis (OR) COMM 492 Communication Capstone Project
    Select 2 Communication or Journalism courses at 300-400 level

II. CONCENTRATIONS -18 Credits Each (choose one Concentration)


    COMM 311 Health Communication
    COMM 340 Media Effects
    COMM 411 Health Communication and the Media
    COMM 412 Interpersonal Health Communication
    JOUR 309 Introduction to Public Relations
    Select 1 Communication, Journalism or Health Promotion course at 300-400 level


    COMM 274 Organizational Communication
    Select 5 Communication Designated Courses from the following:
        COMM 304, COMM 311, COMM 330, COMM 334, COMM 340, COMM 341,
        COMM 345, COMM 374, COMM 399, COMM 410, COMM 411, COMM 412,
        COMM 470, COMM 495


     JOUR 304 Introduction to Writing for Interactive Media
     JOUR 305 Advanced Writing for Interactive Media
     JOUR 314 TV News Reporting OR JOUR 489 Special Topics
     JOUR 450 Senior Seminar
     COMM 330 Communication and Technology OR JOUR 350 Interactive Media and Society
     COMM 340 Media Effects


     JOUR 304 Introduction to Writing for Interactive Media
     JOUR 309 Introduction to Public Relations
     JOUR 312 Writing for Media Relations
     JOUR 319 Public Relations Practices
     JOUR 419 Strategic Communication Campaigns
     COMM 274 Organizational Communication


Students select a minor in consultation with their advisors.  They can choose from any minors listed in the Coastal Carolina University Catalog including:

Actuarial Science, Actuarial Science and Risk Management, Anthropology, Art History, Art Studio, Asian Studies, Biology, Business Administration, Chemistry, Coastal Geology, Computer Science, Creative Writing,  Dramatic Arts, Economics, English, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Exercise Science, French, German, Global Studies, Graphic Design, Health Promotion, History, Intelligence and Security Studies, International Business Studies, Journalism, Latin American Studies, Marine Science, Mathematics, Medical Humanities, Middle Eastern Studies, Music, New Media and Digital Culture, Philosophy, Photography, Physics, Political Science, Pre-Law, Psychology, Religious Studies, Sociology, Southern Studies, Spanish, Sport Studies, Statistics, Web Application Development, Women's and Gender Studies.