BA in Communications Degree
Earn Your BA in Communications Online
Interpersonal and organizational communication is the foundation of human societies. As a communications major at GCU, you will explore the principles and best practices of communication exchanges. The Bachelor of Arts in Communications is offered by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Grand Canyon University. It examines interpersonal and organizational communications, with an emphasis on the latter to thoroughly prepare individuals to pursue professional objectives.
Students develop foundational skills that are applicable to a wide range of professional functions, including public relations, sales and marketing, human resources and political communications. As a modern university, GCU prioritizes accessibility to education. Students may enroll in the BA in Communications as on-campus or online learners. All online courses offer the same high-caliber education as the on-campus classes. They are taught by fully qualified instructors who provide effective guidance and mentorship.
Study Effective Strategies with Our Bachelor of Arts in Communications
The Bachelor of Arts in Communications at GCU integrates a research-based approach into the curriculum to provide students with a thorough framework for achieving personal and professional success. Beyond becoming effective communicators and presenters of ideas, students acquire key advocacy and conflict resolution skills. They explore small group exchanges, public relations fundamentals, critical thinking skills and ethical decision-making. Some of the courses that are integral to this degree program include the following:
- Argumentation and Advocacy
- Principles of Public Relations
- Conflict and Negotiation
- Communication Research Methods
- Ethical Thinking in the Liberal Arts
As a private Christian university, GCU emphasizes the role of ethics in decision-making and business leadership. Students are encouraged to explore the Christian worldview and understand how it applies to everyday situations. The instructors guide students in learning how to become effective servant leaders. Some of the additional core competencies students will acquire include the following:
- The theoretical art of persuasion and its strategic applications in communication campaigns
- Communication styles, rituals and traditions, including verbal and nonverbal communication, in a diverse and intercultural world
- Designing, developing and delivering corporate training and development programs
- Principles and processes of small group communication, including skills pertaining to participation and leadership
Develop Skills That Apply to Careers in Communications
A communications degree can provide the basis for rewarding careers in many different fields, industries and positions. Many graduates with a BA in Communications decide to pursue careers in media. Print and digital journalism, videography and the entertainment industry may all be potential career fields. Other graduates may pursue a career in the advertising and marketing fields. Copywriter, account specialist and social media manager may all be possible career paths for communications graduates. Other careers that may be related to this degree include:
- Event planner
- Human relations manager or coordinator
- Sports broadcaster
- Client services representative
- Public relations specialist
- Corporate trainer
Career paths in virtually every field and area of expertise can benefit from the skills learned in a communications bachelor of arts degree program. Graduates may choose to pursue work in a private company, agency setting, public organization or nonprofit entity.
General Education Requirements
General Education coursework prepares Grand Canyon University graduates to think critically, communicate clearly, live responsibly in a diverse world, and thoughtfully integrate their faith and ethical convictions into all dimensions of life. These competencies, essential to an effective and satisfying life, are outlined in the General Education Learner Outcomes. General Education courses embody the breadth of human understanding and creativity contained in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Students take an array of foundational knowledge courses that promote expanded knowledge, insight, and the outcomes identified in the University’s General Education Competencies. The knowledge and skills students acquire through these courses serve as a foundation for successful careers and lifelong journeys of growing understanding and wisdom.
Upon completion of the Grand Canyon University's University Foundation experience, students will be able to demonstrate competency in the areas of academic skills and self-leadership. They will be able to articulate the range of resources available to assist them, explore career options related to their area of study, and have knowledge of Grand Canyon's community. Students will be able to demonstrate foundational academic success skills, explore GCU resources (CLA, Library, Career Center, ADA office, etc), articulate strategies of self-leadership and management and recognize opportunities to engage in the GCU community.
- UNV-103, University Success: 4
- UNV-303, University Success: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to construct rhetorically effective communications appropriate to diverse audiences, purposes, and occasions (English composition, communication, critical reading, foreign language, sign language, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of English grammar or composition.
- ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
- UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4
- ENG-106, English Composition II: 4
- COM-263, Elements of Intercultural Communication: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to express aspects of Christian heritage and worldview. Students are required to take CWV-101/CWV-301.
- CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4
- CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to use various analytic and problem-solving skills to examine, evaluate, and/or challenge ideas and arguments. Students are required to take 3 credits of college mathematics or higher.
- MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to demonstrate awareness and appreciation of and empathy for differences in arts and culture, values, experiences, historical perspectives, and other aspects of life (psychology, sociology, government, Christian studies, Bible, geography, anthropology, economics, political science, child and family studies, law, ethics, crosscultural studies, history, art, music, dance, theater, applied arts, literature, health, etc.). If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.
- PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
- INT-244, World Religions: 4
- SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4
Program Core Courses
This course is an introduction to the field of communication with emphasis on the history of communication study, relevant communication theories guiding current research, the contexts in which communication occurs, and issues faced by students of communication. The course focuses on introducing students to various communication models as well as theories and skills in interpersonal communication, small group communication, mass communication, intercultural communication, and public communication.
This course examines the principles and processes of small groups and the development of skills for participation and leadership in small group settings, as well as practice in problem solving, decision making, critical reasoning, and information sharing.
This writing intensive course focuses on improving communication among people with different racial, ethnic, cultural, and minority backgrounds. Students explore verbal and nonverbal communication behaviors in a variety of communication media and contexts. Communication styles, rituals, and traditions are explored through an examination of mass media, family structure, religion, politics, education, social life, art, and literature.
This course considers the role that ethical thinking plays in the liberal arts. Topics are set in historic, literary, artistic, political, philosophical, religious, social, and scientific perspectives. The impact and contributions of leaders in these fields are also considered.
This course provides an overview of the concepts, methods, and tools for communication research design, implementation, interpretation, and critical evaluation in communication research. Prerequisite: COM-100.
This course is designed to introduce the concepts and theories relevant to understanding conflict communication and the negotiation process. In this course, students are introduced to various elements of conflict and negotiation communication across a variety of contexts including interpersonal, organizational, and international. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to analyze power dynamics in relationships, identify conflict styles and tactics, and apply intervention techniques in contexts that are relevant to their future relationships and careers.
The course covers historical and contemporary organizational theory and application across organizational contexts of corporate communication, team/small group communication, and interpersonal communication. Organizational theory and application topics, including leadership, are covered within each major area.
This course introduces students to the relationship between argumentation and advocacy as well as the role of worldviews in shaping the arguments surrounding relevant social issues. This course presents the concepts and skills related to the study of argumentation. Students are introduced to the principles and elements of argumentation in everyday communication across contexts, as well as the skills necessary in constructing and evaluating written and oral arguments.
This course investigates the principles and theories of public relations. Students receive an overview of the function and practices of the growing public relations industry in both profit and nonprofit contexts. This course examines the relationships between the public relations practitioner and various groups including clients, consumers, employees, and media.
This course is designed to help students develop an understanding of training and development in an organizational setting with a particular focus on teaching communication skills and learning the art and science of designing, developing, delivering, and evaluating training and development programs. Training and development as a career field is a significant focus. Prerequisite: COM-355.
This writing intensive course focuses on the communication processes in personal relationships such as romantic relationships, family relationships, and friendships. Through quantitative and qualitative methods and other theoretical perspectives, students in this class examine the expression and interpretation of messages in everyday personal interactions as well as significant relational events. Students also explore communication processes involved in developing, maintaining, and dissolving relationships, how communication impacts partners and their relationships, and how to improve relational quality or individual well-being through communication.
Communication campaigns use a myriad of persuasive strategies to reach a specified audience. This course emphasizes the theoretical art of persuasion and strategic applications in communication campaigns. Students analyze a variety of social, political, environmental, health, and marketing campaigns. Additionally, students design and institute a communication campaign of their choosing. Prerequisite: COM-355.