Communications Degree With an Interpersonal and Human Relations Emphasis

Bachelor of Arts in Communications with an Emphasis in Interpersonal Communication and Human Relationships

Offered By: College of Humanities and Social Sciences

What an Interpersonal and Human Relations Emphasis Includes

Even in the technology-rich economy of the 21st century, much of our success is still based in effective collaboration and communication between people. In every field human interaction is unavoidable, and our world is in need of professionals who can navigate this interaction throughout different contexts. This Bachelor of Arts degree in Interpersonal Communications and Human Relations is designed to teach students to leverage specific interpersonal skills in order to facilitate productive communication.

The Skills You Will Develop as an Interpersonal Communications Major

Throughout the program, students will develop advanced skills in nonverbal and verbal communication analysis, relational communication, leadership, group communication, speech communication, social influence and conflict negotiation. Students will be prepared to utilize these skills in a variety of different contexts and even to train others in these skills. Courses cover how to facilitate communication across different cultures and how to carry these skills over into digital or online settings.

Christian principals are integrated throughout the program to determine how we can base our communication behaviors in a biblical worldview. Classes in the interpersonal communications and human relations BA program go beyond the theoretical and allows students to enact communication concepts in professional and relational situations.

Throughout the program, students will:

  • Analyze negative communication patterns within interpersonal relationships
  • Examine how individual behaviors express norms and values
  • Evaluate the effectiveness and ethics of verbal and nonverbal communication behaviors
  • Learn to teach these skills to create effective communication behaviors in organizations, families and a variety of other interpersonal contexts

What You Can Do With an Interpersonal Communication and Human Relations BA Degree

Since the communications BA degree in interpersonal and human relations covers a wide breadth of topics, students are prepared for a variety of different careers across many industries. Graduates of this program are qualified for jobs in fields such as:

  • Communications research
  • Human relations
  • Advocacy or civil rights
  • Human resources
  • Management and leadership
  • Public or social media relations

Graduates will also have a strong foundation to pursue careers which require them to attend graduate school or obtain licensure. With further study, graduates will be prepared to pursue careers such as social work, law or counseling.

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Total Credits: 120
Campus: 15 weeks [More Info]

Online: 7 weeks
[More Info]
Up to 90 credits, only 84 can be lower division
Campus: $8,250 per semester [More Info]
Online: $485 per credit [More Info]

Course List

General Education Requirements:
34-40 credits
52 credits
Open Elective Credits:
28-34 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
120 credits

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.

Course Options

  • 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.

Course Options

  • 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.

Course Options

  • 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.

Course Options

  • 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, cross-cultural 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.

Course Options

  • PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
  • INT-244, World Religions: 4
  • SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4

Core Courses

Course Description

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.

Course Description

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.

Course Description

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.

Course Description

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.

Course Description

This course introduces students to the study of ethics as it applies in the communication field. As aspiring communication professionals, students need to learn how to engage in communication that is not only appropriate but also responsive to sound ethical principles. In this course, students learn about major ethical theories and explore how these theories are applied in workplace communication, interpersonal relationships, mass media, and intercultural communication contexts.

Course Description

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.

Course Description

This course is designed as a practical look at marriage and family life with emphasis on understanding social science research on marriage and family life and its present and future applications to the lives of students.

Course Description

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.

Course Description

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.

Course Description

In this course, students explore the dark side communication behaviors that lead to relational dissolution and the communication behaviors that can facilitate relational repair or restoration. Students explore the impact of deception, betrayal, and aggression in more depth and research the process elements of forgiveness and reconciliation in order that they might be a redeeming influence in their personal relationships.

Course Description

In this course, students explore the unique impact that nonverbal communication has in creating and maintaining interpersonal relationships. Building upon knowledge of interpersonal communication gained in previous courses, students in this course dive deeper into how nonverbal choices influence intimacy, self-disclosure, relational satisfaction and maintenance, conflict resolution, and a range of other interpersonal topics of current research in order to become more effective communicators in their close personal relationships. Prerequisite: COM-100.

Course Description

In this course, students learn what it takes to build healthy relationships in the workplace. Students investigate the role of motivation, emotional intelligence, diversity, and ethical behavior in promoting effectiveness at work. The class focuses on “people” skills and utilizing these skills in an increasingly team-based and customer-oriented workplace. Content provides opportunities to become more effective in discerning, ethical, flexible, and perceptive behaviors while working with people. Special attention is given to the challenges students will face in interpersonal communication at work and the opportunities that a workplace environment offers in building social virtuosity.

Course Description

This course includes a culminating reflection and collection of integral works from students' time in the major. Students engage in research specific to their career or graduate school goals and develop a project that displays what they have learned while in the program. Students are exposed to practitioners in the communication field. Students are taught how to effectively communicate their research and develop other skills that support a successful transition into the workforce or graduate school. Prerequisite: COM-333, COM-355.

Program Locations

GCU Campus Student

Join Grand Canyon University’s vibrant and growing campus community, with daytime classes designed for traditional students. Immerse yourself in a full undergraduate experience, complete with curriculum designed within the context of our Christian worldview.

GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

GCU Evening Student

Grand Canyon University’s evening programs cater to the demands of working professionals who prefer an in-person learning environment. Our night classes meet just once per week and offer the interaction and discussion of a typical college classroom.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.

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