Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Communications: Interpersonal Communication 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

Examine How To Improve Interpersonal Communication and Human Relationships

Even in today’s technology-rich economy, much of our success is still based in effective collaboration and communication between people. In nearly every field, human interaction occurs, whether it’s face-to-face or through digital means. This Bachelor of Arts in Communications with an Emphasis in Interpersonal Communication and Human Relations is designed to teach you how to navigate interactions and leverage specific interpersonal skills in order to facilitate productive communication.

Earn Your BA in Communications From GCU

At GCU, Christian principals are integrated throughout the interpersonal communications courses to determine how we can base our interactions in a Christian worldview. Classes in this BA degree go beyond the theoretical and allow you to enact communication concepts in professional and relational situations.

Throughout the program, you will be taught how to:

  • Analyze negative communication patterns within human relationships
  • Examine how individual behaviors express norms and values
  • Evaluate the effectiveness and ethics of verbal and nonverbal communication behaviors
  • Create effective communication behaviors in organizations, personal settings, and a variety of other interpersonal contexts
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For those who require a flexible schedule, this bachelor’s in communications is offered fully online so you can complete your courses anytime from virtually anywhere. You will have access to online learning resources and an interactive digital platform, which allows you to collaborate with your professors and peers throughout the program.

If your learning style works best with in-person classroom interaction, this BA in Communications is also available through traditional or evening classes. In addition to taking courses on GCU’s campus, you will have access to campus life and student support services. Evening classes are offered once a week, one class at a time for additional flexibility and convenience.

Develop Your Communication and Interpersonal Skills

Throughout the program, you will have the opportunity to develop interpersonal communication skills in the following key areas:

  • Nonverbal and verbal communication analysis
  • Relational communication
  • Leadership
  • Group communication
  • Speech communication
  • Social influence
  • Conflict negotiation

You will be taught to utilize these skills in a variety of different contexts as well as how to train others in using these skills. Courses cover how to facilitate communication across different cultures and how to carry these skills over into online settings.

Total Credits: 120
Campus: 15 weeks
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Online: 7 weeks
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Up to 90 credits, only 84 can be lower division
Campus: $8,250 per semester
[Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid]

Online: $485 per credit
[Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid]

Cost of Attendance

Career Paths for Graduates With a Bachelor’s in Communications: Human Relations Focus

This BA in Communications covers a wide breadth of interpersonal communication and human relationship topics, helping to prepare students with the foundation for a career in a variety of industries. Graduates of this program may be qualified for jobs in fields such as:1

  • Communications research
  • Human resources
  • Public or social media relations
  • Sales

To position yourself for possible career advancement, you may choose to use your foundational skills to pursue a graduate degree or obtain licensure.

Pursue Your Communications Studies at an Accredited University

GCU is proud to be institutionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), providing quality in education since 1968. Our university meets the HLC’s high standards in areas such as integrity, governance, learning effectiveness, admissions, student services, stewardship and academic achievement.

BA in Communications: Interpersonal Communication and Human Relationship Emphasis FAQs

If you are interested in pursuing a communications degree and would like to learn more about the focus in interpersonal and human relations, please read though our answers to these commonly asked questions.

In nearly every field and position, you will need to work with or communicate with other people. Developing interpersonal communication skills can help you to effectively work in teams, provide constructive leadership, build relationships, problem solve, boost emotional intelligence, handle conflict resolution, enhance active listening skills, and build trust.

Inherently, humans are social beings and our relationships can be complex and fulfilling. When our relationships are healthy, they can provide us with a sense of purpose, support, connection and, possibly, better health.2 Having effective communication and interpersonal skills may help you to build and nurture your relationships with others.2

Some of the key skills that are taught in the interpersonal communication courses include nonverbal and verbal communication, relational and group communication, leadership and speech communication, conflict negotiation and social influence.

Are you ready to get started on developing productive communications skills that you can use throughout your career and life? Complete the form on this page to connect with a university counselor. They can help answer your questions and start you on the admissions process for the BA in Communications program.

1 Lyons, R. (n.d.). 24 Top Jobs For Communications Majors. TopResume. Retrieved on Oct. 26, 2023.

2 High Country Behavioral Health. (2021, Jan. 18). The Importance of Social Relationships to Physical and Mental Health. Retrieved on Oct. 26, 2023.

Course List

General Education Requirements:
34-40 credits
52 credits
Open Elective Credits:
28-34 credits
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.

* 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.