From Tracks to Majors
Posted on June 28, 2023 by Dept. of Communication
The Department of Communication has recently launched three new degree programs within the College of Arts and Sciences. These new programs offer students a unique opportunity to study a wide range of topics and prepare for careers in various fields.
No longer offered as just concentrations within the communication major, students can now major and minor in advertising and public relations, communication studies, digital film and television production, or journalism (broadcast and multimedia).
“The new majors and the changes made to the curriculum will allow students to major and minor all under the Department of Communication’s umbrella,” said Dr. George Bovenizer, an assistant professor of communication. “So, students who are honed in on what they want to pursue can focus all of their efforts in a major and minor that are closely related.”
“Additionally, the new majors are a response to what surveys showed our students want. Students indicated they desire degrees pinpointed to their exact future professional goals. For example, if a student knows early on they want to be a journalist, the new major is set up to train the student in that strict capacity.”
Previously, students could earn a Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a concentration in Strategic Communication, Digital Film and Television, or Journalism. In this format, they were limited to only one program of study within the communication field. Now, students are able to study multiple areas by majoring and minoring within the department.
"Communication faculty are excited about the creation of the new majors,” said Dr. April DuPree Taylor, an assistant professor of communication. “I am most excited students have the option to major in one communication discipline and complete their minor in another communication discipline. Before creating separate majors, students were often conflicted over which concentration they would pursue, as they were interested in many facets of the communication field. Allowing students to major in one discipline and minor in another discipline gives students an amazing opportunity to pursue their top two communication choices."
The original program went through a name change and is now a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies. This program is designed for students who are interested in understanding the role of communication in various contexts, including interpersonal, organizational and cultural. Students learn to communicate effectively in different settings, develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and gain a deeper understanding of the impact of communication on society.
The Bachelor of Arts in Digital Film and Television Production is designed for students who are interested in the production and creation of digital media. Students will learn about the various aspects of digital film and television production, including writing, directing, editing and producing. The program will prepare students for careers in television and film production in various settings.
The Bachelor of Arts in Journalism trains students to write, report, interview, investigate and relay information for broadcast, print and digital mediums. Students can choose between a broadcast and multimedia concentration.
The Bachelor of Arts in Advertising and Public Relations is designed for students who are interested in developing communication strategies for businesses and organizations.
“The advertising and public relations major offers students a comprehensive understanding of the principles and practices involved in these fields,” said Dr. Jung Hwa Choi, an assistant professor of communication. “Through the major, students can acquire practical skills in areas such as media planning, campaign development, crisis management, social media analytics and others. These skills are highly valued in numerous industries and can help students distinguish themselves in the competitive job market.”
These new degree programs offer students a unique opportunity to study communication from a variety of perspectives and prepare for careers in a wide range of fields. Students will gain hands-on experience, learn about the latest technology and techniques, and develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. With these four distinct programs, the University of South Alabama is providing students with the tools they need to succeed in the rapidly evolving world of communication.