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Frequently Asked Questions

Communication and Emerging Media

FAQ for Students Considering the Communication Major

You may have a few (or several) questions regarding the communication major. Maybe you are curious about the discipline. Maybe you want to know about the courses that we offer. Or maybe it's "What can I do with this degree?"

For answers to many commonly asked questions such as these, view the content below.

As a communication major, you would have the opportunity to:

  • Work with outstanding faculty, including a two-time recipient of the UofSC Aiken Teaching Excellence Award
  • Develop your communication and leadership skills
  • Apply your knowledge by participating in co-curricular activities like the Pacer Times student newspaper, Lambda Pi Eta honor society, International Association of Business Communicators
  • Learn from department faculty who are dedicated to helping you learn and achieve your goals
    • The department's faculty strive to be innovative teachers who use active and experiential teaching tools to promote understanding and application.
  • Learn with others who are supportive, helpful and capable
    • Our students have been recognized for leadership excellence and have won awards from the South Carolina Press Association and the South Carolina College Speech Association.
  • Make a difference in the community by participating in service organizations or classroom-based service-learning
  • Obtain one of several academic scholarships offered each year to communication majors at the sophomore level and above

Those of us who study communication look at verbal and nonverbal symbols, spoken and written messages, interactions, relationships, networks, persuasive campaigns, media effects, new media and social media, broadcasting, communication ethics, and more.

A practical and important discipline, communication prepares students to enter a wide range of careers as well as graduate study in the disciple or in related disciplines, such as law or higher education administration. The topics and issues covered in communication classes apply to a wide range of experiences in one’s career and also in one’s personal life. 

Some students go to graduate school to continue their study of the discipline, and some go to grad school to study related topics. Most of our graduates go directly into careers. One recent graduate is the community relations coordinator for a local blood bank, another is an assistant basketball coach on the college level, a third is a youth minister, while another is a writer at a local newspaper.

A B.A. in Communication can help you secure a variety of jobs. Here are some options:

Advertising Executive Speech Writer
Radio Host Marketing Rep
Copywriter Technical Writer
Television Broadcaster Journalist
Editor Alumni Affairs Officer
Lobbyist Volunteer Coordinator
Recruiter Employment Interviewer
Public Relations Specialist Manager
Public Relations Manager Magazine Writing and Editing
Reporter Corporate Training
Sales and Marketing Professional Lecturing
Web Design Law
Persuasive Speaking Media Production
Non-profit Management Social Media Specialist
Information Security Analyst Advertising, Promotion, and Marketing Manager
Computer Information Research Scientist  

FAQ for Communication Majors

Are you a communication major who has questions? For answers to many commonly asked questions from communication majors, view the content below.

Note: This information should not serve as a substitute for good conversations with your advisor.

If the class has multiple sections, you can look for an open section of that class that fits into your schedule and register for that section. If that doesn’t work, you can select a class from the list of alternates your advisor approves for you. In some cases, the dean or department chair can approve an override. Please ask your advisor before registering for any class.

If you and your advisor have discussed taking the class and your advisor approves, you can add the class. Courses can be added until the first week of classes. Do not add a class your advisor hasn’t approved. 

You should always consult with your advisor before dropping a class because it could cause potential issues. For example, if the course is a requirement for your degree that isn’t offered again soon or is a prerequisite to a course you need, dropping it might delay your graduation. You should also be sure that dropping a course will not hurt your financial aid, scholarship eligibility, or insurance coverage.

A full-time student can certainly graduate in four years. You must complete 120 credit hours, so, on average, you need to complete 15 hours per semester. You must keep track of your own progress and make sure all your courses will count toward graduation. Work closely with your advisor on that as well as on timing of classes. We do not offer every class every semester, so be aware of course rotations. Finally, if you have changed your major, you may have taken courses that will not count toward your communication degree. That may result in additional semesters. Obviously, dropping or failing a class can delay your graduation as well. 

  • Freshmen must take AFCI 101 Critical Inquiry during their first semester.
  • Take your English composition classes (ENGL 101 and 102) right away. These courses develop your writing skills and help you do well on papers and exams in other classes. Passing ENGL 101 and 102 with a C or higher is a prerequisite for some communication courses. You need good writing skills to succeed in communication.
  • Take your math classes right away before you have time to forget what you learned in high school.
  • During your first year, you will want to take COMM 190: Introduction to Communication.
  • Consider taking AFYS 101: The First-Year Seminar. This elective course helps new students succeed in college by helping them develop good study habits, improve note-takings skills, learn how to work with professors, gain strategies for improving test takings kills, and overcome test anxiety. 
  • Take COMM 201: Interpersonal Communication and COMM 241: Public Speaking during your sophomore year.
  • If you want to continue your second language from high school, take those classes right away.
  • Take classes to complete your general education requirements and to help you select a secondary area of study. Be sure to take at least one class every semester that really interests you.
  • Pay attention to course numbers and plan to take 100 and 200 level courses before 300 and 400 levels. Also, please note course prerequisites.
  • Once you have completed 60 credits, submit your Writing Proficiency Portfolio. You must pass this before you can take your Capstone. ENGL 201 Writing the University with a grade of C or better also meets this requirement.
  • Not all courses are offered every semester. The “rotation schedule” is a plan, not a guarantee, so do not leave too many required courses for the last semester.
Yes, however, you will meet that requirement when you take COMM 450: Intercultural Communication, which is a core requirement for communication majors.
All UofSC Aiken students who are meeting the requirements of the 2011-2012 or later bulletin must take three courses designated as Writing Intensive, including one in their major. The Department of Communication offers a number of Writing Intensive courses.

First, entering freshmen should take the online math placement test. Watch prerequisites carefully. You have several choices of math, statistics or logic classes from which to choose, including the following:

  • Statistics (STAT 201) is a helpful class for students interested in media, public relations, political campaigns and many other communication careers.
  • MATH 103 and/or MATH 104 focus on math for practical purposes and emphasize contemporary mathematical thinking.
  • MATH 108 is designed to help you think logically and is the standard college algebra class. It is a prerequisite for more advanced math classes.
  • PHIL 110 is a logic course that studies deductive reasoning.

These are just some of the choices. Work with your advisor to select the math courses that best meet your needs.

The capstone should bring together all that you have learned in the communication classes you have taken. It helps you to evaluate, integrate, and demonstrate what you have learned. Students complete this experience as one of their senior year courses. Students work with an organization and make all arrangements for their capstone experience with approval and guidance from their capstone instructor. Talk with your advisor and the capstone instructor before you contact an organization.

UofSC Aiken communication majors have two options for the capstone experience. One is the internship (COMM A497), where you apply the knowledge and skills you’ve obtained to a position in newspaper, broadcasting, public relations, graphic design, magazine writing, advertising, or another communication field. You will work with a professional who has education and/or work experience in the chosen areas as well as with a faculty member from the department. You should both deepen and expand your understanding of the discipline in this practical experience. Students have completed recent internships at local TV and radio stations, Global Spectrum, Aiken Electric Cooperative, and other organizations.

The second option is a service-learning experience (COMM A499), which involves applying your knowledge and skills in a non-profit, charitable organization. During your experience, you should find yourself integrating theory with practice, gaining a greater understanding of communication principles.

Learn more about the capstone.

All communication majors complete an online exit interview before they graduate. We use this to help judge how effective your education here has been.