Overview

Our Persuasion Track is designed for students interested in careers that involve a great deal of personal interaction and influence. Courses of instruction will deepen your understanding of argumentation, persuasive techniques, public speaking, and help you improve your knowledge and skills in intercultural and social media contexts.

Courses on this track include the core communication courses as well as intercultural communication, presentational speaking, interviewing, argumentation, persuasion, social media campaigns, and new communication media. Classes in presentational speaking, argumentation, and persuasion will develop your public speaking skills beyond the basic skills learned in CMST 1545. Social media and new communication media will prepare you for advancements in communication specifically related to the use of new media for persuasion.

In addition to learning how to present ideas effectively in person-to-person and mediated contexts, students also learn skills relevant to persuading people and developing arguments, which will prove to be essential in careers in sales, customer service/relations, marketing and/or advertising. In intercultural communication, students will learn how to effectively adapt to culturally diverse audiences when preparing and delivering persuasive messages.

This degree prepares students for several career paths (see below), but also leads students to advanced areas of study. For example, graduate study in communication will prepare you for a life of research and teaching in areas such as argumentation (and debate), persuasion, and public speaking. Students who choose this track are often prepared for a Master’s in Business Communication (MBA). The MBA, coupled with a B.A. degree in communication studies with an emphasis on persuasion, is useful in many industries, especially the corporate setting. The persuasion track will prepare you for law school, or for public service in government and politics. Other students may choose this track in preparation for divinity school which, in turn, can lead to a career as a religious leader. Additionally, students who earn a communication degree with an emphasis on persuasive skills are qualified for many sales and marketing positions.

Possible Careers

  • Speech Writer
  • Political Consultant
  • Political Debate Coach
  • Political Analyst
  • Public Relations
  • Advertising
  • Lobbyist
  • Commentator
  • Consumer Advocate
  • Press Secretary
  • Book Publicist
  • Campaign Manager
  • Community Relations
  • Ministry
  • Legislator
  • Motivational Speaker
  • Account Representative
  • Communication Consultant
  • Forensics Coach
  • Fundraiser
  • Spokesperson
  • Lawyer
  • Business-to-Business Sales

Complementary Minors

  • Political Science
  • Journalism
  • Marketing
  • Advertising/Pubic Relations
  • Psychology
  • Criminal Justice
  • Human Geography
  • Nonprofit Leadership
  • Social Institutions
  • Public Administration
  • Telecommunication Studies
  • Foreign Affairs

Students majoring in communication studies must successfully complete all core courses and one of the specified tracks for a total of 39 semester hours in CMST. Students must complete 18 credits of 3000- and 4000-level courses in the CMST major. Students must also complete all requirements for a Bachelor of Arts degree, including the completion of an approved academic minor.

COURSETITLES.H.
General Education Requirements
Core Competencies12
Writing 1
Writing 2
Communication Foundations
Mathematics Requirement (e.g., MATH 2623, STAT 2625)
Arts and Humanities6
Natural Science7
Social Science6
Social and Personal Awareness6
General Education Elective or First Year Experience Course (e.g., CCAC 1500)3
Foreign Language 15504
Foreign Language 26004
Major Requirements
CMST 2600Communication Theory3
CMST 2630Social Media Literacy3
CMST 2655Communication in Groups and Organizations3
CMST 2656Interpersonal Communication3
CMST 3700Designing Communication Research3
CMST 4899Senior Project3
Persuasion Track
CMST 2610Intercultural Communication3
CMST 2645Presentational Speaking3
CMST 3754Argumentation3
CMST 3756Interviewing3
CMST 4850Social Media Campaigns3
CMST 4851New Communication Media3
CMST 5860Persuasion and New Media3
Minor Requirements (note that some minors require more than 18 credits)18
Electives (note that students must complete 48 hours of upper division courses; 37xx and above)15
Total Semester Hours120
Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
FallS.H.
CMST 1545 Communication Foundations 3
ENGL 1550 Writing 1 3
MATH XXXX Approved General Education 3
AH XXXX Arts & Humanities 3
NS XXXX Natural Science GER + lab 4
 Semester Hours16
Spring
CMST 2600 Communication Theory 3
CMST 2630 Social Media Literacy 3
CMST 2656 Interpersonal Communication 3
ENGL 1551 Writing 2 3
SPA XXXX GER Social & Personal Awareness 3
 Semester Hours15
Year 2
Fall
CMST 2655 Communication in Groups and Organizations 3
CMST 2645 Presentational Speaking 3
SPA XXXX GER Social & Personal Awareness 3
NS XXXX GER Natural Science 3
FNLG 1550 Elementary Foreign Language 4
 Semester Hours16
Spring
CMST 2610 Intercultural Communication 3
Minor Course 3
AH XXXX GER Arts & Humanities 3
SS XXXX GER Social Sciences 3
FNLG 2600 Intermediate Foreign Language 4
 Semester Hours16
Year 3
Fall
CMST 3700 Designing Communication Research 3
Minor course 3
Upper-division Minor course 3
SS XXXX GER Social Sciences 3
Upper-division General Elective 3
 Semester Hours15
Spring
CMST 3754 Argumentation 3
CMST 3756 Interviewing 3
Upper-division Minor course 3
GER XXXX General Education Elective 3
Upper-division General Elective 3
 Semester Hours15
Year 4
Fall
CMST 4850 Social Media Campaigns 3
CMST 4851 New Communication Media 3
Upper-division Minor course 3
Upper-division General Elective 3
Upper-division General Elective 3
 Semester Hours15
Spring
CMST 4899 Senior Project 3
CMST 5860 Persuasion and New Media 3
Upper-division Minor course 3
Upper-division General Elective 3
 Semester Hours12
 Total Semester Hours120

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Regardless of track, students graduating with a B.A. degree in communication studies will:

  • differentiate between key theories and concepts in communication
  • find, interpret, evaluate, and synthesize academic research in communication studies
  • demonstrate verbal and nonverbal competence

Students completing their degree in communication studies are uniquely qualified to enter the job market and compete effectively throughout their careers for advancement and promotion.

Through course offerings and applied learning experiences, the communication studies program combines a rich liberal arts emphasis with a much needed specialized professional and career focus for undergraduate students.