(Bachelor of Arts Degree)

The Bob and Cora May Howe Communication Program

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication relies on an interdisciplinary curriculum, drawing from the theoretical and empirical approaches traditionally found in the humanities, social sciences and business. The Communication major provides students with a dynamic and comprehensive understanding of the nature of human communication, from interpersonal to mass communication, and the skills to evaluate and create effective messages for diverse audiences in various cultural contexts. In other words, the Communication major is a generalist approach for studying the symbol systems of communication, the cultures or environments within and through which communication occurs, the media used to communicate messages/concepts, and the effects of those mediated messages. The bachelor’s degree in Communication is a great choice for students who have strong verbal and written skills, are generally curious and creative, and would like to teach, inform, or persuade.
SVC prepares its Communication majors for a broad range of career choices. All businesses need effective communicators to thrive economically. Indeed, all humans need to be able to communicate their ideas for better quality of life. Upon graduation, a Communication major may seek work as a communication specialist in human resources, advocacy, research and development, advertising, sales and marketing, public relations/publicity, publishing, law, politics, journalism, or technical writing. Students who excel in their studies may also pursue graduate study, earning master’s degrees in those areas.
Communication majors are fortunate in that they can pursue diverse subjects in different academic divisions. Though housed in The Hunter Division of Humanities, the Communication major offers courses that share academic/disciplinary interests with academic divisions across Southern Vermont College. Students can, therefore, pursue a focus within the Communication major in areas such as cultural communication, new media, business communication, and healthcare communication. Students will discuss potential areas of focus with their advisors, putting together a plan typically in students’ sophomore year of study.

In addition to receiving a broad theoretical and empirical foundation, Communication majors also complete one internship before graduation. Internships provide students with opportunities to apply theory and research and put them into practice for companies and organizations beyond the classroom. 

All students complete their Communication majors in one of two ways: a Senior Project or a Senior Thesis. While both involve substantial research and writing, the Senior Project is an extended, applied project relating to students’ professional goals beyond SVC. The Senior Thesis is a more traditional academic capstone to coursework and prepares students for graduate school. Students will make decisions about senior projects or theses in consultation with their advisors.

Communication Program Objectives

Graduates in Communication will be able to:
1. Demonstrate critical thinking
2. Demonstrate research abilities
3. Demonstrate competence in professional communication practices
4. Produce a polished and cohesive body of work through a capstone portfolio

Communication Major Portfolio Requirement

In the required Humanities Capstone course, which is part of the College's General Core, Communication majors  compile a portfolio of their best work completed during their educational career. This compilation will demonstrate  proficiency in Communication and exemplify the skills mastered during their years at Southern Vermont College. This portfolio should also meet students' career needs, whether they are headed to graduate school or directly into the job market.


General Core Requirements (12 courses)

Communication Major (11 courses)
Cm101 Fundamentals of Communication          
Cm204 Writing for the Media                  
Cm270 New Media Production                
Cm375 Editing and Publication Design     
Cm403 Media and Culture                     
Hu490 Internship                                  

One of the following:                               
Cm345 Public and Political Communication
Cm350 Interpersonal Communication    
Cm360 Organizational Communication
Cm420 Topics in Communication
Four courses in specialty area               
May include courses from Cm and related fields.
Must receive approval of advisor and Divisional Chairperson.
At least two of four must be at 300 or 400 level.

General Electives (9 courses)        

Recommended Program Sequence
Students in this degree program will work closely with their academic advisors to create an individualized program sequence.