The 20 Best Schools for Communications Majors in 2009

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April 4th, 2009 in Rankings

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best communications colleges

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At College Crunch we evaluated the Communications programs at numerous colleges and universities around the United States. We took a number of factors into account when developing our rankings. The goal of this list is to give prospective students looking for careers in the communication field a sense of which schools will best prepare them to maximize their career potential. In addition to academic quality, we also placed heavy emphasis on schools which create opportunities for practical experience.
Degrees in Communications Here's our list of the top schools for communications majors in 2009:

1. University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania Annenberg School for Communication is the best in country. It has a thorough communications program which covers a broad range of relevant course work. Students majoring in communications will learn of contemporary culture, media institutions, and will study the impact and influences of the various disciplines which affect and are affected by communications. Communication majors will be required to take 14 communication specific courses. Students are offered the opportunity to participate in internships and independent study. Additionally, students are afforded the opportunity to study abroad. The University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication is dedicated to the advancement of the communications field through research and educational experiences.

2. Syracuse University

Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications endeavors to explore the breadth of the communications discipline. Communications majors can study print journalism, broadcast journalism, even photography. The school integrates the internet and computer-based interactive multimedia into their program. The program places a concentration on ethics and professionalism. The faculty are professionals in the communications field. Admission to the school is extremely aggressive with only the top candidates gaining admission.

3. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s department of communication studies offers hundreds of undergraduate majors. The program uses research and service to instill the ideas from the classroom and to further the reach of the program. The communications program investigates the effects of communication on social, political, cultural, and economic institutions. The program develops the necessary skills to be successful in the communications field. Students are required to complete thirty credit hours in communication specific courses and must choose a concentration in which at least four courses must be completed.

4. University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Communication studies at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor focus on the new technologies facilitating communications and the media. The curriculum includes studying the history of communication and how communication has affected history. The focus on mass media investigates the impact mass media has had on the culture, society, and the governments of the current world. The school endeavors to incite thoughtful discussion and curiosity of the way communications through mass media and the technological outlets for it have influenced every aspect of modern life. The program at the University ensures students are provided with the groundwork needed to pursue post graduate education or to enter into the profession.

5. Pepperdine University

The Pepperdine University Seaver College Communication Division is one of the best in the country. At Pepperdine, communication majors can select a concentration in advertising, communication, journalism, public relations, rhetoric and leadership or telecommunication. The program exams the methods and effects of communication on interpersonal relationships. The communication major has certain required courses which are mandatory; theory, communication research, ethics, and message creation and effects. The University offers an accelerated masters degree program.

6. University of Kansas

The University of Kansas has an excellent communications department which understands the pivotal role that communications play in today's world. The University’s communication program incorporates technology and the study of the impact of these advancements on communications into the program. Students study the fundamentals of communications gaining a solid foundation and understanding of the central role of communications in society. KU’s debate program is considered one of the top five programs in the nation. Students are afforded the opportunity to also minor in interdisciplinary leadership to further expand their marketable skills and abilities. The University holds to the belief that leadership and communication are essential to the success of one to the other.

7. University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Students majoring in communication studies at the University of North Carolina will study the theory and practice of communication in numerous fields and disciplines. Students will study communication in relation to health organizations, public relations, organizational structures, as well as the interpersonal. The specific types of communication are also analyzed. The communication curriculum is structured with specific course requirements which must be met in order to attain the Bachelor of Arts degree in communication studies. A specified language course must be completed. Additionally, students are expected to complete various courses in theory, research, macro and micro context. Students are expected to pursue a concentration of which 12-21 hours in course work must be completed.

8. California State University at Northridge

California State University's Department of Communication Studies recognizes the elemental relationship of communications in society and the impact it has on culture. The communications program encompasses a broad range of communication studies providing a comprehensive understanding of the various disciplines of communications. The curriculum includes language, culture, rhetorical, and performance studies. Theory is integrated into the core program along with the complex analysis of communications through various mediums and contexts. The school facilitates personal relationships between students and faculty and the faculty members are actively involved in many relevant organizations and associations in the various realms of communications.

9. University of Massachusetts Amherst College

The Department of Communication at Amherst College, University of Massachusetts views the discipline of communications as a social process which reveals a deeper understanding of society and culture. Through the study of communication individuals can discover new methods of solving complex societal issues. The major is observed and administered as a social science. The curriculum is intended to develop critical thinking skills and to instill the skills necessary for professional fields geared towards communications and which require flexibility. Students have the option to study abroad and to gain valuable experience through internships.

10. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

For persons seeking a more technologically contemporary communications program, MIT's Comparative Media department would be the place to go. Though far from a traditional Communications degree program, MIT offers a unique perspective on a major with a long history of traditional study. The Comparative Media studies program at MIT, once known as Film and Media Studies, is the study of television, game design, virtual worlds, digital artworks, civic media, interactive writing, and film. Students can choose comparative media studies as either a singular or joint major. Students may also choose to pursue it as a second degree. Six minors and four concentrations are also offered in the CMS field of study.

11. University of Iowa

Communication Studies at the University of Iowa is the third largest major in the University. The school holds the study of communications in high regard and considers the discipline as an essential program of study. The University approaches communications study from a broad angle; recognizing the intricate and complex forms of communication. The curriculum examines contexts, practices, and theory of communication. The faculty members are experts in various fields. The program is flexible, allowing students to tailor their courses to their various interests and career or educational goals.

12. Bowling Green State University

Bowling Green State University’s School of Communication Studies offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs through the Departments of Interpersonal Communication, Journalism, and Telecommunications. Students can participate in internship opportunities available directly on the campus or off campus. The school also provides the opportunity to study abroad. The University houses two on campus newspapers, two radio stations, and a television station. The undergraduate program offer three bachelor degree programs, journalism, telecommunications and interpersonal communication. Numerous minors are also offered.

13. Northwestern University

The School of Communication at Northwestern University is a multifaceted program which looks at the role communications assumes in the social, political and cultural arenas. The program explores the breadth of the discipline evaluating various measures of which to evaluate the varying contexts. The program incorporates the ideas and technology of modern communications methods in the program. Students can choose from undergraduate programs in 18 different disciplines including playwriting, sound design, media and technology studies, rhetoric, audiology, speech, neuroscience, and a number of additional options.

14. University of Texas, Austin

The University of Texas Communication studies program explores communications from the basic structure to the social use of communications. The curriculum evaluates communication on an interpersonal level, in the political arena, and in groups and organizations. The University of Texas offers both undergraduate and graduate studies. The graduate program in the University is ranked among the top in the nation. The competitive forensic team provides the opportunity to cultivate speaking, performing and debate skills in a public forum. This workshop is credited by many alumni for their success in the professional arena.

15. University of Minnesota

The Department of Communication Studies at the University of Minnesota reflects the diverse interests and wide reach of communications in society. Students in the communications program are offered courses in communication theory, language and gender, discourse analysis, feminist and African American rhetoric and mass media studies. The wide range of subject matters is reflective of the department’s commitment to providing a thorough educational opportunity encompassing many relevant topics.

16. James Madison University

The School of Communication Studies at James Madison University offers 7 areas of study; conflict analysis and intervention, cultural communication, health communication, interpersonal communication, organizational communication, public communication, and public relations. Besides the major courses of study, the school also offers a number of minors. The curriculum requires students to complete 39 hours of communication studies courses and must include courses from five areas designated by the college. Internships and involvement in the programs organizations are encouraged.

17. Gallaudet University

Gallaudet University's Department of Communication Studies is housed within the schools college of liberal arts, sciences and technology. The program focuses on the process of communication and how it is used in formal and informal environments. Students can pursue a bachelor degree in communication studies or minor in communication studies or journalism. Gallaudet University’s Technology Access Program provides students the opportunity to participate in research geared towards advancing technologies intended to improve the availability of certain public services.

18. Alfred University

Alfred University Communication studies program within their College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is located in NY. The program analyzes the economic aspect of the various media industries which are shaping much of the communication of today. The curriculum is flexible allowing students to pursue any number of the specialized disciplines in the communications field. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities to gain practical experience through the on-campus radio station, television station or newspaper. Internships are also available through an off campus organization in the industry.

19. Baldwin Wallace College

The Communications program at Baldwin Wallace offers many unique elements. The college teaches communication theory concerning human communications. Students are offered opportunities to translate the theories into practical application then display their work online under a portfolio created specifically for the student. Additionally, students participate in a two semester research program which uses start of the art software technology to measure the data. Only a few schools in the nation offer this type of opportunity at this collegiate level.

20. Sonoma University

The communications program at Sonoma University focus on the various facets of media. Students evaluate the historical evolution and effect, learn the practical application techniques, and acquire critical thinking skills through analysis. Students enjoy a flexible program which can be tailored to their interests and career goals. Internships are encouraged and recommended to gain the experience and skills which will facilitate successful entry into the professional communications medians. The on-campus newspaper, television station, and internet radio station afford opportunities to develop specific industry skills.

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