Communication Studies Program

DISCOVER THE COMMUNICATION STUDIES PROGRAM

A student majoring in Communications learns how humans communicate in every possible setting, from small groups to large organizations, and for every possible reason, from debates to public speaking. Effective communication skills influence every aspect of life and can serve as the basis for careers in a variety of areas.

Communication majors can go into public relations or other related occupations, while some go on to graduate school or law school. But many students graduate with an education degree and teach speech in Middle Schools or High Schools.


Communication Studies at BHSU offer:

  • The opportunity to join the Forensics Team and participate in debates across the state
  • Small classes with excellent individual attention
  • Highly motivated and experienced faculty
  • Opportunities to use your speech skills in other student organizations, such as the campus radio and TV stations

Develop a Highly Desirable Skill Set

As a Communication Studies Major or Minor you will study people and how they interact with each other using messages. Five hundred years ago, French intellectual François de La Rochefoucauld remarked that one is better off studying people rather than books. In today’s fast-changing society where technical requirements of jobs change rapidly, the one constant you can count on is that you will need to understand people. If you want to be more clear and persuasive when you communicate, if you want to understand what other people are saying, and if you want a skill set that will be relevant no matter what the future holds, consider a Communication Studies major or minor.

  • THE OPPORTUNITY to join the Forensics Team and compete at tournaments across the country.
  • SMALL CLASSES with excellent individual attention.
  • HIGHLY MOTIVATED and experienced faculty.
  • EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION SKILLS influence every aspect of life and can serve as the basis for careers in a variety of areas.

Communication Studies Course Requirements

Minors

Minor in Speech  - Emphasis in Mass Communication - 24 hours

  • 3 MCOM 210 Basic Newswriting
  • 3 MCOM 220 Introduction to Digital Media
  • 3 MCOM 265 Basic Photography
  • 3 MCOM 317 News Gathering
  • 3 MCOM 221 Audio Production or MCOM 331 Video Production
  • 9 Electives from SPCM, MCOM, or THEA

Minor in Speech - Emphasis in Speech Communication - 24 hours

  • 3 SPCM 215 Public Speaking (gen ed)
  • 3 SPCM 222 Argumentation and Debate
  • 3 SPCM 405 Theories of Communication
  • 3 SPCM 410 Organizational Communication
  • 3 SPCM 434 Small Group Communication
  • 3 SPCM 466 Principles of Rhetoric
  • 3 SPCM Elective
  • 3 Electives from SPCM, MCOM, or THEA

Minor in Speech - Emphasis in Theatre - 24 hours

  • 3 THEA 100 Introduction to Theatre
  • 3 THEA 131 Introduction to Acting
  • 3 THEA 241 Stagecraft
  • 3 THEA 243 Makeup
  • 3 THEA 344 Fundamentals of Design
  • 3 THEA 351 Directing
  • 3 THEA 495 Practicum
  • 3 THEA 300/400 level elective

Minor in Speech - Emphasis in Mass Communcation - Teaching - 27 hours

  • 3 MCOM 210 Basic Newswriting
  • 3 MCOM 220 Introduction to Digital Media
  • 3 MCOM 265 Basic Photography
  • 3 MCOM 266 Photojournalism
  • 3 MCOM 317 News Gathering
  • 3 MCOM 327 Advanced News Gathering
  • 3 MCOM 328 Advertising Media Communication
  • 3 MCOM 221 Audio Production or MCOM 331 Video Production
  • 3 SEED 424 7-12 Language Arts Methods

Minor in Speech - Emphasis in Speech Communication - Teaching - 27 hours

  • 3 PHIL 220 Introduction of Ethics
  • 2 SPCM 201 Interpersonal Communication
  • 3 SPCM 215 Public Speaking 
  • 3 SPCM 222 Argumentation and Debate
  • 3 SPCM 405 Theories of Communication
  • 3 SPCM 410 Organizational Communication
  • 3 SPCM 434 Small Group Communication
  • 3 SPCM 466 Principles of Rhetoric
  • 3 SEED 424 7-12 Language Arts Methods

Minor in Speech - Emphasis in Theatre - Teaching - 27 hours

  • 3 SPCM 222 Argumentation and Debate
  • 3 THEA 100 Introduction to Theatre
  • 3 THEA 131 Introduction to Acting
  • 3 THEA 241 Stagecraft
  • 3 THEA 243 Makeup
  • 3 THEA 344 Fundamentals of Design 
  • 3 THEA 351 Directing 
  • 3 THEA 495 Practicum
  • 3 SEED 424 7-12 Language Arts Methods

Communication Studies

Required Core - 33 semester hours

  • 3 SPCM 201 Interpersonal Communication
  • 3 SPCM 215 Public Speaking (gen ed)
  • 3 SPCM 222 Argumentation and Debate
  • 3 SPCM 405 Theories of Communication
  • 3 SPCM 410 Organizational Communication
  • 3 SPCM 434 Small Group Communication
  • 3 SPCM 466 Principles of Rhetoric
  • 3 SPCM 485 Communication & Conflict Resolution
  • 3 SPCM 300/400 Level Elective
  • 6 Electives from SPCM, MCOM, or THEA

Gen Ed Requirements - 30 semester hours

  • 3 ENGL 101 Composition I
  • 3 ENGL 201 Composition II
  • 3 MATH Gen Ed - Mathematics
  • 3 SPCM Speech 101, 215 or 222
  • 6 * Gen Ed - Social Science
  • 6 * Gen Ed - Arts & Humanities
  • 6-8 Gen Ed - Natural Science & Lab

* Global Requirement: depending on your selection, this requirement will satisfy 3 hours of either Social Science or Arts & Humanities requirements. Take 1 course from AIS/HIST 257, ANTH 210, ARTH 211/212/251, ENGL 211/212, GEOG 210, HIST 121/122/153, HUM 100, MCOM 151, POLS 141/250

A minor is required with this major plus electives to total 120 hours, of which 36 hours must be 300-400 level courses.

Speech Communication Studies - Teaching

Required Core - 33 Semester hours

  • 3 MCOM 300/400 level Elective
  • 3 SEED 424 7-12 Language Arts Methods
  • 3 SPCM 201 Interpersonal Communication
  • 3 SPCM 215 Public Speaking (gen ed)
  • 3 SPCM 222 Argumentation and Debate
  • 3 SPCM 405 Theories of Communication
  • 3 SPCM 410 Organizational Communication
  • 3 SPCM 466 Principles of Rhetoric
  • 3 THEA 131 Introduction to Acting (gen ed)
  • 6 Electives from SPCM, MCOM, PHIL 220, or THEA

Pre-Professional Teaching Core - 18 Semester hours

  • 2 EDFN 338 Foundations of American Education
  • 1 EDFN 295 Practicum: Pre-Admission Teaching
  • 3 EPSY 302 Educational Pyschology
  • 3 INED 411 South Dakota Indian Studies
  • 3 PSYC 101 General Psychology (gen ed)
  • 3 EPSY 428 Child & Adolescent Development
  • 3 SPED 100 Intro to Persons with Exceptionalities

Professional Secondary Ed Teaching Core - 26 Semester hours

  • 3 EDFN 365 Computer Based Technology & Learning
  • 1 EDFN 375 Methods of Technology Integration
  • 1 EDFN 440 Classroom Management
  • 2 MLED 480 Middle Level Methods
  • 2 SEED 408 Plan, Manage, & Assess the 7-12 Diverse Classroom
  • 3 SEED 450 7-12 Reading & Content Literacy
  • 9 SEED 488 7-12 Student Teaching
  • 1 SEED 495 Practicum: Pre-Student Teaching
  • 3 EDFN 475 Human Relations

Gen Ed Requirements - 31 semester hours

  • 3 ENGL 101 - Composition I
  • 3 ENGL 201 - Composition II
  • 3 MATH Gen Ed - Mathematics
  • 3 SPCM Speech 101, 215 or 222
  • 6 Gen Ed - Social Science
  • 6 Gen Ed - Arts & Humanities
  • 6-8 Gen Ed - Natural Science & Lab

* Global Requirement: depending on your selection, this requirement will satisfy 3 hours of either Social Science or Arts & Humanities requirements. Take 1 course from AIS/HIST 257, ANTH 210, ARTH 211/212/251, ENGL 211/212, GEOG 210, HIST 121/122/153, HUM 100, MCOM 151, POLS 141/250

A minor is NOT required with this major but electives are required to total 120 hours, of which 36 hours must be 300-400 level courses.

FIND YOUR CAREER

Employment opportunities include:
» Applied Communication
» Communication Education
» Electronic and Digital Media
» Health Communication
» International Communication
» Legal Communication
» Mediation and Dispute Resolution
» Performance Studies
» Public Address
» Public Relations
» Rhetorical Criticism

Student Experiences

Bill Schulz

“BHSU Communications Studies is an excellent program not only for those students planning to enter the speech communication field, but for any student who wants to improve thinking and speaking abilities. The program, especially debate classes, prepares students to communicate clearly and succinctly in ‘real life’ scenarios. As a graduate of BHSU and a participant in the debate program, I rely daily on the thinking and speaking knowledge that I gained through the program. The Communications Studies major provides current students and graduates like me with not only the knowledge of communication theory and practice, but with the wisdom to put that knowledge into practice. I highly recommend the classes for theory, practice, and future application as a major course of study or as electives.

Shelby Larson

“As a transfer student, I am proud to report that the decision to earn my degree at BHSU rather than other institutions was the right decision. The course schedule coupled with engaging and dedicated professors make the Communication Studies major an educational and worthy endeavor. My degree services my professional life as part of a management team for an affordable housing community. I use my degree every day. All human beings need to communicate. My degree helps me to understand, use and excel in it. The value is in the name: Communication.”

KATRINA HUFT
BHSU ALUMNI

“Obtaining a Communication Studies degree from BHSU gave me the tools I needed to follow my dreams. For me, it was more than earning a degree; it was gaining the skills I would use in my career as an Admissions Counselor and High School Soccer Coach, as well as in my everyday life.”

TAKE THE NEXT STEP

Develop valuable personal relationships in a small community with amazing faculty and staff while thriving in the outdoors of the Black Hills.