Communication Department - B.S. in Communication


Communication Student At Work

 

A degree in communication can open doors to a wide variety of exciting and creative professional opportunities and experiences. Our B.S. Degree in Communication gives you a choice of concentrations in broadcasting, broadcast sales, health communication, journalism, or public relations.

To become a Communication major a student must have a minimum overall GPA of 2.0. First semester freshman and transfer students can declare without an established GPA and are required to obtain such at the end of their first semester. Students must pass with a grade of C (2.00) or better all required courses in the communication degree program.

Browse our programs and find the concentration or minor in Communication that's right for you.

Broadcasting

Western Carolina University's broadcasting concentration gives you the opportunity to work and learn in a network-quality digital television studio or in Jackson County's only FM radio station. Students often take on “real world” commercial projects as a part of class assignments. Many of our grads go directly into the top 100 markets.  

8-Semester Plan B.S. Communication, Broadcasting Concentration

Broadcast Sales

Our broadcast sales concentration is recognized by the broadcasting industry as one of the very top in the field. WCU is one of less than 10 universities to offer industry-recognized professional certification prior to graduation. Our broadcast sales grads are in high demand.

8-Semester Plan B.S. Communication, Broadcast Sales Concentration

Health Communication

A program that focuses on how people, individually and collectively, understand and accommodate to health and illness and the role of communication and media in shaping professional health care messages and public acceptance of these messages. Includes instruction in the development and use of health-related and care-related messages and media; the goals and strategies of health care promotion; relationships, roles, situations, and social structures in the context of health maintenance and promotion; and applications to disease prevention, health advocacy, and communications concerning treatments.

8-Semester Plan B.S. Communication, Health Communication

Journalism

Our journalism concentration or its associated minor provides the basis for a fascinating and challenging career in a field that is changing daily as the traditional print and electronic media move closer together. This is a rapidly changing field. You will be able to publish your work on the communications student-run news website The Western Carolina Journalist.    

8-Semester Plan B.S. Communication, Journalism Concentration

Public Relations

WCU’s public relations concentration will prepare you for a successful public relations career. Through your coursework you can take on “real world” projects and clients and also participate in Catamount Communications, the student-run public relations firm. WCU’s public relations grads can be found in some of the top corporations and government agencies.

8-Semester Plan B.S. Communication, Public Relations Concentration

Communication and Journalism Minors

You can supplement your major in any subject with a minor:

Student Information

Advising And Degree Checklist for Communication

When you declare your intent to become a communication major you’ll be paired with a communication faculty member who will serve as your academic advisor and mentor. Your advisor will assist you with your admittance to the program and beyond—they’ll help you pursue your chosen major and/or minor throughout your academic career. 

Twice a year WCU has advising days during which you are expected to come and meet with your advisor and discuss the classes you will be taking during the next semester. You must come to your advising appointment prepared: consult the university catalog and your degree audit on myWCU to ensure that you are ready for advising.

Please use the link below for advising checklist sheet. 

Communication Degree Checklist

Communication Scholarships

While loans, grants, and Work-Study make up the bulk of most students’ financial aid package, there are many scholarships available as well. Many are merit-based, recognizing achievement in areas in which you already excel. Below is a list of departmental scholarships and there is a complete listing of scholarships in the online catalog.

The Patrick Lee Carmody Fund Scholarship
The purpose of the Patrick Lee Carmody Fund is to provide continuing support for scholarships for Western Carolina University students who are majoring in the B.S. in Communication (Broadcasting) program.
read more about selection criteria

Roy A. Taylor Scholarship
The Roy A. Taylor Scholarship is awarded to a rising senior pursuing a bachelor’s degree in human communication (formerly speech) with consideration given to a rising junior meeting the same criteria if there are no seniors meeting the requirements.
read more about selection criteria

Dr. Kathleen Wright Scholarship

Dr. Kathleen Wright was a dedicated professor and head of the Department of Communication.  During her 35 years at Western Carolina Dr. Wright literally served on every college and university committee and she served as Chair of the Faculty Senate, the governing body of the faculty.  She always had an incredible "can do" spirit when it came to her students and department.  In 1996 Dr. Wright received one of the University's highest honors, the Paul A. Reid Service Award.  Upon her retirement Dr. Wright was given the status of Professor Emeritus at Western Carolina University.

Arthur Anderson Endowed Scholarship Fund
The Arthur Anderson Endowed Scholarship Fund is for students obtaining a degree in the performing arts including radio and television.  

It is awarded in alternating years in conjunction with the School of State and Screen.  Arthur Anderson was a radio, television, and New York based actor for over 70 years.

Communication Student and Professional Organizations

Communication students have plenty of opportunities to gain professional experience and start networking while still in school. You can get your hands dirty working with:

  • WWCU-FM Power 90.5 is the broadcast service of Western Carolina University. Since its inception in 1948, WWCU has grown from being a small club to a professional learning laboratory in the Department of Communication, for students as well as any interested faculty and staff. The student-managed station is on the air 24/7/365 serving the residents of Jackson and Haywood County. This station remains the only local FM station serving the area.
    Contact Professor Don Connelly, department head and faculty adviser.
  • The Western Carolina Journalist is the news web site of the Department of Communication established in the fall of 2010. The site is a part of the curriculum of the department, but day-to-day content and operation decisions are made by a student staff appointed by the faculty. The Western Carolina Journalist is not part of, or affiliated with, any student activity media. It works cooperatively with other media hosted by the Department of Communication.
    Contact Dr. Katerina Spasovska, assistant professor of communication in Journalism concentration and faculty adviser.
  • The WCU Society of Professional Journalists student chapter was created in 2013. Since then, members of the chapter have participated in several of the Excellence in Journalism conferences, regional conferences, and the Scripts Leadership Institutes. These conferences are very beneficial for our chapter leadership and members providing an opportunity to listen and participate in workshops with professional journalists. Students are also engaged in organizing workshops for other communication and WCU students on topics varying from covering hot social issues, learning new journalism tools, and using social media for journalists. The WCU SPJ chapter has fun with other events like producing a magazine from scratch in 12 hours - what we call a “one night stand”. Check out our Facebook page for more activities
    Contact Dr. Katerina Spasovska, assistant professor of communication in Journalism concentration and faculty adviser.
  • Catamount Communications is the university's student-run public relations firm. Students take on real clients, either on campus or in the community. They design and implement public relations tactics using skills learned in their classes.
    Contact Dr. Scott Eldredge, assistant professor of communication in Public Relations concentration and faculty adviser.
  • The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) is the foremost organization for students interested in public relations and communications. PRSSA is made up of more than 11,000 students and advisers organized into 300 plus Chapters in the United States, Argentina, Colombia and Peru. PRSSA is headquartered in New York City, and led by a National Committee of PRSSA and PRSA members. PRSSA has a rich history of support from its parent organization, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), which offers professional development, networking opportunities and news. PRSSA helps you enhance your education, broaden your network and launch your career in public relations.
    Contact Dr. Scott Eldredge, assistant professor of communication in Public Relations concentration and faculty adviser. 

Networking is essential in communication. The department is an institutional member of Society of Professional Journalists and Broadcast Education Association, which allows students to become members of the biggest professional organizations in the industry with a discount or free.


Communication Internships

Your internship can be an extremely valuable experience, providing you the opportunity to work in the medium that you are interested in for several weeks. You can do your internship when you have completed 90 hours. Your internship needs to be planned in advance. Typically, a student starts making industry contacts in November or December prior to the summer during which the internship will occur. Prior to the semester that you do your internship, you need to talk with your advisor about where you are doing the internship and fill out the appropriate forms. Many companies have applications and forms to be completed in advance by the student before they will grant permission for an internship.

Internship Checklist

1. Early in the semester, prior to doing your internship, contact your advisor. 

2.Discuss where you want to do your internship and receive faculty approval of your internship site.

3. Contact your potential internship sponsor and find out how to apply for the internship.

4. Complete the required internship forms (see below) for both the university and the sponsoring business.

5. Enroll in COMM-483. You must be enrolled in COMM-483 prior to doing your internship. If you are not enrolled in COMM-483 during the term in which you are doing your internship, NO course credit will be earned.

6. Keep a timesheet daily journal of your activities and what you learned each day.

7. At the mid-term, you are responsible for securing the mid-term evaluation form so that your employer can evaluate your progress and submit the completed form to your instructor.

8. At the end of the semester, you are responsible for securing the Final Evaluation form so that your employer can evaluate your internship and submit the completed form to your instructor.

9. At the end of your internship you are to prepare a paper based on your journals as to what you did and how you did it. This paper is to be turned in to your instructor on the last day of classes.

10. You will be interviewed twice during the semester by your instructor, either by phone or email. You are required to respond in a timely manner to his or her inquiry.

Internship Requirements

  • You are required to work in your career field or related area 150 hours to earn a 3 hour credit.
  • You are required to keep a detailed daily journal of all of your activities with dates, times, places, and the work that you are doing.
  • You are required to communicate with your instructor twice during the course of the semester. Make sure your instructor has your email and phone contact information.
  • You also should keep copies of any materials or projects produced, if allowed.
  • If you produce anything for "air," be sure to keep an "air check" of the project.
  • At the end of your internship you are to prepare a paper based on your journals as to what you did and how you did it. You will chronicle your internship and explain how you felt the experience affected you. Your journal is an integral part of this paper.
  • You are responsible for obtaining the mid-term and final employer evaluation report forms from this website or the communications office and delivering them to your employer. Your internship supervisor is to evaluate your performance at the mid point and the end of your internship and forward the evaluations to the department. The department’s phone number is 828-227-7482. If you have any questions concerning your internship you should contact your academic advisor via e-mail or voice mail

Internship Forms

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