Ohio University

Career Pathways

Students majoring in Communication Studies focus their studies in one or more of the follow areas, preparing them for a variety of possible career paths.

Organizational Communication - Communication is a defining feature of organizations. Organizational communication is the study of how individuals construct and exchange messages to enable goal-oriented activity and cope with uncertainty. Coursework adopts a communication approach to exploring organizational structures, interpersonal relationships, power and control, leadership, organizational socialization, and diversity at work.

Health Communication - Students focused on health communication are concerned with people’s communication and knowledge needs in such areas as the relationships between patients and their healthcare providers, family dynamics, dissemination of health information, and the use of emerging technology to improve health and healthcare.

Communication and Public Advocacy - Students concentrating their studies in Communication and Public Advocacy focus on the integration of political and legal communication theory and practice. Coursework emphasizes the role of communication in argument, debate, and politics, including the ethical and rhetorical implications of constitutional guarantees and persuasive strategies characteristic of contemporary political communication.

 

Communication studies text graphic

Organizational Communication

Communication is a defining feature of organizations. Organizational communication is the study of how individuals construct and exchange messages to enable goal-oriented activity and cope with uncertainty. Coursework adopts a communication approach to exploring organizational structures, interpersonal relationships, power and control, leadership, organizational socialization, and diversity at work.

How are organizational cultures created, maintained, and changed through communication? How do emergent technologies shape how people organize to reach individual and collective goals? What is the role of communication in managing and negotiating relational conflicts in the workplace? What roles does communication play in developing and enacting leadership in ways that affect change, decision-making, and organizational outcomes? In what ways does communication facilitate organizational socialization? How are organizational missions and strategic visions communicated to internal and external stakeholders? How do environmental, economic, and regulatory forces impact organizational communication practices?

Recent graduates are employed in major consulting firms, national financial service providers, conference planning companies, and information management organizations.

CAREER PATHWAYS-

  • Public Relations, Sales & Marketing

You might consider a career in Public Relations, Sales, and Marketing if you find these questions compelling:

How are organizational missions and strategic visions communicated to internal and external stakeholders? In what ways can companies use persuasive messages to establish a strong external image and organizational identity? How do companies draw on emergent technologies to effectively address brand management and organizational crisis? In what ways do sales people use communication strategies to pitch their ideas effectively? What role does communication play in developing, testing, marketing, and selling new products or services?

COMS Curriculum (Suggested COMS Theory and Elective Courses)

Courses listed are only suggestions. Students should consult the COMS Major Checklist for an exhaustive overview of major requirements and to identify requisite requirements.

COMS 2020 Persuasion

COMS 2040 Techniques of Interviewing

COMS 2400 Information Diffusion

COMS 3060 Interpersonal Conflict Management

COMS 3200 Communication & New Technology

  • Human Resource Management

You might consider a career in Human Resource Management if you find these questions compelling:

How are organizational cultures created, maintained, and changed through communication? What is the role of communication in managing relational conflicts in the workplace? How does communication help facilitate successful organizational change initiatives (e.g., mergers, acquisitions, corporate restructuring, downsizing, etc.)? How do companies successfully recruit, socialize, and retain talented employees? In what ways do communication professionals ensure equity in their organizations?

COMS Curriculum (Suggested COMS Theory and Elective Courses)

Courses listed are only suggestions. Students should consult the COMS Major Checklist for an exhaustive overview of major requirements and to identify requisite requirements.

COMS 2040 Techniques of Interviewing

COMS 3060 Interpersonal Conflict Management

COMS 3200 Communication & New Technology

  • Event Planning

You might consider a career in Event Planning if you find these questions compelling:

How do individuals communicatively manage the delicate balance between clients and vendors? In what ways do communication skills contribute to the development of an entrepreneurial business? How do communication professionals facilitate effective communication amongst stakeholders with various divergent needs? In what ways do individuals use communication strategies to advocate for their clients?

COMS Curriculum (Suggested COMS Theory and Elective Courses)

Courses listed are only suggestions. Students should consult the COMS Major Checklist for an exhaustive overview of major requirements and to identify requisite requirements.

COMS 2020 Communication & Persuasion

COMS 2040 Techniques of Interviewing

COMS 3060 Interpersonal Conflict Management

COMS 3200 Communication & New Technology

  • Nonprofit Organizing

You might consider a career in Nonprofit Organizing if you find these questions compelling:

How can communication practitioners contribute to the missions, visions, and goals of nonprofit organizations? How do communication specialists facilitate dialogue to promote social goods, democratic practices, collective actions, equity, and inclusion? What is the role of storytelling in nonprofit organizing? What communication challenges do volunteers and paid staff of nonprofit organizations face when advocating for social change?

COMS Curriculum (Suggested COMS Theory and Elective Courses)

Courses listed are only suggestions. Students should consult the COMS Major Checklist for an exhaustive overview of major requirements and to identify requisite requirements.

COMS 2020 Communication & Persuasion

COMS 2400 Information Diffusion

COMS 3060 Interpersonal Conflict Management

COMS 3200 Communication & New Technology

  • Social Media & Emerging Technologies

You might consider a career in Social Media & Emerging Technologies if you find these questions compelling:

How do social media shape how people organize to reach individual and collective goals? How do companies respond to organizational crisis using social media such as Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook? In what ways do organizations use social media to develop and maintain their organizational identity, brand, and image?

COMS Curriculum (Suggested COMS Theory and Elective Courses)

Courses listed are only suggestions. Students should consult the COMS Major Checklist for an exhaustive overview of major requirements and to identify requisite requirements.

COMS 2020 Communication & Persuasion

COMS 2040 Techniques of Interviewing

COMS 2400 Information Diffusion

COMS 3060 Interpersonal Conflict Management

COMS 3200 Communication & New Technology

  • Consulting (Domestic & International)

You might consider a career in Consulting if you find these questions compelling:

How do communication specialists manage, facilitate, and orchestrate communication messages and processes to meet the needs of their client organizations? What role does power play in distribution of resources to various stakeholders? How can communication practitioners appropriately and effectively perform in the contexts of international/multinational organizations?

COMS Curriculum (Suggested COMS Theory and Elective Courses)

Courses listed are only suggestions. Students should consult the COMS Major Checklist for an exhaustive overview of major requirements and to identify requisite requirements.

COMS 2040 Techniques of Interviewing

COMS 2400 Information Diffusion

COMS 3060 Interpersonal Conflict Management

COMS 3200 Communication & New Technology

 

Students focused on health communication are concerned with people’s communication and knowledge needs in such areas as the relationships between patients and their healthcare providers, family dynamics, dissemination of health information, and the use of emerging technology to improve health and healthcare. Learning about health communication is inspired by questions including:

How are healthcare relationships created, maintained, and shifted through communication? How do families communicate about health? How do cultural differences shape health communication? How do environmental, economic, and political forces impact health communication? How do emerging technologies shape health communication practices? How are health campaigns designed, implemented, and evaluated?

Recent graduates are employed in healthcare organizations as patient advocates or in human resources, in non-profit health agencies, and as pharmaceutical sales representatives.

CAREER PATHWAYS-

  • Health & Social Services

You might consider a career in Health and Social Services if you find these questions compelling:

What communication skills do patients need to be active participants in therapeutic relationships? Why is communication training necessary for healthcare providers? What is the role of communication practitioners in coordinating health-related programming (e.g., workplace health initiatives) and managing healthcare organizations (e.g., hospitals, long-term care facilities)? What communication challenges do managers face in healthcare settings? 

COMS Curriculum (Suggested COMS Theory and Elective Courses)

Courses listed are only suggestions. Students should consult the COMS Major Checklist for an exhaustive overview of major requirements and to identify requisite requirements.

COMS 3060 Interpersonal Conflict Management

COMS 3400 Health Communication

COMS 3410 Women & Health

COMS 3500 Organizational Communication

COMS 4050 Meeting & Conference Planning

COMS 4060 Advanced Interpersonal Communication

COMS 4110 Communicating with People with Disabilities

COMS 4410 Communication in the Family

COMS 4510 Training & Development

COMS 4911 Internship in Health Communication

Related Area/Certificates/Minors

Courses, Minors, and Certificates listed are only suggestions. Students should consult the Ohio University Undergraduate Catalog to identify pre-requisite requirements for courses and to identify requirements and application processes for Minors and Certificates.

CFS 3800 Death Dying and Bereavement

HLTH 2020 Intro to Health and Lifestyle Choices

HLTH 2120 Controlling Stress and Tension

HLTH 2170 Health System Organization

CFS 3600 Human Sexualities

CFS 2700 Intimate and Family Relationships

HLTH 2901 Health Aspects of Aging

Applied Nutrition Minor

Diabetes Certificate

Diversity Studies Certificate

Environmental Health Sciences Minor

Environmental Studies Certificate

Gerontology Certificate

Social Service Minor

  • Public Health

You might consider a career in Public Health if you find these questions compelling:

What is the role of communication specialists in organizing community health initiatives (e.g., foodbanks, community gardens)? What communication challenges do practitioners face when developing health literacy and managing health crises and risks? What communication skills are needed to design, implement, and evaluate health campaigns?

COMS Curriculum (Suggested COMS Theory and Elective Courses)

Courses listed are only suggestions. Students should consult the COMS Major Checklist for an exhaustive overview of major requirements and to identify prequisite requirements.

COMS 2020 Communication & Persuasion

COMS 3400 Health Communication

COMS 3600 Communication & Public Advocacy

COMS 2400 Information Diffusion

COMS 3200 Communication & New Technology

COMS 3410 Women & Health

COMS 3602 Political Rhetoric

COMS 4530 Communication & the Campaign

COMS 4911 Internship in Health Communication

Related Area/Certificates/Minors (Suggested coursework outside of COMS)

Courses, Minors, and Certificates listed are only suggestions. Students should consult the Ohio University Undergraduate Catalog to identify requisite requirements for courses and to identify requirements and application processes for Minors and Certificates.

HLTH 2000 Introduction to Public Health

HLTH 3300 Community Health

HLTH 2030 Foundations in Health Education

HLTH 2150 Violence in America

HSP 2210 Introduction to Global Health

NUTR 1100 Intro to Food Systems

MDIA 1091 Introduction to Mass Media

Applied Nutrition Minor

Diabetes Certificate

Environmental Health Sciences Minor

Gerontology Certificate

Global Health Certificate

Journalism Minor

Environmental Studies Certificate

Diversity Studies Certificate

Social Media Certificate

  • E- Health

You might consider a career in E-health if you find these questions compelling:

How are mobile technologies shaping health care?  What communication skills are needed to manage telemedicine programs? How do we communicate about health in a digital age? How is health information shaped, stored, and shared online (e.g., social networking sites)? What is the role of communication specialists in maintaining web databases and electronic medical records?

COMS Curriculum (Suggested COMS Theory and Elective Courses)

Courses listed are only suggestions. Students should consult the COMS Major Checklist for an exhaustive overview of major requirements and to identify requisite requirements.

COMS 3400 Health Communication

COMS 3500 Organizational Communication

COMS 4060 Advanced Interpersonal Communication

COMS 3200 Communication and Technology

COMS 3410 Women and Health

COMS 4050 Meeting and Conference Planning

COMS 4110 Communicating with People with Disabilities

COMS 4410 Communication in the Family

COMS 4510 Training & Development

COMS 4630 Rhetoric & Electronic Media

COMS 4911 Internship in Health Communication

Related Area/Certificates/Minors (Suggested coursework outside of COMS)

Courses, Minors, and Certificates listed are only suggestions. Students should consult the Ohio University Undergraduate Catalog to identify pre-requisite requirements for courses and to identify requirements and application processes for Minors and Certificates.

HLTH 2000 Intro to Public Health

HLTH 2170 Health System Organization

ITS 1010 Consumer Issues in Telecommunication

ITS 2010 Understanding Internet Technology

ITS 2140 Intro to Information and Telecommunication Systems

VICO 1000 Introduction to Studies in Visual Communication

MDIA 1091 Introduction to Mass Media

Business Administration Minor

Diabetes Certificate

Diversity Studies Certificate

Environmental Health Sciences Minor

Environmental Studies Certificate

Gerontology Certificate

Social Service Minor

Social Media Certificate

 

Communication and Public Advocacy

Students concentrating their studies in Communication and Public Advocacy focus on the integration of political and legal communication theory and practice. Coursework emphasizes the role of communication in argument, debate, and politics, including the ethical and rhetorical implications of constitutional guarantees and persuasive strategies characteristic of contemporary political communication. Learning about communication and public advocacy is inspired by questions including:

How does one advocate as, or on behalf of, public servants?

How does one advocate for changes in the social, political, and/or cultural structures of society?

How does one advocate on behalf of environmental causes?

How does one advocate as a participant in the political process?

Recent graduates are attending nationally-ranked law schools, working as state legislative staff, lobbying in Washington, D.C., and managing political campaigns.

CAREER PATHWAYS-

  • Pre-Law (Legal Advocacy)

You might consider a career in Legal Advocacy if you find these questions compelling:

What roles does communication play in negotiating legal issues (e.g., in pre-trial conferences)?

What skills must advocates possess to communicate effectively in legal settings (e.g., oral arguments in courtrooms, written arguments in legal briefs)?

What laws influence our public communication?

Suggested Tier I Quantitative Course

PHIL 1200

Suggested COMS Core Course

COMS 2150

COMS Curriculum (Suggested COMS Theory and Elective Courses)

Courses listed are only suggestions. Students should consult the COMS Major Checklist for an exhaustive overview of major requirements and to identify requisite requirements.

2020 Persuasion

2040 Interviewing

3060 Interpersonal Conflict Management

3600 Introduction to Communication & Public Advocacy

3601 Courtroom Rhetoric

3610 Advanced Argumentation & Debate

4030 Advanced Presentations

4604 Responsibilities & Freedom of Speech

Related Area/Certificates/Minors

Courses, Minors, and Certificates listed are only suggestions. Students should consult the Ohio University Undergraduate Catalog to identify requisite requirements for courses and to identify requirements and application processes for Minors and Certificates.

Suggested Foundational Courses

POLS 1010 Politics in the United States OR POLS 1600 – Engaging Politics

POLS 2200 The Politics of Law

POLS 4010 American Constitutional Law

Possible Specialization Courses

POLS 4040 Civil Liberties

POLS 4770 Legal Theory and Social Problems

GEOG 3460 Environmental Law

BUSL 2000 Law and Society

AAS 1900 Difficult Dialogues: Race, Law, and Religion in America

AAS 3691 U.S. Constitutional Law: Pre-Civil Rights Movements

ECON 3160 Economics and the Law

HLTH 4445 Health Care Law and Ethics

MDIA 2100 Entertainment Media Law and Finance

SW 3243 Social Welfare Law

Certificate in Law, Justice, & Culture

Political Science Minor

  • Social & Cultural Advocacy

You might consider a career in Social and Cultural Advocacy if you find these questions compelling:

What social and cultural biases and expectations constrain our ability to understand one another?

What skills must advocates possess to advocate on behalf of and/or for those whose opportunities are limited because of these biases and expectations?

What avenues are available for such advocacy (e.g., nonprofit advocacy groups, social movements)?

Suggested Tier I Quantitative Course

PHIL 1200

Suggested COMS Core Course

COMS 2150

COMS Curriculum (Suggested COMS Theory and Elective Courses)

Courses listed are only suggestions. Students should consult the COMS Major Checklist for an exhaustive overview of major requirements and to identify requisite requirements.

2020 Persuasion

3060 Interpersonal Conflict Management

3500 Introduction to Organizational Communication

3600 Introduction to Communication & Public Advocacy

3602 Political Rhetoric

3603 Contemporary Culture & Rhetoric

3610 Advanced Argumentation & Debate

4030 Advanced Presentations

4110 Communicating with People with Disabilities

4530 Communication & the Campaign

Related Area/Certificates/Minors

Courses, Minors, and Certificates listed are only suggestions. Students should consult the Ohio University Undergraduate Catalog to identify requisite requirements for courses and to identify requirements and application processes for Minors and Certificates.

Suggested Foundational Courses

POLS 1010 – Politics in the United States

AND/OR (depending upon interest in specialization courses)

POLS 1600 – Engaging Politics

WGS 1000 – Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies

GEOG 3270 – Social Geographies

Possible Specialization Courses

POLS 3060 – Politics of Appalachia

POLS 4067 – Women and Politics

POLS 4705 – The Politics of Rights

POLS 4739 – Politics of Race

POLS 4770 – Legal Theory and Social Problems

POLS 4780 – Feminist Political Theories and Movements

POLS 4190 – Gay and Lesbian Politics

POLS 4210 – The Politics of Law and Sexuality

POLS 4710 – Contemporary Radical and Critical Theories

POLS 4720 – Resistance, Reform, and Revolution

POLS 4753 – American Whiteness

POLS 4754 – Black Political Thought

POLS 4755 – Latinos and Politics

POLS 4756 – The Politics of Visibility

GEOG 3400 – Geography of Development

GEOG 3410 – Geography of Hunger and Food Security

GEOG 4450 – Gender, Environment, and Development

AAS 1900 – Difficult Dialogues: Race, Law, and Religion in America

LPA 4590 – Measuring Outcomes in Public and Nonprofit Organizations

LPA 4680 – Nonprofit Fundraising

LPA 4710 – Social Entrepreneurship

LPA 4810 – Public Private Partnerships

LPA 4890 – Nonprofit Management

ENG 3980—Critical Theory for Multi-Ethnic/Cross-Cultural Studies

Women’s Studies Certificate

Global Leadership Certificate

Political Communication Certificate

Diversity Studies Certificate

War and Peace Studies Certificate

Asian Studies Certificate

Latin American Studies Certificate

African Studies Certificate

East Asian Studies Certificate

Southeast Asia Studies Certificate

Social Work Minor

Afro-American Studies Minor

  • Environmental Advocacy

You might consider a career in Environmental Advocacy if you find these questions compelling:

What roles does communication play in generating awareness, commitment, and action about the environment?

What challenges must be met to generate awareness, commitment, and action about the environment?

What skills must advocates possess to communicate effectively about environmental issues?

Suggested Tier I Quantitative Course

PHIL 1200

Suggested COMS Core Course

COMS 2150

COMS Curriculum (Suggested COMS Theory and Elective Courses)

Courses listed are only suggestions. Students should consult the COMS Major Checklist for an exhaustive overview of major requirements and to identify requisite requirements.

2020 Persuasion

3060 Interpersonal Conflict Management

3600 Introduction to Communication & Public Advocacy

3602 Political Rhetoric

3603 Contemporary Culture & Rhetoric

3610 Advanced Argumentation & Debate

4030 Advanced Presentations

4530 Communication & the Campaign

Related Area/Certificates/Minors

Courses, Minors, and Certificates listed are only suggestions. Students should consult the Ohio University Undergraduate Catalog to identify requisite requirements for courses and to identify requirements and application processes for Minors and Certificates.

Suggested Foundational Courses

GEOG 1400 – Environmental Geography

GEOG 3430 – Global Issues in Environment

POLS 4250 – Environmental and Natural Resources Politics and Policy

POLS 4260 – Politics of the Contemporary Environmental Movement

Possible Specialization Courses

POLS 4880 – Environmental and Public Policy Dispute Resolution

GEOG 3460 – Environmental Law

GEOG 4450 – Gender, Environment, and Development

GEOG 4470 – Natural Resource Conservation

GEOG 2680 – Introduction to GIS and Mapping Sciences

LPA 4710 – Social Entrepreneurship

LPA 4810 – Public Private Partnerships

LPA 4890 – Nonprofit Management

LPA 4590 – Measuring Outcomes in Public and Nonprofit Organizations

LPA 4680 – Nonprofit Fundraising

ENG 3300—Ecological Discourses in English Studies

ENG 3100J—Writing About Environmental Sustainability

 

Certificate in Environmental Studies

Political Communication Certificate

Geological Sciences Minor

Political Science Minor

Environmental Health Studies Minor

  • Government-

You might consider a career in Government if you find these questions compelling:

What roles does communication play in the operation of government?

In what ways can communication be used to enhance relationships between government entities and those they serve (e.g., constituent services, lobbying)?

What skills must governmental advocates possess to communicate effectively to and for constituents?

Suggested Tier I Quantitative Course

PHIL 1200

Suggested COMS Core Course

COMS 2150

COMS Curriculum (Suggested COMS Theory and Elective Courses)

Courses listed are only suggestions. Students should consult the COMS Major Checklist for an exhaustive overview of major requirements and to identify requisite requirements.

2020 Persuasion

2040 Interviewing

3060 Interpersonal Conflict Management

3500 Introduction to Organizational Communication

3600 Introduction to Communication & Public Advocacy

3602 Political Rhetoric

3603 Contemporary Culture & Rhetoric

3610 Advanced Argumentation & Debate

4604 Responsibilities & Freedom of Speech

Related Area/Certificates/Minors

Courses, Minors, and Certificates listed are only suggestions. Students should consult the Ohio University Undergraduate Catalog to identify requisite requirements for courses and to identify requirements and application processes for Minors and Certificates.

Suggested Foundational Courses

POLS 1010 – Politics in the United States

POLS 1600 – Engaging Politics

POLS 2000 – American Politics, Policy, and Administration

Possible Specialization Courses

POLS 4015 – Constitutional Politics

POLS 4065 – American Political Behavior

POLS 4100 – Public Policy Analysis

POLS 4145 – Policy Implementation and Evaluation

POLS 4160 – Legislative Processes

POLS 4180 – Interest Groups in American Politics

POLS 4230 – Political Leadership

POLS 4240 – American Federalism and Public Policy

POLS 4065 – American Political Behavior

ECON 1040 – Principles of Macroeconomics

ECON 4250 – Government and Economic Policy

ECON 4300 – Public Finance

GEOG 3250 – Political Geography

GEOG 3500 – Land Use Planning

GEOG 3400 – Geography of Development

LPA 4120 – Public Personnel Administration

LPA 4590 – Measuring Outcomes in Public and Nonprofit Organizations

LPA 4840 – Management Skills for Public Administration

LPA 4850 – Policy Analysis for Public Affairs and Leadership

LPA 4860 – Public Budgeting

LPA 4870 – Financial Management in Government

Certificate in Political Communication

Global Leadership Certificate

Political Science Minor

Economics Minor

Political Communication Certificate

  • Politics & Campaigns

You might consider a career in Politics & Campaigns if you find these questions compelling:

What roles does communication play in the process of campaigning for public issues and/or as a person seeking public office?

What skills must advocates possess to communicate campaign messages clearly and effectively (e.g., speech writing, campaign promotions)?

What ethical obligations does a communicator possess as they campaign?

Suggested Tier I Quantitative Course

PHIL 1200

Suggested COMS Core Course

COMS 2150

COMS Curriculum (Suggested COMS Theory and Elective Courses)

Courses listed are only suggestions. Students should consult the COMS Major Checklist for an exhaustive overview of major requirements and to identify requisite requirements.

2020 Persuasion

2400 Information Diffusion

3602 Political Rhetoric

3600 Introduction to Communication & Public Advocacy

3603 Contemporary Culture & Rhetoric

3610 Advanced Argumentation & Debate

4030 Advanced Presentations

4530 Communication & the Campaign

4604 Responsibilities & Freedom of Speech

Related Area/Certificates/Minors

Courses, Minors, and Certificates listed are only suggestions. Students should consult the Ohio University Undergraduate Catalog to identify requisite requirements for courses and to identify requirements and application processes for Minors and Certificates.

Suggested Foundational and Specialization Courses

POLS 1010 – Politics in the United States

POLS 2000 – American Politics, Policy, and Administration

POLS 4060 – Elections and Campaigns

POLS 4062 – American Voting Behavior

POCO 2010—Introduction to Political Communication

POCO 4010—Seminar in Political Communication

POLS 3040 – State Politics

POLS 3200 – Urban Politics

POLS 4015 – Constitutional Politics

POLS 4050 – American Political Parties

POLS 4065 – American Political Behavior

POLS 4067 – Women and Politics

POLS 4180 – Interest Groups in American Politics

POLS 4230 – Political Leadership

POLS 4705 – The Politics of Rights

POLS 4739 – Politics of Race

POLS 4190 – Gay and Lesbian Politics

POLS 4210 – The Politics of Law and Sexuality

POLS 4065 – American Political Behavior

Certificate in Political Communication

Political Science Minor