Communication Major

George Fox's communication arts major integrates Christian values in the discipline.

Human communication, public relations, communication in organizations, media studies. These are among the subjects you may study as a communication major at George Fox University.

We take an interdisciplinary approach to communication, so you’ll study in a series of integrated courses that cover a wide range of topics in the field. The result: a marketable skill set that prepares you for a career in communication – whether that be in public relations, human resources, event planning and coordination, law, social media management, or any number of professions that value an effective communicator. And you’ll study in a Christian college environment that integrates faith with learning.

George Fox communication majors have landed positions in digital marketing and analysis, social media management, development and events coordination, and program management. They’ve worked at organizations ranging from Disney and the Refugee Women’s Alliance to Arizona Christian University, Anthropologie, Intel and Bob’s Red Mill.

Several of our graduates have worked internationally – in locales such as Romania, Indonesia and China – while others have completed masters degrees in communication fields.

 

Choose from three concentrations:

Students in the human communication concentration study the strategic relationship between the theories of communication and everyday communication interactions and problem solving. Course work will prepare you for leadership and management positions, and work in nonprofit organizations, politics, human resources, various ministry and parachurch organizations, and other fields related to communication.

The organizational communication concentration is the ideal fit for someone interested in the fields of human resources, organizational development, event planning and coordination, consulting, promotions, fundraising or customer service. Within the concentration you will take communication courses that are particularly useful in organizational settings. These are combined with business and marketing or management classes, giving you a balanced education that will prepare you for any number of career choices.


Request more information about the communication major at George Fox University or schedule a visit to begin your education at Oregon's Christian university, ranked as one of the top Christian colleges in the nation by Forbes.

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Major Requirements

Complete the following:

An introduction to the study of human communication. Application of communication principles to interpersonal, group, and public contexts. Particular emphasis on the practice of public speaking. Students will prepare and deliver several oral presentations.
A presentation of key principles of persuasion as they are reflected in typical organizational communication contexts. Focus on developing a planning sequence that will function as a practical guide for designing, executing, and evaluating communication events. Students will be expected to develop a "real world" communication event, e.g., publicity campaign, speech, newsletter. Prerequisite: COMM 100 Introduction to Communication or equivalent.
Theoretical and reflective study and guided experience in dyadic and small-group communication, with attention given to interpersonal communication, listening behavior, nonverbal communication, and conflict resolution.
This course is an introduction to quantitative and qualitative research methods commonly used in the field of communication and in social science in general.
This covers communication as it affects and is affected by language and culture. Topics include contextualized use of communication within speech communities, intercultural effectiveness, cultural communication theory, competent intercultural experiences in co-cultures (ethnic, gender, intergenerational, deaf, etc.) and global cultural groups. A student may not earn credit for both the lower-division and upper-division versions of this course.
This course is an experience in supervised field situations, the internship can be either on or off campus, involving extensive communication activity usually overseen by a professional or expert in their field. Admission to course and amount of credit are determined by the faculty supervisor. This course is offered each term. Up to 6 hours may count toward major requirements. Pass/No Pass. Prerequisite: Communication Arts or Organizational Communication major, junior standing, completed 9 credits in COMM coursework.
Designed to integrate skills and concepts from communication course work with ethical and spiritual principles through readings, written assignments, and assessment instruments. Students will complete portfolios that will include work samples and department exit exams along with a statement of what it means to be a Christian communicator. A service component may be included as part of the course.
This course explores trends in media convergence, focusing as well on the ways reporters, editors, and designers create stories for the web. Particular emphasis will be on web-based story design, the coordination of text and art, and the creation of stories for a variety of new media outlets. Prerequisite: Successful completion of the college writing competency, enrollment in the William Penn Honors Program, or instructor permission.

Concentrations (21 hours) - choose one

Complete the following:

Survey of the historical development of newspapers, magazines, broadcast media, and cinema. Analysis of the role(s) of mass media in shaping and altering opinion and values in contemporary culture.
A course that examines and applies theories of small-group structures, climate, roles, leadership, motivation, and conflict management. Prerequisite: Comm 100 Introduction to Communication.
A study of the major sources of communication theory (e.g., meaning theory, humanistic psychology, symbolic interactionism, relational theory, information processing) together with specific contemporary exemplifications of each approach. Special focus is on the nature and progress of scientific inquiry in communication theory. Prerequisite: 6 hours of communication arts or media communication courses, including COMM 100 Introduction to Communication.
A course in practical reason. Includes a survey of theories of argumentation, analysis of public arguments, and several speeches, including a debate. Prerequisite: COMM 100 Introduction to Communication or instructor's permission.
Methods of rhetorical criticism as applied to public communication of the past and present, including but not limited to speeches, broadcasts, films, and campaigns. Analysis of current trends in rhetorical criticism. Prerequisite: junior standing or above.

Complete the following:

6-hours of upper-division COMM coursework required. Courses in other disciplines must be approved by faculty advisor.

Communication Arts (COMM) Course Descriptions

Complete the following:

This introductory survey will examine the major functional areas of business and afford the student an opportunity to consider this major as a path to a career. Emphasis is given to contemporary business concepts, in particular, and examination of business as a field for stewardship.
An examination of organizations from a communication vantage point. Combines study of theoretical perspectives with skill development. Students will build organizational communication competencies through understanding the nature of communication in the organizational context and by practicing effective communication skills. Possible topics include communication networks and climates, superior-subordinate relationships, computer-mediated communication, organizational identification, communication audits, group and team communication, interviewing, meetings, and presentations.
A course that examines and applies theories of small-group structures, climate, roles, leadership, motivation, and conflict management. Prerequisite: Comm 100 Introduction to Communication.
This is an advanced study of organizational communication. Topics include, but are not limited to, organizational storytelling, communication technologies, career theory, power and resistance in organizations, and impression management. Students will be encouraged to recognize ways organizational communication can be improved through their everyday interactions. Prerequisite: COMM 270 or consent of instructor.

Complete one of the following 9-hour sequences:

 

Study of the marketing concept, consumer demand and behavior, and marketing functions of the firm. The objective is to understand the development of marketing channels, products, prices, and promotion strategies. Prerequisite or Co-requisite of BUSN 110 Introduction to Business
This course considers how having things affects the lives of consumers and how possessions influence the way consumers feel about themselves and others. Models of consumer decision processes are introduced and the marketing implications of the various aspects of consumer behavior are examined. The course combines a balance of traditional and emerging ideas in consumer behavior focusing on local, pan-European and global scenarios. The impact of new technology, globalization, eclecticism, and postmodern perspectives are also considered. Prerequisite: MKTG 260 Principles of Marketing.
Integrated marketing communication (IMC) is a cross-functional process for creating profitable relationships with customers and publics by strategically controlling all messages sent to groups and encouraging dialogue. Students learn to integrate marketing communication tools (e.g., advertising, public relations, sales promotion, event marketing, etc.) and media (e.g., television, radio, online, in-store) to advance an organization's success and brand equity. Prerequisites: MKTG 260 Principles of Marketing, MKTG 300 Consumer Behavior, and junior or senior standing.
OR
A study of the theory and practice of management. The course involves discussion and application of areas such as social responsibility, strategy, problem solving, communication, change, job performance, and financial/operational controls. Prerequisite or Co-requisite of BUSN 110 Introduction to Business
This course recognizes that managers are also called upon to be leaders. The differences between a leader and manager will be discussed with focus on effective leadership and management skills, philosophies and orientations. Prerequisite: MGMT 260 Principles of Management.
This course examines the complex and dynamic interactions of people and organizations in society. Particular focus will be on organizational theory, human perception, motivation, group dynamics, power, conflict, culture, leadership, organizational development, and managing change. Prerequisite: MGMT 260 Principles of Management.

Choose one of the following:

An introduction to the language and the technical, creative, and aesthetic elements of the video production process. Course includes basic lighting, sound, camera operation, composition, and design of visual elements, producing, and directing through both classroom and supervised laboratory experiences.
This course provides the non-designer with an overview of the principles and practices that govern commercial visual communication. In addition to an introduction to the industry-standard Adobe software products employed in production, students will learn how to work successfully with professionals within the broader field of visual communications. Additional course fee required.

Complete the following:

A course designed to provide fundamental knowledge and experience in reporting, writing, and editing news for the print media. Prerequisite: Successful completion of the college writing competency, enrollment in the William Penn Honors Program, or instructor permission.
A course designed to introduce and develop a clear concept of public relations as a communication profession. Topics to be covered include the function of public relations in both public and private enterprises; the process of planning and implementing a public relations communication campaign; techniques for communicating with various publics; and the laws and ethics governing the practice of public relations. (Identical to JOUR 240/COMM 240)
An examination of organizations from a communication vantage point. Combines study of theoretical perspectives with skill development. Students will build organizational communication competencies through understanding the nature of communication in the organizational context and by practicing effective communication skills. Possible topics include communication networks and climates, superior-subordinate relationships, computer-mediated communication, organizational identification, communication audits, group and team communication, interviewing, meetings, and presentations.
This course examines how social media intersects with existing psychological, communication, and marketing theories. In addition to providing a foundation in current terminology and trends, the course will also require students to develop critical thinking techniques in order to improve their media literacy. Students will analyze, evaluate, and prescribe communicative approaches in a variety of contemporary case studies, such as: crisis communication, public relations and branding, campaigns, citizen journalism, “big data,” micromarketing, and social protest. Prerequisite: COMM 100 and Sophomore class standing.
This course gives students an opportunity to apply their existing coursework to variety of historical and hypothetical situations. Students will learn to work in teams to research, craft, and present an effective and ethical message in a short amount of time; to recognize and evaluate the various PR techniques used in historical cases; to demonstrate knowledge of how PR strategies interact with the changing face of modern journalism, marketing, and advertising; and how to construct a strategic campaign that would roll out across a variety of platforms over a set schedule. Prerequisites: COMM 320 Introduction to Public Relations and Junior standing or instructor permission.
This course is an advanced study of research methods, data management, and data visualization. Topics covered in this course include, but are not limited to, advanced research methods, data cleaning and management, data visualization theory (e.g. perception, visual cognition), design, and data narratives and storytelling. Students will have opportunities to critique, replicate, and redesign current data visualizations, as well create original data visualizations that tell important stories to lay audiences. Prerequisites: COMM 260 Introduction to Communication Research Methods, equivalent course, or instructor permission; Junior standing.

Jobs, Internships and Graduate School

Communication majors at George Fox study at a top Christian college.

Careers in communication are expected to continue to grow at a steady rate over the next decade. The projected result is the creation of over 40,000 new jobs within the field. Employers are looking for college graduates who are creative and familiar with the changing media landscape. As of 2017, the average salary for jobs in communication is $56,340.

 According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for public relations specialists will grow 9 percent between 2016 and 2026.

  • Director of Human Resources, The Allison Inn
  • Vice President of Marketing, Oregon Mutual Insurance
  • Vice President of Creative Services, Graystone Media
  • News Content Manager, King 5 Media Group
  • Director of Public Relations, CLEARLINK
  • Communication Coach, Distinction Communication
  • Admissions Counselor, George Fox University
  • Residence Life Director, Seattle Pacific University
  • Director of Human Resources, Bob’s Red Mill
  •  
  • Gonzaga University
  • Azusa Pacific University
  • Princeton Theological Seminary
  • University of Georgia
  • Pepperdine University
  • Baylor University
  • Arizona State University
  • Social Media Manager/Intern, Oregon Right to Life
  • Admissions Intern, George Fox University
  • Public Relations Intern, WE Communications
  • Event Planner, Newberg Christian Church
  • Invited Student Research Panelist, Northwest Communication Association
  • Student Communication Coaching, Newberg Public Schools

Student Experiences

Ashlie Hernandez

“The best thing I received from getting a degree in communication at George Fox is the toolbox full of lessons and skills for everyday life. While I use my skills professionally, the interpersonal tools I use in my everyday interaction have helped so much. I am so grateful for what I learned from my professors and peers while part of this program!”

- Ashlie Hernandez
Class of 2018

Noble Murray "As an organizational communication graduate, I’ve been given language to understand and explain the phenomena of everyday life. While I developed my academic and vocational knowledge through the exploration of communication theories and practices, I was immersed in real-world examples of my day-to-day life. The applicability of this degree has given me a leg up in my career path, as I can apply learned concepts to any business setting, valuing the story of an individual while supporting a team through meaningful and efficient communication."

- Noble Murray
Class of 2018

Points of Distinction

  • Small class sizes provide one-on-one attention to aid students in success.
  • Field experience opportunities give students the chance to use what they have learned in the classroom before graduation.
  • Multiple tracks give students the chance to specialize their skills and knowledge.
  • Professors and instructors are able to provide industry knowledge from their own hands-on experiences.

Why George Fox?

Christ-centered community

Our faith influences everything we do here, from the way our professors teach to the way we relate to one another and serve in the community.

Global opportunities

More than half of George Fox undergraduate students study abroad, ranking George Fox among the nation's leaders in study abroad participation (U.S. News & World Report).

Small classes

Our 14-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio means you'll get to know your professors on a personal level.

National recognition

George Fox University is a Christian university classified by U.S. News & World Report as a first-tier regional university, and Forbes ranks George Fox among the highest Christian colleges in the country.