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B.S. Communications

Communications degrees designed to help you reach career goals

At the forefront of pretty much anything in life or business is communications. It holds the power to inform, inspire and influence. With Franklin's transfer-friendly Communications degree program, you'll be prepared to shape, lead and deliver integrated communication plans, strategies and tactics within a fast-changing, media-centric world. Change the way business "talks" and you could literally change the world.

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Communications Degree Program Overview

Craft messages that move business forward in a mobile, multiscreen world

Franklin University's Communications degree equips you to shape, lead, and execute integrated communications plans, strategies, and tactics through a variety of mediums including print, digital, and social media.

Jobs in this fast-growing career field are expected to increase by 11% between 2017 and 2027.1

Take Communications courses that teach you to effectively use social and collaborative tools 

Throughout your Communications major courses, you’ll engage in real-world professional practices such as communications planning, audience research, and message development. You’ll also learn how to reach and inspire others to action, collaborate in business-like work groups, and align business objectives within a mobile, multi-screen world.

The Communications program curriculum is broad-based, emphasizing ethical, collaborative, and creative communications; which means at the completion of your studies you’ll be well prepared to deliver strategic communications programs, create targeted messaging for all types of outlets including blogs, websites, and social media, and develop comprehensive campaigns for internal and external audiences.

Customize your Communications major to meet a variety of careers & jobs

With Franklin’s Communications degrees, you can tailor a rich set of electives to suit your individual interests and goals. Choose from a wide variety of flexible options including marketing, writing, public relations, psychology, human resources management, and more.

Earn your B.S. in Communications from a university built for busy adults

Earn your Communications degree online or pursue available coursework at one of our Midwest locations. Regionally accredited and nonprofit, Franklin was built from the ground-up to satisfy the needs of adult learners. Our seamless transfer process and team of academic advisors will help ease your transition to becoming a student, while our flexible course schedules help to balance your education with work, family, and life. Get started on your future today.

1 Source information provided by Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI).

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Courtney

B.S. Communications Graduate

"Learning online not only gave me flexibility, it also provided a sense of community along with the support and motivation I needed."

Communications Courses & Curriculum

120 Semester Hours
Fundamental General Education Core (24 hours)
English Composition (3 hours)

Choose a minimum of 3 semester hours from:

ENG 120 - College Writing (4)
In this course, students acquire the writing competence necessary for conducting and presenting research. A variety of assignments, beginning with personal reflections, build upon one another, as students develop ideas that respond to, critique, and synthesize the positions of others. Students systematize and organize knowledge in ways that will help them in all of their courses. The course also emphasizes the elements of good writing style, appropriate grammar and mechanics, clarity of language, and logical and cohesive development. It culminates in submission of a documented research paper.

*If the course does not have a research paper component, ENG 130 Research Paper, two semester credits, is also required.

Mathematics (3 hours)

Select:

MATH 215 - Statistical Concepts (4)
This course introduces the student to statistics with business applications. The course covers both descriptive and inferential statistics. Topics included are: measures of central tendency; measures of dispersion; graphical displays of data; linear regression; basic probability concepts; binomial and normal probability distributions; confidence intervals; and hypothesis testing. These topics will be covered using a basic knowledge of algebra and Microsoft Excel. Please note: A book fee will be included in your tuition charges for required course materials. Please see http://www.franklin.edu/financial-aid/tuition-fees /e-textbooks for specific charges.

*Choose either MATH 140 Introduction to Quantitative Reasoning or MATH 150 Fundamental Algebra as the prerequisite to MATH 215.  Course can count as a University Elective.

Sciences (6 hours)

Choose a minimum of 6 semester hours from the Science discipline.

One must have a laboratory component.

Social and Behavioral Sciences (6 hours)

A minimum of 6 hours of Social & Behavioral Sciences coursework is required.  Choose from Anthropology, Economics, Geography, History, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology.  Must select at least two different disciplines to meet requirements.

Arts and Humanities (6 hours)
HUMN 210 - Intro to Logic & Critical Thinking Skill (2)
The goal of this course is to help you improve as a critical, logical thinker. You will be introduced to the art of formulating and assessing arguments according to the standards of logical thinking and critical analysis. You will discover how to apply these valuable skills to your studies and everyday life, learning how to overcome obstacles to critical thinking, and how to avoid being deceived by means of misleading reasoning.

Choose an additional course from the Art, English Literature, Fine Arts, Humanities, Music, Philosophy, Religion or Theater disciplines.

Additional General Education Requirements (12 hours)
PF 321 - Learning Strategies (2)
This course prepares students to be successful lifelong learners both academically and in their chosen careers. Franklin courses require a high level of self-directed learning and focus on skills required in the workplace and the classroom that are easily transferable between the two environments. The course includes strategies for advancing communication skills, including the use of electronic tools to participate in virtual environments. The assignments and activities in the course are created to closely simulate teamwork found in the workplace.
OR UNI 199 - University Seminar (2)
A mandatory course for entering full-time, degree-candidate students at Urbana (may be waived for transfer students). This course is designed to help freshmen adjust to the Urbana University and develop strategies for success by providing a "support group" during this critical period of adjustment and examining problems common to the freshman experience. Students must pass the course or be required to repeat it.
PF 106 - Introduction to Spreadsheets (1)
This course focuses on using spreadsheets to solve business applications.
GRPH 117 - Graphic Editing Software (1)
This course provides students with advanced instruction in graphic editing software. Projects will use tools, layers and filters to edit and create digital images for use in design. Note: Students without access to Franklin University's computer laboratories will be required to obtain software at the student's expense.
COMM 150 - Interpersonal Communication (4)
By using applied critical and creative thinking, students in this course will develop a set of communication skills that will enhance their personal and professional relationships and endeavors. This course will focus on skill development in key areas such as self, perception, listening, verbal messages, conversations, relationships, conflict management, persuasion, and public speaking. Please note: A book fee will be included in your tuition charges for required course materials. Please see http://www.franklin.edu/financial-aid/tuition-fees /e-textbooks for specific charges.
OR SPCH 100 - Speech Communication (4)
This public-speaking course emphasizes the fundamentals of extemporaneous speaking. Skill-building activities and assignments focus on research, organization, reasoning, style and delivery of presentations as well as listening and audience engagement.
ENG 205 - Business & Professional Writing (4)
This is an intermediate composition course focusing on writing for business and professional purposes. Students will review the writing conventions commonly expected within business and professional environments, as well as strategies for analyzing rhetorical situations within those environments. Coursework includes analysis, revision, and research exercises, as well as substantial practice in composing business correspondence. The final project is an extensive, researched business proposal developed in stages and presented to the class. Students will be encouraged to relate course materials to their major programs and workplace experiences.
Professional Core (19 hours)
COMM 105 - Digital Design (1)
This course starts with principles of good design relevant for print and ends with active learning through the prepress creation of professional communication items like fliers, posters, and brochures. It includes digital prepress techniques and orientation to software used by industry practitioners for layouts. Please note that access to the Adobe Creative Cloud version of InDesign is required for this course.
COMM 202 - Introduction to Mass Media (3)
In this course students learn how to critically engage and make sense of the media around us and become media literate consumers who are knowledgeable and self-critical of mass media content. In addition to introducing students to the use of media, in both contemporary and historical contexts, this course will help students develop the analytical tools that they can use to examine media content, intent, context, and subtext in order to explore what and how we learn from the media, and how media shape our perceptions in regard to race/ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality, geography, and education as well as how media operate and exert their influence on individuals and society.
COMM 205 - Communication Design (1)
Students learn about effective communication through intelligent visual design by creating a tri-fold brochure, a Video-CV, and a professional portfolio using a free webpage builder. All products are customized based on the student's major and professional interests. This hands-on approach to learning message development and communication product design for a range of platforms helps students develop in-demand skills.
COMM 241 - Media Design (3)
This course teaches the theories and practices associated with visual design principles, and layout for professional communication in traditional and new media formats. The focus of this course is on the creation of media content for use in promotion as well as a cursory overview of the Adobe image and web, creation and editing applications. Specifically, students will learn to utilize PhotoShop, InDesign, and Spark in the completion of these endeavors.
COMM 261 - Video Production (3)
This course focuses on the professional production of video content. Students learn the basics of the production process from start to finish, including writing scripts, lighting, audio, and camera basics as well as the process associated with directing and shooting content. Students also learn to use professional editing software as well as how to deliver their final work for use on television, mobile devices, internet and physical media.
OR GRPH 317 - Digital Photography (4)
Digital Photography is a course covering the basics of photography. The focus will be on taking and critiquing photographs with an emphasis on creating professional images for use on the Web. Topics covered include photography and camera basics on how a camera works, lighting, composition, and special types of photography, such as portraiture, nature, landscape, motion, etc. The goal is to shoot professional photographs without manipulation. The course will primarily consist of several focused photography shooting assignments requiring students to take, share, and critique images. The course will not cover digital imaging enhancement, editing, or modification of images (see WEBD 117 - Graphic Editing Software).
MGMT 312 - Principles of Management (4)
This course explores the basic concepts and processes of management. Students will explore the functional roles and processes of planning, leading, organizing, and controlling comprising the manager role. Students develop skills related to the manager function that are required in today's competitive environment.
MKTG 300 - Marketing (4)
Theory, strategies and methods are foundational to the informed practice of marketing. Students investigate the importance of marketing to an organization or cause, the interrelationship of the difference phases of marketing, the marketing of goods versus services, analysis and identification of markets, pricing strategies and digital marketing tactics. Please note: A book fee will be included in your tuition charges for required course materials. Please see http://www.franklin.edu/financial-aid/tuition-fees /e-textbooks for specific charges.
University Electives (34 hours)

Any undergraduate courses offered by the University except developmental education courses.

Major Area (23 hours)
COMM 301 - Theories of Communication (3)
This course serves as an examination of the theoretical foundations of the communication and media discipline. This includes the major approaches to the study of communication and media from the critical, cultural, and empirical foundations. In addition, students will receive an overview of the historical roots, major theory building perspectives and a review of contemporary theories and applications in the various communication contexts and their application in addressing major issues relevant to communication studies, and media content, audiences and effects.
COMM 315 - Communication Ethics (4)
This course examines the strategies involved in effective, ethical communication in professional contexts. Students examine principles of ethical organizational communication and the temporal/cultural/social forces behind those principles, as well as apply reasoning and critical thinking in individual and group assignments. Comparing values and perspectives from diverse cultures, students will respond to cases in an intercultural professional environment. Please note: A book fee will be included in your tuition charges for required course materials. Please see http://www.franklin.edu/financial-aid/tuition-fees /e-textbooks for specific charges.
COMM 321 - Organizational Communication (4)
The course examines the role of communication in organizations. Students will learn the major theories of organizational communication, identifying and defining primary concepts, and applying them to discussions of real-world situations. The role of technology, corporate culture, leadership, teamwork, ethics, and diversity in communication is examined. Effective communication in global organizations and critiques of organization communication systems and structures are also presented.
OR COMM 400 - Intercultural Communication (4)
This course provides an overview of issues, processes, and theories involved with communicating with individuals from different cultures. Topics include thinking and communicating in global contexts and professional relationships in diverse environments.
COMM 335 - Communication in Groups and Teams (4)
The course examines current theories and best practices of working collaboratively in professional contexts. Students apply these concepts to analyze their own work experience, generating strategies for how to improve their performance in work groups. Students will learn basic project management skills and work in online virtual teams to complete a final communication project.
COMM 495 - Communications Capstone (4)
This course examines the strategies involved in planning and managing communication in professional contexts and the ways these strategies are informed by the integration of information provided by other key areas. Students examine principles of integrated applied communication, creating written and web-based communication products in class. Working in collaborative teams, students complete a project that demonstrates planning and managing communication for organizational goals. The course includes media production of communications for a client organization.
MKTG 332 - Marketing Research (4)
Students develop an understanding of the theories and techniques of planning, conducting, analyzing and presenting market studies. Students will study different methodologies with emphasis on primary research including questionnaire design.
Major Electives (12 hours)

Select 12 hours from:

BSAD 320 - Quant & Qual Methods for Decision Making (4)
This course focuses on the development of individual and team decision-making and problem solving skills. Real world domestic and global issues will be analyzed, diagnosed, and evaluated through the application of a variety of quantitative and qualitative tools and techniques used to arrive at effective decisions and solutions.
COMM 355 - Introduction to Grant Writing for Non-Profits (4)
This course will enable students to recognize when a grant might be appropriate as a source of funds for a non-profit organization or project, identify and understand non-profit status, adhere to conventions and standards associated with successful grant applications, locate grant opportunities, analyze grant requirements, prepare metrics for success, and develop a written grant proposal. This course will provide an opportunity for students to extend and apply their communication skills. Students pursuing this course will also leverage interdisciplinary insights to solve a real-world problem.
COMM 410 - Communications Internship (1-4)
This course provides qualified students with an opportunity to receive academic credit for supervised professional training and experience in an actual work environment. This Internship is an ongoing seminar between the student, the faculty member and the employment supervisor. It involves an Internship Application and Learning Agreement, periodic meetings with the faculty representative, professional experience at a level equivalent to other senior-level courses and submission of material as established in the Internship Application and Learning Agreement. Participation cannot be guaranteed for all applicants.
COMM 480 - Special Topics in Communications (4)
This course allows students to examine significant topics and issues of current interest outside the regular Communications curriculum or to explore a communication issue more in-depth. A specific course description will be published online in the Course Schedule for the trimester the course is offered.
COMM 499 - Independent Studies in Communications (1-4)
Independent studies courses allow students in good academic standing to pursue learning in areas not covered by the regular curriculum or to extend study in areas presently taught. Study is under faculty supervision and graded on either a Pass/No Credit or a letter grade basis. (See the 'Independent Studies' section of the Academic Bulletin for more details.)
ENG 360 - Introduction to Creative Writing (4)
This course introduces the student to the world of creative writing, presenting the power of the written word, cultivating the individual's style in interpreting and writing poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, as well as drama. Participants will create a portfolio of work, mastering techniques employed by studied authors. Students also will learn strategies for generating ideas, becoming members of a community of writers who encourage and critique one another's craft by participating in writing workshops.
ENG 460 - Advanced Creative Writing (4)
This advanced creative writing course enables students to dive more deeply into an understanding of the written word, using their own poetry, fiction, and drama pieces to engage readers through the original work produced by members of the class. An advanced community of writers will be developed to sharpen each member's craft by participating in writing workshops. Students will be introduced to avenues for publication (including online) to continue to enhance their talents and expose them to a wider audience.
HRM 300 - Human Resources Management (4)
An introduction to the human resources function and related elements and activities. The course outlines the roles and functions of members of the human resources department, as well as educating others outside human resources, in how their roles include human resources-related activities. The student will learn about the evolution in human resources management as we know it today. Emphasis is placed on the modern day importance of HRM and the new "corporate view" of the function. Additionally, the student will be exposed to the view of HRM from the perception of both management and subordinate employees. The importance of maintaining fair and equitable compensation and benefit programs will be discussed. The student will be exposed to practical situations and problem solving regarding areas of employee counseling, discipline and termination. Equal Employment Opportunity will be discussed in order for the student to understand its need, importance and the legal issues surrounding it. Other critical areas of training and development, staffing and strategy will also be explored.
HRM 301 - Staffing (4)
This course examines all aspects of getting employees into organizations. Recruitment and selection are the foci. This course covers scientific and legal issues from a managerial perspective and examines the usefulness of various methods used in job analysis, testing and measurement, and internal and external market analysis. Legislation regarding EEO and affirmative action programs are discussed. Please note: A book fee will be included in your tuition charges for required course materials. Please see http://www.franklin.edu/financial-aid/tuition-fees /e-textbooks for specific charges.
HRM 302 - Training & Development (4)
This course covers the theories and techniques of training and development from strategic and operational perspectives. Emphasis is placed on employee needs assessment, program design, implementation and evaluation. Learning theories and long-term development for global competitiveness are discussed.
HUMN 301 - Creative Thinking (4)
Creativity and innovation are essential for organizations to thrive. Design thinking has become central to problem solving in our organizations and our communities. In this course you will explore and expand your own creativity through a self-selected project and apply design thinking to a specific organizational or community-based issue. This course includes concrete exercises to reignite imagination and encourage creative problem solving and creative thinking.
MGMT 325 - Organizational Behavior (4)
This course focuses on the organizational processes and theoretical constructs related to organizational behavior. The roles of leaders, followers, and teams and their influence on the culture and performance of an organization are addressed through the analysis of key organizational behavior concepts and related cases. Topics will include: values, perception, attitudes, assumptions, learning, motivation, conflict, diversity, and change. Please note: A book fee will be included in your tuition charges for required course materials. Please see http://www.franklin.edu/financial-aid/tuition-fees /e-textbooks for specific charges.
MIS 200 - Management Information Systems (4)
The purpose of this course is to provide the fundamentals associated with the management of information technology in a business enterprise. These fundamentals are business concepts in which the influence of information technology has caused change or brought about new concepts. Special emphasis will be placed on understanding the managerial issues that are relevant to usage of computers. The student will be given problems isolating these issues and will be asked to propose solutions with alternatives.
MKTG 320 - Advertising & Promotion (4)
A study of fundamental principles and practices of advertising that emphasizes the development of a creative strategy and the decision-making process for the recommendation, implementation, and evaluation of a promotional campaign in support of the organization's strategy.
MKTG 330 - Marketing Behavior (4)
An understanding of consumer decision processes is developed through application of behavioral sciences. Organizational decision-making processes are also considered. The implications of these processes are considered in relation to marketing, organizational strategies and decision making. Please note: A book fee will be included in your tuition charges for required course materials. Please see http://www.franklin.edu/financial-aid/tuition-fees /e-textbooks for specific charges.
MKTG 340 - Digital Marketing (4)
Common strategies for the marketing of goods and services via the Internet range from public relations and corporate communications to advertising and electronic commerce. Students investigate and evaluate various marketing and communication strategies and tactics for the World Wide Web. Emphasis is placed on critical evaluation skills as well as website planning, development, design, and other factors which contribute to a website's success. Please note: A book fee will be included in your tuition charges for required course materials. Please see http://www.franklin.edu/financial-aid/tuition-fees /e-textbooks for specific charges.
MKTG 430 - Customer Relationship Management (4)
Students develop skills in planning, constructing and organizing one-to-one marketing activities. Included in these activities are collaborative relationships between consumers and sellers that can be applied by both small and large organizations. New technologies in interactive marketing and in database creation and implementation will be studied.
MKTG 450 - Global Marketing (4)
A course in marketing theory and methods as they apply to world markets. Among the topics discussed are: the importance of linking international marketing with the overall strategy of the business while examining the impact of cultural, political and legal issues and the economic differences in global strategies. Emphasis is placed on developing the marketing mix appropriate to various international global environments.
PBRL 325 - Public Relations (4)
A general course in the technique of establishing and maintaining public relations. Activities span a variety of media to influence public opinion and manage an organization's reputation.
PBRL 425 - Media & Crisis Communication (4)
Today's public relations professionals have entered a new era where preparedness to respond rapidly to various levels of crisis is essential. Building a positive reputation through the strategic management of communications with internal and external audiences during good times is a necessary foundation for withstanding negative press. Utilizing analysis techniques, public relations tactics, and hands-on projects, students will evaluate crisis situations, create and implement a strategic crisis communication plan, and learn to coach the corporate spokesperson and manage the media, while maintaining the organization's reputation.
PSYC 310 - The Psychology of Personal Development (4)
This psychology based course provides evidenced-based information and application strategies for improving personal and professional adjustment and effectiveness. The purpose of this course is to enable students to address and utilize more of their inherent potential. Students will use a self-coaching model to apply principles and methods taken from a variety of current sources, i.e. emotional and social intelligence, multiple intelligences, and positive psychology and executive coaching. The primary course outcome will be a plan for effecting improved adjustment and performance in students' personal and professional lives.
PSYC 325 - Coaching in Organizations (4)
This course is designed to introduce students to the use of coaching skills for improving the adjustment and performance of individuals in an organizational setting. Topics to be covered include: the scope of coaching practice, optimal practitioner characteristics, benefits for coaches, related organizational dynamics, and coaching interventions and resources. This course also includes an emphasis on experimental learning through coaching practice activities.
SPM 320 - Sports Information (3)
This course provides the student with the variety of media in which to disseminate sports Information. It explores ethical, legal, and social issues relating to the sports information field.
Additional Requirements

All students are required to pass College Writing (ENG 120), and either Basic Learning Strategies (PF 121), Learning Strategies (PF 321) or University Seminar (UNI 199) prior to enrolling in any course at the 200 level or above. Students who enroll at Franklin with 30 or fewer hours of transfer credit are required to pass PF 121 Basic Learning Strategies in place of PF 321 Learning Strategies. All Urbana University students will enroll in UNI 199 University Seminar.  Interpersonal Communication (COMM 150) or Speech Communication (SPCH 100) must be taken prior to enrolling in any course at the 300 level or above. Students must also meet the University algebra competency requirement.

Communications Degree Requirements & Outcomes

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Communications Jobs & Opportunities

Community Relations Specialist

Community Relations Specialists plan, execute, and manage outreach programs to promote organizations, bring awareness to intended audiences, and create positive community connections.

Copywriter

Copywriters create a variety of content, including direct mail, emails, advertisements, press releases and articles in support of marketing, advertising and public relations campaigns.

Corporate Communications Manager

Corporate Communications Managers collaborate in planning, creating, and delivering specific messages to internal and/or external audiences.

Corporate Trainer

Corporate Trainers educate, inspire, and guide employees to achieve maximize productivity, efficiency, and ability.

Interactive Communications Manager

Interactive Communications Managers oversee the planning, implementation, budgeting, and resourcing of interactive projects, leading teams to successful project completion.

Public Relations Specialist

Public relations specialists help create and communicate information to internal stakeholders, the public and the media on relevant topics and issues.

Recruiter

Recruiters fill job openings by developing recruiting plans and employing sourcing strategies to locate, interview, test, place, and assimilate qualified employees.

Technical Communicator

Technical Communicators translate complex data into written text, including instruction manuals, reference materials, and articles for both technical and non-technical audiences.

Web Content Developer

Web Content Developers create optimized text for websites, social network groups, blogs, and other interactive media in order to reach intended audiences, support interactive campaigns, and improve search engine rankings.

Communications Employment Outlook

11%

From 2017-2027 jobs in Communications are expected to increase by 11%

All Occupations

2017
235,209 jobs
2027
261,587 jobs


Source information provided by Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI).

Communications Knowledge & Skillsets

Gain in-demand skills sought by employers with curriculum that teaches you:

Frequently Asked Questions About Communications Degrees

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