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Bachelor of Arts in Communication

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Home » Programs » Bachelor of Arts in Communication

Take the Art of Communication to a Professional Level

The Bachelor of Arts in Communication prepares students for careers in professional communication, including leadership positions in corporate communication, public relations, advertising, and integrated marketing. The degree also prepares students for a wide range of careers and pursuits that require highly developed communication skills. After all, strong communication skills are sought after by hiring managers and can help job seekers stand out among otherwise well-qualified applicants in a crowded employment marketplace. 

The Communication BA offers a unique blend of human and professional communication theory and skills so students learn to communicate appropriately and effectively in interpersonal, intercultural, organizational, and mediated settings. Graduates can apply the strategic thinking and message creation skills they acquire to work in most industries. 

The program covers the theory and skills needed to employ organizational leadership to produce communication campaigns and materials, disseminated through traditional, digital, internet, social, and emerging media. Students learn through academic work, case studies, and hands-on experience, creating messages across media platforms. Completion of the program enables graduates to succeed in positions that require strategic thinking, planning, project management, content creation, and leadership. 

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Course Details


  • 2 courses; 9 quarter units

An introductory course on the written academic discourse patterns required for college-level writing. Emphasizing essay-length compositions, the course covers critical reading, thesis formation, essay organization, and basic revision techniques.

This class is an introduction to the principles and application of speaking effectively to diverse audiences in a variety of settings. Focus is on topic selection, organization, analysis of research, and delivery, with special attention on learning effective delivery skills.

* May be used to satisfy general education requirements.

Core Requirements

  • 9 courses; 40.5 quarter units

PrerequisiteENG 102

Examines the theory and research behind interpersonal communication. Explores communication processes in dyads, small groups, and teams, and in organizational settings. Teaches skills to improve students’ communication competence in both personal and professional environments. The course also covers self-awareness, self-disclosure, relational development, and conflict resolution.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Looks at communication across cultures and considers how culture influences communication. Focuses on the dynamics of cross-cultural face-to-face interaction, conflict styles across cultures, societal influences on ethnocentrism and racism, cultural value orientations, non-verbal dimensions of communication, language interaction, stereotypes, relationship development, and cultural adaptation.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Provides a broad survey of the theoretical approaches employed in the study of communication. Focuses on theories relevant to many levels of interaction from interpersonal to mass and mediated communication. Also explores how and why theories are developed and how they can be evaluated.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Introduces students to quantitative and qualitative communication research methods to enable them to become competent evaluators, designers, and authors of research. Teaches the fundamental principles of communication research, providing learners with the knowledge base and experience to answer questions in the practice of professional communication.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Introduces learners to the principles, functions, and practices of social influence. Examines how to influence others’ attitudes, beliefs, opinions, values, and behaviors through communication. Explores scientifically established principles of persuasion that are used in contemporary media.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Provides for the study and application of current theories and research on communication within and among organizations. Includes the study of the influence of management styles on organizational communication. Discussion of communication structure, functions, contexts in organizations, and communication ethics in organizations.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Teaches strategic writing and presentation for traditional and new media platforms. Provides students practice in creating content that meets organizational objectives, and in applying communication theory and persuasion techniques. Learners develop content for advertising, PR, and corporate communications.

PrerequisiteCOM 385 and COM 394

Course examines 21st-century mediated communication systems and technology. Theory and methods used in creating, shaping, encoding, and transmitting mediated messages for personal and professional communications are examined. Software and skills for encoding mediated messages into text, graphics, audio, and video are learned and practiced.

PrerequisiteCompletion of 13 core and advanced core courses.

Students assemble and create materials necessary to produce an ePortfolio that demonstrates their research, analysis, strategic thinking, content production, and campaign evaluation skills. The ePortfolio demonstrates the student’s experience and capabilities. It will be an asset in the job search and in career advancement. Grading is S or U only.

Concentration in Creative Communication

Requirements for Concentration

  • 4 courses; 18 quarter units

Students select FOUR courses from:

An intermediate workshop in poetry. Students will compose their own original poems and continue the study of the craft of poetry, focusing on the modern tradition.

PrerequisiteENG 102

Examines communication technologies and their effects on society. Looks at the history of such systems: how they emerged, diffused, and evolved. Covers current systems, with an emphasis on how the Internet and other new platforms are changing media, education, business, and politics around the world.

An intermediate course in writing fiction. Students will build on principles learned in ENG201, focusing on developing compelling and original fiction. Students will also discuss the importance of revision, and engage in thorough critiques of each other’s original work.

Editing for style, clarity, and coherence in a variety of academic and non-academic contexts, including editing of one’s own and others’ writing and collaborative writing/editing.

Provides an overview of the principles and techniques of storytelling and their application to leadership in organizations and society. Students will learn how the principles of dramatic structure inform and shape the stories leaders have used throughout history, and how a range of diverse fields, from literature to business to neurobiology, have advanced our understanding of why storytelling is essential for leaders. Those who hope to advocate for causes, connect with followers, and drive change increasingly understand that a powerful story can be the difference between success and failure. Taking a critical approach to storytelling in leadership, students will also consider their own personal narrative, as leaders and followers, as they plan their next steps in the professional world.

An advanced course for students interested in using writing as a means of exploring the natural world. This course surveys nature writing in its various forms (essays, articles, poetry, journals, etc.) as well as effective nature writing strategies. This course is designed to give students a basis for future personal creative work.

PrerequisiteENG 102 with a minimum grade of C. Students must have proven college-level writing skills to be successful in their written assignments in the program.; MUL 201 with a minimum grade of C. Students must have proven competency level to be successful in the more advanced subjects in the program. ; MUL 203 with a minimum grade of C. Students must have proven competency level to be successful in the more advanced subjects in the program.

Students will get hands-on training utilizing the principles and techniques of web design within the digital media industry. The course is an in-depth study of effective web page design using structured markup languages, and efficient site architecture. Students will engage in projects in content development, navigation, and usability (ie: UX – user experience) and deployment.

PrerequisiteENG 102 with a minimum grade of C. Students must have proven college level writing skills to be successful in their written assignments in the program.; MUL 201 with a minimum grade of C. Students must have proven competency level to be successful in the more advanced subjects in the program. and MUL 203 with a minimum grade of C. Students must have proven competency level to be successful in the more advanced subjects in the program.

The course provides students with in depth experience working with non-linear editing software (NLE) to create engaging and highly effective video projects.

Prerequisite: ENG 102 with a minimum grade of C. Students must have proven college level writing skills to be successful in their written assignments in the program.; MUL 201 with a minimum grade of C. Students must have proven competency level to be successful in the more advanced subjects in the program. ; MUL 203 with a minimum grade of C. Students must have proven competency level to be successful in the more advanced subjects in the program.

Hands-on introduction in the basics of user interface design for various platforms (i.e. web, mobile, etc.). Students will learn all phases of user interface design from conception to final output.

Concentration in Strategic Communication

Requirements for Concentration

  • 4 courses; 18 quarter units

Students select FOUR courses from:

PrerequisiteCOM 400

In-depth study of topics in media management, including managing media enterprises and units, business practices, content marketing and distribution, and technologies such as content and media asset management systems, as well as distribution and delivery networks. Students learn analytical techniques necessary to weigh business strategies and technology choices in bringing a variety of types of media content products to market.

PrerequisiteCOM 334

Synthesizes principles and strategies used to develop PR and integrated advertising messages used in the planning and implementation of communication campaigns. Focuses on analyzing markets, clients, products, and audiences and on creative copywriting and art direction. Provides training in how to develop campaign plans in traditional and digital media.

PrerequisiteCOM 441

Create and integrate campaign materials and media assets for a complete public relations or advertising campaign to be delivered across multiple media platforms. Materials produced include print, graphic, video, and other digital assets. Provides hands-on experience presenting a creative plan to a potential client.

PrerequisiteCOM 442

Apply and integrate new tools and techniques to design, create, and implement interactive communication programs and campaigns. Focuses on delivery through Social Media, location-based messaging, and personal mobile devices. Offers hands-on experience producing multimedia and mobile content.

Degree and Course Requirements

To receive a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, students must complete at least 180 quarter units as follows: 76.5 units must be completed at the upper-division level, and 45 units must be completed in online residence through National University. Students must also complete a minimum 69 units of the University’s General Education requirements. In the absence of transfer credit, additional general electives may be necessary to satisfy total units for the degree. The following courses are specific degree requirements. All students receiving an undergraduate degree in Nevada are required by State Law to complete a course in Nevada Constitution.

National University’s communication degree program can be completed online, meaning you won’t have to put your life on hold while working toward your degree. With small class sizes and faculty mentors who bring real-world experience, you’ll gain the communication skills relevant to today’s job market. NU offers four-week courses, so you can focus on one subject at a time, one month at a time and finish your degree faster. Plus, with year-round enrollment, you don’t have to wait to apply and can begin classes as soon as next month. As a military-friendly Yellow Ribbon school, active-duty servicemembers and their immediate family members have access to tuition discounts.

A communication degree can be the foundation for a variety of career paths, both within and beyond the communications industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for media and communication occupations (such as Editors, Public Relations Specialists, and Technical Writers) was $62,340 in May 2021.* Effective communication within smaller teams and to broader audiences is a growing need among the top companies in every industry. Typical roles can include:

  • Advertising
  • Brand management
  • Communications consultant
  • Corporate communications
  • Digital strategic
  • Media planner
  • Publicist
  • Public relations marketing specialist
  • Promotions

*SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, the internet, (viewed June 3, 2021)

Cited projections may not reflect local or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.

According to Emsi labor market analytics and economic data1, consulting services, finance and banking, health insurance and health care systems, and information technology are among the top industries for graduates. Emsi also confirms some of the top job titles for professionals who have earned this degree include:

  • Communications specialist, coordinator, consultant or strategist
  • Internal or strategic communications manager
  • Director of Communications
  • Corporate Communications Managers
  • Marketing and Communications Managers
  • Accounts (account executive)
  • Public Relations (manager, specialist, coordinator)

*SOURCE: Emsi Labor Analyst- Report. Emsi research company homepage at (Report viewed: 2/17/2022). DISCLAIMER: The data provided is for Informational purposes only. Emsi data and analysis utilizes government sources to provide insights on industries, demographics, employers, in-demand skills, and more to align academic programs with labor market opportunities. Cited projections may not reflect local or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth. Current and prospective students should use this data with other available economic data to inform their educational decisions.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Develop communication campaign messaging strategies.
  • Apply persuasion theory to communication campaigns and media messages.
  • Develop multi-platform, multi-public message dissemination plans.
  • Identify communication settings and apply appropriate theoretical precepts and practical skills to formulating messages.


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Program Disclosure

Successful completion and attainment of National University degrees do not lead to automatic or immediate licensure, employment, or certification in any state/country. The University cannot guarantee that any professional organization or business will accept a graduate’s application to sit for any certification, licensure, or related exam for the purpose of professional certification.

Program availability varies by state. Many disciplines, professions, and jobs require disclosure of an individual’s criminal history, and a variety of states require background checks to apply to, or be eligible for, certain certificates, registrations, and licenses. Existence of a criminal history may also subject an individual to denial of an initial application for a certificate, registration, or license and/or result in the revocation or suspension of an existing certificate, registration, or license. Requirements can vary by state, occupation, and/or licensing authority.

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National University degrees do not guarantee employment or salary of any kind. Prospective students are strongly encouraged to review desired job positions to review degrees, education, and/or training required to apply for desired positions. Prospective students should monitor these positions as requirements, salary, and other relevant factors can change over time.