Undergraduate Concentrations

In class

The department offers four concentrations:

Also offered is a minor in Leadership and Public Relations.


Organizational Leadership Concentration

The Organizational Leadership concentration focuses on developing vital leadership skills. Students in this concentration develop their abilities to

  • Understand critical organizational processes
  • Build effective teams
  • Organize and lead groups and organizations
  • Manage conflicts
  • Lead organizational change
  • Understand the impact of technology on groups and organizations

The concentration in Organizational Leadership prepares students for careers in

  • Administration
  • Communication consulting
  • Politics
  • Management
  • Human resources
  • Business and public policy
  • Training and development

Rhetoric and Public Advocacy

The Rhetoric and Public Advocacy concentration focuses on communication in the public arena. Students in this concentration develop the ability to

  • Advocate for one’s personal, political, and/or organizational goals
  • Analyze various forms of private and public communication
  • Create, organize, and deliver messages that inform, persuade and inspire
  • Develop strategies for communicating with diverse target audiences
  • Understand the communication strategies of nonprofits, social movements, businesses and the government
  • Critically engage issues of social justice, cultural identity, and ethical communication
  • Develop a sense of engaged and democratic citizenship

The concentration in Rhetoric and Public Advocacy prepares students for careers in

  • Speech writing
  • Social media management
  • Campaign management
  • Grassroots activism and social movements
  • Politics
  • Government communication
  • Law and judiciary careers
  • Political and nonprofit lobbying

Public Relations Concentration

The Public Relations concentration focuses on how organizations establish productive relationships with different audiences, including employees, media, customers, and the community. Students in this concentration develop their abilities to

  • Write, speak, and think critically
  • Understand the why and how of communicating
  • Analyze current issues and audience attitudes
  • Determine and develop communication strategies and messages
  • Create and execute strategic communication campaigns
  • Design and present messages that inform and persuade targeted publics

The concentration in Public Relations prepares students for careers in corporations, agencies, and not-for-profits, to work in

  • Media relations and special events
  • Health communication
  • Political advocacy
  • Travel and tourism
  • Philanthropy and the arts
  • Marketing support
  • Crisis communication
  • Employee communication
  • Community relations
  • Corporate sponsorships

Public Relations FAQs

General Sequence

In addition to the three concentrations listed above—Organizational Leadership, Rhetoric and Public Advocacy, and Public Relations—the Department also offers a General Sequence track. This allows students more flexibility in studying strategic communication; more flexibility in meeting the necessary requirements of the major; and more flexibility in designing unique sequences of courses suited for particular goals and career paths.