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Undergraduate Program

VT COMM – Focus and Possibilities

The majors in communication, leading to a B.A., allow students to develop a broad understanding of the discipline and specific expertise in either public communication or mass communication. VT COMM focuses on strategic, theoretical, and practical application of message creation, delivery, analysis, and criticism in cultural and historical contexts.

Communication majors are prepared to continue their studies in graduate school or immediately apply their skills in various professional settings because of the broad applicability of both the theory to which they are exposed and the competencies they develop.  Based in a strong liberal arts curriculum, VT COMM prepares students to enter careers in mass media, business, the entertainment industry, public service, government, or professional specializations, such as law.

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Students choose one of three majors in COMM in order to specialize in the discipline. Two majors involve the study of public communication: Public Relations and Communication Studies. The other major involves the study of mass communication: Electronic and Print Journalism.

Communication Studies -- This pre-professional major provides students with adaptation strategies and tactics for succeeding in the evolving job market, and allows students flexibility in crafting their own plan of study.  Students will have broad exposure to communication theories and practices, stressing understanding of and effective participation in communication across interpersonal, organizational, and public contexts. If you are interested in fields such as business, politics, law, education, ministry, or health care, the Communication Studies option could be especially appropriate because of its wide range of course options and its analytical and critical approach to communication across multiple contexts, channels, messages and strategies. 

Multimedia Journalism: Electronic and Print -- This major prepares students for careers in all types of journalistic media. You'll learn about publishing news across various media platforms ranging from newspapers and magazines to television and the Web. You will develop skills in interviewing, study writing, photography and digital video production. Other courses address media history, law, ethics, controversies and opportunities in the changing news media.

Public Relations – Every industry needs PR professionals to maintain its images and foster relationship with the public. This major prepares you for the challenges in a rapidly growing era of information exchange. Courses include topics such as message production, case analysis and campaign planning—all of which will enhance your critical thinking about issues in the public relations industry. This major offers you a strong foundation for a wide variety of appealing career opportunities in corporate, government, nonprofits and PR agencies.  

Choosing a Major

For some students, the direction is clear; others spend two or three semesters exploring the possibilities. Students deciding on a major might take courses in two or more majors in order to make the best individual choice.

Advising Support Center

130 Shanks


Ms. Kimberly Higgs

Ms. Susan Stinson

Dr. Marlene Preston


VT COMM offers a resource for student speakers who are preparing or rehearsing speeches.  Peer coaches will work with individual student speakers or small groups so that students can get feedback and improve their skills before presenting a speech in the classroom or at a conference. 

This free service, located on the second floor of the library, is offered to students in any major who want to enhance their competence in oral communication.

Please see the CommLab website – -- for more information or to make an appointment. 

For information about the test-out for Public Speaking, please see


Please contact: 

Ms. Brandi Quesenberry, Associate Director

Dr. Marlene Preston, Director