Communication B.A. with a Concentration in Public Relations

  1. ORAL COMMUNICATION: It is expected that students choosing to major in Communication will be able to demonstrate significant oral communication competencies in all types of public presentations. At a minimum, Communication students are expected to be able to choose a topic, gather information, narrow the focus of the topic, and present a logical, cohesive, well-structured, informative or persuasive oration that is 5-10 minutes in length.
  2. INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION: It is expected that students choosing to major in Communication will develop effective interpersonal communication skills that will enable them to become valued members of dyadic or small group interactions. Effective interpersonal skills are just as important as oral communication skills in encouraging students to continue on a path of life-long learning. Additionally, interpersonal competency is an integral part of all workplace teams and students who demonstrate significant interpersonal competence in this area increase their chances for success both socially and professionally. In keeping with the performative nature of our discipline, Communication students must demonstrate their ability to actively interact verbally and nonverbally with fellow classmates in group and individual problem-solving interactions. 
  3. INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION: Students choosing to major in Communication are expected to become more competent communicators in an intercultural and culturally diverse environment. Intercultural Communication competence can be defined as “the ability to effectively and appropriately execute communication behaviors to elicit a desired response in a specific environment” (Chen & Starosta, 1998, p. 241). At a minimum, our students will be expected to demonstrate through oral, written, and group communication assignments that they understand the complicated nature of intercultural communication.
  4. CRITICAL ANALYSIS: Students who choose to major in communication are challenged to develop their critical thinking skills. This competency assumes that students will develop the critical thinking ability to analyze evidence (spoken, written or visual) for its relevance, and be able to draw reasonable conclusions from the information. Critical thinking skills are perhaps the most prolific communication competency in our Department curriculum. Communication students must be able to demonstrate their critical thinking skills through oral and written self-advocacy.
  5. WRITTEN COMMUNICATION: Students who choose to major in Communication are challenged to develop their writing skills. Writing and speaking are symbiotic competencies that enable individuals to communicate with mass audiences.  The ability to write in a clear concise fashion is one of the most important skills students will need upon graduation.  This competency requires graduating students to show proficiency in standard English expression, by demonstrating to the satisfaction of their individual Department professors that they can write both professionally and academically. Specifically, graduating communication students must be able to personally demonstrate abilities in writing content, grammar, spelling, style and form.
  6. RESEARCH SKILLS: Students who choose to major in Communication are challenged to develop their critical research skills.  It is not enough for these students to have effective oral communication or writing skills; they must have evidence to support the propositions they are advocating. Students must also know how to conduct effective research in order to effectively prepare, screenplays, films and advertising proposals.
  7. TECHNOLOGICAL LITERACY: The technological literacy competency deals with fluency—a place for those with different personalities, backgrounds, and thresholds to get in the same “conversation.”  Learning and demonstrating personal competency in the industry-standard hardware and software that students will utilize in future endeavors and career paths creates technological fluency. Students must possess the eye-hand coordination and motor skills necessary to properly operate and utilize computer hardware, software and specialized equipment specific to their area of concentration and coursework. Students become fluent at sending and receiving messages in order to create shorthand for future experience. This fluency is a tool to support and enhance other competencies in a qualitative manner. 
Core Curriculum Requirements 153
Communication Major Core Requirements22
Public Relations Concentration Requirements24
General Electives21
Total Units120

Number of units required from the Core Curriculum not included in the major requirements below. 

Communication Major Core Requirements

Lower Division
COMM-130Introduction to Communication3
COMM-220Elements of Storytelling3
COMM-258Christianity and Artistic Culture3
COMM-273Visual Technology3
COMM-290Intro to Interpersonal Communication3
Upper Division
COMM-413Preparing for Post Graduation1
COMM-464CMedia Criticism 23
Total Units22

Capstone for Communication Studies, Health Communication, and Public Relations Concentrations.

Public Relations Concentration Requirements

COMM-333Small Group Leadership3
COMM-364Organizational Communication3
COMM-378PR: Corp Comm, Information, and Mgmt3
COMM-380PR: Corp Comm, Projects, and Campaigns3
or COMM-443 Crisis Communication
Select a minimum of nine units of the following:9
Communication Theory
Graphic Design
Creative Process-Theory and Practice
Nonverbal Communication
Social Media
Computer Mediated Communication
Professional Communication
Special Topic:
Principles of Marketing
Total Units24

Disclaimer: This sample Four Year Plan is provided as a guide for the recommended sequencing of courses. Vanguard University requires that students complete a minimum of 120 units of required course work as outlined on the Requirements tab in order to receive a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Science, or Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. It is the student's responsibility to confirm with the department the course rotation before enrolling in courses. If applicable, please note the footnotes at the bottom of the page for additional information related to courses listed in a particular year and term. Questions? Contact the Department of Communication.

Study Abroad ParticipationStudents interested in participating in the university's Study Abroad programs are encouraged to reach out to the Global Education and Outreach Office for more information and collaboration in their academic course planning. Students using Education and Training Benefits through the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs are encouraged to also reach out to the School Certifying Official for more information regarding how benefits can be applied.

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1 Term 1Units
CORE-100C Cornerstone 1
KINE-148C Lifetime Fitness and Wellness Lecture 3
COMM-220 Elements of Storytelling 3
COMM-130 Introduction to Communication 3
THEO-PLHDTheology Core Requirement 3
SOC-PLCRSocial Science Core Curriculum Reqm't 3
Year 1 Term 2
NT-101C New Testament Survey 3
ENGL-120C Persuasive Writing 3
FINA-PLCRFine Arts Core Curriculum Requirement 3
HSPS-PLCRHistory/Political Sci Core Requirement 3
SOC-PLCRSocial Science Core Curriculum Reqm't 3
Year 2 Term 1
COMM-290 Intro to Interpersonal Communication 3
COMM-273 Visual Technology 3
OT-201C Old Testament Survey 3
COMM-258 Christianity and Artistic Culture 3
MATH-PLCRMath Core Requirement 3
Year 2 Term 2
COMM-201C Speech Composition and Presentation 3
ENGL-220C Researched Writing 3
HSPS-PLHDHistory Political Science Placeholder 3
COMM-PLUD3AUpper Division General Elective 3 Units 3
ELCT-PLHD3AGeneral Elective 3 Units 3
Year 3 Term 1
ENGL-230C Literature and the Human Experience 3
COMM-413 Preparing for Post Graduation 1
COMM-450 Internship 1-6
COMM-364 Organizational Communication 3
COMM-378 PR: Corp Comm, Information, and Mgmt 3
ELCT-PLHD3AGeneral Elective 3 Units 3
Year 3 Term 2
THEO-300C Developing a Christian World View 3
NSCI-PLCRScience Lec/Lab Requirement 4
COMM-380 PR: Corp Comm, Projects, and Campaigns 3
COMM-PLPLCR3Communication/Persuasion Requirement 3
COMM-PLUDC3Communication Upper Division Elective 3U 3
Year 4 Term 1
COMM-333 Small Group Leadership 3
COMM-464C Media Criticism 3
ELCT-PLHD9Elective 9 Units 9
Year 4 Term 2
CHIS-400C Christian Heritage 3
COMM-PLUDC3Communication Upper Division Elective 3U 3
COMM-PLHD3BGeneral Elective 3 Units 3
COMM-PLHD3CGeneral Elective 3 Units 3
 Total Units118-123


  • THEO-300C Developing a Christian World View can only be taken after completion of at least 60 units. CHIS-400C Christian Heritage can only be taken after completion of at least 90 units.