School of Communications
Chair: Mark Alden Callister
The BYU School of Communications prepares students for careers in fields related to mass communication, such as advertising, journalism, public relations, and communications studies. The school is nationally accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Grounded in a strong liberal arts foundation, this program provides a balance between scholarship and professional skills. This goal is accomplished by requiring core courses and electives that enhance critical thinking about the discipline, while providing courses in emphasis areas that afford additional skills for each profession. See emphasis descriptions for additional information about their discipline and career opportunities.
The School of Communications exists to help students become professional and scholarly communicators whose messages contribute to a better society by benefiting the organizations for which they work and the audiences they reach.
1. Effective Communication: Students will communicate effectively with their audiences: Specifically, students will be literate in the language of the media industries, and be able to plan and prepare mass communication messages in the appropriate style, using the appropriate research method, and appropriate technologies, to serve audience needs.
Writing: Students will write correctly and clearly in forms and styles appropriate for the communications professions, audiences and purposes they serve.
Editing: Students will critically evaluate their own work and that of others for accuracy and fairness, clarity, appropriate style and grammatical correctness.
Numerical skills: Students will apply basic numerical and statistical concepts.
Technology: Students will apply tools and technologies appropriate for the communications professions in which they work.
Research: Students will conduct research and evaluate information by methods appropriate to the communications professions in which they work.
2. Professional practice: Students will act professionally in their practice. Specifically, students will demonstrate they. value freedom of speech in the marketplace of ideas, and be able to practice communication within legal boundaries, while exhibiting standards of professional behavior and demonstrating sensitivity to ethical behavior. Students will also be literate in the language of media industries.
Freedom of speech: Students will understand and apply the principles and laws of freedom of speech and the press, for the right to dissent, to monitor and criticize power, and to assemble and petition for redress of grievances.
Ethics: Students will demonstrate an understanding of professional ethical principles and work ethically in pursuit of truth, accuracy, fairness, and diversity.
3. Mass Communication Process: Students will be scholars of the mass communication process. Specifically, students will be able to apply relevant theory to communication practice, understand factory that shape their profession and think critically about the relationship between mass media and society.
Theory: Students will understand concepts and apply theories in the use and presentation of images and information.
History: Students will demonstrate an understanding of the history and role of professionals and institutions in shaping communications.
Critical thinking: Students will think critically, creatively and independently.
4. Applying Gospel-centered Values: Students will be able to apply Gospel-centered values as they contribute to society. Specifically, they will promote diversity, inclusiveness, and agency in a global society, be able to exercise moral reasoning when faced with ethical dilemmas, and show a commitment to making a difference in their sphere of influence.
Domestic Diversity: Students will demonstrate an understanding of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and, as appropriate, other forms of diversity in domestic society in relation to mass communication.
International diversity: Students will demonstrate an understanding of the diversity of peoples and cultures and of the significance and impact of mass communications in a global society.
Admission to Degree Program
The degree programs in the School of Communications have a school application process with specific enrollment limitations. Please see the college advisement center for details, telephone 1-801-422-3777, or online at http://comms.byu.edu/.
Working under faculty direction, students in the school create advertising campaigns in the AdLab, use data to design public relations strategies in the PR Intelligence Lab, conduct biometric research in the BioComms lab, and publish journalistic content for the Daily Universe.
The School of Communications sponsors the International Media Studies Program, which seeks to broaden students' awareness of worldwide communications issues and practices. Not only do students have opportunity to study the media systems of other nations through classes and on-site experiences, but media practitioners of other nations are also brought to campus as lecturers and visiting experts.
The school encourages early admission. Students who enroll in Comms 101 and an introductory course and complete the English requirement can apply to the major as early as the second semester of their freshman year.
Each student must be formally accepted into a degree program. Contact the college advisement center for admission requirements or online at http://comms.byu.edu.
All students must take a campus writing course before applying for admission to the major. AP credit does not fulfill this requirement. The following writing course fulfills this requirement and satisfies the GE First-Year Writing requirement: WRTG 150.
Complete a minimum of 72 hours in courses outside of the department, while meeting BYU's University Core requirements.
Every student is required to complete an internship or an equivalent mentored experience. Although the school operates an internship office (280 BRMB) that serves as a clearinghouse for internship information, the responsibility for securing an internship rests with the student. Students may not embark on any required internship without prior approval from a faculty advisor, completing prerequisite courses with a C– or better, processing appropriate documents with the Internship Office, and being enrolled in Comms 496R.
Communications students are required to own or rent a computer. Before obtaining a computer, students should first consult the school website for specifications.
Communications students must learn the design software used in several of the upper-level courses prior to attending the course.
The following software will be used in these courses:
Adobe Publishing — Comms 330, 331, 425, 484
To receive a BYU bachelor's degree a student must complete, in addition to all requirements for a specific major, the following university requirements:
The University Core, consisting of requirements in general and religious education.
At least 30 credit hours must be earned in residence on the BYU campus in Provo as an admitted day student
A minimum of 120 credit hours
A cumulative GPA of at least 2.0
Be in good standing with the Honor Code Office
Students should see their college advisement center for help or information concerning the undergraduate programs.
Graduate Programs Available
This department also offers graduate degree programs. For more information, see Graduate Studies.