Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Communication

COM BA students complete three foundation courses that provide a breadth of understanding of the field of Communication. Students then take electives across three areas of specialization to deepen their understanding of one or more subfields. The program culminates with a senior capstone project where students follow their personal interests to conduct original research, launch a persuasive campaign, or design a creative project.

Learn more about the Communication Program.

Contact Us

comm@hawaii.edu

(808) 956-8881

COM Courses

Focus Areas

Our program offers three focus areas:

Communication in Communities

The Communication in Communities area focuses on communication in social, organizational, and professional communities ranging from small groups working together face-to-face or online, to large organizations communicating with international publics. Intercultural communication, international communication, organizational communication, and public relations are traditional academic areas of scholarship that inform this track. The capstone in communication in communities involves project development within either local or global communities. Project options may include:

  • Public relations campaign.
  • Organizational communication audit.
  • Program for preparing, training, and supporting people in dealing with cultural diversity.

Students explore specific project areas in consultation with their professor and client organizations. The capstone course includes the written reflection and portfolio components common to all capstone courses in communication.

Required Communication in Communities focus area courses:

  • COM 201, 310, 320, 330
  • COM capstone prerequisite course (only one course required for capstone):
    • COM 340: Intercultural Communication
    • COM 421: Public Relations Strategies
  • COM 478: Capstone in Communication in Communities

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and Policy

The ICTs and Policy area focuses on information and communication technologies and how they both influence and are shaped by society. Students learn how ICTs, such as the Internet, social media, mobile phones, online gaming and virtual worlds, digital video, peer-to-peer networks, and other emerging network technologies, serve as masspersonal interactive communication channels that are shaped by the medium characteristics and affordances. ICTs and Policy demonstrates how social and technical developments contribute toward understanding a dynamically evolving media landscape.

The capstone project in ICTs and Policy focuses on specific ICTs and policy problems related to Hawaiʻi and the Asia Pacific region. There are several options, including:

  • Traditional research project related to some aspect of ICTs.
  • Policy analysis to address an issue related to ICTs.
  • Applied technology project related to ICTs.

Other possibilities are negotiable. The capstone course includes the written reflection and portfolio components common to all capstone courses in communication.

Required ICTs and Policy focus area courses:

  • COM 201, 310, 320, 330
  • COM capstone prerequisite course (only one course required for capstone):
    • COM 432: Social Media
    • COM 438: Telecommunications in the Pacific Hemisphere
  • COM 479: Capstone Project in ICTs and Policy

Media Arts

The Media Arts area focuses on visual communication design aesthetics and creative digital media production processes that effectively communicate. Software programs used include Adobe Creative Cloud Suite of applications including Photoshop and PremierePro.

The media arts capstone course includes a comprehensive media project and the written reflection and portfolio components common to all capstone courses in communication.

Required Media Arts focus area courses:

  • COM 201, 310, 320, 330
  • COM capstone prerequisite course:
    • COM 337: Techniques of Multimedia
  • COM 477: Capstone in Interactive Multimedia Design and Development

Additional Details

Declaring a Major

Students who wish to declare a major in Communication must:

  • Be enrolled in, or have completed with at least a B (not B-), COM 201: Introduction to Communication
  • Have completed at least 12 university/college credits
  • Have a minimum cumulative 2.5 GPA

Additional Notes

  • Required Foundation courses (COM 310, 320, and 330) may be taken concurrently with COM 201.
  • Upon declaration of the major, students are assigned a personal faculty advisor to assist them in their progress through the program.
  • Students are responsible for meeting the prerequisite requirements for at least one of the capstone courses in order to graduate in a timely manner.
  • Students must earn a B (3.0) or better in COM 201 and C (2.0) or better in every other course counting toward the communication major degree requirements.

BA Requirements

The BA in Communication requires the completion of 33 credit hours including:

1. Introduction Course (3 credits)

  • COM 201: Introduction to Communication (3) DS

2. Foundation Courses (9 credits)

  • COM 310: Media Arts (3) DA
  • COM 320: Communication and Communities (3) DS
  • COM 330: Information and Communication Technology Concepts (3)

3. Communication Electives (18 credits)

  • COM 325: Communicating Sustainability (3)
  • COM 331: Techniques of Video and Digital Cinema (3)
  • COM 337: Techniques of Multimedia (3)
  • COM 339: Public Relations Writing (3) 
  • COM 340: Intercultural Communication (3) DS
  • COM 350: Mediated Interpersonal Communication (3) DS
  • COM 369: Esports and Society (3)
  • COM 390: Journalism/Communications Workshops (V)
  • COM 392: Emerging Topics (3)
  • COM 401: Survey of Inquiry Methods in Communication (3) DS
  • COM 420: Communication in Multicultural Organizations (3) DS
  • COM 421: Public Relations Strategies (3)
  • COM 422: Public Relations Campaign (3)
  • COM/ES 425: Filming Social Change (3)
  • COM 431: Studio Production (3)
  • COM 432: Social Media (3)
  • COM 433: Video Scriptwriting (3)
  • COM 436: Media Effects (3)
  • COM 438: Telecommunication in the Pacific Hemisphere (3) DS
  • COM 444: Communication and Gender (3) DS
  • COM 451: Communication and Law (3) DS
  • COM 452: Building Communication Theory (3) DS
  • COM 459: Special Topics (3)
  • COM 460: Media Ethics (3) DS
  • COM 475: Global Communication (3) DS
  • COM 480: Communication Seminar (3)
  • COM 489: Communicating Creativity (3)
  • COM 490: Senior Thesis Project (3)
  • COM 495: Communication Internship (V)
  • COM 499: Special Problems (V)

4. Capstone (3 credits from one of the following)

  • COM 477: Capstone in Interactive Multimedia Design and Development (3)
  • COM 478: Capstone in Communication in Communities (3)
  • COM 479: Capstone Project in ICTs and Policy (3)

General Education Designations

  • DA – Diversification-Arts
  • DS – Diversification-Social Science

See the UH Catalog for more information.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students earning a BA in Communication will be able to:

  1. Design communication and media projects to make meaningful contributions to diverse social, professional or academic communities, communicating effectively orally, in writing, and through digital media.
  2. Reflect critically on communication products such as media productions, research and policy reports and everyday texts.
  3. Demonstrate preparedness for academic and professional careers in communication.
  4. Demonstrate global awareness, including an awareness of cultures in the Hawaii-Pacific region and issues related to cross-cultural communication.
  5. Engage in collaborative problem solving, both face-to-face and in online environments.
  6. Analyze the ethical dimensions of communication.
  7. Critically evaluate the use of technology in communication.

Career Opportunities

Public relations professionals; Social media strategists; Strategic planning professionals; Public policy analysts; Communication technology specialists; Multimedia production professionals; Non-profit fundraiser and outreach specialists; Intercultural specialists and trainers; New media producers.