Undergraduate Catalog

Communication Studies

Phone: 845-257-3450
Location: Coykendall Science Building Room 51
Web address: www.newpaltz.edu/communication

The Department of Communication offers a major in Communication Studies with concentrations in Organizational Communication, Relational Communication, and Strategic Communication. The program, which leads to either the bachelor of arts (B.A.) or bachelor of science (B.S.) degree, blends technical and theoretical courses that can prepare students for graduate study or a variety of careers. Because communication is closely linked to the technological, social, and cultural forces that are rapidly changing our world, its study affords students a number of ways to pursue their interests and goals. A minor in Communication Studies is also offered.

The Organizational Communication concentration explores how people in organizations talk to each other and share information for decision-making, shaping the culture and goals of the place they work. It's about building relationships across multiple levels inside the organization and managing power differentials. Students learn how to adapt to changes and understand the importance of talking and listening in organizing and coordinating work. They study how people interact, how power works in organizations, and how technology affects communication. The goal is to communicate effectively and respectfully in all kinds of situations, with a focus on understanding and being understood. 

In Relational Communication, we investigate the dynamics and lenses that people use to approach many kinds of relationships and interactions. We dive into various communicative norms, expectations, and strategies that we bring from our specific cultural upbringings so that we can seamlessly communicate in a variety of situations with all kinds of different others. Within the field of Communication, the Relational Concentration empowers us to illuminate offline and online relational dynamics and hone professional skills to strategize verbal and nonverbal communication skills in various organizations. 

Students who select a concentration in Strategic Communication take a combination of theoretical and practical courses that prepare them to become communication experts within corporate, non-profit and government organizations, and public relations agencies. Students learn how to write and design public relations materials and how to plan public relations campaigns and special events. Both oral and written communication skills are emphasized. Learning how to conduct research is also an important component.
Students wishing to declare a major in any program of the Department of Communication must have completed a minimum of 30 credits of college-level work. Students may not receive a grade lower than C- in any course considered part of their major program.

Communication Programs: