Communication (BA)

Every industry needs good communicators. The Communication bachelor’s degree program at Columbia College Chicago provides the foundations for skilled communication practice. Through coursework in collaborative teamwork, leadership, oral, visual, and written communication, multimedia production, storytelling, information analysis, and civic practice, you’ll develop the skills needed to thrive in an evolving media environment.

At Columbia, you complete your class assignments in a creative environment, where you’ll collaborate with other students from many majors. You’ll be taught by working professionals in communication fields. You’ll graduate as a professional leader in communication and a cross-platform media practitioner ready to contribute to the intellectual, cultural, and creative fabric of your community and capable of succeeding in a broad range of communication, media, and information industries.

communication-class-1.jpg


In the Classroom

What to expect your first year

During your first year, you’ll take courses from across the Communication department. In Communication Essentials, you’ll study the scope of the field while applying a broad range of communication strategies for individuals and small groups and thinking about the ethics of media practice. You’ll also study communication practice and storytelling in courses like Social Media Content, Business Writing, or Radio Storytelling. In these courses, you’ll practice writing for the ear and produce a series of essays. As part of your practice requirement, you'll be introduced to a variety of fields that can become your minor like sports business, photography, fashion marketing, journalism, web development, or social media and digital strategy. Already in your first semester, you’ll begin to create your portfolio and learn how to develop working relationships with colleagues and clients.

What to expect your last year

Two of your final courses will test your storytelling, analytic, cultural, and relationship-building skills. In Media Ecosystems, you’ll perform the role of a communication specialist within an integrated team and will map one area within the information industry in Chicago (the third largest media market in the nation). In Data Storytelling, you’ll analyze data and create narratives to tell the story behind this information. By your senior year, you may be on your second internship in the communication or media services industry. From your internship experience and work with agencies in your capstone course, you’ll have portfolio-ready work to show potential employers and real job experience to discuss in interviews. Your last semester includes a communication portfolio seminar to work on your resume and job interview skills with the career center to prepare you for the job market.


Internships

You’ll have access to the many internship opportunities in Chicago and beyond. Intern for companies ranging from globally known Fortune 500 businesses and media outlets to dynamic startups, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies. Our students have interned at Leo Burnett, FCB, Energy BBDO, Digitas, Havas Worldwide, Chicago Fire, Ogilvy, Univision, Viacom, CNN, Turner, Chicago magazine, CBS, NBC, ESPN, and Kartemquin Films.

Though an internship is not required, you will be able to count your internship toward your major. Learn more about how Columbia’s Career Center can help you find the right internship.


Careers

There are a range of communication jobs. You might be a specialist on a large communications team or a jack-of-all-trades doing all the social media, advertising, and public relations for a small nonprofit or company. Wherever you find yourself after graduation, our Communication bachelor’s degree program will give you the skills to effectively communicate to and collaborate with your audiences.

This program provides you with a number of flexible career options, including advertising executive, publicist, editor, nonprofit director, political activist, lobbyist, business manager, speechwriter, public affairs director, television producer, radio talk-show host, and webmaster.


Creative Spaces and Facilities

students in tv newsroom control room

We have collaborative spaces as our classroom, plus audio labs, TV studios, workspaces, and professional equipment for Communication students to use for individual and class projects.

  • WCRX (88.1 FM)
  • Convergence Newsroom
  • Columbia Chronicle Newsroom

View the full list of facilities


In the Communication curriculum you can have two classes count toward both the Communication major and a communication-related minor in the Communication, Business and Entrepreneurship, English and Creative Writing, Photography, Cinema and Television Arts, or Interactive Arts and Media Departments.

 


Faculty

Our faculty members are working professionals who stay up-to-date with industry trends and teach them in the classroom. They’re dedicated to giving you a real-world education, and they serve as great resources for jobs and references once you graduate.

View all department faculty.