Online Communications Degree Courses

Stretch your skills while enhancing your understanding of the many aspects of modern communications with your Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies degree. Courses cover several relevant topics, from composition and editing to conflict management and multicultural communications.

Introductory Courses *

All Bachelor degree-seeking students with zero (0) traditional college-level transferable credits are required to successfully complete the Student Success Orientation prior to enrolling in credit-bearing coursework. Following successful completion of orientation, students are required to successfully complete EXP 105 Personal Dimensions of Education as their first course. Students entering with twenty-four (24) or more transferable, traditional semester credits are required to successfully complete PSY 202 Adult Development and Life Assessment as their first course. PSY 202 is designed to help experienced students acclimate to the online college environment.

Student Success Orientation 

The orientation is designed to provide students with a complete overview of the Ashford University experience, prepare them for success in their courses, and help them to self evaluate their readiness to succeed in an online classroom setting. Students will be instructed on Ashford University policies and the learner resources that are available to them through interactive videos and assessments. Students enrolled in orientation must successfully complete all assigned activities.

EXP 105 Personal Dimensions of Education 

This course is designed to help adult learners beginning their university studies to achieve academic success. Students will explore learning theories, communication strategies, and personal management skills. Adult learners will develop strategies for achieving success in school and work. Students will also be introduced to the University's institutional outcomes and learning resources. Effective for courses beginning January 1, 2013, and after, a minimum grade of C- is required to meet course requirements.

PSY 202 Adult Development & Life Assessment 

This course presents adult development theory and links theoretical concepts of life and learning through a process of psychometric assessment and reflection. Both classical and contemporary adult development theories are examined. These theories then provide the paradigm for self-analysis and life learning, including a plan for personal, professional and academic learning. Effective for courses beginning January 1, 2013, and after, a minimum grade of C- is required to meet course requirements.

Major Course Requirements

(33 credits, all courses are 3 credits. Courses are listed in the recommended sequence.)

COM 321 Communication Theory
This course examines theoretical perspectives and research findings concerning human communication. Students will examine classic approaches and new theories and research in interpersonal, group, organizational, and public communication. They will analyze and critique these theories and research findings and assess the impact of technology on communication patterns. Relationship stages, theories, and contemporary views of "family" are examined, as well as the impact of family, culture, and gender on communication patterns. Types of groups and organizations are identified, as well as concepts of power and interaction in group, organizational, and public settings. In this class, students will also have an opportunity to examine the practical implications of these concepts in building their own communication skills.

COM 425 Communication in Organizations
This course investigates the role of communication in creating an effective and ethical organizational environment. Students will be assisted in developing and strengthening such communication skills as self-awareness, intrapersonal efficacy, interpersonal competence, and leadership and team skills.

ENG 325 Intermediate Composition
Intermediate Composition is designed for students who have some experience with college-level writing but want to develop their ability to write. The goal of this course is to help students learn techniques for writing effective narrative, reflective, analytical, and research essays. These techniques include the effective use of specific details to engage and persuade readers, methods of organization that enable readers to follow a line of thinking, and strategies for editing sentences for clarity and conciseness.

COM 345 Media Writing for Communication
This course is an introduction to the process of writing for varied media. Emphasis is on gathering information, writing styles, editing, and organization of written communication.

COM 323 Persuasion and Argumentation
Students will learn critical thinking methods to enable them to analyze and evaluate arguments and understand which contribute to effective and non-effective persuasion. They will formulate persuasive arguments and learn to deliver those arguments effectively, both in oral and written forms. This course examines the purpose and function of research in supporting elements of argument and persuasion and the need to understand receiver variables.

COM 325 Communication & Conflict
The course provides students with conflict resolution techniques through communication. Students will analyze the purpose of conflict, learn to work with difficult people, and understand communication as a significant factor in the development, management, and resolution of conflict at the interpersonal, small group, organization, and societal levels.

COM 360 Advanced Communications in Society
This course integrates the use of advanced communication techniques into a variety of contexts shaped by socially and culturally-constructed distinctions between and among individuals and groups. Topics include intercultural, multicultural, international, and inter-gender communications.

COM 340 Technical Writing
This course provides students with technical writing concepts and principles and the skills necessary to compose effective technical documents for a broad range of professions. Emphasis is placed on making complex and technical information understandable to a variety of audiences. Students will explore types of technical documents and the specific techniques applicable to technical writing such as outlines, abstracts, definition, and classification strategies. They will have an opportunity to apply their knowledge by writing a process or mechanism description, a proposal/recommendation report, and a detailed instruction for performing a task or operation.

CGD 318 Public Relations Practice and Promotional Writing
An introduction to current procedures and duties of public relations personnel will be studied. Students will write news releases, brochures, speeches, reports, memos, scripts, and as copy using workshop format.

ENG 315 Business & Professional Writing
Instruction in the planning, organization, construction, style, and tone of several forms of business and professional correspondence: letters, interoffice communication, resumes, and formal reports. A review of grammar, punctuation, and usage is incorporated into the course.

COM 480 Communications Studies Capstone
This course is a summative compilation of representative work from each course in the program. Students will create an electronic portfolio containing the assignments completed throughout the program to demonstrate professional achievement. Students will complete a comprehensive research project on a selected career field.

If this program fits your personal and professional goals, contact Ashford University at 866.711.1700 to learn more, or request additional information.