Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Communication

Interested in careers in which you inform and influence others? Like to critique broadcasts by news media outlets and content published on social media? How about analyzing diverse communications and perspectives on topics like religion, science, and politics?

If this sounds like you, consider earning a degree in communication—we’ll help you gain the knowledge, skills, and experience to create messages that mean business.

Why choose the B.A. in communication at Marian?

Students who major in communication study all the ways that words and symbols shape how we view the world around us.

In digital environments where consumers can land on fake news instead of real facts, it is a challenge for communicators to cut through the noise and make sure their messages are received.

That’s why organizations of all types—from small nonprofit organizations to global corporations—seek effective, ethical communicators with the expertise to inform, entertain, and persuade. In fact, a 2018 survey of nearly 1,000 employers demonstrates that strong communication skills can set you apart from other job candidates.

As a communication major at Marian, you can expect to:

  • Work closely with faculty advisors to develop a personal plan of study that fits your interests and goals.
  • Complete a high-impact, experiential curriculum grounded in the liberal arts, rhetoric, and our Franciscan values.
  • Gain real-world, hands-on experience through internships, research projects, and community engagement courses.
  • Learn how to analyze context, credibility, and ideology in contemporary media.
  • Build a professional portfolio showcasing your work.
  • Explore your spirituality and faith on a close-knit Catholic campus that welcomes students from all faith traditions.

Expect that what you learn outside of Marian classrooms will be as important as what you learn inside them.

  • Participate in co-curricular programs, like our award-winning state and regional speech and debate team. Take advantage of our Speaking Studio, where you can practice and perfect your public speaking and presentation skills. Join MU Knightwatch, a digital hub for students reporting news and sharing information, opinions, art, and humor.
  • Professors and peers who challenge, encourage, and support you every step of the way. On our campus, you’ll build relationships that last a lifetime.
  • Get involved in campus life! You can choose from dozens of student organizations as well as varsity and intramural athletics, performing arts programs, study abroad courses and experiences, and campus ministry programs, to name a few.
  • Benefit from Marian’s convenient location just minutes from downtown Indianapolis. You’ll have access to excellent internship and employment opportunities.

What will you study?

Our curriculum is focused on building broad communication knowledge, experience, and skills. Courses also help you develop soft skills for good interpersonal communication in and out of the workplace. 

To earn the 128-credit Bachelor of Arts in Communication degree, you’ll complete general education, required, and elective courses, including at least 39-42 credits of communication courses including:

  • COM 190: New Media and Digital Culture
  • COM 210: The Rhetorical Life
  • COM 221: The Art of Dialogue
  • COM 225: Strategic Writing for Communication
  • COM 250: Business and Professional Speaking
  • COM 310: Rhetorical Criticism
  • COM 360: Internship in Communication
  • COM 490: Senior Seminar

Customized coursework that fits your career goals

Marian’s faculty advisors will help you acquire the knowledge, skills, and experience you need to succeed in the workplace. 

Double-down with a double major

A communication degree is a natural fit for students interested in double majors. You can earn TWO undergraduate degrees with a standard course load each semester. Several courses count toward both majors, thereby reducing the overall number of required classes. These pairings include the B.A. in communication and:

For complete descriptions of requirements, review our catalog of courses and course sections and undergraduate catalog of programs. Click the button to download a sample four-year plan of study and course checklist.

Sample four-year plan and checklist

What are your career paths?

You will have lots of flexibility and versatility in the careers you can pursue. Examples include:

  • Public relations and corporate communication specialist
  • Brand strategist, content strategist, digital strategist
  • Advertising, promotions, or public relations marketing manager
  • Graphic designer, visual communication specialist, or video/film producer
  • Hospital or healthcare marketing communication manager
  • Public affairs, government relations, or campaign management
  • Media relations manager, public news anchor or reporter, multimedia journalist, editor, photographer or film and video editor
  • Social media manager, content strategist, writer and editor
  • Web producer, web content manager, web developer

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are some of the nation’s most common communication occupations, including projected growth in employment demand and median pay.

OccupationGrowth through 2026 2017 median salary 
Art director
Five percent $92,500 
Writer and author Eight percent $61,820 
Multimedia artist and animator Eight percent $70,530 
Public relations specialist*Nine percent $59,300
Public relations and fundraising manager**10 percent $111,280
Advertising, promotions, and marketing manager**10 percent $129,380 
Technical writer
11 percent $70,930 
Meeting, convention, and event planner
11 percent $48,290 
Producer and/or director (showrunner) 12 percent$71,620 
Film/video editor and camera operator*** 13 percent $58,210 
Web developer 15 percent $67,990 

  * Includes positions like social media coordinator and social media specialist.
 ** Includes content, digital media, and social media manager.
*** Includes web, social media, and streaming video sites.

For admission information

Office of Undergraduate Admission
(317) 955-6300
(800) 772-7264

For program specifics

Rev. George LaMaster, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Communication
(317) 955-6215

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