CHOOSING / COMPARING MAJORS
College is an important exploration--and you might not have a destination before you begin. With time to explore, people tend to gravitate toward areas of interests and strengths, or even combine several in a career path that will continually evolve. Steve Jobs talks about how his random attendance in a Typography class inspired him to create the first computer fonts, which pioneered the world of digital graphics (see Steve Jobs' Stanford Commencement Speech, 2005).
How will you know whether you'll like the ADPR major?
Introductory advertising and PR courses help students explore possible interests in these fields. But all coursework you take will be valuable. See the courses in the ADPR major. including the advertising creative concentration, the public relations concentration, and the general concentration. You can also check out the careers and skills involved in ADPR. Remember, you can switch majors or concentrations at any time during your degree program.
Do you need to be an ADPR major to have a career in advertising and public relations?
No. The ADPR major teaches specific skills to become employed more quickly and advance more readily in the field upon graduation. However, a broad base of knowledge is important. You can enter communication fields with any major. A love of exploration and learning about the world will be a great strength. One of your clients might be Apple. Another might be The Buccaneers, The Mayo Clinic, Green Peace, Auto Zone, and a chicken farm--or the next President of The United States.
ADPR or Marketing Major?
These majors are very different but complementary. The ADPR major focuses on communication and digital media, from creative and strategic perspectives and includes marketing principles. All three concentrations include electives in the Marketing program. The Marketing major, in comparison, is founded on a broad-base business curriculum, including valuable courses in accounting, micro- and macroeconomics, calculus, statistics, and others. Many students in ADPR take electives in Marketing or even claim a Marketing Minor.
ADPR or a different Communication Major?
All of the majors in the Communication Department are interdisciplinary and cross over in electives so that students have a wide range of choices. They are all valuable majors! The differences are a matter of focus.
Advertising & Public Relations Major
The Advertising & Public Relations major is a flexible curriculum with three concentration options that serve students interested in both creative and business spheres of advertising and public relations. Foundations in marketing, digital media, branding, graphic design, media writing, and campaign development prepare students to communicate strategically with diverse audiences in for-profit and non-profit environments to meet organizational goals. The ADPR major includes electives in all the other Communication majors, as well as electives from Art/Graphic Design; Marketing; Film, New Media, and Animation (FMX); and others.
Major Concentrations: General (the broadest); Creative Advertising; or Public Relations
Minors: Advertising or Public Relations
Communication, Media & Culture Major
The Communication, Media & Culture major is a broad-based curriculum that "educates students to become critical thinkers, to understand the social, cultural and historical forces that shape media and communication while learning to utilize traditional and emerging technologies." It includes courses in film studies, screenwriting, broadcast, and video documentary, as well as electives in ADPR and Journalism. ADPR majors can claim a minor in Communication, Media & Culture. However, they already have access to so many Communication electives that a minor can become redundant with their major.
Minor: Communication Media & Culture
Communication & Speech Studies Major
The Communication & Speech Studies Major focuses on "framing, delivery, analysis and perception of messages within the context of culture, industries and interpersonal relationships." Courses include speech/oral communication, interpersonal communication, intercultural communication, and speech studies issues. Communication is at the heart of all business and personal endeavors, and the requirements for a speech major or minor are short enough for anyone to add.
Minor: Communication & Speech Studies
The Journalism Major "provides students with a wide array of news writing, reporting, editing and multimedia skills and an understanding of journalism history, ethics and legal principles." If you love writing, interviewing, researching, media-making, and "getting the story," then becoming a credible source of news is a noble endeavor. It's central to democracy, citizenship, and information consumption, and it teaches skills transferable to any area of life.
"Ordering Off the Menu"
ADPR majors on the current catalog can elect to take classes outside of the list of electives stated in the degree requirements, if the courses support their goals and are taken in consultation with their advisor. We recognize that students often combine fields of interest (e.g., health communications, sports communications, etc.) and need an interdisciplinary curriculum with flexibility. For more information, talk with your advisor.
Degrees in "Liberal Studies"
Degrees in Liberal Studies allow students to design their own curriculum in general areas. The most varied degree is the Bachelor of Liberal Studies. Others are Bachelor of Liberal Studies in Humanities, Bachelor of Liberal Studies in Social Science, etc.
How can I "Find My Passion?"
Many parents and mentors advise: "You just need to find your passion." The idea is, once you "find your passion," you'll take off on the path that's right for you, with the motivation to do great things. But finding your passion is a little like finding a friend or life partner. How can you love someone you've never met? Explore. Attend special events and job fairs. Take classes you might not have considered before. The next career love of your life might be just around the corner--or it might be further down the road. Some students don't discover passions per se but find work they like and are good at, feeling a sense of accomplishment. Meanwhile, another phrase you might hear is "There's no such thing as wasted education." The average person will actually have many careers in a lifetime, so we are continually discovering new interests and opportunities along the way. Even finding out what you don't like is useful. Talk with your advisor about finding a path that's right for you.
Students brainstorm creative concepts in COM 302 "Digital Media & Design for Communication."