Communication and Media Studies Department

Learning Outcomes for Department Majors

The Learning Outcomes for Communication Majors:

Adapted from the National Communication Association-

“A central assumption of these Learning Objectives is that communication constructs the social world and is relational, collaborative, strategic, symbolic, and adaptive.”



Describe the Communication Discipline and its Scholarly Traditions

  • Explain the origins of the Communication Discipline
  • Summarize the broad nature of the Communication discipline
  • Articulate the importance of communication expertise in career development and civic



Critically Analyze Messages

  • Understand the relationship between meaning and messages
  • Deconstruct messages to determine hidden or multiple meanings
  • Understand the relationship between verbal and nonverbal messages
  • Understand the nature of mediated and non-mediated messages


Create Messages Appropriate to the Audience, Purpose, and Context

  • Locate and use information relevant to the goals, audiences, purposes, and contexts
  • Select creative and appropriate modalities and technologies to accomplish communicative goals
  • Adapt messages to the diverse needs of individuals, groups and contexts
  • Critically reflect on one’s own messages


Engage in Communication Inquiry

  • Interpret, evaluate, and apply Communication scholarship
  • Formulate questions appropriate for Communication scholarship
  • Engage in Communication scholarship using the research traditions of the discipline
  • Differentiate between various approaches to the study of Communication


Utilize Communication to Embrace Difference

  • Articulate the connection between communication and culture
  • Recognize and appreciate individual and cultural similarities and differences
  • Demonstrate the ability to be culturally self-aware


Demonstrate the ability to be self reflective about one’s learning

  • Reflect on knowledge gained in the major and throughout one’s undergraduate career
  • Articulate one’s philosophical and theoretical stance regarding communication
  • Recognize the importance of communication in the creation of one’s mind and identity

The Learning Outcomes for Media Studies Majors 

Upon graduating with a Media Studies degree, students should be able to:

1. Identify and describe the foundations and characteristics of mass media. Graduates should have an understanding that mass media operates as a system of interrelated forces, including historical foundations, technological advances, economic dynamics, legal and regulatory constraints, and ethical concerns.

2. Engage in media studies scholarship.  Graduates should be able to interpret, evaluate, and apply media studies scholarship.  Graduates will  be able engage in the scholarship of discovery (or original research) scholarship of integration (or the synthesis of information),and/or scholarship of engagement (or the sharing of research with the community). 

3. Demonstrate proficiency in the process and practice of media writing. Graduates should demonstrate proficiency as a writer in various media writing genres, including both writing for and about the media.

4. Create and critique media content. Graduates should be able to create and critique media content based on appropriate production, design, and aesthetic principles. Graduates should be able to produce media messages appropriate to the audience, purpose, and context. 

5. Create a ‘signature work’ and engage in service learning. Graduates will create a significant media project that integrates the skills and experiences developed during their tenure as media studies majors.  Graduates will also collaborate with nonprofit organizations to develop various media related projects.