Communications

Communication Studies are often considered a part of both the social sciences and the humanities, drawing heavily on fields such as sociology, psychology, anthropology, information science, biology, political science, and economics as well as rhetoric, literary studies, and semiotics. Many communications concepts describe the transfer of information from one source to another, and can thus be conceived of in terms of a network. Communication studies is an academic field that deals with processes of human communication, commonly defined as the sharing of symbols to create meaning. The discipline encompasses a range of topics, from face-to-face conversation to mass media outlets such as television broadcasting. Communication studies also examines how messages are interpreted through the political, cultural, economic, semiotic, hermeneutic, and social dimensions of their contexts. Communication is institutionalized under many different names at different universities, including communication, communication studies, "speech communication", "rhetorical studies", "communication sciences", "media studies", "communication arts", "mass communication", "media ecology," and "communication and media science." The curriculum varies based upon concentration. [edit]Scope Communication studies integrates aspects of both social sciences and the humanities. As a social science, the discipline often overlaps with sociology, psychology, anthropology, biology, political science, economics, and public policy, among others. From a humanities perspective, communication is concerned with rhetoric and pers asion (traditional graduate programs in communication studies trace their history to the rhetoricians of Ancient Greece). The field applies to outside disciplines as well, including engineering, architecture, mathematics, and information science. In the United States, the National Communication Association (NCA) recognizes nine distinct but often overlapping sub-disciplines within the broader communication discipline: technology, critical-cultural, health, intercultural, interpersonal-small group, mass communication, organizational, political, rhetorical, and environmental communication. Students take courses in these subject areas. Other programs and courses often integrated in communication programs include journalism, film criticism, theatre, public relations, political science (e.g., political campaign strategies, public speaking, effects of media on elections), as well as radio, television and film production. More recently, computer-mediated communication and the implications of new media for communication have drawn new research and courses. [edit]Flexibility Part of what makes communication a popular major is its reputation for being flexible. Graduates of formal communication programs take many different career paths, including university professors, marketing researchers, media editors and designers, journalists, advertising executives, actors, human resources managers, corporate trainers, public relations practitioners, and media managers and consultants in a variety of fields. In addition, graduates are candidates for masters programs across a variety of disciplines.