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Communication is a degree targeted to new opportunities in a media-savvy world. Students in the major take a common set of core courses that prepare them for careers in an industry where convergence in print and online media is growing. Students choose one of four concentrations: Human Communication, Journalism, Public Relations, and Graphic Design. In addition to the required course work, students complete an internship and a capstone seminar presenting the results of an extensive print, public relations, or media project.
My four years at Chatham have been filled with hands-on experiences that helped me shape my future. From internships to classwork for real clients, the faculty and staff have been endlessly supportive to help me start my career with confidence and a strong skill set.
—TABITHA WEAVER '19, Communication & Political Science
Faculty Insights: Katherine Cruger, PhD
Dr. Cruger is the program director and professor in Communication at Chatham University.
Explore the Communication Degree:
Chatham's program allows you to explore related disciplines, such as media arts, within the same degree program. As you learn applied skills combined with history, theory, and context, you will gain a strong and creative foundation for life beyond college.
- As a communication student, you are encouraged to participate in the Communiqué, Chatham’s twice-monthly newspaper and a member of the Associated Collegiate Press. All reporting, writing, photography, design, and layout for the Communiqué is handled by students, giving you the opportunity to create a dynamic portfolio and preparing you for internships and jobs.
- All students complete a capstone seminar that channels the knowledge they’ve accumulated into a discipline-specific project under close faculty guidance. Chatham is one of the few universities across the country that offers such an independent and student-driven program.
- You’ll have the opportunity to work extensively with audio-visual equipment, including camcorders; DSLRs; studio and location lighting systems; tripods; dollies; microphones; audio mixers; and recorders. Students also have access to editing labs, a designated studio space, and an audio booth.
Intercultural Communication: Values and Ethics
The course provides students with an appreciation of the complexities involved in the development of beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors that reflect cultural values. This course will provide an understanding of the specific forces which shape perceptions, feelings, and behaviors of various cultural groups. These forces include socially constructed categories such as race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, socioeconomic status, and religion. These constructs will be explored in a variety of contexts. Language, family structures, and the handling of conflict of laws and ethics (cultural relativism) will also be examined.
This course explores rhetorical and experimental studies of persuasion. It introduces the student to research in the field and critically examines some of the techniques developed in “selling” products, politics, and culture. It also examines the ethical considerations relevant to these techniques.
Media and Society
The effects of mass communication on individuals and society, particularly as they relate to values and ethics, are examined. The course emphasizes the history and structure of the mass media.View Full Curriculum
If one word could best sum up Chatham's faculty, it would be engaged. Professors bring experiences to relate the course lessons to real-world situations.
Students in journalism learn the practice of investigating, reporting, and writing in newspapers, magazines, journals, and online publications. This concentration combines traditional journalism with the advantages of communication technology. Students learn to practice, publish, and distribute stories across digital delivery platforms. A foundation in communications theory, history, and media ethics provides students with a deeper understanding of journalistic practice in a ever-changing global media industry.
Students in public relations learn promotion, advertising, and branding strategies through research. Combined with technical-artistic skills such as photography, print design, and web design, students strengthen their position in the global marketplace and community. This concentration focuses on commercial and non-profit communication strategies and skills required in managing organizations and its publics.
Students develop design foundations, a knowledge of communication methodologies, design practices, and problem-solving techniques. These communication systems are adapted to varying forms of media—from print and video to the web—so that students become flexible and responsible designers working within a rapidly shifting global culture.
Students focusing in human communication gain the interpersonal expertise necessary to thrive in business. Graduates will be prepared to work in fields such as human resources and internal communication. Students will also be prepared to pursue graduate work within the field.
Butler County Community College (BC3) BA in Communication Partnership
Students can save tens of thousands of dollars on a BA in Communication from Chatham University with the BC3+CU program.Learn More (PDF)
Student-Run Communications Firm Takes on Real-World Clients
Through a student-run social marketing and public relations firm called Flanagan Communication Consulting, students gain real-world experience while working for social good—all without leaving campus.
Six Chatham Experiences that Help Students Thrive
A study by Gallup-Purdue shows that attending more selective colleges does not have as much impact on student success as the experiences they have while in college. Gallup-Purdue narrowed down the six most impactful college experiences to guarantee post-graduate success, and all six can be found at Chatham University.
Students have interned at a variety of settings, including organizations such as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, KDKA-TV, WPXI-TV, WQED-TV, WTAE-TV, WYEP-FM, Women in Film and Media, Pittsburgh City Paper, Ad Impressions, Carnegie Museum, Carnegie Science Center, Dance Alloy, Ticketmaster, and the Pittsburgh Zoo.