A new online degree program at Mississippi State is giving new options for students interested in earning a communication bachelor’s degree with an emphasis in communication and media studies.
Offered through Mississippi State’s Center for Distance Education and directed by the Department of Communication, the degree equips students to “specialize in the theory, critique and practice of communication, equipping students to communicate effectively and ethically in diverse contexts,” according to the curriculum description.
Graduates in communication and media studies are prepared to pursue jobs in community outreach and engagement including advocacy work, community organizing, diplomacy, grant writing, non-profit work, politics and public affairs. The concentration also equips students for professional careers in event planning and fundraising, human resources, philanthropy, publishing, sales, and speech and technical writing.
“Coordinator Dr. Melanie Loehwing, and now Interim Coordinator Dr. Pete Smith, along with innovative faculty, have led this charge,” said Terry Likes, professor and head of the communication department. “This evolution brought about a name change to ‘communication and media studies’ to better reflect the nature of the concentration and its future.” The earlier name was communication studies.
Likes added that the concentration has more than tripled from 21 students enrolled in 2011 to 71 in 2021. “With this growth came a need to offer courses across different modalities—face-to-face and online—to meet the needs of a changing student demographic.”
Smith, an associate professor of communication and program advisor, said the department was among the first on campus to offer courses via distance education.
“This degree is an extension of that mission—to provide an education to those who seek it but who may not have the resources, time or the convenience to travel to campus,” Smith said. “As with any online degree, students will get the same opportunities that our face-to-face students have—a quality education through first-rate instruction.”
The new degree program, approved by the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning board, requires a 2.0 minimum GPA for entry. For more information or to apply, visit: https://online.msstate.edu/comm/.
Part of MSU’s College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Communication is online at www.comm.msstate.edu.