Frequently Asked Questions -- Undergraduate Degree
Based on responses to the most recent senior survey:
- 66% of Communication majors work full-time at or before graduation;
- About 15% were hired at or before graduation; and
- 37% got jobs in one-to-six months after graduation (the highest percentage in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences).
Communication majors work across all sectors of professions:
- Health Care
- Public relations/Strategic marketing
- Media Production
- Project coordinator: Stat-Tech Services
- Marketing team member: Hope for Haiti Foundation
- Search Analyst: ROI, an Internet marketing company
- Director of Digital and Social Media: USA Baseball (Durham, N.C.)
- Troupe manager and publicist: POVIC Music and Arts Group
Most communication courses have writing assignments that include personal reflections, journal entries, research reports, literature reviews, position papers, online discussion posts, blogs, Website content, and essay exams.
Students in the Communication Media concentration take COM 267: Writing for Media, a pre-requisite for all production courses. Other specialized writing courses for media production include writing for film, blogs, radio, and news.
Students in the Public Relations (PR) concentration take six credit hours devoted to writing: an English course (ENG 214: Introduction to Editing that is 3.00 credit hours) and a Communication course (COM 316: PR Writing, also 3.00 credit hours). COM 476: PR Campaigns, is the capstone course for the PR concentration and requires writing a campaign proposal for an actual client. Many PR students enroll in COM 336: Newsletter Writing and Production in which they learn first-hand the art of creating newsletters for corporate, non-profit, government, and small businesses.
In the Interpersonal, Organizational, and Rhetorical Communication concentration, COM 321: Rhetorical Theory and COM 411: Rhetorical Criticism are writing intensive.
NC State graduates must be prepared to play leadership roles in North Carolina’s ongoing development as a rich and diverse state. In order to play such a role, our students must become critical thinkers, capable of insightful analysis and creative solutions to the complex challenges facing today’s networked, global society. Communication students become reflective and proactive about shaping communication infrastructures, networks, interfaces, and software—as well as the traditional media of film, television and radio. From both the economic and the social standpoint, the contributions of our Department are central to the future development of the State.
An NC State University survey of our Communication graduates concluded that a majority believed their training in Communication enabled them to:
- Devise innovative solutions to complex problems;
- Work well in teams;
- Conduct work activities (and to communicate) in an ethical manner;
- Work well with people from diverse cultural backgrounds;
- Apply social science methods to understand human behavior;
- Adapt to changing circumstances; and
- Effectively lead others.
Graduates with a concentration in Communication Media have developed skills in:
- Digital audio and video production;
- Writing for the media; and
- Critical analysis and creative forms of expression in numerous media environments.
Interpersonal, Organizational and Rhetorical Communication graduates have learned to:
- Develop and maintain relationships;
- Craft and analyze persuasive arguments/messages;
- Write and deliver speeches/presentations (informal, formal);
- Provide social support, build rapport, and work in groups and teams; and
- Manage conflict and be sensitive to the influences on communication such as culture, personality, education, and income.
Those in the Public Relations concentration leave the program with:
- Public relations research skills;
- Analytic skills to solve public relations problems;
- Techniques to design a communication campaign from research to evaluation.
Approximately 38 students per semester find excellent local or out-of-state internship opportunities, gaining practical experience to add to their résumés. In a recent senior survey, 27% of our students said their internships were important in being hired in their first jobs (above the Humanities and Social Sciences college mean of 18%). Students can earn up to 3.00 hours of course credit through COM 496: Internships. Learn more about undergraduate internships and opportunities»
Several communication courses include service-learning opportunities for undergraduate and masters students, and of course, students gather to participate in their free time to help within the University and around the Raleigh area.
According to a recent alumni survey:
- Nearly half of our students volunteered in the local community while studying in the department (second only to students in the School of International and Public Affairs); and
- Many of these student volunteers reported that their community service projects had an impact on their commitment in helping to improve society.
Students volunteer for a wide variety of nonprofit organizations such as: