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Strategic Communication

A major or minor in strategic communication prepares students to conduct research and design messages in order to communicate effectively with various publics.  After completing the core courses in the major or minor, students can specialize in advertising, health communication, or public relations.

Major Requirements

Major: Strategic Communication

Degree Type: B.A. or B.S.
Required Degree Credits to Graduate: 122

Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

Degree Requirements                                                                            

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree – The completion of a minor program of study, a second major, or a second degree is required.                                                                            

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree – Second year language proficiency at college level required.

General Education Requirements

First Year Experience (F):
UNIV 189Skills For Academic Success (Students transferring in 24 or more credits do not need to take UNIV 189.)1
Communication (C):
ENGL 110College Composition I3
ENGL 120College Composition II3
Select one of the following:3
Business and Professional Writing
Writing in the Technical Professions
Creative Writing
Writing in the Sciences
Writing in the Health Professions
Visual Culture and Language
Writing in the Humanities and Social Sciences
Researching and Writing Grants and Proposal
COMM 110Fundamentals of Public Speaking3
Quantitative Reasoning (R): Select from current education list3
Science & Technology (S):10
A one-credit lab must be taken as a co-requisite with a general education science/technology course unless the course includes an embedded lab experience equivalent to a one-credit course. Select from current general education list.
Humanities & Fine Arts (A): Select from current general education list6
Social & Behavioral Sciences (B): 6
Courses needed to fulfill this category will be completed as part of the pre-communication requirements.
Wellness (W): Select from current general education list2
Cultural Diversity (D):
COMM 216Intercultural Communication3
Global Perspective: Select from current general education list
Total Credits40

Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences College Requirements

An additional 9 credits are required by the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences for all Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degree programs of study, except the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, the Bachelor of Music degree, Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree, and the Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree:

AH&SS College Requirements
Courses used to satisfy any general education requirement cannot be used to also count toward the AH&SS College Requirements. A minimum of three credits is required in each of the 3 following areas for a total of 9 credits. Choose only those courses with the prefixes listed for each area. A course with the WGS prefix can only be used in one area.
Area One: Humanities3
Area Two: Social Sciences3
Area Three: Fine Arts3
Total Credits9

Major Requirements

General Education Requirements40
AH&SS College Requirements9
Pre-Communication Requirements:
Students must complete the following 21 credits of selected courses with a grade of 'B' or 'A' to be a communication major. These courses may be repeated only once for grade improvement..
ENGL 120College Composition II3
COMM 110Fundamentals of Public Speaking3
COMM 112Understanding Media and Social Change3
COMM 114Human Communication3
COMM 212Interpersonal Communication3
COMM 216Intercultural Communication3
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Criminal Justice
Introduction to Political Science
Introduction to Psychology
Introduction to Sociology
Professional Strategic Communication Major
COMM 200Introduction to Media Writing3
COMM 301Rhetorical Traditions3
or COMM 321 Introduction to Communication Theory
COMM 375Principles of Strategic Communication3
COMM 431Communication Ethics and Law3
COMM 465Convergence Media (Capstone)3
COMM 470Research for Strategic Communication3
COMM 474Communication Campaigns3
COMM 496Field Experience3
Major Electives12
12 credits of 300-400 level COMM courses directed toward area(s) of specialization - Advertising, Health Communication, or Public Relations. Additional specializations may be added in the future. Consult with your advisor for current options and recommended electives.
Degree Requirements: Potential of 28 credits to reach 122.28
Total Credits122


  • Students specializing in Health Communication can apply up to 9 credits in Applied Health areas - Health, Nutrition, and Exercise Science; Nursing; Pharmacy Practice; Psychology - toward major electives. These credits must be distinct from those being applied to the student's Minor requirements.
  • No more than 6 credits from this communication major may be applied to any minor in the Department of Communication. 

Minor Requirements

Strategic Communication Minor

Minor Requirements

Required Credits: 21

Required Courses
COMM 112Understanding Media and Social Change3
COMM 200Introduction to Media Writing3
COMM 375Principles of Strategic Communication3
Professional Specialization12
Advanced Media Writing
Advertising Creative Strategies
Advertising Media Planning
Communication Ethics and Law
Convergence Media
Communication Campaigns
Organizational Advocacy and Issue Management
Risk and Crisis Communication
Total Credits21

Minor Requirements and Notes

  • Students must earn a minimum GPA of 2.75 in courses applied to the minor.
  • No more than 6 credits from this communication minor may be applied to any major in the Department of Communication.
  • A minimum of 9 credits must be taken at NDSU.