Communication Major Map
Use this major map to explore possibilities and plan for success in five overlapping areas of career and academics.
Choose your year below, then see what you can do when you:
- Learn. Develop the knowledge and skills to complete your major.
- Engage. Contribute to campus and the community.
- Network. Build a foundation of professional connections.
- Transform. Make a positive impact in a diverse world.
- Prepare. Plan for life after graduation.
The map just offers suggestions - you don’t have to do it all.
Learn: What foundational courses should I be taking?
- Take Communication 220 and Speech 101
- Find out what upper-level courses will be offered next year
- Learn about the prerequisites required for upper-level Communication courses
- Learn about the PR sequence of courses: Comm 260 is a prerequisite for Comm 360 and Comm 360 is a prerequisite for Comm 460
Engage: What kinds of activities and organizations can I explore?
Join Talent Gateway - UM-Dearborn’s online community where you can complete challenges, earn points, and connect experiences with courses and professional goals.
Check out all the opportunities offered by the Office of Student Life.
Consider joining the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter on campus
Network: What are important topics in my field?
- Visit your professor’s office hours to introduce yourself
- Look up the websites of major organizations in the field, such as the International Communication Association, the National Communication Association and the Public Relations Society of America
- Explore the Concise Encyclopedia of Communication and the Encyclopedia of Health Communication, both available through the Mardigian Library
Transform: What are the challenges and the strengths in my community?
Consider volunteering your communication skills to a nonprofit in the Detroit Metro area
Attend meetings of a nonprofit of your interest in the Detroit Metro area to learn about the challenges and strengths in our community
Prepare: What are the career options for people with my major?
- Meet with communication faculty to discuss career options
- Read career guides posted by various communication departments across the country
- Build your resume
Learn: How do I build on foundational courses?
- Take Communication 366 so you can learn about the three areas in PCCS
- Take two classes in each of the three areas of PCCS
- Visit the internship and co-op office to make plans for the required internship or co-op
- Consider combining a PR certificate with the Communication major
Engage: What activities and organizations will help me develop professional skills?
Sign up for MLK Day of Service or Alternative Spring Break
Become more active in the PRSSA chapter and help to spread the word
Consider joining a competition, whether through PRSSA or organizations in the College of Business
Network: How do I connect with faculty and students with similar interests?
Submit one of your best papers or projects to the Meeting of Minds Undergraduate Conference
Attend talks hosted by the PRSSA chapter on campus
Attend research talks on campus hosted by various departments
Attend talks hosted by the Office of Student Life or student organizations
Attend PCCS pizza party to connect with PCCS students and faculty
Transform: What are the challenges and strengths of the Detroit Metro area?
- Contribute to a community project through the Office of Community Engaged Learning
- Take a course at the University of Michigan Detroit Center (daily bus service available)
- Become a Diversity Ambassador or participate in a Conversation on Race
Prepare: What resources are available on campus to help me develop the professional skills I will need?
- Develop your “academic toolkit” through numerous Seeds of Success workshops through the Office of Student Life.
- Meet with your professors to discuss your skills and possible career options
- Find out about internships and whether your job qualifies for credit
Learn: How do I gain expertise in my major?
- Consider doing an Independent Study with a faculty member in communication
- Consider working as a research assistant for a communication professor
- Compile portfolio of writing and multimedia samples
- Build your resume
- Meet with faculty in communication to plan for your career and/or graduate school
Engage: How can I grow as a leader on campus?
- Consider running for Student Government or a leadership position in a campus organization
- Check out the options through the Office of Student Life’s Leadership Development webpage
- Consider serving as an officer in PRSSA
Network: How can I broaden my professional relationships?
- Connect with alumni through the 30-Minute Mentors Program
- Establish a LinkedIn profile to connect with UM-Dearborn alumni or to join industry-related LinkedIn Groups that hire students
- Attend the PCCS professional meetup featuring Communication alumni
- Submit one of your best papers to an undergraduate conference such as the Michigan Undergraduate and Graduate (MUG) conference
- Submit an entry and/or attend the national PRSSA conference
Transform: How can I prepare to effectively solve local and global challenges?
- Visit the Office of International Affairs to plan and register for a Study Abroad course
- Volunteer with an organization
- Do an internship that allows you to apply your communication skills and to learn how to communicate with diverse groups of people
Prepare: What practical things should I do to further my career options?
Learn: How do I finish strong?
- Schedule a Senior Audit with a CASL Advisor
- Meet with faculty in communication to keep on track with your career and or graduate school goals
- Register for the GRE if planning to go to graduate school
- Request any needed letters of recommendation from faculty who know your work
Engage: How can I mentor others to be leaders on campus?
- Become a peer tutor in the CASL Writing Center
- Consider recruiting other communications students to the PRSSA chapter on campus and motivating them to serve as future leaders
Network: How can I demonstrate my readiness for the next steps?
- Submit your best paper for the Campus Writing Center Awards
- Make sure your applications for graduate or professional schools are complete with a writing sample and personal essay
- Do targeted networking (through the PRSSA chapter) with alumni working in careers of interest and ask questions about job opportunities and the interview process
Transform: How can I add to the strengths of my community, the region, and the world?
Contribute to global learning initiatives on campus
Consider spending the summer volunteering with a government agency or nonprofit
Prepare: How do I make the best use of university resources to launch my professional next steps?
- Apply to jobs, consider furthering your education, or make plans for new adventures
- Visit Career Services for advice with job searching and interviewing, resumes, and graduate school applications
- Register for entrance exams (GRE, MCAT, LSAT) if you plan on graduate school
- Build a personal brand online
With a communication degree you can work in a variety of contexts including:
- Nonprofit organizations
- Healthcare organizations
- Small businesses
Depending on your particular skill set you could consider a number of job options including:
- Public Relations Specialist
- Marketing Specialist
- Meeting/Event Planner
- Communication Specialist
- Media Planner
- Social Media Manager
- Human Resource Professional
- Health Educator
- Patient Navigator
- Brand Manager
Another great option is to go to graduate school in a communication or allied field.
Use the map on the interior portion of this brochure to review possibilities and plan for success in the five areas listed - Learn, Engage, Network, Transform, Prepare. The map gives options so you can select what best matches your interests and goals. Start thinking about your future now and build a path throughout your UM-Dearborn career that will prepare you for success.
College is a time for discovering your passions–figuring out who you are and what drives you. UM-Dearborn offers more than 100 majors and minors, so you can find a program that is right for you. We are committed to cultivating a campus community that acknowledges our similarities and celebrates our differences. On campus you’ll find a range of support services and offices that provide the programs you need to be successful both academically and personally.