Quality communication in today’s business world.

Communication is essential in every organization, whether it’s in small groups, conducting training seminars, making product presentations or working one-on-one with clients and colleagues. That’s why Marian’s organizational communication program prepares you for success in a variety of careers.

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The Program

The organizational communication program will prepare you to create, support, and restore communication structures, networks, and the flow of communication in organizations. The program provides a solid foundation in effective communication skills, combined with communication theories and principles. You’ll develop the necessary skills to advance your career through oral, written and interpersonal communication. You’ll also engage in an integrated study of intercultural, ethical and practical communication issues that professionals encounter on the job every day.

For more details regarding this program, view Marian’s Academic Bulletin.

Liberal arts core, 45 credits:

A course designed to enhance students’ composition and critical-thinking skills, by providing experiences with a range of writing strategies, with emphasis on expository and argumentative prose. Students develop their awareness of the resources of language and of the stages in the writing process. The course aims to make students competent in standard edited English and to prepare them for the writing they will do in college and in their careers. The course also introduces students to the principles of college research, with emphasis on analytical reading of research material, focused use of sources, and the methodology of citation and documentation. It acquaints students with techniques of interviewing and conducting surveys, as well as with search strategies involving resources in print. The course provides guidance for students as they apply research principles to subjects within their disciplines or areas of interest.

MUS Music elective
ENG Literature elective
ART Art elective (ART 201 preferred)
BIO Ecological or environmental science elective
PHS Physical science, chemistry, meteorology, or physics elective
MAT Mathematics elective
SOC Sociology elective
PSY Psychology elective

A survey of important developments in political, social, economic, and cultural history from 1900 to the present day with special emphasis on the increasing interconnectedness of societies throughout the world and the rise of a more global economy and culture.

HIS 2xx History elective

An introduction to Christian theology understood as the critical and reflective study of God’s revelation through the person, life, and teaching of Jesus Christ and of the implications of this revelation. Proceeding from the Catholic intellectual tradition and incorporating perspectives of other Christian traditions, this study aims to present theology as a striving for the harmony of faith and reason. Through critical study and reflection, students are introduced to specific concepts, terminology, and methodologies needed to participate well in on-going theological dialogue. Students have the opportunity to apply and reflect on their knowledge in written work, presentations, service-learning, community service, and/or retreat experiences.

THE 101 Introduction to Christian Theology
THE 2xx Theology elective

In this course we thoroughly examine and practice critical thinking as the primary vehicle for understanding and appreciating the value of living the “examined life.” Various areas of philosophy and philosophical texts are studied with the intention of facilitating familiarity with and participation in the philosophical process. Much attention is given to articulating, examining and integrating fundamental assumptions, values and beliefs in an effort to develop self-knowledge, meaningful dialogue, social responsibility and compassionate understanding.

PHI 2xx Philosophy elective

Communication courses, 18 credits:

This course examines the history of communication including verbal, nonverbal and written forms. The curriculum covers various ways of studying communication processes, including communication models. Students are introduced to the application of basic communication concepts and theory to interpersonal, group, organizational and mass communication contexts.

This course introduces students to the principles of writing news in text from for web-based publications and as scripts to be used in broadcast-style reports via the web, television or radio. In addition to news, public relations writing – in the form of news releases and public service announcements (PSAs) – and advertising writing is covered.

A course applying traditional rhetoric and communication theory to oral presentations. Students study, write, deliver and evaluate public speeches. Emphasis is placed on the students’ ability to speak from an outline in a variety of situations including informative speaking, persuasive speaking and demonstration speaking. All presentations are made in class and videotaped to aid in evaluation.

This course develops intercultural communication competence through an exploration of cultures. Using a broad definition of culture which includes norms, values, beliefs, art, music and literature, students examine the world as a place of dynamic change and cultural interaction, increasing their need for intercultural sensitivity generally. Through both theory and personal experience, students examine how the various components of communication are affected by and interface with the intercultural experience. Service learning is a component of this course.



A capstone course wherein Communication majors apply the theories and concepts of the degree in an assessment project that evaluates the communication process and competencies of their respective organizations or places of employment. The students write a major assessment paper and make a presentation based on the paper.

Organizational communication courses, 18 credits:

(Also MGT 321)  The course provides a broad overview of the theoretical and conceptual issues relevant to organizational communication. The focus is on how communication operates in organizations, the impact of communication on organizational life and how communication can be made more efficient and effective in meeting personal as well as organizational goals.

The course utilizes classical and contemporary methods of logical reasoning, emotional appeal and ethos as persuasive techniques to teach students problem analysis, research of evidence, and formulation and defense of one’s position on an issue. Students write and present position papers on contemporary issues, analyze advertising, and mass media techniques of persuasion and political rhetoric as well as explore the ethical issues surrounding the use of persuasion and propaganda in conveying messages. In the process, the course helps students become rational decision-makers who are able to defend and debate their positions on critical issues. Students are assessed on both written and oral skills.

The course examines the basic principles and theories of interpersonal communication. Students study and practice basic principles for effective interpersonal communication. Study includes language, perceptions, values, culture, nonverbal communication, self-concept, listening and their effects on communication.

With emphasis on practical application, the course focuses on the theories and dynamics of group decision-making. Various processes are explored along with leadership responsibilities and analysis of group effectiveness.


The purpose of the course is to provide students with an understanding of the background, principles and implications of theories of communication both generally and within specific communication contexts. Students compare the ways these differing approaches and theories influence the way people see and interpret behavior; and the ways these approaches and theories make differing predictions about human behavior.


This course focuses on building students’ presentation skills in a variety of professional settings including training, advocacy and sales. Individuals and teams design professional-length presentations involving the use of visual and audio aids, written materials for the audience and computer-generated graphic presentations. Students develop proficiency in the critique and analysis of professional presentations.


With an emphasis on practical application of communication theory, students use a variety of assessment and experiential training models to enhance organizational communication. Students assess organizations, plan, and deliver experiential training modules in real world settings. Students learn and apply leadership and facilitation skills. (The course is recommended for juniors and seniors who have completed COM 232 Public Speaking or COM 101 Fundamentals of Communication.)

6 credits from the following (3 credits must be communication):

COM 3xx Communication elective
COM 4xx Communication elective


A systematic analysis of the management process involving an integration of classical, behavioral, and modern contemporary philosophies. The importance of relating the theoretical principles of planning, organizing, leading, and controlling to practical experience is featured.


A comprehensive study of the personnel management function: planning, recruiting, testing, selection, training, compensation, policy development, performance appraisal, government regulations, and labor relations.


ENG 105 Expository Writing, ENG 230 Professional Comp. & Research Writing, or appropriate English placement test score

A general overview of the scope and significance of marketing both domestically and internationally. The course emphasizes the marketing of consumer and industrial goods and analysis of the marketing mix variables of product, price, promotion and place. It introduces marketing policies and practices of business firms.

41 credits:

University electives

The Communication program aligns with the curriculum recommendations of National Communication Association.


The purpose of the Communication Program is to help students become well-rounded, critically minded, technologically experienced and globally aware communicators who use their communication skills for creative, productive and socially responsible purposes.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Advanced skill development in written, spoken and interpersonal communication
  • Theoretical and practical knowledge of the principles of communication, emphasizing ethical issues within the field.
  • Integrated understanding of the intercultural factors leading to strong global perspectives and intercultural development.

The communication program prepares you for professional careers in a variety of areas, including event coordinating, journalism, management, marketing, public relations and writing. Through quality internship experiences, your hands-on experience will enhance your résumé and establish relationships with numerous organizations, which often lead to professional employment opportunities.

The Communication program has met or exceeded all of its benchmarks for student learning at each stage of the program for the 2014-15 academic year. In addition to ongoing assessment efforts in key courses related to each of the student learning outcomes, capstone data confirms this high degree of program effectiveness.

Communication, as a program, contributes to the following institutional learning outcomes:

Knowledge acquisition:

  • 98.5% of students (N=133) assessed in COM courses in AY 2014-15 meet or exceed expectations

Critical thinking:

  • 100% of students (N=96) assessed in COM courses in AY 2014-15 meet or exceed expectations

Effective Communication:

  • 93.4% of students (N=61) assessed in COM courses in AY 2014-15 meet or exceed expectations

Global Perspectives

  • 95.2% of students (N=165) assessed in COM courses in AY 2014-15 meet or exceed expectations

Socially Responsible Action:

  • 97.0% of students (N=100) assessed in COM courses in AY 2014-15 meet or exceed expectations

In addition to maintaining a high degree of excellence within the program, the Communication department supports learning across the university by contributing to successful effective communication outcomes in other academic programs. Therefore, the Communications Program supports learning across the university as well as in the major.

Marian University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

As a student pursuing your bachelor’s degree in the organizational communication program, you’ll find the relevancy and quality that comes from a faculty comprised of leading experts. We offer you convenient learning centers in Appleton, Fond du Lac and West Allis, as well as convenient evening courses from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday. You can start your program in the fall, spring or summer; and you’ll be able to proceed through the program at your own pace by taking one or more courses per 7-week term.


Hear what students and faculty have to say about the opportunities awaiting you in our organizational communication program!

Tracey Marx, M.A.
Assistant Dean for Adult and Online Studies

Andrea Wolf, M.A.E.
Assistant Dean for Adult and Online Studies

Mary Klein, Ed.D.

Cooper Wakefield, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor


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As part of the communication program, you will not only gain a valuable foundation of knowledge, but also engage in internship experiences in various specialized areas of employment. Through on-the-job training and networking opportunities, you will be prepared for actual work situations and responsibilities that puts you one step ahead of the competition.

Learn more about how a degree communication can help you achieve your future career goals. Contact us today!

For more information, please contact:

Adult and Online Studies

Mary Klein, Ph.D.