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James Janack
Associate Professor of Communication

Eckerd College
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711

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Toll-free: (800) 456-9009





The communication major is an interdisciplinary study of messages, audiences, media, and persuasion. Communication students study the methodology, prevailing theories, history, and questions that define this field. They learn the following:

  • effective oral communication with a variety of audiences.
  • effective written communication with a variety of audiences.
  • analysis and interpretation of modern media.
  • analysis and composition of arguments and other persuasive discourses.
  • analysis and practice of ethical communication.
  • design and completion of research-based study.
  • application of the above to discipline or career specific concerns.

By choosing an appropriate minor, which is required for the communication major, students prepare themselves for graduate study or careers in entertainment, broadcasting, journalism, advertising, law, education, politics, non-governmental organizations, or public relations.

Communication majors must complete course work in these areas:

  • a sequence of six required core courses: Introduction to Communication Theory, Fundamentals of Oral Communication, Argumentation and Debate, Media and Society, Propaganda and Persuasion, and Media Ethics.
  • two Communication electives (non-core courses numbered 300 or higher)
  • two tools courses selected from the following list or approved by the mentor: Introduction to Graphic Design, Analytic and Persuasive Writing, Research Writing and Technology, Group Dynamics, The Human Instrument, Visual Problem Solving, Drawing Fundamentals, Photography as Image Gathering, Experimental Film and Video, New Genre Art, Introduction to Computer Art, The Art of Web Page Design, Introduction to Computer Science, Introduction to Filmmaking.
  • a minor in one of the following disciplines (five or six courses): American Studies, Art, Biology, Chemistry, Classical Humanities, Computer Science, Coastal Management, Creative Writing, Environmental Studies, Film Studies, Geology, History, Human Development, International Business, International Relations and Global Affairs, Journalism, Law and Justice, Leadership Studies, Literature, Management, a modern language, Marine Science, Music, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies, Sociology, Theatre, or Women's and Gender Studies. With the approval of the mentor and appropriate discipline coordinator, students may substitute a minor in a field not listed. No course work applied to the major may be counted toward the completion of the minor.
  • Senior Comprehensive Course

Many students supplement course work by undertaking internships locally or overseas.

A typical course sequence for a major in communication might be as follows:

First-Year Students

    CM 101A Introduction to Communication Theory
    CM 121 Fundamentals of Oral Communication


    CM 223 Argumentation and Debate
    CM 221A Media and Society
    Tools course
    Course work for minor


    CM 360A Media Ethics
    CM 303A Propaganda and Persuasion
    CM elective
    Tools course
    Course work for minor


    Course work for minor
    CM elective
    Senior Comprehensive Course

Life After Eckerd

Students who graduate from Eckerd College with a degree in Communication will have the skills essential for graduate study, as well as careers in marketing, public relations, law, teaching, media, entertainment, human resources, and non-governmental organizations, among others. Just as importantly, they will have developed skills that will make them productive and ethical citizens in a diverse, rapidly changing world.