CHOOSING YOUR MAJOR
College is an important exploration--and you might not have a destination before you begin. With time to explore, people tend to gravitate toward areas of interests and strengths, or even combine several in a career path that will continually evolve. Steve Jobs talks about how his random attendance in a Typography class inspired him to create the first computer fonts, which pioneered the world of digital graphics (see Steve Jobs' Stanford Commencement Speech, 2005).
How will you know whether you'l like the ADPR major?
Introductory advertising and PR courses help students explore possible interests in these fields. But all coursework you take will be valuable. See the courses in the ADPR major. including the advertising creative concentration, the public relations concentration, and the general concentration. You can also check out the careers and skills involved in ADPR. Remember, you can switch majors or concentrations at any time during your degree program.
Do you need to be an ADPR major to have a career in advertising and public relations?
No. While the ADPR major teaches specific skills to become employed and advance more quickly upon graduation, a broad base of knowledge is most important. You can enter communication fields with any major. One of your clients might be Apple. Another might be The Buccaneers, The Mayo Clinic, Green Peace, Auto Zone, and a chicken farm--or the next President of The United States. A love of exploration and learning about the world will be a great strength. Revolutions in technology and knowledge force any skills to be ultimately outdated. We will need to know technologies that haven't even been invented yet and continue a path of life-long learning.
Choosing Between the ADPR and Marketing Major
These majors are very different but complementary. The ADPR major focuses on communication and digital media, from creative and strategic perspectives and includes marketing principles. All three concentrations include electives in the Marketing program. The Marketing major, in comparison, is founded on a broad-base business curriculum, including valuable courses in accounting, micro- and macroeconomics, calculus, statistics, and others. Many students in ADPR take electives in Marketing or even claim a Marketing Minor.
Choosing Between ADPR and Other Communication Majors
All of the majors in the Communication Department are interdisciplinary and cross over in electives so that students have a wide range of choices. They are all valuable majors! The differences are just a matter of focus. ADPR majors focus on strategic communication and digital media to meet particular goals, such as promoting a new product or changing people's behaviors or beliefs. At the same time, the ADPR major includes electives in Communication, Journalism, and Speech Communications, as well as electives outside the department in Art; Graphic Design; Marketing; Film, New Media, and Animation (FMX); and others. In comparison, the Communication major is a broad-based curriculum that "educates students to become critical thinkers, to understand the social, cultural and historical forces that shape media and communication while learning to utilize traditional and emerging technologies." It includes courses in film studies, screenwriting, broadcast, and video documentary, as well as electives in ADPR and Journalism. ADPR majors can claim a minor in Communication. However, they already have access to so many Communication electives that a minor can become redundant with their major.
"Ordering Off the Menu"
ADPR majors on the current catalog can elect to take classes outside of the list of electives stated in the degree requirements, if the courses support their goals and are taken in consultation with their advisor. We recognize that students often combine fields of interest (e.g., health communications, sports communications, etc.) and need an interdisciplinary curriculum with flexibility. For more information, talk with your advisor.
Degrees in "Liberal Studies"
Degrees in Liberal Studies allow students to design their own curriculum in general areas. The most varied degree is the Bachelor of Liberal Studies. Others are Bachelor of Liberal Studies in Humanities, Bachelor of Liberal Studies in Social Science, etc.
How can I "Find My Passion?"
Many parents and mentors advise: "You just need to find your passion." The idea is, once you "find your passion," you'll take off on the path that's right for you, with the motivation to do great things. But finding your passion is a little like finding a friend or life partner. How can you love someone you've never met? Explore. Attend special events and job fairs. Take classes you might not have considered before. The next career love of your life might be just around the corner--or it might be further down the road. Some students don't discover passions per se but find work they like and are good at, feeling a sense of accomplishment. Meanwhile, another phrase you might hear is "There's no such thing as wasted education." The average person will actually have many careers in a lifetime, so we are continually discovering new interests and opportunities along the way. Even finding out what you don't like is useful. Talk with your advisor about finding a path that's right for you.
Students brainstorm creative concepts in COM 302 "Digital Media & Design for Communication."