What Branches of Communications Can You Study?

Interested in a communications degree? Not all degree programs are created equally. There are several sub-topics within the communications field, and choosing one of these branches can help you specialize your education and, thus, be better prepared to work in your field of choice. Below, you can find a list of some of the most common branches of communications.

Communication Studies

This field, which is most academic, is the study of how humans communication with one another. If you’re interested in this field, you’ll study everything from conversation to symbol usage to mass communication. Most communication studies students go on to work as professors in the communications field.


Linguistics is a field within communications that focuses specifically on human language – form, meaning, and context. Within this field, you can also study cognitive linguistics, which looks at language in terms of context. Linguistics is a field closely related to writing, philosophy, speech-language pathology, and sociology.

Mass Communications

The field within communications students common study in order to get a job is mass communications. This field involves learning to spread information via newspapers, magazines, radio, television, film, and, more recently, social media and the Internet. Mass communication study looks at everything from semantics and rhetoric to the technical specifications and equipment needed to broadcast a message to a wide audience. In this field, you’ll also learn how mass communications can be used to affect public opinion or even behavior.

Political Communications

If you enjoy linguistics and political sciences, you can combine these two fields to study political communications. As the name implied, political communications is a field where you’ll learn about the dissemination, creation, and effects of communications as it affects politics. This can include political speech analysis, media coverage of political events, and conversations among the general public dealing with a nation’s politics.

Other Branches of Communications

If you’re interested in communications, the above branches are the only options you have for education. Other topics in the communication field you might want to check out include semiotics, discourse analysis, organizational communications, pragmatics, and theory. If you’re not sure what branch of communication interests you, try a more general communications educational program that allows you to get a taste of several branches of communications so you can determine which is right for you.

Communications Programs and Schools

University of Southern California — The University of Southern California Master of Communication Management provides students with the experience, knowledge, and skills required to analyze complex business and communications problems. Courses enhance your critical thinking, writing, and presentation skills. This program is offered both on campus and online.
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Ashford University — Ashford University offers students two dynamic communications programs, the BA in Journalism & Mass Communication and BA in Humanities/Communications. The journalism degree zeros in on responsible journalism and the integration of new media. The Humanities degree provides a more liberal arts approach. Graduates work in human resources, business, and communications management.
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Walden University — Walden University has an impressive array of communications degrees, including bachelor's in: New Media, Online Work & Communities, Public Relations, Self-Designed, and CIS New Media Communication Technologies. These programs are all testament to Walden's commitment to this exciting field. Professors are keen to point out their real-world experiences to enhance the learning process.
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Kaplan University — Students in the Kaplan University Bachelor of Science in Communication program review concepts to enable them to become effective communicators in today's global marketplace. Courses cover communications, mathematics, social and physical sciences, public speaking, writing, and statistics. Graduates earn employment in public relations, marketing, and business, to name a few.
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Southern New Hampshire University — The BA in Communications program at Southern New Hampshire University allows students to become advanced communicators whose message is clear, concise, and memorable. Courses teach communication theory and industry-specific concepts that help build public speaking, presentation, and interviewing skills. Students add courses and minors in advertising, film, journalism, public relations or marketing.
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Grand Canyon University — Grand Canyon University's Bachelor of Arts in Communications program teaches students how to develop methods of effective communication. The innovative curriculum focuses on knowledge, creativity, and intermodal communication. Courses teach students media writing, public relations, consumer behavior, and intercultural communications. The unique program offers a course that allows students the opportunity to apply their training to real world situations.
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