College of Social and Behavioral Sciences2015-2016

Strategic Communication

Strategic Communication, Bachelor of Science

  • Available Emphasis Areas:
  • Advertising - Emphasis
  • Merchandising - Emphasis (ending Summer 2021)
  • Public Relations - Emphasis

This bachelor of science degree in Strategic Communication offers a strong core of advertising, public relations, and communication courses, to engage students in a variety of professional communication environments. Students may pursue one of three emphases to allow deeper skill mastery in advertising, merchandising, and public relations.


What Can I Do with a Bachelor of Science in Strategic Communication?

Prepare yourself for a career in communication - learn to craft effective advertising, nurture productive relationships between organizations and important publics, and bridge the gap between buyers and sellers in the world of merchandising. Research shows that many communication professionals commonly move between advertising, merchandising, and public relations throughout their careers. The Bachelor of Science in Strategic Communication will engage you in a broad portfolio of courses to give you flexibility and increase your competitive edge in today's job market.

The 24-hour core presents a strong foundation that includes advertising, communication, and public relations classes. You will then specialize in one of three areas by choosing an emphasis from advertising, merchandising or public relations of most interest to you. Throughout your coursework you will develop essential skills sought after in the workplace, including critical thinking, design, media (including online engagement), oral communication, and written communication.

Career opportunities that might be pursued:
  • Advertising - Account management, Client services, Marketing, Promotion
  • Merchandising - Buying, Retail management
  • Public Relations - Media relations, Communication officer for non-profit, For-profit and governmental agencies

With further education, one of these paths is possible:
  • Advertising manager
  • Comunications director
  • Public information officer
  • Publisher
  • University professor
  • Attorney

University Requirements

  • To receive a bachelor's degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete at least 120 units of credit that minimally includes a major, the liberal studies requirements, and university requirements as listed below.

    • All of Northern Arizona University's liberal studies, diversity, junior-level writing, and capstone requirements.
    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s).
    • At least 30 units of upper-division courses, which may include transfer work.
    • At least 30 units of coursework taken through Northern Arizona University, of which at least 18 must be upper-division courses (300-level or above). This requirement is not met by credit-by-exam, retro-credits, transfer coursework, etc.
    • A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on all work attempted at Northern Arizona University.
    The full policy can be viewed here.



In addition to University Requirements:

  • At least 42 units of major requirements

  • Up to 9 units of major prefix courses may be used to satisfy Liberal Studies requirements; these same courses may also be used to satisfy major requirements

  • For this major the liberal studies prefixes include ADV, MER, or PR

  • Elective courses, if needed, to reach an overall total of at least 120 units

Please note that you may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

Minimum Units for Completion 120
Major GPA 2.5
Highest Mathematics Required MAT 114
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Optional
University Honors Program Optional
Progression Plan Link Not Available


Major Requirements
    • Advertising Emphasis (18 units)
      Take ADV 311W to meet NAU's Junior-level writing requirement and ADV 411C capstone, for this emphasis.
    • Public Relations Emphasis (18 units)Take PR 372W to meet NAU's Junior-level writing requirement and PR 471C capstone, for this emphasis.
General Electives
  • Additional coursework is required, if, after you have met the previously described requirements, you have not yet completed a total of 120 units of credit. 

    You may take these remaining courses from any academic areas, using these courses to pursue your specific interests and goals. We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select the courses that will be most advantageous to you. (Please note that you may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives if they weren't used to meet major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.)

Additional Information
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

Campus Availability

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