Business Communication Major

Business doesn’t happen without communication.

A Business Communication concentration will help you develop the skills that employers value. The National Association of Colleges and Employers reports that, “Above all, (employers) are looking to hire candidates with outstanding communication skills.”

Nichols BCOM program covers five different communication areas: interpersonal, intercultural organizational, team & group dynamics, and mass media. As a result this multi-faceted program, you will be well prepared for a number of positions from entry level management and marketing positions, to positions in public relations and social media.

Some unique aspects of the program include . . .

Hands-on projects and group assignments

Instruction from professors with real-world experience

Internships at well-known companies and organizations

Abby Gould, ’12, Business Communication Major
Internship with: The American Red Cross

The Business Communication program prepared me for my internship because of the diverse topics that were covered. My courses allowed me to understand valuable concepts such as communicating with people from different cultures, the importance of strong visuals to captivate an audience, and how the structure of the organization relates to worker productivity. I also experienced first-hand how one of us can truly make a difference.

Internships are required and provide you with the real-world experience and contacts you need to land a job in this highly competitive field. Some of our recent internship opportunities include:

Career Opportunities

With a major in BCOM, you will be well-prepared to work at virtually any company or organization in some of the following areas:

BCOM alumni are employed at a number of different companies, including:

Ed Baia,’12
Executive Team Leader of Assets Protection, Target; participant in the Semester at Sea program

I loved taking real life scenarios and applying the theories and concepts we were learning in class. In a retail industry such as Target, I find that I have to be adaptable, have excellent people and communication skills, and know how to tailor my message to my audience. My BCOM classes gave me the skills to do that.


Business Communication majors must complete 121 credit hours (approximately 40 courses), including courses from the foundation and business core curricula, focused electives and these required specialization courses:

Required Courses

BCOM 247
Business Communication Survey
3 Hours, 1 Semester

This course includes a survey of basic theories of the human communication process, and an examination of communication theory in five business-related contexts: (1) group communication, (2) inter/intra cultural communication, (3) interpersonal communication, (4) mass communication, and (5) organizational communication.

BCOM 310
Intercultural Communication
3 Hours, 1 Semester

In this course, students will gain awareness of cultural differences as they affect the conduct of business, and will develop methods to bridge those differences. Globalization, the effect of social conventions on the business environment, and the impact of cultural norms on information gathering and decision making will be studied. Differences in legal, regulatory, and organizational structures will be considered. Each student will research and report on the business environment of a specific region or country.

BCOM 311
Visual Communication
3 Hours, 1 Semester

This course will explore the psychological and cultural aspects of visual communication, and will introduce students to visual techniques for analyzing, displaying and explaining numerical and statistical data. The cultural and commercial impact of advertising, film, and electronically manipulated data will be studied. Working with photographs, tables, graphs, and templates, students will learn to select appropriate visual formats for presentation of various types of data. Ethical issues related to choice, use and distortion of visual information will be considered. Software programs for computer-assisted design will be reviewed and applied.
Prerequisites: MATH 215 or PSY 375

BCOM 490
Internship in Business Communication
3 Hours, 1 Semester

An internship acts as the capstone course for students selecting the business communication concentration. The objective of the course is to gain work experience in a communications related field or position. Examples include, but are not limited to, marketing, TV and radio broadcasting, sport management and promotion, newspaper reporting and editing, sales, special events and projects, human resources, project management, and on- campus opportunities. Students select an internship based on their personal interests and preferences. Each student is required to work 120 hours over the course of the semester, maintain a daily work log, and complete a comprehensive paper detailing his or her experience, as well as provide an analysis of research completed on a topic related to the field of communications.
Prerequisites: BCOM 247, BCOM 310 and BCOM 311


Elective Courses (3 required)

BCOM 312
Managerial Communication
3 Hours, 1 Semester

This advanced course in organizational communication will cover conflict and negotiation, relating document styles and purposes, working with the corporate board of directors, managing a media crisis, whistleblowers and other systemic malfunctions, communication in the unionized workplace, ethical communication, and the profit motive. Students will analyze real cases and propose and debate alternative solutions.
Prerequisite: MGMT 226

BCOM 316
Mass Media, Public Relations and Media Management
3 Hours, 1 Semester

A study of communication that is mediated through technology, including traditional mass media (books, newspapers, radio, film, and television) and new media (cable, satellite, computer, and digital telecommunications). We will consider the nature and practice of public relations, corporate interface with press organizations, and the role of advertising. The ethical and legal repercussions of mass communications will also be considered.
Prerequisite: MKTG 202

HRM 344
Developing and Motivating Human Potential
3 Hours, 1 Semester

Hiring qualified talent is no guarantee that these employees will achieve their potential. Without nurturing, much of this talent will remain untapped and wasted. High per- forming workforces are the result of continuous development and effective motivational strategy. Based on sound motivational theory, this course examines why people work and what organizations should know and do in order to create winning teams.
Prerequisite: HRM 213

MKTG 361 
Consumer Marketing OR
3 Hours, 1 Semester

Examination of the consumer marketing process. This includes analysis and planning of consumer product marketing programs tied in with investigation of consumer decision making and buying patterns. Includes written case analyses.
Prerequisites: ECON 221, ECON 222 and MKTG 202

MKTG 362
Business Marketing
3 Hours, 1 Semester

Business Marketing: An examination of the process of marketing to business, institutional, and governmental markets, with a focus on business buyers and the development of appropriate marketing strategies for goods and services.
Prerequisites: ECON 221, ECON 222 and MKTG 202

PSY 308
Psychology of Temperament
3 Hours, 1 Semester

In this course, students will examine various theories underlying the development of human temperament. We will start with early theories and trace them through to the modern era. In this course, we will look at the profound effect temperament has on perception, communication, and relationships. Knowledge of human temperament is fundamentally pragmatic and will help students relate to the social world around them.
Prerequisite: PSY 151

PSY 342
Group Dynamics
3 Hours, 1 Semester

This course examines the formation of groups, group processes, followership, and leadership processes within groups and group behaviors. Emphasis is placed on the experience of applying group theory.
Prerequisite: PSY 151

SMGT 462
Communication and Public Relations
3 Hours, 1 Semester

This course is designed to introduce the students to the role of effective communication in the sport industry. The nature and function of communication will be examined in a variety of settings. Emphasis will be placed on interpersonal communications, public relations, mass media relations, public speaking, and innovative technology.
Prerequisite: BCOM 247or SMGT 251 or SMGT 352


Advanced Marketing Courses (choose 1)

MKTG 433
Market Research
3 Hours, 1 Semester

A study of the application of research techniques in market analysis. Student teams design, conduct, and report a research project, including problem definition, questionnaire design, data collection, data analysis, documentation, and presentation of findings.
Prerequisites: MATH 215 and MKTG 361 or MKTG 362

MKTG 434
International Marketing
3 Hours, 1 Semester

An analysis of the international business and consumer environments and the development and implementation of marketing programs across business alternatives (e.g., direct investment, joint ventures, licensing). Topics include the roles of cultural, political, technological, economical, and legal aspects of marketing in an international environment, as well as how these affect the marketing mixes likely to be successful in various international markets.
Prerequisite: MKTG 361 or MKTG 362

MKTG 435
Marketing Communications
3 Hours, 1 Semester

A course focusing on advertising, sales promotion, and direct marketing while integrating all aspects of the marketing process. Topics include planning and execution of promotional programs, strategy development, product targeting and positioning. Orientation reflects the managerial or “client” side of business rather than the “creative” or message development side.
Prerequisite: MKTG 361 or MKTG 362

MKTG 436
Sales Management

An investigation of the functions and activities of sales managers. Topics include recruiting, organizing, training, compensating, leading, motivating, and managing the sales force.
Prerequisite: MKTG 361 or MKTG 362


Advanced Writing Courses (choose 1)

ENGL 320
Fiction Writing
3 Hours, 1 Semester

Muriel Rukeyser once wrote, "The universe is made of stories, not atoms." Fiction Writing centers on making our own universes through the creation of story and on the discovery of the universe  within each of us, the stories of which we are made.  Through discussion and revision  of their own work as well as the reading of published pieces, class members find their own voices, hone their skills, and release the energy of their own creative expression.
Prerequisite: ENGL 105

ENGL 321
Professional Writing
3 Hours, 1 Semester

Intensive practice in a variety of approaches to professional writing tasks: memoranda, correspondence, proposals, and both brief and longer reports.
Prerequisite: ENGL 105

ENGL 345
Non Fiction Writing
3 Hours, 1 Semester

This is a writing workshop course in which students will explore their own experiences and ideas while learning how to effectively share those ideas with readers. The course will focus on writing experiences including autobiography, profiles of others, creative literary non-fiction, and pieces that relate to world events and the society and culture around us. In addition to extensive writing, students will read model essays.
Prerequisites: ENGL 105

ENGL 346
3 Hours, 1 Semester

Designed for students interested in journalism and those who want to improve their written communication skills. Intensive hands-on work in various aspects of news writing combined with analysis of the influence of media’s role in the world.
Prerequisite: ENGL 105

ENGL 470
Special Topics
3 Hours, 1 Semester

This course is offered on an occasional basis and addresses topics and themes of special interest not covered in the standard course offerings in English.


College Catalog

Review or download the college catalog for additional details and information about courses and requirements.

Key Faculty
Luanne Proko
  • Luanne Westerling
  • Program Chair
  • Associate Dean, Business Studies

Questions about the business communications program? Contact Professor Luanne Proko, Program Chair, at or 508-213-2260.