2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog


Department of Strategic Communication

Students majoring in strategic communication learn the theories and methods of advertising, public relations and new media to meet the strategic goals of organizations. Students learn to conduct research; write and create content for print, broadcast, online and mobile platforms; design; choose channels to place the message; and evaluate effectiveness. Students learn to create innovative and responsible stories about brands and organization; in doing so, they solve real-world communication challenges.

Students participate annually in national advertising and public relations campaign competitions. In recent years, TCU students have placed among the top 10 teams in the American Advertising Federation National Student Advertising Competition and the Public Relations Student Society of America Bateman Competition. Individual students, teams and Roxo, the student run advertising and public relations agency, regularly earn recognition in national, regional and local competitions, including Greater Fort Worth PRSA's Worthy Awards.

Most strategic communication graduates pursue careers in advertising or with public relations agencies, corporations, government agencies, nonprofit groups, health care groups, sports teams or consulting firms. Others enter graduate school or specialized, pre-professional programs.

Experiential learning is emphasized through the vibrant student-run agency Roxo and also through hosted internships and coursework that include real-life assignments with corporate and nonprofit clients. The American Advertising Federation and the Public Relations Student Society of America have chapters affiliated with the school.

Admission to the major

Admission to the strategic communication major requires multiple steps.

Entering first-year students who declare strategic communication as their major prior to June 1, before orientation sessions begin, are automatically admitted to the major. They must complete the application process during summer orientation sessions (step 4 in the process). Once orientation session begins, all students, including first-year students, must apply to the major. Admission to the strategic communication major is competitive, and as a result, students may be admitted to TCU but not to the major if they apply for strategic communication on the first day of class of their first year at TCU or thereafter. Students with more than 80 college credits will not be admitted to the major, whether internal or external transfers, because course sequencing in the major requires at least four long semesters to complete.

To be considered for admission to the Department of Strategic Communication, students must complete all of the following:

  1. Based on type of student
    1. INCOMING FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS: Entering first-year students, once admitted to TCU, may declare the major prior to June 1, before orientation sessions begin, and be directly admitted to the major in only the fall semester if they meet the following requirements: They must have completed no hours at TCU (except for hours awarded for AP or IB courses, or dual-credit hours awarded in high school through another university or college), and they must complete step 4 of the application process. Once TCU orientation sessions begin, first-year students must wait to apply to the major until the spring semester.
    2. INTERNAL TRANSFER STUDENTS: An internal transfer student is one who is currently enrolled in another degree program at TCU. These students must have a 2.5 minimum overall TCU GPA (and should have a 3.0 GPA to be competitive).
    3. EXTERNAL TRANSFER STUDENTS: The TCU Office of Admissions makes the decision on all transfer applicants. To be considered for provisional admission to the strategic communication major during the first semester after admission to TCU, students should have at least a 3.0 transfer GPA from a four-year institution and a 3.25 GPA from a two-year institution. If this GPA is in place and spaces are open in the gateway courses (STCO 11103STCO 16103STCO 23113 and STCO 23123) in the first semester, students may enroll in these courses after they have met with an academic adviser in the department and have completed step 4 of the process.
  2. Attend one of the several monitored in-person essay-writing sessions held no later than the first six weeks of each long semester (contact the department's main office at stratcomm@tcu.edu or visit its website at www.stco.tcu.edu to determine dates and locations for these sessions for upcoming semesters.)
  3. Complete a Personal Creative Narrative about reasons for selecting the strategic communication major and another creative assignment, written on-site.
  4. Read and sign the Ethics and Professionalism Statement for the Department of Strategic Communication, and complete a basic information form for the advising folder.
  5. Turn in an application packet at the end of the essay-writing session that includes a resume and transcripts verifying the GPA (for internal and external transfer students only); the Personal Creative Narrative and creative assignment; and the Ethics and Professionalism Statement for the Department of Strategic Communication.
After admittance to the strategic communication major, students must earn a C or higher in each required course and have a combined 2.5 GPA in the four gateway courses before they may enroll in any advanced required courses.

In the event of a formal appeal concerning the application process, the chair of the Department of Strategic Communication will appoint three faculty members in the department to review the appeal and report to the chair.

Strategic Communication Degrees

The Department of Strategic Communication offers the Bachelor of Science (BS) degree and the Master of Science (MS) degree.