2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Department of Strategic Communication

The Department of Strategic Communication is TCU’s home for advertising and public relations. Strategic communication students learn to think strategically and create effective, innovative, and responsible stories about brands and organizations, solving real-world communication challenges. In learning the theories and methods of advertising, public relations, and new media to meet the strategic goals of organizations, strategic communication students gain the tools and skills they need to succeed in the job market and in life.

The strategic communication major emphasizes experiential learning. Students learn to conduct research; write and create content for print, broadcast, online and mobile platforms; design; choose channels to place messages; and evaluate effectiveness. They have various opportunities to apply what they learn with real-world corporate, public, and nonprofit clients in classes and through dedicated experiential opportunities, including:

  • Roxo, the vibrant student-run strategic communication agency, which services real-world clients through paid and pro bono work;
  • National advertising and public relations campaign competitions, including the American Advertising Federation (AAF) National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) and the Public Relations Student Society of American (PRSSA) Bateman Competition;
  • internships; and
  • American Advertising Federation (AAF) and Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapters affiliated with the Department of Strategic Communication.

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, the AAF Fort Worth Addy Awards, the National Student Advertising Competition, and the Bateman Competition.

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.

Admission to the major

Students may declare a major in strategic communication as an incoming first-year or transfer student prior to orientation. Any students wishing to join strategic communication after their first-year or transfer orientation must apply 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 the start of orientation sessions (typically the end of May), are automatically admitted to the major. They must complete the application process during summer orientation sessions (step 4 in the process). Once orientation sessions begin, all students, including first-year students, must apply to the major. Admission to the strategic communication major is competitive.As a result, students may be admitted to TCU but not to strategic communication if they are not accepted to the major through the application process. 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 five long semesters to complete the major.

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

  1. Based on type of student

    a.  INCOMING FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS: Entering first-year students, once admitted to TCU, may declare strategic communication as their major prior to the start of the orientation sessions (typically the end of May) 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.

    b.  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).

    c.  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 23113 or 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. Applications to the major open within the first six weeks of each long semester. To receive dates and instructions for completing the application, please contact the department's main office at stratcomm@tcu.edu or visit its website at https://schieffercollege.tcu.edu/stratcomm/.

    Applicants will be required to:

    1. Independently complete a personal narrative about reasons for selecting the strategic communication major and another creative assignment
    2. Read and sign the Ethics and Professionalism Statement for the Department of Strategic Communication and provide basic information for departmental advising records

           c. Submit a resume and transcripts verifying the GPA (for internal and external transfer students only)

    Completed applications will be evaluated by an application committee. Applicants will be notified by the Department once admission decisions have been rendered.

    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.

    After admittance to the major, students must earn a C or higher and a combined 2.5 GPA in the two introductory courses, STCO 23113 and STCO 23123, before enrolling in additional strategic communication courses. Additionally, students must also complete MATH 10043 Statistics or INSC 20153 (or equivalent) with a C- or higher before enrolling in many of the advanced courses requiring this prerequisite. Students must earn a C or higher in each strategic communication course counted toward major degree requirements.

Strategic Communication Degrees

The Department of Strategic Communication offers the Bachelor of Science degree and the Master of Science degree.