Gain an in-depth understanding of the complexities of organizations in the 21st century. The organizational communication program — a concentration of the communication studies degree at UM — features extensive hands-on learning opportunities, flexible remote course options, and a career path in high demand.
As a communication major with a focus in organizational communication, you learn to dissect organizational complexities working alongside talented faculty who are experts in crisis management, identity, culture, leadership, and decision-making across organizational contexts. You also explore the role of communication technology in society, learn PR practices and skills, and analyze major organizational crises such as the impact of the pandemic on organizations.
concentrations within the communication studies degree program
internships sponsored each year
attributes desired by employers are at the heart of what's taught in the program
Other communication studies degrees at UM
What can you do with a degree in organizational communication?
An organizational communication degree sets the stage for a fulfilling career. In fact, it prepares you well to work in businesses, nonprofits and public sector organizations. It’s one of the reasons why “The Princeton Review” recently listed communication studies as their #2 most recommended college major (behind only computer science).
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the top five desired attributes that employers look for are the heart of the of what you learn at UM — oral and written communication, ability to work in a team, problem solving, and ability to get along with others. Prefer to further your education? Our students also place exceptionally well into graduate programs.
What is organizational communication?
Organizational communication focuses on the communication and information flow within organizations — from formal and informal communication, and internal and external communication, to oral and written communication. Simply put, it’s the written and spoken word in the workplace and well beyond.
Organizational communication jobs include:
- Human resource specialist
- Corporate trainer
- Event planner
- Career/Life coach
- Communications specialist
- Public relations specialist
- Media planner
- Social media manager
Organizational communication salaries vary widely by profession. ZipRecruiter® cites the national average at $83,817/year—ranging from $22,000 to as high as $176,000/year. We estimate that graduates of our bachelor’s degree in communications earn an average of $68,946 annually. Here are more communication studies salaries for specific careers, based on recent data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics:
- Event planner: $51,560
- Public relations specialist: $62,810
- Writers and authors: $67,120
- Human resources managers: $121,220
Experiential learning in the organizational communication degree
Communications majors at UM have the benefit of robust hands-on learning experiences that prepare them for success in the job market and in their personal lives — including internships, service learning, study abroad and research opportunities.
Internships and community service learning in the communications bachelor's degree
In 2020, the communication studies program placed more students in internships than any other program in the College of Humanities and Sciences. The program sponsors roughly 30 internships for students every year, allowing students to explore career possibilities while studying organizations.
Internship opportunities are available in a variety of organizations both in Missoula, across the state, and nationally and internationally. To say they’re exciting would be an understatement.
In recent years, students have managed social media campaigns, planned and organized events, developed employee training materials, coached high school speech and debate teams, managed public affairs for government offices, organized public relations campaigns for nonprofit organizations, and engaged in management training programs.
Study abroad opportunities for communications majors
UM invites organizational communication majors to expand their horizons through international internships, or volunteering, working and researching abroad. Learn more about study abroad opportunities at UM.
Undergraduate research experiences for the bachelor's in organizational communication
Student research is key in our communication studies program. It allows students to “dig deep” into research methods and learn how to develop and gain knowledge firsthand. Students are also encouraged to attend student research conferences and take part in research opportunities abroad.
Career development in the organizational communication program
In addition to developing skills that employers seek out in applicants, our organizational communication program connects students with faculty and alumni, so they can see the array of opportunities available and develop the skills necessary to take advantage of them.
Networking and professional development for organizational communication majors
Much like you might find at a smaller liberal arts college, students take classes with long-term faculty members and develop mentoring relationships with these faculty. You can also find networking and professional development opportunities through a wide range of student organizations that are popular with communication majors on campus:
- The National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence (NPTE)
- The National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA)
- Pi Kappa Delta
- Net Benefits
- The Council of Forensic Organizations
- The Commission on Presidential Debates
- Lambda Pi Eta (LPH)
Organizational communication degree requirements
Our highly flexible program offers a range of courses and options that allows students to explore a variety of topics — including health communication, identity, intercultural communication, leadership, nonprofit organizations, public relations, and risk and crisis communication, technology.