Communication BA Focus Areas

The Communication BA provides students the opportunity to specialize in one of three focus areas.


Focus Area 1: ICTs and Policy

The ICTs and policy area focuses on information and communication technologies and how they both influence and are shaped by society. Students learn how ICTs, such as the Internet, social media, mobile phones, online gaming and virtual worlds, digital video, peer-to-peer networks, and other emerging network technologies, serve as masspersonal interactive communication channels that are shaped by the medium characteristics and affordances. ICTs & Policy demonstrates how social and technical developments contribute toward understanding a dynamically evolving media landscape.

The capstone project in ICTs and policy focuses on specific ICTs and policy problems related to Hawaiʻi and the Asia Pacific region. There are several options, including:

  • Traditional research project related to some aspect of ICTs.
  • Policy analysis to address an issue related to ICTs.
  • Applied technology project related to ICTs.

Other possibilities are negotiable. The capstone course includes the written reflection and portfolio components common to all capstone courses in communication.

Required courses for the ICTs & Policy focus area:

  • COM 201, 310, 320, 330
  • COM capstone prerequisite course (only one course required for capstone):
    • COM 432: Social Media
    • COM 438: Telecommunications in the Pacific Hemisphere
  • COM 479: Capstone Project in ICTs and Policy

Focus Area 2: Communication in Communities

The communication in communities area focuses on communication in social, organizational, and professional communities ranging from small groups working together face-to-face or online, to large organizations communicating with international publics. Intercultural communication, international communication, organizational communication, and public relations are traditional academic areas of scholarship that inform this track. The capstone in communication in communities involves project development within either local or global communities. Project options may include:

  • Public relations campaign.
  • Organizational communication audit.
  • Program for preparing, training, and supporting people in dealing with cultural diversity.

Students explore specific project areas in consultation with their professor and client organizations. The capstone course includes the written reflection and portfolio components common to all capstone courses in communication.

Required courses for the Communication in Communities track:

  • COM 201, 310, 320, 330
  • COM capstone prerequisite course (only one course required for capstone):
    • COM 340: Intercultural Communication
    • COM 421: Public Relations Strategies
  • COM 478: Capstone in Communication in Communities

Focus Area 3: Media Arts

The media arts area focuses on visual communication design aesthetics and creative digital media production processes that effectively communicate. Software programs used include Adobe Creative Cloud Suite of applications including Photoshop and PremierePro.

The media arts capstone course includes a comprehensive media project and the written reflection and portfolio components common to all capstone courses in communication.

Required courses for the Media Arts focus area:

  • COM 201, 310, 320, 330
  • COM capstone prerequisite course:
    • COM 337: Techniques of Multimedia
  • COM 477: Capstone in Interactive Multimedia Design and Development