The communication department has announced that beginning in the fall of 2012, a number of advertising and public relations classes will be offered as general university courses. This change follows the movement of journalism classes out of the communication department beginning in fall 2011.
While there is no definitive list of classes that will be moved yet, Lisa Cuklanz, chair of the communication department, said, “Some public relations and/or advertising classes currently in communication will likely be moved out of the department and offered as University courses starting in the fall 2012.”
In an e-mail sent to communication department professors in January, the department said that several classes might be moved due to an “ongoing process of department self-study, external review, and accompanying curricular adjustment.”
The motivations for why the public relations and advertising classes specifically are being moved is unclear, though Cuklanz did comment on the long -term goals of the department.
“The communication department is in the process of strengthening its course offerings in areas of our faculty’s research strengths in rhetoric, mass media, and interpersonal communication,” she said.
In order to strengthen the department in research areas, the communication department will be adding new course titles next year, such as Rhetorical Criticism, New Media and Society, and Communication in Families.
Many schools that Boston College has often been compared to, including Georgetown and Villanova, lack a formal communication department. However, they have specific majors in areas like journalism and advertising.
When asked if perhaps the BC administration was moving towards creating specific majors like their competitors, Cuklanz said that that was not the case.
“I do not think there are any plans at BC to add Communication-related majors in specific subjects such as Public Relations or Advertising,” she said in an e-email.
Because the classes that are eventually moved will no longer be taught in the department, they will be available to students in all College of Arts and Sciences major programs.