Marketing Communications

Business & Economics and Communication Arts Department

Deborah Calhoun, M.B.A, Ph.D., Coordinator
Joseph Schaub, Ph.D.

Degrees offered



Main Campus

The marketing communications major is an interdisciplinary program for students in the Women's College who are interested in pursuing careers in a dynamic and rapidly expanding field. Integrated marketing communications involves the coordination of a company's marketing and communication efforts towards the creation of messages that maximize consumer satisfaction at minimal cost. The marketing communications major provides students with a comprehensive mix of real-world business skills and cutting-edge communication tools needed to succeed, whether employed in a start-up company or a global corporation.

Women's College

Underpinning the marketing communications major is a liberal arts approach that allows students to draw the best from diverse disciplines. From communication arts, students receive a broad foundation in writing and speaking skills, as well as specific career training in a range of creative fields, such as advertising, public relations, event planning, and publication and digital design. From business, students acquire a broad knowledge base in key areas such as finance, teamwork, and negotiation, along with a thorough mastery of the full spectrum of marketing strategies and promotional tactics. The variety of courses available in the program allows students to develop a thorough knowledge of communication theories, processes and technologies while cultivating the necessary business experience and flexibility to adapt to current and future marketplace trends.

Through learning the language of marketing and the nature of markets, students will understand how building an organization's image and brands with an effective integrated marketing communications strategy is critical to its success. Students will complete promotions opportunity and communications market analyses, and study consumer and organizational consumer behavior. They will also assess the effectiveness of both traditional and non-traditional forms of communication, and create marketing communications plans as part of a systematic approach to defining uncontested market space. The development of teamwork, bargaining, and negotiation skills will be emphasized, along with knowledge of the basic accounting principles and financial statements needed for budgets and decision making.

The program culminates in a professional practicum through which students gain work experience analyzing, designing, implementing and reviewing integrated marketing communication plans for local businesses. Graduates from Notre Dame's program learn to 1) effectively use data in the analysis of marketing problems and in the development of the subsequent marketing communications strategy, 2) evaluate and design effective communication plans for internal and external audiences either working individually or as a member of a team, and 3) create effective marketing messages that are ethical, socially responsible and well-reasoned using diverse media.

The marketing communications curriculum prepares students to work as corporate marketing communications professionals, account managers in advertising or direct marketing firms, event planners, public relations professionals, marketing representatives, trade show coordinators, publication managers, product managers, media buyers, sales promotion directors or internet marketing managers.

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Program of Study

Required Courses for a Major in Marketing Communications (Credits)

BUS-303 Principles of Marketing (3)
BUS-334 Teamwork and Negotiation (3)
BUS-416 Managing Financial Resources (3)
BUS-482 Consumer Behavior (3)
BUS-483 Integrated Marketing Communications (capstone) (3)
COM-210 Social Media or COM-313 Digital Media Skills(3)
COM-101 Introduction to Media Writing (3)
COM-319 Advertising (3)
COM-331 Public Relations (3)
COM-356 Communications Research Methods or BUS-360 Business Research (3)
COM-363 Publication Design and Publishing or DMA-101 Graphic Design I (3)
COM-375 Event Planning (3)
COM-401 Writing for the Web or CST-261 Web Page Design (3)
COM-461 Communication Arts Practicum or BUS-461 Business Practicum (4)

Students are encouraged but not required to take BUS105 Introduction to Business and Entrepreneurship, BUS225 Data Analysis for Business Decision or MAT215 Basic Statistics

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Four-Year Plan

Sample program of study for the marketing communications major. Students should select courses with the assistance of a faculty advisor.

Fall Spring 
First year      
COM-210 Social Media 3 BUS-334 Teamwork and Negotiation 3
BUS-105 Introduction Business and Entrepreneurship (recommended) 3 ART-251 Digital Page Layout or
CST-261 Web Page Design
NDMU-100 First Year Experience 3 General Education Requirements 9
General Education Requirements 6 [15 credits]  
[15 credits]      
Second year      
BUS-303 Principles of Marketing  3 COM-319 Advertising or 
COM-331 Public Relations
COM-301 Feature Writing 3 COM-375 Event Planning 3
General Education/Electives 9 General Education/Electives 9
[15 credits]   [15 credits]  
Third year      
BUS-360 Business Research or 
COM-356 Communication Research
3 COM-319 Advertising or 
COM-331 Public Relations
COM-363 Publication Design and Publishing 3 BUS-482 Consumer Behavior 3
General Education/Electives 9 General Education/Electives 9
[15 credits]   [15 credits]  
Fourth year      
BUS-483 Integrated Marketing Communication 3 COM-461/BUS-461 Communication Arts or Business Practicum 4
BUS-461/IDS-361 Internship (recommended) 3 BUS-416 Managing Financial Resources 3
General Education/Electives 9 COM-401 Writing for the Web 3
    General Education/Electives 6
[15 credits]   [16 credits]  

Note: Descriptions for the courses required as part of the marketing communications major may be found in the business, communication arts, art, and computer studies sections of the catalog.

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BUS-303 Principles of Marketing

This course introduces the language of marketing the strategic marketing process. While formulating viable marketing strategies for diverse business situations, learners will gain experience gathering and analyzing industry and market data, as well as implementing core-marketing concepts such as market segmentation, targeting, positioning,and the marketing mix in the formulation and implementation of real-world marketing strategies. This course culminates in the development of a marketing plan for a new product, service or retail establishment. [ 3 credits ]

BUS-334 Teamwork and Negotiation

Analyzes the dynamics, structure and function of teams in businesses and other organizations. Examines the framework and components of conflict resolution and negotiation in both organizational and personal situations. Learners will assess and strengthen key interpersonal skills. This course utilizes role active learning pedagogy extensively including role plays, small group exercises, and simulations. [3 credits]

BUS-360 Business Research

Introduces students to key sources of secondary data and basic research methods that enable them to define the research problem, develop the research plan, collect, evaluate and organize relevant information, develop findings and conclusions and recommend a preferred course of action supported by analysis. Students will learn core primary research concepts such as how to locate key industry and customer information via secondary databases as well as to design an electronic survey and conduct a focus group. [ 3 credits ]

BUS-416 Managing Financial Resources

Provides students with an overview of the accounting and financial tools necessary for managers. Addresses the development and analysis of basic financial statements, the development of budgets (both operating and capital), and other techniques of financial analysis for management decisionmaking. Prerequisite: general education mathematics requirement. Business majors may not take this course; students who have taken BUS-261 may not take this course. [3 credits]

BUS-461 Business Practicum

Connects academic learning with professional experience. Develops and reinforces business related skills, especially those needed by women in business today. Provides peer support to discuss and reflect on work-related issues. Students examine individual strengths and areas for improvement. Prerequisites: Business major with senior standing and permission of instructor. [4 credits]

BUS-482 Consumer Behavior

Investigates consumer and organizational buyer behavior theory and its impact on the formulation of marketing strategy. Provides students with an opportunity to examine current buyer behavior theory including digital behavior and its use by markerts to influence consumers. Through the analysis of case studies, a thorough examination of current empirical buyer behavior research, students will design, implement and analyze buyer behavior mini-research projects. This class is designed as an interactive, collaborative seminar. Prerequisite: BUS-303, Principles of Marketing or permission of chair. [3 credits]

BUS-483 Integrated Marketing Communications

Provides an overview of integrated marketing communications programs and the role they play in the implementation of successful marketing strategy. Students will examine the integration of traditional and non-traditional forms of communication. Traditional forms of communication include advertising, public relations and personal selling. Non-traditional forms of communication include online advertising, blogs, pod casts, social media and direct response marketing. Students will gain experience gathering and analyzing market data and developing an integrated marketing communications plan. Designed as a capstone experience. Prerequisite: BUS-303 Principles of Marketing and junior or senior standing. [3 credits]

COM-101 Introduction to Media Writing

Explores the various types of writing and rhetorical approaches used in crafting messages for the mass media. Provides experience in writing for journalistic, broadcasting, public relations and advertising needs, with diagnostic attention given to the individual student's writing skills. Writing requirements of the Web and digital media are previewed. Intensive laboratory work assists the student in improvement of skills. Offered in Women's College only. Prerequisite: ENG-101 or permission of department. [3 credits]

COM-210 Social Media

Engages students in a theoretical and critical look at the incursion of social media (such as blogs, Facebook, Twitter) into human communication processes and considers the implications of use of these media for the future of communication. [3 credits]

COM-313 Digital Media Skills

Provides hands-on experience in the use of digital and social media in professional contexts in the communication fields. Students will complete a number of projects applicable to professional situations that will enhance the job-search portfolio. [3 credits]

COM-319 Advertising

Provides a foundation in the principles of advertising and studies the advertising media. Includes the planning of advertising strategy and making ads. Practical assignments advance understanding of key message objectives, copywriting principles and ad design principles introduced in COM-101. Discusses social and economic aspects of advertising and advertising research. [3 credits]

COM-331 Public Relations

Takes a social science approach to the study of public relations as relationship management. Examines communication strategies for reaching various publics and stakeholders. Provides practical experience in planning and writing publicity and public relations materials to reach communication goals. Opportunities to produce materials for the professional portfolio. [3 credits]

COM-356 Communication Research Methods

Serves as an introduction to research methods in the communication field, detailing how to gather and analyze data about communication processes and their effects. Emphasizes the relevance of research to helping communication practitioners make sound decisions in applied settings (e.g., print, video, advertising, public relations and interpersonal relations). In workshop and small group settings, students learn how to formulate and pursue research questions of interest. Prerequisites: COM-131, COM-201. [3 credits]

COM-363 Publication Design and Publishing

Provides extensive laboratory practice in print media design principles and development of skills required to manipulate illustration and desktop publishing software packages. Studies newspaper, magazine, newsletter, brochure and advertising designs and issues of convergence to the Web. Extensive workshop and laboratory work. Opportunities provided to produce materials for the professional portfolio. [3 credits]

COM-375 Event Planning

Provides an overview of the necessary preparations for planning a major event. Course work includes a survey of the types of events, venue selection, catering, marketing and promotions, networking, budgeting, execution and evaluation of events. [3 credits]

COM-401 Writing for the Web

Explores techniques for making the transition from writing for traditional mass media to writing for online media. Teaches students to use online resources and produce online messages and "articles" of various types. Provides opportunities to develop materials for the professional portfolio. [3 credits]

COM-461 Communication Arts Practicum

Provides opportunities to work in pre-professional settings in communication positions with an approved organization. Prepares the student for a career in the communication field of her choice as a culminating experience. The student must enroll for the spring semester of her senior year. Prerequisite: senior standing. [4 credits]

CST-261 Web Page Design

Focuses on coding and design of Web pages using HTML and JavaScript to create high-level Internet content. Includes legal and ethical issues as well as human-computer interaction design concepts. Students demonstrate the progression of their skills through the successful completion of a number of practical projects. Satisfies the technological competency requirement. [3 credits]

DMA-101 Graphic Design I

Explores graphic communication through understand-ing the elements and principles of design, as well as the design process, from idea development through final execution. Emphasizes two-dimensional design, color and content creation, while employing the design process of research, sketching and experimentation. [3 credits]