About Our Curriculum
The Communication and Leadership degree combines four fundamental courses on leadership that incorporate both academic and experiential learning with courses engaging communication skills and exploring interdisciplinary approaches to social issues.
Our educational program emphasizes core educational approaches and experiences that situate leadership practices in organizational and social contexts. Students can use their required courses in communication fundamentals/skills and social issues along with their free electives to gain knowledge regarding one or more of three contexts: 1) nonprofits and philanthropy, 2) public service, or 3) business.
Leadership is a core value of the University of Texas at Austin, and developing leaders for Texas and beyond is central to accomplishing the University’s mission. To be a leader requires the ability to bridge narrow academic disciplines with a capacity to envision strategies that are informed through interdisciplinary approaches, communication skills, and ethical practices.
Our educational program emphasizes core educational approaches and experiences that situate leadership practices in organizational and social contexts. Students have the option to use their required courses in communication fundamentals/skills and social issues along with their free electives to gain knowledge regarding one or more of three contexts: 1) nonprofits and philanthropy, 2) public service, or 3) business.
For example, students interested in business could earn the Business Foundations Minor, the Global Management Certificate, or the Bridging Disciplines Certificate in Ethics and Leadership in Business.
Students interested in nonprofits and philanthropy could earn the Bridging Disciplines Certificate in Social Entrepreneurship and Nonprofit Studies, Museum Studies, Environment and Sustainability, or Children and Society.
Students interested in public service could earn the Bridging Disciplines Certificate in Public Policy, Human Rights and Social Justice, or Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies.
See your academic advisor to discuss these and other options.
In addition to courses required for the core curriculum and by Moody College, the degree offers students a major with three parts. Download the degree checklists and find courses eligible for CLD degree credit here, and read below for descriptions of the three parts of the major.
These courses address principles of leadership, communication, and ethics at the introductory and upper-level and give students an opportunity to apply those principles through an internship experience and a capstone, project-based course.
Students will take each of the following courses, for a total of 12 hours (15 hours for students in the 22-24 and subsequent catalogs):
CLD 301: Introduction to Communication and Leadership. This course (previously offered as COM 301L) will introduce students to the study of leadership with an emphasis on communication dimensions and an interdisciplinary understanding of social problems. This course will serve as a foundation for subsequent coursework in the subject of communication and leadership (CLD 321; CLD 351; CLD 371). It will include an Ethics and Leadership flag and will be open to all students.
CLD 321: Seminar on Communication and Leadership. In this course (previously offered as COM 320L) students will examine concepts, frameworks, and theories related to skills that are integral to ethical, effective leadership. Among the skills that will be studied are those related to making ethical decisions, communicating supportively to others, motivating and engaging others, transforming followers into leaders, gaining power and influence, managing conflict, and leading positive change. A continuing focus of the course will involve integrating ethics with leadership and communication skills. This course will include an Ethics and Leadership flag. Prerequisites include completion of CLD 301 or COM 301L with a C- grade or higher.
CLD 351: Internship in Communication and Leadership Course. This course will provide students with practical experience related to the practice of ethical leadership and communication, most likely with a nonprofit organization, social enterprise, governmental agency, or philanthropic organization. It will require an average of 10 hours of work a week for a total of at least 150 hours a semester or summer term and will be offered on the pass/fail basis only. Prerequisites include completion of CLD 321 or COM 320L with a C- grade or higher, CLD major, and upper-division standing. Click here to apply for credit.
CLD 371: Capstone Course in Communication and Leadership. The course will address advanced topics in leadership, communication, ethics, and social change. It will enable students to engage in experiential learning through team projects that address leadership challenges in the real world. The course will have an Independent Inquiry flag as well as a Writing flag. Prerequisites include completion of CLD 321 or COM 320L with a C- grade or higher, CLD major, and upper-division standing.
Students in catalog 22-24 onward must take three additional hours of coursework in communication and leadership.
Communication is integral to all aspects of leadership, so students must develop expertise in communication approaches and skills. Students will study topics such as interpersonal communication, advocacy and persuasion, team-based communication, and organizational communication. They will gain training in skills such as public speaking, interviewing, advertising on the internet, event planning, and public relations for nonprofit organizations.
Find fundamentals/skills courses in your catalog here.
Critical contemporary social issues will be explored through an interdisciplinary perspective. Students will take coursework on critical social concerns. These courses offer interdisciplinary grounding and comprehensive understandings of social concerns and potential communication strategies for addressing them.
Find social issues courses in your catalog here.