Communication Arts was one of the first programs offered at Grant MacEwan Community College in 1971. It was part of the Arts Techniques Department along with Fashion Sales Technician, and Library Technician. In 1972, it became part of the Applied Arts Division, and offered three programs: Advertising and Public Relations, Audio Visual Technician, and Journalism.
The proposal for the Bachelor of Applied Communications in Professional Writing was approved by Alberta Learning on December 1, 1999, and offered September 2000. A diploma exit option in Professional Writing was offered in 2002.
The Bachelor of Applied Communications in Professional Writing, the Journalism diploma program, and the Professional Writing diploma program were suspended in favour of the Bachelor of Communication Studies. Alberta Advanced Education and Technology approved suspensions for the terms of July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2015 for the applied degree program, and July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2013 for the diploma programs. The suspension for Professional Writing was subsequently extended to June 30, 2014 to allow part-time students to complete the diploma.
The Bachelor of Communication Studies, first offered in the 2011-2012 academic year, included the majors Journalism, and Professional Communication. The Department of Communication consisted of the bachelor degree and a Public Relations diploma.