John Christensen, assistant professor of communication, with a health intervention video on Oct. 5, 2012.
Assistant Professor John Christensen with a health intervention video.

Course descriptions

The Department of Communication offers an undergraduate major in Communication. The Communication major is designed to educate students about human communication behavior from a scientific standpoint. It concentrates on the empirical investigation of human communication, stressing developments in communication theory and research. The major emphasizes interpersonal, mass, new communication technologies, nonverbal, organizational, intercultural and international communication. Training in the basic theories, principles, practices and research methods of Communication can qualify students for a variety of positions in the communication and media industries, such as: business, advertising, public relations, marketing, electronic media, government/politics, and promotion.

Students must apply to the Department of Communication to become a Communication major. Applications are accepted for Fall and Spring semesters and the deadline for applications is the end of the second week of classes. Forms can be obtained from any communication advisor, or from the Communication Department website, and from Communication faculty members at the Stamford Regional Campus.

The decision to admit students to the major will depend on several criteria:

  • Successful completion of at least 54 credits, or successful completion of 40 credits plus current enrollment that should result in at least 54 credits by the end of the current semester.
  • Cumulative GPA
  • Completion of COMM 1000 with a grade of “C” or better.
  • The applicant’s academic record and space availability are also considered.

Prior to acceptance into the Communication major, students with fewer than 70 credits may declare themselves a Pre-Communication major online or at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Academic Services Center. The Pre-Communication designation indicates an intention to apply to the major. It does not ensure acceptance into the Communication major or give students priority in registering for Communication courses. Pre-Communication majors must still apply to become Communication majors by following the process described above.

Students interested in the Communication major should complete COMM 1100 and COMM 1300 before junior year, if possible. COMM 1300 is a prerequisite for many 2000-level media courses and is advised for all students, particularly those interested in media production, communication technology, marketing, public relations, or advertising.

Successful completion of a BA degree in Communication requires the following:

  1. Acceptance as a Communication major.
  2. COMM 1000, 1100, 3000Q.
  3. At least two (2) of the following Core courses: COMM 3100, 3200, 3300. Students are welcome to take all 3 Core courses.
  4. A total of 24 credits in Communication at the 2000 or above level (typically 8 courses).
  5. A minimum of 5 theory courses including a W course in Communication at the 2000 or above level. Communication offers applied and theory courses:
    1. Applied courses include the following: COMM 4800, 4820, 4940, 4991, and 4992.
      • Applied courses are optional and students are not required to take any applied courses, though they are highly recommended for a variety of career paths. As long as students have met the above requirements, they may take additional applied courses, but only two may be applied towards the minimum 24 credits of upper level Communication courses required for the major.
    2. Theory courses are the remaining COMM courses numbered 2000 or above including the Core courses.
  6. Related Courses: 12 credits required. Related courses can be uniquely tailored to the needs of the student but must be approved by a Communication advisor.

Note: All students are encouraged to do at least one internship (COMM 4991). Internships can be taken during the academic year or summer. Students must have completed 12 credits in Communication courses at the 2000-level or above to be eligible for internship credit.

Competency and Writing Requirements

To satisfy the information literacy competency, all students must pass COMM 1000, 1100, and 3000Q. Other courses that will further enhance competency in information literacy include COMM 1300, 3100, 3103, 3200, 3300, 3321, 3400, 3450, 3600, 4089, 4100, 4120, 4220W, 4230, 4320, 4330, 4410W, 4450W, 4451W, 4460, and 4500.

To satisfy the writing in the major requirement, students must pass at least one course from COMM 2310W, 4220W, 4410W, 4450W, 4451W, 4660W, 4930W, 4996W, or any 2000-level or above W course approved for this major. For students interested in media and public relations careers, journalism courses are recommended for additional writing competency.

A minor in Communication is described in the “Minors” section.


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