Communication

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 the social science of communication and introduce them to careers involving communication.

The major examines communication at multiple levels of society and in different settings, including interpersonal, nonverbal, organizational, intercultural, and international communication, as well as through different media, such as mass media, social media, and other new communication technologies. Training in the basic theories, principles, best practices, and current research methods of communication can qualify students for a variety of communications and media industry positions in business, advertising, public relations, marketing, digital media production, government/politics, and promotion.

The Communication Department offers applied and theory courses:

  • Applied courses emphasize the development of professional skills. Applied courses include the following: COMM 2100, 2940, 4800, 4820, 4940, 4991, and 4992. Applied courses are optional, although they are highly recommended for a variety of career paths.
  • Theory courses provide the foundational concepts and principles for the study of communication. A strong theoretical base prepares students to adapt to future changes in the communication landscape. Theory courses constitute the remaining COMM courses at the 2000 level or above, including the Core courses and COMM 3000Q.

A major in Communication requires completion of the following:

  1. Introductory courses: COMM 1000, 1100, and 1300. Students must have a grade of “C” or better in COMM 1000. Students in the Communication major should complete these courses by the end of sophomore year, if possible.
  2. Total credits of upper division communication courses: Students must complete a minimum of 24 credits in Communication at the 2000 level or above (typically eight COMM courses). Note that many students take more than the minimum of 24 credits in communication, which may consist of additional theory and/or applied classes.
  3. Research methods: COMM 3000Q. Students double majoring in Psychological Sciences and Communication may substitute PSYC 2100WQ for COMM 3000Q, but will need to complete a third elective course in Communication to meet the minimum of 24 credits of upper-level Communication courses required for the major (see number 7).
  4. Writing-intensive course: At least one W course in the major.
  5. Core courses: At least two of the following Core courses: COMM 3100, 3200, 3300
  6. Theory courses: At least two additional theory courses. If students take a third core communication course, it will count toward this requirement. (Applied courses do not count toward this requirement.)
  7. Electives: Two more applied or theory courses at a minimum, in order to complete the minimum of 24 credits in communication.
  8. Related Group Requirement: Students must complete an additional 12 credits of coursework outside of Communication at the 2000 level or above. The department maintains a list of courses pre-approved as satisfying the related requirement (see the department website). Courses that do not appear on the list must be approved by a Communication advisor.

Internship

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 to register for the course and receive internship credit. An internship taken for three credits counts as one applied class.

Undergraduate Research

The Department encourages students to participate in its research activities, such as the research practicum (COMM 4992).

Information Literacy

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, 4500, and 4620.

Writing courses

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.

Minor in Communication

A minor in Communication is described in the Minors section.

Double majors and dual/multiple degrees

Students are encouraged to meet with a Communication advisor to discuss ways to integrate a major in Communication with other majors and degrees

 

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