The Communication major leads to a bachelor of arts degree. The major examines communication at multiple levels of society and in different settings, including interpersonal, nonverbal, organizational, intercultural, and international communication, while also considering the roles of media and technology in communication processes. 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 department of Communication offers courses that span the discipline, enabling students to acquire breadth and depth in their education and training. A variety of focal areas are identified in the COMM curriculum, and students may focus their coursework in one or more of these areas to further their academic and professional goals. Across the curriculum, courses are numbered to reflect these focal areas:
- X100: Professional Communication (e.g. COMM 2100, 3110, 3120W)
- X200: Interpersonal Communication (e.g. COMM 2200, 3222, 4200)
- X300: Media Effects and Audiences (e.g. COMM 2300, 3310W, 4300)
- X400: Communication in Context (e.g. COMM 3410, 3420, 3430)
- X500: Persuasion and Promotion (e.g. COMM 2500, 3510, 4530W)
- X600: Communication Technology (e.g. COMM 2600, 3600, 4640)
- X700: Multimedia Production (e.g. COMM 2700, 3700, 4710)
Students majoring in Communication must complete the following:
- Introductory courses: COMM 1000 and 1100. These courses should be completed by the end of sophomore year, if possible.
- A minimum of 30 credits in Communication at the 2000 level or above (typically 10 COMM courses). Note that many students take more than the minimum of 30 credits in communication, choosing to expand their learning in one or more areas in the discipline. These 30 credits must include the following:
- Core courses: At least four of the following Core courses: COMM 2100, 2200, 2300, 2500, 2600. Core courses introduce students to the range of work within the discipline.
- Research methods in Communication: COMM 2000Q or 2010Q. Most students complete this requirement by taking COMM 2000Q. Students double majoring in Psychological Sciences and Communication may substitute PSYC 2100WQ for this requirement but will need to complete an additional elective course in Communication to meet the minimum of 30 credits of upper-level Communication courses required for the major.
- Writing-intensive course: At least one “W” course in Communication.
- Three credits in Immersion courses: All Communication majors complete at least three credits across one or more immersion courses: COMM 4799, 4979, 4981, 4982, 4996, 4997W, 4999. Immersion courses provide students an opportunity to pursue research, experiential, and professional development within the field.
- Electives: Three more communication courses at a minimum, in order to complete the minimum of 30 credits in communication.
3. 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.
All students are encouraged to do at least one internship (COMM 4981). Internships can be taken during the academic year or summer, and suffice the Immersion course requirement for the major. 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.
The Department encourages students to participate in its research activities:
- The research practicum (COMM 4982) is designed to allow students to participate in ongoing departmental research and learn about conducting research in the discipline.
- Students who wish to design and conduct their own projects can enroll in Undergraduate Research (COMM 4996) with the supervision of a faculty member.
- Honors students may complete a Senior Thesis (COMM 4997W) on a topic of their choosing with the support of their honors thesis advisor.
Each research course is particularly helpful preparation for graduate work in the field of Communication.
To satisfy the writing in the major requirement, students must pass at least one 3000-level or above “W” course approved for this major. A number of “W” courses are available to meet this requirement, including (but not limited to) COMM 3120W, 3222W, 3310W, 3410W, 3610W, 4200W, 4300W, and 4530W. For students interested in media and public relations careers, journalism courses are recommended for additional writing competency.
To satisfy the information literacy competency, all students must pass COMM 1000, 1100, and 2000Q. An education in communication is inextricably linked to information literacy, so students exploring further coursework within the major will continue to develop their information literacy 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