All students declaring the major from September, 2011 onward must complete a total of 41 credits within the major. Requirements are as follows:

  • COM 105 (should be taken during the first year when possible)
  • COM 132 (partially completes dept. writing proficiency requirement)
  • COM 262 (to be taken after achieving college writing proficiency and COM 132. Meets writing proficiency requirement in the major if a grade of B- or above is achieved. To remain in the major, the course must be re-taken if a grade below B- is achieved. The course must be completed with a grade of B- or above before senior status to remain in the major.)
  • Three of the following 200-level theoretical courses (to be taken during the sophomore and junior years and after completion of COM 105, college writing proficiency requirement, and when possible, COM 132):
    • COM 210
    • COM 213
    • COM 219
    • COM 225
    • COM 227
    • COM 234
    • COM 237
    • COM 239
    • COM 245
    • COM 257
  • Three 300-level courses. At least two of these 300-level courses must center on critical/theoretical or historical issues (can be taken only after achieving departmental writing proficiency and meeting 200-level prerequisites)
  • An off-campus internship of three or four credits in a field relevant to communication studies (to be taken after achieving at least 9 credits in the major)

With the approval of the major adviser, each student may take up to two courses in one or more of the support fields in other academic departments; these courses may then be used as part of the total requirement of 38 credits for the major. An independent research course is also available for juniors and seniors with a minimum 3.0 overall GPA who wish to do an in-depth study of one specific topic within the communication discipline, upon approval of the faculty. Students may also earn up to eight credits in applied video with the permission of the instructor and advisor.

Concentrations

Concentration in Prelaw Studies

Students interested in pursuing a legal career are encouraged to complete the prelaw concentration in conjunction with the requirements of the major. The prelaw concentration is an 18- to 21-credit program that is designed to broaden the student's academic experience in preparation for law school. The prelaw concentration requires students to take courses outside of their major to expose them to methodologies and critical approaches not inherent to their own discipline but necessary for academic success in law school. A complete description of the prelaw concentration can be found under prelaw studies. All students interested in pursuing a career in law must consult with the prelaw adviser.

Qualifications Required to Graduate with Departmental Honors

Honors are decided by a vote of the full-time and half-time faculty just prior to Commencement each year. The following guidelines are used to determine honors:

  1. Students must achieve a grade point average of at least 3.67 in all 200- and 300-level courses taken in the major to be considered for honors.
  2. No student will be considered for honors who has taken any course for the major pass/no pass, except for those courses that can only be taken on a pass/no pass basis (internship and applied video).
  3. Students must demonstrate via their course work or a senior thesis either (1) a superior grasp of communication and media studies theory, criticism, and/or history, or (2) creativity and substance in an applied skill.
  4. Students must complete a variety of rigorous courses in the major and should take courses from many full- and half-time faculty.

Multiple Failed Courses

It is the department’s policy that students majoring in communication must receive at least a C- in every course taken toward the completion of the major. Any student who receives a grade below C- in more than two courses will not be permitted to continue in the major.