The BA in communication provides a broad-based liberal arts degree designed to foster students’ abilities to understand, analyze, and effectively engage in a wide range of communication practices. It encourages critical thinking about the ways that symbols and interactions contribute to social problems and solutions.

The major provides instruction and practice in the skills of effective communication and collaborative problem-solving that employers are looking for—speaking, writing, reading, listening, asking good questions, utilizing media and working in groups. Students learn how to design innovative messages, build quality personal and professional relationships, elevate their critical thinking skills, and are prepared to thrive in a variety of professions.

Requirements

Required Courses and Credits

Majors must complete a minimum of 36 credit hours of coursework in communication, at least 18 of which must be upper division (3000 level or higher). Only courses with grades of C- or better count toward the major, and the overall major GPA must be 2.000 (a C- is 1.700).

Note: In addition to major requirements, communication majors must complete CMCI Core Curriculum requirements. The Core Curriculum requirements for the College of Media, Communication and Information can be found in Policies & Requirements.

Students who wish to major in communication should meet with a department advisor, where they will be advised of any changes to this list of requirements.​

Required Courses
COMM 1210Perspectives on Human Communication3
COMM 1300Public Speaking3
COMM 1600Group Interaction3
COMM 3210Communication Theory3
COMM 3300Rhetorical Thinking3
Lower-Division COMM Electives
Select at least two of the following:6
The Craft of Argument
Discourse, Culture and Identities
The Practice of Intercultural Communication
Interpersonal Communication
Business and Professional Communication
Methods Course
Select one of the following:3
Qualitative Research Methods
Quantitative Research Methods
Rhetorical Research Methods
Senior Seminar
Select one of the following:3
Senior Seminar: Functions of Communication
Senior Seminar: Rhetoric
Senior Seminar: Interpersonal Communication
Senior Seminar: Organizational Communication
Senior Seminar: Communication Studies of Science and Technology
Upper-Division Electives
Two additional upper-division electives (3000- or 4000-level courses); 4000-level courses may be taken twice (only twice) with different topics6
Issues in Communication
Persuasion in Society
Social Movements
Political Communication
Environmental Communication
Advanced Topics in Storytelling, Culture, & Climate Justice
Intercultural Communication
Gender and Communication
Communication, Culture and Sport
Family Communication
Communication, Technology, and Society
Advanced Teamwork and Collaboration
Organizational Communication
COMM Elective
One additional COMM elective, any level.3
Independent Study/Internships
Up to 8 credit hours of independent study and 6 credit hours of internships may be taken. These are upper-division elective hours but do not count toward major requirements. Eligible students interested in graduating with department honors should contact the department's honors coordinator as soon as possible.
Total Credit Hours36

Secondary Area of Study

In addition to coursework required for the major, all students in COMM must complete a secondary area of study outside of COMM. This secondary area of study can be met by any of the following: a minor, a second major within CMCI, a double degree, or any credit-based certificate program of at least 12 credit hours. Secondary areas of study typically require 15-21 credit hours.

Additional Information

The department encourages its majors to take related courses in other departments in CMCI as well as anthropology; business; English; ethnic studies; history; linguistics; philosophy; political science; sociology; speech, language and hearing sciences; and theatre and dance.

The department also encourages participation in optional programs such as study abroad, internships and graduating with honors.

Sample Four-Year Plan of Study​

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
Fall SemesterCredit Hours
COMM 1210 Perspectives on Human Communication 3
CMCI 1040:Foundational Concepts and Creativity in Media, Communication and Information (4) or CMCI Core or Elective (3) 4
CMCI Core or elective (P & S; H & A; Hist V; Div & Global) 3
Lower-division Writing Course 3
 Credit Hours13
Spring Semester
COMM 1300 Public Speaking 3
CMCI 1040:Foundational Concepts and Creativity in Media, Communication and Information (4) or CMCI Core or Elective (3) 3
COMM 1600 Group Interaction 3
CMCI Core Computing Course 3
Quantitative Thinking Course 3
 Credit Hours15
Year Two
Fall Semester
At least one of the following: 3
The Craft of Argument
or Discourse, Culture and Identities
or The Practice of Intercultural Communication
or Interpersonal Communication
or Business and Professional Communication
 
CMCI Core: Natural World 3
CMCI CORE or elective (P & S; H & A; Hist V; Div & Global) 7
Secondary Area of Study 3
 Credit Hours16
Spring Semester
At least one of the following: 3
The Craft of Argument
or Discourse, Culture and Identities
or The Practice of Intercultural Communication
or Interpersonal Communication
or Business and Professional Communication
 
CMCI Core: Natural World with Lab 4
CMCI CORE or elective (P & S; H & A; Hist V; Div & Global) 3
Secondary Area of Study 6
 Credit Hours16
Year Three
Fall Semester
COMM Elective, any level 3
COMM 3210
Communication Theory
or Rhetorical Thinking
3
(Students should not take COMM 3210 and COMM 3300 in the same semester)
 
CMCI CORE or elective (P & S; H & A; Hist V; Div & Global) 6
Secondary Area of Study 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
COMM 3210
Communication Theory
or Rhetorical Thinking
3
(Students should not take COMM 3210 and COMM 3300 in the same semester)
 
One of the following methods courses: 3
Qualitative Research Methods
or Quantitative Research Methods
or Rhetorical Research Methods
 
CMCI CORE or elective (P & S; H & A; Hist V; Div & Global) 6
Secondary Area of Study 3
 Credit Hours15
Year Four
Fall Semester
One Senior Seminar: 3
Senior Seminar: Functions of Communication
or Senior Seminar: Rhetoric
or Senior Seminar: Interpersonal Communication
or Senior Seminar: Organizational Communication
or Senior Seminar: Communication Studies of Science and Technology
 
COMM Upper-division Elective 1 3
CMCI CORE or elective (P & S; H & A; Hist V; Div & Global) 6
Secondary Area of Study 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
COMM Upper-division Elective 1 3
CMCI CORE or elective (P & S; H & A; Hist V; Div & Global) 9
Secondary Area of Study 3
 Credit Hours15
 Total Credit Hours120

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • Critically reflect on one's own role within social interactions.
  • Develop creative messages to solve problems.
  • Utilize communication theories to analyze intersectional differences as they relate to power in society.
  • Strategize how to engage with communities to create social change through communication practices.
  • Understand communication research processes.
  • Practice effective group communication to work together toward a collective outcome.