Jul 02, 2022  
2021-2022 Catalogue 
2021-2022 Catalogue

Communication Studies, B.A.

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Denise Bostdorff, Chair
Ahmet Atay
Michelle Johnson
Rohini Singh
Zhenyu Tian


Communication Studies focuses on how messages in various media (spoken, written, printed, photographic, electronic, digital) are produced, used, and interpreted within and across different contexts, channels, and cultures. Communication Studies examines how people arrive at shared meanings through an interchange of messages or, in other words, the symbolic processes through which meanings and social realities are created and performed. The origin of Communication Studies goes back to ancient times and, in the past, the discipline emphasized public speaking alone. Today the discipline studies symbolic processes - whether oral, written, nonverbal, or mediated/visual - in a variety of contexts: interpersonal communication, groups, and organizations; politics and public policy; social movements; environmental communication; intercultural communication; health contexts; conflict; gender and sexuality; globalization; and visual rhetoric, media, and digital communication. The department encourages students to engage in the complex relations between communication and culture.  Communication Studies majors learn how to be more effective communicators and how to be critical analysts of communication, thereby preparing them for life as enlightened citizens, dedicated advocates, and savvy professionals in a variety of career paths such as brand management, marketing and advertising, politics and public affairs, journalism and news media, development work, education, law,  business and banking, healthcare, customer service and support, as well as the nonprofit sphere and the environmental sector.


Major in Communication Studies

Consists of ten courses.  No more than 2 courses (including 11100) at the 100-level may be taken to fulfill the minimum requirements of the major:


Special Notes

  • Majors in the Communication Studies track must complete the first of their two methods courses (COMM 35100 COMM 35200 COMM 35300  or GMDS 30000) no later than the spring of their junior year. Majors should also ideally complete the theory course (COMM 31100 ) prior to the first semester of Senior Independent Study (COMM 45100 ); normally, this will entail registration in COMM 31100  in the fall of the junior year.
  • In addition to demonstrating proficiency in research and writing through Independent Study, a major in Communication Studies must demonstrate proficiency in public speaking, as certified by all faculty members in the Department, based upon the student’s oral presentation of their Senior Independent Study proposal. This requirement can be fulfilled by participation in the Senior Research Symposium or through a presentation to the Communications Studies faculty.
  • No more than two Communication Studies courses can be applied toward the general education requirements.
  • No courses may be taken for the major on a S/NC basis.
  • Only grades of C- or better are accepted for the major or minor.

Cross-listed Courses Accepted for Communication Studies Credit

Africana Studies

AFST 24200. Martin, Malcolm & Mandela [C, HSS, AH, D, SJ]

AFST 24600.  Africana Popular Culture [AH, C, D]


ENGL 29901.  Serials and Social Justice/ Digital Age [AH, C]


HIST 20101.  History of the News [HSS, W]

Political Science

PSCI 21200.  Presidential Leadership in Am Politics [HSS]

PSCI 21501.  Topics in Constitutional Law andAppellate Advocacy [W]

PSCI 21900. Voice of the People, Pbl Opn & Voting [HSS, QL]


PSYC 21500. Psychology of Women & Gender [HSS]

PSYC 22000. Stereotypes & Prejudice [C, HSS, D] 

Sociology and Anthropology

SOCI 20700.  Sociology of Gender [HSS]

SOCI 20900.  Inequality in America [HSS]

SOCI 21400.  Racial & Ethnic Groups in Amer Society [HSS, C]

Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies

WGSS 20400.  Transnational Feminisms [HSS, C]

WGSS 20600.  Queer Lives HSS, C]

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