Jul 14, 2024  
2016-2017 Catalogue 
2016-2017 Catalogue [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Communication Studies, B.A.

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Denise Bostdorff, Chair
Ahmet Atay (on leave Fall 2016)
Joan Furey
Donald Goldberg
Cara Hammond
Michelle Johnson
Rohini Singh
Alyxandra Vesey

Communication is the study of the innate human ability to use symbols and create meaning. The Department of Communication contains within it two tracks: Communication Studies and Communication Sciences and Disorders.

Communication Studies

Research and instruction in Communication Studies focus on the study of 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 focuses on 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 the ancient Greeks and, in its infancy, 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, group communication, organizational communication, public address, intercultural communication, media, digital communication, and globalization. The department encourages students to engage in the complex relations between communication and culture. Majors in the track of Communication Studies learn how to be more effective communicators and how to be critical analysts of communication, thereby preparing them for life as enlightened citizens and professionals in a variety of career paths in business, politics, media, education, law, healthcare, religion, and the nonprofit sector.

Major in Communication Studies

Consists of eleven courses:

Special Notes

  • Majors in the Communication Studies track must complete their methods course (COMM 35200  or COMM 35300 ) no later than the spring of their junior year. Students are encouraged to take their methods course in the junior year. Majors should also 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 the Communication Studies track must demonstrate proficiency in public speaking, as certified by all faculty members in the Department of Communication, based upon the student’s oral presentation of his/her Senior Independent Study proposal. These public presentations will typically be scheduled in the fall, and students will be provided with specific guidelines to follow. The faculty also encourages majors to seek the help of their advisers in preparing their presentations.
  • No more than two Communication Studies and/or Communication Sciences and Disorders 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.

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