Communication Studies

COMM - Communication Studies course descriptions


Linda Laine (chair), Shelley Bradfield, Stavros Papakonstantinidis


Statement of philosophy

The Communication Studies program provides students with broad-based exposure to the academic discipline that examines the process of creating messages, meaning, and relationships in a broad array of contexts. In an effort to cultivate critical thinking, clear writing, articulate speaking, and proficiency with technology, our students study communication within a variety of contexts, particularly those related to professional engagement, global sustainability, and media citizenship. Through a combination of theoretical grounding and applied experience, we prepare our majors for a range of careers, enable them to participate productively in a democratic culture, and instill in them a desire for lifelong learning. Coursework is supplemented by internships, service learning experiences, co-curricular activities, and supervised independent study.


Major Communication Skills

Competency in oral communication is demonstrated throughout the curriculum. Competency in written communication skills is assessed by the evaluation of materials contained in a student’s e-portfolio and the completion of COMM 280 Communication Research and Writing with a minimum grade of “C” for the course. Communication Studies majors attaining less than this level of proficiency must retake the course until achieving a satisfactory level of performance. Students are urged to complete COMM 280 in their second year.


Communication Studies Major Requirements (39-42 credits) 

  1. Complete all of the following:
    COMM 160 Communication in Everyday Life (3)
    COMM 180 Introduction to Communication Theory (3) (minimum grade of "C" required)
    COMM 280 Communication Research and Writing (4) (minimum grade of “C” required)
  2. Complete at least 1 credit from the following:
    COMM 383 Service Learning Module in Communication Studies
    COMM 397 Internship in Communication Studies
    Internships completed as part of off campus programs may count if pre-approved by the department.
  3. Complete 8 elective courses in communication studies, including a minimum of 3 upper-level courses at the 300-level or above.  Students are encouraged to take a diverse range of upper-level courses representative of the communication discipline. An additional 3-4 credits of COMM 397 or 383 may be used in place of one elective course if pre-approved by the department.                 
  4. Compile an e-portfolio comprised of academic and related work
    Communication Studies majors are required to create and maintain an assessment e-Portfolio. The e-Portfolio includes a representative sample of academic and related work for the purpose of demonstrating proficiency in communication studies learning outcomes as well as oral and written communication skills. Students create their e-Portfolio upon declaring the Communication Studies major. The student’s academic advisor reviews updates to the e-Portfolio as a precondition of registration for courses each semester. Departmental approval of the e-Portfolio is a prerequisite for graduation. Ultimately, the contents of this e-Portfolio constitute the foundation upon which a professional e-Portfolio may be constructed during a student’s fourth year for the purpose of seeking employment or gaining entry into graduate school    


Communication Studies Minor Requirements (19-22 credits)

Students interested in pursuing a minor in Communication Studies should meet with a faculty member in the department for advisement early in their program.

  1. Complete the following:
    COMM 160 Communication in Everyday Life (3)     
    COMM 180 Introduction to Communication Theory (3) 
  2. Complete 4 elective courses in communication studies, including a minimum of 2 courses at the 300 level or above.