We've redesigned the major for you!

Curricular Revision in the Communication Major

Summary of Credit Hour Implications

CORE COURSES [15 hours total]: Take and pass (i.e., receive a grade of C or better) all core courses on or before the semesters indicated in the major map:

COM 100
COM 207
COM 225
COM 308
COM 407 (BA capstone) or COM 408 (BS capstone)

REQUIRED AREAS OF EMPHASIS COURSES [12 hours total]: Take and pass (i.e., receive a grade of C or better) both required classes from at least two Areas of Emphasis (see below).

ELECTIVE COURSES [12 hours total]: Take and pass (i.e., receive a grade of C or better) at least 12 upper division hours of COM electives. At least 3 hours of upper-division electives must be at the 300 level, and at least 3 hours of upper-division electives must be at the 400 level. We recommend that students select electives from their chosen areas of emphasis, but electives may also come from other areas of emphasis and/or other COM classes and experiences.

 An introductory narrative for students:

At the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, we explore the complex role of human communication in everyday life. As a student in our school, you will learn how to communicate effectively whether with one person or large and diverse groups. Our communication courses will provide you with the tools to understand, analyze, and respond to communication problems and opportunities, including interpersonal relationships, workplace teams, and community, civic and cultural groups.

This document is designed to help undergraduate Communication majors effectively choose courses that fit their interests and career goals. Specifically, this document describes areas of emphasis in the undergraduate curriculum major and describes the courses that can help students develop their understanding of these areas. The description of each area of emphasis also focuses on the career opportunities available in each case. In addition, this document can help majors develop a narrative describing what it is they are studying and what it can do for them.

Communication and Healthy Relating

Healthy and sustained relationships require effective communication. Therefore, this area of emphasis focuses on the many ways that communication creates, maintains, and transforms, effective and nourishing relationships across many contexts (e.g., family, romantic, friendship, work). This focus should allow students to be more aware and more effective relational partners, both personally and professionally. This emphasis can prepare students for careers in social services, human resource management, counseling, non-profit organizations, management, and many others.

A. Required Courses

COM 110 OR COM 310

Elements of Interpersonal Communication OR

Relational Communication

COM 410

Interpersonal Communication Theory and Research

 B. Recommended Elective Courses

COM 310

Relational Communication

COM 312

Communication, Conflict, and Negotiation

COM 316

Gender and Communication

COM 317

Nonverbal Communication

COM 319

Persuasion and Social Influence

COM 411

Communication in the Family

COM 452

Communication and the Art of Happiness

COM 394 or COM 494

Relevant Special Topic Courses

Workplace, Organizational, and Leadership Communication

 Organizations are constituted by and transformed through communication. Effective workplace communication and leadership are crucial elements of success in all types of organizations, businesses, and teams. This area of emphasis provides insight and training on the many ways that communication and leadership can build effective, just, and responsive workplaces. This area of emphasis will prepare students who plan to pursue graduate school and/or careers in business, consulting, sports management, social media, marketing, technology, human resources, civil service, research/development, conflict management, and leadership. Such careers could occur within small businesses, sports teams, multinational corporations, consulting firms, governmental agencies, educational institutions, or non-profit organizations.

A. Required Courses

COM 250

Communication in the Workplace

COM 450

Organizational Communication

B. Recommended Elective Courses

COM 230

Small Group Communication

COM 312

Communication, Conflict, and Negotiation

COM 377

Communication, Terrorism, and National Security

COM 414

Crisis Communication

COM 430

Leadership and Group Communication

COM 452

Communication and the Art of Happiness

COM 453

Communication Training and Development

COM 394 or COM 494

Relevant Special Topics Courses

Civility, Advocacy, and Engaging Publics

Our culture and its institutions (e.g., structures, values, ideas, and practices) are created, challenged, changed, and maintained through communication. Therefore, this area of emphasis focuses students on the processes through which ideas are developed, disseminated, advocated, and adopted. Students seeking to learn how to make humane and effective arguments, how to become better creators and interpreters of public discourse, and how to become better-equipped participants in public life should consider this area of emphasis. This area should effectively prepare students for law school and/or a number of professions in public service such as legislative positions, lobbyist for organizations (profit or nonprofit), foreign or civil service or international work, community organizing and advocating, professional speaking, event planning, public information officers, non-profit leadership, advertising, public relations, and so on.

A. Required Courses:

COM 321

Rhetorical Theory and Research

COM 421

Rhetoric of Social Issues

B. Recommended Elective Courses

COM 222

Argumentation

COM 316

Gender and Communication

COM 320

Communication and Consumerism

COM 323

Communication and Popular Culture

COM 325

Advanced Public Speaking

COM 326

Court Room Oratory

COM 327

Civil Communication

COM 426

Political Communication

COM 394 or COM 494

Relevant Special Topics Courses

Students interested in this Area of Emphasis should also consider enrolling in the Certificate in Civil Communication.

Communication, Creativity, and Performance

Communication, at its very core, is a creative enterprise. People must be able to adjust to ever-changing social conditions and diverse audiences to better advance inclusion and social engagement. To meet this challenge, this area of emphasis focuses on the performative nature of communication and the use of creative responses and aesthetic messages. This focus should effectively prepare students for careers in performing arts, event planning, teaching (pre-school, children, or adults), advertising, public relations, training and development, marketing, consulting, non-profit leadership, community organizing.

A. Required Courses:

COM 241

Introduction to Oral Interpretation

COM 442

Identity, Performance, and Human Communication

 B. Recommended Elective Courses

COM 194*

Creativity and Communication

COM 281

Communication Activities

COM 341

Social Contexts for Performance

COM 441

Performance Studies

COM 445

Narrative Performance

COM 446

Performance of Literature Written by Women

COM 394 or COM 494

Relevant Special Topics Courses

* Indicates a current special topics course that has been taught three times and will soon be renumbered as a regular course in the curriculum. 

Communication Across Cultures

Understanding how culture and communication intertwine is important to understanding and influencing events (both local and global) that shape our world. This emphasis promotes personal community involvement that can constructively respond to challenges in, and appreciate the advantages, of an increasingly diverse society and the world. This emphasis will prepare students who plan to pursue graduate school and/or careers in workplaces (large or small, for-profit or nonprofit) that involve, and/or deal with, diverse groups. Specific careers might include consulting, social media, marketing, technology, human resources, civil service, conflict management, and leadership.

A. Required Courses:

COM 263

Elements of Intercultural Communication

COM 463

Intercultural Communication in a Global Context

 B. Recommended Elective Courses

COM 317

Nonverbal Communication

COM 327

Civil Communication

COM 394

Communication, Culture, and New Media

COM 442

Identity, Performance, and Human Communication

COM 465

Intercultural Communication Workshop

COM 494*

Conflict and Intercultural Dialogue

COM 494*

Communication and Multicultural Organizations

COM 394 or COM 494

Relevant Special Topics Courses

 * Indicates a current special topics course that has been taught three times and will soon be renumbered as a regular course in the curriculum.