Communities thrive through the effective exchange of ideas and information. In order to promote lively, ethical exchanges, the Department of Communication Studies has these educational objectives:
- to teach effective communication that nurtures
inclusive civil discourse and encourages cooperative
solutions in our diverse society,
- to build a firm liberal arts foundation,and
- to enhance communication skills the students will use in business, education, government and professional careers.
Departmental courses in interpersonal/organizational and public/mass communication represent major interests in the Communication Studies discipline; an intercultural focus distinguishes the program. Communication Studies graduates qualify for a variety of careers. The entire communication field is growing rapidly with increased diversification of employment opportunities.
A strong attention to research and writing provides students with skills needed for entry-level positions in organizational training and development, public relations, marketing, electronic media and other information-oriented occupations. The program emphasizes broad-based communication in professional roles rather than vocational/technical production skills. Some graduates use the degree as a basis for further academic work leading to advanced degrees in such professions as law, ministry,
The department sponsors several undergraduate
activities. These include a nationally recognized
program in debate and forensics; Communication
Club; peer advising; electronic media activities;
and an opportunity to develop teaching skills
as a tutor in the Fundamentals of Speech program.
These activities enable students to develop competencies
in realistic settings outside the classroom. The
department internship program provides a culminating
experience for seniors approaching the job market.
Download the Major Guide
Major — Communication Studies
50 credits (plus minor)
Students contemplating a major in Communication Studies are encouraged to register as pre-majors with the Communication Studies department in Communication Facility 203.
Students who transfer to Western after completing an AA at a community college can enroll in upper-division Communication Studies classes as long as they meet the stated prerequisites. Students who enter Western as freshmen will enroll in required GUR classes and develop a GPA that is suitable to Communication Studies department majors.
- Satisfy departmental requirements for declaration
of major (stated above)
- Complete the following: COMM 398, 498
- Complete a course that emphasizes library research
strategies and skills. The following are approved courses:
COMM 235, LBRL 201
- Select 30 credits of departmental courses. Obtain
recommended course list from departmental office; no
more than 6 credits from the following may be included
in the 30 major credits: COMM 236, 300, 339, 400, 436,
450, 451, 459
Normally, majors will take an official minor comprised of 25 or more credits, approved at the time of declaration. The student may petition to substitute a self-designed minor, comprised of at least 25 credits and including a written statement prepared by the student indicating the rationale for the courses selected. Students may substitute a second major, TESOL certification or Internet Studies certification for a minor
Minor — Communication Studies
25 credits (minimum)
- COMM 101 or 235
- COMM 220
- Plus additional courses totaling a minimum of 16 credits and including one upper-division course from the following: COMM 224, 230, 235, 244 (or JOUR 190), COMM 325, 327, 331 or other upper-division COMM courses when space is available
- The minor may include no more than 3 credits from the following: COMM 236, 300, 339, 400, 436, 450, 451, 459. Students may petition the minor advisor for an additional 3 credits from this series of courses; approval of petition is required well before the graduation evaluation deadline
Minor — Internet Resource
Creation and Management
The Department of Communication Studies participates in offering
an interdisciplinary minor listed under the Department of
Computer Science. Please see Minors in Computer Science
for a complete description.
Arts in Education
Declaration of Major
Students must be accepted into the Woodring College elementary education program before applying for the Communication-Elementary major. After admission to the education program, please follow the Declaration of Major guidelines above. This procedure includes course work and submission of an application portfolio.
Major — Communication
Students must be accepted into the appropriate Woodring College education program before applying for a Communication or Communication/English major concentration. After admission to the education program, please follow the Declaration of Major guidelines. This procedure includes course work and submission of anapplication portfolio.
- Maintain a GPA of 2.75 for all college work
- Satisfy departmental requirements for declaration of major
Complete the following:
- Comm 224, 327 and a forensics/debate component
(Com 235, unless used to satisfy departmental major
requirement, or Com 236, or Com 456a, b, or c)
- Comm 454
- Select 27 credits of departmental courses, under advisement.
(Obtain recommended list from departmental office.)
Twelve of the 27 credits must be upper division.
- A total of not more than six credits from the following may be applied to the 27 credits: COMM 236, 300, 339, 400, 436, 450, 451, 459
A Communication Studies major who wishes to graduate with honors in communication must maintain a GPA of 3.5 in upper-division communication courses and successfully complete Comm 492, Senior Thesis, under the direction of a faculty advisor. In addition, the student must provide evidence of excellence and extensive participation (from 2 to 6 quarters) in research, forensics, intercultural/international, or service activities, under advisement. A detailed list of courses and activities from which a student may earn departmental honors will be available from faculty advisors.