Undergraduate Programs

Program Requirements

Students who complete a bachelor of arts (BA) degree in communication studies will learn the theory, analysis, and practice of communications in a variety of contexts. You’ll develop and understanding interpersonal and intercultural relationships, as well as the role of communication in social transformation. You’ll be able to think, speak, and write clearly to many audiences.

Major Requirements (BA)

Required semester hours

36 hours of major coursework
120 total credits for graduation


To be accepted into the major, students must pass Introduction to Communication Theory (COMM 2010) with a grade of “C” or higher. This course is also a prerequisite to continued coursework in the major.

Students completing the major must submit an e-portfolio to the student’s departmental advisor. See catalog for more details.

Minor Requirements

20 semester hours (sh)
Require core courses (4 sh) — COMM 2010
Electives (16 sh) — Any COMM communication studies classes, including at least 8 sh at the 3000 level

Academic Catalog  Core Curriculum

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Course Descriptions

The following descriptions are a sample of courses you may take as a communication studies major. For a complete list of required courses, please review the academic catalog.

An introduction to the theory and practice of public speaking. Topics include types of speeches, types and uses of source material, organization, performance, and speech criticism.

Introduction to theories of verbal and nonverbal human communication. Topics include intra- and interpersonal communication, communication in small groups, in organizations, and at the levels of public and mass communication. Required for admission to the Communication Studies concentration, and a prerequisite for most upper-level courses in that concentration.

The theory, analysis, and practice of communication in the development, maintenance, and decay of interpersonal relationships. Topics include verbal and nonverbal communication, perceptual accuracy, and effective listening.

An investigation of the principles and methods of small group communication, emphasizing decision making, problem solving, group structure, leadership, group dynamics, and effective group process.

This course develops students' media, digital, and news literacy skills. Students construct a media product and learn to critique media messages and technologies. Required for admission to the Media Studies major and prerequisite for most upper-level courses in the major.

An introduction to major topics, major theories and direct experience of inter-cultural communication. Through readings, discussion, exercises and field trips, students prepare for encounters with different cultures.

A writing course providing a review of writing basics, such as sentence structure and grammar, and emphasizing critical thinking and analysis.

An introduction to the theory and practice of rhetorical criticism, from classical to contemporary perspectives, including the analysis of a variety of contemporary public discourses.

Variable credit may be given for short-term seminars, study trips, service learning, experimental courses, and advanced seminars which synthesize or extend earlier work in the department.

Occasional gatherings, approximately four each semester, will enable students to complete departmental portfolios, and develop plans for post-graduate professional or educational work. Open to all students in the department. All upper-level students in the department must register for one either in the fall or spring semester of their graduating year.

Students are urged to take advantage of oustanding Chicago-area interships to develop skills, academic and professional interests. Internships may not substitute for major requirements or departmental course but do count toward the total hours needed to graduate. Please refer to the Internship section of the catalog for internship requirements and guidelines.