Communication, B.A. Requirements

Department Chairperson:
Anne Mattina
Office: Cushing-Martin 111
Phone: 508-565-1117

The Communication major requires the completion of 11 courses in total and the selection of one of the following concentrations: Communication Studies or Mediated Communication. Courses may count for only one category.

Complete Three Introductory Courses

Code Course Credits

COM 103

Public Speaking

Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters

Theory and practice of communicating in one-to- many situations. Students research, organize, and deliver several types of speeches, as well as critique various forms of public communication.


COM 105

Interpersonal Communication

Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters

The basic elements of interpersonal communication, with special emphasis on developing knowledge and skills applicable to face-to-face interactions between individuals. The class facilitates an exploration of verbal and nonverbal communication.


COM 107

Mediated Communication

Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters

An overview of the history, structure, performance, content, effects and future of the mass media, including issues of media ownership, regulation, and the importance of advertising.

Equivalent to COM 110. May not take both.


COM 110

Navigating the Media Landscape (First-Year Seminar)

Offered: Fall 2017

This course will provide an overview of the history, structure, performance, content, effects, and future of mediated communication, including issues of media ownership, regulation, and media literacy. As a first-year writing-intensive seminar, students will engage in frequent writing assignments, rigorous analysis of texts, critical thinking, and information literacy.

Equivalent to COM 107. May not take both.


Complete the Following Research Methods Course

Code Course Credits

COM 322

Communication Research Methods

Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters

Introduction to basic techniques for investigating common communication problems. Topics include focus group interviews, questionnaire design, critical methodology, content analysis, and other basic data collection methods used in communication organizations. Designed for Communication majors seeking a research course which emphasizes practical applications.

Course may be applied to the Data Science program.


Complete Seven Theory/Application Courses in One of the Following Concentrations:

Communication Studies Concentration

Code Course Credits

COM 203

Studies in Persuasion

Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters

Analysis of social aspects of persuasion, cultural basis for belief and theories of attitude change. Examination of reasoning and rhetoric in advertising, political campaigns, and social movements.

Course may be applied to the American Studies program.


COM 310

Organizational Communication

Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters

Principles of communication in business and nonprofit organizations. Topics include communication theories, leadership and motivation, superior-subordinate communication, organizational culture, networks, and conflict management.


COM 417

Communication Theory

Offered: Spring Semester

An advanced survey of major communication theories. Focus on how communication theories are built and tested and how different theories are related. Includes theories from interpersonal, organizational, persuasion, and other communication areas.

COM 418 - Rhetorical Theory

Mediated Communication Concentration

Code Course Credits

COM 207

Media Criticism

Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters

Survey of internal and external constraints in production of mediated messages. Analysis of news, advertising, and entertainment processes and products.

Course may be applied to the American Studies program.


COM 333

Topics in Mediated Communication

Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters

The topics of this seminar vary according to student’s needs and interests.

Course may be taken three times.


COM 419

Mediated Communication Theory

Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters

Survey of development of mediated communication theory and research. Discussion of production, mediation, reception, and effects theories. Students will take part in an extensive community-based learning project at an after-school program.

Complete One 200-Level Communication Elective*


Students who major in Communication and minor in Journalism may not double dip courses between the two programs.

Communication Honors Program

The student who completes the Honors Program in Communication is awarded a degree "with honors in Communication." To enter the program, a student must be a Communication major and must have completed six communication courses; the student's cumulative grade-point average must be at least 3.50 overall and at least 3.60 in the major; finally, one full-time Communication faculty member must sponsor the student's application.

To complete the program, the student must write and orally defend an Honors Thesis during Senior year on a topic in Communication. The student who achieves a "B" or better on the Honors Thesis and whose overall GPA is 3.5 will have successfully completed the Honors Program in Communication.

Please contact Anne Mattina, Communication Department Chair for information.

*Additonal Elective Options

One of the following courses may be counted as a Communication major or minor course.

  • DMP 210 - Introduction to Digital Feature Production
  • DMP 215 - Introduction to Digital Media Production
  • DMP 320 - Writing for Digital Media
  • ENG 322 - Topics in World Cinema
  • ENG 324 - Topics in Television Studies
  • ENG 326 - Topics in American Cinema
  • HCA 301 - Health Communication
  • JRN 100 - Reporting and News Writing
  • JRN 313 - Journalism Ethics and Law

Internship Requirements

Only Communication majors and minors with a 3.00 GPA after the completion of the second semester of Sophomore year are eligible for Communication internships.

Normally, a 3.00 GPA is required for permission to intern. Exceptions may be granted by the Coordinator of Internships:
a) When the GPA in the major or minor is higher than 3.00 and the overall GPA suffered from a single bad semester.
b) When the internship will not be calculated in completing the major or minor and the Coordinator of Interns judges that the student is unusually well prepared otherwise for the internship experience.

In addition, both majors and minors MUST have completed at least four (4) COM courses before being eligible for an internship. Without exception, interns must have successfully completed the prerequisite course(s) for the desired internship.
Prospective interns must have a specific kind (e.g. TV production, Public Relations, Newspaper, etc.) of internship in mind prior to seeking the Director's permission.

Interns must spend a minimum of eight (8) hours a week (112 hours total) at the internship site and be evaluated by the site supervisor. Written work is to be submitted to the Coordinator every week and a research paper or other project must be completed and turned in to the Coordinator by a predetermined deadline.

Interns must meet with the Coordinator at least three times during the semester to discuss the progress of the internship, readings, or the research project. This may be done electronically during the Summer Session when the site is at a distance.

No more than one internship, for a total of three credits, may be counted toward the major requirements:

  • COM 475 - Internship in Mass Communication

All Communication internships earn three credits, even if total hours exceed 112.

Students doing a summer-fall "split" internship may not do another internship during the same semester s/he is completing work for the "split."