The communication major is an interdisciplinary study of messages, audiences, media, and persuasion. Communication students study the methodology, prevailing theories, history, and questions that define this field. They learn the following:

  • effective oral communication with a variety of audiences.
  • effective written communication with a variety of audiences.
  • analysis and interpretation of modern media.
  • analysis and composition of arguments and other persuasive discourses.
  • analysis and practice of ethical communication.
  • design and completion of research-based study.
  • application of the above to discipline or career specific concerns.

By choosing an appropriate minor, which is required for the communication major, students prepare themselves for graduate study or careers in entertainment, broadcasting, journalism, advertising, law, education, politics, non-governmental organizations, or public relations.

Communication majors must complete course work in these areas:

  • a sequence of six required core courses: Introduction to Communication Theory, Fundamentals of Oral Communication, Argumentation and Debate, Media and Society, Propaganda and Persuasion, and Media Ethics.
  • two Communication electives (non-core courses numbered 300 or higher)
  • two tools courses selected from the following list or approved by the mentor: Introduction to Graphic Design, Introduction to Video Production, Videographics, Analytic and Persuasive Writing, Writing in the Garden, Writing for Social Change, Research Writing and Technology, Group Dynamics, The Human Instrument, The Living Theatre, Visual Problem Solving, Drawing Fundamentals, Photography as Image Gathering, Experimental Film and Video, New Genre Art, Introduction to Computer Art, The Art of Web Page Design, Introduction to Computer Science, Introduction to Filmmaking, Intermediate Filmmaking. No more than one tools course may count toward a second major.
  • a minor in one of the following disciplines (five or six courses): American Studies, Anthropology, Art, Biology, Chemistry, Classical Humanities, Computer Science, Coastal Management, Creative Writing, Environmental Studies, Film Studies, Geology, History, Human Development, International Business, International Relations and Global Affairs, Journalism, Law and Justice, Leadership Studies, Literature, Management, Marketing, a modern language, Marine Science, Music, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies, Sociology, Theatre, or Women's and Gender Studies. (With the approval of the mentor and appropriate discipline coordinator, students may substitute a minor in a field not listed. No course work applied to the major may be counted toward the completion of the minor, with the exception of Media Ethics for the Journalism minor.)
  • Senior Comprehensive Course

Many students supplement course work by undertaking internships locally or overseas.

A typical course sequence for a major in communication might be as follows:

First-Year Students

  • CM 101A Introduction to Communication Theory
  • CM 121 Fundamentals of Oral Communication


  • CM 223 Argumentation and Debate
  • CM 221A Media and Society
  • Tools course
  • Course work for minor


  • CM 360A Media Ethics
  • CM 303A Propaganda and Persuasion
  • CM elective
  • Tools course
  • Course work for minor


  • Course work for minor
  • CM elective
  • Senior Comprehensive Course
  • Internships