Communication

The bachelor of arts in communication provides analytic work from both humanistic and social-scientific perspectives, and practical work to improve communication performance in various kinds of situations.

The undergraduate degree in communication emphasizes knowledge and awareness of:

  • the history and development of communication as an object of scholarly study, including both the humanistic and social-scientific traditions;
  • the basic contexts in which communication is enacted (e.g., interpersonal, group, organizational, and public contexts);
  • the various processes of interaction within these contexts;
  • the basic methods of investigating questions about communication; 
  • the ethical issues and responsibilities of communication practice;
  • the diversity of communication styles associated with gender and cultural differences; and 
  • the uses and implications of communication technology.

In addition, students completing the degree in communication are expected to acquire the ability and skills to:

  • express ideas in an informed, coherent, and effective manner, particularly the ability to articulate and develop a sustained argument, both orally and in writing;
  • analyze, criticize, and evaluate messages and interactions in a variety of practical contexts, both orally and in writing; and
  • adapt messages and negotiate interactions responsibly in diverse and changing situations.

There are optional programs in which students are encouraged to participate such as study abroad, internships, and graduating with honors.

Graduate study in communication examines problems of human interaction and relationship, participation and collaboration, and deliberation, dialogue, and decision making in personal relationships, workplace and institutional contexts, and community and public life. The master’s program provides students with knowledge of selected bodies of communication scholarship and develops their skills in analyzing complex communication situations for a range of professional positions in business, nonprofit institutions, and other types of community groups, and for doctoral study in communication. The doctoral program provides students with opportunities to conduct theoretically grounded, practically useful research that crosses traditional academic boundaries and that prepares them to assume faculty positions in universities, as well as in research and training programs in business, government, and social service agencies.

Course code for this program is COMM. 

Bachelor's Degree Program(s)

Bachelor’s Degree in Communication

Majors must complete a minimum of 33 hours of course work in communication, 18 of which must be upper division (3000 level or higher). Only courses with grades of C- or better count toward the major, and the overall major GPA must be 2.000 (a C- is 1.700).

Required Courses and Semester Credit Hours 

  • COMM 1210 Perspectives on Human Communication—3
  • COMM 1300 Public Speaking—3
  • COMM 1600 Group Interaction—3
  • COMM 3210 Human Communication Theory—3
  • COMM 3300 Rhetorical Foundations of Communication—3
  • One methods course: COMM 3740, 3750, or 3760—3
  • One senior seminar: COMM 4220, 4300, 4400, 4510, 4600, or 4610—3
  • Two of the following:
    COMM 2360 Campaigns and Revolutions—3
    COMM 2400 Discourse, Culture, and Idenitities—3
    COMM 2500 Interpersonal Communication—3
    COMM 2600 Organizational Communication—3
  • Two additional upper-division electives (3000- or 4000-level courses): 4000-level courses may be taken twice (only twice) with different topics—6

Up to 8 credit hours of independent study and 6 hours of internships may be taken. These are upper-division elective hours but do not count toward major requirements. Eligible students interested in graduating with department honors should contact the department’s honors coordinator as soon as possible.

The department encourages its majors to take related courses in: anhropology; business; English; ethnic studies; history; journalism and mass communication; linguistics; philosophy; political science; sociology; speech, language, and hearing sciences; and theatre and dance.

The department also encourages participation in optional programs such as study abroad, internships, and graduating with honors.

Students who wish to major in communication should meet with a department advisor, where they will be advised of any changes in this list of requirements.

Graduating in Four Years

Consult the Four-Year Guarantee Requirements for information on eligibility. The concept of “adequate progress” as it is used here only refers to maintaining eligibility for the four-year guarantee; it is not a requirement for the major. To maintain adequate progress in communication, students should meet the following requirements: 

  • Declare a communication major by the beginning of the second semester.
  • Complete COMM 1210, 1300, and 1600 by the end of the third semester.
  • Majors should register at designated times.

Graduate Degree Program(s)

Graduate Study in Communication

The department offers programs of study leading to the MA and PhD in communication. Interested students should contact the department for current admission and degree requirements, or see comm.colorado.edu.