Communication

Degrees ...BA, MA, PhD

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.
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.

Precommunication (PRCM) Major +

Students admitted to CU-Boulder beginning in summer 2003 who intend to pursue a COMM major typically enroll as PRCM majors, and must complete each of the following courses with a grade of C- or higher in each course and a GPA average of 2.00 across the following three courses:

COMM 1210 Perspectives on Human Communication
COMM 1300 Public Speaking
COMM 1600 Group Interaction

Although space in these courses cannot be guaranteed, PRCM majors will have priority registration for these courses. Students who complete these courses with the minimum grade of C- or higher in each course and a GPA average of 2.00 across the three courses may apply for admission to the COMM major but are not guaranteed admission.

The following rules apply only to students who have matriculated into CU-Boulder as of summer 2003.

Freshmen +

New freshmen who desire to pursue a COMM major will be admitted as PRCM majors and will be required to meet the criteria for admission to the major by the time they achieve 60 credits.

Transfer Students +

Freshman transfer students from other universities who enter CU-Boulder with freshman standing (29.9 credit hours or fewer completed) who wish to enter the COMM major will be admitted as PRCM majors and will be required to meet the same criteria as new freshmen for admission to the major.

Advanced Standing Transfer Students: Transfer students from other universities who enter CU-Boulder with sophomore standing or above (30 hours or more of transfer credit) will be admitted to the PRCM major and will have a maximum of 30 credit hours after transfer to CU-Boulder to meet the criteria for admission to the major. The department will determine the equivalency of transfer courses to courses required for admission to the major.

Intra-University Transfers (IUTs) +

IUTs: Students from other schools and colleges on the Boulder campus who are in their freshman year and who have not yet met the criteria to enter the COMM major may IUT into the PRCM major provided that they meet the IUT requirements for entry to the College of Arts and Sciences.

IUTs with Advanced Standing: Students from other schools and colleges on the Boulder campus with sophomore standing or above (30 hours or more completed) may be admitted to the PRCM major provided that they meet the criteria for IUT into the College of Arts and Sciences. IUTs with sophomore standing or above will have a maximum of 30 credit hours after admission to arts and sciences to meet the criteria for admission to the major.

Second Undergraduate Degrees +

Students requesting admission to the COMM major for the purpose of completing a second undergraduate degree will be admitted to the PRCM major and will be required to follow the same process for admission to the major as new freshmen.

Change of Major or Second Major +

Students from other arts and sciences majors, including readmitted students, who are in their freshman year and who have not yet met the criteria to enter the COMM major can change their major to the PRCM major or can add the PRCM major to their existing major if they have a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or above.

Students from other arts and sciences majors who are beyond their freshman year, including readmitted students, must meet all criteria and must apply and be directly admitted to the COMM major. They cannot change their major to the PRCM major.

Distributed Studies +

A COMM major will not be eligible to be included as an “area option” in the Distributed Studies major except by special permission of the communication department.

Applying for Admission to the COMM Major +

Students who have completed the PRCM requirements may apply for admission to the COMM major through the following procedures (note that requirement changes have been made effective fall 2006):

• Except as noted above, students must apply in or before the semester in which they will have completed 60 credit hours.
• Applications must include a completed form and a 500-word essay. See the department’s website for the application form and guidelines for the essay (comm.colorado.edu).
• Applications must be received by the end of the third week of classes in the fall and spring semesters. A faculty committee chaired by the associate chair of undergraduate studies in the department will review applications and make decisions. Applicants will be ranked according to the following criteria: GPA in the three PRCM required courses, cumulative GPA, and quality of the application essay.
• Each PRCM course may be retaken only once. If a PRCM course is retaken, the grade from the second attempt will be used in calculating the PRCM GPA. (Students should note that a minimum GPA of 2.00 is required across the three PRCM courses; a grade of C- is worth only 1.7 points so it must be offset by a higher grade in another PRCM course.)
• Students denied admission may appeal in writing to the associate chair of undergraduate studies in the department. Only appeals based on procedural or clerical error will be considered. Students may not appeal based on their disagreement with the decision.
• Students who have been denied admission may reapply once up until they achieve 60 credits. Once a student who has applied and been denied admission achieves 60 credits, the student is no longer eligible to reapply.

Bachelor’s Degree Program +

Effective fall 2009, majors must complete a minimum of 33 hours of course work in communication (24 hours above and beyond COMM 1210, 1300, and 1600), 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 2.00 (a C- is 1.70).

Required Courses Semester 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, or 4600 3
Two of the following:
COMM 2360 Campaigns and Revolutions 3
COMM 2400 Communication and Society 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: business; English; ethnic studies; journalism and mass communication; linguistics; philosophy; political science; sociology; speech, language, and hearing sciences; and theatre and dance.

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:

Students should declare the precommunication major by the time they acquire 15 hours of credit.
Students must consult with an advisor assigned to the communication department to determine adequate progress toward admission into the major.
Students should be accepted into the major by the time they acquire 60 hours of credit.
Students who are accepted as majors must consult with their major advisor to determine adequate progress toward completion of the major requirements within the timeframe of the four-year guarantee.
Majors should register at designated times.

Graduate Degree Program +

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.

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