Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Minor in Communication

students doing a class activity inspired by TED Talks

The BA in Communication provides a broad-based liberal arts degree designed to foster students’ abilities to understand, analyze, and effectively engage in a wide range of communication practices. It fosters critical thinking about the ways that symbols and interactions contribute to social problems and solutions to them, to identities and differences, to organizations and work, to personal relationships and groups and to experience and meaning across cultural settings.

At the same time, the major provides instruction and practice in the skills of effective communication and collaborative problem-solving that employers are looking for—speaking, writing, reading, listening, asking good questions, utilizing media and working in groups. The mix of theory and practice gives students the tools to improve communication performance and critical awareness of it across many situations.

 

Program Requirements

Majors must complete a minimum of 36 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 2.0 (a C- is 1.700). The degree code is COMN, but the course code for this program is COMM.

  1. COMM 1210   Perspectives on Human Communication—3
  2. COMM 1300   Public Speaking—3
  3. COMM 1600   Group Interaction—3
  4. Two of the following:
    • 
COMM 2360   Campaigns and Revolutions—3

    • COMM 2400   Discourse, Culture and Identities—3

    • COMM 2500   Interpersonal Communication—3
    • COMM 2600   Organizational Communication—3
  5. COMM 3210  Human Communication Theory—3
  6. COMM 3300  Rhetorical Foundations of Communication—3
  7. One methods course:             
    • COMM 3740   Qualitative Research Methods—3
    • COMM 3750   Quantitative Research Methods—3
    • COMM 3760   Rhetorical Criticism—3
  8. Three additional upper-division (3000-level or above) COMN electives
    • Includes COMM 3000, 3310, 3320, 3340, 3370, 3410, 3420, 3510, 3610 or 3700—3
    • For students accepted into the major for fall 2016 and later, three elective 3000-level COMM courses will be required.
  9. One senior seminar:  
    • COMM 4220   Functions of Communication —3
    • COMM 4300   Rhetoric—3
    • COMM 4510   Interpersonal Communication—3
    • COMM 4600   Organizational Communication—3
    • COMM 4610   Communication Studies of Science & Technology—3

The department encourages its majors to take related courses in: anthropology; business; English; ethnic studies; history;  linguistics; philosophy; political science; sociology; speech, language and hearing sciences; theater and dance; and other departments in CMCI.

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

Up to 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.

Students who wish to major in communication or speak to an advisor should attend a CMCI Information Meeting. Meeting time/dates can be viewed here.

 

Minor in Communication

Starting fall 2016, students from all colleges can declare COMM as a minor. Visit the official Department of Communication website to learn more.

To declare, visit COMM advisors Bevin Gumm (Armory 1B12) or Debbie J. O'Neill (Armory 1B15) during advising walk-in hours on Mondays from 1-3 p.m. 

 

Undergraduate Course Offerings

The following are Communication undergraduate courses. Please see an advisor if you have any questions. See the course catalog for the most updated listing of courses.

COMM 1210 Perspectives on Human Communication
Surveys communication in a variety of contexts and applications. Topics include basic concepts and general models of communication, ethics, language and nonverbal communication, personal relationships, group decision making, organizational communication, and impact of technological developments on communication. Required for COMM majors. Meets MAPS requirement for social science: general. Approved for Arts and Sciences core curriculum: contemporary societies.

3 credit hours

COMM 1300 Public Speaking
Covers theory and skills of speaking in various public settings. Examines fundamental principles from rhetorical and communication theory and applies them to oral presentations. Required for COMM majors.

3 credit hours

COMM 1600 Group Interaction
Covers basic theories, concepts, and characteristics that underlie face-to-face interactions in interpersonal, small group, and organizational settings. Activities stress the development of both task and relational skills in these settings. Required for COMM majors.

3 credit hours

COMM 2000 Topics in Communication
Investigates select topics in communication. Does not count toward the 2000-level courses required for the major, unless explicitly stated in the course schedule. May be repeated up to 6 total credit hours on different topics. Recommended prereqs., COMM 1210 and 1600.

3 credit hours

COMM 2360 Campaigns and Revolutions
Introduces concepts in rhetoric and argumentation that are used to explain significant social and political changes in our society. The goal is to show how social actors use rhetoric to promote some social goals and hinder others. Recommended prereqs., COMM 1210 and 1600. Prerequisites: Restricted to students with 27-180 credits (sophomores, juniors or seniors) only.

3 credit hours

COMM 2400 Discourse, Culture and Identities
Examines how aspects of talk (e.g., turn-taking, speech acts, narratives, dialect, and stance indicators) link with identities (e.g., ethnic and racial, age, gender, work-related, and personal). Considers how communication is central to constructing who people are and examines social controversies related to talk and identities. Approved for GT-SS3. Approved for Arts and Sciences core curriculum: human diversity.

3 credit hours

COMM 2500 Interpersonal Communication
Focuses on basic processes in face-to-face interaction, including verbal and nonverbal messages, coordination in conversation, messages about self and others, and communication in personal relationships. Emphasizes theory and concepts rather than skills. Recommended prereqs., COMM 1210 and 1600. Prerequisites: Restricted to students with 27-180 credits (sophomores, juniors or seniors) only.

3 credit hours

COMM 2600 Organizational Communication
Provides a communicatively based definition of formal organization and deals with individual-organizational relationships. Addresses topics such as organizational theory, organizational culture, power, technology, decision making, teamwork, leadership, diversity, gender, socialization, and ethics. Recommended prereqs., COMM 1210 and 1600. Prerequisites: Restricted to students with 27-180 credits (sophomores, juniors or seniors) only.

3 credit hours

COMM 3000 Issues in Communication
Explores select issues in communication. May be repeated up to 6 total credit hours on different issues. Prereqs., COMM 1210 and 1600 or instructor consent. Restricted to juniors or seniors only. Prerequisites: Restricted to students with 57-180 credits (juniors or seniors).

3 credit hours

COMM 3210 Human Communication Theory
Acquaints students with general, thematic, and contextual theories of human communication. Gives attention to criteria for evaluating theories. Prereqs., COMM 1210 and 1600. Prerequisites: Requires pre-requisite courses of COMM 1210 and 1600. Restricted to students with 57-180 credits (juniors or seniors) Communication (COMM) majors only.

3 credit hours

COMM 3300 Rhetorical Foundations of Communication
Provides the rhetorical foundations of communication through study of the humanistic traditions of rhetorical theory, with applications to social interaction and message analysis. Requires pre-requisite courses of COMM 1210, 1300 and 1600. Restricted to junior or senior Communication majors. Prerequisites: Requires pre-requisite courses of COMM 1210, 1300 and 1600. Restricted to students with 57-180 credits (juniors or seniors) Communication (COMM) majors only.

3 credit hours

COMM 3310 Principles and Practices of Argumentation
Focuses on principles of argument, the process of critical decision making, and uses and limitations of logic and evidence. Contemporary issues (personal, social, political, or philosophical) are analyzed and debated. Prereq., COMM 1210 and 1600. Restricted to juniors or seniors. Prerequisites: Restricted to students with 57-180 credits (juniors or seniors).

3 credit hours

COMM 3320 Persuasion in Society
Explores how persuasion influences decision making. Focuses on different definitions and models of persuasion, ethical perspectives on persuasion, qualitative and quantitative research on persuasion, and the tools of motivation, as well as how to create effective and ethical persuasive messages. Prereqs., COMM 1210 and 1600. Prerequisites: Restricted to students with 57-180 credits (juniors or seniors) Communication (COMM) majors only.

3 credit hours

COMM 3340 Political Communication
Provides an overview of the role of communication in contemporary political life. Topics include political communication theories, political campaign communication, media and political communication, and the role of political communication in promoting democracy and public policy. Prereqs., COMM 1210 and 1600. Prerequisites: Restricted to students with 57-180 credits (Juniors or Seniors) Communication (COMM) majors only.

3 credit hours

COMM 3410 Intercultural Communication
Explores complex relationships between culture and communication processes from various conceptual perspectives, such as social, psychological, interpretive, and critical. Considers the important role of context (e.g., social, historical, and cultural) in intercultural interactions. Recommended prereqs., COMM 1210 and 1600. Restricted to Juniors or Seniors only. Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum: human diversity. Prerequisites: Restricted to students with 57-180 credits (juniors or seniors).

3 credit hours

COMM 3420 Gender in Communication
This course examines gender as a social practice that remains vital to identities, relationships, and institutions in contemporary society. It treats gender as something we do through communication, rather than as something we are or have; and it explores the significant implications of this shift in perspective for relations of power and pleasure.

3 credit hours

COMM 3510 Family Communication
Explores communication in families from various theoretical perspectives, such as social constructionism, systems theory, and dialectical theory. Communication patterns and processes created and sustained by family members are examined, including rules, roles, stories, rituals, myths, metaphors, themes, and cycles. Prereqs., COMM 1210 and 1600. Prerequisites: Restricted to students with 57-180 credits (juniors or seniors) Communication (COMM) majors only.

3 credit hours

COMM 3610 Communication, Technology, and Society
Presents theory, research, and exploration into computer-based technologies; studies implications for communication, interaction, and social relationships. Recommended prereqs., COMM 1210 and 1600. Prerequisites: Restricted to students with 57-180 credits (juniors or seniors) Communication (COMM) majors only.

3 credit hours

COMM 3700 Communication and Conflict Management
This is primarily a skills course, designed to help students improve their personal conflict management styles and skills. We also examine theory about what causes conflicts, what makes conflicts constructive or destructive, and learn the theory and practice of transforming destructive conflicts into constructive ones. Same as PACS 3700. Requisites: Restricted to students with 57-180 credits (juniors or seniors).

3 credit hours

COMM 3740 Qualitative Communication Research Methods
Provides an understanding of methods associated with the study of communication in natural settings. Focuses on strategies of collecting, analyzing, and reporting qualitative data, including participant observation, in-depth interviewing, textual analysis, and ethnographic narrative. Prereqs., COMM 1210 and 1600. Prerequisites: Restricted to students with 57-180 credits (juniors or seniors) Communication (COMM or COMN) majors only.

3 credit hours

COMM 3750 Quantitative Research Methods
Introduces empirically oriented research methods in communication, critical review of the logic of social-scientific principles in communication, and analysis of quantitative data. Prereqs., COMM 1210 and 1600. Prerequisites: Restricted to students with 57-180 credits (juniors or seniors) Communication (COMM or COMN) majors only.

3 credit hours

COMM 3760 Rhetorical Criticism
Applies key concepts from rhetorical theory to the analysis of specific speeches, written texts, and social situations within the humanistic tradition. Students read a variety of types of criticism and are encouraged to develop their own strategies for critical analysis. Prereqs., COMM 1210, 1600 and 3300. Prerequisites: Restricted to students with 57-180 credits (juniors or Seniors) Communication (COMM or COMN) majors only.

3 credit hours

COMM 4000 Advanced Topics in Communication
Analyzes special interest areas of communication theory, research, and practice. Course format involves lecture, discussion, investigative analysis, and practical application. May be repeated twice for credit on different topics. Prereqs., COMM 3210 and 3300 or consent required. Prerequisites: Restricted to students with 57-180 credits (juniors or seniors) Communication (COMM or COMN) majors only.

3 credit hours

COMM 4100 Seminar in Honors Thesis Writing and Research
Provides the opportunity for students writing an honors thesis to develop their understanding of the research process and to improve their research and writing skills. Prerequisites: Restricted to students with 57-180 credits (juniors or seniors) Communication (COMM or COMN) majors only.

3 credit hours

COMM 4220 Senior Seminar: Functions of Communication
Topical seminar on the functions of communication across interpersonal, group, organizational, and public contexts. Reviews current theory and research on topics such as communication and conflict, persuasion, and ethical dimensions of communication practices. May be taken twice for credit on different topics. Prereq., COMM 3210. Prerequisites: Requires pre-requisite course of COMM 3210 with grade of C- or better. Restricted to students with 57-180 credits (juniors or seniors) Communication (COMM or COMN) majors only.

3 credit hours

COMM 4300 Senior Seminar: Rhetoric
Reviews current theory and research on topics such as rhetoric and publics, rhetoric as an interpretive social science, and rhetoric of social movements and political campaigns. May be taken twice for credit on different topics. Prereq., COMM 3300. Prerequisites: Requires pre-requisite courses of COMM 3300 with grade of C- or higher. Restricted to students with 57-180 credits (juniors or seniors) Communication (COMM or COMN) majors only.

3 credit hours

COMM 4510 Senior Seminar: Interpersonal Communication
Reviews current theory and research on topics such as strategic interaction, relationship formation and maintenance, and identity and self-presentation. May be taken twice for credit on different topics. Prerequisites: Requires pre-requisite course of COMM 2500 & COMM 3210 with grade of C- or better. Restricted to students with 57-180 credits (juniors or seniors) Communication (COMM or COMN) majors only.

3 credit hours

COMM 4600 Senior Seminar: Organizational Communication
Reviews current theory and research on topics such as communication and organizational decision making, organizational culture, gender relations, communication technology, and power and control in organizations. May be repeated up to 6 total credit hours on different topics. Prerequisites: Requires pre-requisite course of COMM 2600 & COMM 3210 with grade of C- or better. Restricted to students with 57-180 credits (juniors or seniors) Communication (COMM or COMN) majors only.

3 credit hours

COMM 4610 Communication Studies of Science and Technology
Reviews current theory and research associated with science, technology, and medicine. Topics include new communication technologies in organizations and society, discourses of scientific theory and science policy, and interaction in clinical setting. May be taken twice for credit on different topics. Prereqs., COMM 3210 and 3300 or instructor consent. Prerequisites: Restricted to students with 57-180 credits (juniors or seniors) Communication (COMM or COMN) majors only.

3 credit hours

COMM 4840 Undergraduate Independent Study
Note that the 14-hour limit in the major applies to any combination of independent study and internship credit. This course does not count toward the 33 credit hours required for the major. Recommended prereq., COMM 3210 and 3300. Prerequisites: Restricted to students with 57-180 credits (juniors or seniors) Communication (COMM or COMN) majors only.

1-6 credit hours

COMM 4930 Internship
Studies are pursued in communication-related work experience projects that generally require 40 hours on the job per credit hour and evidence (e.g., journal, paper, and employer evaluation) of significant learning. Prereqs., COMM major status, 72 hours of overall course work, 18 hours of communication course work completed, 2.50 overall GPA, and a faculty sponsor. The 14-hour limit in the major applies to any combination of independent study and internship credit. This course does not count toward the 33 hours required for the major. Course is offered only for pass/fail credit. Prerequisites: Restricted to students with 57-180 credits (juniors or seniors) Communication (COMM or COMN) majors only.

1-6 credit hours

COMM 4950 Senior Thesis: Honors
For exceptional communication majors who wish to graduate with department honors and receive credit for writing an honors thesis. Prereqs., COMM 4100, overall GPA of 3.35 or higher, and COMM or COMN GPA of 3.50 or higher.

1-6 credit hours

Need help or still have questions?

View the advising page for more information on applying, or contact CMCI Advisors via email.

CMCI Advisors
Armory 1B12 (Student Resource Center)
University of Colorado Boulder
College of Media, Communication and Information
Boulder, CO 80309-0478