A degree in Communication Studies gives students tremendous flexibility in terms of
career choices because effective communication is widely recognized as
vital to such fields as advertising, public relations, journalism,
international relations, education, arts, entertainment, health and
human services, law, and government. In our program, students refine
their speaking, writing, and critical thinking skills while
investigating communication theories and methodologies. Students can
also tailor portions of the major to meet their special needs. For
example, some students focus upon interpersonal or organizational
communication while others emphasize journalism or public relations.
Our highly successful internship program helps our students gain
valuable "real world" experience that often provides an entry into
their preferred job field. Graduates of our program enjoy successful
careers in such areas as publishing, marketing, corporate and
non-profit public relations, advertising, education, corporate training
and human development, promotions, and event planning and coordination.
Requirements for the Major in Communication Studies
Communication Studies Major requires completion of 44 credits of course
work that are subdivided into two areas: 1) Foundations (12 credits); 2) Methods (8 Credits); and Advanced Area Studies (24 Units).
courses are recommended for the second semester of the First year (or first semester for transfer students), as they provide an
introduction to key processes in human communication and the
fundamentals of reading, writing, and doing research in communication. Methods courses are recommended for the Sophomore and Junior Years.
Area Studies courses are recommended for the Junior and Senior years.
By carefully choosing Advanced Area Studies courses with the approval
of a faculty advisor, students can fashion a constellation of courses
to meet diverse educational and professional goals. Some students may
choose to focus on areas of communication (for example - rhetoric, interpersonal, intercultural, public relations, or health). the processes of human communication (interpersonal
relationships), while others may emphasize corporate communication,
public relations, or advertising. Other students may find that a blend
of a variety of courses will best meet their needs. Regardless of their
areas of emphasis, we strongly encourage our Majors to develop
professional skills in the COMS 496 Internship course.
should consult full course descriptions for specific prerequisite
requirements. A summary of requirements and courses follows below.
Foundations (12 credits required)
- COMS 202 - Rhetoric and the Public Sphere
- COMS 203 - Communication and Everyday Life
- COMS 204 - Communication and Culture (CD)
Methods (8 credits required, select 2 courses)
- COMS 252 - Critical and Rhetorical Methods
- COMS 253 - Quantitative Research Methods
- COMS 254 - Qualitative Methods
Advanced Area Studies (24 credits required, select 6 courses)
- COMS 300 - Interpersonal
- COMS 302 - The
Dark Side of Interpersonal Communication
- COMS 306 -
314 - Intercultural Communication
- COMS 315 - Asian
American Communication and Culture
320 - Public Relations Principles and Practices*
322 - Public Relations Law and Ethics*
323 - Public Relations Writing*
326 - Public Relations Campaigns*
332 - Rhetorical Criticism
334 - Rhetoric and Citizenship
- COMS 335 -
Rhetoric of Social Movements
336 - Rhetoric of Law
- COMS 337 -
Rhetoric of Sex, Gender, and Sexuality
350 - Nonverbal Communication
352 - Health Communication
356 - Organizational Communication
358 - Persuasion and Social Influence
360 - Language and Social Interaction
364 - Communication for Justice and Social Change
365 - Geographies of Communication
366 - Ethnography of Communication
368 - Communication and Aging
- COMS 370 -
Message Design in Health Interaction
- COMS 372 -
Communication, Disability, and Social Justice
373 - Rhetorical History of the U.S.
398 - Directed Study**
490 - Topics in Communication
496 - Communication Studies Internship
Studies majors may only count a total of three Public Relations courses toward the 24 credits of Advanced Area Studies
required for the major. If you are also a Public
Relations minor, the four upper-division Public Relations courses may not
double count for the Communication Studies major AND the Public Relations
** No more than four units of Directed Study may count towards the Communication Studies major.
Students majoring or minoring in Communication Studies must maintain a
"C" (or 2.0) grade point average or higher in the major/minor to
graduate. Moreover, beginning with students entering USF Fall, 2006,
students must earn a C- (C minus) or higher in all Communication
Studies courses in order to receive credit for that course toward the
Learning Outcomes for the Major in Communication Studies
will demonstrate an understanding of how communication shapes patterns
of social interaction, the expression of cultural values and norms,
political practices and relations of power, and our positions as local
and global citizens.
will be able to use a variety of methodological tools to analyze
interpersonal, intercultural, and rhetorical discourse that structures
everyday interactions in both our public and private lives.
will develop and hone the skills of speaking, writing, and critical
thinking, and will be able to use these skills in their personal,
professional and public lives.
will demonstrate an understanding of the possibilities, problems, and
history of discourse and deliberation in democracy and will be prepared
to use their knowledge to work for a just and more humane world.