Communication Studies majors have an opportunity to study the diverse spectrum of subjects encompassed by this dynamic discipline. Courses from approximately twelve different departments, spanning both the College of Letters and Science and the School of Fine Arts are included within the major's requirements. Although Communication Studies is a Social Science Major in the College of Letters and Science, the Divisions of Humanities, Life Science and Physical Science also contribute courses to the C.S. curriculum.
The unique breadth of subject matters provides students with a background of scholarship that prepares them for the future of their choice. Students may take courses from Mass Communication and Media Studies, Interpersonal Communication, Communication Technology and Digital Systems, and Political and Legal Communication. In addition, they can also pursue a Computing Specialization, or a minor, or a double major.
Communication Studies classes range in size from the typical enrollment of approximately 400 students in C.S. 10, to intimate seminars that generally are restricted to approximately 25. Many C.S. courses are open to non-majors as well as majors.
The subject matter of courses offered by the Department of Communication Studies encompasses such highly contemporary issues as the new technology, media effects, First Amendment law, and the telecommunication industry. Other examples are a study of persuasion, emotions, and evolutionary psychology. Faculty research enriches the material covered in C.S. classes and contributes to the intellectually challenging educational experience this Department offers to its students.
Departmental Honors are available to students with at least a G.P.A. of 3.6 in the major who complete a required course of study and an independent research project during their senior year. Many majors participate in the Letters and Science College Honors Program, and these students can graduate with both College Honors and Departmental Honors.
C.S. majors receive a theoretical foundation in the liberal arts that is an excellent preparation for graduate level study in their choice of academic fields and professional schools. Many students are also concerned with applications to other careers and the C.S. Department helps them make this important connection. The theories and principles of communication that majors study are augmented by a special Field Studies course available to them in their junior and senior years. By engaging in the hands-on activities of a series of internships, students learn how to apply theory to practice. This experience gives C.S. graduates a head start on their career path. In addition to holding important positions in academic and other scholarly areas, C.S. Alumni are currently engaged in a wide range of business enterprises, such as law, medicine, broadcasting, film/television production, journalism, management, public relations, and advertising.