University of Minnesota
Communication Studies
612-624-5800


Communications Studies' Home Page

Undergraduate Major & Minor

This program examines human communication using both humanistic and social scientific methods. Fields of study include speechmaking, rhetorical criticism, ethics, interpersonal, small group, organizational, intercultural, and electronic (broadcasting, cable, satellite, Internet) forms of communication.

Undergraduate Studies in Communication Studies

The Department of Communication Studies offers a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies, a Minor in Communication Studies, and a concentration in Communication Studies for students in Individual Degree Programs such as IDIM, BIS, and ICP.

This section outlines the basic procedures for applying for major status and completing the Communication Studies major requirements. This website contains the most up to date information regarding the Communication Studies Major Program. All students are responsible for information regarding their overall degree program as explained in the CLA Undergraduate Bulletin. The next sections outline the following:

  1. How to declare a major or minor in Communication Studies
  2. Procedures for completing a major (B.A.) in Communication Studies
  3. Procedures for minors and concentrations for independent degrees
  4. Individually designed majors
  5. Opportunities for internships, independent study, and directed study
  6. Honors opportunities and special awards and recognitions
  7. Basic departmental governance and policies

The following is a suggested course of action for students considering or committing to a degree in Communication Studies. For any questions or concerns please contact Professor Ascan Koerner, Director of Undergraduate Studies (koern011@umn.edu) or a member of the undergraduate advising staff.

Undergraduate Advising Office
274 Ford Hall
commadv@umn.edu ** preferred method of contact
(612) 301-3971

Completing a Major or Minor in Communication Studies

Step One:Declare the major or minor with the advising office.

To declare the Communication Studies minor, please e-mail commadv@umn.edu with a request. Students wishing to declare the minor will not be required to attend a declaration session but are more than welcome to join any of the sessions to learn more about the department and opportunities. Upon receipt of the minor request, the departmental adviser will review any potential transfer credit already listed on the APAS and advise accordingly. Please allow up to one week for review.

To declare the Communication Studies major, you are required to attend a Major Declaration Session. Sessions typically last about 45 minutes. To attend a session, please send an email to the following address and include your full name, student ID #, and the session you plan to attend: commadv@umn.edu. You can find sessions listed for the current semester here: http://comm.umn.edu/ugrad/advising.php

After attending a major declaration session, the major will be electronically posted by Communication Studies Advising for college approval. The full major approval process usually takes about a week.

Step Two: Complete the required course requirements.

Note: Students must earn a "C-" or better in all major courses in order to complete in the major program. University policy states that a "D" cannot be applied as credit toward the major.

The following section outlines the entire major program:

Department of Communication Studies
Requirements for a Major

Students must complete 120 credits to graduate, including at least 34 credits in the major.  Major requirements include the following:

Required Introductory Courses (six credits)

  • Comm 1101 Introduction to Public Speaking
  • Comm 1313W Analysis of Argument

At Least Two of the Three Following Core Courses (six credits minimum)

  • Comm 3211 Introduction to U.S. Electronic Media
  • Comm 3401 Introduction to Communication Theory
  • Comm 3601 Introduction to Rhetorical Theory

At Least One of the Following Performative Electives (three credits minimum)

  • Comm 3201 Intro to Electronic Media Production (4 cr)
  • Comm 3411 Introduction to Small Group Communication
  • Comm 3422 Interviewing and Communication
  • Comm 3605W Persuasive Speaking and Speech Writing
  • Comm 3990 Research Practicum (3 cr required)
  • Comm 4452W Intercultural Interaction: Theory and Application

At Least One 4XXX- or 5XXX-Level Communication Studies Course (three credits minimum)

The required senior paper typically will be written during enrollment in a 4xxx- or 5xxx-level communication studies course; however, on occasion it may be possible to write a senior paper in a 3xxx-level communication studies course if the course is taught by a professor and if s/he invites students to write their senior papers in the course.Either way,Comm 3995W, an S/N-only senior paper credit, must be taken during the same semester in which the senior paper is written. Comm 3995W fulfills one of CLA's upper-division writing-intensive requirements.

Additional Communication Studies Electives Taken to Reach the 34-Credit Minimum

Please select from among the following electives not already used to fulfill one of the above requirements:

3110 3441 4235 5261
3190H 3451W 4245 5271
3201 3452W 4263 5401
3202 3601 4291 5402
3204 3605W 4404 5404
3211 3615 4407 5406
3231 3625 4452W 5408
3263 3631 4471 5411
3401 3635w 4602W 5421
3402 3645w 4616 5431
3404 3676W 4621W 5441
3405 3682W 5110 5451W
3406 3970 5211 5461
3409 3980 5210 5611
3411 3990 5220 5615W
3422 4221 5221 5617
3431 4231 5233W 5618

Important Considerations

  • All credits applied to the communication studies major must be taken A/F unless they are only offered S/N.
  • Only grades of "C-" or better can be applied to the communication studies major.
  • Comm 3110 may be repeated up to four times as long as the course topics differ each time.
  • Comm 5110 may be repeated once as long as the course topics differ each time.

Department of Communication Studies Requirements for a Minor

All students must complete at least 18 credits in the minor. Minor requirements include the following:

One of the Following Introductory Courses (three credits)

  • Comm 1101 Introduction to Public Speaking
  • Comm 1313W Analysis of Argument

At Least Two of the Three Following Core Courses (six credits minimum)

  • Comm 3211 Introduction to U.S. Electronic Media
  • Comm 3401 Introduction to Communication Theory
  • Comm 3601 Introduction to Rhetorical Theory

At Least One 4XXX- or 5XXX-Level Communication Studies Course (three credits minimum)

4221 4602W 5261 5441
4231 4616 5401 5451W
4235 4621W 5402 5461
4263 5110 5404 5462
4291 5210 5406 5611
4404 5220 5408 5615
4407 5221 5411 5617
4452 5233W 5421 5618
4471 5271 5431  

Additional Communication Studies Electives (six credits minimum)

Please select from among the following electives not already used to fulfill one of the above requirements:
3110 3452W 4263 5401
3190H 3601 4291 5402
3201 3605W 4404 5404
3204 3615 4407 5406
3211 3625 4452W 5408
3401 3631 4471 5411
3404 3676W 4602W 5421
3405 3682W 4616 5431
3406 3970 4621W 5441
3409 3980 5110 5451W
3411 3990 5210 5461
3422 4221 5220 5611
3431 4231 5221 5615W
3441 4235 5233W 5617
3451W 4245 5261 5618

Important Considerations

  • All credits applied to the communication studies minor must be taken A/F unless they are only offered S/N.
  • Only grades of "C-" or better can be applied to the communication studies minor.
  • Comm 3110 may be repeated once as long as the course topics differ each time.
  • Comm 5110 may be repeated once as long as the course topics differ each time.

Individually Designed Major Concentrations

The Communication Studies Component of individually designed programs (BIS, IDIM, ICP) must be planned in conjunction with and approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Communication Studies. Students doing individually designed programs should contact the department early in the planning process.

At least four (4) prerequisite courses are required for inclusion of Communication Studies in an individually designed major:

  1. Select one of the following:
    • Comm 1101: Introduction to Public Speaking
    • Comm 1313: Analysis of Oral Argument
  2. Maintain a 2.0 GPA in two of the following three courses:
    • Comm 3211: Introduction to Electronic Media
    • Comm 3401: Introduction to Communication Theory
    • Comm 3601: Introduction to Rhetorical Theory
  3. Select one 4xxx or 5xxx level course

Additional courses are planned in conjunction with the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Students must maintain a 2.0 GPA with passing grades ("C-" or better) to successfully complete the Communication Studies portion of the individually designed major. Additionally, if students wish to complete a senior paper within the Communication Studies component, they mush also complete Comm 3995, a one-credit course designed to support completion of the senior paper. Comm 3995 must be taken in conjunction with a 4xxx or 5xxx level Communication Studies course.

Opportunities for internships, independent study, and directed study

This section under construction. Please contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Ascan Koerner, for more info.