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Communication Studies, B.A.

About the Program

This major allows students much flexibility to tailor a program of theory-based and applied courses. It meets the needs of students preferring a generalist approach to communication, as well as for students seeking a more academic, less applied approach. Compare this major with journalism, media production, and public communication. Like these other majors within the Communication Department, the Communication Studies major adheres to the standards of the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Career Opportunities: Students in Communication Studies prepare for careers in organizational communication, research, media analysis, public relations, lobbying, speechwriting, fundraising, and other fields that require a liberal arts education enhanced with communication expertise. The major also provides a base for graduate education in communication, law, management, and other professional areas.

The profile of a successful communication studies graduate is a person with strong writing and speaking proficiency, keen ethical insight, competence in analyzing and thinking critically, and skill in working effectively both independently and in teams.

About the Communication Department

210 Bishop Hall
1300 Elmwood Ave
Buffalo, NY 14222
Phone: (716) 878-6008
Fax: (716) 878-4697

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements: Incoming freshman and transfer students can declare the major. A 2.6 in the major is needed to register for certain required upper-division courses (300- and 400-level).

See for application forms and additional information, including a list of equivalent core courses at community colleges. Transfer students from two-year schools may apply only core courses toward this major for a maximum of 12 credits. Students generally require four semesters of study after completing communication core courses.

Academic Standards: Only grades of C or higher may be applied toward requirements for any communication degree; courses with lower grades must be repeated. Consistent with standards of the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, the number of communication courses that students may take is capped, encouraging a broad-based liberal arts education. The department encourages students to take minors or second majors, and requires evidence of an academic concentration or area of expertise outside the Communication Department.

Program Requirements

Intellectual Foundations Requirements 33-39 cr

Total Required Credit Hours in Communication 42 cr

A. Communication Core (12 cr)
COM 100 Media Literacy
or SPC 103 Introduction to Human Communication
COM 210 Converged Media Writing
COM 215 Introduction to Visual Communication
SPC 205 Introduction to Oral Communication

Note: Students must have a minimum GPA of 2.6 in the major to register for certain upper-division courses (330- and 400-level).

B. Upper-Level Oral Communication Course (3 cr)
Select one course from the following:
SPC 306 Advanced Public Speaking
SPC 307 Group Communication
SPC 315 Media Performance

C. Upper-Level Written Communication Course (3 cr)

Select one course from the following:
COM 303 Print News I: Reporting
COM 304 Writing and Producing
COM 308 Public Relations Writing
COM 325 Feature Writing
COM 337 Electronic News I: Producing
COM 390 Special Topics: Journalism Writing

D. Upper-Level Visual Communication Course (3 cr)
Select one course from the following:
COM 322 Communication Graphics
COM 329 Video Production
COM 336 Web and Social Media Production

E. Communication Theory and Criticism (6 cr)
Select two courses from the following:
COM 310 International Communication
COM 327 Literary Journalism
COM 400 Communication Law
COM 401 Applied Communication Research
COM 410 Communication History
SPC 309 Persuasion and Propaganda
SPC 311 Intercultural Communication
SPC 321 Rhetorical Criticism
SPC 333 Minorities and the Media
SPC 407 Organizational Communication
SPC 422 Media Criticism
SPC 424 Special Topics in Media Criticism

F. Senior Seminar (3 cr)
COM 450 Communication and Society

G. Communication Electives (12 cr)
COM 495 Independent Project
or COM 499 Independent Project
or 300/400-level COM or SPC electives by advisement

All College Electives 39-45 cr

Total Required Credit Hours 120 cr

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