Major Policies

The major in Communication Studies is appealing to students from both the humanities and social sciences. Many students combine their interests in Communication Studies with other LSA majors and minors. In addition, courses in the department offer students the ability to fulfill College requirements for quantitative reasoning and upper-level writing. This major’s wide appeal and flexibility often leads to over-subscribed prerequisite and upper-level courses. The department follows a strict waitlist priority policy for all its courses. Attendance during the first week of classes each term is mandatory.

Waitlist Policies

As a result of the popularity of the Communication Studies major, our courses are often over-subscribed and have waitlists during the registration period. A number of steps have been implemented to manage enrollments, including: 

  • Reserving introductory courses for first- and second-year students so that they can satisfy the Communication Studies prerequisite courses
  • Reserving places in upper-level courses for declared Communication Studies majors
  • Making small class sizes a priority to ensure upper-level students have a seminar or small group experience

Students should refer to the Waitlist and Permission Policies for more information

Upper-Level Writing

The department offers several classes each fall and winter term that fulfill the Upper-Level Writing Requirement (ULWR). All sections of courses numbered Comm 350-399 have been designated to fulfill the ULWR. 

Students enrolled in ULWR courses must complete all writing requirements, regardless of whether or not they are seeking ULWR credit. Communication Studies majors are allowed to use Communication Studies ULWR courses to fulfill the LSA ULWR requirement and do not need to take a ULWR course in another department.

Quantitative Reasoning

Comm 121 and Comm 122: Evaluating Information and Analyzing Media I and II together fulfill the Quantitative Reasoning (QR) requirement. These courses are a required part of the major. Communication Studies majors are allowed to use Comm 121 and 122 to satisfy the LSA Quantitative Reasoning (QR) requirement and do not need to take a Quantitative Reasoning (QR) course in another department.

Dual Major

Many students choose to combine their major in Communication Studies with a major in another department. In order to double major, a student must complete all requirements of both departments. However, a student may use official cross-listed courses to fulfill requirements in both majors. 

Double majors with Communication Studies commonly include:

Academic Minor

The department does not offer an academic minor in Communication Studies, nor does it plan to offer one in the future. Many Communication Studies majors do pursue academic minors in other areas to supplement their major. 

Common minor areas include: 

  • Spanish or other languages
  • Economics
  • Program in the Environment
  • International Studies
  • Global Media (under the Department of Screen Arts and Cultures)
  • Women’s Studies
  • Political Science
  • Writing (under the Sweetland Center for Writing)

Students pursuing academic minors must fulfill all requirements of both their Communication Studies major and those in their minor area. The College of Literature, Science, and the Arts allows students to double count only one course from an academic minor to be used toward the major requirements.