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The mission of the Communication Studies major is to study and teach about the mass media and emerging media: their evolution, their effects, their uses by everyday people, and their regulation and industry practices. We are dedicated to cultivating thorough-going media literacy among our students, and to producing cutting-edge scholarship about the media’s impact on individuals and society.

Communication Studies focuses on history, content and impact of mass media and new, emerging media. Four crucial reasons for studying mass media:

  • Enormous influence on our culture and those around the world
  • Role in shaping our individual and collective identities (including our attitudes toward others)
  • Centrality to every day life, politics, the economy, and public policy
  • Impact on democratic institutions

Key elements of the major are:

  • Introductory classes taught by world-renowned faculty
  • Small, upper-level seminars examining a range of issues like impact of mobile communications, gender and media, media and public opinion, health and media, media and globalization, media effects on individuals and society
  • Emphasis on critical thinking and writing
  • Combining classroom training with internship opportunities in a variety of media-related fields
  • Opportunity to study abroad and to participate in our Honors program
  • Opportunity to network with outstanding U-M alumni through our annual Alumni Connection and Entertainment Media Career Forum

 

Communication Studies Major

Effective Fall Term 2013

May be elected as a departmental major

Prerequisites to the Major

Four prerequisite courses (COMM 101, 102, 121 and 122) must be completed prior to declaration.  COMM 101, 102, 121 and 122 must be completed with a grade of C- or higher in each course AND at least a 2.7 prerequisite grade point average (43.2 honor points).  Students must declare no later than second semester junior year. Additional information can be found on the department website at www.lsa.umich.edu/comm/undergraduate.

Special Departmental Policies

An "in-person" major advising appointment is required for students to declare a Communication Studies major. Students cannot declare by email, phone, or fax. All prerequisite courses must be completed before the student can declare the major.

Requirements for the Major

At least 24 credits in Communication Studies. These must include the following:

  1. Core Areas of Communication Study: Two courses, 8 credits, from COMM 251, 261, 271 or 281.
  2. Advanced Communication Study: A minimum of 16 credits of COMM courses numbered 300 and above, must include one ULWR course from courses numbered 350-399 (4 credits); one Capstone seminar from courses numbered 450-499 (3 credits); plus 9 additional COMM elective credits at the 300-400 level. Undergraduate Internship (COMM 321) may not be included in this requirement, and no more than three credits of independent reading/research and three credits of Honors seminar courses can be used to meet this requirement.

In order to ensure that majors can enroll in required courses, up to 75% of spaces in many 300- and 400-level Communication Studies courses are reserved for declared majors. All spaces in the Capstone seminars are reserved for declared senior Communication Studies students.

Only one course from COMM 450-499 may count toward the major.

Honors Plan

Qualified students are encouraged to undertake an Honors plan. The Honors Program in Communication Studies is available in the senior year to students with a grade point average by their final term of junior year of 3.5 in Communication Studies courses and 3.4 overall. Application and formal admission by the Department are required. Qualified students should contact the Department's Honors department advisor as early as possible for curricular planning, but applications for Honors major are generally accepted only after February 1 of the student's junior year. In addition to satisfying all regular requirements for the major, an Honors major must also include:

  • STATS 250 (or 350) or equivalent: All Honors majors should have completed, or be taking in their senior year, STATS 250 or an equivalent. All Honors majors are expected to have completed a statistics course before they start the Honors sequence in their senior year. Under certain circumstances, the Honors advisor has the power to waive this requirement in cases that seem appropriate.
  • Senior Honors Seminars:COMM 491 and 492, a two-term seminar sequence involving the design and completion of an Honors thesis.

 

Communication Studies Major (Fall Term 2003 through end of Summer 2005) +

effective Fall Term 2003 through end of Summer 2005 

May be elected as a departmental major

The Department of Communication Studies offers an undergraduate major focusing on mass communication as a social phenomenon. The curriculum includes the study of mass media institutions, economics and organization; how mediated communication works, including media priming, media use, persuasion and social influence; the relationship between media, society, and culture; and the wide variety of media effects. One of the major’s distinctive, inter-disciplinary features is the integration of diverse analytical approach-es from the fields of history, psychology, sociology, political science, anthropology, as well as the other humanities and social science traditions.

The department does not offer a minor.

The major in Communication Studies forms an excellent base of knowledge and analytical training for students considering graduate study or professional work involving media relations or other media-related activities. The undergraduate major, however, is not intended as specific preparation for professional careers in the media; thus, pre-professional training in journalism, television and film production, etc. is not included among department offerings. Communication Studies courses provide students with a deeper understanding of the role of mass communication in society.

Prerequisites to the Major.

To declare Communication Studies as a major, the student must have completed COMM 101, 102, 111, and 211 with a grade of C - or higher in each course. The student's average grade point in these four courses must be at least a B - (or at least 35.1 honor points).

If students do no meet these criteria it is advised that they NOT elect Communication Studies as a major. In accord with LS&A policy, however, they may opt to retake one prerequisite course in order to qualify for the major.

Special Departmental Policies.

An "in-person" major advising appointment is required for students to declare a Communication Studies major. Students cannot declare by email, phone or fax. Additionally, to ensure the student has met the Department's grade requirements of prerequisites, the official grades of all prerequisite courses must be recorded on the student's transcript before the student can declare the major.

Requirements for the Major

A minimum of 30 credits: at least 24 credits in Communication Studies beyond the prerequisite courses and 6 credits of cognate work. These must include the following:

  1.  Areas of Communication Study: COMM 351 or 371, and COMM 361 or 381 should be completed by the end of the junior year.
  2. Advanced Communication Study: A minimum of 16 credits of COMM courses numbered 300 and above, not used to satisfy requirement 1 above, at least eight credits of which must be at the 400-level and above. Undergraduate Internship (COMM 321) may not be included in this requirement, and no more than three credits of independent reading/research or Honors seminar courses can be used to meet this requirement.
  3. Cognates:

    Six credits of approved cognate work from a single department at the 300-level or above, chosen in consultation with and approved by a department advisor.

In order to ensure that majors can enroll in required courses, up to 75% of spaces in most 300- and 400-level Communication Studies courses are reserved for declared majors. In cross-listed courses, the other 25% of spaces are reserved for the other departments.

 

Honors Program.

Qualified students are encouraged to undertake an Honors major. The Honors Program in Communication Studies is available in the senior year to students with a grade point average by their final term of junior year of 3.5 in Communication Studies courses and 3.4 overall. Application and formal admission by the Department are required. Qualified students should contact the Department's Honors department advisor as early as possible for curricular planning, but applications for Honors major are generally accepted only after March 1 of the student's junior year. In addition to satisfying all regular requirements for the major, an Honors major must also include:

  • Mass Communication Research: COMM 311 must be completed by the end of the junior year with a grade of B or better.
  •  Senior Honors Seminars: COMM 491 and 492, a two-term seminar sequence involving the design and completion of an Honors thesis.

Advising. Advising appointments are scheduled online at: www.lsa.umich.edu/comm/. Students should use the online appointment system only to declare a Communications Studies major, discuss progress in the major, or to review transfer credit. Students seeking approval for domestic transfer credit toward the major can meet with any faculty advisor. Students may schedule an appointment with the undergraduate program coordinator (except to review transfer credit) or a faculty advisor. Students seeking approval for transfer credit from study abroad must meet with the Department faculty foreign credit evaluator. Additionally, the Department's faculty provide regular office hours to discuss current courses or other issues.

Prospective majors should schedule an appointment with a department advisor during the second term of the sophomore year. Most majors continue to see an advisor at least once a year. In any case, students should consult an advisor during the first term of their senior year to ensure that required courses will be completed for graduation.

Communication Studies [Fall 2000-Summer 2003] +

Effective Fall 2000-Summer 2003

May be elected as a departmental concentration program

Prerequisites to Concentration. Comm. Studies 101, 102, and 111.

Concentration Program. A minimum of 30 credits, at least 24 credits in Communication Studies beyond 100-level introductory courses and 6 credits of cognate work. These must include the following:

  1. Introductory Research Methods: Comm. Studies 211.
  2. 351 or 371, and Comm. Studies 361 or 381.
  3. 321) and Practica (Comm. Studies 322) may not be included in this requirement, and no more than 4 credits of independent or Honors seminar courses can be used to meet this requirement.
  4. Cognates: 6 credits of approved cognate work from a single department at the 300-level or above, chosen in consultation with and approved by the concentration advisor.

Honors Program. Qualified students are encouraged to undertake an Honors concentration. The Honors Program in Communication Studies is available in the senior year to students with a grade point average by their final term of junior year of 3.5 in Communication Studies courses and 3.3 overall. Application and formal admission by the department are required. Qualified students should contact an Honors concentration advisor as early as possible for curricular planning, but applications for Honors concentration are generally accepted only after March 1 of the student's junior year. In addition to satisfying all regular concentration requirements, an Honors concentration must also include:

  1. 311, completed by the end of the junior year with a grade of B or better.
  2. Senior Honors Seminars: Comm. Studies 491 and 492, a two-term seminar sequence involving the design and completion of an Honors thesis. Only 3 credits of Honors Seminar may be applied to requirement 3, Advanced Communication Studies.

Requirements 2 and 5 must be completed by the end of the junior year. To declare an Honors concentration, make an appointment with the Department's Honors Advisor. Ask for an information sheet on the Honors Program in Communication Studies at the Department office (2020 Frieze).

Advising. Advising appointments are scheduled at 2020 Frieze. Prospective concentrators should schedule an appointment with a concentration advisor during the second term of the sophomore year. Most students continue to see an advisor at least once a year. In any case, students should consult an advisor during the first term of the senior year to ensure that required courses will be completed for graduation.

Communication Studies Major (Fall 2005-Summer 2013) +

Effective Fall Term 2005-Summer 2013

May be elected as a departmental concentration program

Prerequisites to Concentration. Communication Studies is a selective concentration. There are four prerequisite courses. COMM 111 is taken for credit, and COMM 101, 102, and 211 are graded. To apply to Communication Studies as a concentration, the student must have completed all four prerequisite courses; received credit for COMM 111; and completed COMM 101, 102, and 211 each with a grade of C- or higher. Transfer credit is not accepted for any prerequisite course.

Application. Students must apply for and be accepted into the concentration program. Applications are considered once each Fall and Winter academic terms. The application cycle is not on a rolling basis. Application deadlines are available from the department office or website (www.lsa.umich.edu/comm/). Students are declared into the concentration by a concentration advisor only. Application to the concentration can be submitted after all four prerequisite courses have been completed. Application during the sophomore year is highly recommended. Admission is very competitive, and enrollment in the concentration will be limited to assure a high quality educational experience. The Admissions Committee will make decisions based on the grade point average in the prerequisite courses, overall grade point average, and the applicant's personal statement.

For additional information about the application process, consult the Communication Studies website: www.lsa.umich.edu/comm/undergraduate

Special Departmental Policies. An "in-person" concentration advising appointment is required for students to declare a Communication Studies concentration. Students cannot declare by email, phone, or fax. Additionally, the official grades of all prerequisite courses must be recorded on the student's transcript before the student can apply to the concentration.

Concentration Program. A minimum of 29 credits: at least 23 credits in Communication Studies beyond the prerequisite courses and 6 credits of cognate work. These must include the following:

  1. Areas of Communication Study: COMM 351 or 371, and COMM 361 or 381 should be completed by the end of the junior year.
  2. Advanced Communication Study: A minimum of 15 credits of COMM courses numbered 300 and above, not used to satisfy requirement 1 above, at least eight credits of which must be at the 400-level and above. Undergraduate Internship (COMM 321) may not be included in this requirement, and no more than three credits of independent reading/research or three credits of Honors seminar courses can be used to meet this requirement.
  3. Cognates: Six credits of approved cognate work from a single department other than Communication Studies at the 300-level or above, chosen in consultation with and approved by a concentration advisor.

In order to ensure that concentrators can enroll in required courses, up to 75% of spaces in many 300- and 400-level Communication Studies courses are reserved for declared concentrators. The remaining spaces are open for other students.

Undergraduate Internship: COMM 321. Communication Studies declared concentrators who have reached junior standing may receive some amount of experiential course credit for an internship. Students who have completed all four prerequisite courses (COMM 101, 102, 111, 211), with a 2.7 GPA or greater, and will apply for admission to the concentration during the following term, should contact the undergraduate program coordinator for information. Experiential credit is granted for work that takes place outside a university classroom, laboratory, library, or studio and is directly related to an academic discipline. In order to be approved for credit, internships must:

  1. involve systematic learning with demonstrated application of experience to the theory, concepts, or research methods of the field;
  2. be approved in advance by the faculty internship coordinator by the proposal deadline:(Summer - June 12; Fall - September 12; Winter - January 12); and
  3. result in a product (e.g., an analytical paper) that is evaluated as acceptable by the faculty internship coordinator.

Communication Studies concentrators learn of available internships through the University of Michigan's Career Center. Additional internship and professional career opportunities are provided through the Commication Studies Concentrators CTools site and the Internship postings on the department bulletin boards.

Honors Program. Qualified students are encouraged to undertake an Honors concentration. The Honors Program in Communication Studies is available in the senior year to students with a grade point average by their final term of junior year of 3.5 in Communication Studies courses and 3.4 overall. Application and formal admission by the Department are required. Qualified students should contact the Department's Honors concentration advisor as early as possible for curricular planning, but applications for Honors concentration are generally accepted only after March 1 of the student's junior year. In addition to satisfying all regular concentration requirements, an Honors concentration must also include:

  • STATS 250 (or 350) or equivalent: All Honors concentrators should have completed, or be taking in their senior year, STATS 250 or an equivalent. All Honors concentrators are expected to have completed a statistics course before they start the Honors sequence in their senior year. Under certain circumstances, the Honors advisor has the power to waive this requirement in cases that seem appropriate.
  • Senior Honors Seminars: COMM 491 and 492, a two-term seminar sequence involving the design and completion of an Honors thesis.

 


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