Major Requirements

The Communication major requires 50 credits of course work in Communication. The 50 credits must include the following:

  1. Of the 50 credits required, 10 must be in COM 201 and 202 (5 credits each).
  2. 5 credits must be taken from the methods courses listed below.
  3. 15 credits must be completed in one of the six concentrations listed below.
  4. Of the 50 COM credits required, 20 credits must be in upper-division course work and 10 of those 20 credits must be at the 400 level.

Read more about each of these requirements below.

Read more about program requirements for the evening degree >>

Introductory Courses

Students in the major must complete satisfactorily the two introductory courses, Introduction to Communication I (COM 201) and Introduction to Communication II (COM 202). These courses integrate the materials previously taught in Introduction to Mass Communication (CMU 200) and Speech, the Individual, and Society (SPCMU 102), with a focus on the Department’s four pedagogical emphases. These introductory courses provide students with a basic level of communication literacy and introduce students to the methods commonly used in communication research. These courses also introduce students to the undergraduate program’s primary areas of study, including communication and culture, communication technology and society, international communication, journalism, political communication, rhetoric and critical studies, and social interaction.

Methods Requirement

To teach students how knowledge, relationships, and cultural patterns are created, revealed, and maintained through communication, students in the Department of Communication are required to take one course (5 credits) that is primarily methodological. Students can choose from an array of courses, and they are encouraged to pursue courses most relevant to their own interests. Courses in the Department that emphasize one or more modes of communication inquiry include the following:

Number Title
COM 301 Navigating Information Networks for Mass Media
COM 342 Media Structure
COM 382 Social Scientific Approaches to Communication Research
COM 420 Comparative Media Systems
COM 426 International Media Systems
COM 431 Rhetorical Criticism
COM 470 Discourse: Analyzing Talk and Texts
COM 485 Fieldwork In Communication Studies
COM 486 Communication and Culture in Rome: Study Abroad
COM 496 Honors Seminar

Area Concentration

Students are required to take a minimum of 15 credits in one conceptual area of emphasis in the Department’s undergraduate program. Click the area of concentration to list the relevant courses:

Upper-Division Requirements

To ensure a rigorous grounding in communication, students must take 20 credits at the 300 level or higher, including 10 credits at the 400 level (excluding COM 498 and COM 499, Undergraduate Research). In addition to the rigor of these upper-division courses, 400-level courses generally are smaller in size than 200- and 300-level courses, so the requirement of 10 credits at this level helps to ensure that students experience a range of classroom contexts.

Transfer Students

To major in Communication, transfer students must complete 50 COM credits (same as all students), of which 20 must be taken at the University of Washington, including 10 at the 400 level.