Academic Catalog

Communication Studies (B.A.)

A major in Communication Studies offers students an opportunity to develop excellent communication skills and a thorough knowledge of the process of human communication. Communication studies majors take a variety of courses in public speaking, interpersonal communication, group communication and communication theory.

Employers in business, government, and education identify excellent communication skills as the most important quality they desire in hiring employees. Communication studies majors find careers in many different fields including business, government, education, law and religion.


In addition to the course work below, students must complete all of the department's general degree requirements.

All Communication Studies majors must elect the following core courses:

COM 1010Oral Communication: Basic Speech3
COM 2000Introduction to Communication Studies3
COM 2110Argumentation and Debate3
COM 3400Theories of Communication3
COM 4190Rhetorical Criticism3
or COM 4210 Research Methods in Communication
COM 5900Senior Project in Communication Studies3
Select at least six credits from the following 2000/3000-level courses:6
Campaigns and Social Movements
Persuasive Speaking
Interpersonal Communication
Intercultural Communication
Science Communication
Fundamentals of Public Relations
Introduction to Organizational Communication
Business and Professional Presentations
Select at least six elective credits from the following 4000-level courses:6
Rhetoric and the Body
Studies of Legal Argument
Communication Ethics
Popular and Celebrity Culture
Communication and Conflict
Nonverbal Communication
Group Communication
Leadership Communication
Select at least six elective credits from the following 5000/6000-level courses:6
Culture, Communication, and Media
Public Address
Communication and Social Marketing
Special Topics in Communication Studies
Health Communication
Rhetoric of Visual Culture
Gender and Communication
Total Credits36
COM 5900 is the senior assessment capstone course and should be taken in the last twenty-one credits of the student's program.

Departmental Honors Program

The Communication Department Honors program offers capable students the opportunity to pursue independent study and to  work closely with department faculty members. Completion of the honors major results in an honors degree designation on the diploma.

In order to enter the departmental honors program students must have achieved academic excellence in previous work, such as a high school g.p.a. of 3.5 or a college or university g.p.a. of 3.3. Students must meet all regular major requirements including the following: three honors-option courses within their major at the 2000 level or above, taught by full-time faculty members (internships cannot satisfy this requirement), at least one HON 42xx-level seminar offered through the Honors College, a senior honors thesis under the direction of a faculty advisor in their major area (COM 4996) and maintain a minimum g.p.a. of 3.3 cumulative and in the major.

Departmental AGRADE Program

The AGRADE program enables highly qualified seniors majoring in Communication Studies or Public Relations to enroll simultaneously in undergraduate and graduate programs and to apply a maximum of 15 credits toward both the undergraduate and graduate degrees. The program encourages such students to continue to graduate school at Wayne State by reducing the time to the master's degree. Only AGRADE-approved courses in which the student has earned a B or higher will transfer to the graduate transcript. Once in the master's program, students may be required to repeat an AGRADE course in which they earn less than a B grade. 

Eligibility: AGRADE applicants must have an overall undergraduate GPA of 3.5. Applicants are also expected to have performed at a superior level in their major, as determined by the major department and reflected in a GPA in the major of at least 3.6 at the time of application.

Application: A student seeking AGRADE status should present to the Department of Communication Graduate Committee all of the materials which that department requires for normal admission to the M.A. program with a concentration in Communication Studies. Specific departmental admission requirements can be found in this bulletin or obtained from the Graduate Advisor in the Department of Communication (313-577-2959).

The earliest date by which a student may apply for the AGRADE program is during the semester in which he/she completes 90 credits toward the undergraduate degree.

AGRADE Credits: Students may elect a minimum of three and a maximum of 15 AGRADE credits. These credits will be used to complete the baccalaureate degree as well as to serve as the beginning of graduate study. Upon formal admission to a master’s program, AGRADE credits are transferred as if they were graduate credits transferred from a graduate program at another university. The remaining graduate credits required for the master's degree will be earned in the conventional manner following formal admission to the graduate program. Formal admission to the graduate program occurs as AGRADE students complete their baccalaureate degree.

Students admitted into an AGRADE program will develop a Plan of Work for the master's program, specifying the courses that will be taken in the AGRADE status as well as the courses required for the balance of the undergraduate degree. Note that COM 7000 must be taken in the first semester of AGRADE coursework . The remaining AGRADE courses must be approved by both the student's undergraduate program advisor and the graduate director of the master's program. In courses permitting both undergraduate and graduate students to enroll, AGRADE students will be held to the graduate standard.

For more details about the AGRADE program, contact the Graduate Advisor in the Department of Communication (313-577-2959)

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