Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies

Communication Studies focuses both on the practice and development of skills for competent communication, as well as analyzing and studying the how people create shared meanings and interpretations of the world around them. Students with communication competency can find success in a variety of careers and enriched personal relationships: Communication Studies aims to connect the classroom to the real world.

Faculty in the department specialize in communication skills related to problem-solving and conflict management -- whether it is using negotiation or mediation skills in interpersonal relationships or using collaboration and deliberation to understand and devise solutions for community problems. In this, the department focuses on two interrelated areas of communication: Relational Dynamics (RD) and Public Advocacy and Civic Engagement (PACE).

Relational Dynamics: focuses on the development and maintenance of relationships (personal, friendship, romantic, family, workplace, organizational, intercultural and community).

Public Advocacy and Civic Engagement: focuses on how we influence and persuade public audiences through speaking, argument, and mediated communication. Students in this track learn about advocacy campaigns in business, political, community or social movement contexts.

Sample Course Requirements

33 credit hours (see Course Catalog for latest updates of degree requirements)


  • COM 101 - Oral Communication OR COM 217 Argumentation and Debate
  • COM 113 - Fundamentals of Speech Communication
  • COM 212 - Introduction to Communication Research
  • COM 311 - Communication Research Methods.
  • 21 additional COM elective credits, with at least 18 upper-division credits

Note: GPA for required classes - Student must obtain a "C" (2.0 GPA) in all major or minor courses. The student also must maintain a 2.0 GPA overall to fulfill university and college graduation requirements.

Courses Offerings at a Glance: Students can choose to focus their electives within Relational Dynamics or Public Advocacy and Civic Engagement, or choose among all electives based on their interests and career goals.

General Electives

  • COM 202 - Interpersonal Listening: Theory and Application
  • COM 302 - Issues in Interpersonal Communication
  • COM 315 - Small Group Communication
  • COM 317 - Organizational Communication
  • COM 329 - Business and Professional Speaking
  • COM 412 - Intercultural Communication

Electives Emphasizing RD

  • COM 407 - Gender and Communication
  • COM 422 - Communication and Difference
  • COM 434 - Communication and Conflict Resolution
  • COM 454 - Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • COM 490 - Special Topics
  • COM 495 - Independent Study*
  • COM 499 - Internship*

Electives Emphasizing PACE

  • COM 395 - Crisis Communication
  • COM 404 - Principles of Persuasion
  • COM 441 - Rhetoric of Dissent
  • COM 464 - Leadership: A Communication Perspective
  • COM 468 - Facilitating Difficult Discussions
  • COM 474 - New Media in Human Communication
  • COM 475: Communication and Community Engagement
  • COM 484 - Political Communication
  • COM 490 - Special Topics
  • COM 495 - Independent Study*
  • COM 499 - Internship*

*Independent studies and internships require instructor permission. Students must work with a full-time faculty member to set up requirements and learning contract in advance of the semester the student wishes to receive credit.

Related Degrees and Programs

Contact College of Liberal Arts

Phone (775) 784-6155
Fax (775) 784-1478
Location Ansari Business Building