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Undergraduate Curriculum Objectives

Students working towards their Bachelor of Arts in Communication degree have the opportunity to gain expertise in the following six curriculum areas:

  • Communication as a Field: Communication as a phenomenon, as an academic discipline, as a system of processes and practices, and as a profession. Students should be able to describe and explain why people study communication, types of communication processes, and careers in communication.
  • Theory: Theoretical analysis of communication processes and practices. Students should be able to use a variety of communication and other disciplinary theories to describe, explain, and predict communication processes and outcomes in a variety of contexts.
  • Research Methods: Research methods as they relate to and inform communication processes and practices. Students should be able to identify, describe, and explain research methods used by communication scholars and professionals and use some of these methods to produce independent research and generate knowledge.
  • Diversity & Globalization: Multiple cultural contexts and global processes and their implications for communication processes and practices. Students should be able to articulate the challenges and opportunities inherent in communication with diverse global participants and audiences.
  • Ethics:  Critical thinking about ethical problems in communication. Students should be able to apply their understanding of ethical responsibility in interpersonal, group, organizational, public, and mediated contexts.
  • Communication Competencies: Targeted communication skill areas and competencies. Students should be able to use the theories, methods, analytical tools, and skills from their coursework  across a variety of contexts.

Important Requirements Applying to All Communication Majors

  • All Communication courses taken to meet Graduation requirements, whether as Concentration requirements or as Free Elective courses, must be taken for a letter grade and passed with at least a "C-".
  • Each major must select a Concentration upon which to focus his/her work; Curriculum Guides for each Concentration identify the specific courses which satisfy the degree requirements. These requirements are available on the University website, the Communication Departmental Homepage, in the Communication Advising Handbook, and in printed form at the Communication Main Office. Some Concentrations require prerequisite classes be taken before students enroll in upper-level courses. Students are expected to understand and follow the pre-requisite requirements in planning their curricula. In some but not all cases, instructors may waive prerequisites if students can provide convincing evidence that they are prepared for the advanced work in a specific upper-level course. Instructors do not consider students' desires to graduate at a particular time a valid reason to waive prerequisites. If students find that the concentration they prefer has a prerequisite structure that necessitates they remain at NCSU longer than they would prefer, they should choose another concentration.
  • All majors must complete at least 12 hours of Communication courses within the Concentration at the 300/400 level. Each Concentration defines the exact number of 300/400 level courses required for Graduation. Students are advised to review their Concentration requirements carefully and to consult with their Advisor if they have questions.

All students are assigned a departmental advisor and students are encouraged to consult with their advisor. Cynthia Zuckerman-Hyman, the department's Head of Advising, is available to all students for consultation; however, it is the student's responsibility to understand both the University and departmental requirements for graduation.


The Head of Advising should also be contacted if:


+  You are a current student in the program and need clearance
       to enroll in a course; or

+  You are a current NCSU student wishing to transfer into the B.A.
       in Communication program from another program.


Course Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication 

In addition to the courses listed below, a student must meet NC State University's General Education Requirements. To earn a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, a student must satisfactorily complete 39 semester credit hours of Communication Concentration coursework.

Four courses (totaling 12 credit hours) of the 39 credit hours are required of all students majoring in Communication. They are:
•    COM 230 − Communication Theory, 3 credit hours
•    COM 240 − Communication Inquiry, 3 credit hours
•    COM 250 − Communication and Technology, 3 credit hours
  •    COM 110 − Public Speaking, 3 credit hours OR
     COM 112 − Interpersonal Communication, 3 credit hours

Students are strongly encouraged to take COM 230, COM 240, and COM 250 in sequential order.