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Undergraduate Program

communication

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Undergraduate Program Description

The Department of Communication is concerned with the study, criticism, research, and teaching of the artistic, humanistic, and scientific principles of communication. Through a series of required classes, the department provides all majors with a basic understanding of communication research and theory. The department also offers upper-level courses in interpersonal communication, media and cultural studies, and rhetoric and public advocacy.

This program of study has led graduating majors to careers in communication industries and to success in fields related to communication such as business, education, government/politics, health, international relations and negotiations, and social and human services. Majors have successfully completed graduate programs in many fields including communication, business, and law.

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For the Class of 2015 and Beyond

Thirty-three credits are required for the major, consisting of the following five common requirements, three distributed requirements, and three electives.

Five Common Requirements (15 credits)
  • COMM1010 Rhetorical Tradition
    This course, and/or COMM1020 & COMM1040, should be taken before any other course in the major.
  • COMM1020 Survey of Mass Communication
    This course, and/or COMM1010 & COMM1040, should be taken before any other course in the major.
  • COMM1030 Public Speaking
  • COMM1040 Interpersonal Communication
    This course, and/or COMM1010 & COMM1020, should be taken before any other course in the major.
  • One of COMM3330 Communication Methods: Social Science or COMM3340 Communication Methods: Critical/Cultural
Three Distributed Requirements (9 credits)
One of the Theory Courses:
  • Any course numbered between COMM3360 and COMM3380
  • Theory courses should not be taken until after a student has completed COMM1010 Rhetorical Tradition, COMM1020 Survey of Mass Communication, COMM1030 Public Speaking, COMM1040 Interpersonal Communication, and one of COMM3330 Communication Methods: Social Science or COMM3340 Communication Methods: Critical/Cultural.
Two Writing-Intensive Seminars:
  • Any two courses numbered between COMM4425 and COMM4475
  • These are upper-level courses and should not be taken until after a student has completed COMM1010 Rhetorical Tradition, COMM1020 Survey of Mass Communication, COMM1030 Public Speaking, COMM1040 Interpersonal Communication, and one of COMM3330 Communication Methods: Social Science or COMM3340 Communication Methods: Critical/Cultural. Freshmen and sophomores should never register for writing-intensive seminars.
Three Electives (9 credits)

May be chosen from any three-hour class offered by the department. Please note the following: (1) a maximum of six transfer credits will be accepted by the department and (2) a limit of one 3-credit internship may be taken as an elective.

Full-time communication majors in the College of Arts and Sciences can count one three-credit course from the Woods College as a communication elective. This rule does not apply to courses transferred from another institution or to students transferring from another college within Boston College.

Non-Cumulative Credits

One-credit internships and/or 2-credit Debate Practicum cannot be combined to total a 3-credit course in any of the other required categories for the major.

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Information for First Year Majors

Freshmen and sophomores can declare the Communication major with the New Major Advisor in the department. Juniors and seniors should schedule an appointment with the Director of Undergraduate Studies to determine whether they can reasonably complete the required course work prior to graduation.

The five required courses, COMM1010 Rhetorical Tradition, COMM1020 Survey of Mass Communication, COMM1030 Public Speaking, COMM1040 Interpersonal Communication, and one of COMM3330 Communication Methods: Social Science or COMM3340 Communication Methods: Critical/Cultural, are prerequisites for all other communication classes. Majors should not register for a theory course, writing-intensive seminars, or any elective until after they have completed the required common courses noted above.

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Information for Study Abroad

To receive the department's permission for study abroad, students must have completed seven Communication courses by the end of their junior year including COMM1010 Rhetorical Tradition, COMM1020 Survey of Mass Communication, COMM1030 Public Speaking, COMM1040 Interpersonal Communication and one of COMM3330 Communication Methods: Social Science or COMM3340 Communication Methods: Critical/Cultural. The seven course requirement may be met by either of the following:

  • Taking seven Communication courses at Boston College including Communication courses and approved summer school courses
  • Taking five Communication courses at Boston College and transferring two courses from the junior year abroad placement

For additional information, please visit our department website or contact Professor Christine Caswell, Director of Undergraduate Studies.

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Internship Program

COMM1901 Communication Internship, a 1-credit pass/fail course, is open to Communication majors who have sophomore, junior, or senior standing and a minimum 2.5 GPA.

COMM5589 Senior Internship Seminar, a 3-credit course, is open to Communication majors who have senior standing and a 3.1 overall GPA (or a 2.8 overall with at least a 3.2 in the major). In addition, potential interns must have completed a minimum of six courses in communication including COMM1010 Rhetorical Tradition, COMM1020 Survey of Mass Communication, COMM1030 Public Speaking, COMM1040 Interpersonal Communication, and one of COMM3330 Communication Methods: Social Science or COMM3340 Communication Methods: Critical/Cultural plus appropriate preparatory course work necessary for the specific field placement.

For internship applications, please visit our department website. For departmental approval, contact Professor Christine Caswell, Director of Undergraduate Studies.

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Honors Program

Juniors with a qualifying grade point average (3.75 or higher) are eligible for the program. To remain in the program, students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.75 or higher until graduation. To complete the honors program, students will need to take two specified "honors" writing intensive seminars, perform well in those courses (receive grades of A or A-), and successfully complete an honors thesis under the direction of the instructor of one of those courses. Honors students will receive a total of nine credit hours for their participation in, and completion of, the program. A more complete description of the program is available on the department website or in the Honors Handbook in the department's main office.

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