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Undergraduate Program

communication

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The Major in Communication

The Boston College Department of Communication is committed to the intellectual and ethical development of analytical and creative communication skills in our students, with particular emphasis on the effective functioning of circuits of communication, the impact of technological innovation on human beings and institutions, and the power relationships that develop through this interaction.

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

Thirty-three credits are required for the major. 

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For Classes 2018, 2019, and 2020

Five Common Requirements (15 credits)

  • COMM1010 Rhetorical Tradition
  • COMM1020 Survey of Mass Communication
  • COMM1030 Public Speaking
  • COMM1040 Interpersonal Communication

(these four courses should be taken before any other courses in the major)

  • COMM3330 Communication Methods: Social Science or COMM3340 Communication Methods: Cultural (take one)

One Theory Course (3 credits):

  • Any course numbered between COMM3360 and COMM3380
  • Theory courses should, ideally, not be taken until after a student has completed Rhetorical Tradition, Survey of Mass Communication, Public Speaking, Interpersonal Communication, and the Communication Methods course.

Two Writing-Intensive Seminars (6 credits):

  • Any two courses numbered between COMM4425 and COMM4475
  • These are upper-level courses and should not be taken until after a student has completed the five common requirements. Freshmen and sophomores should never register for writing-intensive seminars.

Three Electives (9 credits)

  • Electives may be chosen from any three-hour class offered by the department.
  • A maximum of six transfer credits will be accepted by the department toward elective credits.
  • One class of three credits or more from the Woods College may be counted toward an elective, with permission from the Director of Undergraduate Studies.
  • Senior Internship Seminar, a 3-credit Comm elective, may be conducted only once during the senior year and used toward elective requirements.
  • One-credit internships and courses may not be combined to total a 3-credit course.

For Classes 2021 and beyond:

Four Common Requirements (12 credits):

  • COMM 1010 Rhetorical Tradition
  • COMM 1020 Survey of Mass Communication
  • COMM 1030 Public Speaking
  • COMM 3330 Communication Methods: Social Science or COMM3340 Communication Methods: Cultural (take one)

One Critical Issues Course (3 credits): each course offered periodically

  • Social Media
  • Cultural Diversity in the Media
  • Online Communication and Global Society
  • Gender and Media
  • Sports, Media and Culture
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Media Violence
  • Masculinity, Sexuality and Difference
  • Persuasion
  • Race at the Millennium

One Theory Course (3 credits)

  • Any course numbered between COMM3360 and COMM3380
  • Theory courses should, ideally, not be taken until after a student has completed Rhetorical Tradition, Survey of Mass Communication, Public Speaking and the Communication Methods course.

Two Writing Intensive Seminars (6 credits):

  • Any two courses numbered between COMM4425 and COMM4475
  • These are upper-level courses and should not be taken until after a student has completed the four common requirements. Freshmen and sophomores should never register for writing-intensive seminars.

Three Electives (9 credits)

  • Electives may be chosen from any three-hour class offered by the department.
  • A maximum of six transfer credits will be accepted by the department toward elective credits.
  • One class of three credits or more from the Woods College may be counted toward an elective, with permission from the Director of Undergraduate Studies.
  • Senior Internship Seminar, a 3-credit elective, may be conducted only once during the senior year and used toward elective requirements.
  • One-credit internships and courses may not be combined to total a 3-credit course

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Information for First Year Majors

Freshmen and sophomores may declare the Communication major with Mrs. Kristin Hartnett, Academic Advisor, in the department in St. Mary's Hall South. Juniors and seniors should schedule an appointment with Prof. Christine Caswell, Director of Undergraduate Studies.

The common requirements: Rhetorical Tradition, Survey of Mass Communication, Public Speaking, Communication Methods (and interpersonal Communication for Classes 2018-2020) are pre-requisites for all other Communication classes. Majors should not register for theory, writing intensive or electives until those courses are completed. 

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Information for Study Abroad

The department strongly advises majors to be on track to complete seven courses to the major by the end of junior year. The four common requirements must be among those courses completed. All students wishing to study abroad must meet with the Director of Undergraduate Studies for permission. A maximum of two electives to the major may be conducted abroad with her permission.

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Internship Program

COMM1901 Communication Internship, a 1-credit pass/fail course.

COMM5589 Senior Internship Seminar, a 3-credit course, is open to senior Communication majors. 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. 

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

Honors Program

The honors program in the Department of Communication is targeted towards exceptional communication majors, defined as those whose overall GPA is 3.70 or higher. To be invited to join the honors program, a student must have an overall GPA of 3.70 or higher at the conclusion of their freshman year (summer courses will be counted if taken for BC graded credit). Students will be invited to the program in the fall semester of their sophomore year prior to spring registration. The honors program requires enrollment in an honors methods course in sophomore spring and an honors writing course in their junior year. In addition, students in the honors program will complete a thesis in order to officially graduate with department honors. A more complete description of the program is available on the department website or in the Honors Handbook in the department's main office or contact Professor Celeste Wells, Director of the Communication department Honors Program. 

Contacts

Questions about the Communication curriculum, study abroad, academic credit for internships, internship approval, course substitution forms and transfer credits should be directed to Prof. Christine Caswell, Director of Undergraduate Studies, St. Mary's Hall South, Room S375, 617-552-6148, caswellc@bc.edu

To declare the major and discuss general course of study, please contact Mrs. Kristin Hartnett, Academic Advisor, St. Mary's Hall South, Room S376, 617-552-2515. kristin.hartnett@bc.edu

Dr. Lisa Cuklanz, Department Chair, cuklanz@bc.edu

Department website: www.bc.edu/communication

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