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The Communication Major

Communication is fundamentally about message-sending and meaningmaking. Students, therefore, will seek to understand the way in which both verbal and nonverbal symbols are used to shape the world. At its essence, the study of communication is anchored in language use and study; it is highly compatible with the literary emphases of the Department of English. While the field embraces technical and social science dimensions, its content is philosophically rooted in the humanities. While some courses attend to the communication process, most focus on other dimensions of human activity and endeavor. A major would provide a comprehensive, grounded program for consistent study and research. Communication study, by its nature, is interdisciplinary and will enhance student ability to relate concepts and principles they encounter as they pursue the core curriculum and any electives they select.

Course Sequence

Freshman Year
Humanities I Humanities II
Freshman English 103 Freshman English 104
Science Science
Language Language
English 110/ English 115 English 110 / English 115
Sophomore Year
Humanities III Humanities IV
Philosophy/Theology Philosophy/Theology
Language Language
Oral Comm. / Written Comm. Oral Comm. / Written Comm.
Elective Elective
Junior Year
Philosophy/Theology Philosophy/Theology
Theory / Textual Analysis Theory / Textual Analysis
Visual Comm. / Major Elective Visual Comm. / Major Elective
Major Elective / Elective Major Elective / Elective
Elective Elective
Senior Year
Philosophy/Theology Philosophy/Theology
EN470 Major Elective
Textual Analysis Elective
Major Elective Elective
Major Elective / Elective Elective

Students in the Communication major must take a minimum of 13 courses, as specified below.

Foundational Courses. Students must complete the courses listed below.

  • EN110 Introduction to Human Communication
  • EN115 Introduction to Mediated Communication

Oral Communication Requirement. Students must complete one of the following classes related to oral communication.

  • EN221 Public Speaking
  • EN222 Oral Interpretation
  • EN261 Beginning Acting

Written Communication Requirement. Students must complete one of the following classes related to written communication.

  • EN207 Advanced Composition
  • EN216 Principles and Practices of Journalism
  • EN307 Special Topics in Writing (with advisor approval)

Visual Communication Requirement. Students must complete one of the following classes related to visual communication.

  • EN325 Special Topics in Communication: Media Criticism
  • FAH260 The Cinematic Eye: A History of Film to 1945
  • FAH262 Contemporary Film: 1945-Present
  • FAS270 Visual Communication

Textual Analysis Requirement. Students must complete two of the following classes related to textual analysis.

  • EN240 Studies in Postmodern British Literature
  • EN243 Studies in Postmodern American Literature
  • EN245 Introduction to African-American Literature
  • EN251 Shakespeare
  • EN252 Milton
  • EN255 Introduction to Postcolonial Literature
  • EN345 Progress and Nostalgia: Mid-Victorian Britain in History and Literature
  • EN363 Topics in the History of the Theatre

Special Topics Classes:

  • EN333 Medieval Literature
  • EN334 Sixteenth Century
  • EN335 Seventeenth Century
  • EN336 Eighteenth Century
  • EN337 Romantic Period
  • EN338 Victorian Period
  • EN339 Twentieth Century
  • EN340 Postmodern British Literature
  • EN341 Nineteenth-Century American Literature
  • EN342 Twentieth-Century American Literature
  • EN370 Irish Literature
  • EN373 Literary Genres

Theory Requirement. Students must complete one of the following classes related to the theories of communication.

  • EN210 Rhetorical Theory and Criticism
  • EN225 Communication Theory

Elective Requirement. Students must complete four of the courses listed below. No more than 2 from any single department recommended, though students may petition the Coordinator of the Communication program to allow electives not listed below or to exceed the 2 course maximum from a single department.

  • CS205 Fundamentals and Issues of Using the Internet
  • CS250 Human-Computer Interaction
  • EC223 Organizational Behavior
  • EC231 Principles of Marketing
  • EC232 Integrated Marketing Communication
  • EC233 Consumer Behavior
  • EN325 Special Topics in Communication
  • EN355 Introduction to General Linguistics
  • EN400 Independent Study
  • EN481–482 Internship
  • FAH101 Introduction to Art
  • FAH360 History of Photography
  • FAS272 Digital Art & Imaging I
  • FAS274 Graphic Design I
  • FAS376 Art and Design for the Web
  • FAS Special Topics: Illustration
  • FAS Special Topics: Mixed Media
  • FAS Special Topics: Typography
  • MU242 Studies in Film Music
  • PH214 Contemporary Philosophy
  • PH320 Critical Thinking
  • PH321 Formal Logic
  • PH336 Aesthetics
  • PO102 American Politics
  • PO104 Comparative Politics
  • PO106 International Relations
  • PO208 Elements of Political Theory Classical
  • PO209 Elements of Political Theory Modern
  • PO248 Public Policy Process
  • PO345 Public Administration
  • PY201 Organizational Psychology
  • PY209 Political Psychology
  • PY211 Cross Cultural Psychology
  • PY315 Social Psychology
  • SO206 Social Problems
  • SO218 Individual & Society
  • SO229 Mass Media
  • SO330 Race and Ethnic Relations
  • SO342 Social Stratification: Structures of Social Inequality
  • SO344 Political Sociology
  • TH372 Christian Social Ethics

Capstone Requirement. As a requirement for graduation, Communication majors must write and defend a senior thesis (done within the Senior Seminar course) and take a written comprehensive examination which tests aspects related to oral, written, verbal and visual communication, as well as communication theory. Students must successfully complete the Communication Senior Seminar.

  • EN470 Communication Senior Seminar