We sat down with Ms. Alison Feather–Annenberg’s Director of Student Services and Registrar for Undergraduate Studies–to get the low-down on the communication major. Course requirements and other resources can be found here.
So what exactly are 'cognate courses'?
Cognate courses are designed to provide students the opportunity to explore the study of communication across different disciplines. The purpose of cognates to give students the opportunity to say, “Oh this course should be cross-listed with COMM!” As a comm major you may be confused as to what the guidelines that govern approval of cognate courses are. However, there is a reason as to why cognates are so illusive. Because this requirement is made to provide majors with an individualized approach to their studies, cognates can range from history courses all the way to marketing courses. The only essential piece of advice to guarantee the approval of a desired cognate course is to think critically about how the selected course ties into the study of communication!
What’s the deal with concentrations?
Contrary to popular belief, declaring a concentration is optional. However, concentrations allow students to explore an area of interest with classes that build on and develop a specific area of communication. Requirements within a concentration include three courses to be drawn from either the intermediate or advanced major requirement as well as two courses to be drawn from the cognate major requirement. Although students are provided with a list of possible concentrations and their corresponding courses, this list is not exhaustive. If searching for a more tailored concentration, students can petition for their own personalized concentration. In order to gain approval students a concentration title, list of courses, and rationale behind how said courses complement each other must be submitted.
Do communication courses have prerequisites?
No. Courses are open to all students regardless of their level of prior study of communication. However, communication majors usually fill intermediate and advanced courses, which have higher demand as well as a lower number of seats.
What is the CommPS program?
First of all, CommPS stands for Communication and Public Service. Although this concentration falls within the communication major, it offers students a more structured guideline for the completion of the required 14 major credits. The courses within the CommPS program explore the areas of public service and provide hands on learning in the public arena. Additionally, it is important to note that students who are accepted into the program are required to write a senior thesis.
If I am a comm major, can I study abroad?
Yes! There are several opportunities for comm majors to go abroad. However, majors must go through the study abroad office to receive approval. Moreover, it is highly encouraged that students make sure they have approved credit before the go abroad because approval is not guaranteed. If there a desired program does not offer comm credit majors may fulfill the cognate requirement abroad. The best bet to ensure the possibility of an abroad experience is to plan early and discuss options with an adviser.
Can I get credit from an internship?
Yes! COMM491, the Communication Internship Seminar, is offered three times a year—fall, spring, and summer. In order to attain credit, the internship director, Susan Hass, must approve any internship. Additionally, enrollment in the seminar and participation in the internship must be simultaneous.