Jul 22, 2024  
OHIO University Undergraduate Catalog 2008-09 
OHIO University Undergraduate Catalog 2008-09 [Archived Catalog]

Communication Studies Major (B.S.C.)

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Major code BC5363

In addition to the University General Education requirements and the 192 total hours needed for graduation, all students in the School of Communication Studies must complete (1) seven core courses, (2) three theory courses, two in one of the areas of emphasis, (3) one course in research methods, (4) one concentration-specific internship or practicum, (5) one course in advanced presentations, (6) three COMS elective courses, (7) a minimum of 28 hours in a related area approved by the student’s faculty advisor, (8) three consecutive quarters of another language, study abroad (including predeparture preparation), or three courses emphasizing cultural studies, and (9) two courses in contemporary technology. Only one approved course in the major can be applied toward the University’s Tier II requirements.

Core Courses

All students in the School of Communication Studies must complete a 28-hour sequence of seven courses, composing a common core of knowledge. This requirement provides all majors with a foundation upon which more advanced courses are built. A grade of C or better is required in each course in the core. The seven core courses are:

Related Area Requirement

In addition to the courses in the core and concentration, all students must complete a minimum of 28 hours in a related area. The related area is intended to complement and supplement the work in the major to increase the marketability of the student. Related areas should be selected early and must be approved by the student’s faculty advisor. Each student must submit a Declaration of Related Area to the Scripps College of Communication office. The form is obtained from the student’s faculty advisor and must be signed by the advisor.

The courses composing the related area may come from one department or school or from several, but all must be outside the School of Communication Studies. Collectively, the related area coursework should constitute a unified body of knowledge having a definite relationship with the concentration. At least 16 of the hours should be courses at the 300 and 400 level.

Language and Culture Requirement

All COMS majors are required to complete 12 credit hours of study of a language or culture other than their native language/culture. Students may meet this requirement by completing: (1) three consecutive courses in the same language; (2) a study abroad experience, including the predeparture training; or (3) three courses emphasizing cultural topics. Students should discuss their interests and intentions with their advisor to ensure all course requirements are being met.

  • Students meeting this requirement by completing three consecutive quarters of another language may begin with the first course, e.g., SPAN 111.
  • To learn more about the study abroad programs offered to Ohio University students, go to the Education Abroad Web site at: http://www.ohio.edu/educationabroad/, send an e-mail to education.abroad@ohio.edu, telephone 740.593.4583, or visit Gordy Hall 107.
  • A variety of courses will meet the requirement of focusing on cultural topics, but a good place to begin is to explore the courses listed for Tier II Cross-Cultural Perspectives.

Technology Requirement

All COMS students are required to complete two courses in technology. The list of acceptable courses is available from advisors in the School and on the School Web site.


Core courses  28
Area of emphasis courses  36
Related area courses  28
Foreign language/culture courses  12
Technology courses  8

Total 112 hours

Concentrations in the Major

The major in Communication Studies provides students with the best features of a liberal arts and a professional education. The core courses, in combination with the University’s General Education requirements, provide students with opportunities to develop competencies through examining the role played by communication in various contexts. The concentration is the means through which students develop a specialization, while exploring the spectrum of human communication. The concentration provides a focus to the major but is not intended to be career specific. Each area provides skills and competencies applicable to a variety of potential careers under the broader headings of health communication, organizational communication, and communication and public advocacy. Students are expected to complete the requirements of at least one of the following three concentrations.

Health Communication

Health communication professionals, and the organizations in which they work, are concerned with meeting people’s communication and knowledge needs in such areas as the relationships between patients and their health care providers, family dynamics, dissemination of health information, cultural and gender influences on communication, and health-focused public campaigns. Recent graduates are employed in large health care companies, national nonprofit health agencies, and research institutions.

1. Theory Courses (3 courses; 1 course must be COMS 245 or 260)

3. Internship or Practicum (1 course)

Organizational Communication

Students focused on organizational communication are preparing for careers in business, education, government, industry, or the nonprofit sector. The skills and competencies acquired through this concentration enable students to understand the dynamics of, and function more effectively in, organizational structures. Recent graduates are employed in consulting firms, national financial service providers, conference planning companies, and information management organizations.

1. Theory Courses (3 courses; 1 course must be COMS 240, 260, or 310)

Communication and Public Advocacy

Students emphasizing this area experience an integration of political and legal communication theory and practice. The courses emphasize the role of communication in argument, debate, and politics, including the ethical and rhetorical implications of constitutional guarantees of political, social, and religious speech and persuasive strategies characteristic of contemporary political communication. Recent graduates are attending law school, working in state legislative roles, and managing political campaigns.

1. Theory Courses (3 courses; 1 course must be COMS 240, 245, or 310)

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