Dec 03, 2023  
OHIO University Undergraduate Catalog 2009-10 
OHIO University Undergraduate Catalog 2009-10 [Archived Catalog]

Communication Studies Major (B.S.C.)

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Major code BC5363

The faculty and staff of the School of Communication Studies are committed to scholarship, teaching, and service in ways that improve the community and offer directions for change in the world. Accordingly, we seek students who want to challenge themselves to develop their potential in and out of the classroom.

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 communication and public advocacy, health communication, and organizational communication.

All of our undergraduate students are Communication Studies majors, but each pursues a concentration in one of three areas:

  • Communication and Public Advocacy: Students concentrating their studies in Communication and Public Advocacy focus on the integration of political and legal communication theory and practice emphasizing the role of communication in argument, debate, and politics, including the ethical and rhetorical implications of constitutional guarantees and persuasive strategies characteristic of contemporary political communication. Recent graduates are attending nationally-ranked law schools, working as state legislative staff, lobbying in Washington, D.C., and managing political campaigns.
  • Health Communication: Health communication graduates 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, and cultural and gender influences on communication. Recent graduates are employed in health care organizations as patient advocates or in human resources, national nonprofit health agencies, and as pharmaceutical company sales representatives.
  • Organizational Communication: Students focused on organizational communication are aiming for professional 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 major consulting firms, national financial service providers, conference planning companies, and information management organizations.

Your concentration is the means through which you develop a specialization, while exploring the broad spectrum of human communication. The concentrations provide a focus to the major but are not intended to be career specific. Each concentration provides skills and competencies applicable to a variety of potential careers.


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 concentration; (3) one course in research methods; (4) one course in advanced presentations; (5) one practical experience course; (6) three consecutive quarters of another language, study abroad (including predeparture preparation), or three courses emphasizing cultural studies; (7) two courses in contemporary technology; (8) a minimum of 28 hours in a related area approved by the student’s faculty advisor; and (9)  three COMS elective courses. Only one approved course in the major can be applied toward the University’s Tier II requirements.


Core   28 hours
Theory   12 hours
Methods   04 hours
Presentations   04 hours
Practical Experience   04 hours
Language/Cultural Studies   12 hours
Technology   08 hours
Related Area   28 hours
Electives (COMS)   12 hours
Sub-total     112 hours
University General Education   44 hours (average)
Open electives   36 hours (approximately)
Total     192 hours


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:

Theory Courses

Complete three theory courses with at least two courses from the same concentration and one selected from either of the other two concentrations:

Research Methods Course

Complete one research methods course from the following:

Advanced Presentations Course

Complete one advanced presentations course from the following:

Practical Experience

Complete one practicum or internship course from the following:
(Note: Internship must be concentration specific.)

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:, send an e-mail to, telephone 740.593.4583, or visit Lindley Hall 185.
  • 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.

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 28 hours should be courses at the 300 and 400 level. This requirement may also be met through completion of a certificate or minor with 28 hours; however, any COMS course used to fulfill the communication studies major cannot be used to fulfill the minor or certificate program.

Elective Courses

Complete 12 hours from the following:
(Note: Theory courses used to complete the theory requirement cannot also count as an elective and only four hours each from COMS 117, 217, 480, and/or 498 can apply.)

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