Jul 15, 2024  
OHIO University Undergraduate Catalog 2018-19 
OHIO University Undergraduate Catalog 2018-19 [Archived Catalog]

Communication Studies Major (B.S.C.)

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Major code BC5363

Scripps College of Communication  
School of Communication Studies  
Schoonover Center
Athens, OH 45701
Phone: 740.593.4828
Fax: 740.593.4810


Jerry Miller, Associate School Director for Undergraduate Studies, contact person

Program Overview

The School of Communication Studies (COMS) offers a liberal arts education, emphasizing the scientific and artistic bases of communication. The School is committed to providing quality instruction in the theoretical understanding of human communication and the application of theory in specific contexts. The core courses combine theory and practice as students study the historical and conceptual foundations of the field of communication. An historical understanding of communication theory is useful but insufficient in a globally competitive world, so the major in communication studies also equips students with the competencies most prized by employers including strong oral and written communication, effective interpersonal and group communication skills, critical thinking, meeting planning, and problem-solving/decision-making.

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.

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.

Elective courses in the School complement the required courses and expand the student’s repertoire of competencies and skills. Enhancing the core and classes in the concentration are courses in a related area. Students identify the means of completing the related area by working one-on-one with their academic advisors. The related area is an opportunity for students to “customize” their academic interest in ways that set them apart from their peers when undertaking internships or job searches.

Admissions Information

Freshman/First-Year Admission

No requirements beyond University admission requirements.

Change of Program Policy

Students who are currently enrolled at Ohio University are required to apply to the School of Communication Studies and encouraged to read the information on the COMS website (http://www.ohiocommstudies.com/). If there are specific questions that are unanswered after reviewing the website, students should make an appointment to meet with the Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies. Appointments are scheduled by speaking with the administrative assistant at 740.539.4842.

The School of Communication Studies reviews applications as follows:

  • Students should have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 for consideration (applying with the minimum does not guarantee acceptance)
  • Students in their first year at Ohio University (i.e., with fewer than 14 credit hours) may apply during the February 1-March 15 cycle for transfer the following fall semester (August)
  • Students who have completed more than 14 hours may apply during the September 1-October 15 cycle for transfer the following spring semester (January) or the February 15-March 15 cycle for transfer the following fall semester (August)

Students must apply online using the form, available throughout the duration of each application cycle.

External Transfer Admission

No requirements beyond University admission requirements.

Opportunities Upon Graduation

Students completing the Bachelor of Science in Communication degree in the School of Communication Studies are prepared with transferable competency sets that enable them to work in a variety of organizations. The degree is perfect preparation for a career in corporate training, foreign service, law, politics, labor relations, human services, campaign management, event planning, account representation, sales, management, or survey research, to name just a few careers. All told, the major is designed to augment students’ lives and careers through a clearer understanding of the effects of communication and messages in their professional and personal lives.


Universitywide Graduation Requirements

To complete this program, students must meet all Universitywide graduation requirements .

College-Level Requirements for the Scripps College of Communication

View the College-Level Requirements for the Scripps College of Communication .

COMS Theory Requirement

Complete the following courses:

Complete two of the following courses; completing the minimum of two courses will meet the Tier I Jr. English requirement:

COMS Research Methods

Complete two of the following courses:

COMS Electives

Complete five courses (two courses must be at the 3000- or 4000-level) for a minimum of 15 credit hours from the following courses:

COMS Related Area

Students are expected to complete a minimum of 18 credit hours in a minor, certificate, or related area outside COMS. Students should attempt to balance lower-divsion (1000-2000) and upper-division (3000-4000) courses with at least one-half of the credits at the upper-division level.

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