Department of Communication Studies, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
We teach communication studies that nurture inclusive civil discourse, critical thinking, and cooperative solutions in a diverse global community. We offer opportunities to develop strong communication skills within a challenging liberal arts program.
Why Consider a Communication Studies Major?
Communication competencies are essential for active participation in democratic societies, as is the ability to think critically about the nature and purpose of communication, in all its forms, in our rapidly changing and increasingly interdependent world. In addition, employers in the private, public, and non-profit sectors place a very high value on communication competencies combined with critical thinking skills. Communication Studies graduates therefore qualify for a wide variety of careers.
In this context, the Department of Communication Studies offers students the opportunity to develop competencies in speech, analytical writing, and collaborative teamwork. In addition, the department offers opportunities for students to develop their capacity to engage in critical thinking, to apply communication concepts, to understand methods for the generation of knowledge, and to reflect on the ethical dimensions of their actions.
Steven Woods, Ph.D.
Communications Facility 293
Communications Facility 295
For pre-major advising, visit the Communication Studies office in Communications Facility 295.
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How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process):
Students contemplating a major in Communication Studies are encouraged to register as pre-majors with the Communication Studies department in Communications Facility 295, to ensure that they receive appropriate advising and relevant communications from the department.
Students wishing to declare a major in Communication Studies must submit a portfolio to the department (see below) in order to be admitted through a competitive selection process.
Admission to the major will, in part, be determined by the number of applicants and their qualifications in any given quarter. Cumulative grade point average (GPA) will be one of the major criteria for admission. In most quarters, the average GPA of successful applications is above 3.0. Other factors considered by faculty when selecting communication studies majors are writing samples, work and service experiences with diverse populations, references, and seniority at WWU.
Before applying to become a Communication Studies major, students must:
- Complete any one of the following courses with a B- or better: COMM 101, COMM 224, COMM 225, COMM 230, COMM 235, COMM 240, COMM 260.
- Complete COMM 220 with a B- or better.
- Complete at least 60 credits of WWU credits or approved transfer credits with a GPA of 2.50 or above. Note that no more than 50 percent of total COMM credits can be transferred from another institution.
- Complete 12-15 credits at WWU. Once these requirements have been completed, students can submit a portfolio of their work on or before Monday of the third week of fall, winter and spring quarters. The faculty will then review the portfolios and announce the names of successful applicants before the end of each quarter. Students are allowed to make a maximum of two application attempts.
The portfolio will include the following items:
- Admission application
- Transcripts of all college work completed to date.
- Transfer students must also include at Transcript Equivalency Report (TER) for any transfer credits that will be applied toward the major.
- A letter of intent to major in communication studies.
- A résumé including course of study, work experience, recreational and a vocational activities, internships, awards and honors, and public service activities.
- Two academic work samples of the student’s collegiate writing assignments including a research paper.
- Three references from employers, teachers, or supervisors. References should include name, occupation, title, phone number, and email address of each person serving as a reference.
- A proposed program of study or course planning grid.
- Academic Honor Code.
A grade of C- or better is required for a student’s major or minor courses, and supporting courses for majors and minors.