Apr 15, 2024  
2013-2014 Catalog 
2013-2014 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Communication Studies, BA

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Department of Communication Studies, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

50 credits (plus minor)

Introduction/What is the Study of Communication?

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 Communications Studies Major? 

Communication Studies graduates qualify for a variety of careers. Strong attention to research and writing provides students with skills needed for entry-level positions in organizational training and development, public relations, marketing, electronic media and other information-oriented occupations. The entire Communication Studies field is growing rapidly with increased diversification of employment opportunities.

Most people are born with the ability to acquire communication skills, and we can help you realize your full potential. We believe the educational techniques of direct instruction, guided rehearsals and modeling provide tools for developing effective communication practices. In addition, you can learn more about developing stronger communities through ethical interaction, civil public discourse and cooperative decision-making.

 Contact Information

Department Chair
Michael Karlberg, Ph.D.
Communications Facility 289

Department Manager
Ann Reynolds
Communications Facility 295

For pre-major advising, visit the drop-in Communication Studies Peer Advisors in Communications Facility 203, or the Communication Studies Department Manager in Communications Facility 295.

 Sample Careers

Consumer Affairs Specialist | Personnel Specialist | Public Relations Specialist | Promotions Manager | Recruiter | Mediator | Training and Development Specialist | Bank Officer | Real Estate Agent

 Major/Career Resources


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 203, in order 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, reference letters, and seniority at WWU.

Before applying to become a Communication Studies major, students must:

  • Complete COMM 101  or COMM 235  with a B- or better.
  • Complete  , with a B- or better.
  • Complete at least 60 credits of WWU credits or approved transfer credits with a GPA of 2.5 or above.

Once these requirements have been met, students can submit a portfolio of their work on or before Monday of the fourth 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:

  • Transcripts of all college work completed to date
  • 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 samples of the student’s collegiate writing assignments including best research paper
  • Three letters of recommendation from employers, teachers, or supervisors
  • A proposed program of study form which includes a statement indicating a chosen minor or second major from another department. In lieu of an official minor, the department will accept a self-designed event-planning minor under faculty advisement if the appropriate paperwork is included in the portfolio. Students may also substitute a TESOL certification or Internet Studies certification for the minor. 

Transfer students must include at Transcript Equivalency Report (TER) for any transfer credits that will be applied toward the major.

Once admitted, communication studies majors whose cumulative GPA falls below 2.5 risk losing their major status. They will be warned of the risk in their first quarter below 2.5 and may be dropped from the major if their cumulative GPA is not 2.5 or higher in the subsequent quarter. 

Grade Requirements

A grade of C- or better is required for a student’s major or minor courses, and supporting courses for majors and minors.


Departmental Honors

A communication major who wishes to graduate with honors in communication must achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.75 at WWU.

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