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Communication B.A.

The Communication major is designed to provide multiple levels of knowledge of communication. 

The Undergraduate Major in Communication

The Department of Communication offers students the option to pursue Communication Studies or select from one of the following specializations: Health and Science Communication, Media and Digital Communication, Political Communication and Public Advocacy or Public Relations. The course requirements for the different specializations vary and the key to a successful completion of the COMM major requirements is based on planning the appropriate course sequence for your specialization of choice. The major is composed of six parts: Foundations of Communication, Research Methods, Communication and Society (consists of 2 courses: Leadership and Social Change and Diversity and Inclusion), Theory and Principles, 2 Applied courses, and Electives.

A grade of 'C-' or better is required in all courses used to satisfy major requirements.

Update regarding Spring 2020 grades: Due to the impact of COVID-19 on grading methods, we will consider the grade of Pass ("P") as meeting the minimum grade necessary for gateway and major requirements for courses taken in the Spring 2020 semester.

Update regarding Spring 2021 grades: For Spring 2021, students may earn a grade of Pass with a C- or better (students are permitted to take up to 7 credits Pass/D+/D/D-/F). A grade of Pass in Spring 2021 will meet the minimum grade necessary for gateway and major requirements.

Degree Requirements

Requirements of the Major and Specializations for students admitted Fall 2020 and later

If you would like additional information about the communication major, please submit the form here: https://go.umd.edu/NewCOMM and we will email you a presentation on the major.

The communication major studies the history, processes, and effects of human communication.
Students may pursue a degree in general Communication Studies or in one of the specializations below.

Specialization Options

HEALTH AND SCIENCE COMMUNICATION

Examines how health, risk, and science-related issues are communicated by individuals, groups, cultures, and media with particular attention given to effects of messages on public opinion and human behavior.

  • Course topics include: 
  • Health Communication Theory and Practice 
  • Health and Media Campaigns 
  • Risk Communication 
  • Crisis Communication 
  • Science Communication

MEDIA AND DIGITAL COMMUNICATION

Examines how messages are produced and disseminated to audiences by traditional media (i.e., television and newspapers) and emerging new digital media.

Course topics include: 

  • Media History and Criticism 
  • Black Discourse and Digital Society 
  • Technology and Digital Culture 
  • Media Effects 
  • Media Campaigns 
  • Digital Media and Message Production 
  • Digital Media and Advocacy

POLITICAL COMMUNICATION AND PUBLIC ADVOCACY

Examines how political messages are communicated in political settings including governmental institutions (international, national, state, and local levels) non-governmental organizations (NGOs and community groups), and activist groups (social movements).

Course topics include: 

  • Political Communication
  • Politics, Media and Digital Culture
  • Public Deliberation and Political Advocacy
  • Protest Rhetoric
  • Public Address and Historical Research
  • Rhetoric of Black America
  • Speech Writing
  • Political Advertising

PUBLIC RELATIONS

Examines how messages are strategically managed to build and maintain relationships  with groups that enhance organizational success, shape public opinion, and promote corporate social responsibility.

Course topics include: 

  • Public Relations Management
  • PR Writing and Editing
  • PR Campaigns
  • Public Relations Research
  • Communication Ethics
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • New Media Engagement

Requirements of the Major and the Tracks of Study for students admitted prior to Fall 2020 (as downloadable PDFs)

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