Wayne State University

Curriculum - Major in Communication Studies

About the major: A major in Communication Studies offers students an opportunity to develop excellent communication skills and a thorough knowledge of the theory of human communication.

Career opportunities: Employers in business, government, and education identify excellent communication skills as the most important quality they desire in hiring employees. Communication Studies majors find careers in many different fields, including business, government, education, law and religion.

Requirements for the major (36 credits):

1. The following courses are required (eighteen hours):

  • COM 1010 (OC) Oral Communication: Basic Speech (3 credits)
  • COM 2000 Introduction to Communication Studies (3 credits)
  • COM 2110 (CT) Argumentation and Debate (3 credits)
  • COM 3400 (WI) Theories of Communication (3 credits)
  • COM 4190 Rhetorical Criticism (3 credits)
  • or COM 4210 Intro. to Research Methods in Comm/PR (3 credits)
  • COM 5900 Senior Project in Communication Studies (3 credits)

Capstone course should be taken in last year of study.

2. An additional eighteen hours in communication studies courses are required and should be selected from among the courses listed below as follows:

Two Communication Studies Courses at the 2000/3000 level:

  • COM 2160 (PL) Persuasive Campaigns and Movements (3 credits)
  • COM 2170 Persuasive Speaking (3 credits)
  • COM 2200 Interpersonal Communication (3 credits)
  • COM 3170 Fundamentals of Public Relations (3 credits)
  • COM 3250 Introduction to Organizational Communication (3 credits)
  • COM 3300 Business and Profession Presentations (3 credits)

Two Communication Studies Courses at the 4000 level:

  • COM 4041 Rhetoric and the Body (3 credits)
  • COM 4110 Studies of Legal Argument (3 credits)
  • COM 4130 Communication Ethics (3 credits)
  • COM 4140 Pop and Celebrity Culture (3 credits)
  • COM 4150 Communication and Conflict (3 credits)
  • COM 4200 Nonverbal Communication (3 credits)
  • COM 4270 Small Group Communication (3 credits)
  • COM 4300 Intercultural Communication (3 credits)
  • COM 4500 Leadership Communication (3 credits)

Two Communication Studies Courses at the 5000 level:

  • COM 5120 Public Address (3 credits)
  • COM 5130 Communication and Social Marketing (3 credits)
  • COM 5190 Senior Seminar in Communication Studies (3 credits)
  • COM 5320 Health Communication (3 credits)
  • COM 5330 Rhetoric of Visual Culture (3 credits)
  • COM 5360 Gender and Communication (3 credits)

Important reminders:  You must complete all courses in WSU's College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts with a C (2.0) or better. This also includes all transfer credits that may be applicable to the major programs. You must also complete the university's general education and competency requirements, as well as the college's group requirements, which include completion of a foreign language through the equivalent of three semesters of a foreign language or two semesters of foreign language and one foreign culture class. All students are expected to follow the published curriculum for their major and to consult regularly with their advisor in the department.

Special activities:  Course work is only one part of your undergraduate education. Employers pay close attention to the types of activities in which applicants participated in as students. There are many valuable campus activities. You are encouraged to participate in such activities as student government, the student newspaper (South End), and Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ). In addition, the Department of Communication sponsors the Wayne State University chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), as well as the nationally acclaimed debate and speech teams. Some outstanding majors will be nominated for membership in the National Honorary Society, Lambda Pi Eta.