Communication Studies

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Curriculum emphasizes ethical and philosophical relationships of the individual to society.

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SMU's award-winning debate program provides solid preparation for developing the student's voice.

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Access to outstanding hands-on experiences includes working the Republican and Democratic national conventions, consulting with boards of nonprofit organizations and participating in international travel programs.

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Students can network with executives from Dallas-area companies through SMU’s PRSSA chapter.

B.A. in Communication Studies

Students seeking an undergraduate degree in Communication Studies receive a broad background in the liberal arts, followed by a major curriculum that prepares them for graduate and professional studies and/or work in agencies, corporations and nonprofit organizations; cultural, legal and educational institutions; associations; and government.

The curriculum introduces students to the historical development of the communication field and educates them about the principles and theories behind organizational and public communication. Students also develop requisite communication skills, gain awareness of the ethical responsibilities of professional communicators, and develop the communication and management capabilities required for success in a global environment. After developing a strong core of fundamental communication skills and knowledge, students learn how to apply those skills in organizational and public contexts. The Communication Studies program emphasizes critical thinking, problem solving, research and writing.

Communication Studies Honors Program

Students may apply for admission to the honors track after completion of 45 hours with a 3.5 overall GPA or better. To graduate “with distinction,” students must take six hours of honors-designated Communication Studies courses and COMM 4375 Honors Thesis in Communications. Students accepted to the honors track must maintain a 3.5 or higher overall GPA in all SMU coursework to graduate with the honors distinction. The top 10 percent of each class is eligible for faculty nomination to Kappa Tau Alpha, the national communication honorary society.

Requirements for the Degree Credit Hours
Pre Major Core Requirements
  • COMM 2310: Rhetoric, Community, and Public Deliberation
  • COMM 2327: Communication Theory

Core courses 2310 and 2327 should be taken concurrently and must be completed prior to enrolling in 2308 and 2375.

6
Major Core Requirements
  • COMM 2308: Strategic Communications and Public Relations
  • COMM 2375: Communication Research and Metrics
Core courses 2308 and 2375 should be taken concurrently and must be completed prior to enrolling in upper division COMM electives.
6
Major Requirements: With the completion of the pre-core requirements (ENGL I & II and STAT) and the first two of the four core COMM requirements (2310 & 2327) students may apply to the major. Students must have a cumulative 3.0 in the above five courses with a grade of C or better in each course. A grade of C- will not count towards progression of major on any of the pre-core or pre-major core requirements. Minor Requirements: Same as major with the addition of three upper level COMM courses or two upper level COMM courses and one approved course outside of the division.
Upper-level Electives
Students are required to take 18 Upper Division Electives from the following. At least 3 credits must be taken in the area of International and Intercultural Communication.
18
International and Intercultural Communication
  • COMM 3302: Ethno-Violence: Interdisciplinary Perspective (also CFB)
  • COMM 3321: Communication in Global Contexts
  • COMM 3341: Ethnicity, Culture, & Gender: Intro to Critical Studies in Comm (also CFB)
  • COMM 4385: Communication, Technology and Globalization
The remaining 15 credits may be taken from the menu below. Note: Only 6 hours of Topics coursework may be used toward the major.
  • COMM 2300: Public Speaking in Context
  • COMM 3101: Pre-Law Scholars Seminar (open to pre-law scholar candidates only)
  • COMM 3300: Free Speech and the First Amendment
  • COMM 3310: Crisis Management
  • COMM 3327: Argumentation and Advocacy
  • COMM 3335: Social Media and Online Communication
  • COMM 3342: Race and Identity Construction in Global Contexts (also CFB)
  • COMM 3345: Persuasion Theory and Practice
  • COMM 3347: Political Communication
  • COMM 3350: Integrated Marketing Communication
  • COMM 3355: Introduction to Public Relations
  • COMM 3360: Business and Management Communication
  • COMM 3365: Organizational Communication
  • COMM 3380: Introduction to Non-Profit Communication
  • COMM 3382: Advanced Strategic Communication & Public Relations
  • COMM 3387: Advanced Non-Profit Communication: Donor and Philanthropic Communication
  • COMM 3390: Employee Communication
  • COMM 3393: Rhetoric, Politics, and the Mass Media
  • COMM 3395: Public Opinion, the Press, and Public Policy
  • COMM 4030: Professional Seminar (zero hour)
  • COMM 4300: Seminar in Political Communication
  • COMM 4310: History and Philosophy of Free Speech
  • COMM 4340: Public Relations Account Management
  • COMM 4392: mustangconsulting I: Introduction to Communication Consulting
  • COMM 4393: mustangconsulting II: Capstone
  • COMM 4375: Honors Thesis in Communication
  • COMM 4386: Financial Communication
  • COMM 4390: Globalization, Economics and Communication
  • COMM 4395: Public Relations Campaigns
  • COMM 4396: Public Relations Campaigns in Non-Profit Settings (previously 3385)
  • COMM 5301-5305: Topics: advanced academic training concentrations
15
PRACTICUM: Students will take two (2) Practicums, one of which focuses on applied communication in organizational contexts and settings, and the other of which offers a competitive academic communication experience.
  • COMM 4323 Forensics Workshop
    or
  • COMM 4324 Competitive Mock Trial

    and

  • COMM 4325 Organizational Internship / Political Internship
    or
  • COMM 4326 Washington Term Internship
6
Meadows Elective Co-Requirement
At least three of these hours must be in a non-Communications discipline.
6
Minor and Other Electives
Minor is to be determined with adviser and may be in another communication discipline.
 28
Other Requirements / University Curriculum (UC)  41
Ethics Course Requirement  3
Foreign Language  8
  122

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B.A. in Communication Studies

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