B.A. in Communication Studies

The Department of Communication Studies offers a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Communication Studies. This program provides students with a comprehensive and in-depth study of communication. You will develop competence in communication and expand your expertise to a specialty of your choice. Your dedicated advisor will guide you through a focused plan of study in one of three concentrations: relational communication, organizational communication, or public communication. You will graduate with a clear understanding of how to execute professional and personal communication strategies across in-demand fields and industries. Read more about program requirements.

Careers after Graduation

The Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies will prepare you to ethically employ learned strategies across career fields such as sales, corporate communication, human resources, government, entrepreneurship, and non-profits. Many of our graduates also pursue advanced degrees and professional training in law, business management, counseling, and social work. Our majors often complete a minor in fields such as media and society, journalism, political science, psychology, English, peace and conflict studies, theater, studio art, or women's studies.

Program Requirements

Required lower-division core courses (21 semester hours)

  • COM 209: Principles & Practice of Public Speaking I

    COM 206: Argumentation 

    COM 211: Communication Literacy & Inquiry

    COM 213: Public Communication

    COM 214: Relational Communication

    COM 215: Organizational Communication

    COM 309: Principles & Practice of Public Speaking II


Limited substitutions may be made to the required lower-division courses with the advisor's written consent. View all lower division courses

Upper-division courses (15 semester hours)

Work with your advisor to select five appropriate courses at the 300 and/or 400 level from the listing of department course offerings. Every semester, a listing of those courses that the department plans to offer will be posted and distributed to advisors. This listing will project two years into the future and will be updated at the beginning of each academic year.

In order to take upper level courses, students must successfully complete COM 209 and COM 211, plus COM 213, or COM 214, or COM 215, depending on the upper level course.

Here is the list of upper level courses in the redesigned COM major (as of Fall 2019):

RELATIONAL COMMUNICATION (prerequisites: COM 209, COM 211, COM 214)

COM 307: Nonverbal Communication. 

COM 332: Conflict Resolution.

COM 345:  Communicating Gender and Sexuality.

COM 375: Language, Thought & Behavior.

COM 380: Health Communication.

COM 385: Family Communication.

COM 387: Friendship Communication.

COM 397: Special Topics in Relational Communication.   


COM 304: Organizational Communication Consulting.

COM 333: Small Group Communication.

COM 335: Corporate Social Responsibility.

COM 337: Communication and Leadership.

COM 398: Special Topics in Organizational Communication. 

PUBLIC COMMUNICATION (prerequisites: COM 209, COM 211, COM 213)

COM 340: Political Communication. 

COM 342: Persuasion.

COM 344: Rhetorical Criticism. 

COM 348: Rhetoric & Popular Culture.

COM 396: Special Topics in Public Communication. 

 View all upper division courses

Capstone course (3 semester hours)

COM 490: Capstone (3 credits)

(prerequisites: COM 209, COM 206, COM 211, COM 213, COM 214, COM 215, and COM 309)

The capstone course is designed to bring together all your knowledge from the major in a way that helps you complete a project pertaining to communication. The capstone is meant to help bridge your career at WCU and your next steps after graduation.

Applied area (24-27 semester hours)

With help from your advisor, you will select additional courses that meet your career objectives. These may include additional courses offered by the Department of Communication Studies or by other departments. As part of your applied area, you may also complete a minor of your choice and/or an internship (COM 400).

Please note that COM 400 (Internship) has the prerequisites of COM 209 and COM 211 as well as ONE of the following: COM213 or COM214 or COM215. COM 400 does not count as an upper level COM course.

Foreign language/culture requirement (0-15 semester hours)

Students must fulfill the foreign language/culture requirements of the Bachelor of Arts degree as specified in the West Chester University Undergraduate Catalog. You can complete four courses in a language of your choice (101, 102, 201, and 202), or two courses in the language (101, 102) and three culture cluster courses. Culture clusters are courses taught in English that focus on the culture of the language you’ve been studying. If you already speak some foreign language, you may be able to satisfy some of the course requirements by taking a language placement test.

A grade of C or better is required in WRT 120 and 121, and a grade of C- or better is required in the 202-level course of a foreign language. If you choose the culture cluster option to fulfill your language requirement, you must earn C- or better in the 102 level of the language course and in all the culture cluster courses.

General education (48 semester hours)

 All majors must satisfy the general education requirements, as specified in the West Chester University Undergraduate Catalog.

Grade requirements

A grade of C or better must be earned in a COM course in order for it to meet a department requirement. Also, a 2.5 average or better must be earned in the aggregate of lower- and upper-division courses before graduation will be recommended.

Students who exhaust their course repeat options and have not earned a grade of C or better in all the prerequisite communication courses will be advised that they will not be able to complete the requirements for a B.A. in Communication Studies. The department chair will offer an exit interview and help them to identify available alternatives.


Each student majoring in Communication Studies is assigned to a faculty advisor. Students are encouraged to meet with their advisors on a regular basis to plan and monitor their degree progress. Read more.

Switching into Communication Studies

To declare a COM major, visit MyWCU and submit an Academic Plan Change Request, following the directions listed here. Selection for admission will be made at the conclusion of the semester in which you completed the prerequisite core, after grades are posted. 

Students may apply prior to earning grades in these courses but will be placed on hold until grades have been posted. Students who do not gain admission may reapply, but they must retake and earn a C or better in all of the three core courses.

For more information about the program requirements, see your Degree Progress Report or the COM Advising Sheet.

For more information regarding our undergraduate program, please contact our interim department chair Dr. Lisa Millhous at ComMediaChair@wcupa.edu. You can also download our Undergraduate Handbook here .

Minor Programs

The Department of Communication Studies offers two minor programs:

Minor in Communication Studies: This six-course (18-credit) program makes an excellent complement to nearly any B.A. or B.S. degree offered at WCU. Take this program to build understanding of human communication and develop strong communication skills.

Minor in Media and Culture: This six-course (18-credit) program is a great choice for anyone preparing for a career in fields like broadcasting, public relations, or social media.