Dec 10, 2023  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Communication B.A.

Plans of Study

The Bachelor of Arts in Communication is a liberal arts degree that prepares students to communicate effectively and ethically in personal and professional relationships and in both face-to-face and mediated contexts. More specifically this degree prepares students to:

  1. Collaborate, work, and lead in culturally-diverse teams and organizations;
  2. Develop advanced communication skills and competencies in oral, written, social media, and/or other forms of communication;
  3. Analyze and create messages, presentations, and persuasive communication strategies;
  4. Understand, build, and strengthen personal and professional identities and relationships;
  5. Study and critique culture and media including: media organizations, communication technologies, and mediated content (e.g., television, film, music, print, computer, Internet, and social media);
  6. Apply communication knowledge and related skills in one or more specialized contexts (e.g., health care; media; marketing; law; politics; profits and not-for-profits; government; public advocacy; social movements; religion; world cafés; public dialogues; performance; intimate and family relationships);
  7. Engage in undergraduate communication research; and
  8. Become active and productive U.S. and global citizens.

University Admissions - College of Arts and Sciences

Admission to the University is based on the University’s Undergraduate Admission Requirements that may be found by clicking on the following urls:

For Admission information specific to the College of Arts and Sciences, see the information at College of Arts and Sciences .

Graduation Requirements - College of Arts and Sciences

Satisfactory completion of the following requirements:

  • Students must complete all State and University level graduation requirements.
  •  Maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in USF coursework. Note: Some Departments/program/major require a higher GPA. Students should refer to Department/program/major specific catalog requirements.
    • The College may approve an exception when a student has successfully earned the minimum grade required for all courses applied in the major but does not have a major GPA of 2.0.
  • Physical Education coursework is limited to two (2) semester hours.
  • ROTC courses that are primarily physical training and field experiences will not be applied to College of Arts and Sciences degree programs. All other military Science coursework will apply, in particular, coursework utilized toward completing an established ROTC minor will be applied to the total hours toward degree. 
  • When earning a second degree, double major or concurrent degree, the Major Core and Major Elective/Concentration areas of the degree audit must not overlap for both degrees.  All other areas of the degree audit may have overlapping credit hours applied.
  • Maximum of 20 hours of S/U option. S/U contracts must be negotiated in writing within the first three (3) weeks of the term. None of the 20 credits may be taken in the student’s major unless S/U is the only grading option. Coursework fulfilling the General Education Core Curriculum Requirements and the State Communication Requirement (formerly known as Gordon Rule Writing) and State Computation Requirement (formerly known as Gordon Rule Math) may not be taken S/U.
  • The Audit option is available only during the first 5 days of classes.
  • Complete all major course requirements.
  • College of Arts and Sciences students are expected to complete a minimum of 50% of their major and/or minor coursework in residence at USF. Some College of Arts and Sciences Departments/programs/majors have established additional major course hours to be taken in residency at USF. See the major or program section of the catalog for these credit-hour requirements.

State Mandated Common Course Prerequisites - Communication B.A.

Following Florida BOG Regulation 8.010, state mandated common course prerequisites are lower-division courses that are required for progression into the upper division of a particular baccalaureate degree program. 

Transfer students should complete the State Mandated Common Course Prerequisites at the lower level prior to entering the university. If these courses are not taken at a Florida College System institution, they must be completed before the degree is granted. Successful completion of the common prerequisites alone does not guarantee a student admission into the degree program. 

Unless stated otherwise, a grade of C- is the minimum acceptable grade in prerequisite courses.

  • SPC X608 Public Speaking - 3 credit hours

Required Courses: (39 credit hours)

Major Core: 9 courses; 27 credit hours

Required Core Courses: 6 courses; 18 credit hours

There are six required core courses including one prerequisite. Once enrolled in the major, students should take as early as possible the prerequisite (if not already taken) and the first five core courses listed below (15 credit-hours); next students should take one course each from the three Required Distribution Area Courses (9 credit-hours); and finally students should complete the major by taking the required department capstone course either late in the students’ junior year or early in the students’ senior year (3 credit-hours) and four department electives (12 credit-hours).

Required Distribution Area Courses: 3 courses; 9 credit hours

Students must take one course in each of the three distribution areas (Communication and Human Relationships, Public Communication and Media, and Applied Communication) for a total of three courses.

Communication and Human Relationships (select one course; 3 credit hours)

Communication and Human Relationships focuses on the role of communication in constructing, sustaining, and changing human relationships. ​This area includes the study of intimate relationships (family, friendships, and romantic); professional relationships (patient-health care provider); personal identity (self-awareness and personal narrative); verbal and nonverbal communication (talk, conversations, and writing); performance (performing literary and real-life relationships); and communication and cultural diversity (communicating across human differences based on gender and gender identity; sexuality and sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, and nationality; social class, physical and mental abilities, age and age cohorts, spirituality, and religion; etc.)

Public Communication and Media (select one course; 3 credit hours)

Public Communication and Media focuses on the critical study and analyses of communication, culture, and media in the public sphere. ​Specific areas include media and media texts (television, film, music, print, Internet and social media), media literacy; culture and power; public opinion; political communication, social justice and social movements; and public performances of literature and other texts. ​Academic approaches include critical and cultural studies, rhetorical studies, performance studies, diversity studies and survey research.

Applied Communication (select one course; 3 credit hours)

Applied Communication focuses on the development of advanced communication skills and how communication theory and research inform communication in specialized contexts. ​Advanced communication skills include leadership (working in teams and organizations); oral communication (interviewing, performing, public speaking, creating presentations); written, digital and electronic communication, and undergraduate research. ​The specialized contexts of “applied” communication include ​for profit corporations, not-for-profit organizations, health care institutions, families, civic organizations and communities in both domestic and global settings.

Major Electives: 4 courses; 12 credit hours

Additional Departmental Electives

Students must take additional 3000- or 4000-level Communication courses to fulfill the remaining 12 hour elective requirement.

Please consult Catalog for full listing of Communication course titles, and consult Oasis for current SPC 4930 - Selected Topics  courses. Faculty strongly recommend that students interested in a specialization within their major select and take at least 9 of these 12 elective hours within one of the three Department Distribution Areas: Communication and Human Relationships, Public Communication and Media, or Applied Communication.

Additional Information - Communication B.A.

GPA Requirements

Major GPA (All USF courses which are applied to major requirements): 2.0
General Education GPA (All USF courses which are applied to General Education requirements): 2.0
USF GPA: 2.0
Overall GPA: 2.0

Grading Requirements

C- or better to meet major course requirements unless specified elsewhere. Will vary by area.

Note:  Some USF courses have higher grade criteria to meet prerequisite knowledge necessary for progression into higher level courses.

Residency Requirements - College of Arts and Sciences

Department and College of Arts and Sciences Major Academic Residency Requirement - 50% of major must be completed at USF.

USF Academic Residency Requirement - 30 of the last 60 hours earned must be from USF.

Optional Honors Program

The Honors Program in Communication provides an opportunity for exceptional undergraduate students in Communication to work closely with a faculty member in an intensive research experience. Each Honors student is required to complete and defend an undergraduate Honors Thesis. 

Application to the program ordinarily occurs during the second semester of the junior year or prior to completion of 90 semester hours. Students interested in the Honors Program should consult the department for further information about admission and program requirements.

Admission to the program is based on the student’s overall academic record, performance in communication courses, and recommendations of faculty. To be admitted to the program, a student should have at least a 3.5 GPA in all Communication courses and a 3.0 cumulative GPA. 

Students are required to complete 3 hours of Honors Reading and 3 hours of Honors Thesis. 

Other Program Information

Communication Career Pathways Information

Available on the Department of Communication website.

Student Organizations

  • Lambda Pi Eta National Honorary Society
  • Communication Council

Research Opportunities - College of Arts and Sciences

Undergraduate students in any degree program are able to participate in undergraduate research. Several options exist to show mentored undergraduate research activity on a student’s official transcript. Those who wish to enroll in an undergraduate research course should consult with their academic advisor to understand how the credit will apply towards the degree requirements. If no credit is needed, students may be eligible to enroll in the 0-credit IDS 4914  course. This course will not impact degree credits or GPA but will show on an official transcript and document the experience. The Office of High Impact Practices and Undergraduate Research is able to assist with further inquiries.

Advising Information - College of Arts and Sciences

Undergraduate Advising Information

The College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) Advising Team provides students with support to create timely graduation plans that will integrate both their academic and professional goals.  Each of our undergraduate programs has dedicated professional advisors with specialized knowledge and understanding of the major requirements, course offerings, undergraduate research, and career opportunities in their field.  Additionally, we have dedicated pre-health and prelaw advisors to help students prepare for admission to professional graduate programs.


CAS Academic Advisor Contact information can be found here: CAS Advisors

To schedule an advising appointment: Advising Appointments