May 28, 2023  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Communication B.A.

(CIP = 09.0101)

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.

State Mandated Common Course Prerequisites

Students wishing to transfer to USF should complete an A.A. degree at a Florida College System institution. Some courses required for the major may also meet General Education requirements thereby transferring maximum hours to the university.

If a student wishes to transfer without an A.A. degree and has fewer than 60 semester hours of acceptable credit, the student must meet the university’s entering freshman requirements including ACT or SAT test scores, GPA, and course requirements.

Transfer students are also required to comply with the immunization, foreign language, and continuous enrollment policies of the university.

Students should complete the following prerequisite courses 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.

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

  • SPC X608 Public Speaking I - 3 credit hours

Total Major Hours: 39

Major Core (27 Credit Hours)

Required Core Courses (18 Credit Hours)

There are six required core courses including one prerequisite and one department capstone. Once enrolled in the major, students should take the first five core courses listed below as early as possible and take the department capstone course [which also fulfills the University’s Capstone Experience (CST) requirement] late in the students’ junior year or early in the students’ senior year.

Required Distribution Area 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)

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 differences based on gender, sexuality/sexual orientation, race/ethnicity/nationality, social class, abilities, age/age cohorts, spirituality, and religion).

Public Communication and Media (select one course)

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 skills; culture, social institutions, and power; public opinion and memory; political discourse, social protest and social movements; and public performances of literature and other texts. ​Approaches include critical and cultural studies, rhetorical studies, performance studies, diversity studies (e.g., gender, race, and class), and culture and identity studies.

Applied Communication (select one course)

Applied Communication focuses on advanced communication skills, communication practice, and how communication practice in specialized contexts informs and is informed by communication theory and research. ​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 includes ​for profit corporations, not-for-profit organizations, health care institutions, tourism, religious institutions, families, civic organizations and communities in both domestic and global settings.

Major Electives (12 Credit Hours)

Additional Departmental Electives (12 Credit Hours)

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.

Grading Requirement

A final grade of at least C- is required for all major coursework to count toward a Communication major. Courses may not be taken S/U where a grade option exists.

Other Requirements

State Communication (formerly known as Gordon Rule Writing) Courses

Global Citizens Certified Courses (GCPC)

Research Opportunities

All undergraduate students in any degree program can participate in undergraduate research. There are a number of options to receive academic credit for a mentored research experience and to have the experience show on the official transcript. Students 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 2912 , IDS 4914  or IDS 4910  courses. These courses will not impact degree credits or GPA but will show on an official transcript and document the experience. The Office for Undergraduate Research will assist students in understanding the various course options (

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

Advising Information

The Department offers professional advising for all communication majors and minors. Email to:

Communication Faculty

Chairperson: P. Buzzanell; Professors: E. Bell, P. Buzzanell, E.M. Eisenberg, L.S. Pettegrew; Steven Wilson; Associate Professors: M. Bartesaghi, A. Basu, K. Berry, A. Durham, R. Dubrofsky, N.C. James, J. Jorgenson, C McRae, M Pal, D. Payne, L. Roscoe, F. Steier; Assistant Professors: A. Huber, M. Dean Kruzel, J. Scacco; Instructor: L. Friedman; Courtesy Faculty: C. Noy.

Plan of Study

Click here for Plan of Study. Once on this page, select the program from the available drop-down and then click ‘View Selected Plan.’