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Bachelor of Arts Degree
Arts and Sciences
Time to Completion
Evening Courses Offered
Distance Learning Courses Offered
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Contact InformationDepartment Website
PO Box 210184
What Is Communication ?
The academic discipline of communication focuses on discourse among people and within organizations and social institutions. The award-winning communication faculty members share a distinctive focus on contemporary social problems. Their research and the undergraduate program center on understanding issues of voice, identity, public participation and advocacy/leadership across communication domains including interpersonal, organizational, political, rhetorical, environmental, health and mediated communication.
Students in the program develop strong communication skills grounded in an advanced, theory-based understanding of communication processes. Classroom skills are further developed through experiential learning and community engagement with team-based projects, internships and residencies, service learning and collaboration with community organizations.
Communication majors have excellent critical-thinking and writing abilities, and they are concerned with understanding society and improving social institutions and the well-being of individuals. Communication is an excellent major for students who are interested in working with people and groups in a variety of fields, e.g., business, social work and law.
Graduates with a B.A. in communication from UC McMicken College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) are well prepared for many different career options. In our modern world, success in business and industry requires a sophisticated understanding of communication processes. Positions in human resource management, as well as marketing and public relations, require strong communication skills. Communication students are well prepared for advanced study in areas such as law and business because of the critical thinking skills they acquire along with the more practical speaking and writing skills at the core of a communication major. Graduates find jobs as:
- Admissions Counselors
- Advertising Account Executives
- Communication Educators
- Electronic Media On-Air Talent, Producers and Directors
- Event Planners
- Human Resource Specialists
- Marketing Managers
- Sales Representatives
All communication majors must complete the Department of Communication Major Requirements.
The major requires a broad foundation in the basics of communication along with more focused study in an area of concentration. The communication core of four fundamental classes provides a foundation of skills and theory. Students must complete the core foundation courses (171, 176, 306 & 307) with a grade of "C" or better in each course and obtain junior standing before taking courses at the 400 level. The 401 Rhetorical Theory and 407 Communication Theory are required capstone experiences for all communication majors. Majors will take classes in five content areas and choose one or more areas of concentration in advanced communication skills, organizational communication, interpersonal communication, public communication or mass media.
A&S offers flexible degree requirements which allow for multiple areas of study. Free electives allow for enough credits for students to pursue a minor, certificate program or even complete a second major. Some of the most common pairings are listed below.
- International affairs
- Foreign languages
- Social science programs
Public Relations Certificate
Although students cannot minor in communication, students who major in communication can pursue the Public Relations Certificate. Students who pass 15COMM242 with a grade of C or better and are interested in specializing in public relations can receive the certificate.
Required courses emphasize both theory and practice through phases such as situation analysis, audience analysis, strategic analysis of options and planning, message design and program implementation and evaluation. A graduate should be well prepared to work in a variety of PR applications, including agencies, nonprofit organizations, corporations, government, advocacy organizations, health care and others.
This curriculum information is intended as a general information guide for students considering enrollment in this major. These online tools are designed to assist you, but are not a substitute for planning with an academic or faculty advisor.
If you are currently enrolled at UC, you can audit your degree online. If you are considering transferring to this major from another school use the course applicability system (CAS) to see how credits you have earned will apply to this major at UC. For course descriptions by college, click here.
This is a suggested plan to complete the program in four years. Students will take required courses at different times depending upon their choice of options and the combination of the major with a minor or other program.
|First Year||Course Number||Credits|
|*English Composition||ENGL 101, 102||6|
|*Quantitative Reasoning (QR)||see checklist||9|
|*Foreign Language||see checklist||9-15|
|Effective Public Speaking||COMM 171||3|
|Interpersonal Communication||COMM 176||3|
|*Social Sciences (SS, 100-level)||see offerings||3|
|*Humanities (HU, 100-level)||see offerings||3|
|*Natural Sciences (NS, 100-level)||see offerings||3|
|Free electives (recommended to count in a minor or other program)||see options||0-6|
|Total for first year||45|
|Second Year||Course Number||Credits|
|*Intermediate Composition||ENGL 289||3|
|*Foreign Language (if necessary)||see checklist||0-9|
|Introduction to Rhetorical Theory||COMM 306||3|
|Introduction to Communication Theory||COMM 307||3|
|Selected courses in Communication||see major requirements||6|
|*Literature (LT)||see offerings||3|
|*Social Sciences (SS)||see offerings||3|
|*Natural Sciences (NS)||see offerings||6|
|*Historical Perspectives (HP)||see offerings||9|
|Free electives (recommended to count in a minor or other program)||see options||0-9|
|Total for second year||45|
|Third & Fourth Years||Course Number||Credits|
|Rhetorical Theory (capstone)||COMM 401||3|
|Communication Theory (capstone)||COMM 407||3|
|Advanced Communication courses||see major requirements||30|
|*Social Sciences (SS)||see offerings||3|
|*Humanities, Literature, or Fine Arts (HU, LT, or FA)||see offerings||3|
|*Social & Ethical Issues (if not already taken, SE)||see offerings||3|
|Free electives (recommended to count in a minor or other program)||see options||45|
|Total for third and fourth years||90|
|Total overall||Minimum 180|
*Needed to fulfill A&S college requirements.
Students in McMicken College of Arts and Sciences enjoy many benefits afforded through study at a research-intensive institution ranked among the nation's top 25 public research universities. UC's urban, tri-state location offers exciting opportunities for global education, research and service learning, while its student-centered focus includes an 11:1 student-faculty ratio, a nationally recognized Center for Exploratory Studies and a highly successful First Year Experience program that teaches critical skills for first-year students and provides connections with important campus resources.
Undergraduate student organizations
- Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).
- The UC forensics/speech team travels to compete at different colleges and universities and is provided with a budget. A great way to improve your public speaking skills and resume.
- Ethos, a communication community engagement organization.
Communication majors can greatly enhance their educational experience while in college by conducting an internship in a field they are interested in exploring. Multiple internships in different careers in communication serve to both strengthen students’ resumes and prepare them for the professional world. Requirements for internship:
- Must be a communication major in good standing.
- Must have attained junior status and completed 171, 176, 306 & 307.
- Completion of the prerequisite course Careers in Communication (188).
- Registered for Internship (391) course.
Students who plan to enroll in the communication co-operative education programs should make this decision known to an advisor during their freshman year. It is necessary for such students to complete all year-long academic subjects before the end of their sophomore year. During the last quarter of the sophomore year, a co-op student takes Professional Practice, a one-credit hour course, which prepares the student for the co-op program. Because there are limits to the number of students who can take part in the co-op program, only those with a grade point average of 2.8 or higher by the end of the sophomore year are eligible. The student will alternate quarters working in a full-time position with quarters attending school.
All graduating communication majors who earn a 3.4/4.0 GPA or above in the major will earn "Honors" status. All graduating communication majors who earn a 3.66 in the major will earn "High Honors" status. Students will be designated with their departmental honors at graduation. Maintaining a high GPA is important to your future success. High grades are necessary for admission into many of the top graduate programs. High grades also demonstrate to potential employers that you are intelligent, hard-working, able to learn and able to deliver what is asked of you.
However, high grades alone will not be enough to set academically gifted students apart. You need to be able to demonstrate your achievements. For that reason, the department encourages honors students to seek out additional academic challenges.
- Original research or participation in faculty research is a great way to prepare for graduate school. Original research also shows potential employers that you are able to design and implement a project and to seek out knowledge about an important question. Students interested in research should discuss the possibility of creating a Project in Communication (15COMM392) with faculty members who share your area of interest.
- Enrolling in a 500-level course will stretch you academically and give you exposure to the graduate program. Seeking out challenges is a great way to set yourself apart.
- Demonstrating leadership is key to translating classroom knowledge into the world. Employers and graduate programs look for potential leaders. Departmental advisors can help you to find out about communication-related organizations for students such as Ethos and Public Relations Student Society of America, as well as leadership opportunities available in each.
- Awards and achievements are another way to help you succeed. The Department of Communication offers a number of scholarships and competitions through which you can distinguish yourself. Talk to your professors and advisors. You’ll be glad you did!
The communication major is a dynamic and challenging degree. The department is proud of our students who achieve high grades. We encourage you to get to know the faculty. Personal recommendations can be very helpful. Moreover, we welcome you to consider furthering your education with a master’s degree from our department. Contact Dr. Depoe about applying for the master’s degree program. Of course, the faculty is also happy to talk with you about preparing for additional graduate and career opportunities that are available.
Admission criteria for this program vary based on the relative strength of test scores, class rank and GPA. Please see the Freshman Class Profile for this major in the Quick Facts sidebar on this page for the range of academic credentials typically accepted into this program. Test scores in the lower range may be acceptable with higher class rank and/or GPA.
Freshmen applying to this program should also have completed the following state of Ohio articulation requirements with no more than two units missing:
- English (4 units)*
- College-preparatory mathematics (3 units)*
- Science (2 units)
- Social science (2 units)
- Foreign language (2 units)*
- Additional college-prep subjects (3 units)
*A&S does not allow units missing from these areas
Applicants to A&S whose most recent enrollment was not in any of the UC colleges must apply through the Office of Admissions. Applicants in this category must submit transcripts for all secondary school and college-level work. A cumulative GPA of 2.0 for all college-level work is required for admission consideration. Admission to A&S is generally available for any off-campus applicants who have received an associate degree from an accredited college or university and whose cumulative GPA is 2.0 or higher.
University transfer scholarships are available to those who meet specific requirements and ANY admitted A&S transfer student might qualify for an A&S transfer scholarship. Deadlines and eligibility criteria are online via the previous links.
Changing Major Requirements
Applicants to A&S whose most recent enrollment was as a degree student in one of UC’s other colleges can apply directly to the A&S college office. Admission to A&S is generally available for any on-campus students who have:
- at least a 2.0 GPA in all college-level courses (both at UC and at other institutions),
- successfully completed two quarters of English Composition or its equivalent, and
- gained credit for a college-level mathematics course.
A&S students must meet the college residency requirement of 45.0 hours which begins immediately upon matriculation in the college and consists of courses taught within McMicken College of Arts and Sciences.
To graduate from McMicken College of Arts and Sciences, students must:
- Earn at least 180 credits. This can include transfer credit, AP credit and free electives, but does not include preparatory coursework. Students who have met all other degree requirements must continue earning credit until the total number of their earned hours comes to at least 180.
- Attain a 2.0 grade point average for all courses taken at the University of Cincinnati.
- Be in good academic standing, that is, not on either academic probation or disciplinary probation or suspension.
- Complete the residency requirement by earning at least 45 credits after matriculating into the college. These minimum 45 credits must be taught within A&S (15), and also must be completed after gaining admission to the college.
- Complete all of the requirements of at least one major (see major requirements above).
- Complete the College Core Requirements.
- Submit an application for graduation to the registrar's office by their posted deadline.
UC operates on a quarter system, with 10-week grading periods beginning in late September, early January, late March and mid-June. While midyear admission is possible, fall quarter is generally the best time to enter the college, since many course sequences begin in that quarter. Applicants to McMicken College of Arts and Sciences who are enrolled or who were previously enrolled as degree-seeking students in A&S or in other UC colleges should apply for admission directly to A&S (in French West, 2nd Floor). All other applicants who wish to earn an undergraduate degree from A&S should apply through the Office of Admissions (3rd Floor, University Pavilion).