Requirements

Requirements for students entering UMass Amherst in Fall 2018 or later

45-46 credits in Communication

First year and transfer students who enter UMass during a Fall semester and who were admitted to the major at the same time that they were admitted to the university, take either Comm 191: First Year Seminar (1 credit) OR (for transfer students) Comm 197T: Advanced Transfer Seminar (1 credit). These courses raise the 45-credit requirement to 46 credits for those admitted directly to Communication before the Fall semester when they enter the university.

Three of five courses that introduce Subject Areas (9 credits). Many upper-level COMM courses list one of these five introductory courses as a prerequisite:

COMM 118: Introduction to Interpersonal Communication and Culture
COMM 121: Introduction to Media and Culture
COMM 122: Introduction to Media Industries and Institutions
COMM 125: Introduction to Rhetoric and Performance Studies
COMM 140: Introduction to Film Studies

12 credits in courses at the 200-level or above
6 credits in courses at the 300-level or above (for secondary majors: 9 credits at the 300-level or above)
6 credits at the 400-level or above 

9 credits in International/Intercultural courses
These 9 credits can include any combination of foreign language, study abroad, or regional and culture studies courses (drawn from the SBS master list of approved courses).

For Primary Major Comm:
Junior Year Writing: Comm 375 Writing for Communication
1 of the 300- or 400-level courses must be an Integrative Experience course

Requirements for students who entered UMass Amherst Fall 2011 - Spring 2017

36 to 37* credits in Communication

  1. *Students who were directly admitted to the Communication major to the University in Fall semesters starting in 2011, must complete 37 credits in Communication. Students who joined the Communication major once they were on campus, must complete 36 credits in Communication. Students who entered UMass during this time period must also complete the Global Education Requirement of the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences.
  2.  
  3.  Junior Year Writing requirement, COMM 375: Writing as Communication (3 credits).
  4. Three of the five courses that introduce Subject Areas (9 credits). Many upper-level COMM courses list one of these five introductory courses as a prerequisite:

  5. COMM 118:  Introduction to Interpersonal Communication and Culture
    COMM 121:  Introduction to Media and Culture
    COMM 122:  Introduction to Media Programming and Institutions
    COMM 125:  Introduction to Rhetoric and Performance Studies
    COMM 140:  Introduction to Film Studies
  6. 6 COMM credits (no fewer than 2 courses) at the 300-level or above*
  7. 6 COMM credits (no fewer than 2 courses) at the 400-level or above*
  8. 12 more COMM credits at the 200-level or above. Any 300- and 400‐level credits left over from the minimum of 6 required at both the 300- and 400-levels cane be counted as 200-level or higher
  9. *For primary Comm majors: at least one 300- or 400-level course must be designated IE

Restrictions

  • All major courses must be taken for a letter grade (not pass/fail) except for COMM 297P and 296F, which are only offered pass/fail.
  • No more than 3 credits of COMM 396 Independent Study may be used toward the major.
  • Although we encourage all Communication majors to pursue internships for elective credit, internship/practicum (UMASS 298Y) credits may not be counted toward the major. There are no exceptions.
  • You must take a minimum of 21 credits within the Department of Communication at UMass Amherst to be eligible for graduation as a Communication major.  A maximum of 15 credits taken at other schools or in other departments and programs at UMass Amherst may be counted toward the major. These courses must be directly related to the Communication major and must receive prior approval for major credit from a Communication professional advisor.
  • A minimum GPA of 2.0 in the major is required for graduation.
  • No more than 6 credits in any combination of Journalism, Public Relations, Advertising, or Marketing courses may count for the major. These classes are not offered by the Communication Department; prior approval by a Communication professional advisor is required.  Note that starting in Fall 2014, Marketing 301 (from UMass Amherst or its equivalent as a transfer course) will no longer be accepted as fulfilling a requirement for the Communication major.

Requirements for students who entered UMass Amherst before Fall 2011

Students majoring in Communication must complete at least 12 courses (36 credits) in Communication. The following specific requirements apply to students who entered UMass Amherst between Fall 2000 and Spring 2011. Students who entered UMass before Fall 2011 must also complete the Global Education Requirement of the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences.

36 credits in Communication

That's at least 12 courses, as follows:

1. All three of the following (9 credits):
118 Introduction to Interpersonal Communication and Culture
121 Introduction to Media and Culture
375 Writing About Communication (fulfills Junior Year Writing requirement)

2. At least one Interpersonal/Intercultural/Rhetoric course (3 credits) from the following:
212 Cultural Codes in Communication
260 Public Speaking
263 Introduction to Argumentation and Debate
265 Democracy and Rhetoric
297AA Performing the Public Sphere
297C Humor in Society
297I Language, Culture, and Communication
297K Rhetoric and Public Culture
297Z Performance and Social Theory
310 Social Influence and Persuasion Theory
318 Comparative Communication Theory
352 Group Dynamics
366 Approaches to Rhetorical Criticism
397AK Rhetoric and Social Theory
397EE Communication and Family
319 Health Communication
491S Intro to Semiotics
494W Dialogue, Discourse, Identity, Community
495A Performance Ethnography
497E Advanced Interpersonal Communication

3. At least one Mass Communication course (3 credits) from the following:
222/122 Media Programming and Institutions
226 Social Impact of Mass Media
240/140 Modes of Film Communication
287 Advertising as Social Communication
297E Special Topic: Popular Culture and Cultural Studies
397T/345 Special Topic: Contemporary World Cinema

  • Seven additional courses (21 credits minimum): Of the 36 credits needed for the major, at least 15 credits (five courses, including 375) must be at or above the 300 level and at least 3 credits must be at or above the 400 level.
  •  

    Restrictions

    • All major courses must be taken for a letter grade, not pass/fail, except for COMM 297P and 297F which are only offered pass/fail.
    • No more than 3 credits of COMM 396 Independent Study may be used toward the major.
    • General practicum/internship (UMASS 298Y) credits may not be counted toward the major. There are no exceptions.
    • You must take a minimum of 21 credits within the Department of Communication at UMass Amherst to be eligible for graduation as a Communication major.  A maximum of 15 credits taken at other schools or in other departments and programs at UMass may be counted toward the major. These courses must be directly related to the Communication major and must receive prior approval for major credit from a Communication professional advisor.
    • A minimum GPA of 2.0 in the major is required for graduation.
    • No more than 6 credits in any combination of Journalism, Public Relations, Advertising, or Marketing courses count for the major. These classes are not offered by the Communication Department; prior approval by a Comm professional advisor is required.  Note that starting in Fall 2014, Marketing 301 (from UMass Amherst or its equivalent as a transfer course) will no longer be accepted as fulfilling a requirement for the Communication major.

    Learn more about the courses in the Communication major.