Requirements

Requirements for students who entered UMass Amherst in Fall 2011 or later

Students directly admitted to the Communication major must complete 37 credits in Communication. Students who join the Communication once they are on campus must complete 36 credits in Communication. The following specific requirements apply to students entering UMass Amherst in the fall of 2011 or later.

For students who entered UMass Amherst before Fall 2011, click here.

36 to 37* credits in Communication

  1. *For first year and transfer students admitted directly into the major upon entering UMass in the Fall only, COMM 101: Communication-First Year Introduction (1 credit). This course raises the 36-credit requirement to 37 credits only for those student admitted directly to Communication in a Fall semester.
  2.  Junior Year Writing requirement, COMM 375: Writing as Communication (3 credits)
  3. Three of the five courses that introduce Subject Areas (9 credits). Many COMM courses will have an "Introductory SUBJECT AREA" course as a prerequisite:
    COMM 118:  Introduction to Interpersonal Communication
    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
  4. 6 COMM credits (no fewer than 2 courses) at the 300-level or above.
  5. 6 COMM credits (no fewer than 2 courses) at the 400-level or above.
  6. 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 are counted here

Restrictions

  • All major courses must be taken for a letter grade (not pass/fail) except for COMM 297P and 297F, which are mandatory pass/fail courses.
  • No more than 3 credits of COMM 396 Independent Study may be used toward the major.
  • General 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 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 the Prospective and Transfer Student Advisor, the Undergraduate Program Director, or the Chief Undergraduate Advisor.
  • A minimum GPA of 2.0 in the major is required for graduation.
  • No more than 6 credits of Media Production courses count for the major.
  • 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 the Prospective and Transfer Student Advisor is required.

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.

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
121 Introduction to Media and Culture
375 Writing About Communication (fulfills Junior Year Writing requirement)

2. At least one Interpersonal/Intercultural course (3 credits) from the following:
212 Cultural Codes in Communication
260 Public Speaking
263 Introduction to Argumentation and Debate
265 Democracy and Discourse
297AA Performing the Public Sphere
297I Language, Culture, and Communication
297K Rhetoric and Public Culture
297Z Performance and Social Theory
310 Persuasion Theory
318 Comparative Communication Theory
352 Group Dynamics
366 Approaches to Rhetorical Criticism
397AK Rhetoric and Social Theory
397EE Communication and Family
397LL 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 mandatory pass/fail.
    • No more than 3 credits of COMM 396 Independent Study may be used toward the major.
    • General 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 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 the Prospective and Transfer Student Advisor, the Undergraduate Program Director, or the Chief Undergraduate Advisor.
    • A minimum GPA of 2.0 in the major is required for graduation.
    • No more than 6 credits of Media Production courses count for the major.
    • 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 the Prospective and Transfer Student Advisor is required.

    Click here to learn more about the courses in the Communication major.