Dec 09, 2022  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog

Communication Studies (B.A. or B.S.)


Three emphases are available to students majoring in communication studies. The emphasis in advocacy and public communication is a broad-based program of study that allows students to take courses from across the field of communication. By becoming more articulate communicators and more alert critics of information and argument, students gain the leadership skills and knowledge essential in a variety of business and civic settings. The emphasis also provides a strong preparation for students who intend to pursue graduate and/or law school.

The emphasis in media studies combines courses in general communication with courses in mass communication theory, history, criticism, and production.

The emphasis in organizational/corporate communication combines a common core of courses in communication with courses which examine communication systems, training and consulting, advertising, as well as corporate advocacy in business, community, and governmental organizations. 

Under no circumstances will the Department of Communication accept more than 18 semester hours of transfer credit for application to the major in communication studies at NIU. Students who double major in Communication and Journalism must take JOUR 480 or COMS 455 or COMS 403. In no case will the COMS or JOUR law/ethics course count towards the same law/ethics block required for each major.

The GPA in the Communication Studies major is calculated by using all and only those Communication Studies and Journalism courses at NIU numbered 200 or higher, specifically excluding COMS 100.

The student learning outcomes for this degree are located at http://www.niu.edu/assessment/clearinghouse/outcomes/index.shtml.

Check departmental information for any additional requirements.

Emphasis 1. Advocacy and Public Communication


Requirements in Department (33-35)


Seven of the following (21-23)


Of these 21-23 semester hours, at least 12 must be at the 300- or 400-level.

Requirements outside Department (B.A., 0-12; B.S., 12-17)


For the B.A. degree
Fulfillment of B.A. foreign language requirement (0-12)
See “Foreign Language Requirement for the B.A. Degree” in the Other Graduation Requirements section of this catalog.

For the B.S. degree
Mathematics/laboratory science sequence (12-17)
See “College Requirement for the B.S. Degree” in the Other Graduation Requirements section of this catalog.

TOTAL HOURS FOR A MAJOR IN COMMUNICATION STUDIES, EMPHASIS 1, ADVOCACY AND PUBLIC COMMUNICATION: 33-47 (B.A.) OR 45-52 (B.S.)


General Education Requirements (9-33)


In addition to completing the above major requirements students must complete the remaining general education requirements. If major requirements fulfill any of the general education requirements, they are listed below and subtracted from the general education credit requirements.

The required minimum of 21 semester hours in Knowledge Domain studies cannot include more than two courses in any one department. (A course with an affiliated laboratory course shall be counted as a single course.)

Foundational Studies (0-12)


Writing Requirement (0-6)
Oral Communication Requirement (0-3)
Quantitative Literacy Requirements (0-3)

For additional information about these requirements, please visit Foundational Studies .

Knowledge Domain Requirements (9-21)


Creativity and Critical Analysis (0-6)

  • Two 3-credit courses selected from approved general education list. Creativity and Creative Analysis Course List  
  • Emphasis 1 program electives, COMS 203, COMS 220, COMS 230, COMS 310, COMS 356, and COMS 480 are all general education courses under this domain.

Nature and Technology (6)

Society and Culture (0-6)

  • Two 3-credit courses selected from approved general education list. Society and Culture Course List  
  • Emphasis 1 program electives, COMS 403, COMS 362, and COMS 410 are all general education courses under this domain.

Knowledge Domain Elective (3)

  • One additional 3-credit course from any Knowledge Domain.

Graduation Requirements (0-9)


In addition to completing the above major requirements students must complete the remaining graduation requirements. If major requirements fulfill any of the graduation requirements, they are listed below and subtracted from the graduation credit requirements.

Human Diversity Requirement (0-3)

  • One course from the approved Human Diversity course list; may be fulfilled by extracurricular activities. Human Diversity Course List  
  • Emphasis 1 program electives, COMS 362 and  COMS 410 are Human Diversity courses.

Writing Infused Requirements (0-6)

  • Two courses from the approved Writing Infused course list. Writing Infused Course List  
  • Emphasis 1 program electives, COMS 305, COMS 355, COMS 401, COMS 419, JOUR 360, and JOUR 401 are all Writing Infused courses.

TOTAL HOURS FOR GENERAL EDUCATION AND GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS, EMPHASIS 1: 9-42


TOTAL HOURS FOR ELECTIVES, EMPHASIS 1: 31-78 (B.A.) OR 26-66 (B.S.)


TOTAL HOURS FOR A B.A. or B.S. IN COMMUNICATION STUDIES, EMPHASIS 1: 120


Emphasis 2. Media Studies


Requirements in Department (35-40)


Five courses from the following (15-20)


Of these 15-20 semester hours, at least 6 hours must be at the 400-level. Profiles of suggested programs of study are available for students interested in critical analysis of media and media cultures, media writing and production, the strategic use of mass media and social media in advocacy campaigns, or digital media development for organization communications.

Requirements outside Department (B.A., 0-12; B.S., 12-17)


For the B.A. degree
Fulfillment of B.A. foreign language requirement (0-12)
See “Foreign Language Requirement for the B.A. Degree” in the Other Graduation Requirements section of this catalog.

For the B.S. degree
Mathematics/laboratory science sequence (12-17)
See “College Requirement for the B.S. Degree” in the Other Graduation Requirements section of this catalog.

TOTAL HOURS FOR A MAJOR IN COMMUNICATION STUDIES, EMPHASIS 2, MEDIA STUDIES: 35-52 (B.A.) OR 47-57 (B.S.)


General Education Requirements (15-33)


In addition to completing the above major requirements students must complete the remaining general education requirements. If major requirements fulfill any of the general education requirements, they are listed below and subtracted from the general education credit requirements.

The required minimum of 21 semester hours in Knowledge Domain studies cannot include more than two courses in any one department. (A course with an affiliated laboratory course shall be counted as a single course.)

Foundational Studies (0-12)


Writing Requirement (0-6)
Oral Communication Requirement (0-3)
Quantitative Literacy Requirements (0-3)

For additional information about these requirements, please visit Foundational Studies .

Knowledge Domain Requirements (15-18)


Creativity and Critical Analysis (3)

Nature and Technology (6)

Society and Culture (3-6)

  • Two 3-credit courses selected from approved general education list. Society and Culture Course List  
  • COMS 403, a program elective, is a general education course under this domain.

Knowledge Domain Elective (3)

  • One additional 3-credit course from any Knowledge Domain.

Graduation Requirements (3-6)


In addition to completing the above major requirements students must complete the remaining graduation requirements. If major requirements fulfill any of the graduation requirements, they are listed below and subtracted from the graduation credit requirements.

Human Diversity Requirement (3)

  • One course from the approved Human Diversity course list; may be fulfilled by extracurricular activities. Human Diversity Course List  

Writing Infused Requirements (0-3)

  • COMS 355, a program requirement, fulfills one Writing Infused course requirement.
  • One course from the approved Writing Infused course list. Emphasis 2 program electives, COMS 419 and COMS 466, are Writing Infused courses. Writing Infused Course List  

TOTAL HOURS FOR GENERAL EDUCATION AND GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS, EMPHASIS 2: 18-39


TOTAL HOURS FOR ELECTIVES, EMPHASIS 2: 29-67 (B.A.) or 24-55 (B.S.)


TOTAL HOURS FOR A B.A. or B.S. IN COMMUNICATION STUDIES, EMPHASIS 2: 120


Emphasis 3. Organizational/Corporate Communication


Requirements outside Department (B.A., 0-12; B.S., 12-17)


For the B.A. degree
Fulfillment of B.A. foreign language requirement (0-12)
(See “Foreign Language Requirement for the B.A. Degree.”)

For the B.S. degree
Mathematics/laboratory science sequence (12-17)
See “College Requirement for the B.S. Degree” in the Other Graduation Requirements section of this catalog.

TOTAL HOURS FOR A MAJOR IN COMMUNICATION STUDIES, EMPHASIS 3, ORGANIZATIONAL/CORPORATE COMMUNICATION: 34-45 (B.A.) or 45-50 (B.S.)


General Education Requirements (18-33)


In addition to completing the above major requirements students must complete the remaining general education requirements. If major requirements fulfill any of the general education requirements, they are listed below and subtracted from the general education credit requirements.

The required minimum of 21 semester hours in Knowledge Domain studies cannot include more than two courses in any one department. (A course with an affiliated laboratory course shall be counted as a single course.)

Foundational Studies (0-12)


Writing Requirement (0-6)
Oral Communication Requirement (0-3)
Quantitative Literacy Requirements (0-3)

For additional information about these requirements, please visit Foundational Studies .

Knowledge Domain Requirements (18-21)


Creativity and Critical Analysis (3-6)

Nature and Technology (6)

Society and Culture (6)

Knowledge Domain Elective (3)

  • One additional 3-credit course from any Knowledge Domain.

Graduation Requirements (9)


In addition to completing the above major requirements students must complete the remaining graduation requirements. If major requirements fulfill any of the graduation requirements, they are listed below and subtracted from the graduation credit requirements.

Human Diversity Requirement (3)

  • One course from the approved Human Diversity course list; may be fulfilled by extracurricular activities. Human Diversity Course List  

Writing Infused Requirements (6)

 

TOTAL HOURS FOR GENERAL EDUCATION AND GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS, EMPHASIS 3: 27-42


TOTAL HOURS FOR ELECTIVES, EMPHASIS 3: 33-59 (B.A.) or 28-48 (B.S.)


TOTAL HOURS FOR A B.A. or B.S. IN COMMUNICATION STUDIES, EMPHASIS 3: 120