The Communication Studies undergraduate major equips students with a diversity of skill sets by investigating communication in various cultural contexts, including relational, organizational, intercultural, political, and more.

In an increasingly globalized world, competent communication is crucial for career advancement, interpersonal relationships, and public democratic participation. Here’s what we know: humans rely on communication, and the creation and translation of symbols, language, and messages are integral to daily interactions. In other words, communication connects us.

The major expands on fundamental public speaking principles from the introductory course through emphasizing theories, methods, performances that apply to everyday communication practices.

Undergraduate Admission

Admission to KU

All students applying for admission must send high school and college transcripts to the Office of Admissions. Unless they are college transfer students with at least 24 hours of credit, prospective students must send ACT or SAT scores to the Office of Admissions. Prospective first-year students should be aware that KU has qualified admission requirements that all new first-year students must meet to be admitted. Consult the Office of Admissions for application deadlines and specific admission requirements.

Visit the International Support Services for information about international admissions.

Students considering transferring to KU may see how their college-level course work will transfer on the Office of Admissions website.

Admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Admission to the College is a different process from admission to a major field. Some CLAS departments have admission requirements. See individual department/program sections for departmental admission requirements.

Students should meet with departmental academic advisor or faculty member to declare a Communication Studies major.

Requirements for the B.A. or B.G.S. Major

Prerequisite Knowledge
Majors must complete a public speaking requirement as specified below. Note: COMS 130 and COMS 131 do not contribute to the minimum number of hours required for the major.
Speaker-Audience Communication. Satisfied by one of the following:3
Speaker-Audience Communication
Speaker-Audience Communication, Honors
Communication Core Knowledge in Theory and Methods15
Complete Three Courses in Basic Communication Theory 9
Majors must complete 9 hours
Majors must complete one course of the following two
Introduction to Political Communication
Introduction to Rhetoric
Majors must complete one course of the following three
Introduction to Organizational and Professional Communication
Introduction to Interpersonal Communication Theory
Introduction to Intercultural Communication
Majors must complete a third course in Basic Communication Theory from the courses above
Complete Two Courses in Research Methodology6
Majors must complete the following two courses
Introduction to Rhetoric and Social Influence
Introduction to Behavioral Research Methods in Communication
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Ethical Communication Behaviors3
Majors must complete 3 hours. Choose one of the following
Micro-Level Organizational Communication
Communication and Gender
Ethical Issues in Political Communication
Rhetoric of Popular Culture
Intercultural Communication: The Afro-American
Communication and Culture
The Rhetoric of Women's Rights
East Asian Communication
Capstone Experience in Communication Studies3
Majors must complete 3 hours. Choose one of the following
Capstone in: _____
Communication Studies Required Electives12
All majors must take 12 elective hours in Communication Studies
Note: For students pursuing the B.G.S. degree, it is recommended that you choose one of the following courses as part of your 12 hours of required major electives, as either of these also fulfill the Career Preparation Requirement for the B.G.S. COMS 330, COMS 342

Major Hours & Major GPA

While completing all required courses, majors must also meet each of the following hour and grade point average minimum standards:

Major Hours
Satisfied by 33 hours of major courses.

Major Hours in Residence
Satisfied by a minimum of 15 hours of KU resident credit in the major.

Major Junior/Senior Hours
Satisfied by a minimum of 18 hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the major.

Major Junior/Senior Graduation GPA
Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in junior/senior courses (300+) in the major. GPA calculations include all junior/senior courses in the field of study including F’s and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.

A sample 4-year plan for the BA degree in Communication Studies can be found here, or by using the left-side navigation.

A sample 4-year plan for the BGS degree in Communication Studies can be found here, or by using the left-side navigation.

Departmental Honors

Outstanding undergraduates may earn departmental honors if they meet the following criteria:

  1. A grade-point average at the time of graduation of at least 3.25 overall and 3.5 in Communication Studies courses.
  2. Completion of an honors thesis involving independent research — either a single comprehensive project or an integration of several related projects. Completion requires satisfactory defense of the thesis in an oral examination and submission of a satisfactory thesis manuscript to the department office by one month before graduation. Independent research for the thesis must be conducted under the direction of a faculty member. The student must be enrolled with that instructor in 2 to 6 hours of COMS 498, usually over two semesters.