• cmps
Communication Department FAQ
  • As a communication major, can I pursue two areas of emphasis?

    Yes, you can pursue more than one area of emphasis as a communication major. For instance, you have a Communication major with an emphasis in Electronic Media and Film and another emphasis in Theatre Studies. Please note that, if you are pursuing more than one area of emphasis, you must complete all requirements for each area. Courses which are common between the areas of emphasis (i.e., the University General Education courses, communication core, and cognate/prerequisite courses) need be taken only once. Students should consult their academic advisor prior to deciding to pursue a more than one area of emphasis.

    Can I have a double major?

    Yes, you can easily pursue a major within the Department of Communication and another one outside the department. We often have students who are pursuing double majors. As mentioned above, a student must complete all requirements for each major. Courses which are common between the two majors (i.e., the University General Education courses and cognate/prerequisite courses) need be taken only once. Students should consult their academic advisor prior to deciding to pursue a double major.

    Should I declare a minor?

    A minor is most useful for those pursuing a job after graduation (including teaching) rather than going on to graduate/professional school. Having a minor tells an employer that you have depth in a second skill area, and that might be useful in selling yourself to the employer. So, if there is another area of interest that you want to pursue, by all means do it. However, if pursuing a minor means taking additional courses that are not really of interest, or may lower your GPA, then you probably should pass on this option and concentrate on the courses of your chosen major. A minor may be added at any time prior to graduation.

    Is Study Abroad an option for majors in the department?

    Absolutely, and it is encouraged. The opportunity to spend a semester in a foreign country is an exciting and unique experience that more students should take advantage of. Communication majors in recent years have attended universities in England, Australia, France, and Spain with great success. If you are interested in this option, you should consult your faculty advisor a year in advance. The International Student Office in Renner Hall has all of the resources and experience necessary to make Study Abroad easy and rewarding.

    Where can I find ideas for a Capstone Project?

    For your Senior Capstone Project, you will be working with a faculty mentor within the Department of Communication. He or she can help you brainstorm ideas. Don't feel that you should just rely on this individual for inspiration. Feel free to talk through possibilities with any faculty member within the Department of Communication. Students usually approach the Capstone Project from one of two directions: (a) select a topic or area of interest and approach the faculty member with a similar area of interest or (b) select a faculty member that you would enjoy working with and ask him/her for a list of possible project ideas. Remember, if a faculty member cannot accommodate your needs at the moment, he/she will direct you to other faculty members who may be able to help.

    How much time should I expect to spend studying and preparing for each class?

    The general rule is that for every credit hour in class, you should spend 2-3 hours outside of class working on the class (e.g., studying, preparing, completing assignments). This means that for a 3-credit hour course, you should spend 6-9 hours outside of class working on the class. For courses that you find particularly challenging, you should be prepared to spend 3 or more hours outside of class working on the course.

    I need to work during the school year. How many hours a week is reasonable?

    There is always a conflict between work and study. What you need to keep in mind is that to be successful in your study and to get the GPA necessary to reach your career goals, you should spend at least 2-3 hours of study time for every hour you are in class. In other words, if you are carrying 16 hours this semester, that would mean a minimum of 32 hours a week of study (or a total educational time of 48 hours per week). Stated another way, going to college is like working a 40+ hour work week. Not surprisingly, it's difficult to work and carry a full-time course load. That said, most students find it necessary to work in order to pay the bills. We recommend that you work no more than 10 - 15 hours per week during the semester.

    What is the minimum grade for a course which is required for my major?

    With two exceptions, A grade of D is required for courses in your major. UC 120 Oral Commununication and TH 121 are the two exceptions to this rule. As a Communication major, you must make a C or better in UC 120 and TH 121. Additionally, you must have a grade point average of 2.00 (a C average) in your major in order to graduate. Finally, you need an cumulative GPA of 2.00 to graduate from the University.

    Do any of the requirements for the Communication major satisfy General Education requirements?

    All Capital students, regardless of major, are required to take UC 120 Oral Communication. UC 120 is a General Education requirement and serves as the foundational course for the Communication major.

    All Communication majors are required to take TH 121 Introduction to Theatre. TH 121 satisfies the Fine Arts requirement for General Education.

    Communication majors with an emphasis in Organizational Communication are required to take PSYCH 110 Introduction to Psychology or SOC 110 Introduction to Sociology. PSYCH 110 and SOC 110 satisfy the Social Science requirement for General Education.

    As a Communication major, do I have to fulfill a language requirement?

    Yes, you need two semesters of a language or an approved equivalent. Please consult your advisor about how best to satisfy the language requirement.

    Should I take an Individual Study course?

    The purpose of an individual study is to allow a student to study an area of Communication that is normally not covered in an existing course, or to delve into more depth on a topic only briefly covered in class. An individual study project is supervised by a member of the full time Department faculty, and must have the approval of the Department Chair prior to beginning.