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College of Arts and Sciences

Communication

102 Communications Building
206-543-2660
Website
Faculty Website
comadv@uw.edu

The Department of Communication advances the study and practice of communication across a range of contexts, including face-to-face interactions, public discourse, mass media, and digital media. Our research and teaching enhance critical awareness of communication's role in an increasingly global society.

 Undergraduate Program


Communication

118 Communications Building
206-543-8860
comadv@uw.edu

 Program of Study: Major: Communication


Program Overview

Undergraduate study in communication at the University of Washington has four foundations: communication literacy, communication inquiry, theory and concepts, and community engagement. We teach our students to think critically, respect diversity, communicate effectively, and develop the skills needed for the life-long learning that is central to successful careers and rewarding lives. We work actively to enroll a diverse set of students in our courses and in the major: almost half of Communication majors are students of color, and students come from all over Washington and even the world to study in this program.

This program of study leads to the following credentials:
  • Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Communication
  • Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Communication: Journalism and Public Interest Communication

 Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Communication


Credential Overview

The educational mission of undergraduate study in the Department of Communication is to prepare students for the challenges of a society that is informed, entertained, persuaded, and shaped by communication. We seek out and appeal to students from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives. We nurture socially responsible, literate citizens who can interpret and evaluate the images and messages they create and receive. We teach students to think critically, respect diversity, communicate effectively, and develop the skills needed for the life-long learning that is central to successful careers and rewarding lives. Undergraduate study in communication at the University of Washington has four pedagogical emphases: communication literacy, communication inquiry, theory and concepts, and community engagement. The department integrates these to create a curriculum that helps students become thoughtful, informed, and articulate citizens.

Recommended Preparation

Suggested First- or Second-Year College Courses: COM 200 and one additional COM 200-level course

Admission Requirements
  1. Minimum 10 200-level COM credits, including minimum 2.5 grade in both COM 200 and one additional 200-level COM course.
  2. Minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA in all COM coursework
  3. Minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA for all college coursework, including transfer credits
  4. Admission is capacity constrained, based on information in the application packet, cumulative GPA, and COM GPA. Completion of the above requirements does not guarantee admission.
  5. Students are admitted quarterly: autumn, winter, and spring. Applications are due one week after the quarter begins, autumn, winter, and spring quarters. Applications and additional information are available on the department website. Students are notified of acceptance by the end of the fifth week of the quarter. If accepted, they can register for the next quarter as majors.
  6. Applications are available from the department website on the first day of the quarter. Applications should include application form, copies of transcripts and grade reports, and an essay explaining what led applicants to apply to the major.
Completion Requirements

50 credits

  1. Introductory Courses (10 credits): COM 200 and one additional 200-level COM course.
  2. Methods in Inquiry (5 credits): See department adviser or website for list of approved courses.
  3. Theory in Communication (5 credits): See department adviser or website for list of approved courses.
  4. Electives (30 credits) from the Department of Communication and from selected courses outside the department. See advising office or website for electives list.

Of the 50 required credits specified above, at least 25 must be Communication courses at the 300 level or above, and of those 25, at least 10 must be Communication courses at the 400 level (excluding COM 498/COM 499). In addition, of the 50 required credits specified above, only 10 credits may be from courses offered outside the Department of Communication, unless approved by a departmental adviser.

 Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Communication: Journalism and Public Interest Communication


Credential Overview

The Journalism Program is an undergraduate emphasis area within the Department of Communication. The mission of our program is to help students develop strong analytical and communication skills for careers in digital and traditional media. At the program’s core is our commitment to educating journalism students about content creation, content curation and audience engagement for the many “platforms” now used to distribute news and information. We embrace a digital-first philosophy, even as we remain committed to teaching fundamental journalistic values and techniques, such as accurate information gathering, excellent writing, sound ethical decision-making and valuable public service. Our faculty seeks to instill in students the entrepreneurial spirit required to succeed in today’s media environment. Through courses such as News Lab, we offer immersion experiences that force our students to grapple with real-world challenges.

Admission Requirements
  1. Minimum 2.5 grade in COM 200.
  2. Minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA in all COM coursework
  3. Minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA for all college coursework, including transfer credits
  4. Admission is capacity constrained, based on information in the application packet, cumulative GPA, and COM GPA. Completion of the above requirements does not guarantee admission.
  5. Students are admitted quarterly: autumn, winter, and spring. Applications are due one week after the quarter begins, autumn, winter, and spring quarters. Applications and additional information are available on the department website. Students are notified of acceptance by the end of the fifth week of the quarter. If accepted, they can register for the next quarter as majors.
  6. Applications are available from the department website on the first day of the quarter. Applications should include application form, copies of transcripts and grade reports, selection of the journalism and public interest communication option, an essay explaining what led applicants to apply to the major, and a writing sample. See department adviser or website for approved types of writing samples.
Completion Requirements

Minimum 55 credits

  1. Introductory Courses (10 credits): COM 200 and one additional 200-level COM course.
  2. Methods of Inquiry (5 credits): See department adviser or website for list of approved courses.
  3. Skills/Competencies Core (20 credits): COM 360, COM 361, COM 362, COM 364, and COM 457.
  4. Law and Ethics Core (10 credits): COM 440 and COM 468.
  5. Advanced Skills/Competencies (10 credits minimum): See department adviser or website for list of approved courses.
Additional Information

Student Outcomes and Opportunities

  • Learning Objectives and Expected Outcomes: The Department of Communication prepares students for the challenges of a society that is informed, entertained, persuaded, and shaped by communication. The department seeks out and appeals to students from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives. It nurtures socially responsible, literate citizens who can interpret and evaluate images and messages they create and receive. It teaches students to think critically, respect diversity, communicate effectively, and develop the skills needed for the life-long learning that is central to successful careers and rewarding lives. Undergraduate study in communication has four pedagogical emphases: communication literacy, communication inquiry, theory and concepts, and community engagement.
  • Instructional and Research Facilities: The Department of Communication has the following laboratories: Media Lab. News Lab. Observation Labs. It also has an Instructional Resources Center and video-editing facilities. Additionally the department manages the following centers: The Dart Center, the Center for Communication and Civic Engagement, and the Center for Communication, Difference, and Equity. See the department website for further information.
  • Honors Options Available: With College Honors (Completion of Honors Core Curriculum and Departmental Honors; With Honors (Completion of Departmental Honors requirements in the major). See adviser for requirements.
  • Research, Internships, and Service Learning: See adviser for details.
  • Department Scholarships: See adviser for details.
  • Student Organizations/Associations: Society of Professional Journalists, Public Relations Student Society of America, The Association for Women in Communication

 Graduate Programs


Communication

cmuadv@uw.edu

 Program of Study: Doctor Of Philosophy (Communication)


This program of study leads to the following credential:
  • Doctor Of Philosophy (Communication)
Admission Requirements

Contact department for requirements.

 Doctor Of Philosophy (Communication)


Completion Requirements

102 total credits, at least 25 credits (not including COM 600 or 800) must be 500-level or above.

Prior master's degree (required to enter PhD program) will count for 30 credits, per Graduate School policy.

  1. Core Requirements (18 credits): COM 500, COM 501, COM 594 (3 credits minimum), COM 591 (5 credits minimum) OR COM 592 (5 credits minimum)
  2. Methods Courses (14-15 credits): Three courses, course list maintained internally by the program.
  3. Electives (as needed to reach 45 credits across Core, Methods, and Electives combined): Any course numbered 400-level and above taken while in graduate student status at the UW.
  4. General examination: COM 600 (exam prep) credits do not count toward the required credits (unless student is a UW Communication MA).
  5. Dissertation: (minimum 27 credits in COM 800 over at least three quarters) and final examination.

Students who completed their MA in Communication at the UW do not repeat the core courses, and need only 30 post-master credits, which may include COM 600 credits, and 3 credits of COM 594 in three different topics. Such students take two methods courses beyond the minimum methods course requirements for the MA degree. COM 594 credits and additional methods courses beyond the minimum MA requirements taken during MA work may fulfill the COM 594 and methods requirements for the doctoral program, but may not be applied to the 30 post-master credits.


Additional Information

Research Facilities: In addition to the University's research facilities available to all students, the department houses a collection of specialized research laboratories, including the Digital Media Lab, Graduate Computer Lab, Observational Research Facility, Instructional Resources Center, and Video Editing Lab.

 Program of Study: Master Of Arts (Communication)


Program Overview

Graduate study is guided by four related principles: intellectual and cultural pluralism, interdisciplinary theorizing, collaboration, and public scholarship. Coursework brings together humanistic and social scientific intellectual traditions through a unified core curriculum and a wide selection of graduate seminars. Research and teaching focus on six interrelated areas: communication and culture; communication technology and society; international communication; social interaction; political communication; and rhetoric and critical studies. The MA provides training in research and scholarship and can be either preparation for doctoral study or a terminal degree. The MA requires a minimum 45 credits of approved coursework and a research thesis.

This program of study leads to the following credential:
  • Master Of Arts (Communication)
Admission Requirements

Please visit this program's Graduate Admissions page for requirements.

 Master Of Arts (Communication)


Completion Requirements

Minimum 45 credits. At least 25 of these credits (not including COM 700) must be 500- or 600-level.

  1. Core Courses (10 credits): (COM 500 and COM 501) during the first year of study.
  2. Methods Course (4-5 credits): Course list maintained internally by the program.
  3. Electives (as needed to reach minimum total credit requirement): Any course numbered 400-level and above taken while in graduate student status at the UW.
  4. Thesis: (minimum 10 credits in COM 700) and oral defense.

 Program of Study: Master Of Communication


Program Overview

The department offers three MC degrees, each of which has specific requirements tailored to that degree. The general MC degree is targeted for mid-career communication professionals who seek to develop an understanding of communication theory related to a special area of interest. The MC in digital media is a professional degree focused on digital media content creation, management, and policy. Native Voices is an MC degree offered in conjunction with American Indian Studies, designed for documentary filmmakers who focus their work on subjects relevant to the Native American community.

This program of study leads to the following credentials:
  • Master Of Communication (Communities And Networks) (fee-based)
  • Master Of Communication (Digital Media) (fee-based)
  • Master Of Communication (Native Voices)
Admission Requirements

Contact department for requirements.

 Master Of Communication (Communities And Networks) (fee-based)


Completion Requirements

45 credits

  1. Core Requirements (5 credits): COMMLD 501 and COMMLD 502
  2. Research Methods Requirement (5 credits): Course list maintained internally by the program.
  3. Law and Ethics Requirement (5 credits): Course list maintained internally by the program.
  4. Electives (to meet required credit total):Any COMMLD course within degree option (course list maintained internally by the program) at the 400- or 500- level taken while a graduate student at UW. 10 credits may be taken outside of degree option, including a maximum of 5 credits taken outside of the Communication Leadership program. Max 5 credits COMMLD/COM 600 may apply.

 Master Of Communication (Digital Media) (fee-based)


Completion Requirements
  1. Core Requirements (5 credits): COMMLD 501 and COMMLD 502
  2. Research Methods Requirement (5 credits): Course list maintained internally by the program.
  3. Law and Ethics Requirement (5 credits): Course list maintained internally by the program.
  4. Electives (to meet required credit total): Any COMMLD course within degree option (course list maintained internally by the program) at the 400- or 500- level taken while a graduate student at UW. 10 credits may be taken outside of degree option, including a maximum of 5 credits taken outside of the Communication Leadership program. Max 5 credits COMMLD/COM 600 may apply.

 Master Of Communication (Native Voices)


Completion Requirements

Minimum 45 credits

  1. 20 credits in the Department of Communication:
    1. 10 credits of 500-level communication courses, typically two 500-level seminars.
    2. COM 600: 10 credits in documentary research and production, taken for completion of the final project.
  2. 25 credits in American Indian Studies/Native Voices: GWSS 443, AIS 501, AIS 502, AIS 503, AIS 504

Additional Information

Research Facilities: In addition to the University's research facilities available to all students, the department houses a collection of specialized research laboratories, including the Digital Media Lab, Graduate Computer Lab, Observational Research Facility, Instructional Resources Center, and Video Editing Lab.