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Communication Studies, Major

The Communication Studies major provides students a platform for understanding the diverse ways communication creates, maintains, and transforms relationships, organizations, institutions, and society.

In preparing students to communicate across an ever-changing communication landscape, the major's core courses ensure students learn how communication functions across foundational areas of the discipline. Electives are organized so that students may tailor their plans of study to meet specific personal and career goals.

Communication Studies 4-Year Degree Path

The minor in communication studies requires 24 hours of course work and helps students to develop competencies in analyzing communication situations, constructing and presenting messages, and adapting to specific contexts. Students pursuing the minor will complete a core group of five classes and then select three electives. 

Required Core Courses (15 Hours)
(Prerequisite classes are listed in parenthesis)

  • COMM 200: Communication Foundations (COMM 145, ENG 100)

  • COMM 345: Advanced Public Speaking (COMM 145)

  • COMM 348: Interpersonal Communication (COMM 200 or ENG 300)

  • COMM 362: Organizational Communication (COMM 200 or ENG 300)

  • COMM 463: Advanced Intercultural Communication

Choose one elective from each of the following areas (At least six hours must be upper division courses; 9 Hours Total)

Organizational Communication (3 Hours):

  • COMM 330: Leadership Communication

  • COMM 349: Small Group Communication

  • COMM 462:Advanced Organizational Communication (COMM 200 or ENG 300)

Interpersonal Communication (3 Hours):

  • COMM 240: Effective Listening

  • COMM 374: Gender and Communication

  • COMM 448: Advanced Interpersonal Communication (COMM 348)

  • COMM 450: Family Communication (COMM 348)

Public Communication (3 Hours):

  • COMM 245: Argumentation/Debate

  • COMM 247: Voice & Diction

  • COMM 346: Persuasion (COMM 200 or ENG 300)

  • COMM 388: Seminar in Political Communication

Students may opt to substitute COMM 300: Introduction to Communication Research Methods in fulfillment of a Communication Elective.

Bruce Crawley, M.A.
Bruce Crawley, M.A.
- Instructor II / Communication Programs Advising Coordinator

To make an advising appointment with Mr. Crawley, stop by the departmental office in FAC 130.  Or, if you prefer, call (270) 745-3296 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Joint Undergraduate & Master’s Program (JUMP) in Communication

The Department of Communication offers a Joint Undergraduate-Master's Degree Program (JUMP) into the Master of Arts in Organizational Communication. The JUMP program provides a unique opportunity for academically outstanding students to complete and advanced degree in five academic years.

Qualified students who have been admitted to a JUMP program may begin taking graduate courses as early as their junior year. Contingent on satisfactory academic progress, students will then be admitted into the graduate program upon completion of the undergraduate degree at which point they will be fully classified as graduate students.

The B.A. degree must be awarded prior to or concurrently with the M.A. in Organizational Communication.  The M.A. degree will be awarded on completion of all requirements for that degree and must be awarded concurrently with or after the B.A. degree..

Special circumstances involving personal hardships may arise affecting a student’s ability to complete the JUMP program. JUMP students who have reached 120 credit hours and the total credit hour requirements for the B.A. degree in Communication Studies or Corporate and Organizational Communication (including joint credit) may appeal to the Department of Communication who may recommend to Potter College of Arts and Letters that coursework taken in the JUMP program for graduate credit be counted toward satisfaction of the undergraduate degree requirements, thereby allowing a B.A. degree to be awarded.  Graduate credit used toward completion of the baccalaureate degree must adhere to WKU’s policy for Undergraduate Enrollment in Graduate Courses. Students must document these hardships in their appeal.  Poor class performance is not considered a hardship. 



JUMP Admission Requirements

To be eligible for the program, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Enrollment in the Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies or Corporate and Organizational Communication 

  • Cumulative GPA of 3.50

  • Recommendation of a faculty member/advisor

  • Completion of at least 60 hours and no more than 96 hours

  • Submission of an academic writing sample

Students interested in the JUMP program should first meet with their advisor and complete a Communication JUMP program application ideally before the completion of 75 hours of undergraduate credit. Applications are reviewed and approved by the Communication Department Graduate Committee. Students will be notified of acceptance into the program and will meet with their advisor to develop a specific program of study and sign a Statement of Intent with the Department of Communication. 

JUMP Statement of Intent

Students participating in the JUMP program will be classified as undergraduates until they are admitted into the Master of Arts in Organizational Communication (Ref. 0012) and shall retain the same rights and privileges granted all Western Kentucky University undergraduate students, including classification as an undergraduate student for purposes of receiving financial aid.

Students who have completed a minimum of 120 hours (including joint undergraduate/graduate hours) along with other requirements for either the B.A. in Communication Studies or Corporate and Organizational Communication as listed in the university catalogue are eligible to apply for their undergraduate degree. The M.A. degree must be awarded only after the BA degree.

Students participating in the Communication JUMP program must be admitted to the Graduate School for the M.A. in Organizational Communication at the beginning of the semester following the semester in which they complete the total number of credit hours required for the undergraduate degree in Communication Studies or Corporate and Organizational Communication (no less than 120 hours of total coursework).  The GRE requirement is waived for JUMP students. 

On admission to the Graduate School, the student is classified as a graduate student and granted all rights and privileges of WKU graduate students; the student no longer qualifies for undergraduate classification for any purpose after admission to the Graduate School. 

Students may count a maximum of 18 hours of graduate coursework prior to admission to the Graduate School; however, only 12 hours may count toward both the undergraduate and graduate degree.  If the student has questions, they should contact their academic advisor.


After Acceptance

After acceptance into the JUMP program in Communication, students may take undergraduate coursework to be applied to an undergraduate degree and during the same semester take graduate coursework to be applied to a graduate degree. Until the total undergraduate and graduate hours equals the number of hours required for an undergraduate degree, the student will remain an undergraduate and will not be admitted to the Graduate School. 

In order to gain admittance to the graduate program, students must maintain a 3.0 in all graduate coursework. Additionally, students must maintain a 3.25 GPA in their undergraduate Communication coursework to remain in good standing. Students who fail to maintain the GPA requirement may be denied graduate standing. 

Students must complete their master’s degree within 3 (non-summer) academic semesters from the awarding of the bachelor’s degree for a non-thesis program and within 4 (non-summer) academic semesters for a thesis program. Failure to complete the master’s degree will result in a loss of credit toward the graduate degree (for double-counted courses). 

Students may apply the following courses to both their undergraduate and graduate degrees with no more than 12 hours counting toward both:

  • COMM 523: Health Communication

  • COMM 526: Family Communication

  • COMM 544: Persuasive Communication

  • COMM 546: Processes of Group Communication

  • COMM 547: Organizational Communication Theory

  • COMM 571: Computer Mediated Communication in Organizations

  • COMM 578: Seminar in Interpersonal Communication

  • COMM 587: Communication in Intercultural Negotiation and Mediation


Click here to learn about our M.A. in Organizational Communication.

Communication Studies, Specific Objectives:

  • To develop competencies in analyzing communication studies.
  • To construct and present messages appropriately adapted to specific contexts and audiences.
  • To develop the communicative skills essential to complementing careers in a variety of fields including, but not limited to business, law, politics, health care, social work, religious ministries, and teaching.

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 Last Modified 9/8/23