Communication: Communication & Public Service, BA

A Communication major with a concentration in Communication and Public Service (ComPS) offers students a special program that combines individual research opportunities with hands-on experience in the public arena. Classes, seminars, internships, field experiences, and individual research projects provide students with opportunities to meet and learn from current and former officeholders, journalists, and public servants who have been leaders in government and civil society. The program is closely matched to the undergraduate Communication major, and like the Communication major, ComPS students must complete 14 courses.

The minimum total course units for graduation in this major is 34. Double majors may entail more course units.

Students must meet the following minimum requirements as a condition of application to the major. Meeting these prerequisites is NOT a guarantee of admission to the major:

  1. Completion of at least two of the following introductory courses:
COMM 125Introduction to Communication Behavior1
COMM 130Media Industries and Society1
COMM 123Critical Approaches to Popular Culture1
  1. Completion of a third Communication course.
  2. Cumulative GPA at time of application should be at least 2.0.

For information about the General Education requirements, please visit the College of Arts & Sciences Curriculum page.

College General Education Requirements and Free Electives
Foundational Approaches + Sectors1 + Free Electives20
Major Requirements
Core Survey Courses
Select two of the following: 22
Critical Approaches to Popular Culture
Introduction to Communication Behavior
Media Industries and Society
Core COMPS Course
COMM 323Contemporary Politics, Policy and Journalism1
or COMM 395 Communication and the Presidency
Additional COMPS Courses
Select 2 course units of COMPS courses 32
Methods Course
Select one of the following:1
Quantitative Research Methods in Communication
Survey Research and Design
Experimental Design
Methods course from approved list 4
Intermediate Level Courses
Select 2 course units of Intermediate Level courses 52
Upper Level Courses 6
Honors & Capstone Thesis
Select 1 upper level course unit with 1 course unit in a seminar2
Capstone Thesis
COMM 495COMPS Capstone Thesis1
Major Cluster
Select 3 course units in up to three departments. Only 1 course unit may be an introductory class. 73
Total Course Units34


A capstone thesis project is completed over two semesters during the senior year. Students choose the topic of the capstone thesis from a range of public policy or public service issues. During the year they work with a thesis advisor and are enrolled in a thesis seminar to complete their project. A credit is earned in both semesters. Students who achieve a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher and earn an A- or higher on their project will graduate with honors.

The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2019 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.