Communication: Communication & Public Service, BA

General Comm Degree Description:  

Communication is an interdisciplinary field that draws from the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. The undergraduate Communication program focuses on the theoretical, critical, and empirical examination of fundamental communication systems, institutions, processes, and effects. Comm majors gain deep insight into how communication shapes our individual and collective social, political, economic, and cultural lives; both historical and contemporary, local and global. Our majors learn and employ a range of theories and research methods, including quantitative approaches such as survey research, experiments, content analysis, and computational science; and qualitative approaches such as historical, textual and discourse analysis, focus groups, and ethnographic fieldwork. In doing so, they produce scholarship that is rigorous, relevant, and multi-modal. 

The major in Communication is granted by the College of Arts and Sciences, but the major curriculum is designed, administered, and taught by the Annenberg School for Communication. 
In addition, the Comm curriculum also offers opportunities for thesis researchindependent studyinternships, and study abroad.

Communication and Public Service

A Communication major with a focus 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 core survey courses:

COMM 123Critical Approaches to Popular Culture1
COMM 125Introduction to Communication Behavior1
COMM 130Media Industries and Society1

     2. Completion of a third Communication course. Students may submit the application for the major after enrollment in the third course.

     3. 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
Introductory Core Survey Courses
Select two of the following:2
Critical Approaches to Popular Culture
Introduction to Communication Behavior
Media Industries and Society
Research Methods Course
Select one:1
Quantitative Research Methods in Communication
Or, Research Methods course from an approved list. 2
Communication & Public Service (ComPS) Requirements
Core ComPs
Select One:1
COMM 323Contemporary Politics, Policy and Journalism
COMM 395Communication and the Presidency1.0
Additional ComPS Courses
Select two COMM elective courses from the approved list 5,62
Capstone Thesis 7
COMM 494Honors & Capstone Thesis1
COMM 495COMPS Capstone Thesis1
Elective Courses
Select three COMM specific courses 3,43
Select three elective courses from a department(s) outside of COMM related to the concentration. 83
Total Course Units35


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 2021 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.