Your Course of Study
The Communication Studies major is designed to help you hone your understanding of and practice in oral, written, nonverbal, visual, electronic, and computer-mediated communication. And that’s just the start. You’ll graduate knowing how to argue, persuade, discern, analyze, influence, synthesize, and deliberate. There are four specific class type that will lead you down this path:
1. Core Classes (15 credits): Students are introduced to the major through five course classes:
- SPCM 100, Communication and Pop Culture
- SPCM 130, Relational and Organizational Communication
- SPCM 200, Public Speaking
- SPCM 201, Rhetoric and Western Thought
- SPCM 207, Public Argumentation
2. Communication Studies Elective Classes (27 credits): Beyond the required core courses, students take a variety of elective courses from across our three areas. Some students choose to focus on a particular area of study while others develop a plan of study that is more broad. The choice is up to each student.
3. Classes Outside the Department (18 credits): All students are required to take courses in the arts and humanities, the social sciences, and history, AND complete a minor/second major/or interdisciplinary certificate.
4. Capstone (3 credits): Before graduation, students take SPCM 479 which asks them to reflect on the various concepts they have engaged with throughout their time as a Communication Studies major.
You will also be required to minor in a subject from any college across the university, or complete a second major/interdisciplinary certificate. The department also offers two interdisciplinary minors that are open to majors from outside the department: media studies and film studies.
Accelerated B.A. in Communication Studies
Accelerated Programs are designed for students to make steady academic progress, complete their degree early, and be on their way to their next chapter in life.
Students who wish graduate with a B.A. in Communication Studies from Colorado State University by the end of their third spring or summer term may now do so. Accelerated Programs typically include 15-16 credits each fall and spring semester for three years, plus 6-9 credits over three summer sessions. Students who enter CSU with prior credit (AP, IB, transfer, etc.) may use applicable courses to further accelerate their graduation. This includes students who began at a two-year Colorado institution following a CSU Statewide Agreement or a Transfer Student.
Interested students will meet with their academic support coordinator (ASC) to discuss whether an accelerated program is realistic and beneficial based on their life situation as well as academic and career goals. Students should also visit with staff in the Office of Financial Aid for additional options and resources. To declare their intent, students will complete the Accelerated Programs Student Agreement with their ASC. If at any time the student changes their mind, they will meet with their advisor to discuss taking more time for degree completion and, if using financial aid, contact the Office of Financial Aid.
While pursuing Accelerated Programs has many benefits, there are also trade-offs. Students who graduate in 3 or 3 ½ years will need to invest in summer tuition, fees, and related expenses, but may reduce their overall cost of attendance. The opportunity to enter a graduate or professional degree program or begin earning a professional salary earlier may enhance lifetime earnings.
While completing 120 credits within the shorter time frame, students may not have the opportunity to explore majors and add additional programs of study such as minors or second majors. If students change their major, an accelerated path may no longer work for them.
Ensuring Your Academic Success
Your Academic Success Coordinator plays an instrumental role in helping you shape your course of study at CSU, advocating for your needs, and connecting you with resources and opportunities across campus. You will meet your ASC during Orientation and prior to registration each subsequent semester. Take advantage of their guidance and wisdom. Use them as a soundboard for your dreams and ideas. Their passion for your success is real.