Ohio University

Search within:

Communication Studies

Comm Studies




The School of Communication Studies offers a liberal arts education, emphasizing the scientific and artistic bases of communication. The core courses combine theory and practice as students study the historical and conceptual foundations of the field of communication. An historical understanding of communication theory is useful but insufficient in a globally competitive world, so the major in communication studies also equips students with the competencies most prized by employers including strong oral and written communication, effective interpersonal and group communication skills, critical thinking, meeting planning, and problem-solving/decision-making (Booher, 2003).

Our faculty are committed to providing quality instruction in the theoretical understanding of human communication and the application of theory in specific contexts. In addition, they are devoted to scholarship, teaching, and service in ways that improve the community and offer directions for change in the world. Accordingly, we seek students who want to challenge themselves to develop their potential in and out of the classroom.


All of our undergraduate students are communication studies majors, but each pursues a concentration in one of three areas:

Communication and Public Advocacy:

Students concentrating their studies in communication and public advocacy focus on the integration of political and legal communication theory and practice emphasizing the role of communication in argument, debate, and politics, including the ethical and rhetorical implications of constitutional guarantees and persuasive strategies characteristic of contemporary political communication. Recent graduates are attending nationally-ranked law schools, working as state legislative staff, lobbying in Washington, D.C., and managing political campaigns.

Health Communication:

Health communication graduates are concerned with meeting people’s communication and knowledge needs in such areas as the relationships between patients and their health care providers, family dynamics, dissemination of health information and cultural and gender influences on communication. Recent graduates are employed in health care organizations as patient advocates or in human resources, national nonprofit health agencies, and as pharmaceutical company sales representatives.

Organizational Communication:

Students focused on organizational communication are aiming for professional careers in business, education, government, industry, or the nonprofit sector. The skills and competencies acquired through this concentration enable students to understand the dynamics of, and function more effectively in, organizational structures. Recent graduates are employed in major consulting firms, national financial service providers, conference planning companies, and information management organization.

Elective courses in the School complement the required courses and expand the student’s repertoire of competencies and skills. Enhancing the core and classes in the concentration are courses in a related area. Students identify the means of completing the related area by working one-on-one with their academic advisors. The related area is an opportunity for students to “customize” their academic interest in ways that set them apart from their peers when undertaking internships or job searches.


OHIO Chillicothe schedules communication studies classes as part of the Regional Higher Education to offer the Bachelor of Science in Communications, as well as classes that meet general education electives. By checking the OHIO Chillicothe Schedule of classes, students may select from traditional, on-campus classes, online options taught at OHIO Chillicothe or from other OHIO campuses, or via the video delivery provided by OULN. Classrooms include state of the art technologies designed to assist students with moving toward degree progress.


Many classes are held in Bennett Hall located on the east side of the Chillicothe campus. Classes may also be scheduled online. Students should check the schedule of courses carefully to identify the delivery mode and location of their classes.


A degree in Communication Studies is a Bachelor of Science in Communication, emphasizing communication processes that are an important part of all organizational life. Graduates from this program tend to pursue careers in human resources, management, sales, project and event planning, as well as other careers that require excellent written and oral communication skills.

Students can complete this degree on the Chillicothe campus, although many of the courses will be delivered via the OULN system or online offerings from other campuses. At least one course option for all major requirements is taught at least once per year in one format or another.

How can I become a major?

Students must apply to become COMS majors, and the application process involves paperwork that is processed and approved through the Regional Coordinator and the Athens campus. 

GPA requirement: 2.00 (in good standing) based on a minimum of 32 semester hours

Paperwork to be included in the application: (Available at the OHIO Chillicothe Hilltopper Advising Center)

  • COMS transfer application - available (here)
  • Related area form
  • Application essay 
  • Current DARS report 
  • Update of Transfer form 

Students should make copies of all paperwork for their files, and submit complete application to COMS Regional Coordinator, Dr. Sarah Mahan-Hays, Ohio University Eastern, 45425 National Road W., St. Clairsville, OH 43950 for processing. All paperwork must be returned prior to the deadline for the Regional Coordinators consideration (*September 15 during the fall semester and February 15 during the spring semester).


The School of Communication Studies annually reviews applications as follows:

  • Students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 (in good standing) for consideration (applying with the minimum does not guarantee acceptance).
  • Students in their first year at OHIO (i.e., with fewer than 30 credit hours) may apply for the March 1 cycle for transfer the following fall semester (August).
  • Students who have completed more than 30 hours may apply by October 1 for transfer the following spring semester (January) or March 1 for transfer the following fall semester (August).
  • Transfer students from another university must abide by the policies spelled out in the “Undergraduate Admission” page at the beginning of the current university catalog.
  • As with all bachelor's degrees, students must complete a total of 120 semester credit hours. Also, COMS majors must complete 32 hours after being accepted as a major.


Students are eligible for many different financial aid resources. These include:

  • Federal Grants and Loans
  • Ohio University Scholarships
  • State Grants and Loans

To begin the process, you should apply for financial aid at www.fafsa.gov as soon as possible. For OHIO Chillicothe, use the University Federal School Code: 003100 and 003102.

For more information about the financial aid process, contact our Financial Aid Office at (740) 774-7289 or toll free at (877) GO-2-OUCH.


OHIO believes that, as an educated person, you need certain intellectual skills in order to participate effectively in society. These include: the ability to communicate through the written word, the ability to use quantitative or symbolic reasoning, and broad knowledge of the major fields of learning. Therefore, students must take general education courses to complete a degree.


A Bachelors Degree in Communication Studies includes:

  • Opportunities to develop public speaking abilities including presentations for community events and work settings.
  • An understanding of the theories that inform human communications to produce useful insights.
  • The chance to secure an internship in an appropriate setting meaningful to a future career in communications.
  • Meaningful interaction with faculty dedicated to helping students learn, to succeed, and to secure professional futures in the field of communications.


Students should select from three areas of interest in which to concentrate their degree. In Communication and Public Advocacy, students focus on the ability to deliver information to multiple audiences. Such a focus is suitable for positions in political and public policy careers. A concentration in health communication situates graduates well for understanding health care systems and for becoming a professional tasked with the delivery of health care communication and information effectively. By studying organizational communication, students will gain an understanding of how organizations can become more effective in delivering messages both within and across workplaces, community organizations, corporations, and other settings.


Major Code (BC5364)


COMS Core Requirements

Complete the following courses with a grade of C or better:

  • COMS 1030 - Fundamentals of Public Speaking
  • COMS 1020 - Introduction to Undergraduate Communication Studies
  • COMS 1100 - Communication Among Cultures

Complete two of the following courses:

  • COMS 2050 - Techniques of Group Discussion
  • COMS 2060 - Communication in Interpersonal Relationships
  • COMS 2150 - Argumentative Analysis and Advocacy

COMS Theory Requirement

Complete the following courses:

  • COMS 2350 - Introduction to Communication Theory
  • COMS 4800 - Capstone Seminar in Communication

Complete one of the following courses; if you complete two of the courses, you will meet the Tier I Jr. English requirement:

  • COMS 3400 - Introduction to Health Communication
  • COMS 3500 - Introduction to Organizational Communication
  • COMS 3600 - Introduction to Communication in Public Advocacy

COMS Research Methods

Complete one of the following courses:

  • COMS 3420 - Field Research Methods in Communication
  • COMS 3520 - Empirical Research Applications in Communication
  • COMS 3620 - Rhetorical Analysis and Criticism

COMS Electives

Complete five courses (two courses must be at the 3000- or 4000-level) for a minimum of 15 credit hours from the following courses:

  • COMS 1170 - Beginning Forensics

(A maximum of 3 credits may be used toward fulfillment of the COMS Electives.)

  • COMS 2020 - Communication and Persuasion
  • COMS 2040 - Principles and Techniques of Interviewing
  • COMS 2170 - Advanced Forensics

(A maximum of 3 credits may be used toward fulfillment of the COMS Electives.)

  • COMS 2200 - Oral Interpretation of Literature
  • COMS 2400 - Information Diffusion
  • COMS 3060 - Interpersonal Conflict Management
  • COMS 3200 - Communication and New Technology
  • COMS 3300 - Environmental Communication
  • COMS 3410 - Women and Health Communication
  • COMS 3501 - Advanced Organizational Communication
  • COMS 3601 - Courtroom Rhetoric
  • COMS 3602 - Political Rhetoric
  • COMS 3603 - Contemporary Culture and Rhetoric
  • COMS 3610 - Advanced Argument and Debate
  • COMS 3920 - Practicum in Communication Education
  • COMS 4030 - Advanced Presentations
  • COMS 4050 - Meeting and Conference Planning
  • COMS 4060 - Advanced Interpersonal Communication
  • COMS 4100 - Cross-Cultural Communication
  • COMS 4110 - Communicating with People with Disabilities
  • COMS 4200 - Gender and Communication
  • COMS 4410 - Communication in the Family
  • COMS 4510 - Instructional Training and Development in Communication
  • COMS 4530 - Communication and the Campaign
  • COMS 4604 - Responsibilities and Freedom of Speech in Communication
  • COMS 4630 - Rhetoric and Electronic Media
  • COMS 4900 - Topics in Communication Studies
  • COMS 4910 - Communication Studies Internship

(A maximum of 3 credits may be used toward fulfillment of the COMS Electives.)

  • COMS 4911 - Health Communication Internship
  • COMS 4912 - Organizational Communication Internship
  • COMS 4913 - Communication in Public Advocacy Internship
  • COMS 4920 - Practicum in Communication Studies
  • COMS 4930 - Independent Study

(A maximum of 3 credits may be used toward fulfillment of the COMS Electives.)

COMS Related Area

Students are expected to complete a minimum of 18 credit hours in a minor, certificate, or related area outside COMS. Students should attempt to balance lower-divsion (1000-2000) and upper-division (3000-4000) courses with at least one-half of the credits at the upper-division level.


Students completing the Bachelor of Science in Communication degree in the School of Communication Studies are prepared with transferable competency sets that enable them to work in a variety of organizations. The degree is perfect preparation for a career in corporate training, foreign service, law, politics, labor relations, human services, campaign management, event planning, account representation, sales, management, or survey research, to name just a few careers. All told, the major is designed to augment students’ lives and careers through a clearer understanding of the effects of communication and messages in their professional and personal lives.


Lisa Wallace, PhD 

Associate Professor
Bennett Hall 247
T: 740.774.7208
F: 740.774.7295  

Information about the Faculty

Richard Kowieski
Retired, Associate Professor

Lance Mekeel
Visiting Assistant Professor
Bennett Hall 255
T: 740.774.7209

Lisa Wallace
Associate Professor
Bennett Hall 247
T: 740.774.7208

Lynn Bower
Adjunct Faculty
Bennett Hall 259

Lucinda Eubanks
Adjunct Faculty
Bennett Hall 259

Monica Hatfield - Price
Adjunct Faculty
Bennett Hall 259
C: 614.519.6265

Karen Patterson
Adjunct Faculty
Bennett Hall 259