The School of Communication Studies (COMS) offers a liberal arts education, emphasizing the scientific and artistic bases of communication. The School is committed to providing quality instruction in the theoretical understanding of human communication and the application of theory in specific contexts. 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).
The faculty and staff of the School of Communication Studies are committed 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 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.
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.
No requirements beyond University admission requirements.
Change of Program Policy
Students who are currently enrolled at Ohio University are required to apply to the School of Communication Studies and encouraged to read the information on the COMS website (www.coms.ohio.edu). If there are specific questions that are unanswered after reviewing the website, students should make an appointment to meet with the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Appointments are scheduled by speaking with the administrative assistant at 740.539.4842.
The School of Communication Studies reviews applications as follows:
- Students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 for consideration (applying with the minimum does not guarantee acceptance)
- Students in their first year at Ohio University (i.e., with fewer than 14 credit hours) may apply for the March 1 cycle for transfer the following fall semester (August)
- Students who have completed more than 14 hours may apply by October 1 for transfer the following spring semester (January) or March 1 for transfer the following fall semester (August)
Students must apply online using the form, available approximately two weeks prior to the deadline, i.e., September 15 during the fall semester and February 15 during the spring semester.
External Transfer Admission
No requirements beyond University admission requirements.
Opportunities Upon Graduation
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.
The academic catalog provides additional information about curriculum and courses for this major.
Degree: Bachelor of Science in Communication
Sarah Mahan-Hays, Ph.D., contact person, firstname.lastname@example.org
or any regional campus student services office
Please request application information regarding admission as a student using the form below.