Communication - Requirements

The Major

Printable summary of the requirements for the Communication major

Requirements

To earn a 30-credit major in communication, students follow a program of study designed to develop breadth and depth of knowledge about communication processes in a variety of contexts. The communication major consists of ten three-credit courses. All communication majors complete a set of five (three-credit) required courses known as Communication Foundations. With the aid of the communication faculty, students then have the ability to focus their studies in one of several areas known as Communication Interests and to develop a personalized trajectory that best suits their theoretical and applied interests. The requirements of the communication core and the areas of emphasis are detailed below.

Communication Foundations (15 credits)
Required for all communication majors

CO 100 Human Communication Theories
CO 101 Argument and Advocacy
CO 130 Mass Media and Society
CO 200 Interpersonal Communication Theories (Prerequisite: CO 100)
CO 309 Research Projects in Communication: The Capstone (senior majors only)

  • CO 100 and CO 101 are the foundational courses in the communication major. Students should plan to take both courses during the same semester, preferably during their first or second year. CO 100 and CO 101 should be taken before taking the 200- and 300-level communication courses.
  • Students should plan to enroll in CO 200 and CO 130 after successful completion of CO 100 and CO 101. CO 200 and CO 130 need not be taken during the same semester. 
  • Students complete CO 309 - the required capstone course - during their senior year.
  • With the approval from the Department Chair, double majors can "double count" up to two courses from their second major as communication electives. Some second major and minor programs may also choose to "double count" communication courses to satisfy the second major or minor requirements. Students should check with those second major or minor chairs for approval.
  • Internships (CO 398 and 399) can be counted toward the major one time only. Although two internships can be completed for academic credit (up to 6 credits) only 3 credits will count toward the CO major.
  • Independent studies do not count toward the communication major, but are available with great faculty.
  • Special topics courses (CO 329, CO 339 and CO 349) can each be taken twice for credit if the titles of the courses are different.
  • Not all courses are offered every semester.
  • Communication Courses cannot be double counted for Core.
  • Some courses have prerequisites.

Communication Interests (15 credits)

All majors must also select five additional CO courses, at least one of which must be a 300-level course (that does not include internships, independent studies or capstone experiences). Provided below are several suggestions for possible areas of interest, but ultimately students should work with their faculty advisor to create their own academic plan that satisfies their intellectual and professional interests. Since courses are not available every semester, flexibility is key.

Critical Media Studies
CO 231: Media Institutions
CO 236: Gender, Sexuality and Media
CO 238: Sports, Media and Culture
CO 238: Communication and Popular Culture
CO 239: Consumer Culture
CO 331: American Media/American History
CO 334: Comparative Media Systems
CO 335: Globalization, Media and Culture
CO 337: Visual Communication
CO 339: Topics in Media Theory and Criticism
CO 342: Technoculture and Information Society

Organizational Communication
CO 202: Group Communication
CO 220: Introduction to Organizational Communication
CO 248: Health Communication
CO 321: Communication Processes in Organizations: Negotiation 
CO 322: Leadership Communication 
CO 323: Gender and Organizing
CO 325: Organizational Communication and Advertising
CO 329: Contemporary Topics in Organizational Communication
CO 347: Communication in Healthcare Organizations
CO 348: Risk Communication

Interpersonal Communication
CO 201: Persuasion
CO 240: Intercultural Communication
CO 241: Communication and Culture: East and West
CO 246: Family Communication
CO 346: Spirituality and Communication

Technology And Digital Culture
CO 231: Media Institutions
CO 220: Intro to Organizational Communication
CO 335: Globalization, Media and Culture 
CO 342: Technoculture and Information Society
CO 339: Topics in Media Theory and Criticism

Health Communication
CO 220: Introduction to Organizational Communication
CO 246: Family Communication
CO 248: Health Communication
CO 321: Communication Processes in Organizations: Negotiation 
CO 342: End of Life Communication
CO 347: Communication in Healthcare Organizations
CO 348: Risk Communication

Advertising, Marketing and Consumer Culture
CO 201: Persuasion
CO 236: Gender, Sexuality and Media
CO 238: Communication and Popular Culture
CO 239: Consumer Culture
CO 325: Organizational Communication and Advertising
CO 337: Visual Communication

Communication and Diversity
CO 236: Gender, Sexuality and Media
CO 239: Consumer Culture
CO 240: Intercultural Communication
CO 241: Communication and Culture: East and West
CO 246: Family Communication
CO 323: Gender and Organizing

Media Systems and Institutions
CO 231: Media Institutions
CO 236: Gender, Sexuality and Media
CO 331: American Media/American History
CO 334: Comparative Media Systems
CO 335: Globalization, Media and Culture
CO 342: Technoculture and Information Society

Gender and Communication
CO 236: Gender, Sexuality and Media
CO 239: Consumer Culture
CO 240: Intercultural Communication
CO 246: Family Communication
CO 323: Gender and Organizing
CO 337: Visual Communication

 

The Minor

Printable summary of the requirements for the Communication minor

To earn a 15-credit minor in communication, students follow a program of study designed to develop a breadth and depth of knowledge about communication processes in a variety of contexts. The communication minor consists of five three-credit courses. All communication minors must complete a set of four (three-credit) required courses known as Communication Foundations. Minors then select one elective course from a wide variety of Communication electives.

All students must take the following four courses plus one elective that we consider foundational to the understanding of the field of Communication. Students are reminded to consult available resources including the Departmental website, the University Catalog and other advising resources for information about current offerings, prerequisites and other information.

CO 100 Human Communication Theories
CO 101 Argument and Advocacy
CO 130 Mass Media and Society
CO 200 Interpersonal Communication Theories (Prerequisite: CO 100)
Plus One Additional Communication Course (excluding Independent Study or Internships) 

  • If starting the Minor during the junior year, the Communication faculty recommends that students take CO 100 and CO 101 during the same semester. These two courses should be seen as the prerequisites to all 200-level and 300-level communication courses, whether or not specific requirements are listed with each course.
  • Students are reminded that it is not necessary to complete an academic minor to graduate from Fairfield University.
  • Some courses in the Department of Communication will "double count" toward other minors, another major, and/or the University Social Science Core. For complete details, please consult the University Catalog.
  • Communication majors receive priority registration, so minors may not be able to register for all courses.