Program Details

The communication major provides students with a better understanding of human communication processes, including how communication has been conceptualized, investigated and how members of the communication discipline have used their knowledge and scholarship to effect change in their personal and professional lives. Students are given opportunities to study how effective communication enhances well-being and relationships, promotes civic engagement and allows for effective participation in a global community.

Courses focus on understanding and identifying organizing principles and patterns of social life through the observation and analysis of human communication behavior. This major is firmly grounded in the liberal arts and sciences and is intended to prepare students to be effective members of society, as well as valued employees in whatever careers they may choose to pursue. Graduates have often found positions in occupations such as sales, human resources, training, education and consulting, or have pursued advanced academic or professional degrees in fields such as law, management and marketing.

Communication majors will complete 42 semester hours (sh) in communication coursework. In addition to completing required core courses, students will choose to focus on one of three options: communication studies, interpersonal communication and processes, or social influence. Communication majors are able to select minors that complement their major areas of study and their career goals. Communication majors earn a Bachelor of Arts in Communication upon successful completion of the program.

Integrated Baccalaureate and Master’s Degree Program

An integrated baccalaureate and master’s degree program is available for the Bachelor of Arts in Communication: Master of Arts in Communication. An integrated degree program provides the opportunity for outstanding undergraduates to earn both degrees in five years.

View detailed integrated degree requirements for communication.

Special Opportunities in Communication

Lambda Pi Eta – LPE is a national communication honor society. LPE membership is by invitation only to students who meet honors requirements. LPE recognizes and rewards outstanding scholastic achievement in communication studies, as well as promotes and encourages interest in the field of communication. LPE further encourages professional development among communication majors.

Communication Student Society – CSS is open to all communication majors and minors. CSS gives students the opportunity to make connections with faculty and fellow students outside the classroom. It also sponsors social events, job and career preparation programs, and other events throughout the year.

Department Minors

  • Communication
  • Computer-Mediated Communication

Additional Resources

public relations

Potential Communication degree career path: public relations

Internship Opportunities in Communication

As a communication major, students can participate in an internship for up to 12 sh of credit. Internships may be arranged with cooperating public or private organizations and can provide you with valuable job experience. Eligible students must have a 2.25 overall GPA, a 2.5 GPA in the communication major and obtain approval from the department’s internship coordinator. Communication students have completed internships at Walt Disney World, Caterpillar, Six Flags, Enterprise Car Rental, Target, Inc. and more.

Possible Communication Career Paths

The communication major provides excellent preparation for such diverse careers as sales, advertising, management, public relations, personnel, human services, education, training and a host of other careers that require effective communication skills and/or a working knowledge of communication processes.

Students are encouraged to contact Western’s Career Development Center for assistance with résumé preparation, interviewing and job search techniques. Seniors are advised to register and establish their credential file with the office in order to take advantage of job referral and on-campus interviewing opportunities.

Please refer to the undergraduate catalog for detailed program information and course descriptions.

Bachelor of Arts—Communication

All students seeking the Bachelor of Arts in Communication must complete I, II, III, IV, V, and VI below, and the foreign language/global issues requirement for the major#. The minimum semester hour requirement for the baccalaureate degree is 120 s.h. Current WIU students must be in good standing (2.0 GPA or higher) to declare a major in Communication.

  1. University General Education Curriculum: 43 s.h.
  2. Core Courses: 15 s.h.
    COMM 130, 247†, 309, 310, 311
  3. Options of Study (Select A, B, or C): 27 s.h.
    1. Communication Studies
      1. Comprehensive Electives: 9 s.h.
        Choose three of the following courses: COMM 312, 343, 344, 356
      2. Advanced Theory Elective: 3 s.h.
        Choose one of the following courses: COMM 410†, 413†, 441†, 457
      3. Communication Studies Electives: 6 s.h.
        Choose two of the following courses: COMM 254, 315, 330, 345, 377, 381, 428, 445
      4. Applied Communication Electives: 9 s.h.
        Choose three of the following courses: COMM 235, 305, 314, 341, 409, 430, 456†, 496
    2. Interpersonal Communication and Processes
      1. Interpersonal Sequence: COMM 344, 377, 410†: 9 s.h.
      2. Directed Electives: 9 s.h.
        Choose three of the following courses: COMM 235, 315, 330, 345, 356, 409, 425, 428
      3. Communication Electives: 9 s.h.
        Choose three additional COMM courses
    3. Social Influence
    4. Social Influence Sequence: COMM 356, 456†, 457: 9 s.h.
    5. Directed Electives: 9 s.h.
      Choose three of the following courses: COMM 312, 314, 344, 377, 409, 425, 441†
    6. Communication Electives: 9 s.h.
      Choose three additional COMM courses
  4. Any Approved Minor: 16–20 s.h.
  5. Open Electives: 15–19 s.h.

# The foreign language/global issues graduation requirement may be fulfilled by successfully completing one of the following: 1) a designated foreign language requirement [see Foreign Language/Global Issues Requirement]; 2) a General Education global issues course; 3) a Communication (COMM) global issues course; or 4) an approved Study Abroad program.
† COMM 247 and one of 410, 413, or 441 fulfill the Writing Instruction in the Disciplines (WID) graduation requirement for the Communication Studies option. COMM 247 and 410 fulfill the Writing Instruction in the Discipline WID graduation requirement for the Interpersonal Communication and Processes option. COMM 247 and 456 fulfill the Writing Instruction in the Disciplines (WID) graduation requirement for the Social Influence option.

Contact Information

Department of Comunication

Dr. Peter Jorgensen, Chairperson
Location: Memorial Hall 302
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455-1390
Phone: (309) 298-1507

Communication Website

Communication Directory

College of Fine Arts & Communication (COFAC)

Mr. William Clow, Dean
COFAC Email:
Location: Browne Hall 115
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455-1390
Phone: (309) 298-1618

COFAC Website

Communication Advising

Jennifer Grimm
Macomb campus
Memorial Hall 335
Phone: (309) 298-1938

Kim Moreno
Quad Cities campus
Quad Cities Complex 1416H
Phone: (309) 762-3999 x62325

Memorial Hall