FAQs

What are the requirements for the communication major?

In addition to completing the general education curriculum required by the Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences, a Communication major must complete 33 credits (11 courses) for the major. The distribution of the courses is as follows:

Three 300-level core courses. These classes are:

  • COMMRC 0300 (Communication Process)
  • COMMRC 0310 (Rhetorical Process)
  • COMMRC 0320 (Mass Communication Process)

Two 500-level skills classes:
COMMRC 0520 (Public Speaking) is required

You may choose any ONE of the following:

  • COMMRC 0500 (Argument)
  • COMMRC  0510 (Debate) – should we mention here that it’s debate for non-debate team members?
  • COMMRC 0530 (Interpersonal Communication)
  • COMMRC 0540 (Discussion)
  • COMMRC 0550 (Speech Communication, a writing-intensive class)

Upper-Level (1000-level) Courses

Students may choose ANY 6 upper-level classes that suit their interests.

At least one of these 11 courses must be a “W” (writing intensive) course.

See the major requirements.

Is there a foreign language requirement or math requirement needed for the COMMRC major?

Because the Communication Department is part of the School of Arts and Sciences, the major has no general education requirements apart from those required of all students in Arts and Sciences. See the general education requirements.

When should I see a COMMRC advisor?

Students should visit an advisor when:

  • You’re thinking of declaring the Communication major
  • You first declare the major
  • You have specific questions about
    • The Communication major
    • internships
    • a specific class
    • graduate school
    • starting a career
    • etc.
  • You have problems or issues with a class or instructor
  • Before you register every semester
  • You apply for graduation

How do I declare the major?

  1. Take and pass the three core classes (COMMRC 0300, 0310, and 0320) with a grade of C or better.
  2. Go to 140 Thackeray and fill out an “Undergraduate Academic Program Change” form

How do I apply for graduation?

Note: Apply for graduation AFTER you have registered for your final semester’s classes.

Go to 140 Thackeray and pick up an “Application for Graduation” form. Make sure you do so before that semester’s deadline so we can confirm you have all the requirements necessary for graduation before the end of Add/Drop!

How do I schedule a visit to the communication department?

General campus visit are arranged through the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid, but you can contact a Communication advisor to schedule a departmental visit and/or sit in on a Communication class.

Why doesn’t the COMMRC department offer a major in public relations, advertising, or broadcasting?

Years ago, we decided to offer a broad-based liberal arts Communication major. This gives our students a firm foundation in communication and the ability to pivot when the job market demands it – our students are not limited by a narrowly-focused degree plan! Many of our alumni have flourishing careers in public relations, advertising, or broadcasting. We help make this possible through our own courses and helping our students pair the communication major with internships throughout the region and beyond. Because of Pitt’s proximity to the city and our connection with state, national, and international organizations, students have abundant opportunity to work with experts and state-of-the-art equipment in their chosen fields.

How do I get an internship? 

Please see Communication Internships.

What undergraduate clubs, organizations, and opportunities are sponsored by the department?

The Department sponsors two undergraduate organizations: The Undergraduate Communication Club and the Omicron Psi chapter of Lambda Pi Eta (the Honors Society affiliated with the National Communication Association). The Communication Department also sponsors two competitions annually. The first is the Spiegel Essay Competition, and the second is the Undergraduate Oratory Competition.