Major Requirements

The communication major requires the completion of 11 classes (33 credits) with a grade of C or better in each course (if the course is to count toward the major).

At least one of the 11 courses for the Communication major must be a “W” (writing intensive) course. The "W" courses are indicated on the list below with an asterisk (*).

Core Courses

Each major is required to take all three of our 300-level classes. These courses provide a foundation for the field of Communication and serve as prerequisites for a variety of upper-level classes. These classes are:

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

As of the Fall of 2018, you no longer have to complete all of the 300-level classes to declare the major. You can declare at any time!

Skills Courses

Each major must complete two skills courses:

  • COMMRC 0520 (Public Speaking) REQUIRED

You may choose ONE of the following:

  • COMMRC 0500 (Argument)
  • 0510 (Debate) 
  • 0530 (Interpersonal Communication)
  • 0540 (Discussion)
  • 0550 (Speech Communication)*
  • 0575 (Intro to Radio Production)

Upper-Level (1000-level) Courses

Students may choose ANY 6 upper-level classes that suit their interests. The 300-level courses serve as the prerequisites for these classes, and students must also have completed English Composition.

  • COMMRC 1101 (Evidence)
  • COMMRC 1102 (Organizational Communication)
  • COMMRC 1103 (Rhetoric and Culture)*
  • COMMRC 1104 (Political Communication)
  • COMMRC 1105 (Television and Society)
  • COMMRC 1106 (Small Group Communication)
  • COMMRC 1109 (Nonverbal Communication)
  • COMMRC 1110 (Interpersonal Communication)
  • COMMRC 1111 (Theories of Persuasion)
  • COMMRC 1112 (Theories of Rhetoric)*
  • COMMRC 1113 (African Americans and Mass Media)
  • COMMRC 1114 (Freedom of Speech and Press)
  • COMMRC 1115 (African American Rhetoric)
  • COMMRC 1116 (The Rhetoric of Cynicism and the Counter-Culture)*
  • COMMRC 1117 (21st-Century Public Argument)
  • COMMRC 1118 (Presidential Rhetoric 1)
  • COMMRC 1119 (Presidential Rhetoric 2)
  • COMMRC 1120 (Rhetoric of the Cold War)*
  • COMMRC 1121 (History of Mass Communication)
  • COMMRC 1122 (Media Criticism)*
  • COMMRC 1123 (Rhetorical Criticism)*
  • COMMRC 1125 (Media Theory)
  • COMMRC 1126 (Media and Consumer Culture)
  • COMMRC 1142 (Theories of Modern Rhetoric)*
  • COMMRC 1143 (Knowledge, Power, and Desire)*
  • COMMRC 1145 (History of Rhetoric)*
  • COMMRC 1147 (Rhetoric of Science)*
  • COMMRC 1148 (Rhetoric of Human Rights)*
  • COMMRC 1149 (American Environmental Rhetoric)
  • COMMRC 1160 (Visual Rhetoric)*
  • COMMRC 1161 (Communication Ethics)*
  • COMMRC 1162 (Invention: Where Do Good Ideas Come From?)
  • COMMRC 1170 (Cross Cultural Communication)
  • COMMRC 1520 (Advanced Public Speaking)
  • COMMRC 1710 (Senior Thesis in Communication), requires a GPA of 3.00 for enrollment
  • COMMRC 1730 (Special Topics in Communication)*
  • COMMRC 1731 (Special Topics in Rhetoric)*
  • COMMRC 1732 (Special Topics in Mass Communication)*
  • LING 1000 (Introduction to Linguistics)
  • LING 1263 (Cross-Cultural Communication)

Pitt Study Abroad Courses (Counts as 1000 level courses)

Our department participates in several of the Pitt In Programs around the globe that offer classes you can take for Pitt credits. You may also take other classes abroad with departmental approval.

  • COMMRC 1150 (Survey of British Broadcasting - Pitt in London)
  • COMMRC 1151 (British Broadcasting Today - Pitt in London)
  • COMMRC 1156 (Ethics and the Media - London)
  • COMMRC 1170 (Cross Cultural Communication - Sydney)

Research and Internships

The Communication Department offers three special project courses to increase your knowledge and experience. (not required)

  • COMMRC 1710 (Senior Thesis in Communication)
    • Requires a GPA of 3.0 for enrollment
    • Students must have a faculty sponsor
    • Counts as a 1000-level COMMRC class for the major
  • COMMRC 1900 (Communication Internship)
    • Requires a GPA of 2.5
    • Students must attend Internship Seminar
    • Does NOT count as a 1000-level class for the major
  • COMMRC 1901 (Independent Study)
    • Requires a GPA of 3.0 for enrollment
    • Students must have a faculty sponsor
    • Does NOT count as a 1000-level class for the major
  • COMMRC 1904 (Undergraduate Teaching Assistanceship)
    • Requires a GPA of 3.0
    • Students work with a faculty mentor
    • Students who have previously taken the class they are TAing for preferred
    • Does NOT count as a 1000-level class for the major

Further Information:

The Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences requires every undergraduate student to complete EITHER a second major, a minor, a certificate, or a related area alongside their primary major to graduate. Although students can choose any department in Arts & Sciences for this purpose, popular areas for our majors include Economics, Political Science, English Writing, Linguistics, History, or Psychology.

Students who plan to do graduate work in communication are encouraged to to take foreign language classes.