Communication

Study the power that media wield in shaping public opinion, crossing boundaries between private and public life, and the role they play in national development. Learn about the social, cultural, economic, political and historical context within which media operate, through courses covering:
  • Media history, theory and criticism
  • Practical skills focused on print, video, or digital media
  • The Internet
  • Film
  • Public relations
To allow you to focus on your areas of interest, the Communication major program offers both a professional track and a research track. You may choose electives from other School of IAS majors or undergraduate programs at UW Tacoma. Transfer students should plan on two years to complete all degree requirements. This degree is recommended for careers in print and broadcast writing, reporting and editing, web design and in the rapidly growing and interdisciplinary field of media research.

Communication Professional Track

The Professional track offers you a comprehensive approach to the study of media criticism and media writing and production through:

  • Combined study of media criticism, writing and production
  • Evaluation of cultural products and consideration of theoretical frameworks
  • Practical skills focused on either print or broadcast media

Communication Research Track

The Research Track will provide you with an overview of the political, economic, historic, social and cultural contexts of mass media. Through a wide range of courses, you can gain:
  • Understanding of the relationships between media, culture, and power
  • Insight into U.S. & International media theory
  • Critical thinking skills about the connections between media production and consumption
  • Preparation for graduate studies or careers in media research

Communication prerequisites

For both the Professional and Research tracks, one of the following prerequisite classes will be necessary for declaring a Communication major. A minimum grade of 2.5 is required for the prerequisite course.

Communication transfer policy

A maximum of 15 credits is allowed to be transferred towards the Communication degree.

Communication student learning outcomes

Through a critical and cultural studies framework that addresses power differentials in society and through a rigorous schedule of courses in media theory and skills, you, as a Communication major, are expected to:

  • Be able to conduct thorough and critical research for both media theory and skills assignments, which is consistent with the LEAP learning outcomes of "Intellectual and Practical Skills" and "Integrative Learning;"
  • Understand and analyze the power of the visual image and the written word and their ability to convey and sustain ideologies of gender, class, ethnicity and orientation, which is consistent with the LEAP learning outcome of "Personal and Society Responsibility;"
  • Understand and analyze the ethical, legal, political and economic contexts of the mass media, which is consistent with the LEAP learning outcome of "Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Physical and Natural World;"
  • Understand and analyze the interdependency of global media systems and develop a critical and historical approach to media production and consumption, which is consistent with the LEAP learning outcome of "Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Physical and Natural World;"
  • Develop skills to write, edit and produce across varied media platforms, which is consistent with the LEAP learning outcomes of "Intellectual and Practical Skills;"
  • Be prepared for a variety of jobs in mass media such as newspaper and magazine writing, reporting and editing, television and video production and web design.

*** Liberal Education and America's Promise (LEAP)

 Communication degree requirements

For questions about this major, contact advisors Susan MorreiraSuzanne McCusker, or Karin Dalesky.

For Communications - Professional Track, you need to complete 60 credits, which must include a minimum of 30 credits of upper-division courses. You must earn a total of 180 quarter credits, or 225 quarter credits for a double degree, in order to earn a bachelor of arts degree in your chosen major.

Communication - Professional track course lists

Communication Foundation: 5 credits, one of the following theory and methods courses
Communication Core - List A: 25 credits, minimum of 10 upper division credits (300-400 level) required
(* denotes courses restricted to Global Honors students)
Professional Track Courses - List B: 30 credits

If you declare this major autumn 2016 or later, a minimum of 20 credits from this list must be TCOM courses.

Optional Communication Capstone: 5 credits

Professional Track students may choose to complete a Senior Project (as part of the List B credits). The Senior Project has two main components: students perform a 5-credit internship in the communication industry and write a 10-15 page academic paper. The project is designed to allow senior professional track students to gain needed professional experience while placing this professional experience in a broader theoretical framework. Senior project internships and academic paper topics will vary and must have faculty advisor approval.

 

For Communications - Research Track, you need to complete 55 credits, which must include a minimum of 20 credits of upper-division courses. You must earn a total of 180 quarter credits, or 225 quarter credits for a double degree, to earn a bachelor of arts degree in your chosen major.

Communication - Research track course lists

Communication Foundation: 10 credits
Communication Core - List A: 35 credits, including minimum of 20 credits of upper division credits (300-400 level) required
(* denotes courses restricted to Global Honors students)
Research Track - List B: 10 credits
(* denotes courses restricted to Global Honors students)
Optional Communication Capstone: 5 credits

Communication - Research Track students may choose to complete a 5-credit, 25-35 page senior thesis (as part of the List A credits). Ideally, you would have completed all core and foundation courses before undertaking the thesis. The thesis may be supervised only by core Communication faculty. This means early planning is crucial, and you should develop a rapport with your supervisor by the time you reach the thesis stage.

 Additional courses may be approved and added to courses lists to provide students more flexibility and options.
Please refer to this page often for the most up-to-date information.

To request changes to this page, please contact Kelly Kledzik at kellyk6@uw.edu.