2023-24 Catalogs

125 Jesse Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
Map and directions »
Phone numbers and e-mail »

BA in Communication

Degree Program Description

Communication students navigate rich environments using communication theories and models, critically evaluate messages and arguments, and effectively advocate their values, beliefs, and opinions using communication principles. Graduates are able to create persuasive messages for a variety of contexts using verbal and nonverbal, written, and mediated communication. The curriculum for the degree covers four main areas: interpersonal, mediated, organizational, and political communication. Students are asked to specialize in one area but are required to explore two additional areas. Interpersonal and family communication focuses on communication processes in family and personal relationships. The mediated area studies theory and research related to media content and use, media effects, and audience reception. Students in this area have the opportunity to gain valuable hands-on experience in digital production. Organizational communication focuses on the various ways in which we produce, enact, and generally conduct our lives in various organizational contexts. Political communication studies the communicative activity of citizens, political figures and campaigns, government institutions, and social movements. Professional internships and two undergraduate organizations are offered and student participation is strongly encouraged. A degree in Communication is not intended to provide specific vocational training, but to prepare students for professional opportunities requiring active communication skills. Recent graduates have found careers in sales, public relations, marketing, advertising, promotions, political consulting, corporate communications, event planning, social media, media production, law, education, and public policy.

Major Program Requirements

The major in communication includes a minimum of 30 hours and a maximum of 52 hours in communication courses. Each course is 3 credits unless otherwise noted. Students must also complete College of Arts and Sciences and University requirements, including University general education requirements.

Major core requirements
COMMUN 1200Public Speaking3
COMMUN 2500Introduction to Communication3
COMMUN 3575WBusiness and Professional Communication - Writing Intensive3
Total Credits9

Areas of Focus

In addition to required courses, a student must select one of four areas of focus. Students must complete 12 hours in one area of focus including one of the core courses in that area (*). The student must take one course in two of the three other areas of focus. One final course is also required, but it can be any Communication course listed below. A course may only count once toward meeting these requirements. Students must have at least one 4000+ level course in the major. (Areas of Focus will not appear on transcripts or diplomas.)

Interpersonal Focus:
COMMUN 3422Communication Research Methods3
COMMUN 3441Nonverbal Communication3
COMMUN 3470Culture as Communication3
COMMUN 3561Relational Communication *3
COMMUN 3571Group Decision Making Processes3
COMMUN 4412Gender, Language, and Communication3
COMMUN 4440Ethical Issues in Communication3
COMMUN 4474Theory and Research in Persuasion3
COMMUN 4478Communication Competencies for a Diverse Workplace3
COMMUN 4510Children's Communication3
COMMUN 4520Family Communication *3
COMMUN 4530Health Communication3
Organizational Communication Focus:
COMMUN 3422Communication Research Methods3
COMMUN 3460Organizational Advocacy *3
COMMUN 3470Culture as Communication3
COMMUN 3571Group Decision Making Processes3
COMMUN 3580Crisis Communication3
COMMUN 4412Gender, Language, and Communication3
COMMUN 4440Ethical Issues in Communication3
COMMUN 4474Theory and Research in Persuasion3
COMMUN 4476Organizational Communication *3
COMMUN 4478Communication Competencies for a Diverse Workplace3
COMMUN 4530Health Communication3
Mediated Communication Focus:
COMMUN 2100Media Communication in Society *3
COMMUN 3422Communication Research Methods3
COMMUN 3470Culture as Communication3
COMMUN 3490Media Effects3
COMMUN 3580Crisis Communication3
COMMUN 4412Gender, Language, and Communication3
COMMUN 4440Ethical Issues in Communication3
COMMUN 4474Theory and Research in Persuasion3
COMMUN 4478Communication Competencies for a Diverse Workplace3
COMMUN 4530Health Communication3
COMMUN 4628Children, Adolescents and the Media3
COMMUN 4638New Technologies and Communication3
COMMUN 4648Race, Ethnicity, and the Media3
or COMMUN 4648H Race, Ethnicity, and the Media - Honors
COMMUN 1880Introduction to Digital Media Production3
COMMUN 2200Video Workshop: Sports Broadcast Production 3
COMMUN 2530Screenwriting I3
COMMUN 2810Story Development3
COMMUN 2880Digital Storytelling Production I3
COMMUN 4880Digital Storytelling Production II3
Political Communication Focus:
COMMUN 3422Communication Research Methods3
COMMUN 3460Organizational Advocacy3
COMMUN 3470Culture as Communication3
COMMUN 3572Argument and Advocacy3
COMMUN 3580Crisis Communication3
COMMUN 4412Gender, Language, and Communication3
COMMUN 4440Ethical Issues in Communication3
COMMUN 4473Political Communication *3
COMMUN 4474Theory and Research in Persuasion3
COMMUN 4478Communication Competencies for a Diverse Workplace3
COMMUN 4491Political Public Address3
COMMUN 4638New Technologies and Communication3
Potential Options for Focus Area Courses (with Departmental Approval):
COMMUN 2701Topics in Communication - General3
COMMUN 2703Topics in Communication - Behavioral Science3
or COMMUN 2703W Topics in Communication - Behavioral Science - Writing Intensive
COMMUN 2705Topics in Communication - Humanities/Fine Arts3
COMMUN 3701Topics in Communication-General5-9
or COMMUN 3701W Topics in Communication - General - Writing Intensive
COMMUN 3703Topics in Communication-Behavioral Sciences1-99
COMMUN 3705Topics in Communication-Humanities1-99
COMMUN 4420WCommunicating Research and Scholarship - Writing Intensive3
COMMUN 4701Topics in Communication-General3-9
COMMUN 4705Topics in Communication-Humanities1-99
COMMUN 4950Research Project1-3
COMMUN 4960Directed Reading1-3
Electives in Major (Cannot be Used in Focus Areas but Can Count in Major)
COMMUN 3570Performance of Literature3
COMMUN 4940Internship1-6

Back to Top

Semester Plan

Below is a sample plan of study, semester by semester.  A student's actual plan may vary based on course choices where options are available.

First Year
ENGLSH 10003Biological/Physical/Mathematical Science with Lab* 3-5
Humanities Course*3Humanities Course*3
Behavioral Science Course*3Elective or Minor Course3
American Government Requirement (Social Science Course)3COMMUN 12003
Elective Course3MATH 1050, 1100, or STAT 12003
 15 15-17
Second Year
Second Language or Elective3-5COMMUN 25003
Communication Course**3Second Language or Elective3-5
Behavioral Science Course (1000+)*3Social Science Course*3
Biological/Physical/Mathematical Science Course*3Humanities Course (1000+)*3
Humanities Course (Writing Intensive)*3Biological/Physical/Mathematical Science Course*3
 15-17 15-17
Third Year
COMMUN 3575W3Communication Course**3
Communication Course**3Elective Course3
Elective or Minor Course3Elective Course3
Second Language or Elective3Elective or Minor Course3
Social Science Course (1000+)*3Communication Course**3
 15 15
Fourth Year
Communication Course**3Communication Course (4000+)**3
Elective or Minor Course Course3Elective or Minor Course3
Communication Course**3Elective or Minor Course3
Elective Course3Elective Course3
Elective Course3Additional Elective Hours to Reach 120 credits (If Necessary)3
 15 15
Total Credits: 120-126

From A&S list available from A&S Advising or academic Exploration Web Page.


From list of Communication courses within the four emphasis areas. 

Back to Top

Degree Audit

The degree audit is an automated report reflecting a student’s academic progress toward the completion of a degree. 

MU students can request a degree audit by logging in to myDegreePlanner. Students may also access myDegreePlanner via myZou, in the Student Center, click on the Academic Progress Tile, then select Request Degree Audit. The audit automatically pulls in the student’s MU course work, transfer courses and courses in progress. This is available to current students, admitted students, and those who last attended less than three terms ago.

Past MU students can request a degree audit by contacting the Academic Advising Unit of the division in which they were last enrolled at MU. For contact information, go to https://advising.missouri.edu/contact/.

Prospective students, can access a preliminary MU degree audit via https://www.transferology.com. Information on the college credits already earned will have to be manually entered before it can be evaluated against current degree requirements.

For additional details on degree audits, go to https://registrar.missouri.edu/degrees-audits/degree-audits/.

Back to Top

Major and Career Exploration

The University of Missouri has many resources to assist you in exploring majors and career possibilities. For guidance, visit the Majors and Careers website or view specific resources below.

  • If you are considering a change of major or are exploring multiple majors, schedule an appointment with an advisor in the Discovery Center by calling (573)884-9700 or through MU Connect Discovery Center service in you success network.

  • If you have decided on a major, visit an academic advisor in the School or College that you are interested in to discuss the process of declaring the major

  • If you would like to learn more about your career interests, abilities, values and talents, visit the MU Career Center. No Appointment is necessary to explore career options with one of our staff members.

For additional major and career exploration resources, visit Major & Career Exploration in the catalog.

Back to Top