Earn a bachelor's degree in communication studies—one of the degrees most sought after by employers—and prepare for a career in the ever-growing media landscape.

Whether you're interested in journalism, public relations, photography, business, or online communications, you can build a firm base of knowledge while you earn a Bachelor of Arts in communication studies at University of Maryland University College.

You'll learn to apply communication theories to both personal and professional situations, developing the "soft skills" and communication techniques that workplaces demand. In addition, you'll learn to work with individuals and groups professionally and manage communications within ethical, legal, and financial parameters.

This program is also available as a minor.

About the Communication Studies Bachelor's Degree

Developed in conjunction with employers, our online bachelor's degree in communication studies offers a balance of theoretical knowledge and sophisticated communication skills. You'll have the opportunity to learn how people create and use messages to generate meaning within and across various contexts, cultures, channels, and media. Our multidisciplinary curriculum covers speech communication, mass communication and new media, journalism, public relations, business writing, and technical writing.

What You'll Learn

Through your coursework, you will learn how to

  • Apply analytical skills in interpreting, using, and delivering information, particularly through mass media
  • Create professional and appropriate written, oral, and visual communications for specific purposes and diverse audiences
  • Design, create, and select multimedia components and integrate them into print, broadcast, and online formats
  • Work with individuals and groups in ways that reflect an understanding of both communication theory and professional expectations
  • Understand diverse and intercultural perspectives as they affect communication
  • Design and employ specific research methods and tools to gather information

Coursework Examples

In past projects, students have had the opportunity to

  • Write a speech for a hypothetical executive and organization
  • Write news articles in various journalistic styles
  • Write a comprehensive public relations plan and create messages targeting specific audiences
  • Develop a portfolio of photo essays

Communication Studies Bachelor's Degree Requirements

Our curriculum is designed with input from employers, industry experts, and scholars. You'll learn theories combined with real-world applications and practical skills you can apply on the job right away.

Courses in the Major

  • SPCH 100 or any SPCH course
  • COMM 207 or any COMM course
  • JOUR 201
  • COMM 300
  • COMM 302
  • SPCH 324
  • JOUR 330 or any upper-level JOUR course
  • COMM 400 or any upper-level COMM course
  • SPCH 470 or any upper-level SPCH course
  • COMM 390 or any upper-level COMM course
  • COMM 495

General Education Requirements

Writing and Communication Classes | 12 Credits

No more than 3 credits in writing can be earned by exam.

Introductory Writing Class | 3 Credits

All Available Options
  • WRTG 101
  • WRTG 101S

This requirement must be completed within the first 18 credits. A placement test is not required for WRTG 101. The requirement cannot be met through course challenge exams.

Writing Class | 3 Credits

All Available Options
  • WRTG 293 or any 3-credit WRTG class EXCEPT for
    • WRTG 486A
    • WRTG 486B
  • ENGL 102
  • JOUR 201

Communication, Writing, or Speech Class | 3 Credits

Recommended for Communication Studies Bachelor's Degree

COMM 202

All Available Options
  • A 3-credit class in COMM, SPCH, or WRTG
  • ENGL 102
  • ENGL 281
  • JOUR 201

Advanced Writing Class (Upper Level) | 3 Credits

Recommended for Communication Studies Bachelor's Degree

WRTG 393 or WRTG 394

All Available Options
  • WRTG 391
  • WRTG 393
  • WRTG 394

Research Class | 1 Credit

LIBS 150

Arts and Humanities Classes | 6 Credits

Classes must be from different disciplines.

Historical Perspective Class | 3 Credits

Recommended for Communication Studies Bachelor's Degree

HIST 125

All Available Options

A 3-credit class in ARTH or HIST

Arts and Humanities Class | 3 Credits

Recommended for Communication Studies Bachelor's Degree

HUMN 100

All Available Options

A 3-credit class in ARTH, ARTT, ASTD, ENGL, GRCO, HIST, HUMN, MUSC, PHIL, THET, dance, literature, or foreign language

Behavioral and Social Science Classes | 6 Credits

Classes must be from different disciplines.

Behavioral and Social Sciences Class | 3 Credits

Recommended for Communication Studies Bachelor's Degree

ECON 103

All Available Options
  • A 3-credit class in ANTH, BEHS, ECON, GEOG, GERO, GVPT, PSYC, or SOCY
  • AASP 201
  • CCJS 100
  • CCJS 105
  • CCJS 350
  • CCJS 360
  • CCJS 461
  • WMST 200

Behavioral and Social Sciences Class | 3 Credits

Recommended for Communication Studies Bachelor's Degree

BEHS 103

All Available Options
  • A 3-credit class in ANTH, BEHS, ECON, GEOG, GERO, GVPT, PSYC, or SOCY
  • AASP 201
  • CCJS 100
  • CCJS 105
  • CCJS 350
  • CCJS 360
  • CCJS 461
  • WMST 200

Biological and Physical Sciences Classes | 7 Credits

Laboratory Science Class | 4 Credits

Recommended for Communication Studies Bachelor's Degree

BIOL 103

All Available Options
  • A 3-credit science lecture class with a related 1-credit lab
  • A 4-credit science class combining lecture and lab chosen from ASTR, BIOL, CHEM, GEOL, NSCI, PHYS, biotechnology, botany, entomology, general science, or zoology

Science Class | 3 Credits

Recommended for Communication Studies Bachelor's Degree

NSCI 100

All Available Options
  • NUTR 100
  • A 3-credit class in ASTR, BIOL, CHEM, GEOL, NSCI, PHYS, biotechnology, botany, entomology, general science, or zoology

Math Class | 3 Credits

Recommended for Communication Studies Bachelor's Degree

MATH 106

All Available Options
  • MATH 106
  • MATH 107
  • A 3-credit MATH class at or above the level of college algebra

Computing Classes | 6 Credits

Computing Class | 3 Credits

All Available Options
  • IFSM 201
  • CMST 301

Computing Class Appropriate to Your Major | 3 Credits

Recommended for Communication Studies Bachelor's Degree
  • CMIS 111
  • IFSM 300
All Available Options
  • ACCT 326
  • A 3-credit class in CMIS, CMIT, CMSC, CMST, CSIA, IFSM, or SDEV

Overall Bachelor's Degree Requirements

In addition to the general education requirements and the major, minor, and elective requirements, the overall requirements listed below apply to all bachelor's degrees.

  • You must complete a minimum of 120 credits
  • You must maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.0 overall and a minimum grade of C for any class applied to the academic major or minor
  • Within the 120 credits required, the following coursework must be taken through UMUC:
    • 30 credits (normally the final 30)
    • Half of the required number of credits within both the major and the minor
    • 15 credits at the upper level (earned in classes numbered 300 to 499), preferably within the major or minor
  • At least 45 credits must be upper level and include
    • At least half of the credits required for the major
    • 3 credits in advanced writing
  • The remaining upper-level credits can be earned in any part of the curriculum
  • At least half the required number of credits for any academic major or minor must be earned through graded coursework. Credit earned by examination, portfolio assessment, or noncollegiate training does not count as graded coursework

Double majors: You can earn a dual major upon completion of all requirements for both majors, including the required minimum number of credits for each major and all related requirements for both majors. The same class cannot be used to fulfill requirements for more than one major. Certain restrictions (including use of credit and acceptable combinations of majors) apply for double majors. You cannot major in two programs with excessive overlap of required coursework. Contact an admissions counselor before selecting a double major.

Second bachelor's degree: To earn a second bachelor's degree, you must complete at least 30 credits through UMUC after completing the first degree. The combined credit in both degrees must add up to at least 150 credits. You must complete all requirements for the major. All prerequisites apply. If any of these requirements were satisfied in the previous degree, the remainder necessary to complete the minimum 30 credits of new classes should be satisfied with classes related to your major. Contact an admissions counselor before pursuing a second bachelor's degree.

Electives: Electives can be taken in any academic discipline. No more than 21 credits can consist of vocational or technical credit. Pass/fail credit, up to a maximum of 18 credits, can be applied toward electives only.

Student Clubs and Organizations

Communication Studies Club

Type: Academic club
Available To: Undergraduate and Graduate

This club includes discussions about current events relating to communication studies, journalism, technical/business writing, speech, and public relations. It also hosts professionals in the field as guest speakers who bring insight to the variety of jobs within the field and discuss their paths to success. Students also get opportunities to share their UMUC and career experiences with classmates.

Humanities and English Club

Type: Academic club
Available To: Undergraduate and Graduate

The Humanities and English Club provides students with the opportunity to speak to faculty members about classes, graduate schools, and professional opportunities. The club regularly hosts symposiums and guest speakers for English majors and offers discussions in which students can discuss their favorite authors. A staple of this student organization is a writing workshop in which students critique one another's creative writing.

Lambda Pi Eta, Tau Chapter

Type: Honor society
Available To: Undergraduate and Graduate

Lambda Pi Eta is the honor society of the National Communication Association. The goals of the honor society are to recognize, foster, and reward outstanding scholastic achievement in communication studies, stimulate interest in the field of communications, promote and encourage professional development among communication students, and provide an opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas in the field of communications among students, faculty, and professionals.