Department of Communication
270 UCB, Hellems 96
Boulder, CO 80309
303-492-8411 (fax)

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The importance of communication in all aspects of human life and the explosion of communication technologies during the twenty-first century make the formal study of communication a relevant, versatile, and timely endeavor.

The BA in Communication provides a broad-based liberal arts degree designed to foster students’ abilities to understand, analyze, and effectively engage in a wide range of communication practices. It fosters critical thinking about the ways that symbols and interactions contribute to social problems and solutions to them, to identities and differences, to organizations and work, to personal relationships and groups, and to experience and meaning across cultural settings. At the same time, the major provides instruction and practice in the skills of effective communication and collaborative problem solving that employers are looking for—speaking, writing, reading, listening, asking good questions, utilizing media, and working in groups. The mix of theory and practice gives students the tools to improve communication performance and critical awareness of it across a wide range of situations.

All majors are encouraged to complete one or more internships to gain valuable experience. Outstanding students are encouraged to join the Eta Phi Honor Society and to participate in the Department’s Honors Program. To learn about declaring a Communication major, click here. For degree requirements, click here.

Learning Goals for the Major:

An undergraduate degree in communication emphasizes knowledge and awareness of the following:

  • the basic contexts in which communication is enacted (e.g., interpersonal, group, organizational, and public contexts);
  • the various processes of interaction within these contexts;
  • the ways that communication shapes and is shaped by gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, culture, and social power;
  • the uses and implications of communication technology;
  • the basic methods of investigating questions about communication;
  • the ethical issues and responsibilities of communication practice;
  • the history and development of communication as an object of scholarly study, including both the humanistic and social-scientific traditions.

In addition, the major is designed to equip students with skills to:

  • express and develop ideas in an informed, coherent, and effective manner, both orally and in writing;
  • analyze, criticize, and evaluate messages and interactions in a variety of practical contexts;
  • adapt messages and negotiate interactions responsibly in diverse and changing situations;
  • work effectively and mindfully with others in groups and collaborative situations;
  • make use of communication technologies to achieve specific goals for particular audiences