The Department of Communication emphasizes the
study of the nature, diversity, and impact of communication on the evolution of
individuals, groups, and institutions within society. The undergraduate major
in communication provides a broad, theory-based education and allows for
concentration in a specific area, such as strategic communication and public
relations, health and wellness communication, relationship and family communication,
and leadership in organizations and community. Courses in communication cover
ideas and applications in preparation for communication careers in business,
education, or government, for the pursuit of graduate degrees in communication
and other social science fields, or as supplement for students whose primary
interests are in other areas such as political science, computer science,
business, human resources, health care, and more.
Graduates from the undergraduate
program in communication are expected to achieve these learning goals:
- Understanding of fundamental
communication perspectives, theories, and concepts.
- Ability to use communication
theories and concepts to analyze human behavior (including interpersonal,
family, group, health, organizational, and technological settings).
- Proficiency in gathering and
using evidence to study and understand communication processes and
consequences (including asking questions and systematically attempting to
answer them, as well as understanding the value and limitations of
research processes and conclusions).
- Competency in written and
oral communication in varied settings (including interpersonal, family,
group, health, organizational, or technological).
- Ability to apply
communication theories and concepts to social, professional, and civic
life (including issues of diversity, ethics, and civic engagement).
graduates find opportunities in a wide variety of careers in business,
education, government, and the nonprofit sectors. Skills in oral and written
communication are some of the most sought-after characteristics all employers
look for when hiring. Radio and TV, advertising and public relations,
publishing, sales, and financial services are but a few of the many areas in
which these graduates find employment. Any work that involves communicating as
its focal point is a potential career field. The communications industry is a
competitive one, however, and experience gives everyone an extra advantage. The
communication program offers internship opportunities for credit. In addition,
an advanced degree can offer an edge, and the school offers a five-year
bachelor's/master's program; for more information, see below.
Admission to the Major
The Department of Communication seeks a highly motivated and diverse student
body. Admission to the communication major is competitive; meeting the minimum
requirements does not guarantee acceptance. Minimum requirements for admission
- completion of at least 15 credits at Rutgers, or
15 transfer credits, with a grade-point average of 2.0 or better;
a grade of C or better in the required
prerequisite course 04:189:101 Introduction to Communication and Information
Processes (or an equivalent transfer course);
- a grade of C or better in Expository Writing or
an equivalent course or placement; and
- completion of the application including a
well-written personal statement.
The admissions committee seeks the following when reviewing student essays:
(a) evidence of your interest in the major; (b) your future plans and their
relationship to the major; (c) your strength as a writer; and (d) any other
qualities that make you a strong candidate for admission to the communication
major. Applications are available on the school's website: https://comminfo.rutgers.edu/admissions/undergraduate.
Students may be admitted for the fall, spring, and summer semesters; check the
website for application deadlines each year. Students are strongly encouraged
to consult the school's website for up-to-date information regarding admissions
Students majoring in communication are required to earn 6
credits at the School of Communication and Information (SC&I), including
the prerequisite survey requirement of 04:189:101 Introduction to Communication
and Information Processes (3 credits) required before admission to the major.
The other 3 credits include:
SC&I Interdisciplinary Requirement (3 credits):
04:189:102 Introduction to Media Systems and Processes (3)
04:189:103 Information Technology and Informatics (3)
Requirements for the remaining credits in the major include:
Requirements (15 credits):
Communication Theory (3)
Communication in Relationships (3)
Communication Research (3)
At least one of
Communication and Technology (3) or
Interpersonal Communication (3) or
Organizational Communication (3) or
Persuasive Communication (3)
effective for students admitted to the major after September 2017
Courses (15 credits):
elective courses may include all 300- and 400-level courses, and must include at
least two 400-level courses except those completed as part of the core
requirements. Courses 04:192:491,492 Independent Study in Communication and
04:192:495 Applied Study in Communication may not be used to fulfill this or
the total credit requirement in the major. Students should check the
communication website or undergraduate handbook to determine prerequisites for
300- and 400-level courses, and should speak with an adviser for help in
planning coursework for the major.
Four specializations are offered:
- Health and wellness
- Leadership in organizations
- Relationship and family
- Strategic public
communication and public relations
The specializations are designed to provide essential knowledge of
communication methods and techniques and help students build the necessary
skills to start a career. The specializations require the same credits as the
communication major in general, but are focused in one of the areas above.
Specializations can be combined with additional coursework to better create a
narrative around a student's skills and knowledge. Combining specializations
can expand career opportunities further. See the webpage for the most current
information and additional details: https://comminfo.rutgers.edu/academics/undergraduate/communication-major/curriculum/specializations.
Students must earn
a grade of C or better in all 04:192 courses in order for those courses to
count toward the major.
Other Educational Opportunities
The department encourages students to pursue internship experiences that
complement their studies and potential career choices. Students must be
accepted into the communication major in order to enroll in the internship.
Students may apply up to 3 internship course credits toward their
upper-division course electives in the major. Additional internship credits may
be earned but do not apply to the communication major. Note that each four-year
school in the university sets its own limits regarding the number of
experiential credits a student may apply toward graduation.
Further information about the internship and about other educational
opportunities such as specializations in the major is available at the
communication program website.
Courses that students have taken at other New Jersey colleges, which are
articulated through the NJ Transfer system and recorded on a student's
transcript with a communication course number, will be counted toward the
Students who wish to have a course
they have taken elsewhere at Rutgers or externally at another university
considered as one of their required or elective courses in the communication
major must submit a request for transfer equivalency in writing to the SC&I
Office of Student Services. To submit such a request, the letter of petition
must include a copy of the full syllabus of the course, a copy of the student's
transcript showing the grade achieved, note which communication course it is
requested to replace, and the reasons for consideration. The courses are
evaluated in terms of their very close match of content and skills to the
communication course, the level of the course, and the grade achieved, which
should typically be a C or better. Students will be notified in writing of the
outcome of the petition.
Degree Program for Communication Majors
majors in their junior or senior year may apply to the master's program in
communication and media (M.C.M.) for a dual-B.A./M.C.M. program that allows
completion of both degrees in as little as five years. If accepted, certain
communication courses taken in the senior year will count toward both the
undergraduate degree and the master's. Once the bachelor's degree is completed,
students will be in the master's program and complete requirements.
requirements are the same as for all M.C.M. applicants. Details about the
application process and degree requirements are on the school's website.