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  School of Communication and Information 2021-2023 Undergraduate Programs Undergraduate Programs of Study Communication  


The Department of Communication emphasizes the study of the nature, diversity, and impact of communications 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 communities. 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 a 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 communication program 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).

Career Opportunities

Communication 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 include

  • 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 01:355:101 Expository Writing or an equivalent course or placement; and
  • completion of the application including a well-written personal statement.

The admissions committee considers the following criteria 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: Students may be admitted for the fall, spring, and summer semesters; check the website for application deadlines each semester. Students are strongly encouraged to consult the school's website for up-to-date information regarding admissions procedures.

Major Requirements

Pre-Major Requirement

04:189:101  Introduction to Communication and Information Processes (3)

This course is required before a student can apply to the major.


SC&I Interdisciplinary Requirement (3 credits):


    04:189:102  Introduction to Media Systems and Processes (3) or

    04:189:103  Information Technology and Informatics (3)


Core Requirements (15 credits):

    04:192:200  Communication Theory (3)

    04:192:201  Communication in Relationships (3)

    04:192:300  Communication Research (3)

    04:192:380  Public Speaking (3)

    At least one of

    04:192:354  Communication and Technology (3) or

    04:192:355  Interpersonal Communication (3) or

    04:192:357  Organizational Communication (3) or

    04:192:359  Persuasive Communication (3)

Core Requirements effective for students admitted to the major after September 2017

Upper-Level Courses (15 credits):

Upper-level 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 communication
  • Leadership in organizations and community
  • Relationship and family communication
  • 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 on 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:

Students must earn a grade of C or better in all 04:192 courses in order for those courses to count toward the major.

Internships and 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 on the communication program website.

Course Transfers

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 major. 

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, noting 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.

Dual-Bachelor's/Master's Degree Program for Communication Majors

Communication 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 or the master's program in Health Communication and Information (MHCI) for a dual-B.A./M.H.C.I program. Each dual-degree program allows completion of both degrees in as few as five years. If accepted, certain communication courses taken in the senior year will count toward both the undergraduate degree and the masters. Once the bachelor's degree is completed, students will be in the master's program and complete the requirements.


Admission requirements are the same as for all M.C.M. and M.H.C.I. applicants. Details about the application process and degree requirements are on the school's website.

For additional information, contact RU-info at 848-445-info (4636) or
Comments and corrections to: Campus Information Services.

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