Communication is a broad field, covering all of the different ways humans can exchange information - orally, through written word, and through nonverbal and visual cues. The study of communication involves the analysis of the communication patterns, settings, and tools that people use. Regardless of industry, in survey after survey, almost every employer ranks communication skills as one of their top three criteria when hiring.

Communication students at UWM not only graduate with top-notch communication skills, but they also have a thorough understanding of communication as a process and as a system. They are the individuals who can work with all types of people, bringing out their best. Communication majors go on to all types of work, but the common denominator is that their work most likely involves lots of interaction with others. Sales, marketing, media, public relations, human resources, mediation, law, journalism, merchandising, advertising, education, public office, and social welfare are just a few of the most popular post-college careers. At UWM, students can focus their Communication electives around four tracks: interpersonal communication; rhetoric and public communication; intercultural communication; or technology and communication. The Communication major can be completed entirely online if desired. Or, students can mix-and-match online and in-person classes in whatever combination they wish.

Requirements

Course of Study – Bachelor of Arts Degree

Complete 120 credits including 90 credits in the College of Letters & Science and with 36 of the 90 credits in L&S upper-level (numbered above 300) courses. The College requires that students must complete in residence at UWM at least 15 credits in upper-division (numbered 300 or above) courses in their major. Students are also required to complete University-wide General Education Requirements and the specific L&S requirements listed below.

To complete a major, students must satisfy all the requirements of the major as stated in this catalog. Students who declare their majors within five years of entering the UW System as a degree candidate may satisfy the requirements outlined in any catalog issued since the time they entered. Credits used to satisfy the major also may be used to satisfy other degree requirements.

University General Education Requirements (GER)

Oral and Written Communication
Part A
Achieve a grade of C or better in the following course:
ENGLISH 102College Writing and Research (or equivalent)
Part B
Course designated as OWC-B; may be completed through a major-specific course requirement
Quantitative Literacy
Part A
Earn at least 3 credits with a grade of C or higher in one of the following courses or an equivalent course, or achieve a placement code of at least 30 on the mathematics placement test (or other appropriate test, as determined by the Mathematical Sciences Department)
Mathematical Literacy for College Students II
Contemporary Applications of Mathematics
Introduction to College Algebra
Algebraic Literacy II
Introduction to Logic - Critical Reasoning 1
Introduction to Logic - Critical Reasoning
College Algebra
Or equivalent course
Part B
Course designated as QL-B; may be completed through a major-specific course requirement
Arts
Select 3 credits3
Humanities
Select 6 credits6
Social Sciences
Select 6 credits6
Natural Sciences
Select 6 credits (at least two courses including one lab)6
UWM Foreign Language Requirement
Complete Foreign Language Requirement through:
Two years (high school) of a single foreign language
Two semesters (college) of a single foreign language
Or equivalent
UWM Cultural Diversity Requirement
One course from the Arts, Humanities, or Social Sciences must also satisfy UWM's Cultural Diversity requirement
1

 Math 111 and Philosophy 111 are jointly offered and count as repeats of one another. Students cannot receive credit for both courses.

College of Letters & Science Requirements

I. English Composition Requirement

Students must satisfy the English Composition Requirement with one of the following options:

1) Completing ENGLISH 102 with a grade of C or higher; or

2) by placing beyond ENGLISH 102 on the English Placement Test (EPT) (or other assessment as determined by the English Department); or

3) transferring a course of at least 2.5 equivalent credits from another institution that is equivalent to English 102, or a UWM higher-level expository writing course, with a grade of C or higher.

Note: This requirement is the same as the University General Education Requirement for Oral and Written Communication Part A. The College of Letters & Science does not have a specific requirement for a writing course beyond English 102, but students must complete the university-wide requirement for Oral and Written Communication Part B listed above.

II. Mathematics and Formal Reasoning

To satisfy the Mathematics and Formal Reasoning Requirement, students must satisfy the following two requirements:

1. Achieve a placement code of at least 30 on the mathematics placement test (or other appropriate test, as determined by the Mathematical Sciences Department) or earn at least 3 credits with a grade of C or higher in one of the following courses or an equivalent course:

MATH 102Mathematical Literacy for College Students II3
MATH 103Contemporary Applications of Mathematics3
MATH 105Introduction to College Algebra3
MATH 108Algebraic Literacy II3
MATH 111Introduction to Logic - Critical Reasoning 13
or PHILOS 111 Introduction to Logic - Critical Reasoning
MATH 116College Algebra3
MATH 175Mathematical Explorations for Elementary Teachers I3
1

 Math 111 and Philosophy 111 are jointly offered and count as repeats of one another. Students cannot receive credit for both courses.

Note: This requirement is the same as the University General Education Requirement for Quantitative Literacy Part A, listed above.

2. Complete one course (at least 3 credits) at the 200 level or above chosen from courses in Mathematics, PHILOS 211, or Letters and Science statistics courses:

Complete one of the following:
3 or more credits in any 200-level or above Math course
Introduction to Statistics in African and African Diaspora Studies
Introduction to Anthropological Statistics
Biostatistics
Economic Statistics
Quantitative Analysis in Geography
The Quantitative Analysis of Historical Data
Elementary Statistical Analysis
Elementary Logic
Political Data Analysis
Survey Research
Psychological Statistics
Introduction to Statistical Thinking in Sociology

Note: This requirement is NOT the same as the University General Education Requirement for Quantitative Literacy Part B. To complete the BA, students must take one of the L&S approved courses. Not all of the courses listed here will satisfy the QL-B requirement.

III. Foreign Language Requirement 

Placement testing may be used to satisfy all or part of this requirement. Language courses (including American Sign Language) other than English taken in high school may be used to satisfy all or part of this requirement. One year of high school language equates to one semester of college work.

Completion of the L&S Language Requirement also satisfies the university-wide Foreign Language GER, but not vice versa.

Completed in one of the following ways:0-18
Successful completion of the 4th semester of college work or equivalent in one language other than English (including American Sign Language)
Successful completion of the 3rd semester of college work or equivalent in one language other than English (including American Sign Language) PLUS the 2nd semester of college work or equivalent in another language other than English (including American Sign Language)

IV. International Requirement 

See Approved Courses for the L&S International Requirement for course options.  

Completed in one of the following ways:9
Complete 3 courses (min. 9 cr) in a single foreign language (not including literature-in-translation or American Sign Language) at the 3rd semester level and above
Complete 3 non-language courses (min. 9 credits) with an international content chosen from at least 2 curricular areas.
Complete 9 credits in combination of the two options above.

V. Breadth Requirement

Along with completing the University General Education Requirements of 3 credits in the Arts (A); 6 credits in the Humanities (HU), Social Sciences (SS), and Natural Sciences (NS/NS+); and a course with the Cultural Diversity (CD/+) designation, L&S students must complete the Breadth requirement.

Arts
Select 3 credits3
Humanities
Complete 12 credits of L&S courses with Humanities Breadth designation; no more than 6 credits from a single subject area. *12
Social Sciences
Complete 12 credits of L&S Courses with Social Science Breadth designation; no more than 6 credits from a single curricular area. *12
Natural Sciences
Complete 12 credits of L&S Courses with Natural Sciences Breadth designation, including at least one laboratory or field course; no more than 6 credits from a single curricular area. *12
Cultural Diversity
Complete 3 credits in a course with Cultural Diversity (CD) designation. **3
*

Students should check their course selections carefully with the list of approved L&S Breadth Courses.  Students are advised to select at least 6 credits worth of courses in each of the Humanities, Social Science, and Natural Sciences areas that can satisfy both the campus-wide General Education Requirements and the L&S Breadth requirement.

**

Students are advised to select a course that satisfies the Cultural Diversity requirement as well as a Humanities or Social Science breadth/GER requirement. 

 VI. The Major

The College of Letters and Science requires that students attain at least a 2.0 GPA in all credits in the major attempted at UWM.  In addition, students must attain a 2.0 GPA on all major credits attempted, including any transfer work.  Individual departments or programs may require higher GPAs for graduation. Some departmental majors require courses from other departments.  Contact your major department for information on whether those credits will count as part of the major GPA.  The College requires that students must complete in residence at UWM at least 15 credits in upper-division (numbered 300 or above) courses in their major.

Research Requirement

Within their majors, students must complete a research experience approved by the L&S faculty.  A list of courses satisfying the research requirement in each major can be found here.

VII. The Minor

The College of Letters and Science requires that students attain at least a 2.0 GPA in all credits in the minor attempted at UWM.  In addition, students must attain a 2.0 GPA on all minor credits attempted, including any transfer work.

Communication Major Requirements

A major in communication consists of at least 36 credits in communication courses. At least 18 of the 36 credits must be numbered 300 or above, 15 of these taken in residence at UWM.

Graduation with a major in Communication requires a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 in all communication courses attempted at UWM as well as a 2.0 GPA in all major credits attempted, including any transfer work. All courses in the major, with the exception of COMMUN 298, must be taken for graded credit. The College of Letters and Science requires that students complete a research experience in their major. The Department of Communication has structured COMMUN 335, COMMUN 370, and COMMUN 372 to satisfy that requirement. In these courses, students must produce a written final research paper that involves conducting independent research in addition to evaluating research in the field and integrating it with their findings. Students will present their research in oral form to their course colleagues.

Required
COMMUN 101Introduction to Interpersonal Communication3
COMMUN 103Public Speaking3
COMMUN 105Business and Professional Communication3
Select one of the following:3
Critical Analysis of Communication
Quantitative Research in Communication
Qualitative Research in Communication
Electives
Select 24 credits from across the communication curriculum24
Total Credits36

A maximum of 6 credits earned in any combination of the following courses may count toward the minimum number of credits required for the major in communication:

COMMUN 199Independent Study1-3
COMMUN 288Research Practicum1-3
COMMUN 296UROP Apprenticeship1-3
COMMUN 298Internship in Communication1-3
COMMUN 597Practicum in Teaching Communication1-3
COMMUN 588Research Practicum1-3
COMMUN 698Internship in Communication3
COMMUN 699Advanced Independent Reading1-3

Specialized Courses: Variable Content and Independent Study

In addition to offering standard coursework, the Department of Communication offers undergraduates opportunities for specialized study.

Variable Content Courses

The content of the following varies each semester. Specific topics are announced in the Schedule of Classes:

COMMUN 192First-Year Seminar:3
COMMUN 631Current Topics in Interpersonal Communication/Conflict Management:3
COMMUN 641Current Topics in Organizational/Professional Communication:3
COMMUN 651Current Topics in Rhetorical/Public Communication:3
COMMUN 660Communication Capstone Seminar:3
COMMUN 662Seminar in Communication:3

Independent Study Courses

These courses offer students the opportunity to work and study on a one-on-one basis with a faculty member. Students interested in taking any of the following should contact an individual faculty member to determine the faculty member's willingness to sponsor the enrollment:

COMMUN 199Independent Study1-3
COMMUN 288Research Practicum1-3
COMMUN 588Research Practicum1-3
COMMUN 597Practicum in Teaching Communication1-3
COMMUN 699Advanced Independent Reading1-3

Cross-listed Courses

The following courses offered by other academic units may be used to fulfill the requirements of the undergraduate major and minor in communication:

ENGLISH 209Language in the United States3
ENGLISH 430Advanced Writing Workshop3
PEACEST 203Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies3

Related Courses

The following courses offered by the Department of English may be of interest to students in communication but may not be used to fulfill requirements of the major and minor:

ENGLISH 205Business Writing3
ENGLISH 206Technical Writing3
ENGLISH 435Rhetoric and Professional Writing3
ENGLISH 436Technical Documentation3

Letters & Science Advising

During your time at UWM, you may have multiple members of your success team, including advisors, peer mentors, and success coaches. Letters and Science students typically work with at least two different types of advisors as they pursue their degrees: professional College Advisors and Faculty Advisors. Departmental Faculty Advisors focus on the major while L&S College Advisors advise across your entire degree program.

College Advisors are located in Holton Hall and serve as your primary advisor. They are your point person for your questions about navigating college and completing your degree. College Advisors will:

  • assist you in defining your academic and life goals;
  • help you create an educational plan that is consistent with those goals;
  • assist you in understanding curriculum, major and degree requirements for graduation, as well as university policies and procedures;
  • provide you with information about campus and community resources and refer you to those resources as appropriate; and 
  • monitor your progress toward graduation and completion of requirements.

Faculty Advisors mentor students in the major and assist them in maximizing their development in the program. You will begin working with a Faculty Advisor when you declare your major. Faculty Advisors are an important partner and will:

  • help you understand major requirements and course offerings in the department; 
  • explain opportunities for internships and undergraduate research and guide you in obtaining those experiences; and 
  • serve as an excellent resource as you consider potential graduate programs and career paths in your field.

Students are encouraged to meet with both their College Advisor and Faculty Advisor at least once each semester. Appointments are available in-person, by phone or by video. 

Currently enrolled students should use the Navigate website to make an appointment with your assigned advisor or call (414) 229-4654 if you do not currently have an assigned Letters & Science advisor. Prospective students who haven't enrolled in classes yet should call (414) 229-7711 or email let-sci@uwm.edu.

Honors in the Major

Communication majors who want to graduate with honors in the major must attain a 3.000 GPA on all UWM graded credits attempted, a 3.750 GPA on all coursework taken to complete the major, and a 3.750 GPA on advanced (300 level and above) courses in the major. A minimum of 24 credits, at least 15 at the 300-level or above, in communication courses must be taken in residence at UWM.

Honors in the College of Letters and Science

Dean's Honor List

GPA of 3.750 or above, earned on a full-time student's GPA on 12 or more graded credits in a given semester.

Honors College Degree and Honors College Degree with Distinction

Granted to graduating seniors who complete Honors College requirements, as listed in the Honors College section of this site.

Commencement Honors

Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.500 or above, based on a minimum of 40 graded UWM credits earned prior to the final semester, will receive all-university commencement honors and be awarded the traditional gold cord at the December or May Honors Convocation. Please note that for honors calculation, the GPA is not rounded and is truncated at the third decimal (e.g., 3.499).

Final Honors

Earned on a minimum of 60 graded UWM credits: Cum Laude - 3.500 or above; Magna Cum Laude - 3.650 or above; Summa Cum Laude - 3.800 or above.