Communication Major (B.A.)

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The purpose of the communication major is to prepare students to engage more knowingly with the communicative patterns, problems, and practices that they will encounter in their personal, professional, and civic lives. This purpose requires that students learn to move beyond commonplace and conventional understandings of "communication" and acquire sophisticated perspectives—workable orientations—for describing, analyzing, reflecting upon, and engaging with those patterns, problems, and practices. Accordingly, the major not only acquaints students with a variety of empirical, critical, historical, theoretical, and pragmatic perspectives on communication phenomena, but encourages them to formulate workable orientations of their own for engaging with communication issues and questions. Students who graduate with a communication major are prepared to become thoughtful and proficient "communication decision-makers" during their postgraduate lives.

Students wishing to declare communication as a major should contact the department's academic adviser, Andrew Sharp, for application information and requirements.

Majors must complete ten courses (40 credits) with a 2.0 overall average in the major. The distribution of required courses for the major is as follows:

Complete the following three introductory courses: 1
CMN 455Introduction to Media Studies4
CMN 456Propaganda and Persuasion4
CMN 457Introduction to Language and Social Interaction4
Select three 500-level communication analysis courses 212
Select four upper-division courses 316
Total Credits40

Majors must earn a grade of C or better in each introductory course.


At least two of the three 500-level courses must have different 400-level prerequisites. Majors must earn a grade of C- or better in all three of these analysis courses. CMN 500 Public Speaking, and CMN 599 Internship, cannot be used to fulfill an analysis course requirement.


Students are eligible to take upper-division courses after successfully completing at least two of the 500-level analysis courses, each with a different 400-level prerequisite. Students will be encouraged to focus at least three of their upper-division courses on one of six thematic concentrations: Histories and Traditions in Communication; Political Communication and Public Space; Communication, Community, and Everyday Life; Culture and Identities; Citizenship and Advocacy; and Visual Communication. At least one of the student's four upper-division courses must be at the 700 level. Majors must earn a grade of C- or better in all upper-division courses.

A maximum of 8 credits of independent study (CMN 795 Independent Study) may be counted toward the major. CMN 799H Honors Thesis and CMN 796 Comm-Entary Journal cannot be used to fulfill an advanced course requirement. The Discovery Program Capstone requirement may be fulfilled by completing any 700-level communication course except CMN 796 Comm-Entary Journal. CMN 795 Independent Study can only fulfill the capstone requirement with department approval and can be repeated for a maximum of 8 credits.

Transfer students must complete 20 credits of their communication coursework at UNH to complete the major satisfactorily. Exchange students may transfer no more than 10 approved credits from another institution to be applied toward completion of the communication major at UNH.

Candidates for a degree must satisfy all of the University Discovery Program requirements in addition to satisfying the requirements of each individual major program. Bachelor of arts candidates must also satisfy the foreign language proficiency requirement.

Major department courses may not be used to satisfy Discovery category requirements except in the case of a second or dual major.