The major is a part of the School of Communication Studies, an academic unit within the College of Arts and Letters.
Communication studies provides students with modern academic programs for the purpose of understanding human communication. Courses examine multiple, cross disciplinary approaches for studying messages and outcomes resulting from human interactive processes that involve the content and relationship dimensions of sources, receivers, channels and contexts. Emphasis is upon person-to-person transactions involving face-to-face and social media venues at the interpersonal, small group, organizational, and public levels. Instruction employs ways of knowing and research methodologies of social science, historical/critical analysis, and art. Our graduates have successful careers in business, education, government, conflict analysis and intervention, health, public relations, entertainment, personnel management, politics, sales, conference and event planning, hospitality industries and more.
A major in communication studies also provides valuable pre-professional preparation for graduate and professional studies in the fields of communication, counseling, law, management, ministry and military. Through traditional classroom delivery and distance learning platforms, students acquire communication skill competencies in experiential classroom activities, research projects, studies abroad and internships. Communication Studies graduates leave JMU prepared to participate effectively as citizens in the communication age.
Health Communication Studies
Interpersonal Communication Studies
Organizational Communication Studies
Public Relations Studies
Declaring the Major
New Freshmen and Transfer Students
Students should declare the communication studies major when they register for orientation. A General Education communication class (SCOM) is the prerequisite course for SCOM 240 and SCOM 241. Once students have earned JMU credit for a SCOM course, they must be a declared SCOM major in order to register for SCOM 240 and SCOM 241, which must be taken concurrently.
New Transfer Students
New transfer students applying to the School of Communication Studies are held to the same admission and progression policies and guidelines as other applicants. However, once admitted to the School of Communication Studies, students may petition for SCOM credit for courses taken at previous institutions. As with other applicants, students cannot retroactively apply more than nine hours of SCOM courses taken at JMU, including SCOM 240 and SCOM 241, to their major or minor once admitted to the School of Communication Studies.
Currently Enrolled Major Changers
Students should submit a "Change or Declaration of Major" form declaring communication studies as well as the school's "Disclaimer" form to the school's main office, Harrison Hall, Room 1276. Forms will then be given to the school's Assistant Director to process, after which students will be sent an email containing important information including the name of their new faculty adviser. Students must declare the communication studies major in order to register for SCOM 240 and SCOM 241, which must be taken concurrently and cannot be taken until after they have taken and earned JMU credit for a General Education communication class (SCOM).
Other Declaring Information
Note for new and currently enrolled students:
Declaring Communication Studies indicates intention to apply for full admission to the major. Students should apply to the major during the semester when they will have completed SCOM 240 and SCOM 241.
Admission to the Major
Admission to JMU does not guarantee admission to the School of Communication Studies. All students interested in majoring in the program must apply for a limited number of spaces while first completing SCOM 240 and SCOM 241. In order to register for these classes, students must change their major to "SCOM declared" to register for SCOM 240 and SCOM 241.
School of Communication Studies reviews applications for admission to the major each semester. Students must submit their applications (which can be accessed from the SCOM website and submitted by email) in the semester in which they are completing the SCOM 240 and SCOM 241 requirements. Applications are due by November 15 (fall semester) and April 15 (spring semester). Students who have applied by the above deadlines will be notified of the department's admission decision at the end of the semester in which they complete the SCOM 240 and SCOM 241 requirements.
Admission to the major is based on availability to the most qualified students as determined by performance in SCOM 240 and SCOM 241. It is possible for a student to be accepted into the major but not into their first choice concentration.
Students who are not admitted may file one more additional application in the next regular semester. Students reapplying must apply in two consecutive semesters of enrollment at the university. If a student reapplies after retaking SCOM 240 and SCOM 241 (whether repeat or repeat/forgive), the school will look only at their highest grades earned when evaluating their second application.
Successful completion of a major in the School of Communication Studies requires, at the very least, a minimum of four semesters after a student is fully admitted to the School. Depending upon the student¿s particular circumstances and degree progress, more than four semesters may be required for completing the major. Once admitted to the School of Communication Studies, a student cannot retroactively apply more than nine hours of SCOM courses, including SCOM 240 and SCOM 241, to his/her major.
Progressing in the Major
Successful completion of a major in the School of Communication Studies requires, at the very least, a minimum of four semesters after a student is fully admitted to the school. Depending upon a student's particular circumstances and degree progress, more than four semesters may be required for completing the major. Once admitted to the School of Communication Studies, students cannot retroactively apply more than nine hours of SCOM courses, including SCOM 240 and SCOM 241, to the major.
Any course taken to fulfill a degree requirement in communication studies must be completed with a minimum grade of "C." A communication studies course completed with a grade of "C-" or "D" including courses to fulfill JMU baccalaureate degree requirements, may be credited toward graduation, but may not be included as course work toward a communication studies major.
Additionally, courses completed with a grade less than "C" will not count as fulfilling prerequisites for future courses, and enrolled students may be administratively removed from courses for which they have not completed a required prerequisite with a grade of "C" or higher.
Double Counting Students with a communication studies major are allowed to count toward the major a maximum of six hours of credit earned to satisfy requirements in another major or minor.