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Communication, B.A.

In a world where information is plentiful and complex, technology changes rapidly and globalization connects cultures, studying communication gives students the flexibility to adapt and the skills to succeed in their academic, professional and personal lives. The Department of Communication at Saint Louis University integrates the study of human communication, media and strategic communication in innovative ways to prepare students for careers in journalism and media; advertising; public relations; and corporate, government and nonprofit settings.

Messages matter and the Bachelor of Arts in Communication program at SLU teaches students to design, deliver and analyze messages so students can influence, connect and inform. Students develop skills to be culturally competent and ethically responsible communicators in their fields. At SLU, communication students learn to create, engage and think critically.

Create

  • Students develop writing, speaking and digital production skills that prepare them for professional success. Studies consistently show that employers value these skills in the workplace.

Engage

  • Students are given opportunities to participate in service endeavors as part of their coursework experiences. They explore ways that communication contributes to the greater good and learn to use communication principles to promote social justice.

Think Critically

  • Students learn about communication theories and research tools. They develop critical skills for analysis and application of theory to practice, and they hone their ability to gather and analyze data in professional contexts.

Curriculum Overview

Our multimedia resources offer students the opportunity to explore the latest communication technologies. Faculty members help students become lifelong learners of technology, able to adapt to inevitable change and think critically about the social implications of technological changes.

Program highlights include:

  • Small class sizes and close connections to faculty along with many professional development opportunities
  • An emphasis on the role communication plays in promoting social justice
  • International campus connections with the communication program on our Madrid campus

Across concentrations, students develop strong oral, written and digital communication skills. Students choose from one of three different concentrations:

Communication Studies

In the communication studies concentration, students study human interaction in interpersonal, organizational and public contexts. They develop skills for communicating effectively within and across cultures in a diverse society, and for functioning effectively in both informal and formal leadership roles in a variety of settings. These skills include working in teams, solving problems, managing conflict, engaging in advocacy and developing relationships.

Integrated Strategic Communication

In the integrated strategic communication concentration, students develop a portfolio showcasing their skills in content creation, campaign research and strategic planning, and print and digital design. Coursework in this concentration helps to develop students' critical thinking so they can understand and evaluate all aspects of the campaign process, as well as make decisions based on strategic needs of an organization, corporation or agency. Students leave the program with campaign creation and implementation expertise for local, regional and national clients.

Journalism and Media Studies

In the journalism and media studies concentration, students develop essential skills to succeed in a constantly evolving media landscape. Courses in this concentration teach students to evaluate and adapt to changes in media and expose them to a wide range of technologies, theoretical perspectives, ethical decision-making principles and storytelling skills across media platforms.

Fieldwork and Research Opportunities

In addition to internships, students participate in a number of activities and media organizations outside the classroom, such as:

  • KSLU radio, The University News and OneWorld 
  • Strategic Communication Club

Depending upon the classes that they take, students also have opportunities to work with community organizations to develop solutions for communication-based problems, create social media plans, develop integrated communication campaigns, engage in strategic planning and create a variety of print and digital materials for community organizations. 

Careers

More than 90% of graduates from the undergraduate program begin a career in their chosen field. SLU students majoring in communication continue on to a variety of successful careers in advertising or public relations agencies, large corporations, nonprofits, small businesses and media organizations.

Some of the positions they hold include:

  • Agency account executive
  • Broadcast news reporter
  • Community relations specialist
  • Content development specialist/strategist
  • Copywriter/editor
  • Corporate giving director
  • Corporate responsibility manager
  • Creative director
  • Customer service specialist
  • Digital marketing coordinator
  • Event coordinator
  • Graphic designer
  • Human resources specialist
  • Lawyer
  • Market researcher
  • Media relations specialist
  • Multiplatform journalist
  • Public information officer
  • School district community liaison
  • Social media coordinator
  • Teacher
  • Television producer
  • Youth development facilitator with Peace Corps

Admission Requirements

Begin Your Application

Saint Louis University also accepts the Common Application.

Freshman

All applications are thoroughly reviewed with the highest degree of individual care and consideration to all credentials that are submitted. Solid academic performance in college preparatory coursework is a primary concern in reviewing a freshman applicant’s file.

To be considered for admission to any Saint Louis University undergraduate program, applicants must be graduating from an accredited high school, have an acceptable HiSET exam score or take the General Education Development (GED) test. 

Transfer

Applicants must be a graduate of an accredited high school or have an acceptable score on the GED.

Students who have attempted fewer than 24 semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must follow the above freshmen admission requirements. Students who have completed 24 or more semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must submit transcripts from all previously attended college(s).

In reviewing a transfer applicant’s file, the Office of Admission holistically examines the student’s academic performance in college-level coursework as an indicator of the student’s ability to meet the academic rigors of Saint Louis University. Where applicable, transfer students will be evaluated on any courses outlined in the continuation standards of their preferred major.

International Applicants

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students along with the following:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Proof of financial support must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the time at Saint Louis University
    • A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of study at the University
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include the courses taken and/or lectures attended, practical laboratory work, the maximum and minimum grades attainable, the grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations, and any honors or degrees received. WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

There are two principal ways to help finance a Saint Louis University education:

  • Scholarships: Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, service, leadership and financial need.
  • Financial Aid: Financial aid is provided in the form of grants and loans, some of which require repayment.

For priority consideration for merit-based scholarships, apply for admission by Dec. 1 and complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1.

For information on other scholarships and financial aid, visit the student financial services office online at https://www.slu.edu/financial-aid.

  1. Graduates will be able to create oral, written and digital messages relevant to the audience, purpose and context.
  2. Graduates will be able to apply communication theory.
  3. Graduates will be able to engage in communication research.
  4. Graduates will be able to critically analyze messages.
  5. Graduates will be able to demonstrate cultural communication competence.
  6. Graduates will be able to apply ethical communication principles and practices.
  7. Graduates will be able to recognize and address systemic injustice and inequity in pursuit of a just society.

Communication students must complete a minimum total of 37 credits for the major.

Core Requirements
College core requirements57-66
For additional information about core courses
Required Courses
CMM 1000Human Communication and Culture *3
CMM 1200Public Speaking3
CMM 2400Media and Society3
CMM 2500Media Lab1
CMM 2800Communication Research3
Concentrations
Select one of the following Concentrations:24
General Electives17-26
Total Credits120
*

Communication majors may take CMM 1000 Human Communication and Culture (3 cr) to fulfill three credits of the College of Arts and Sciences core requirement in social science. The remaining three credits must be taken in an area outside communication.

Communication Studies Concentration

Writing Requirement
CMM 2120Message Design3
Foundations Requirements
Select three courses (9 credits) with the 'CMM Studies Foundations' attribute. At least two courses (6 credits) must come from: 9
CMM 3000
Interpersonal Communication
CMM 3070
Communication and Public Life
CMM 3200
Organizational Communication
CMM 3300
Intercultural Communication
Production Requirement
Select one course (3 credits) with the 'CMM Production Course Req' attribute, such as:3
CMM 2510
Video Production and Design
CMM 2550
Photojournalism
CMM 3530
Documentary Production
CMM 3560
Publication Design
CMM 4100
Multiplatform Journalism
CMM 4810
Digital Storytelling
Capstone Requirement
CMM 4960Senior Capstone3
Communication Elective Courses
Select two additional courses (6 credits) with a CMM subject code, as long as they have not been used to meet other major requirements.6
Total Credits24

Integrated Strategic Communication

Writing Requirement
CMM 2100Journalism: News Writing3
Advanced Writing Elective
CMM 3610Writing for Public Relations3
or CMM 3710 Copywriting
Foundations Requirement
CMM 3500Integrated Strategic Communication Principles3
Production Requirement
Select one course (3 credits) with the 'CMM Production Course Req' attribute, such as:3
CMM 2510
Video Production and Design
CMM 2550
Photojournalism
CMM 3530
Documentary Production
CMM 3560
Publication Design
CMM 4100
Multiplatform Journalism
CMM 4810
Digital Storytelling
Advanced Research Requirement
CMM 4700Applied Research and Campaign Planning3
Practicum Requirement
CMM 4600Integrated Communications Campaigns3
or CMM 4720 NSAC Advertising Competition
Communication Elective Courses
Select two additional courses (6 credits) with a CMM subject code, as long as they have not been used to meet other major requirements. 6
Total Credits24

Journalism and Media Studies Concentration

Writing Requirement
CMM 2100Journalism: News Writing3
Advanced Writing Elective
Select one course (3 credits) with the 'CMM JAMS Advanced Writing' attribute, such as:3
CMM 3110
Feature Writing
CMM 3120
Media Scriptwriting
CMM 3130
Editorial and Opinion Writing
CMM 4100
Multiplatform Journalism
CMM 4160
Editing
Foundations Requirement
Select two courses (6 credits) with the 'CMM JAMS Foundations' attribute, such as:6
CMM 3440
Media Ethics
CMM 3840
Analysis of Popular Culture
CMM 4350
Stereotyping and Bias in the Mass Media
CMM 4420
Theory of Free Expression
CMM 4430
Culture, Technology and Communication
Production Requirement
Select one course (3 credits) with the 'CMM Production Course Req' attribute, such as:3
CMM 2510
Video Production and Design
CMM 2550
Photojournalism
CMM 3530
Documentary Production
CMM 3560
Publication Design
CMM 4100
Multiplatform Journalism
CMM 4810
Digital Storytelling
Advanced JAMS Elective
Select one additional course (3 credits) with either the 'CMM JAMS Advanced Writing' attribute OR the 'CMM Production Course Req' attribute. 3
Communication Elective Courses
Select two courses (6 credits) with a CMM subject code, as long as they have not been used to meet other major requirements. 6
Total Credits24

Continuation Standards

After completing 18 credits in the major, a student must maintain a 2.00 GPA in the major. Failure to meet this standard will result in the student being placed on probation. If the student's GPA in the major does not reach 2.00 after two additional semesters, the department may dismiss the student from the program.

Bachelor of Arts Core Curriculum Requirements

Please note: beginning in Fall 2022, all incoming SLU undergraduates—regardless of major, program, college or school—will complete the University Core curriculum. You can find more information about SLU’s common Core here: https://www.slu.edu/core/index.php
Core Components and Credits
Foundations of Discourse3
Diversity in the U.S.3
Global Citizenship3
Foreign Language0-9
Fine Arts3
Literature6
Mathematics3
Natural Science6
Philosophy9
Social Science6
Theology9
World History6
Total Credits57-66

Graduation Requirements

  • Complete a minimum of 120 credits (excluding pre-college level courses numbered below 1000).
  • Complete either the College of Arts and Sciences Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science Core Curriculum Requirements
  • Complete major requirements: minimum 30 credits required.
  • Complete remaining credits with a second major, minor, certificate, and/or electives to reach the minimum of 120 credits required for graduation.
  • Courses listed under the intensive English program do not count toward graduation requirements. EAP 1500 College Composition for International Students (3 cr), EAP 1900 Rhetoric & Research Strategies (3 cr) and EAP 2850 Nation, Identity and Literature (3 cr) count toward graduation requirements as equivalents to Department of English courses.

    In addition to those courses, six credits from EAP/MLNG courses at the 1000 level or higher may count toward graduation requirements
  • Achieve at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average, a 2.00 grade point average in the major(s) and a 2.00 grade point average in the minor/certificate, or related elective credits.
  • Complete department/program-specific academic and performance requirements.
  • Complete at least 50% of the coursework for the major and 75% for the minor/certificate through Saint Louis University or an approved study abroad program.
  • Complete 30 of the final 36 credits through Saint Louis University or an approved study abroad program.
  • Complete an online degree application by the required University deadline.

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester.  Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

Communication Studies Concentration

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
CMM 1000 Human Communication and Culture 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits15
Spring
CMM 1200 Public Speaking 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits15
Year Two
Fall
CMM 2400 Media and Society 3
CMM 2500 Media Lab 1
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
General Elective/Minor Requirement 3
 Credits16
Spring
CMM 2120 Message Design 3
CMM 2800 Communication Research 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
General Elective/Minor Requirement 3
 Credits15
Year Three
Fall
Communication Studies Foundations I Course 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
General Elective/Minor Requirement 3
 Credits15
Spring
Communication Studies Foundations I Course 3
Communication Elective or Internship 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
General Elective/Minor Requirement 3
 Credits15
Year Four
Fall
Communication Studies Foundations I or II Course 3
Communication Production Course 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits15
Spring
CMM 4960 Senior Capstone 3
Communication Elective 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
General Elective/Minor Requirement 3
 Credits15
 Total Credits121

Communication Studies Foundation I Courses

CMM 3000Interpersonal Communication3
CMM 3070Communication and Public Life3
CMM 3200Organizational Communication3
CMM 3300Intercultural Communication3

Communication Studies Foundation II Courses

CMM 3060Political Communication3
CMM 3090Health Communication3
CMM 3840Analysis of Popular Culture3
CMM 4050Theories of Persuasion3
CMM 4070Social Justice Communication3
CMM 4200Leadership and Teams3
CMM 4300Gender and Communication3
CMM 4310Dialogue Facilitation: Communication Strategies to Support Social Justice3
CMM 4320Communicating Across Racial Divisions3
CMM 4430Culture, Technology and Communication3

Communication Production Courses

CMM 2510Video Production and Design3
CMM 2550Photojournalism3
CMM 3120Media Scriptwriting3
CMM 3510Studio Production3
CMM 3530Documentary Production3
CMM 3560Publication Design3
CMM 4100Multiplatform Journalism3
CMM 4590Advanced Media Practicum3
CMM 4810Digital Storytelling3

Integrated Strategic Communication Concentration

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
CMM 1000 Human Communication and Culture 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits15
Spring
CMM 1200 Public Speaking 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits15
Year Two
Fall
CMM 2400 Media and Society 3
CMM 2500 Media Lab 1
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
General Elective/Minor Requirement 3
 Credits16
Spring
CMM 2800 Communication Research 3
CMM 2100 Journalism: News Writing 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
General Elective/Minor Requirement 3
 Credits15
Year Three
Fall
CMM 3500 Integrated Strategic Communication Principles 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
General Elective/Minor Requirement 3
 Credits15
Spring
Communication Production Course 3
Communication Elective or Internship 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
General Elective/Minor Requirement 3
 Credits15
Year Four
Fall
CMM 3610
or CMM 3710
Writing for Public Relations
or Copywriting
3
CMM 4700 Applied Research and Campaign Planning 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits15
Spring
CMM 4600
or CMM 4720
Integrated Communications Campaigns
or NSAC Advertising Competition
3
Communication Elective 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
General Elective/Minor Requirement 3
 Credits15
 Total Credits121

Communication Production Courses

CMM 2510Video Production and Design3
CMM 2550Photojournalism3
CMM 3120Media Scriptwriting3
CMM 3510Studio Production3
CMM 3530Documentary Production3
CMM 3560Publication Design3
CMM 4100Multiplatform Journalism3
CMM 4590Advanced Media Practicum3
CMM 4810Digital Storytelling3

Journalism and Media Studies Concentration 

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
CMM 1000 Human Communication and Culture 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits15
Spring
CMM 1200 Public Speaking 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits15
Year Two
Fall
CMM 2400 Media and Society 3
CMM 2500 Media Lab 1
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
General Elective/Minor Requirement 3
 Credits16
Spring
CMM 2800 Communication Research 3
CMM 2100 Journalism: News Writing 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
General Elective/Minor Requirement 3
 Credits15
Year Three
Fall
Journalism and Media Studies Foundations Course 3
Communication Production Course 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
General Elective/Minor Requirement 3
 Credits15
Spring
Journalism and Media Studies Foundations Course 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
General Elective/Minor Requirement 3
 Credits15
Year Four
Fall
Journalism and Media Studies Advanced Writing Course 3
Communication Elective or Internship 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits15
Spring
Advanced Journalism and Media Studies Elective Course 3
Communication Elective 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
General Elective/Minor Requirement 3
 Credits15
 Total Credits121

Journalism and Media Studies Foundations Courses

CMM 3420Literary Journalism3
CMM 3440Media Ethics3
CMM 3840Analysis of Popular Culture3
CMM 4350Stereotyping and Bias in the Mass Media3
CMM 4420Theory of Free Expression3
CMM 4430Culture, Technology and Communication3
CMM 4460Global Media3
CMM 4470Media and Politics3

Journalism and Media Studies Advanced Writing Courses

CMM 3110Feature Writing3
CMM 3120Media Scriptwriting3
CMM 3130Editorial and Opinion Writing3
CMM 4100Multiplatform Journalism3
CMM 4160Editing3

Advanced Journalism and Media Studies Elective Courses

Select one additional course (3 credits) with either the 'CMM JAMS Advanced Writing' attribute or the 'CMM Production Course Req' attribute.

Communication Production Courses

CMM 2510Video Production and Design3
CMM 2550Photojournalism3
CMM 3120Media Scriptwriting3
CMM 3510Studio Production3
CMM 3530Documentary Production3
CMM 3560Publication Design3
CMM 4100Multiplatform Journalism3
CMM 4590Advanced Media Practicum3
CMM 4810Digital Storytelling3

An international track of the communication major is offered at SLU's campus in Madrid.

Learn More

2+SLU programs are formal  transfer agreements for students seeking an associate degree at a partner institution.