Majors & Minors

The Department of Communication Studies offers a bachelor of arts, a minor, and if you are in an individual degree program, such as individually designed interdepartmental major (IDIM), bachelor of individualized studies (BIS) or Inter-College Program (ICP), a concentration in communication studies.

Communication studies refers to both a practice and an intellectual inquiry. As a student of communication, you learn to describe, explain, analyze, interpret, and criticize all forms of communication. A degree in communication studies at the University of Minnesota is designed to create communication competence & critical literacy in the communication age:

Communication competence, or "critical literacy," in the digital age requires the ability to formulate ethical and theory-informed messages to inform, persuade, or entertain, the ability to create and perform with appropriate technology, and the critical ability to understand and evaluate messages and performances in a variety of media and multicultural contexts.

Communication, both as practice and as inquiry, permeates every element of our lives. It shapes how we see, engage with, and describe the world. Communication studies is a window through which we understand ourselves, our interactions with others, and our life experiences. As a mode of intellectual inquiry, students come to know how political, cultural, and social processes work communicatively to create meaning, distribute resources, and organize behavior. This poises students well for personal development in a complex world and professional growth in a rapidly evolving workplace. Beyond its practical value, the study of communication provides a strong and nuanced platform for understanding social interaction.

We believe that communication competence and critical literacy provide a strong core within a liberal arts education. Cultivating critical thinking, persuasive speaking, and clear writing and delving into their development over history are essential to understanding our world as we experience it today. We want you to emerge from our program having studied and experienced the broad umbrella of communications and delved deep into the area within it that you are passionate about. Such breadth and depth is essential for you to be both an effective citizen and successful in the workplace.