Communication Major and Minor

Students may declare a major or minor in communication (see process and forms below) after completion of Commun 101 (Introduction to Interpersonal Communication), 103 (Public Speaking), 105 (Business and Professional Communication), and a total of 15 credits toward the degree. For admission to the major or minor, students must earn at least a B- grade in each of the three core courses, Commun 101, 103, and 105. Prospective majors and minors are advised strongly to be competent in written and oral language skills prior to seeking admission to the program.

The Department communicates with students principally through email. Majors and minors are required to check their UWM email routinely. Graduation with a major or minor requires a cumulative GPA of at least 2.50 in all communication courses attempted at UWM as well as a 2.50 GPA in all major credits attempted, including transfer work. All courses in the major or minor must be taken for graded credit.

The department's curriculum consists of courses in five broad areas:

  • Organizational/Professional Communication
    Organizational/Professional Communication probes communication issues posed by the challenges facing 21st-century profit and non-profit organizations: management issues, changes created by technological innovation, communication training, and teams. This specialty provides advanced training to those who seek the Masters as either a destination degree or as a stepping-stone to doctoral organizational, technological, or small group communication studies.
  • Intercultural/Global Communication
    Intercultural/Global Communication focuses on communication relationships across cultures and nations as well as among diverse groups within a single culture. Courses on the theoretical aspects of global and cultural communication are complemented by those featuring cultural adjustment and training issues or communication about globally shared problems (i.e., AIDS).
  • Interpersonal Communication/Conflict Management
    Interpersonal Communication/Conflict Management examines interactions with others as unique humans, rather than as members of groups, cultures, or publics. Interpersonal Communication is fundamental to managing marriages, friendships, and superior/subordinate relationships. Conflict mediation and the study of social influence are central to this specialty.
  • Rhetorical/Public Communication
    Rhetoric/Public Communication analyzes Communication's operation in public fora, including politics, popular culture, social movements, and the courts. Its theoretical and critical perspectives range from classically-grounded argumentation, persuasion, and traditional public address to postmodern and post-postmodern approaches consistent with recent developments in media technology as well as in feminism, cultural, and critical theories.
  • Health Communication
    Health Communication examines communication issues and theoretical perspectives that provide insight into relationships and processes that influence multiple levels of health care. Courses address issues such as the affect of illness on individuals and their relationships, caregiver and patient relationships, and the role of social support. They also explore cultural and diversity issues in health care, organizational relationships and leadership styles, the influence of popular culture on health beliefs and practices, and the development and implementation of health campaign messages.

Communication Major

A major in communication consists of at least 36* credits in communication courses, including Commun 101, 103, 105, and either 335 (635) or 370. At least 18 of the 36* credits must be numbered 300 or above, 15 of these taken in residence at UWM.

Communication Minor

A minor in communication consists of at least 18 credits in communication courses. Nine credits numbered 300 or above must be taken in residence at UWM. In addition to completing Commun 101, 103, and 105, students are required to complete a minimum of 9 credits numbered 300 or above.

Declaring a Major or Minor in Communication

Students wishing to declare a major or minor in Communication should:

  1. Make sure they have successfully completed the prerequisites for their catalog year.
  2. Print the appropriate Declaration form: Major (pdf); Minor (pdf)
    Students may also pick up the appropriate form from their academic advisor or from the Communication Department staff in the main office.
  3. Complete the form.
  4. Bring the form to the Communication Department main office.

For more information call, write or stop by the Department office. You can also email us at