UWM Undergraduate Catalog 2017-2018

College of Letters and Science


The discipline of communication is the study of human symbolic behavior. In addition to helping students learn to communicate more effectively, communication courses teach students how to analyze human communication in the wide range of communicative situations that people experience daily. These communicative situations include interpersonal, intercultural, organizational, small group, instructional, mediated, and rhetorical/public ones. Communication in these various settings may be oral, written, non-verbal, and/or visual. As the U.S. diversifies and its economy expands the emphasis on teamwork and service, excellent communication skills increasingly are important for a professional career in any field as well as for a more fulfilling life.

Course of Study

Students may declare a major or minor in communication after completion of three credits of coursework in Communication. Prospective majors and minors are advised strongly to be competent in written and oral language skills prior to seeking admission to the program.

Graduation with a major or minor requires a cumulative GPA of at least 2.500 in all communication courses attempted at UWM as well as a 2.500 GPA in all major credits attempted, including any transfer work. All courses in the major or minor must be taken for graded credit.


A major in communication consists of at least 36 credits in communication courses, including Commun 101, 103, 105, and one of Commun 335, 370, or 372. Students must earn at least a B- grade in Commun 101, 103, and 105. At least 18 of the 36 credits must be numbered 300 or above, 15 of these taken in residence at UWM. The remaining 24 credits may be selected from across the communication curriculum.

A maximum of 6 credits earned in any combination of the following courses may count toward the minimum number of credits required for the major in communication:

199 Independent Study
288 Research Practicum
296 UROP Apprenticeship
298 Internship in Communication, Lower Division
597 Practicum in Teaching Communication
588 Research Practicum
698 Internship in Communication
699 Advanced Independent Reading

The College requires that students complete a research experience in their major. The Department of Communication has structured Commun 335, 370, and 372 to satisfy that requirement. In these courses, students must produce a written final research paper that involves conducting independent research in addition to evaluating research in the field and integrating it with their findings. Students will present their research in oral form to their course colleagues.

Honors in the Major

Communication majors who want to graduate with honors in the major must attain a 3.000 GPA on all UWM graded credits attempted, a 3.750 GPA on all coursework taken to complete the major, and a 3.750 GPA on advanced (300 level and above) courses in the major. A minimum of 24 credits, at least 15 at the 300-level or above, in communication courses must be taken in residence at UWM.


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 must earn at least a B- grade in each of the three core courses, Commun 101, 103, and 105.

Specialized Courses: Variable Content and Independent Study

In addition to offering standard coursework, the Department of Communication offers undergraduates opportunities for specialized study.

Variable Content Courses: The content of Commun 192, 193, 380, 631, 641, 651, 660, 662, and 671 varies each semester. Specific topics are announced in the Schedule of Classes.

Independent Study Courses: These courses offer students the opportunity to work and study on a one-on-one basis with a faculty member. Students interested in taking Commun 199, 288, 588, 597, and/or 699 should contact an individual faculty member to determine the faculty member's willingness to sponsor the enrollment.



Communication (COMMUN)


Cross-listed Courses

The following courses offered by other academic units may be used to fulfill the requirements of the undergraduate major and minor in communication:

English 209

Language in the United States


English 430

Advanced Writing Workshop


PeaceSt 201

Introduction to Conflict Resolution and Peace


Related Courses

The following courses offered by the Department of English may be of interest to students in communication but may not be used to fulfill requirements of the major and minor:

English 205

Business Writing


English 206

Technical Writing


English 435

Professional and Technical Writing


English 436

Writing for Information Technology




Mike R. Allen, Prof., PhD
Michigan State University

Nancy A. Burrell, Prof., PhD
Michigan State University

Kathryn A. Dindia, Prof. Emerita, PhD

Leslie Harris, Assoc. Prof., PhD
Northwestern University

John R. Johnson, Prof. Emeritus, PhD

John W. Jordan, Assoc. Prof., PhD
University of Georgia

Sangyeon Kim, Assoc. Prof., PhD
Michigan State University

Tae-Seop Lim, Prof., PhD
Michigan State University

Edward A. Mabry, Assoc. Prof. Emeritus, PhD

Kathryn M. Olson, Prof., PhD, Chair
Northwestern University

Erin Ruppel, Asst. Prof., PhD
University of Arizona, Tucson

Erin Sahlstein Parcell, Assoc. Prof., PhD
University of Iowa

C. Erik Timmerman, Assoc. Prof., PhD
University of Texas at Austin

Lindsay Timmerman, Assoc. Prof., PhD
University of Texas at Austin


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