Jul 19, 2024  
OHIO University Undergraduate Catalog 2024-25 
OHIO University Undergraduate Catalog 2024-25

Communication Studies (B.S.) [for Regional Campus students]

Major code BS5393*

Scripps College of Communication  
School of Communication Studies  
Shannon Hall 362
St. Clairsville, OH 43950
Phone: 740.699-2358
Fax: 740.695.7077

Sarah Mahan-Hays, Ph.D., contact person (or contact any regional campus Student Services office)

Program Overview

The School of Communication Studies (COMS) offers a liberal arts education, emphasizing the scientific and artistic bases of communication. The School is committed to providing quality instruction in the theoretical understanding of human communication and the application of theory in specific contexts. The core courses combine theory and practice as students study the historical and conceptual foundations of the field of communication. An historical understanding of communication theory is useful but insufficient in a globally competitive world, so the major in communication studies also equips students with the competencies most prized by employers including strong oral and written communication, effective interpersonal and group communication skills, critical thinking, meeting planning, and problem-solving/decision-making (Booher, 2003).

The faculty and staff of the School of Communication Studies are committed to scholarship, teaching, and service in ways that improve the community and offer directions for change in the world. Accordingly, we seek students who want to challenge themselves to develop their potential in and out of the classroom.

All of our undergraduate students are communication studies majors, but each pursues a concentration in one of four areas:

Health Communication

Health communication graduates are concerned with meeting people’s communication and knowledge needs in such areas as the relationships between patients and their health care providers, family dynamics, dissemination of health information, and cultural and gender influences on communication. Recent graduates are employed in health care organizations as patient advocates or in human resources, national nonprofit health agencies, and as pharmaceutical company sales representatives.

Interpersonal and Cross-Cultural Communication

Communication plays a central role in the development and care of human relationships from families to organizations and communities. Students learn how cultural diversity, such as race, nationality, ethnicity, class, social identity, gender, sexuality, and age, shapes relationships and communication dynamics in a variety of contexts.

Organizational Communication

Students focused on organizational communication are aiming for professional careers in business, education, government, industry, or the nonprofit sector. The skills and competencies acquired through this concentration enable students to understand the dynamics of, and function more effectively in, organizational structures. Recent graduates are employed in major consulting firms, national financial service providers, conference planning companies, and information management organization.

Public Communication and Advocacy

Students concentrating their studies in communication and public advocacy focus on the integration of political and legal communication theory and practice emphasizing the role of communication in argument, debate, and politics, including the ethical and rhetorical implications of constitutional guarantees and persuasive strategies characteristic of contemporary political communication. Recent graduates are attending nationally-ranked law schools, working as state legislative staff, lobbying in Washington, D.C., and managing political campaigns.


Elective courses in the School complement the required courses and expand the student’s repertoire of competencies and skills. Enhancing the core and classes in the concentration are courses in a related area. Students identify the means of completing the related area by working one-on-one with their academic advisors. The related area is an opportunity for students to “customize” their academic interest in ways that set them apart from their peers when undertaking internships or job searches.

*This program was previously BC5364 which awarded the Bachelor of Science in Communication. Pending Board of Trustees approval (anticipated June 2024), the new program code will be BS5393 and will award the Bachelor of Science effective the 2024-25 catalog year.

Admissions Information

Freshman/First-Year Admission

No requirements beyond University admission requirements.

Change of Program Policy

Students who are currently enrolled at Ohio University are required to apply to the School of Communication Studies and encouraged to read the information on the COMS website. If there are specific questions that are unanswered after reviewing the website, students should make an appointment to meet with the Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies. Appointments are scheduled by speaking with the administrative assistant at 740.539.4842.

The School of Communication Studies reviews applications as follows:

  • Students should be in good academic standing at the time of application, prepare a 300-word essay explaining how a degree in Communication Studies would be beneficial to them, and complete the online application.
  • Applications are accepted throughout the academic year and processed the first week of each month. Applications submitted between May 1 and Sept. 30 are processed the first week of August.

External Transfer Admission

No requirements beyond University admission requirements.

Opportunities Upon Graduation

Students receiving the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Communication Studies are prepared with transferable competency sets that enable them to work in a variety of organizations. The degree is perfect preparation for a career in corporate training, foreign service, law, politics, labor relations, human services, campaign management, event planning, account representation, sales, management, or survey research, to name just a few careers. All told, the major is designed to augment students lives and careers through a clearer understanding of the effects of communication and messages in their professional and personal lives.


University-wide Graduation Requirements

Ohio University requires the completion of a minimum of 120 semester hours for the conferral of a bachelor’s degree. This program can be completed within that 120-hour requirement. For more information on the minimum hours requirement and other university-wide requirements, please review the Graduation Requirements – University-wide  page.

COMS Theory Requirement

Complete the following course with a grade of C or better:

Capstone & Professional Development

Complete the following courses with a grade of C or better:

COMS Research Methods

Complete two of the following courses:

Major Emphasis

Complete three courses from one of the following four concentrations:

Communication Electives

Select at least three additional COMS courses from the list below with at least one course coming from the Communication and Engagement category.

Note: Only three credit hours from each of the following courses count toward the major program: COMS 2170 , 2900 , 3920 , 4900 , 4910 , 4920  

Breadth of Communication Study

Minor, Certificate, or Related Area Requirement

Students must complete an advisor-approved minor, certificate, or related area with a minimum of 15 hours of coursework that complements your major and supports your career goals.

Please note that COMS courses cannot be used to fulfill a related area requirement. Additionally, COMS courses cannot be used to fulfill both the COMS major and a minor or certificate requirement. Students may choose which program any duplicated COMS courses fulfill.