OHIO University Undergraduate Catalog 2020-21
Communication Studies Major (B.S.C. in Communication Studies) [offered through Honors Tutorial College]
Major Code BC1918
Honors Tutorial College
35 Park Place
Athens, OH 45701
Devika Chawla, director of studies/contact person
Communication studies draws from the liberal arts tradition and a variety of professional contexts to explore human communication in messages, relationships, social processes, nd culture. The honors tutorial program builds upon the strengths of the School of Communication Studies (COMS) in three main areas:
- Public advocacy (including political communication and argumentation).
- Relational and organizational communication (including health and environmental communication as well as family, group, and intercultural interactions).
- Rhetorical criticism (including verbal, audio-visual, digital, and physical environments).
The HTC program in communication studies aims to provide the student with a comprehensive understanding of communication theory along with a specialization in a context or theme and relevant research methods. The first two years of the program include core classes taken with other COMS majors, optional tutorials in other core classes, and customized tutorials developed by the student in consultation with the director of studies. The third and fourth years focus on development of research methods, advanced topics, the honors thesis, and preparation for a career or graduate education. Because intercultural communication is increasingly important in today’s world, students are encouraged to study abroad and learn a second language during their undergraduate years. Students will receive a degree of Bachelor of Science in Communication from the Honors Tutorial College.
Each semester the student will complete a tutorial of at least 4 hours on a topic chosen in consultation with and approved by the director of studies and the faculty tutor. In the fall semester of the first year, the student will complete an introductory tutorial, which may cover such topics as interpersonal relationships, communication contexts (small groups, health, public advocacy), scholarly writing, and research traditions. Every tutorial will cover its theme in depth and will conclude with a significant product appropriate to the topic. Tutorials are geared to each student’s specific interests and career plans. Students who choose to study abroad may have one or more of the above required courses and/or tutorials waived by the director of studies.
Every COMS HTC student is required to develop a secondary area of expertise: a coherent sequence of courses leading to a minor or certificate in another department or program OR expertise on a theme developed through courses from several departments (21 credits minimum, at least 12 at the 3,000-level or above, chosen in consultation with the director of studies).
Each student is required to write a thesis on a topic in communication studies developed in consultation with and approved by the director of studies. Each student publicly presents a summary of the completed thesis to the COMS HTC community. Tutorials during the third year prepare the student to develop a topic and appropriate research methods. Tutorials during the fourth year focus on thesis research and writing.
The student will participate each semester in a tutorial of at least 4 credit hours on a topic chosen in consultation with and approved by the director of studies and the faculty tutor. The student should expect to write a substantial paper in each tutorial. The student and tutor will often determine together what kind(s) of writing or other activity will constitute an appropriate synthesis of the student’s tutorial work; the faculty member will always advise the student how grades on written and other assignments will relate to the grade filed for the tutorial as a whole.
Students are selected by the director of studies of the communication studies tutorial program and the Honors Tutorial College on the basis of superior ability and sustained motivation. We look for good scores on standardized tests (30 composite score on the ACT or a combined score of 1300 on the SAT), but we also require a good high school record (class standing in the top 10%). An interview with the director of studies is required for acceptance into our program. Recommendations from two high school teachers are strongly recommended. The personalized aspects of the tutorial system occasionally make it possible for us to accept students who have not performed well on standardized measures of ability but who demonstrate exceptional aptitude in other ways. The priority deadline for application for admission is November 15th, and admission interviews are held in January.
Change of Program Policy
First-year students at Ohio University may apply to transfer into the communication studies tutorial program and the Honors Tutorial College. These students must meet the same entrance requirements as entering freshmen. The priority deadline for application is November 15th.
External Transfer Admission
First-year students at another institution may also apply to transfer into the communication studies tutorial program and the Honors Tutorial College. These students must meet the same entrance requirements as entering freshmen. The priority deadline for application is November 15th.
Opportunities Upon Graduation
Following graduation, about half of COMS HTC graduates attend law school or enter other graduate programs, another 30% begin careers in political and other non-profit organizations (e.g., Teach for America), and 20% begin careers in business and media organizations.