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Curriculum Changes:
Frequently Asked Questions

Answered By Ms. Nikki Loy, Curriculum Coordinator for the Communication Studies Department.

  1. Is there a minimum GPA for the required 18 hours of courses in my chosen area of concentration? You must obtain a “C” in all Comm Studies courses counted towards graduation. This is true in both the old and new curriculum. # Is it possible to have an Area of Emphasis and a minor? It is definitely possible to have an *Area of Emphasis in Communication Studies PLUS a minor, or two minors and/or a double major!
  2. What is the difference between an *Area of Emphasis, a track, and a minor? We use the terms “track” and “Area of Emphasis” interchangeably. The official term is an “area of emphasis”. This is what it is called in Degreeworks and on your transcript. “Track” is an easier way to say “area of emphasis”. An Area of Emphasis is a concentration in one of the five “tracks” in Communication Studies(Health, Interpersonal, Integrated, Social Media and Comm Technology, or Organizational and Strategic Comm). A minor is a declaration to take at least 15 hours in a field outside of Communication Studies. You can find a list of all of the minors offered at WVU here. As a Comm Studies major, in order to graduate with a minor in another field, you must fill out the Minor Declaration form here.
  3. Can I switch my area of emphasis after I have been admitted to the major? Yes. You can switch your Area of Emphasis after being admitted to the major. You need to complete an Area of Emphasis change form If you have any questions please contact Joy Green.
  4. How do I choose an *Area of Emphasis? Review the requirements and the courses required for each area of emphasis. Discuss the choices with your Communication Studies advisor. You must declare your Area of Emphasis the semester that you complete Comm 201 and 203 by completing an Area of Emphasis Declaration Form at If you have any questions please contact Joy Green.

Degree Tracks

Health Communication

Facilitate your preparation for health-related careers by focusing on communication over the lifespan, health campaigns, mediated communication, and persuasion. Learn how to effectively design and evaluate health messages to be communicated, interpersonally, organizationally, and within the community at large.
Take courses in Health Communication, Communication Campaigns, Persuasion
Pursue careers in Community Relations, Physician Liaison, Healthcare Management, Volunteer Program Coordination, Campaigning, Public Health, Public Affairs, Government

Integrated Communication

Gain exposure to a generalist communication education. Tailor your degree program to enhance communication skills with your own goals and passions in mind with assistance from your advisor.
Take courses in a variety of different tracks that suits your career goals.

Interpersonal Communication

Develop your ability to investigate, identify, and enact effective behaviors in personal relationships such as family, coworkers, small group, friends, and romantic partnerships. This knowledge complements fields that involve or focus on the betterment of these relationships.
Take courses in Interpersonal Communication, Dark Side of Communication, Family Communication
Pursue careers in Sales, Customer Service, Research, Non-profit Management, Fundraising, Advising, Management, Law

Social Media & Communication Technology

Gain expertise in the emerging role of social networking and social media, in human communication for interpersonal, instructional, organizational and strategic contexts. Be prepared to apply the theory of social media technology to meet personal and professional goals.
Take courses in Social Media in the Workplace, Effects of Mediated Communication, Computer Mediated Communication
Pursue careers in Media Planning, Social Media Coordination, Marketing, Event Marketing, Public Relations, Sales, Research, Advertising

Theory of Strategic and Organizational Communication

Develop your ability to successfully navigate any organization by improving your understanding of organizational communication, social media, small group dynamics, persuasion, and communication campaigns.
Take courses in Organizational Communication, Persuasion, Organizational Culture
Pursue careers in Management, Human Resources, Government, Mediation, Research, Law, Business Development, Training and Development

A list of courses can be located at, and more information about overall degree requirements can be located at

Current Communication Studies majors

Are you a current Communication Studies major, or will you be admitted to the major prior to Fall 2013? Download a quick-reference form here to compare the advising procedures for the old and new curriculum formats.


Seelio: Sharing Student Work

Students enrolled in COMM courses are asked to study the theory and process of human communication so that they can apply this knowledge to understanding real-world issues. As part of this process, COMM students have adopted the Seelio platform – a social media platform that allows students to create an online portfolio of their coursework that is easily accessible to the public. Sharing these portfolios shows the importance of the COMM degree while also giving prospective employees a clear, accurate look at the academic work our students are doing.

Seelio Student Coursework Showcase

Academic Advising

Our advisors are available during the summer, fall and spring semesters during office hours. Check 108 Armstrong Hall, call 304-293-3905, or e-mail an advisor to check office hours for the semester (see below for contact information).

The COMM academic advisors are:

Nikki Loy –
Dr. John Shibley –
Mary Donato –


Request a Mountaineer Intern

Professional Field Experience (PFE) is a key element in the undergraduate COMM curriculum that allows students to gain experience in applying their classroom knowledge to a variety of corporate and organizational environments. Organizations looking for students with an in-depth understanding of communication areas that include (but are not limited to) communication theory, data analysis, health communication, interpersonal communication, organizational communication, and social media/communication technology now have the opportunity to request an intern from the Department of Communication Studies at WVU. Use the form below to read up on our PFE program, and to request a Mountaineer intern today.

Organization Intern Application