Undergraduate FAQs

General Questions

What is “Communication”?
What kind of job can a Communication major get?
Why is there a Department of Communication and a Department of Journalism, Advertising, and Media Studies (JAMS) at UWM? What is the difference between these two departments? How do I decide whether to major in Communication or JAMS?

Communication Minor Or Major

If I decide to major in Communication, what is a good minor to complement my major?
What is required to declare a Communication Major or Communication Minor?
How do I declare the Communication major or Communication minor?
When should I declare the Communication major or minor?
What are the course requirements for the Communication major and minor?

Course Information

Are there Course Prerequisites for Communication courses?
I am having a hard time enrolling in communication courses as PAWS indicates that many of the classes are full. What should I do?
Are there any restrictions on repeating communication courses?

Grade Point Averages

How is my GPA calculated?
What is the cumulative grade point average necessary to declare the Communication major or minor?
What is the required graduation GPA for a Communication major?

Online Courses In Communication

Do you offer the Communication Major online?
Are there additional course fees for online courses?

Advising

Who is my Communication Advisor?
How do I contact my Communication Advisor?
When should I contact my Communication Advisor?
Where is the Undergraduate Advisor’s Office located?

 


Q: What is “Communication”?
A: Communication is the study of human symbolic behavior. Communication courses are designed to help students learn both to communicate more effectively and to analyze human communication behavior in instructional, interpersonal, inter-cultural, group, health, organization, and rhetorical and public settings. Our graduates’ ability to communicate and to critically analyze the communication of others makes them in high demand in business, government, and education.
 


Q: What kind of job can a Communication major get?
A: The majority of Communication majors get jobs in business and industry. Careers in business include: sales representative, executive manager, personnel manager, public information officer, industrial and labor relations representative, negotiator, director of corporate communication, customer service representative, newsletter editor, communication trainer, human resources manager, mediator, and buyer. Communication majors also go into advertising, public relations, education, government/politics, health careers, international relations and negotiations, law, social and human services, and technology industries.

Please see the following links for more information on what you can do with a major in Communication:

http://www.uncwil.edu/stuaff/career/Majors/communication.htm

http://career.utk.edu/students/majors/pdf/commstudies.pdf

Also visit representative careers for more information on careers in communication.

For more information on careers in communication email the Undergraduate Director of Communication, Erin Parcell (eparcell@uwm.edu), and request a copy of “Pathways to Careers in Communication.”
 


Q: Why is there a Department of Communication and a Department of Journalism, Advertising, and Media Studies (JAMS) at UWM? What is the difference between these two departments? How do I decide whether to major in Communication or JAMS?

A: At some schools, the Department of Journalism, Advertising, and Media Studies and the Department of Communication are combined. At UWM, journalism, radio and television broadcasting, advertising, and public relations are located in the Department of Journalism, Advertising, and Media Studies. Interpersonal communication, intercultural communication, health communication, organizational communication and rhetoric are in the Department of Communication. Both departments are in the College of Letters and Science. Thus, many communication majors minor in JMC, and many JMC majors minor in Communication.

If you are interested in journalism, radio and television broadcasting, you should major in JMC. If you are interested in interpersonal, organizational, intercultural communication or rhetoric, you should major in Communication. If you are interested in advertising or public relations, you should consider a major in one and a minor in the other.
 


Q: If I decide to major in Communication, what is a good minor to complement my major?
A: There are many minors that complement a major in Communication; your choice will depend in large part on your interests and career and academic goals. If you have questions about a specific minor, be sure to contact the undergraduate advisor in the department. Previous students have suggested several minors that may be of particular interest:

If you are interested in PR or advertising, you should consider a major in Communication and a minor in Journalism and Mass Communication.

If you are interested in a career in business you should consider the Communication major and the General Business minor.

Another marketable minor is Economics. It has direct applications for business and industry. Individuals with knowledge of communication and economics are sought after by employers.

If you are interested in a career in information science, information architecture, or information technology you should consider the Communication major and the Information Resources minor.

If you are interested in health careers, in particular, health care administration, you should consider a major in Communication and a Minor in Health Care Administration.

If you are interested in careers in conflict resolution, negotiation, mediation, human resource management, or graduate study in peace and conflict, you should think about the Certificate in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution.
 


Q: What is required to declare a Communication Major or Communication Minor?
A: Students may declare the Communication Major or Minor after completing Commun 101 (Introduction to Interpersonal Communication), Commun 103 (Public Speaking), Commun 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.
 


Q: How do I declare the Communication major or Communication minor?
A: You can declare the Communication major or minor by going to the Department of Communication, Johnston 210 (414-229-4261), during regular business hours. If you are a College Connection student, you can declare the major or minor through your CC advisor.
 


Q: When should I declare the Communication major or minor?
A: You should declare the major or minor as soon as you meet the requirements to declare the major or minor.
 


Q: What are the course requirements for the Communication major and minor?
A: See the attached advising worksheets for the course requirements for the Communication Major and Communication Minor. Also see the UWM Undergraduate Bulletin for a list of communication courses.
 


Q: How is my GPA calculated?
A: The number of grade points earned in a course is computed by multiplying the points for the grade by the number of credits offered for the course. (Example: a B earned in a three-credit course would give you nine grade points). Thus, the point distribution for a 3 credit course would be as follows:

Credit Grade Points
3 A (4.0) 12
3 A- (3.67) 11
3 B+ (3.33) 10
3 B (3.0) 9
3 B- (2.67) 8
3 C+ (2.33) 7
3 C (2.0) 6
3 C- (1.67) 5
3 D+ (1.33) 4
3 D (1.0) 3
3 D- (.67) 2
3 F (0.0) 0

The general quality of a student’s work is expressed in terms of the grade point average (GPA). This is the total number of grade points earned divided by the total number of GPA credits. The highest possible average is 4.000 or an A in every subject. To determine your grade point average you must add the total number of points earned and then divide that number by the total number of credits attempted. For example:

Course Credit Grade Points
Commun 101
3
B+
10
Commun 105
3
B-
8
Commun 103
3
A
12
Commun 370
3
C
6
Total
12
36
Grade Point average: 36 divided by 12 = 3.0

 


Q: What is the cumulative grade point average necessary to declare the Communication major or minor?
A: For admission to the Communication Major or Minor, students must earn at least a B- grade in each of the following three core courses, Commun 101 – Introduction to Interpersonal Communication, Commun 103 – Public Speaking, Commun 105 – Business and Professional Communication.
 


Q: What is the required graduation GPA for a Communication major?
A: To be eligible for a bachelor’s degree, students must attain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 as well as a cumulative GPA of 2.0 on all credits that count toward a degree in the College of Letters and Science, including transfer work. In addition, students must earn a 2.0 GPA on all UWM credits that count toward the degree. The College also requires that students attain at least a 2.5 GPA in all credits in the major attempted at UWM. In addition, students must attain a 2.5 GPA on all major credits attempted, including transfer work (see http://www.uwm.edu/ugbulletin/SC/C_LaS.html#cstudyba).
 


Q: Are there any restrictions on repeating communication courses?
A: Visit the university policy on repeating a course. To obtain permission to repeat a Communication course for a second time (i.e., take a course for a third time), a student must petition the Department of Communication Undergraduate Committee for approval.

If you wish to repeat a course for a second time (i.e., you want take the course for a third time) you should submit a short (1-2 page) written request with rationale to commdept@uwm.edu. The UG committee meets once a month to consider these requests, and you will be notified by email of the UG committee’s decision.
 


Q: Do you offer the communication major online?
A: The Department of Communication offers the Communication major and minor online through the College Connection program.
 


Q: Who is my Communication Advisor?
A: Professors Allen and Harris are current advising undergraduate students on issues regarding the major. For questions regarding Letters and Science or University degree requirements, please see your Letters and Science advisor.
 


Q: How do I contact my Communication Advisor?
A: Students should contact the Undergraduate Advisor, Erin Parcell at eparcell@uwm.edu
 


Q: When should I contact my Communication Advisor?
A: You should contact your Communication advisor whenever you have questions about the major or minor. The months of March and October are good times to make appointments for the upcoming semester’s planning.
 


Q: Where is the Undergraduate Advisor’s Office located?
A: The second floor of Johnston Hall.
 


Q: Are there additional course fees for online courses?
A: All courses that are designated as online courses have an additional course fee. This fee was instituted by the College of Letters and Science and applies to all online courses that are taught by departments within the college.
 


Q: I am having a hard time enrolling in communication courses as PAWS indicates that many of the classes are full. What should I do?
A: The Department of Communication carefully monitors the enrollments in our courses to maximize the number of spaces that are available for communication majors. To avoid problems associated with courses filling, be sure to register during the first available registration period that is available to you. Prior to that registration period, be sure you have taken care of any outstanding fees that may prevent you from registering at the first opportunity.
 


Q: Are there Course Prerequisites for Communication courses?
A: All upper level courses in Communication have as a prerequisite successful completion of the English proficiency. In addition, a number of upper level Communication courses have other prerequisites. Many of the upper level courses require Commun 101, 103 or 105 as a prereq. There are additional prereqs for independent study and internship credit as well as some other advanced classes.