Communication BA, Interpersonal Communication Emphasis

Students majoring in communication must complete a minimum of 36 credit-hours in communication courses. Students may complete either a general communication degree or they may select one of four different emphasis areas as a focus for their studies: Interpersonal Communication, Mass Communication, Applied Visual Communication, or Strategic Communication. To complete the degree with one of these emphases, the student must complete the 21 credit-hour core and at least 15 hours of electives from within the selected emphasis area.  In addition, the skills and knowledge applied in the required Practicum/Internship should be consistent with the selected emphasis area. Students seeking a general communication degree must complete the 21 credit-hour core and can select elective courses from any combination of the emphasis areas.

General Education Requirements

Majors must satisfy the university and college general education requirements. The college's foreign language requirement may be taken in any language. Communication courses may not be taken on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

Degree Requirements

At least 18 credit hours must be taken at UMSL. Furthermore, at least 12 credit hours of the communication courses completed must be numbered 3000-4999 for students seeking a general communication degree, as well as for students pursuing an emphasis area. All students must earn a C or better in each of the required core courses of the major and maintain a 2.0 grade point average in all of the courses applied to the communication degree.

Required Courses
COMM 1030Interpersonal Communication I (MOTR COMM 120)3
COMM 1050Introduction to Mass Communication3
COMM 2231Communication in the Organization3
COMM 2332Intercultural Communication3
COMM 2235Professional Communication3
COMM 3330Research Methods in Communication I3
COMM 4920Practicum in Applied Communication3
or COMM 4950 Internship in Applied Communication
Total Hours21

Emphasis Area Requirements

The interpersonal emphasis area focuses on communication between individuals and the impact of verbal and nonverbal communication on personal relationships. 15 credits are needed.

Up to six credit hours of Special Topics Courses, Directed Readings courses, and Supervised Research courses offered by the Communication and Media Department can be applied to the emphasis area if the specific topic of the course is relevant to the emphasis area. 

Choose five of the following courses:
Introduction to Health Communication
Small Group Communication (MOTR COMM 125)
Persuasive Communication
Communication in Family, Dating, and Marriage
Male/Female Communication
Advanced Health Communication
Seminar in Fundamental Communication Theory
Seminar in Fundamental Interpersonal Communication Theory
Total Hours15

Learning Outcomes

  • Explore the roles that communication plays in personal and professional relationships
  • Evaluate situations and apply interpersonal communication strategies that will be effective to achieve one’s goals
  • Apply theories and models of interpersonal communication phenomena to complex, real-life experiences
  • Recognize and adapt to different cultures and perspectives
  • Sharpen one’s self- and other-awareness in order to successfully navigate conflict, manage teamwork, and enhance interpersonal relationships 
First Year
FallHoursSpringHours
COMM 10503COMM 22313
COMM 10303EXPLORE - Math & Life Sciences3
ENGL 11003EXPLORE - Humanities & Fine Arts3
CORE - Mathematics Proficiency3EXPLORE - Humanities & Fine Arts3
CORE - US History & Government3Elective or minor3
INTDSC 100311 
 16 15
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHours
COMM 22353COMM 22323
CORE - Information Literacy3EXPLORE - Humanities & Fine Arts3
EXPLORE - Math & Life/Natural Sciences3EXPLORE - Mathematics & Life/Natural Sciences3
FGN LANG 10015FGN LANG 10025
 14 14
Third Year
FallHoursSpringHours
COMM 33303COMM XXXX: Interpersonal Communication Emphasis Course3
ENGL 31003COMM XXXX: Interpersonal Communication Emphasis Course3
FGN LANG 21013COMM XXXX: Interpersonal Communication Emphasis Course3
Cultural Diversity3Elective or minor3
Elective or minor3Elective or minor3
 15 15
Fourth Year
FallHoursSpringHours
COMM XXXX: Interpersonal Communication Emphasis Course3COMM 49203
COMM XXXX: Interpersonal Communication Emphasis Course3Elective or minor3
Elective or minor3Elective or minor3
Elective or minor3Elective or minor3
Elective or minor3Elective or minor3
Elective or minor1 
 16 15
Total Hours: 120

INTDSC 1003 is required only for first-time freshmen and transfer students with less than 24 college credits.

Please Note: This plan is an example of what a four year plan could look like for a typical student. Placement exam scores in math as well as the completion of coursework may change the plan. It should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor each semester. All requirements are subject to change.