Communication, BA | University of Portland

Communication, BA

UP’s Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Communication offers a liberal arts approach to understanding communication as a central constitutive feature – as rich and intriguing building material – of human society. This degree guides students' understandings and applied learnings about how interpersonal, organizational, cultural, and mediated communications operate to shape people's personal, group, and societal attitudes, values, beliefs, identities, and actions.

While building several core communication understandings, each student and their advisor also shape their specific upper-division coursework to suit each student's particular learning goals. UP COM students commonly shape Communication B.A. coursework to develop their expertise and knowledge of inter/cultural, environmental, relational, organizational, and/or mediated communication (including journalism), among many diverse and distinct possibilities.

UP’s Communication BA well-prepares students for a wide range of professional work and for graduate study in communication and related fields, such as law, counseling, public policy and many other avocations. A host of community-based academic internships also enrich COM students’ explorations of the professional opportunities open to them.


Bachelor of Arts in Communication: Curriculum Overview

Three primary Areas of Study:

(a) Organizational and Relational Communication

(b) Culture and Communication

(c) Environmental Communication  

University Core: 40 credit hours

CAS Core: 24-33 credit hours

Major Requirements – 45 credit hours

1. Required courses - 15 credit hours 

COM 101 Introduction to Communication and Media 
COM 107 Public Speaking for Change
COM 225 Interpersonal Communication: Relating to Others
COM 233 Organizing Across Contexts 

COM 265 Media Literacy and Culture

2. Research Methods Courses – 6 credit hours 

Select two courses from the following: 

COM 300 Quantitative Research Methods 
COM 320 Rhetorical Theory and Criticism 
COM 330 Qualitative Research Methods 

COM 392 Special Topics: Methods 

3. Upper-division COM courses – 21 credit hours (sstudents select SEVEN 3-credit upper-division CST courses in consultation with their academic advisors. At least 3 of these must be 400-level.)

Areas of Study and sample courses include: 

Organizational and Relational Communication 

COM 332 Transforming Group and Team Communication 
COM 333 The Future of Work 
COM 425 Radical Relationships: Love, Care, Grief 
COM 432 Embodiments of Place: Ecology, Trauma, and Belonging 
COM 433 Critical Perspectives on Work, Labor, and Organizing 

COM 434 Researching Organizational Life: Identity, Culture, Voice 

Culture and Communication 

COM 391: Media and Identity: Race, Nation, and Ethnicity 
COM 411 Communicating Across Barriers 
COM 417 Intercultural Conflict Transformation 
COM 431 Intercultural Communication and Identity 
COM 435 Visual Culture 

COM 440 Media Criticism 

Environmental Communication 

COM 370 Environmental Organizing and Advocacy 
COM 402 Resist! Activist Communication for Social & Environmental Justice 
COM 405 Evolution, Ecology, and Culture in East Africa 
COM 432 Embodiments of Place: Ecology, Trauma, and Belonging 

COM 470 Plants, Nonhuman Animals, Food Systems, and Climate Communication 

4. Senior Project – 3 credit hours 

To be completed senior year: 

COM 475 Senior Capstone 

Communication, BA Degree Requirements