Department of Communication
New York University
P. Cushman, Ph.D.
University of Wisconsin
E. Kendall, Ph.D.
M. Harrison, Ph.D.
Bowling Green State University
University of California, Irvine
E. Sanders, Ph.D.
University of Iowa
D. Stephen, Ph.D.
Bowling Green State University
University of Michigan
University of California-Santa Barbara
G. Golden, Ph.D.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
University of Texas
University at Albany
University of Pennsylvania
W. Barberich, Ph.D.
University of Pittsburgh
G. Husson, Ph.D.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Assistants (estimated): 12
department specializes in studies of communication in each of three particular
social contexts: first, communication on an individual level, involving interpersonal
or intercultural relations; second, communication at the societal level involving
large scale audiences, especially in regard to political action and democratic
processes; and third, communication in organizations-whether business, governmental,
or grass roots organizations--that affects either the organization's internal
processes or external relations. All three of these areas have been significantly
affected by new communication technologies, the study of which we incorporate
into department course work.
undergraduate program in Communication has two primary goals. One is to educate
students, and expose them to significant writings, about communication processes
and media and the critical role they play in the conduct of social life and
its quality among individuals, in organizations, and in the larger society.
second goal grows out of the first; to help students become able to analyze
and improve communication practices in particular settings and instances. This
involves developing a basis for judging whether or not specific communication
processes are meeting the needs of the people involved. It also involves learning
about ways to measure the effectiveness of specific communication practices,
and gaining experience analyzing and designing solutions to communication problems.
in the major are organized so that students enrolled in 100- and 200-level courses
are exposed to foundational ideas and research findings in the field of Communication,
as well as provided with research methods and analytic tools. Students are also
required to become more practiced as communicators, either through a public
speaking or debate course. Course work at the advanced (300 and 400) level is
intended to provide students with in-depth knowledge of current research and
theory about interpersonal/intercultural communication,
communication or public communication.
program in Communication is intended to help students become knowledgeable about
communication processes and their influences on the interpersonal, intercultural,
organizational and political aspects of our societies. By focusing on development
of analytical and critical skills, the program helps students become able to
analyze and effectively participate in, and improve communication practices
in diverse settings and instances. Having completed their degree in communication,
the students will have a basis for judging whether or not specific communication
processes are meeting the needs of the people involved. They will also be able
to evaluate the effectiveness of specific communication practices, devise ways
of improving them, and provide solutions to communication problems. These competencies
have recognized value in the workplace as well as in one's personal life.
of the Communication program have pursued careers in sales, media relations,
marketing, training, commercial production, film, editing, media planning, publishing,
journalism, financial advisement, budget analysis, legislative assistance, radio
programming, advertising, television production, and internal communication
in not-for-profit, governmental, and business organizations. Some have college
teaching or advisement positions. Others have gone on to law school, or to work
on their master's degree or doctoral degrees in Communication and related fields.
Programs and Opportunities
department provides research opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students,
a rigorous honors program, and an exceptional internship program. The department
also provides a combined B.A./M.A. Program in Communication. We encourage all
students to become active members of the local student club of the National
Communication Association. We invite outstanding communication majors to be
inducted into Lambda Pi Eta, the local chapter of the national honor society
Communication Internship Practicum, which requires enrollment
in both Com 392 for 9 cr. (these credits are general electives and do not apply
toward the major or minor) and Com 393z for 6 cr., is a full-time internship
offered in fall and spring for juniors and seniors who have an overall grade
point average of 2.50 or higher. It includes a weekly seminar meeting, and places
students in communication related professional settings including, but not limited
to, radio, television, public relations, the state legislature, and corporate
communication. If you are accepted in this internship, you are not allowed to
take any other course work during the semester. Acceptance into the program
part-time Internship in Communication (COM 390, for 1-3 lower-level credits)
is for undergraduate majors and minors who wish to develop on-site experience
in one of the communication professions. This part-time internship may be taken
in fall, spring, or summer terms. There is no seminar component in this course,
and the minimum number of hours at the host agency is proportionately less than
the fulltime Internship Practicum.
to the program in Communication is restricted. All students wishing to declare
the major must complete an application and be formally admitted by the department.
Applications can be made each semester. The deadline for submitting applications
is the first day of class in the fall and spring semesters. Notification of
admission or denial generally will be made within three business days by a posted
list outside the department office, and afterwards by mail.
matriculated student can apply for admission who has completed the following
two courses with grades of C- or higher or S in each (See the section below
for the policy on admission of transfer students to the major):
A Com 100, and (b) either a course in statistics (A Mat 108, B Itm 220, A Soc
221, R Crj 281, or A Psy 210), or a course in formal logic (A Phi 210 or equivalent).
Students who apply and are not accepted can reapply in subsequent semesters.
A Com 100 course required for admission to the major must be taken on the Albany
campus if the student does not already have credit for it prior to matriculation.
applicant will be guaranteed admission to the major whose grades in the two
entry courses average to B or higher (in A Com 100, and either a statistics
or logic course). Grades of S are counted as the equivalent of C for the purposes
of this computation.
whose grades in the two entry courses average between B and C- will be admitted
to the major on a space-available basis. Applications in this group are rank
ordered each semester on the basis of a Composite Grade Point Average. This
Composite Grade Point Average is computed by adding together the student's overall
grade point average and the average of the grades in the two entry courses (A
Com 100 and a statistics or logic course). Applicants in this group are accepted
in descending rank order until all the spaces for new majors that semester are
filled. However, no two applicants with the same Composite Grade Point Average
will be treated differently: if one is accepted with that average, all others
will be accepted with that average even if the total number accepted exceeds
the available spaces that semester.
students who have completed at least 3 credits in Communication courses, and
a total of at least 6 credits in courses that count towards the major in Communication,
will be admitted to the major automatically if their GPA in all transfer courses
that count towards the major is 2.0 or higher. All other transfer students seeking
admission to the major will have to meet the admissions requirements for matriculated
students after they begin coursework on the Albany campus.
students admitted to the major who do not have credit for A Com 100 or an approved
statistics or logic course upon matriculation are still required to complete
those courses with grades of C- or better. Transfer students whose grades in
those two courses fall below that minimum are subject to being withdrawn from
the major, pending an appeal and departmental review, but will automatically
be readmitted if and when they meet the requirement.
in the Communication Department are encouraged to seek advisement each semester.
Advisement is offered by appointment between the end of the add-drop period
and the beginning of the advance registration period. Majors who have been advised
during that period are given priority for enrollment for the next semester's
Communication classes. For students newly admitted to the major, attendance
at an orientation meeting for new majors is required in order to get an advisement
is under the direction of the Director of the Undergraduate Program. Advisement
each semester is generally conducted by an advising staff composed of graduate
assistants. However, undergraduate majors are encouraged to seek out a meeting
with a faculty member when they begin their studies in the department to discuss
their goals, and devise an overall plan of study supportive of those goals in
the Department, in their Minor or Second Major, and in their General Education
requirement courses and electives.
Requirements for the Major in Rhetoric and Communication
Program B.A.: A minimum of 36 credits including: A Com 100; a computing
course [all minors but business: A Cas 200 or B Itm 215 or A Csi 101
or A Csi 201 or R Isp 100 or R Isp 301] [business minors: B Itm
215 or A Csi 101 or A Csi 201]; a statistics course (A Mat 108
or B Itm 220 or A Soc 221 or R Crj 281 or A Psy 210) or
logic (A Phi 210); A Com 265X; one course from either A Com 203
or 212; and 15-18 additional credits in the Department of Communication as advised
(of which at least 12 credits must be at the 300-level or above); and 3-6 credits
of supporting courses (outside the Department of Communication), as advised.
Com 265X is restricted to A-E grading after matriculation at Albany.
offerings are listed below in grouping according to the following headings:
in General Foundations offer students an introduction to the practice and social
consequences of communication in a variety of settings, and an overview of traditional
and contemporary thought on human communication.
in Public Communication create a basic understanding of the process of communication
in the political process, and public life more generally. This includes attention
to communication and media issues in political participation, legislative processes,
social movements, and election campaigns. This also includes attention to the
speaker-audience setting typical of argumentation and persuasion in social and
in Interpersonal Interaction/Cultural Practices provide for a basic understanding
of the process of communication in face to face interaction. These include attention
to language use and strategy in personal relationships, health care, and work
relationships of various kinds. Other courses include attention to cultural
differences in face to face and group communication practices, and the role
of communication in everyday life.
in Organizational Communication address communication processes within and between
organizations that affect their internal operations, development, climate, productivity,
and social acceptance. These courses include a concern for the effect of new
information technologies on organizational communication.
Studies courses provide an opportunity for students who have achieved a grounding
in the appropriate theoretical and research literature of the field, to apply
this knowledge in independent projects or internships.
honors program in Communication is designed to provide opportunities for the
most talented and motivated students to work closely with each other and with
may apply for admission at any point during a semester and may reapply if rejected
after the close of that semester or thereafter. Decisions of the Honors Committee
on admission are final and not subject to review or appeal.
for admission will be approved if the student meets the following criteria:
applicant is a major in the department, with a 3.50 average in the required
courses for admission to the major.
applicant has completed at least two full-time semesters of college study at
Albany, with an overall average of at least 3.50, or the equivalent in the case
of transfer students.
to the program will be on a provisional basis for any student with fewer than
12 credits in Communication. Upon completion of 12 credits, admission will be
in the honors program are required to complete a minimum of 36 credits, meeting
all requirements of the major, except for a special requirement among courses
at the 300 level or above as follows: instead of 6 credits of electives at the
300 level or above, students in the honors program must complete either an honors
project for 6 credits (A Com 499), or a senior honors project for 3 credits
(A Com 499) plus 3 credits in a graduate course in
(for undergraduate credit) with approval of the undergraduate director.
will be put on program probation by the Honors Committee at the end of any semester
in which their cumulative average in the major falls below 3.50 or their term
average that semester is below 3.30.
will be dismissed from the program if they are placed on program probation in
two consecutive semesters, or if they receive a grade below B in A Com 499.
Students dismissed from the program cannot be readmitted unless the grades on
which dismissal is based were in error and are officially changed.
completion of the requirements above, the records of candidates will be reviewed
by the Departmental Honors Committee, who shall recommend to the department
candidates for the degree with honors in Rhetoric and Communication.
combined B.A./M.A. program in Rhetoric and Communication provides an opportunity
for students of recognized academic ability and educational maturity to fulfill
integrated requirements of undergraduate and master's degree programs from the
beginning of the junior year. The program provides an integrated and focused
curriculum in Communication that allows the upper-level student exposure to
advanced knowledge in theory and substantive areas and opportunities for participation
in research. A carefully designed program can permit a student to earn the B.A.
and M.A. degrees within nine semesters.
combined program requires a minimum of 141 credits, of which at least 33 must
be graduate credits. In qualifying for the B.A., students must meet all University
and college requirements, including the requirements of the undergraduate major
described previously, the minor requirement, the minimum 90-credit liberal arts
and sciences requirement, general education requirements, and residency requirements.
In qualifying for the M.A., students must meet all University and college requirements
as outlined in the Graduate Bulletin, including completion of a minimum of 33
graduate credits and any other conditions such as a research seminar or thesis,
comprehensive examination, professional experience, and residency requirements.
Up to 12 graduate credits may be applied simultaneously to both the B.A. and
who have completed a minimum of 6 credits of course work in Rhetoric and Communication
may apply for admission to the combined degree program in Rhetoric and Communication
at the beginning of their junior year or after the successful completion of
56 credits, but no later than the accumulation of 100 credits. A cumulative
grade point average of 3.20 or higher and three supportive letters of recommendation
from faculty are required for consideration.