Applying to the major

Admission to the Communication major (36 credits) is restricted. All undergraduate students in this major must complete a minor to graduate.

For current UAlbany students: All students wishing to declare the major (36 credits) must complete an application and be formally admitted by the department. Applications can be made each semester. Notification of admission or denial generally will be made by email within three business days.

To be admitted to the major, a student must have completed ACOM 100 and an approved statistics (AMAT 108; APSY 210; ASOC 221; RCRJ 281) or logic (APHI 210) course with a minimum grade of C-, and submit an application to the major. Students with an average of B or higher between the 2 courses are guaranteed admission to the COM major. Students with an average below B are admitted on a space available basis.  Note: a grade of 'S' counts as a 'C'. (See this helpful chart.)  ACOM 100 must be completed on the University of Albany campus, unless its equivalent was completed prior to matriculation at Albany.

Application form

For incoming transfer students:  Students with 24 credits and a GPA of 2.5 from another university may enter as a declared Communication major if  they 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. The University Admissions office decides if a student has met that requirement; and if they have, the student 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 (with less than 24 credits and not having the appropriate 6 credits) seeking admission to the major will have to meet the admissions requirements for matriculated students after they begin coursework on the Albany campus.

Transfer students whose grades in those two courses fall below that minimum C- grade are expected to retake the course to meet the major requirement.

Transfer students who do not meet the automatic requirements to declare Communication, may be classified as an intended Communication major, and then may apply to the major according to the instructions above.

To apply to the university, students considering transferring to UAlbany should go to the Undergraduate Admission page.

Note: Freshman who enter UAlbany are classified as intended Communication majors until they meet the admission requirements stated at top and submit a formal application to the department.


Undergraduate coursework generally falls into these 5 areas:

Organizational Communication & Public Relations

Organizational Communication is the study of how communication shapes and is shaped by organizing processes across a range of contexts. Organizational communication focuses on how communication is used to accomplish collective action within organizational boundaries, among internal stakeholders (employees). Organizational communication also focuses on how organizations communicate across organizational boundaries, with external stakeholders, to build organizational identity and manage relations with their various publics.

Political Communication

Courses in political communication focus on several aspects of the political environment, including the role of citizens and the nature of citizenship in democracies, the history and function of political campaigns, the creation and function of public opinion, the role of the news and entertainment media in the political environment, the nature and function of political advertising, and the part that communication technology (print, broadcasting, and new media) play in channeling political discourse.

Interpersonal/Intercultural Communication

This area gives special attention to the interactional and cultural foundations of what people in face-toface encounters say and do, and how they say and do it, that influence what happens in professional, social, relational, and family contexts.

Mass Communication & New Technologies

These courses consider questions such as: What are the effects of mass media, such as television, film, radio, and newspapers, on culture, politics, and social life? How are new communication technologies, such as the the Web, videoconferencing, and mobile phones, revolutionizing so many of the ways we live?

Health Communication

We focus on three levels of Health Communication: the interpersonal level (e.g., the study of doctor-- patient communication); the organizational level (e.g., how health care organizations shape messages that guide individuals' selection of health care providers); and mass media health campaigns (e.g. ad campaigns to convince children not to use tobacco). At all three levels of analysis, we are interested in ways that health communication shapes, and is shaped by, people's health, and institutional aspects of health care.

A minor in Communication 

A minor in Communication requires students to take a minimum of 18 credits starting with Com 100. After Com 100, students must take Com 265 before taking a mimimum 9 credits at or above the 300 level, which are controlled by permission number during the advisement period prior to advance registration. Other lower-level courses regularly offered are Com 201, 203Y and 238. 

To declare a Communication minor, a student must fill out the proper form and return it to the Registrar's Office, Campus Center B52. As a minor, your AVN each semester comes from your major department, but advisement regarding COM classes comes from the COM department. All declared minors are notified by e-mail to sign up for advisement.