General Education Requirements

The university’s general education program provides a coherent, integrated introduction to the breadth of knowledge you will need to consider yourself (and to be considered by other people) a generally well-educated person. This program requires eight courses in six Core Literacies, plus two courses in Global Perspectives (which may double-count with courses in the Core Literacies) and two courses in writing. See the General Education Program for more information.

Course Requirements

Required Courses

Theoretical and Foundational Classes (12 units total)

These courses introduce students to theories and subject matter that provide a foundational understanding for the Communication major. Each area below broadly explores the way messages and meanings are socially and culturally produced, received by individuals and society, and transformed through technological and industrial shifts.

Communication Interaction, Influence and Impact (4 units)

  • COMM 200 Communication and Social Science (4 units)
  • COMM 313 Communication and Mass Media (4 units)

Communication, Civic Life and Culture (4 units)

  • COMM 206 Communication and Culture (4 units)
  • COMM 311 Communication and Publics (4 units)

Economics and Technologies of Communication (4 units)

  • COMM 209 Communication and Media Economics (4 units)
  • COMM 309 Communication and Technology (4 units)

Methods of Communication Practice (8 units total)

The courses in this area help to provide students with the critical thinking, tools, and methods of inquiry necessary for the interpretation, development, and expression of messages, systematic arguments, and empirical evidence. 

Four units that center on the design and execution of arguments

  • COMM 204 Public Speaking (4 units)
  • COMM 322 Argumentation and Advocacy (4 units)

Four units that center on the design, execution and interpretation of empirical evidence

  • COMM 301Lg Empirical Research in Communication (4 units)
  • COMM 305 Understanding Social Science Research (4 units)

Annenberg Experience (4 units)

Students are required to take one 4-unit course that prepares Annenberg students to enhance their digital literacy and contextualize modern communication controversies, contemplating changes in the way we process and produce information.

  • ASCJ 200 Navigating Media and News in the Digital Age (4 units)
  • ASCJ 210 Contours of Change in Media and Communication (4 units)

Electives (24 units total)

  • Upper-division COMM courses: 16 units
  • Lower- or upper-division COMM or ASCJ courses: 4 units
  • One 400-level non-cross-listed COMM course (excluding COMM 490, COMM 494 and COMM 499): 4 units

Additional Requirements

Students must maintain a minimum 2.0 overall GPA in upper-division course work applied toward the major. No more than 4 units of COMM 380 may be counted toward the department major. The School of Communication is committed to ensuring that all declared communication majors follow the necessary requirements. Mandatory advisement is required of all communication majors each semester prior to registration. All students taking communication classes are held to the highest academic integrity standards and may be denied admission or have admission revoked as a result of conduct violations.

Qualified non-majors (generally, students with junior/senior status, a minimum 3.0 GPA and a declared major elsewhere at the university) with appropriate academic preparation may be permitted to enroll in communication electives without fulfilling prerequisite requirements. Application for a waiver should be made to an undergraduate adviser. 

This page is based on the current 2023-2024 USC Catalogue. The 2024-2025 USC Catalogue will be published in summer 2024.