Photo by: John Davis

Communication Major Admission Standards, Requirements And Application

Communication Major Information And Requirements For Current Students 

The USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism offers programs of study leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication. Communication has become a highly prized commodity in modern society, for it is through communication that our social, economic and cultural lives are shaped — globally, daily and comprehensively. 

By design, the courses in the curriculum tend to cluster into different areas of study. These areas represent important foci in the communication discipline and are areas in which USC Annenberg’s faculty possess special expertise. Four such areas of study are described below. They are not mutually exclusive, nor do they exhaust the curriculum; rather, they represent partially overlapping areas of extraordinary depth. Students may specialize in one of these areas or may design individual programs of study by choosing combinations of electives that best meet their needs and career objectives. 

Media, Law and Politics 

Designed for students who are interested in careers in government and public service, the law, and political and legal consulting. Students examine communication processes in the public sphere and learn how to participate competently in these practices. 

Communication and Culture 

Designed for students whose careers have an international or multicultural dimension, from those interested in foreign service, travel and consulting to those seeking careers in the arts. 

Entertainment, Communication and Society 

This major track is attractive to students who wish to pursue careers in the entertainment industry, as well as students interested in the relationship of communication and entertainment to popular culture, globalization, cultural studies, marketing, advertising and ethics. Students choosing this option will be well prepared for graduate study and will also be able to enter the entertainment industry with grounding in the theory, roles, issues and effects of entertainment. 

Organizational and Interpersonal Communication 

This option is most relevant to students interested in careers in business, management, human resources and development, corporate communications and consulting. 

Major Requirements

Students must maintain a minimum 2.0 overall GPA in their upper-division courses. No more than 16 upper division communication elective units may be taken prior to completion of the entire theory and Annenberg experience classes. 

Students who have not been admitted to the communication major or one of the minors may complete a maximum of 20 communication units at USC. No further communication courses may be taken until the student is admitted. 

For more information regarding major requirements for the Annenberg School for Communication, please click here or visit the USC Catalogue

Bachelor of Arts in Communication 
(48 units) 

Theoretical and Foundational Classes (12 units total): 

Communication Interaction, Influence and Impact (4 units)
COMM 200
– Communication and Social Science 
COMM 313 – Communication and Mass Media [Duplicates credit in COMM 203] 

Communication, Civic Life, and Culture (4 units)
COMM 206
 – ​Communication and Culture 
COMM 311 – Rhetoric and the Public Sphere [Duplicates credit in COMM 201] 

Economics and Technologies of Communication (4 units)
COMM 209
 – Communication and Media Economics [Duplicates credit in COMM 207 and 208] 
COMM 309 – Communication and Technology [Duplicates credit in COMM 202]

Methods of Communication Practice (8 units total):
COMM 204
 – Public Speaking 
COMM 322 – Argumentation and Advocacy 


COMM 301Lg – Empirical Research in Communication 
COMM 305 – Understanding Social Science Research 

Annenberg Experience (4 units):
ASCJ 200
 – Navigating Media and News in the Digital Age     
ASCJ 210 – Contours of Change in Media and Communication 


  • Upper division COMM courses (16 units)
  • Lower or upper division COMM or ASCJ courses (4 units, excluding ASCJ 100x,ASCJ 220x and COMM 205x) 
  • One 400-level non-cross-listed COMM course (4 units, excluding COMM 490, COMM 494, and COMM 499) 


Learn More About Our:


USC Annenberg faculty members are among the top scholars and professionals in their fields. They include renowned researchers, Pulitzer Prize and Emmy Award-winning journalists, and leaders in fields including law, education, publishing, government, advertising and public relations. Students at USC Annenberg learn from the best and graduate with a range of experiences and contacts that will be of great value throughout their careers. 

Academic Advisement

All undergraduate communication majors are required to meet with a USC Annenberg undergraduate adviser each semester to review degree requirements and plan their communication major progress. Students must use their USC email accounts to receive advisement and academic information. 

USC Annenberg Career Development

The USC Annenberg Career Development Office provides internship and job listings, job fairs, résumé and career workshops, and one-on-one counseling to aid both students and alumni in their search for a fulfilling career.

USC Annenberg Connects

Annenberg Connects engages the local community to strengthen current programs and identifies potential new opportunities for partnerships while working with our faculty, staff, and students to build curricular programming that incorporates and promotes civic and community engagement.

USC Annenberg International Programs

USC Annenberg sponsors international undergraduate study abroad programs and graduate internship programs in exciting cities around the globe. Each of the programs provides students with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to gain international experience in their chosen field of study. 


USC Annenberg has many professional and social organizations that contribute to USC's 800+ student organizations, which are responsible for the majority of programs and events held on campus, including concerts, lectures, special events, spirit rallies, cultural and social events, and conferences.

Admission Standards and Application Requirements 

Admission to the communication major is competitive. When reviewing applications, the Admission Committee considers factors such as academic performance and interest in the field of communication. To be eligible to apply, current USC students must have: 

  • Completed 16 units at USC. 
  • 3.0 USC GPA recommended. 

To apply to the School of Communication, students must complete the online application form by one of the deadlines below. 

Students will be notified of their admission status approximately two weeks after the application deadline. For more information about the School of Communication or the application process, please contact USC Annenberg Student Services at (213) 740-0900 or We offer information sessions throughout the fall and spring semesters for students who plan to apply to the School of Communication. A flier with session dates is available in USC Annenberg Student Services and also on our website here

Application Deadlines 

It is recommended that students apply to the School of Communication during their sophomore year. 

FALL APPLICATION DEADLINE: All applications are due by 4:30 p.m. on the first Friday of the fall semester. 

SPRING APPLICATION DEADLINE: All applications are due by 4:30 p.m. on the first Friday of the spring semester.

SUMMER APPLICATION DEADLINE: All applications are due by 4:30 p.m. on the first Friday after Commencement.

Late applications will not be considered. 

NOTE: Students accepted to the communication major will be admitted to the semester in which they apply. 

Required Documents for the Undergraduate Application 

The documents below are required. 
Incomplete applications will not be considered.

  • Completed School of Communication online application. 
  • Statement of Intent: A statement of intent is required for students who have below a 3.0 USC GPA. This should be a one-page essay on any pertinent information that may have affected your academic performance. 

NOTE: The Admission Committee will review students’ academic records (transcripts and transfer credit statements) on the university system.

Spring 2021 applications are due Friday, January 22, 2021 at 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time. Students will be notified of their admission decisions on February 9, 2021.

Questions? Contact