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Undergraduate Advising

The School of Communication Undergraduate advising office is committed to delivering outstanding advising services to our students by utilizing the theory and practice of Appreciative Advising. Appreciative Advising is an academic advising philosophy which calls advisors to celebrate students' strengths as they help advisees achieve their life and academic goals. It is a reciprocal approach where both student and advisor benefit and learn. Appreciative Advisors build relationships with students to keep them engaged in exploring multiple avenues for meeting their needs. We are truly invested in partnering with students to achieve academic and personal success.

It is not possible to schedule same day appointments; an appointment can be scheduled up until midnight the day before the appointment. Examples of topics that could be covered in a 20 minute appointment include:

  • Declaring an SOC major and other major/minor related paperwork or concerns
  • Registration clearance and class schedules for upcoming semesters
  • Long-range academic planning
  • Study abroad planning
  • Major, minor, and/or career exploration
  • Other topics that you want to discuss in detail and would like a designated time to do so
Schedule an Appointment

Drop-in advising is reserved for brief concerns that will take no longer than 10 minutes. Examples of topics that could be discussed during walk-in advising include:

  • Questions about how/where a class fits within degree requirements.
  • Adding/Dropping classes and questions related
  • Information about obtaining credit for internships
  • If you need a signature, a question about your degree audit report, etc.

Drop-in hours are Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday from 2-3 p.m.

Office Hours

Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. 
Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Drop-in hours: 
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 11 a.m.-12 p.m.
Tuesday, Thursday: 2-3 p.m. 

Prospective students:

Contact the SOC Office of Student & Academic Affairs at 202-885-2061 or email us at communication@american.edu.

Rotating Communication Courses

Academic Catalog Year Definition

An enrolled student's academic catalog year is defined by the academic year in which the student first enrolls at American University. It aligns with the program requirements published in that year's University Catalog. The academic catalog year remains the same during the student's continuous enrollment at AU, and is only changed under specific circumstances within the span of that continuous enrollment.

The University reserves the right to revise the program requirements and to correct errors in the University Catalog at any time.

Fall 2017

History of Media Concentration

  • COMM-270: How the News Media Shaped History
  • COMM-275 Dissident Media
  • COMM-359: Decisive Moments in Comm
  • COMM-391: Communication Careers Internship
  • COMM-401: Communication Law
  • COMM-409: Journalism Ethics
  • COMM-414: History of Cross-Cultural Cinema
  • COMM-477: History of Photography
  • COMM-490 or COMM-491
  • COMM-496: Comm, Copyright, and Culture
  • COMM-514: Censorship and Media
  • COMM-533: Ethics in Strategic Communication

Media and Society Concentration

  • COMM-275: Dissident Media
  • COMM-280: Contemporary Media in a Global Society
  • COMM-359: Decisive Moments in Comm
  • COMM-365: Digital Media and Culture
  • COMM-391: Communication Careers Internship
  • COMM-396: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Media
  • COMM-401: Communication Law
  • COMM-409: Journalism Ethics
  • COMM-414: History of Cross-Cultural Cinema
  • COMM-443: Foreign Policy and the Press
  • COMM-490 or COMM-491
  • COMM-496: Comm, Copyright, and Culture
  • COMM-514: Censorship and Media
  • COMM-533: Ethics in Strategic Communication

Media and Government Concentration

  • COMM-275: Dissident Media
  • COMM-359: Decisive Moments in Comm
  • COMM-365: Digital Media and Culture
  • COMM-391: Communication Careers Internship
  • COMM-401: Communication Law
  • COMM-409: Journalism Ethics
  • COMM-439: Political Communication
  • COMM-443: Foreign Policy and the Press
  • COMM-490 or COMM-491
  • COMM-496: Comm, Copyright, and Culture
  • COMM-509: Politics and the Media
  • COMM-514: Censorship and the Media
  • COMM-533: Ethics in Strategic Communication

International Media Concentration

  • COMM-359: Decisive Moments in Comm
  • COMM-391: Communication Career Internship
  • COMM-414: History of Cross-Cultural Cinema
  • COMM-443: Foreign Policy and the Press
  • COMM-490 or COMM-491
  • COMM-496: Comm, Copyright, and Culture
  • COMM-514: Censorship and the Media

Film and Media Studies

  • COMM-365: Digital Media & Culture
  • COMM-412: Social Documentary
  • COMM-413: Producing Film and Video
  • COMM-414: History of Cross Cultural Cinema
  • COMM-416: Topics in Film and Media Arts: The Radical Image
  • COMM-514: Censorship and Media
  • COMM-524: Producing Environmental & Wildlife Films

Intermediate

  • COMM-434: Film & Video Production II
  • COMM-435: Introduction to Studio Television
  • COMM-454: Motion Graphics and Effects I
  • COMM-479: Fine Art Photography
  • COMM-496: Selected Topics: Playful City
  • COMM-528: Community Documentary

Advanced

  • COMM-438: Cinematography and Lighting
  • COMM-463: Techniques/Aesthetics Editing
  • COMM-466: Advanced Writing for Film
  • COMM-474: The Business for Television
  • COMM-476: Photojournalism & Social Documentary
  • COMM-490: Independent Study
  • COMM-491: Senior Professional Internship
  • COMM-506: Writing the Short Film
  • COMM-560: Backpack Documentary (Hybrid)
  • COMM-567: Communication and Social Change
  • COMM-568: Environmental & Wildlife Film Production

Skills

  • COMM-105: Visual Literacy
  • COMM-291: Communication Field Experience
  • COMM-325: Feature Article Writing
  • COMM-330: Principles of Photography
  • COMM-385: Digital Audio Production
  • COMM-391: Communication Careers Internship
  • COMM-418: Data Driven Journalism
  • COMM-426: Sports Writing and Reporting
  • COMM-428: Advanced Television and Video Production
  • COMM-432: Backpack Video Journalism
  • COMM-491: Senior Professional Internship
  • COMM-567: Communication and Social Change
  • COMM-521: Opinion Writing
  • COMM-560: Backpack Documentary (Hybrid)

Media Studies

  • COMM-270: How News Media Shape History
  • COMM-275: Dissident Media
  • COMM-359: Decisive Moments in Communication
  • COMM-365: Digital Media and Culture
  • COMM-396-001: Race, Gender and Sexuality in Media
  • COMM-396-003: Raking the Muck
  • COMM-396-004: A New Presidency and the Press
  • COMM-420: Topics in News Media: Intro to Media Entrepreneurship
  • COMM-443: Foreign Policy and the Press
  • COMM-490: Independent Study
  • COMM-496: Topics: Playful City
  • COMM-496: Topics: Communication, Copyright, and Culture
  • COMM-504: Journalism Ethics
  • COMM-509: Politics and the Media
  • COMM-514: Censorship and the Media

Media Studies for Broadcast Journalism

  • COMM-270: How News Media Shape History
  • COMM-275: Dissident Media
  • COMM-359: Decisive Moments in Communication 
  • COMM-365: Digital Media and Culture 
  • COMM-396-001: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Media
  • COMM-396-003: Raking the Muck 
  • COMM-396-004: A New Presidency and the Press 
  • COMM-409: Journalism Ethics 
  • COMM-420: Topics in News Media: Intro to Media Entrepreneurship
  • COMM-426: Sports Writing and Reporting 
  • COMM-443: Foreign Policy and the Press
  • COMM-490: Independent Study 
  • COMM-491: Senior Professional Internship
  • COMM-496: Topics: Playful City 
  • COMM-496: Topics: Communication, Copyright, and Culture 
  • COMM-509: Politics and the Media 
  • COMM-514: Censorship and the Media 
  • COMM-560: Backpack Documentary (Hybrid) 

Skills for Print Journalism

  • COMM-260: Quant Methods & Data Visualization 
  • COMM-325: Feature Article Writing 
  • COMM-330: Principles of Photography 
  • COMM-418: Data Driven Journalism 
  • COMM-426: Sports Writing and Reporting 
  • COMM-491: Senior Professional Internship 
  • COMM-567: Communication and Social Change 
  • COMM-521: Opinion Writing 
  • COMM-560: Backpack Documentary (Hybrid)

Media Studies for Print Journalism

  • COMM-270: How News Media Shape History 
  • COMM-275: Dissident Media
  • COMM-359: Decisive Moments in Communication 
  • COMM-365: Digital Media and Cultura 
  • COMM-396-001: Race, Gender and Sexuality in Media
  • COMM-396-003: Raking the Muck 
  • COMM-396-004: A New Presidency and the Press 
  • COMM-409: Journalism Ethics 
  • COMM-420: Topics in News Media: Intro to Media Entrepreneurship 
  • COMM-443: Foreign Policy and the Press 
  • COMM-490: Independent Study 
  • COMM-496: Topics: Playful City 
  • COMM-496: Topics: Communication, Copyright, and Culture 
  • COMM-504: Journalism Ethics 
  • COMM-509: Politics and the Media 
  • COMM-514: Censorship and the Media

Skills

  • COMM-105: Visual Literacy
  • COMM-310: Public Speaking
  • COMM-330: Principles of Photography
  • COMM-387: Strat Comm and Event Management
  • COMM-408: Social Media Strategies and Tactics
  • COMM-420-002: Strat Comm and Content Creation
  • COMM-521: Opinion Writing

Media Studies

  • COMM-365: Digital Media and Culture
  • COMM-401: Communication Law
  • COMM-4212: Social Documentary
  • COMM-509: Politics and the Media
  • COMM-533: Ethics in Strategic Communication

Human Communication

No courses offered this semester.

The Practice of Public Relations

  • COMM_439: Political Communication
  • COMM-441: Crisis Communication
  • COMM-481: Entertainment Communication

Advanced Skills and Strategies

  • COMM-105: Visual Literacy
  • COMM-310: Public Speaking
  • COMM-330: Principles of Photography
  • COMM-387: Strat Comm and Event Management
  • COMM-391: Communication Careers Internship
  • COMM-408: Social Media Strategies and Tactics
  • COMM-420-002: Strat Comm and Content Creation
  • COMM-422: Writing/Editing for Convergent Media
  • COMM-490: Independent Study
  • COMM-491: Senior Professional Internship
  • COMM-521: Opinion Writing
  • COMM-542: Media Relations

Advanced Topics and Specialities

  • COMM-359: Decisive Moments in Communication
  • COMM-365: Digital Media and Culture
  • COMM-396: Race, Gender and Sexuality in the Media
  • COMM-401: Communication Law
  • COMM-412: Social Documentary
  • COMM-439: Political Communication
  • COMM-441: Crisis Communication
  • COMM-481: Entertainment Communication
  • COMM-490: Independent Study
  • COMM-496-003: Playful City
  • COMM-509: Politics and the Media
  • COMM-533: Ethics in Strategic Communication
  • COMM-567: Communication and Social Change

Spring 2018

Skills

  • COMM-105: Visual Literacy
  • COMM-291: Communication Field Experience (1 credit)
  • COMM-330: Principles of Photography
  • COMM-385: Digital Audio Production
  • COMM-391: Communication Careers Internship (2 credits)
  • COMM-418: Data Driven Journalism
  • COMM-419: In-depth Journalism
  • COMM-420-007: Storytelling with Emerging Media
  • COMM-420-008: Fundamentals of News Design
  • COMM-420-009: The Design of Play
  • COMM-422: Writing for Convergent Media
  • COMM-428: Advanced Television and Video Production
  • COMM-432: Backpack Video Journalism
  • COMM-438: NBC 4 Broadcast Operations (1credit)
  • COMM-491: Senior Professional Internship
  • COMM-544: Foreign Correspondence
  • COMM-588: Race, Ethnic, and Community Reporting

Media Studies

  • COMM-270: How News Media Shape History
  • COMM-280: Contemporary Media in Global Society
  • COMM-324: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Media
  • COMM-326: Sports Journalism
  • COMM-365: Digital Media and Culture
  • COMM-411: History of Documentary
  • COMM-415: Children, Youth, and Digital Culture
  • COMM-490: Independent Study
  • COMM-496: Topics: Playful City
  • COMM-503: Broadcast and Multimedia Journalism Management
  • AWST-396: Media on and of the Arab World

Film and Media Studies

  • COMM-324: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Media
  • COMM-365: Digital Media & Culture
  • COMM-408: Social Media Strategies and Tactics
  • COMM-411: History of Documentary
  • COMM-413: Producing Film and Video
  • COMM-415: Children, Youth, and Digital Culture
  • COMM-416: Topics in Film and Media Arts: History of International Cinema
  • COMM-468: Musical Cultures and Industries
  • COMM-477: History of Photography
  • COMM-503: broadcast and Multimedia Journalism Management
  • COMM-524: Producing Environmental & Wildlife Films
  • COMM-564 Documentary Storytelling for Social Change
  • COMM-569: Executive Suite
  • WGSS-350: Gay and Lesbian Documentary

Intermediate

  • COMM-434: Film & Video Production II
  • COMM-435: Introduction to Studio Television
  • COMM-454: Motion Graphics and Effects I
  • AWST-396: Media on and off the Arab World

Advanced

  • COMM-291: Communication Field Experience (1 credit)
  • COMM-391: Communication Career Internship (2 credit)
  • COMM-420-007: Storytelling with Emerging Media
  • COMM-420-009: The Design of Play
  • COMM-420-010: Designing Health Games
  • COMM-438: Creative Sound Techniques
  • COMM-456: Dramatic Production
  • COMM-463: Techniques/Aesthetics Editing
  • COMM-464: Directing for Camera
  • COMM-478: Large Format/ Commercial Photography
  • COMM-483: Advanced Writing for Documentary
  • COMM-486: Documentary Production
  • COMM-490: Independent Study
  • COMM-491: Senior Professional Internship
  • COMM-544: Foreign Correspondents
  • COMM-560: Backpack Documentary (Taught in Spanish)

Public Relations and Strategic Communication

Advanced Skills and Strategies

  • COMM-105 Visual Literacy
  • COMM-291 Communication Field Experience (1 credit)
  • COMM-310 Public Speaking
  • COMM-330 Principles of Photography
  • COMM-388 Collaboration and Team Communication
  • COMM-391 Communication Careers Internship (2 credits)
  • COMM-408 Social Media Strategies and Tactics
  • COMM-420-001 Strategic Communication and Content Creation
  • COMM-420-002 Using Digital Data for Strategic Communication
  • COMM-420-006 Design of Play
  • COMM-420-010 Designing Health Games
  • COMM-422 Writing/Editing for Convergent Media
  • COMM-458 Strategic Communication Campaigns: Advertising Lab
  • COMM-490 Independent Study
  • COMM-491 Senior Professional Internship
  • COMM-496-001 Media Pitching Skills and Certification (1 credit)
  • COMM-543 Speechwriting
  • COMM-551 Grassroots Digital Advocacy
  • COMM-573 Visual Strategies in Public Relations

Advanced Topics and Specialties

  • COMM-324 Race, Gender and Sexuality in the Media
  • COMM-327 The PR Presidency
  • COMM-360 Myths of the Media
  • COMM-365 Digital Media and Culture
  • COMM-401 Communication Law
  • COMM-415 Children, Youth, and Digital Culture
  • COMM-420-003 Reputation Management
  • COMM-441 Crisis Communication
  • COMM-449 International Strategic Communication
  • COMM-481 Entertainment Communication
  • COMM-490 Independent Study
  • COMM-533 Ethics in Strategic Communication
  • COMM-537 Sports Communication
  • COMM-540 Social Marketing
  • COMM-564 Documentary Storytelling for Social Change (email SOC advisor for permission)
  • COMM-580 Strategic Health Communication

Hours Outside of SOC

Journalism and Public Relations and Strategic Communication majors are required to complete 72 credit hours of course work outside the School of Communication. Anything that does not have the COMM prefix will count.

All SOC majors except Foreign Language and Communication Media majors are required to take one U.S. History course from the following list:

  • HIST-130 History of American Popular Culture
  • HIST-205 American Encounters: 1492-1865 (FA2)
  • HIST-206 U.S. History since 1865
  • HIST-208 African-American History: to 1877
  • HIST-209 African-American History: 1877 to Present
  • HIST-210 Ethnicity in America (FA4)
  • HIST-215 Social Forces That Shaped America (FA2)
  • HIST-219 Women in America to 1850
  • HIST-220 Women in America since 1850 (FA4)
  • HIST-235 West in Crisis, 1900-1945 (FA2)
  • HIST-288 Oliver Stone's America

All Journalism majors are required to take one Economics course. Journalism majors can choose from:

  • ECON-100
  • ECON-110
  • ECON-200

All Public Relations and Strategic Communication, Film and Media Arts, and Communication Studies majors are required to take either one economics course or MKTG-250. Students in these majors can choose from:

  • ECON-100
  • ECON-110
  • ECON-200
  • MKTG-250

For majors in Communication Studies, Film and Media Arts, Journalism, and Public Relations and Strategic Communication, a minor or second major outside the School of Communication is required. Students should discuss with their SOC academic advisor how much room they have in their graduation plan in order to assist in their decision whether to pursue a minor or second major. See the minors offered at AU.

Frequently Asked Questions

12 credit hours of communication courses may be transferred in prior to matriculation at AU and counted toward SOC major requirements, with SOC academic advisor approval. 2 communication courses, worth a total of 6 credit hours, may be taken abroad with prior approval from your SOC academic advisor. Refer to the Transfer Articulation Equivalency page to see if your courses will transfer. 

School of Communication students are required to maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.50 in order to enroll in Communication courses at the 300 level or above. 

Students who earn a cumulative grade point average between 2.00 - 2.49 will be placed on academic warning and are required to meet with their academic advisor to develop a plan for raising their cumulative grade point average to a minimum 2.50. If students do not raise their cumulative GPA to a minimum 2.5 after one semester, they will be placed on academic probation and may face eventual academic dismissal. Students have the option of changing their major to one outside the School of Communication. In addition to meeting with their academic advisors and instructors, students should visit the Academic Support and Access Center to utilize academic support services.