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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.

Current sophomores through seniors are assigned an advisor based on the first letter of their last name. First year students are assigned a first-year advisor. Appointments are 20 minutes and scheduled at least 12 hours in advance. Please click the drop-in tab above for information about drop in hours. Examples of topics that could be covered in an appointment include:

  • Declaring an SOC major and other major/minor related paperwork or questions
  • Registration 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

Advisors

Your advisor is assigned based on the first letter of your last name.

Kayla Reid (Formerly Ferguson)

Last Names: A-G
Temporary Advising Last Names: N-R

kaylaf@american.edu

Tara Flakker

Last Names: H-M
Temporary Advising Last Names: S-Z

flakker@american.edu

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.

Quick Start Advising Drop-in hours:
August 26th - September 9th
Monday - Friday: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. & 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.

 

Undergraduate Scholarships

There are a number of donor-funded named scholarships that are available to undergraduates currently enrolled in the School of Communication.

All scholarships require a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher, unless otherwise noted. Additional criteria are listed under each scholarship.

Learn More

Application NOW OPEN! 

Click here to apply.

Apply to be a peer advisor! 

Do you enjoy sharing what you know about student life and classes in SOC? Are you interested in working with other SOC students on academic planning? Seeking to improve interpersonal and leadership skills? Peer advising is a great opportunity to give back and volunteer for the SOC community.    

The Undergraduate Office of Academic Affairs is seeking 2019-2020 student volunteers for Peer Advising. Peer Advising intentionally connects SOC students with their peers for practical information sharing and mentoring related to academic planning. We are looking for students who can commit to holding weekly office hours, participate in panel discussions, and help promote SOC by assisting with various programming efforts. Empathy, patience and the desire to teach/guide are required.  

Please note that training will take place in September with committed office hours in October-November(Fall) and March-April (Spring). Students should plan to commit to a minimum of 4 hours a week to work with students between 11 and 2pm Monday thru Friday.  Additionally, be available for one hour per week group supervision to debrief the week’s work. 


Office Hours

Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

Quick Start Advising Drop-in Hours: 
August 26th - September 9th
Monday - Friday: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. & 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Office Location:
McKinley 104

Prospective students:

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

Required Major Course Options

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 2019

*for catalog year 2017 or earlier

History of Media Concentration

  • COMM-270: How the News Media Shaped History
  • COMM-359: Decisive Moments in Comm
  • COMM-391: Communication Careers Internship
  • COMM-401: Communication Law
  • COMM-409: Journalism Ethics
  • COMM-490 or COMM-491
  • COMM-514: Censorship and Media
  • COMM-533: Ethics in Strategic Communication

Media and Society Concentration

  • COMM-324 Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the 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-415: Children, Youth, and Digital Culture
  • COMM-420-004: Identity, Power, and Misrepresentation
  • COMM-443: Foreign Policy and the Press
  • COMM-490 or COMM-491
  • COMM-514: Censorship and Media
  • COMM-533: Ethics in Strategic Communication

Media and Government Concentration

  • 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-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-443: Foreign Policy and the Press
  • COMM-490 or COMM-491
  • COMM-514: Censorship and the Media

 

*for catalog year 2018 or later

skills

  • COMM-105: Visual Literacy
  • COMM-260: Quantitative Methods for Journalists 
  • COMM-282 Writing for Visual Media
  • COMM-291: Communication Field Experience
  • COMM-330: Principles of Photography
  • COMM-391: Communication Careers Internship
  • COMM-418: Data-Driven Journalism
  • COMM-491: Senior Professional Internship
  • COMM-567: Communication and Social Change

MEdia studies

  • COMM-209 Communication and Society
  • COMM-415: Children, Youth, and Digital Culture
  • COMM-439: Political Communicaiton
  • COMM-443: Foreign Policy and the Press
  • COMM-490: Independent Study
  • COMM-514: Censorship and Media

* For Catalog year 2017-2018 or earlier

Film and Media Studies

  • COMM-201 Survey of International Cinema
  • COMM-365: Digital Media & Culture
  • COMM-412: Social Documentary
  • COMM-413: Producing Film and Video
  • COMM-415: Children, Youth, and Digital Culture
  • COMM-416: Topics in FMA: Radical Image 
  • COMM-514: Censorship and Media
  • COMM-524: Producing Environmental & Wildlife Films
  • WGSS-350: Gay and Lesbian Documentary

Intermediate

  • COMM-434: Film & Video Production II
  • COMM-435: Television Studio Production
  • COMM-454: Motion Graphics and Effects I
  • COMM-479: Fine Art Photography

Advanced

  • COMM-455 Motion Compositing
  • 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 
  • COMM-568: Environmental & Wildlife Film Production

* For Catalog year 2018-2019 or later

history or Media Studies

  • COMM-201 Survey of International Cinema
  • COMM-365: Digital Media & Culture
  • COMM-412: Social Documentary
  • COMM-415: Children, Youth, and Digital Culture
  • COMM-416: Topics in FMA: Radical Image 
  • COMM-514: Censorship and Media
  • WGSS-350: Gay and Lesbian Documentary

production

  • COMM-291: Communication Field Experience
  • COMM-391: Communication Careers Internship
  • COMM-420: Designing Immersive Experiences
  • COMM-434: Film & Video Production II
  • COMM-435: Television Studio Production
  • COMM-454: Motion Graphics and Effects I
  • COMM-455 Motion Compositing
  • COMM-466: Advanced Writing for Film
  • COMM-474: The Business for Television
  • COMM-476: Photojournalism & Social Documentary
  • COMM-479: Fine Art Photography
  • COMM-490: Independent Study
  • COMM-491: Senior Professional Internship
  • COMM-524: Producing Environmental & Wildlife Films
  • COMM-560: Backpack Documentary 
  • COMM-567: Communication and Social Change
  • COMM-568: Environmental & Wildlife Film Production

writing

  • COMM-466: Writing the Feature Film 

 

 

Skills

  • COMM-105: Visual Literacy
  • COMM-291: Communication Field Experience
  • COMM-330: Principles of Photography
  • COMM-385: Digital Audio Production
  • COMM-391: Communication Careers Internship
  • COMM-418: Data Driven Journalism
  • COMM-420: Investigative Broadcast 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 

Media Studies

  • COMM-270: How News Media Shape History
  • COMM-324: Race, Gender and Sexuality in Media
  • COMM-359: Decisive Moments in Communication
  • COMM-365: Digital Media and Culture
  • COMM-420: Identity, Power, and Misrepresentation
  • COMM-420:Preparing for the Primaries
  • COMM-420: Reporting on Immigration 

  • COMM-443: Foreign Policy and the Press
  • COMM-490: Independent Study
  • 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

*for catalog year 2017 and earlier

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-387: Strat Comm and Event Management
  • COMM-388: Collaboration and Team Communication
  • COMM-391: Communication Careers Internship
  • COMM-408: Social Media Strategies and Tactics
  • COMM-420-001: Digital Communication Analytics and Certifications 
  • COMM-420-005: Strat Comm and Content Creation
  • COMM-490: Independent Study
  • COMM-491: Senior Professional Internship
  • COMM-521: Opinion Writing
  • COMM-542: Media Relations

Advanced Topics and Specialities

  • COMM-324: Race, Gender and Sexuality in the Media
  • COMM-359: Decisive Moments in Communication
  • COMM-365: Digital Media and Culture
  • COMM-401: Communication Law
  • COMM-412: Social Documentary
  • COMM-415: Children, Youth, and Digital Culture
  • COMM-420-004: Indentity, Power, and Misrepresentation
  • COMM-439: Political Communication
  • COMM-441: Crisis Communication
  • COMM-481: Entertainment Communication
  • COMM-490: Independent Study
  • COMM-533: Ethics in Strategic Communication
  • COMM-567: Communication and Social Change

 

*for catalog year 2018 or later

Topics and skills

  • COMM-310: Public Speaking
  • COMM-387: Strat Comm and Event Management
  • COMM-388: Collaboration and Team Communication
  • COMM-408: Social Media Strategies and Tactics
  • COMM-420-001: Digital Communication Analytics and Certifications 
  • COMM-420-005: Strat Comm and Content Creation
  • COMM-439: Political Communication
  • COMM-441: Crisis Communication
  • COMM-481: Entertainment Communication
  • COMM-490: Independent Study
  • COMM-533: Ethics in Strategic Communication
  • COMM-542: Media Relations
  • COMM-567: Communication and Social Change

ELECtives

  • COMM-105: Visual Literacy
  • COMM-291 Communication Field Experience (1 credit)
  • COMM-324: Race, Gender and Sexuality in the Media
  • COMM-330: Principles of Photography
  • COMM-365: Digital Media and Culture
  • COMM-391: Communication Careers Internship
  • COMM-415: Children, Youth, and Digital Culture
  • COMM-420-004: Identity, Power, and Misrepresentation
  • COMM-490: Independent Study
  • COMM-491: Senior Professional Internship
  • COMM-514: Censorship and Media
  • COMM-521: Opinion Writing

Spring 2019

Skills

  • COMM-105: Visual Literacy
  • COMM-291: Communication Field Experience (1 credit)
  • COMM-325: Feature Article Writing
  • COMM-330: Principles of Photography
  • COMM-391: Communication Careers Internship (2 credits)
  • COMM-417: Fundamentals of News Design
  • COMM-418: Data Driven Journalism
  • COMM-419: In-depth Journalism
  • COMM-420-002: Storytelling with Emerging Media
  • COMM-422: Writing for Convergent Media
  • COMM-428: Advanced Television and Video Production
  • COMM-432: Backpack Video Journalism
  • COMM-491: Senior Professional Internship (3 credits)
  • COMM-544: Foreign Correspondence
  • COMM-588: Race, Ethnic, and Community Reporting

Media Studies

  • COMM-270: How News Media Shape History
  • COMM-322: Raking the Muck
  • COMM-324: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Media
  • COMM-326: Sports Journalism
  • COMM-360 Myths of the Media
  • COMM-365: Digital Media and Culture
  • COMM-396: Fake News and Media Legitimacy
  • COMM-411: History of Documentary
  • COMM-490: Independent Study
  • COMM-503: Broadcast and Multimedia Journalism Management
  • COMM-538: Contemporary Media Issues

Film and Media Studies

  • COMM-201: History of International Cinema
  • 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-467: Comm, Copyright, and Culture
  • COMM-477: History of Photography
  • COMM-503: broadcast and Multimedia Journalism Management
  • COMM-524: Producing Environmental & Wildlife Films
  • COMM-569: Executive Suite

Intermediate

  • COMM-434: Film & Video Production II
  • COMM-435: Introduction to Studio Television
  • COMM-454: Motion Graphics and Effects I
  • COMM-528: Community Documentary

Advanced

  • COMM-291: Communication Field Experience (1 credit)
  • COMM-391: Communication Career Internship (2 credit)
  • COMM-420-002: Storytelling with Emerging Media
  • COMM-420-007: Designing Health Games

  • COMM-420-008: Immersive Filmmaking

  • COMM-420-009: Environmental Science and Filmmaking

  • COMM-438-001: Creative Sound Techniques

  • COMM-438-002: Cinematography & Lighting

  • COMM-438-004: Craft of Preproduction & Crewing (1 credit)

  • COMM-456: Dramatic Production
  • COMM-464: Directing for Camera
  • COMM-478: Advanced Portfolio: Large Format/ Commercial Photography
  • COMM-484: Advanced Writing for TV
  • COMM-486: Documentary Production
  • COMM-491: Senior Professional Internship
  • COMM-544: Foreign Correspondents

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-420-002 Storytelling with Emerging Media
  • COMM-420-004 Strategic Communication and Content Creation
  • COMM-420-006 Digital Communication Analytics and Certifications
  • COMM-420-010 Designing Health Games
  • COMM-458 Strategic Communication Campaigns: Advertising Lab
  • COMM-490 Independent Study
  • COMM-491 Senior Professional Internship
  • 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-360 Myths of the Media
  • COMM-365 Digital Media and Culture
  • COMM-401 Communication Law
  • COMM-420-001 Reputation Management
  • COMM-420-003 The Sixties in America
  • COMM-420-005 Taming Big Data
  • COMM-441 Crisis Communication
  • COMM-449 International Strategic Communication
  • COMM-481 Entertainment Communication
  • COMM-490 Independent Study
  • COMM-509 Politics and the Media
  • COMM-533 Ethics in Strategic Communication
  • COMM-537 Sports Communication
  • COMM-540 Social Marketing

History of the Media Concentration

  • COMM-270 How the News Media Shaped History
  • COMM-360 Myths of the Media
  • COMM-391 Communication Careers Internship (2 credits)
  • COMM-401 Communication Law
  • COMM-409 Journalism Ethics
  • COMM-411 History of Documentary
  • COMM-420-003 The Sixties in America
  • COMM-467 Comm, Copyright, and Culture
  • COMM-477 History of Photography
  • COMM-490 Independent Study
  • COMM-491 Senior Professional Internship
  • COMM-533 Ethics in Strategic Communication
  • COMM-538 Contemporary Media Issues

Media and Society Concentration

  • COMM-360 Myths of the Media
  • COMM-365 Digital Media and Culture
  • COMM-391 Communication Careers Internship (2 credits)
  • COMM-401 Communication Law
  • COMM-409 Journalism Ethics
  • COMM-411 History of Documentary
  • COMM-420-003 The Sixties in America
  • COMM-420-005 Taming Big Data
  • COMM-420-007 Designing Health Games
  • COMM-467 Comm, Copyright, and Culture
  • COMM-490 Independent Study
  • COMM-491 Senior Professional Internship
  • COMM-503 Broadcast and Multimedia Journalism Management
  • COMM-533 Ethics in Strategic Communication
  • COMM-538 Contemporary Media Issues

Media and the Government

  • COMM-360 Myths of the Media
  • COMM-365 Digital Media and Culture
  • COMM-391 Communication Career Internship (2 credits)
  • COMM-401 Communication Law
  • COMM-409 Journalism Ethics
  • COMM-420-003 The Sixties in America
  • COMM-467 Comm, Copyright, and Culture
  • COMM-490 Independent Study
  • COMM-491 Senior Professional Internship
  • COMM-509 Politics and the Media
  • COMM-533 Ethics in Strategic Communication
  • COMM-538 Contemporary Media Issues

International Media Concentration

  • COMM-360 Myths of the Media
  • COMM-391 Communication Careers Internship (2 credits)
  • COMM-420-005 Taming Big Data
  • COMM-420-007 Designing Health Games
  • COMM-449 International Strategic Communication
  • COMM-467 Comm, Copyright, and Culture
  • COMM-490 Independent Study
  • COMM-491 Senior Professional Internship
  • COMM-538 Contemporary Media Issues

Summer 2019

SKILLS:

  • COMM-291: Communication Field Experience
  • COMM-391: Communication Careers Internship
  • COMM-491: Senior Professional Internship

MEDIA STUDIES:

  • COMM-365: Digital Media Culture
  • COMM-420-001: Voice and Presentation Skills
  • COMM-443: Foreign Policy and the Press

MEDIA STUDIES:

COMM-365: Digital Media Culture

ADVANCED:

COMM-491: Senior Professional Internship 

 

 

Skills and Strategies

  • COMM-291 Communication Field Experience (1 credit)
  • COMM-310 Public Speaking
  • COMM-391 Communication Careers Internship (2 credits)
  • COMM-408 Social Media Strategies and Tactics
  • COMM-420-002 Strategic Communication and Content Creation
  • COMM-491 Senior Professional Internship (3 credits)
Topics and Specialties 
  • COMM-365 Digital Media and Culture
  • COMM-439 Political Communication
  • COMM-441 Crisis Communication

History of the Media

  • COMM-391 Communication Careers Internship (2 credits)
  • COMM-491 Senior Professional Internship (3 credits)
Media and Society
  • COMM-365 Digital Media and Culture
  • COMM-391 Communication Careers Internship (2 credits)
  • COMM-443 Foreign Policy and the Press
  • COMM-491 Senior Professional Internship (3 credits)
Media and the Government
  • COMM-365 Digital Media and Culture
  • COMM-391 Communication Careers Internship (2 credits)
  • COMM-439 Political Communication
  • COMM-443 Foreign Policy and the Press
  • COMM-491 Senior Professional Internship (3 credits)
International Media
  • COMM-391 Communication Careers Internship (2 credits)
  • COMM-443 Foreign Policy and the Press
  • COMM-491 Senior Professional Internship (3 credits)

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.