The interdisciplinary major in Communication Studies requires 10 courses including two foundational communication courses (COM 101 and COM 201), a methods course, a total of six elective courses, and a capstone or thesis project that serves as the culmination of the major. Students interested in pursuing the one-semester capstone will complete the major with 10 courses, and students pursuing the two-semester thesis will complete the major with 11 course credits. The two required courses provide a breadth foundation of knowledge pertaining to the discipline of Communication Studies. These courses must be taken at Davidson College and cannot be applied as transfer credits from another institution.
I. Required Courses (2)
- COM 101 - Principles of Oral Communication
- COM 201 - Introduction to Communication Studies
II. Methods Course (1)
The methods course should be completed no later than the fall semester of the senior year because the methods course informs the senior capstone and thesis planning. Students must choose from the following approved list of methodology courses that fulfill this requirement:
• COM 202 - Methods in Rhetorical Criticism
• ANT 372 - Visual Anthropology
• SOC 390 - Qualitative Research Methods
• PBH 250 - Methods in Health & Research
• ECO 105 - Statistics and Basic Econometrics
• MAT 104 or 105 - Introduction to Statistics
• POL 182 - Introduction to Political Science Research Methods
• PSY 300 - Research Design and Statistics: 2*
• SOC 201 - Social Statistics
• SOC 391 - Survey Methodology
• SOC 392 - Quantitative Data Analysis
Note: PSY 300 is the second in the two-part statistics course sequenc
III. Elective Courses (6)
• Four courses from the Courses Within Communication Studies list below.
• Two courses from the Courses Outside Communication Studies list below
IV. Capstone or Thesis (1 or 2)
- COM 495 - Capstone
- COM 496 - Thesis I (Fall)
- COM 497 - Thesis II (Spring)
The capstone is a one-semester project. The thesis spans two semesters. Those majors who meet the GPA requirements are eligible for honors if they pursue the thesis option. See the next section about earning honors and high honors.
To qualify for honors at graduation, a student must: • have a 3.5 GPA or higher in the major • have a 3.2 or higher overall GPA • elect to pursue a senior thesis 4 If a student meets the requirements for honors, they may be eligible for high honors upon successful completion of a senior thesis that earns an A- or higher grade.
- No more than two courses at the 100-level may count towards the major.
- No more than one independent study course may count towards the major.
- A maximum of two courses may count towards both the COM major and a second major or minor.
- No more than two courses taken from an institution other than Davidson may count towards the major. Once the Registrar has granted transfer credit, students may petition the Communication Studies department to approve transfer courses for the major
- Careful course planning is important to all Communication Studies majors, particularly those who plan to study abroad.