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The CAS Major and Minors

The Department of Communication Arts and Sciences offers a major for students who seek to understand how to craft, analyze, and study messages that unfold in personal, professional, public, and global contexts.  The Department also offers five minors that supplement a variety of majors by helping students to understand the complexity of communication as it applies to their major field of study.  While some university majors offer the vocational expertise that can open the door to a career, a degree in communication opens many doors and helps you walk through any doorway with confidence. 

What are the requirements for the major?

Majors are encouraged to take CAS 101 Introduction to Human Communication. Three core courses are required: CAS 201 (GH) Rhetorical Theory, CAS 202 (GS) Communication Theory, and CAS 204 Communication Research Methods. To complete the major, students need to enroll in 18 more credits of CAS courses: one 200-level course, one 300- or 400-level course, and four 400-level courses.

To learn more about the major's requirements you can meet with our Undergraduate Advisor and review the major's requirements in the University Bulletin


What will I learn as a CAS major?

Our undergraduate mission is developing students’ capacity to a) communicate effectively across relationships, contexts, and media, and b) critically analyze communication in ways that promote insight and improve outcomes. Upon completion of their program, undergraduate students of the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences will demonstrate:

  • Appreciation for the significance of communication in everyday experience and as a distinctive intellectual paradigm
  • Ability to understand, apply, critique, and extend communication concepts, principles, theories, and perspectives
  • Skill at communication inquiry, including humanistic and social scientific approaches
  • Logical, critical, creative, and ethical thinking about communication for decision-making and problem-solving
  • Competency at generating and performing messages appropriate to their audience, purpose and context
  • Facility with locating, synthesizing, and assimilating new information from a variety of sources and using it to inform communication analysis and practice;
  • Interest, understanding, and capacity to engage diverse communities, both local and global, and to function as a member of a deliberative society.


What class should I take to learn more about CAS?

There are many classes at the 100 and 200 level that offer an introduction to the exciting topics addressed within the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences.  For a specific introduction to our department, we recommend you consider CAS 101: Introduction to Human Communication.


Why Major or Minor in Communication Arts & Sciences?

In 2007, five Communication scholars reflected on the discipline of Communication and its relevance for daily life. This essay has been republished here.  The major take away points are:

  • Good communication matters – in your personal life or your professional life, being able to communicate well reaps benefits for you over and over again.
  • Good communication enables engaged citizenship – when you want to contribute in a positive way in your community or take a stand on an issue that matters to you, communication helps you to be effective.
  • Communication creates relationships – between people, among team members, with coworkers, within communities, and between nations.
  • Good communication doesn’t just happen – it comes from thoughtful, precise planning and a deep understanding of how communication works (or doesn’t work).
  • Communication doesn’t just transmit information, it creates reality – communication wisdom is about understanding the worldviews created by communication choices and making informed, reflective, and ethical choices.
  • Communication is the bridge between the individual and society – psychology teaches you how individuals work, sociology teaches you how societies work, history teaches you how the past shaped the present; communication teaches you how individuals live in their societies and shape the future.


What minors does CAS offer?

There are a variety of minors housed by CAS.  They serve as great supplements to a wide array of majors.  To add a minor, follow these steps:

  1. Obtain an Entrance to a Minor form any advising office, and complete all parts of the form.
  2. Read the minor page carefully to ensure that you have selected required and recommended courses.
  3. Meet with your Major advisor to review your form.
  4. After your form is complete, have your advisor sign the form.
  5. Drop the form off in the main office (234 Sparks).
You can explore these links to learn about the minors offered through the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences.