Frequently Asked Questions

Communication Studies FAQs

What is Communication Studies?

Information about the Communication Studies Major

General Advising Information

What is Communication Studies?

  • What is the difference between Communications and Communication Studies?Communications courses focus on telecommunications: radio, television, and film primarily. UNC Charlotte does not have a telecommunications program. Communication Studies courses focus on the ways in which humans communicate with one another in all of its forms.
  • What can I expect to learn in Communication Studies?Students will learn to critically analyze and evaluate communication practices while applying practical oral, written, and visual communication skills and knowledge. Our undergraduate program provides students with an examination of communication theory, practices and processes in a variety of contexts, from interpersonal, group, organizational, public and electronically mediated communication.
  • What kinds of job opportunities are there with a Communication Studies degree?Communication Studies provides a general liberal arts education that is valued by many employers, and, like other liberal arts majors, it opens the door to a wide array of careers. Communication Studies majors pursue careers in areas such as human resources, public relations, law, business, teaching, advertising, the health field, journalism, theater, social work, and ministry among many other fields.

Information about the Communication Studies Major

Once a Pre Communication Student, students will be assigned an advisor in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  Pre Communication students cannot declare the Upper Division of Communication Studies as a major until all introductory requirements have posted to a student’s academic transcript.  Once introductory requirements have posted to a student’s transcript, he or she is eligible to use the Online Communication Studies Change of Major Application to drop Pre Communication and add Communication Studies as a major.  

  • What are the minimum credits that I must meet for graduation with a degree in Communication Studies?The program leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies is a 120 semester hour program, including 54 hours in CORE, concentration, and related coursework requirements in the major, and 32-53 hours in General Education requirements for the baccalaureate degree. A cumulative GPA of 2.0 and the completion of all communication courses and course work (general education) with a GPA of 2.0 or above are required for graduation.
  • How do I apply to become a Communication Studies major?
  • ·       Each student changing or considering changing his or her major to Pre-Communication (PCOM) status is required to send an email to commstudiesadvising@uncc.edu and request an online orientation.  In the email, students must include the following:
    (include your name, student ID number, and the following statement,
    “I would like to request an online orientation to add Pre Communication Studies as a major).
    **Eligibility to declare Pre Communications
    .  Students must have a cumulative 2.0 GPA in order to request the online orientation and declare Pre Communication Studies as a major.

    ·       Once a Pre Communication Student, students will be assigned an advisor in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  Pre Communication students cannot declare the Upper Division of Communication Studies as a major until all introductory requirements have posted to a student’s academic transcript.  Once introductory requirements have posted to a student’s transcript, he or she is eligible to use the Online Communication Studies Change of Major Application to drop Pre Communication and add Communication Studies as a major.  

  • What is Pre-Communication status?Pre-Communication (PCOM) status is the major status declared by students prior to qualifying to declare Communication Studies as their major. Pre-Communication status allows students to register for the introductory courses of COMM 1101, COMM 2100, JOUR 2100, and JOUR 2160. Students are NOT eligible to take any of the CORE or required TRACK courses while in PCOM status.
  • When can I change my status from Pre-Communications to Communication Studies?Students may declare the Communication Studies major once the following introductory requirements are met and are reflected on the academic transcript:
    • A “C” or higher in COMM 1101 – Public Speaking
    • A “C” or higher in COMM 2100 – Introduction to Communication Theory
    • A “C” or higher in STAT 1220, 1221, or 1222
    • Cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher
    • Completion of the Foreign Language Requirement
      • Either the 2XXX in a Latin Alphabet based language or the 1202 level in a non Latin alphabet based language.
      • *2XXX- level languages include: French, German, Italian, Latin, Portuguese, Spanish, American Sign Language (American Sign Language is not offered at UNC Charlotte)
      • *1202 level languages include: Chinese, Greek, Japanese, Russian, Arabic, Hebrew
      • Once introductory requirements have posted to a student’s transcript, he or she is eligible to use the Online Communication Studies Change of Major Application to drop Pre Communication and add Communication Studies as a major.  
  • I am Pre-Communication status, what are my available options for taking courses? Students are NOT eligible to take any of the CORE or REQUIRED TRACK communication courses while in PCOM status. Thus PCOM students can take the types of courses listed below:
    • Prerequisite courses (COMM 1101, 2100, STAT 1220/1221/1222)
    • Foreign language courses
    • General Education
    • Track electives (Refer to your specific track sheet for a list of courses)
    • Related course work (Refer to your specific track sheet for a list of courses)
    • Free elective hours needed to reach 120 earned hours required for graduation
  • What are the foreign language requirements for the Communications Department?
    • Completion of the Foreign Language Requirement
      • Either the 2XXX in a Latin Alphabet based language or the 1202 level in a non Latin alphabet based language.
      • *2XXX- level languages include: French, German, Italian, Latin, Portuguese, Spanish, American Sign Language (American Sign Language is not offered at UNC Charlotte)
      • *1202 level languages include: Chinese, Greek, Japanese, Russian, Arabic, Hebrew
  • According to my advising transcript, I am exempt from a foreign language. Does that mean that I am exempt from the Communication Studies department’s foreign language requirement? No. You will still need to complete the 2XXX-level course in a language that uses the Latin alphabet. Your advising transcript says that you are exempt is because you completed 3 or more years in that specific foreign language in high school. This exemption means that you are exempt up to the 1202 level in the foreign language and have satisfied the College for Liberal Arts and Studies General Education requirements. Thus, all you would need to complete for the Communication Studies requirement would be the 2XXX level.
  • Where and when can I take my Foreign Language Proficiency Test?The Language and Cultural Studies Department in College of Education 427 regularly offers proficiency exams. Their phone number is 704‑687‑8754.
  • Where and when can I take my Math Placement Exam?We strongly suggest students take the Math Placement Test during S.O.A.R. or in the Math Department in Fretwell 376 in order to register for any math course at UNC Charlotte. The phone number for the Math Department is 704‑687‑2580.
  • How do I get permission to take classes at another school during the summer?If you want to take a course at another institution, and transfer the credit to UNC Charlotte, you must first complete a Permit for Transient Study Form. This form is available online and through the Registrar’s Office.  You will first need to list the course that you plan to take at the other institution, and then you will need to go to the department at UNC Charlotte that offers the course for signature.  Students who are enrolled full time at UNC Charlotte during the academic year (fall and/or spring semesters) will not be approved for transient study.
    • The Department may request a course description or syllabus from you, in order to determine the equivalent UNC Charlotte course.
    • You would then bring the form to the Department of Communication Studies for the signature of the Undergraduate Coordinator, Ms. Carol Leeman.  Once signed, you will need to deliver the form to the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Office in Fretwell 430, for final approval by the Associate Dean of Student Services.
    • Once you have completed the course, you will also need to request that a copy of your transcript from the institution be sent to the UNC Charlotte Registrar.
  • Can I bypass prerequisites for a course? No, students are not allowed to bypass prerequisites.

General Advising Information

  • How do I find out who my advisor is? First you want to Log into 49er Express
    • Click on “Banner Self-Service”
    • Click on “Student Services/Student Accounts”
    • Click on “Student Records”
    • Click on "General Student Record"
  • When can I see an advisor?Academic advising appointments are available during the academic year. Contact your advisor for available advising options during summer terms. 
  • How do I make appointments with my Advisor?Each advisor schedules his or her own advising appointments. To schedule an academic advising appointment, students should contact their academic advisor. Some advisors use Starfish to schedule advising appointments, check with your advisor to see if they use this system. Starfish appointments can be scheduled under the "My Success Network" tab
  • What is Starfish?An online tool that allows students to schedule appointments with their academic advisor(s).
  • Will my advisor register me for my courses?No, you must register through 49er Express.
  • I have general questions about Communication Studies advising that I need help with right now. Where do I go?  You can email commstudiesadvising@uncc.edu.  To get answers about general questions about the program, declaration procedures, etc. However, specific student record questions, such as class registration, need to be addressed by your assigned academic advisor.
  • How do I have a hold (flag) removed from my record?This will depend on what type of hold is on your record.  Some are for outstanding fees, others are to inform you that advising is required before you can register for courses.  First, check the type of hold(s) you have by using Banner Self-Service, and then contact the department to which it is related.22. What is Academic Probation?You are placed on academic probation when your cumulative GPA falls below a 2.0.
  • What should I do if I have been suspended?Visit the Registrar's website for FAQs about Academic Suspension.
  • What does it mean to withdraw from a course?You will not earn credit for that course and will have a “W” on your grade report. See the University Academic Calendar for deadlines. You should meet with an advisor before withdrawing from a course.
  • Where will I go for General Education academic advising?Go to the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Advising Center (Fretwell 324) for your general education check. You can also view the General Education website.
  • How many credit hours do I need to graduate?You must earn a minimum of 120 credit hours for any bachelor’s degree.