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Degree: BA

Campus: Columbus

College: Arts and Sciences

There is no greater tool in the world than successful communication in all forms—written, spoken and conceptual. The Ohio State University’s School of Communication provides students with the training and skills to harness the power of communication. The program emphasizes the power and influence of communication on society and equips students with practical and analytical skills and knowledge related to communication principles—how to understand audiences, shape messages and interact with individuals and technologies. Graduates of the program have a broad knowledge of contemporary communication challenges and are equipped to apply their knowledge and understanding to a variety of practical situations. 

Upon admission to the university, students interested in the communication major typically begin in the pre-major program in the School of Communication. As pre-majors, students complete introductory course work that prepares them to apply to the major. To be considered for admission to the major and specialization, students must complete two pre-major courses, COMM 1100 and COMM 1101, and earn a grade of C- or better in both. Find pre-major information at

Admission to the communication major is competitive and based on cumulative grade point average, pre-major course completion and enrollment capacity. Select first-year students at the Columbus campus are offered direct admission to the major program based on their high school academic profile. Eligibility is deter­mined during the Ohio State Undergraduate Admissions application process and eligible students are notified by the School of Communication by April 15.

Students pursuing a communication major will complete a specialization within one of three areas of study: communication analysis and engagement, communication technology, or strategic communication. Each specialization is comprised of 34–35 credit hours of course work.

Students in all three areas of study will take communication research methods along with an experiential learning course, which are critical foundations for careers in communication. Remaining courses in the major are chosen from those that define the various specializations, including electives that allow students to take course work to broaden their knowledge in communication issues.

Communication students can earn academic credit for communication or news-related experiences through COMM 4191. Students have interned at a variety of businesses and organizations, including media outlets (news stations, radio, magazines and newspapers), sports organizations, health care establishments, nonprofit organizations, public relations and marketing firms, political groups and organizations, local businesses, and Ohio State.

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High-ability communication students may be interested in the College of Arts and Sciences Honors Program. In this program, students construct an enhanced curriculum of rigorous honors and upper-division courses and course sequences, honors seminars, and a minor or second major. 

Students may also be interested in the Media, Marketing and Communication Scholars program. This program focuses on communication in our society and the critical role of technology in today’s world. Students can explore careers through internships with practicing professionals in fields such as news production, media management, advertising and public relations.

The School of Communication has leading researchers in the areas of health communication, public opinion, political communication, communication technology and mass media effects. Students can get involved in the research programs of faculty and graduate students as undergraduate research assistants.

The following student organizations are associated with the School of Communication and advised by its faculty:

  • The Society of Professional Journalists student chapter at Ohio State has existed for more than 100 years. The purpose of this organization is to be a forum for intellectual exchange about issues related to journalism and mass communication. Student chapters seek to foster relationships between professionals and future journalists. 
  • The National Association of Black Journalists - Ohio State is a professional organization and advocacy group that seeks to support the experiences and advancement of journalists of color and media professionals globally. This organization is also appropriate for those who have an interest in telling the stories of marginalized communities.
  • The Public Relations Student Society of America meets biweekly to hold educational programs, visit local and regional public relations firms and media outlets, and provide opportunities for social interaction with students of like interests and career goals. 
  • The PRactice is a PRSSA-accredited, student-run public relations firm that provides a professional environment for students to excel and learn skills pertaining to the public relations industry.
  • Kappa Tau Alpha is an honorary for students planning careers in journalism and mass communication. Kappa Tau Alpha supports and promotes the academic achievement of its members and sponsors two annual scholarships for journalism and communication students at Ohio State. 
  • The Black Advertising & Strategic Communication Association is a partnership between students, faculty and professionals intended to develop and prepare students of color for careers in advertising, public relations and marketing.

Students in communication technology are prepared for careers as managers of technology-based communication campaigns, social media specialists, usability analysts, online content developers, and web and multimedia designers.

Graduates of strategic communication train for careers in business and management or as communication specialists in organizations. They can find careers as public relations specialists, communication specialists, marketing, communication campaign and information managers, and as communication consultants.

Graduates from the communication analysis and engagement specialization are prepared to become critical thinkers and effective problem solvers for careers in both the public and private
sectors, such as in business management, government relations, or as communication specialists in a health or political organization. The specialization also provides excellent preparation for graduate school or law school.

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The School of Communication offers more than $100,000 annually in scholarships and awards to its undergraduate students. The average award is between $1,000 and $2,000. Students are recognized for their achievements each spring by faculty and staff at a scholarship award ceremony.

Interested in a business career?

Check out the Business Pathway to discover the many majors Ohio State offers that can lead to a career in business.