Office: 326 McEwen Hall

(716) 673-4279

Roslin Smith, Chairperson



Communication relates to how individuals, groups, organizations, societies, and cultures may establish humane and productive relationships in expressing needs, mediating problems, and pursuing goals. It is one of the oldest areas of academic study and, because of the transformation of personal and social life by the growth of media technologies, a central discipline. Students approach processes, practices and distortions involved in human communication from a critical perspective, and integrate application and theory throughout the curriculum.

The Department of Communication offers majors in Audio Production, Communication Studies, Journalism, Media Management, Public Relations, and Digital Film Production. The department also offers a minor in Communication.

Graduates of the program have successful careers in corporate and public settings and working in media at all levels. Communication students have also continued their education in graduate programs and law schools around the country. Students are encouraged to supplement their academic work with participation in applied activities, including the Sheldon Multimedia Computer Lab, the campus radio stations (WCVF-FM and WDVL Cable/FM), the campus television station (WNYF-TV), the campus newspaper (The Leader), the Applied Communication Association (ACA) which provides communication services to the community, the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and off-campus internships.

The department offers several awards and scholarships including the Louis C. and S. David Adler Scholarship; the Anne Bernstein Memorial Award; the Edward S. Edelman Scholarship; the Anthony J. Ellis Scholarship; the Arthur R. Maytum Scholarship; the Dan Berggren Excellence in Audio/Radio Scholarship; the Arlie Muller Parks Scholarship; the Richard G. and Pamela C. Ryan Endowment Scholarship Fund; Chilberg Applied Communication Award; Kathleen McDonough Scholarship; Ann Reynolds Carden Public Relations STAR Scholarship and Schwalbe International Scholarship.  This last award is not restricted to communication students, as it is designed to help students studying abroad at Fredonia.  

Internal Transfers: Students seeking to transfer into the Department of Communication from another department must have a 2.0 or above cumulative grade point average (GPA) to be eligible. If the student’s GPA is 3.0 or greater, he/she will be automatically admitted. If the GPA is below 2.0, the student must successfully complete a minimum of six credits of Fredonia Communication course work in their desired major. Grades in each COMM course must be C or above and the cumulative GPA in COMM courses must be above 2.5. Unless taken at another university, COMM 101- Fundamentals of Communication must be one of the above courses completed. An internal application form (available from the department office) must be completed and returned to the office in order for the application request to be processed.

Requirements for the Bachelor's Degree in Communication

Major Requirements: Students in the department may obtain a bachelor's degree in one of the following majors:

A major program in the Department of Communication requires 40 to 47 credit hours of study including 7 credit hours of core courses required by every student in the department and 33 to 39 credit hours of courses in the individual major. Students must complete 45 upper-level credit hours of course work from disciplines other than communication. This may include non-communication courses taken from other universities.

Department of Communication Minimum Standards Policy

Students in any of the communication majors must earn at least a C grade in all courses in the major. This includes all courses taken as part of the major including those in the department core (101, 105, 199).

A student who receives a grade below C in a course may repeat that course only once. If a student does not achieve a C or better the second time, he/she will be required to change to a major outside of the Department of Communication.

If a course in the major is a prerequisite for another course in the major, the student will not be allowed to enroll in the second course if the grade in the prerequisite was less than a C. In addition, students must have, in order to graduate, a least a 2.5 average in the departmental core and in the rest of the courses in their chosen major. This does not include courses taken in the Department of Communication that do not apply to the student’s major.

Any student whose cumulative average in the major falls below 2.3 for three consecutive semesters in the department will be required to change to a major outside of the Department of Communication.

Double Major: Any student wishing to take a double major with both majors inside the Communication department must complete all requirements for both majors. Students should be aware that they may have to take more than 120 credit hours in order to accumulate the required 66 credit hours outside the department to graduate. At least 15 credits in the second major must not be used in the first major.

In addition, the department requires all students to declare and complete a minor or a semester studying abroad. The minor must be officially recognized by the offering department and be chosen in consultation with a Communication advisor. Students electing the study abroad option are required to complete a complimentary course at Fredonia chosen in consultation with their advisor.

Students who have dual majors with both majors inside the Communication department are still required to have a minor outside the department or meet the criteria for the study abroad option. A second major outside the Communication department will also satisfy this requirement.

On the occasion that the requirements for an outside major are the same as the CORE courses for a major within the Department of Communication (e.g. Arts Administration), students must complete all requirements for both majors. Students may "double-dip" one course that is required for both majors. If there is more than one duplicate course required, students must take one approved elective from the Communication major per each additional course required by the outside major. One or more of the electives must be 300/400 level.

Minor: The department requires all students to declare and complete a second major or minor outside the department, or a 15 credit hour semester study abroad. The minor must be officially recognized by the offering department (including Interdisciplinary Studies minors) and be chosen in consultation with a Department of Communication advisor. A second major outside the communication department will also satisfy the minor requirement. Students electing the study abroad option are required to complete a complementary 3 credit hour course at Fredonia and should consult the department's policies on appropriate overseas course work. International students, by virtue of studying at Fredonia, have already completed the study abroad/minor requirement.

Cross-using Courses for Minors: Certain minors include some communication courses that may fulfill course requirements for that minor. Students may use (double-dip) only one COMM course (maximum 4 credit hours) required for the Communication major to fulfill course requirements for the minor.

Substitutions in requirements for majors may be made only by approval of faculty members designated for the specific majors.  Special topics classes used to fulfill the requirements for majors must be approved by faculty members designated for the specific majors.

Course offerings and requirements for the majors may be changed. Students are urged to see the department for the latest requirements.