Tackle challenges as diverse as the world itself

Communication, in one form or another, has been a core part of the social sciences at Cornell since its founding. Students in the Department of Communication learn to understand audiences, shape messages and interact with individuals and technologies. Through the study of science, media and technology, you’ll develop essential skills for leading in the rapidly changing communication landscape.  

Major Requirements

A. Core Courses (13 credits)

  • COMM 1101 - Introduction to Communication (fall only)
  • COMM 1300 - Visual Communication (winter, spring, summer)
  • COMM 2010 - Oral Communication (fall, spring, summer)
  • COMM 2310 - Writing About Communication (fall, spring, summer)

B. Data Literacy Courses (7-8 credits)

  • COMM 2820 - Research Methods in Communication Studies (fall only)
  • Students must take a 3-4 credit introductory statistics class, such as PAM 2100, AEM 2100, ILRST 2100, etc. A transfer credit or a score of 5 in AP statistics is also acceptable as credit for this requirement. Students should consult with CALS Student Services to ensure they have the appropriate credit for this requirement.

C. Introduction to Concentration Courses (6 credits)

  • COMM 2200 - Media Communication (fall, summer) -- CMS
  • COMM 2450 - Communication and Technology (fall, summer) -- CAT
  • COMM 2760 - Persuasion and Social Influence (spring only) -- CSI
  • COMM 2850 - Communication, Environment, Science and Health (spring only) -- CESH

Students must take six credits (two courses) of coursework within their declared Concentration at the 3100+ level.

Students must complete 9 additional credit hours at the 3100+ level.* Electives can come from any of the Concentrations. A student may elect to fulfill 3 of these credit hours by taking a third Introduction to Concentration course. A maximum of 3 credits in either 4970 or 4990 (combined) can be counted toward the upper level major requirements. Refer to the Course and Time Roster for the most up-to-date offerings.

  • ANTHR/COGST/STS 4330 - How Do We Know Nature? Language, Knowledge and the Environment - CESH
  • COML/ENG/MUSIC/PMA 2703 - Thinking Media - CMS
  • COMM 2179 Survey Data in the Information Age - CSI, CAT
  • COMM 3100 Communication and Decision Making in Groups - CSI
  • COMM 3110 Educational Psychology - CSI
  • COMM 3150 Organizational Communication: Theory and Practice - CSI
  • COMM 3189 Taking America’s Pulse - CSI
  • COMM 3200 New Media and Society - CAT, CMS
  • COMM 3210 Communication and the Environment - CESH, CMS
  • COMM 3300 Media and Human Development - CESH, CAT, CMS, CSI
  • COMM 3350 Presenting Information Visually - CESH, CAT, CMS, CSI
  • COMM 3400 Personal Relationships and Technology - CAT, CSI
  • COMM 3450 Human Computer Interaction Design - CAT
  • COMM 3460 Crowds, Communities, and Technology - CAT, CSI
  • COMM 3560 Computing Cultures - CSI, CAT
  • COMM 3710 Crossing Cultures Through Film - CSI, CMS
  • COMM 3720 Intercultural Communication - CSI
  • COMM 3760 Planning Communication Campaigns - CSI, CMS, CESH
  • COMM 3800 Television in the Digital Age - CMS, CAT
  • COMM 4200 Public Opinion and Social Processes - CMS, CSI, CESH
  • COMM 4201 Information Policy: Research, Analysis, and Design - CSI
  • COMM 4220 Psychology of Entertainment Media - CAT, CESH, CMS
  • COMM 4250 Sports and the Media - CMS
  • COMM 4260 Gender & the Media - CMS
  • COMM 4280 Communication Law - CMS, CSI
  • COMM 4292 Sexual Identities and the Media - CMS
  • COMM 4300 Ethics in New Media, Technology and Communication - CESH, CAT, CMS, CSI
  • COMM 4350 Communicating Leadership and Ethics - CSI
  • COMM 4360 Communication Networks and Social Capital - CAT, CMS
  • COMM 4380 Communication in Virtual Worlds - CAT
  • COMM 4400 Advanced Human-Computer Interaction Design - CAT
  • COMM 4410 Communicating Self in Social Media - CAT
  • COMM 4450 Computer-Mediated Communication - CAT
  • COMM 4560 Community Involvement in Decision Making - CESH
  • COMM 4650 Mobile Communication in Public Life - CAT, CMS
  • COMM 4660 Public Communication of Science and Technology - CESH
  • COMM 4760 Population Health Communication - CESH, CSI
  • COMM 4800 Behavioral Science Interventions - CSI, CAT
  • COMM 4860 Risk Communication - CESH, CSI
  • COMM 4940 COMM Special Topics count ONLY if they are 3 credits (may be repeated if different topics): FALL 2020: Mindful Intercultural Communication - CSI
  • COMM 4970 COMM Individual Study ***
  • COMM 4990 COMM Independent Research***


* More 31XX+ courses may be added. COMM 2179 and COML/ENG/MUSIC/PMA 2703 are exceptions to this numbering system.
** A maximum of 3 credits in
either 4970 or 4990 (combined) can be counted toward the upper level major requirements.

Students may not use the following courses to complete this area:

  • COMM 2990 (Research – Freshman/Sophomore level)
  • Courses ranging from COMM 3000 through 3099
  • COMM 4580 (The Science of Behavior)
  • COMM 4950-4952 (NYCOMM, LACOMM and SiliCOMM)
  • COMM 4960 (Communication Internship - only 2 credits, one per internship, may count towards graduation)
  • COMM 4980 (TA - only 6 credits may count towards graduation)

COMM 3010: Narrative for Digital Media
COMM 3020: Science Writing for the Media
COMM 3030: Organizational Writing
COMM 3040: Writing and Editing for the Media
COMM 3060: Creating a Personal Brand
COMM 3070: Communicating for Impact: Developing Strategic Messages
COMM 3080: Environmental & Sustainability Communication
COMM 3090: Experiential Writing in the Yucatan
* All courses in the 30XX range count as a Practica

  • One First-Year Writing Workshop (FWS). (A score of 5 on the AP English Language exam is accepted.)

Minor Requirements

The Minor Program of Study in Communication gives students a balanced background in communication theory and practice.

** Declare the Communication Minor here**
Acceptance is automatic to the minor. If you complete the form, you are a listed a pursuing the minor until you let us know that you are no longer completing it. There is no penalty for lack of completion.

The minor consists of 22+ credit hours.

Students must complete:
COMM 1101: Introduction to Communication – Fall only

Two courses from the following, only one of which can be a writing course (2310 or 3000-3099):

  • COMM 1300: Visual Communication – Spring only
  • COMM 2010: Oral Communication
  • COMM 2310: Writing about Communication (Very limited spots for non-majors)
  • COMM 2820: Research Methods in Communication Studies – Fall only
  • COMM 3010: Writing and Producing the Narrative for Digital Media
  • COMM 3020: Science Writing for the Media
  • COMM 3030: Organizational Writing
  • COMM 3040: Writing and Editing for the Media
  • COMM 3060: Connecting Experience: Creating a Personal Brand and Implementing an ePortfolio
  • COMM 3070: Communicating Today: Creating Strategic Messages Across Media
  • COMM 3080: Environmental & Sustainability Communication
  • COMM 3090: Experiential Writing in the Yucatan: Environmental and Cultural Communication

One Introduction to the Concentration Course from the following:

  • COMM 2200: Media Communication – Fall & Summer only
  • COMM 2450: Communication and Technology – Fall & Summer only
  • COMM 2760: Persuasion and Social Influence – Spring only
  • COMM 2850: Communication, Environment, Science and Health – Spring only

Three Upper-Level Communication Courses from the following:

  • ANTHR/COGST/STS 4330 - How Do We Know Nature? Language, Knowledge and the Environment - CESH
  • COML/ENG/MUSIC/PMA 2703 - Thinking Media - CMS
  • COMM 2179 Survey Data in the Information Age - CSI, CAT
  • COMM 3100 Communication and Decision Making in Groups - CSI
  • COMM 3110 Educational Psychology - CSI
  • COMM 3150 Organizational Communication: Theory and Practice - CSI
  • COMM 3189 Taking America’s Pulse - CSI
  • COMM 3200 New Media and Society - CAT, CMS
  • COMM 3210 Communication and the Environment - CESH, CMS
  • COMM 3300 Media and Human Development - CESH, CAT, CMS, CSI
  • COMM 3350 Presenting Information Visually - CESH, CAT, CMS, CSI
  • COMM 3400 Personal Relationships and Technology - CAT, CSI
  • COMM 3450 Human Computer Interaction Design - CAT
  • COMM 3460 Crowds, Communities, and Technology - CAT, CSI
  • COMM 3560 Computing Cultures - CSI, CAT
  • COMM 3710 Crossing Cultures Through Film - CSI, CMS
  • COMM 3720 Intercultural Communication - CSI
  • COMM 3760 Planning Communication Campaigns - CSI, CMS, CESH
  • COMM 3800 Television in the Digital Age - CMS, CAT
  • COMM 4200 Public Opinion and Social Processes - CMS, CSI, CESH
  • COMM 4201 Information Policy: Research, Analysis, and Design - CSI
  • COMM 4220 Psychology of Entertainment Media - CAT, CESH, CMS
  • COMM 4250 Sports and the Media - CMS
  • COMM 4260 Gender & the Media - CMS
  • COMM 4280 Communication Law - CMS, CSI
  • COMM 4292 Sexual Identities and the Media - CMS
  • COMM 4300 Ethics in New Media, Technology and Communication - CESH, CAT, CMS, CSI
  • COMM 4350 Communicating Leadership and Ethics - CSI
  • COMM 4360 Communication Networks and Social Capital - CAT, CMS
  • COMM 4380 Communication in Virtual Worlds - CAT
  • COMM 4400 Advanced Human-Computer Interaction Design - CAT
  • COMM 4410 Communicating Self in Social Media - CAT
  • COMM 4450 Computer-Mediated Communication - CAT
  • COMM 4560 Community Involvement in Decision Making - CESH
  • COMM 4650 Mobile Communication in Public Life - CAT, CMS
  • COMM 4660 Public Communication of Science and Technology - CESH
  • COMM 4760 Population Health Communication - CESH, CSI
  • COMM 4800 Behavioral Science Interventions - CSI, CAT
  • COMM 4860 Risk Communication - CESH, CSI
  • COMM 4940 COMM Special Topics count ONLY if they are 3 credits (may be repeated if different topics): SPRING 2020: Mindful Intercultural Communication - CSI
  • COMM 4970 COMM Individual Study **
  • COMM 4990 COMM Independent Research**


* There may be additional Upper-Level COMM courses that are not listed. If you have a question about a particular course, definitely ask.
** A maximum of 3 credits in either 4970 or 4990 (combined) can be counted toward the upper level major requirements.

  • Upper-Level Communication courses must be between COMM 3100 & 4990 (excluding COMM 4950-4952, 4960, and 4980). COMM 2179 and COML/ENG/MUSIC/PMA 2703 are exceptions to this numbering system.
  • Only certain COMM 4940 Special Topics course will count in this area - please ask hec58 [at] cornell.edu (subject: Transfer%20Credit%20for%20COMM%20Minor) (Heather Crespin).
  • Students may also use an additional Introduction to Concentration Course in this area.
  • A maximum of 3 credits in either 4970 or 4990 (combined) can be counted toward the upper level major requirements.
  • Minor Transfer Credit Policy: Students can transfer up to 6 credits toward the 21 credits required for the minor. Only course equivalencies will count toward minor. To determine whether a course will be counted as an equivalent, please email hec58 [at] cornell.edu (subject: Transfer%20Credit%20for%20COMM%20Minor) (Heather Crespin )with a copy of the syllabus of the course in question.
  • All COMM courses must be taken for a letter grade, unless otherwise offered.*
    * Special Grade Policy for Spring 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021: Due to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic, Communication majors and minors are permitted to take their required classes S/U if the instructor offers it as a grading option.

Special Notes Regarding Transfer Credits

All courses must be approved by CALS for transfer to the College before they can be considered for counting toward the Communication major. The following only applies to the Communication major:

  • Up to 12 credits of coursework may be counted towards Cornell Communication major, if approved, from transfer coursework.
    • Students may transfer communication credits that are course equivalencies; that is, courses which are taught in our department.
    • Students may transfer in one 3-credit communication practica course.
    • Students may transfer in one 3-credit upper level elective (from a study abroad or an institution of higher education) that is communication-related, even if it is not necessarily equivalent. This must be approved by the advisor.
    • Petitions for coursework outside of these parameters should be sent to the hec58 [at] cornell.edu (Undergraduate Program Coordinator, Heather Crespin.)

All questions regarding communication transfer credits should be sent to the hec58 [at] cornell.edu (Undergraduate Program Coordinator, Heather Crespin.) For students looking to transfer Communication courses toward the major, please include a copy of the syllabus (which includes required readings, assignments, and course work) in your email to Heather.

Other Notes

  • All COMM courses must be taken for a letter grade, unless otherwise offered.*
    * Special Grade Policy for Spring 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021: Due to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic, Communication majors and minors are permitted to take their required classes S/U if the instructor offers it as a grading option.
  • COMM 4940 (Special Topics) maybe be repeated for credits when the topics are different.
  • COMM 4950-4952 - NYCOMM/LACOMM/SiliCOMM will only count as electives towards graduation.
  • A maximum of 3 credits in either 4970 or 4990 (combined) can be counted toward the upper level major requirements.