Programs of Study

Communications & Critical Thinking

Effective communication is an essential tool for those seeking careers in journalism, advertising, commerce, law, public relations, education or related fields.

The Communications and Critical Thinking (C&CT) track in philosophy serves students preparing for these careers with a unique interdisciplinary course of study that puts them on the fast track for any of those professional choices. It provides training in the latest media technologies and in timeless communication skills such as presenting good arguments, critical reasoning and logical evaluation of competing opinions.

Students specialize by selecting a specific set of courses from the wide variety offered for the major, and by adding minors in other related areas such as computer science, English, music, art, economics, psychology, sociology or political science.

Program Format

30-45 Credits


I. Introductory Level Classes--Choose two from the following:
45.201 Introduction to Philosophy
45.202 Introduction to Logic and Critical Reasoning
45.203 Introduction to Ethics
45.206 Introduction to Political Philosophy

II. Upper Level Classes
Students must take a minimum of five upper level philosophy classes (classes at the 300 or 400 level).

Students must take three interdisciplinary classes in subjects relevant to the Communications program. Since the availability of these classes is subject to change, there is no comprehensive list of classes that satisfy this requirement. The following is a sample list of the types of classes that would count as interdisciplinary electives. Students should consult with their advisor if they have questions about whether a particular class would count.

42.221 Writing For Interactive Media 46.210 Media and Politics
42.222 Oral Communication 46.222 Politics of the Internet
42.224 Business Communication 46.316 Politics and Film
42.227 and 229 Essay Writing 59.216 Intro to Communications
42.300 Intro to Journalism 59.217 Media, Perception, & Culture
42.301 Newswriting 59.218 Information Technology and Human Community
42.309 Writing About Issues  59.219 Introduction to Theater
42.386 The Science of Editing 59.316 Uses of Multimedia
42.387 Introduction to Editing and Publishing
42.391 Writing on the Job
42.406 Writing in the Community


Students will ordinarily take a three-credit practicum consisting of a volunteer internship at a professional site relevant to their course of study. The practicum should be a minimum of 60 hours over the course of a semester. At the end of the practicum, students will write an eight-page essay describing their experience and its contribution to their course of study.  Students may also opt out of the practicum and take an extra philosophy class or a focused directed study leading to a 25-page thesis paper on a topic they want to explore in depth.

A full description of course listings can be found in the undergraduate catalog.