Course FAQ

See the catalog for a full list of courses »

Why do I have to complete my writing requirement before I take COMS 202, 203, and 204?

All three of our foundational major courses (COMS 202, 203, and 204) have demanding reading loads and challenging writing assignments. Students who have completed the Core A2 writing requirement are much better prepared to succeed in our foundational courses. Transfer students may take the foundational major courses with the CORE A2 as a co-requisite but students will need to have instructors sign an add/drop form to waive the pre-requisites. If you are a transfer student who is taking RHET 250 or equivalent transfer writing course, contact the instructor of your foundational course to see if you can take the class.

How can I test out of the CORE Language requirement or a lower level language class?

Webtrack offers several online language placement tests. For more information, please see the catalog for Foreign Language Requirements or visit the Department of Modern and Classical Languages.

Which order should I take the foundation courses for Communication Studies (COMS 202, 203, and 204)?

You may take the three foundational classes in any order, and you may take two of them in one semester as well. In general, we recommend against taking all three foundational courses in the same semester. However, you should speak to your COMS adviser about this if this is your only option for on-time graduation.

Which methods classes should I take?

Communication Studies majors will select TWO of the three methods courses offered: 252, 253, and 254. After you complete the three foundational courses, you will probably have a sense of which approaches to studying communication interest you most: therefore, you should take the two methods courses that most closely align with your interest (Notice that the course numbers correspond. If you liked Rhetoric and the Public Sphere, 202, then take Critical/Rhetorical Methods, 252. If Communication and Everyday Life was your favorite foundational course, be sure to take Quantitative Methods, 253. And if you are most interested in Communication and Culture, then you’ll want to take Qualitative and Interpretive Methods, 254.). Another wise exercise would be to explore our upper division course offerings. Take note of prerequisites for some of the courses you plan to take: for instance, 253 OR 254 are prerequisites for Interpersonal Communication (300), The Dark Side of Interpersonal/Family Communication (302), Family Communication (306), and Nonverbal Communication (350).

How do I decide which COMS Upper Division (Advanced Area Studies) courses to take?

Our Upper Division offerings encompass a wide range of courses that expand on the ideas and theories to which you were introduced in the foundational courses. In consultation with your major/COMS adviser, you should choose courses that will best prepare you for the job or graduate school you wish to pursue after graduation from USF. To determine which courses are relevant for your chosen career, you should consult our Careers in Communication brochure. You should also consider which of the foundational courses you liked best! They will be great indicators of which Advanced Area Studies courses you should take.