Getting Started

College: SBS

Information below is meant to guide first year students in getting starting with this major and choosing appropriate courses. More advanced students interested in this major would also likely start with proposed foundation/pre-requisite courses. Please refer to the Major page located in the left menu bar to learn about the full major requirements.

How to Explore/Get Started in the Major

To learn about the major, we recommend that students study our website, visit with a peer advisor in ILC N323, and take a couple of Communication courses.

First-year and many transfer students are admitted directly into the major upon admission to the University. Anyone not directly admitted to the major may join the major by attending a mandatory information session and filling out a Communication Major Statement of Interest. We encourage students to take at least one Comm 100-level intro course prior to joining the major in order to be more familiar with the content of the major.

Suggested General Education Courses

All Undergraduates are required to satisfy the General Education Requirements. Guidelines for students are available at Students should choose a wide variety of Gen Ed courses, providing breadth of experience.

Suggested Major and Pre-requisite Courses

Before entering the major, we recommend that students take at least two of the following courses: COMM 118, COMM 121, COMM 122, COMM 125 and COMM 140. Communication majors must take three of these introductory courses to fulfill Comm major requirements. Students should choose among them according to their interests in the field since they serve as prerequisites for intermediate- and upper-level courses.

First-year students in the major take COMM 191 (offered in the Fall semester only) and should take at least one of the required courses listed above during their first year. Other students who wish to enter the major should complete these courses no later than the second semester of their sophomore year. A delay in taking these courses will decrease students' chances of being able to complete major requirements in four years and may affect their planned graduation date.

How to Declare/ Change into the Major

For current & admitted students: This major is unrestricted, which means any student may declare the major. Before adding the Communication major, students must complete a statement of interest form and attend an information session, which are held multiple times throughout the semester.

Students interested in adding Communication as a major are encouraged to take at least 2 introductory courses first in order to become familiar with the department and make a more informed decision.

Transfer Students

Students can declare Communication as their majors when they enter the university. Meet with an advisor in the Communication Department, preferably during a transfer advising session or before the first day of classes.

Fall transfers in the major take COMM 197T. All transfer students should schedule an appointment with an advisor at to determine which, if any, Communication courses taken elsewhere can be counted towards the major. Junior transfers who do not declare Communication before entering UMass should attend an information session and contact an advisor as soon as possible, preferably not later than the end of the first semester of the junior year. A maximum of 15 approved credits from outside the department may be applied to the major.

Summary of Requirements for the Major

Minimum total # of credits required: 45 (46 for Fall direct admits)

Refer to the Major page located in the left menu bar to learn more

Is there a minor?
There is no minor in Communication.

For further information, contact
Peer Advisors (drop-in)
N323 ILC

Aaron Hoholik
N327 ILC
(413) 545-6337

Allison Butler
N322 ILC
(413) 545-4609