Brigham Young University Homepage

Undergraduate Catalog

2013 - 2014


Edward E. Adams, Chair
360 BRMB, (801) 422-2997

College of Fine Arts and Communications Advisement Center
D-444 HFAC, (801) 422-3777

The Discipline

The BYU Department of Communications prepares students for careers in fields related to mass communication, such as advertising, journalism, and public relations. The department is nationally accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Grounded in a strong liberal arts foundation, this program provides a balance between scholarship and professional skills. This goal is accomplished by requiring core courses and electives that enhance critical thinking about the discipline, while providing courses in emphasis areas that afford additional skills for each profession. See emphasis descriptions for additional information about their discipline and career opportunities.

Educational Outcomes

The Department of Communications exists to help students become professional and scholarly communicators whose messages contribute to a better society by benefiting the organizations for which they work and the audiences they reach.

  1. Students will be able to communicate effectively with their audiences. In particular, students will be able to:
    • Prepare mass communication messages in the appropriate style.
    • Apply appropriate technology to the creation and dissemination of messages.
    • Plan communication that serves audience needs.
    • Use appropriate research methods to answer relevant questions.
  2. Students will act professionally in their practice. In particular, students will be able to:
    • Practice communication within legal boundaries.
    • Exhibit standards of professional behavior.
    • Demonstrate sensitivity to the ethical issues of their practice.
    • Be literate in the language of the media industries.
  3. Students will be scholars of the mass communication process. In particular, students will be able to:
    • Apply relevant theory to communication practice.
    • Understand the factors that shape(d) their profession.
    • Value freedom of speech in the marketplace of ideas.
    • Think critically about the relationship between mass media and society.
  4. Students will be able to apply Gospel-centered values as they contribute to society. In particular, students will be able to:
    • Demonstrate respect for diversity and agency in a global society.
    • Exercise moral reasoning when faced with ethical dilemmas.
    • Show a commitment to making a positive difference within their sphere of influence.
    • Critically evaluate media-related issues in light of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Admission to Degree Program

The degree programs in the Department of Communications have a departmental application process with specific enrollment limitations. Please see the college advisement center for details, telephone 1-801-422-3777, or online at

Graduation Requirements

To receive a BYU bachelor's degree a student must complete, in addition to all requirements for a specific major, the following university requirements:

  • The university core, consisting of requirements in general and religious education. (See University Core for details. For a complete listing of courses that meet university core requirements, see the current class schedule.)
  • At least 30 credit hours must be earned in residence on the BYU campus in Provo as an admitted day student
  • A minimum of 120 credit hours
  • A cumulative GPA of at least 2.0
  • Be in good standing with the Honor Code Office

Undergraduate Programs and Degrees

Students should see their college advisement center for information concerning admittance to the undergraduate programs.

Graduate Programs and Degrees

    MA in Mass Communications

For more information see the BYU 2013–2014 Graduate Catalog.

General Information

Working under faculty direction, students in the department edit and publish the Universe as a laboratory newspaper for the campus, produce daily television broadcasts on KBYU-TV, produce for the Internet, plan advertising and public relations campaigns, and study processes and effects of mass communication.

The Department of Communications sponsors the International Media Studies Program, which seeks to broaden students' awareness of worldwide communications issues and practices. Not only do students have opportunity to study the media systems of other nations through classes and on-site experiences, but media practitioners of other nations are also brought to campus as lecturers and visiting experts.

The department encourages early admission. Students who enroll in Comms 101, 211, and an introductory course and complete the English requirement can apply to the major as early as the second semester of their freshman year.

Departmental Requirements
  1. Each student must be formally accepted into a degree program. Contact the college advisement center for admission requirements or online at
  2. All students must take a campus writing course before applying for admission to the major. The following writing courses fulfill this requirement and satisfy the GE First-Year Writing requirement: Wrtg 150 or Phil 150.
  3. Complete 80 hours outside the department, of which at least 65 hours must be in the liberal arts and sciences. Please see the advisement center for a list of liberal arts and sciences courses.
  4. Every student is required to complete an internship. Although the department operates an internship office (280 BRMB) that serves as a clearinghouse for internship information, the responsibility for securing an internship rests with the student. However, students may not embark on any required internship without prior approval from a faculty advisor, completing prerequisite courses with a C– or better, processing appropriate documents with the Internship Office, and being enrolled in Comms 496R.
  5. Communications students are required to own or rent a computer. Before obtaining a computer, students should first consult the department website for specifications.
  6. Communications students must learn the design software used in several of the upper-level courses prior to attending the course.

    The following software will be used in these courses:

      Adobe Publishing — Comms 330, 331, 388, 421.
      Web Publishing — Comms 485, 487.