Undergraduate Degree & Course Catalog

Communication - About The Program

About Our Degrees

Acceptance Criteria
Students must complete 45 hours of coursework and at least three specific required courses (COM 101 and 2 of the following courses: COM 217, COM 225, COM 240, COM 337). They must also complete an approved course in computer science (CSE 111 or CSE 113), and an approved introductory course in statistics with a minimum grade of C,(STA 111, STA 119, PSY 207, SSC 225, CEP 207, PSC 408, MGQ 301). Further, students need a minimum GPA of 2.5 in required communication courses at UB and a minimum GPA of 2.0 overall. Students are expected to work closely with their Communication major advisor throughout this process.

Acceptance Information
Deadlines: Rolling
Minimum required GPA: 2.0

Degree Requirements
Please see Degrees and Policies.

About Our Courses

The typical class size for:
Freshman/introductory courses is: 100-250
Sophomore/intermediate courses is: 50-100
Upper level/advanced courses is: 26-45

In the Department of Communication, what do teaching assistants (TAs) do?
TAs support the primary instructor of large required Communication courses. Some teaching assistants (who are at the senior doctoral level and under the guidance of a faculty member) teach small sections of courses, including COM 101, COM 231, COM 240, and COM 380.

Suggested Introductory Courses
  • COM 101 Principles of Communication
  • PSY 101 Introductory Psychology
  • SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology
  • CSE 111 Great Ideas in Computer Science
  • CSE 113 Introduction to Computer Programming 1
  • An approved statistics course
Simultaneously, students work on general education requirements and math skills courses.

For course descriptions, please see Courses.

About Our Faculty

Faculty members in the Department of Communication are actively contributing to research in a variety of fields.
  • Dr. Mary Cassata, emerita, is internationally recognized for her research in the genre of soap operas and is the author of several books on the subject.
  • Dr. Junhao Hong is an expert on Chinese media and is frequently cited by the national press and U.S. government agencies.
  • Dr. Frank Tutzauer is an expert on bargaining and negotiation and the mathematical modeling of communication.
  • Dr. Joseph Woelfel has pioneered computer software for the analysis of collective cognitive processes.
  • Dr. Thomas Feeley is recognized for his studies on health communication, specifically how individuals process and act upon health education messages.
  • Dr. Mark Frank is well known for his research in nonverbal communication, specifically, facial expressions and emotion and how these basic communication processes affect interpersonal deception, particularly in law enforcement.
  • Dr. Arun Viswanath focuses on the diffusion and acceptance of information technology, particularly the factors that impact technology acceptance in various domains including health care, consumer adoption of innovations, and the organizational acceptance of technology.
  • Dr. Gregory Saxton focuses his research on technology and organizations, especially IT-based organizational communications in the not-for-profit sector.
  • Dr. Lance Rintamaki researches risk communication and health behavior outcomes, as well as how people cope following diagnosis of a chronic illness.
  • Dr. Michael Stefanone conducts research on new Internet-based communication tools like blogs and social network sites, and applies social network analysis to study group behavior in organizations.
  • Dr. Andrew Sachs's teaching and research focus is the pedagogy of academic writing, public speaking, and critical thinking as they relate to undergraduate education in Communication.
  • Dr. Janet Z. Yang's research centers on the communication of risk information related to science, health, and environmental issues.
  • Dr. Hua 'Helen' Wang's research focuses on the social transformation of communication technologies in everyday life, digital communication for health promotion and entertainment-education.
  • Dr. Allison Shaw researches in the area of interpersonal communication and social influence/persuasion (both dyadic and group).
  • Dr. Matthew Grizzard examines the cognitive, emotional, and psychobiological effects of media entertainments (TV, film, and video games).
In addition, the Department employs a select number of adjunct faculty members, many of whom have earned a doctoral degree in Communication and/or have achieved significant success in their area of Communication expertise.
  • Dr. Melanie Green's research examines media effects and the power of narrative to change beliefs, including the effects of fictional stories on real-world attitudes.
  • Dr. Ivan Dylko conducts research on how communication technologies affect various political outcomes, such as political participation, political knowledge, political information processing, and sociology of political news.
See a list of our Undergraduate Faculty.

Please visit our department website for additional information about our faculty.

Practical Experience and Special Academic Opportunities

Undergraduate Research and Practical Experience

The Department of Communication internship program works with businesses and firms across the state, the country, and internationally. Internships substantially contribute to students' understanding of the ways in which communication theory, research, and skills are applied in the professional sphere. The course offers depth for applied communication careers, improves citizenship, and can be a source for entry level professional jobs. Prior to enrolling in the class, the program requires students be accepted into the major, have a minimum Communication GPA of a 2.5, have completed at least 60 overall credit hours with an overall GPA of 2.0 or better, and have their application to the course accepted by the Director of Internships. The Director of Internships helps students to prepare and plan for the internship experience.

Independent Study
Seniors are encouraged to arrange for independent study in aspects of communication research under the guidance of a faculty member to further supplement their studies and resume. Frequently, students arrange work with faculty members on research projects, thereby enhancing their research and statistical skills. Interested students must have a minimum 2.0 UB GPA and 2.5 COM GPA. Students must obtain prior permission from their Communication major advisor as well as the professor with whom they wish to work.

Undergraduate Teaching Assistants
Undergraduate Teaching Assistant positions are available for certain Communication courses to those students who have completed the course with a grade of A or A-, have achieved junior status, and have a minimum GPA of 3.0 overall. The course provides an increased depth of understanding of the subject matter as well as an opportunity for students to conduct study and review sessions, score exams, tabulate attendance and test records, prepare a class presentation, explain course concepts and notes, and, demonstrate the ability to work effectively with learners. Students must apply for the UTA positions with the appropriate instructor and receive permission from the Communication advisor.

Study Abroad
Many students majoring in communication opt to study abroad for a semester (or more) under one of the programs offered through UB and the SUNY system. Opportunities exist to study abroad in numerous locations across the globe, and students who take part in these programs earn credit toward their degree while experiencing unique cultures, locations, and communities. These experiences are frequently life-changing and resume building. While individuals must apply to particular programs of interest, the application process is straightforward and assistance and further information is available via the Study Abroad Programs office located in 210 Talbert Hall. Communication majors have one of the highest rates of participation at UB in study abroad programs.

Honors, Awards, and Scholarships
Students who are accepted Communication majors with at least a 3.25 Communication GPA, 3.0 UB GPA, and have completed a minimum of 60 credit hours (12 of which must be from UB Communication courses) are invited to join the Lambda Pi Eta National Communication Honor Society. Students are notified mid-semester and are given the opportunity to join. An induction ceremony takes place each Spring semester.

Students in the honors seminar, as well as those working on individual projects, often elect to participate in the annual Celebration of Academic Excellence. This event is designed to recognize faculty and staff achievements as well as highlight undergraduate research projects and activities.

The Department of Communication offers departmental honors upon degree conferral to those students who meet certain grade point criteria: a minimum GPA of 2.75 overall and a minimum GPA of 3.2 in all communication courses for distinction; a minimum GPA of 3.5 in all communication courses for high distinction; and a minimum GPA of 3.75 in all communication courses for highest distinction.

Extracurricular Activities

Communication Undergraduate Student Association
This organization serves several academic, social, and professional purposes. CUSA sponsors career information programs, invites speakers in communication-related areas to campus, fosters interactions between students and faculty through social events, and provides service to the community. For more information, visit the UB Student Association Web site.

Public Relations Student Society of America
This society is a nationally recognized organization in which students can practice their public relations skills as well as network with professionals all over the country. PRSSA is the student chapter of the professional association, Public Relations Society of America, which allows student members to have expert mentors in their field. Membership is great for building students' resumes and preparing for their future. For more information please contact buffaloprssa@yahoo.com

Complementary Programs and Courses

Majors that Complement Communication
Minors that Complement Communication
Courses Outside Communication that Could Improve Employment Opportunities
  • Methods of Inquiry
  • Computer skills
  • Writing skills
  • Database Management

Links to Further Information About this Program

Last updated: February 22 2022 21:08:39