Communication Studies

Degree Information

According to Forbes magazine, the top skills sought by employers revolve around the ability to communicate effectively. Choose a degree that focuses on the one skill that employers say they need the most. A degree that offers three options to prepare you for wherever your career path may lead. A degree you can actually use.

We consulted with corporate, nonprofit and agency-based industry leaders to carefully craft a curriculum that provides students with the best possible career preparation. In fact, no other program in the Louisville metropolitan area provides three targeted yet versatile options that reflect our region’s specific opportunities for communication professionals.

Speech (Traditional Communication)

Learn the foundations of human communication, like effective speaking, teamwork and interpersonal relationships. This is a versatile degree ideal for any profession where the ability to communicate is essential, like management, law, ministry and more.

Organizational Communication

Learn how organizational leaders use communication to improve morale, negotiate conflict, build teams and handle a crisis. This is great preparation for careers in employee relations, training and development, corporate communication and more.

Strategic Communication

Learn how organizations use communication to propel their mission, build a successful brand and cultivate relationships with consumers and stakeholders. This option is ideal for careers in advertising, public relations, brand management and more.
For more information, contact the Department of Communication Studies at

University Credit Hour & Residency Requirements

All Baccalaureate degrees offered by IU Southeast requires a minimum of 120 credit hours and a minimum of 30 credit hours of upper-level coursework (300-level or above). No more than 64 credit hours earned in accredited junior/community colleges may be applied toward a Baccalaureate degree. The University Residency Requirement dictates that students must complete no less than 26 credit hours at IU Southeast during their senior year and no less than 10 credit hours of coursework in the major field of study.

Department of Communication Studies Residency Requirements

The Department of Communication Studies enforces the University Credit Hour & Residency Requirements with no additions.

General Education Core Requirements

Bachelor of Arts Distribution Requirements

In addition to the requirements stated in the General Education Core, students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree must complete the following BA Distribution Requirements. In some rare instances, it is possible to "double dip" BA Distribution courses with some General Education Core courses and major courses. When "double dipping," the minimum grade required is the higher of the two. The additional distribution requirements are as follows:

  • Additional Ethical Reasoning/Diversity
    In addition to the three credit hours required for the campus general education Ethical Reasoning/Diversity requirement, choose one additional course for a minimum total of 6 credit hours in the Ethical Reasoning/Diversity.
  • Additional Natural Science
    In addition to the five credit hours (lecture + lab) required for the campus general education Natural Science requirement, choose one additional course for a minimum total of 8 credit hours in the natural sciences.
  • Additional Social Science
    In addition to the three credit hours required for the campus general education Social Science requirement, choose one additional course in any discipline for a minimum total of 6 credit hours in the social/behavioral sciences.
  • Historical Investigation
    Two courses in Historical Investigation.
  • Foreign Language
    All BA degree candidates must satisfactorily complete (D- or higher) four semesters of a single foreign language, or they must earn an achievement examination or placement test score sufficient for placement in foreign language classes at the 300 level or above.

Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies Requirements


A student must have a Grade Point Average of 2.0 or higher to graduate. Additionally, students must have a GPA of 2.3 to enroll in SPCH-S 246 (Rhetorical Skills), a required course for the organizational and traditional tracks. All core courses must be passed with a grade of C or higher.

Graduation Requirements

Students must complete all General Education and Bachelor of Arts requirements. For a major in Communication Studies, students must complete all courses listed in the program's degree plan. A student must earn a grade of “C” or better in each required course. To earn a major in Communication Studies, students must take a minimum of 21 hours within the Department. Further, the Department also must approve all transfer credits into the major.

Transfer credits

(Resident, Transfer, and Returning Students)

Students who originally enrolled at IU Southeast, who have completed the requirements for admission into the Communication Studies program, and who have been continuously enrolled at IU Southeast (no more than three consecutive semesters without enrolling at IU Southeast) are considered resident students. A student transferring from another university, or one who changes majors within IU Southeast, will be considered a resident student and will be covered by resident student guidelines. Students who have not enrolled at IU Southeast for four or more consecutive semesters are considered returning students.

Policies for Accepting Transfer Credit

Department of Communication Studies policy for those transferring core courses:

  • Transfer credit for SPCH-S 246 is dependent upon reasonable evidence of competence in writing. This should include both an example of academic writing that is substantially similar to requirements for successfully completing the written portion of SPCH-S 246. Whether or not a paper is considered "substantially similar" will be determined by the faculty of the Communication Studies Department.
  • The student must meet a minimum Grade Point Average of 2.3 for admission to the Communication Studies Department.
  • Prerequisites for core courses must be met (either by completing the course[s] at IU Southeast or through transfer credit from another university) before a student may enroll in the core course.
  • All of the core courses must be completed either by taking the appropriate course, or through substitution via a comparable course transferred from another institution or department.
  • The authority to decide which, if any, courses will be accepted for transfer credit will rest with the student's advisor (with the consent of the faculty of the Communication Studies Department). The student's advisor may require a syllabus or some other evidence of a course's suitability for transfer credit before a decision is made.
  • Transfer students must also meet the distribution and graduation requirements as they appear in the IU Southeast Bulletin.

Returning Students

Returning students must meet the distribution and major requirements as outlined in the IU Southeast Bulletin for the semester in which they re-enroll. Core courses completed more than five years prior to re-enrollment will be accepted for credit on a case by case basis determined by the Department of Communication Studies faculty.

University Policies

Students must adhere to all university policies and rules as described in the IU Southeast Bulletin in effect when a student enrolls in the university.