Academics & Majors


Edward R. Murrow College of Communication

Communication Studies Program
Offered as:
Graduate program


Communication is the study of how people convey information, a resource vital not only in the world of media, but in such varied fields as business, government, and human services.

The communication program offers three majors:

Each major provides a strong professional focus and plenty of room to pursue your own interests and goals. Hands-on practice and internships are built into the program, so you graduate with true professional experience.

A minor in communication is also available, and makes an ideal complement a major in nearly any field.

Strengths of the program
  • WSU is ranked fourth in the nation for its television news and first in the Northwest for its public relations sequence.
  • State-of-the-art resources offered by The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication include a writing lab, an advanced graphics computer lab, TV production studios and editing suites, and audio labs.
  • Gain valuable experience at KWSU-TV (public television station), Northwest Public Radio (NPR), KUGR (student radio station), and Cable 8 (student-run television station).
  • WSU's professors win awards for their teaching and professional work, are nationally ranked for their research, and emphasize high standards in the tradition of Edward R. Murrow.
  • WSU offers the only comprehensive broadcast program in the state of Washington, including one of the nation's few nightly, student-produced TV newscasts.
  • The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication is highly regarded nationwide by professionals and wins Emmys for student productions.
Courses and requirements

Majoring in communication

WSU offers majors in the three main communication sequences:

The program is highly flexible.

Each major includes plenty of room to pursue the aspects of communication that interest you the most. If your interests cross over between majors (for instance, advertising and media production), you can work with advisors to set up a customized curriculum that fits your goals.

Core courses

After completing 30 credit hours of course work – usually in the sophomore year – you can apply to join the communication program.

Your 30 credits should include the three communication prerequisite courses:

Media and society
Communication in Global Contexts
Communication Orientation

A writing test is part of the Communication Orientation course. Admission to the communication program is based on cumulative WSU GPA and performance on the writing test.

The communication program starts with two courses that set the stage for everything else:

Multimedia Content Creation
Writing in Communication

And with that, you'll dive into the core courses for your specific major. Dive deep, work hard, and have fun with it!

The communication minor

If you're not majoring in communication, you can still give your major a communication flavor. A minor in communication can be added to just about any major WSU offers.

Core courses

A minor in communication involves courses like these.

Basic communication core:

Media and Society
Communication in Global Contexts
Multimedia Content Creation
Writing in Communication

Three upper-division courses chosen from:

Advertising Principles and Practices
Reporting Across Platforms
Broadcast Performance/Interpretation
Digital Video Editing
Broadcast Management
History of Mass Communications
Media Law
Media Ethics
Theories of Mass Communications
Advanced Public Speaking
Intercultural Communication

The minor requires certification through the Murrow College of Communication. Contact the college for details on how to certify a minor.

Graduation requirements

See the WSU Catalog for degree requirements and talk with your academic advisor about planning and scheduling your courses. All students must meet requirements as outlined in the catalog in order to graduate.

Scholarships and financial aid

A variety of state, federal, and university-sponsored programs are available to help students with educational costs.

For all students at WSU

Washington State University awards millions of dollars in financial aid and scholarships to students every year based on financial need, academic merit, or a combination of the two.

To get all the financial help WSU can provide, start by doing these two things:

  • Complete the University's general scholarship application so you can be eligible for scholarship consideration.
  • Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) so WSU can consider you for aid (scholarships, grants, loans, etc.) based on financial need.

More about WSU scholarships and financial aid

For communication majors

In addition to general university scholarships, you could be eligible for awards that are reserved for students in communication majors.

The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication has 19 scholarship funds and awards $50,000 in scholarships and fellowships to communication students each year.

Murrow College scholarships require a separate application through the college (in addition to the general WSU scholarship application). Murrow College applications are due in November.

Murrow College scholarship applications and information

Notable alumni

Notable Washington State University alumni in the communication field include:

  • Edward R. Murrow, world famous pioneering newscaster for CBS
  • Keith Jackson, leading sportscaster for ABC
  • Barry Serafin, top newscaster for ABC
  • Kathi Goertzen, news anchor for Seattle's KOMO 4 News, winner of five Emmy awards for journalism
  • Gary Larson, "Far Side" cartoonist
  • Pat Scott, retired CEO of Fisher Broadcasting
  • Cindy Brunson, ESPN Anchor

Many Northwest media outlets are staffed by WSU communication alumni, as are leading television and radio stations, public relations companies, advertising agencies, and newspapers across the country.

Careers in communication

A flexible, highly valued degree

Because they build skills in critical and creative thinking, writing, research, teamwork (and communication, of course!), com majors are highly valued by employers in a wide variety of fields.

Communication degrees have high crossover value in areas like business, education, government and politics, international relations, social and human services, health-related careers, and law.

Major + Career

For more about what careers a communication degree usually leads to, see the three com major pages: