At which campus can I study this program?
Any Penn State Campus
Degree Information At Additional Campuses
This major provides increased understanding and practice in the ways humans use symbols to influence people and the world around them. The ability to communicate effectively with others in personal, social, work and multicultural situations is essential in modern society. A student of Communication Arts and Sciences will learn to think critically, analyze and solve problems, understand and manage conflict, argue persuasively, influence people, form and keep relationships, give effective presentations, and participate in the civic and political life of a community. The flexibility of the program offers preparation for a variety of careers such as administration, law, business, health, and human services fields. A CAS degree also lends itself well to a concurrent degree program in which students prepare themselves in several fields of study.
What is Communications Arts and Sciences?
In the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences, you will find faculty committed to the art of communication, who improve society’s understanding of communication through humanistic and social scientific research, and who are inspired by their role in helping students to be more effective in the personal, professional, and public roles their future has in store for them. CAS faculty and students are motivated by a shared interest in how communication facilitates human relations and makes a difference in our shared world. From a department that spans the humanities and social sciences, CAS majors learn to think critically, analyze public discourse, understand empirical studies that test communication theories, argue persuasively, influence people, form and maintain relationships, and participate in civic life.
You Might Like This Program If...
- You want to learn to communicate effectively, and to understand the influence a message may have on its audience.
- You are curious, analytical, inquisitive, and engaged.
- You want to learn the theories, methods, and practical tools to understand the roots of social conflict and to change them.
- You want to develop critical thinking skills and the ability to craft effective messages.
Entrance to Major
In order to be eligible for entrance to this major, a student must:
- attain at least a C (2.00) cumulative grade-point average for all courses taken at the University; and
- have third-semester classification.
For the Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Arts and Sciences, a minimum of 124 credits is required:
|Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements||24|
|Requirements for the Major||30|
3 of the 24 credits for Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements are included in the Requirements for the Major, General Education, or Electives and 0-12 credits are included in Electives if foreign language proficiency is demonstrated by examination.
Per Senate Policy 83-80.5, the college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of coursework in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. For more information, check the Recommended Academic Plan for your intended program.
Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.
The keystone symbol appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.
Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)
- Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
- Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits
- Arts (GA): 6 credits
- Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
- Humanities (GH): 6 credits
- Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
- Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits
Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)
- Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 6 credits
University Degree Requirements
First Year Engagement
All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.
Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.
First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.
6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements
- United States Cultures: 3 credits
- International Cultures: 3 credits
Writing Across the Curriculum
3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.
Total Minimum Credits
A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.
Quality of Work
Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.
Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition
The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.
B.A. Degree Requirements
Foreign Language (0-12 credits): Student must attain 12th credit level of proficiency in one foreign language. See the Placement Policy for Penn State Foreign Language Courses.
B.A. Fields (9 credits): Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Arts, Foreign Languages, Natural Sciences, Quantification (may not be taken in the area of the student's primary major; foreign language credits in this category must be in a second foreign language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the first language)
Other Cultures (0-3 credits): Select 3 credits from approved list. Students may count courses in this category in order to meet other major, minor, elective, or General Education requirements, except for the General Education US/IL requirement.
Requirements for the Major
A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the major. To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn at least a C grade in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.
|Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better|
|CAS 204||Communication Research Methods||3|
|CAS 301||Rhetorical Theory||3|
|CAS 303||Communication Theory||3|
|Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better|
|Select 3 credits of skills courses of the following:||3|
|Practical Parliamentary Procedure|
|Small Group Communication|
|Business and Professional Communication|
|Storytelling and Speaking|
|Communication and Information Technology I|
|Select 3 credits of 300-level courses of the following:||3|
|Methods of Rhetorical Criticism|
|Rhetoric and Law|
|The Rhetorics of War and Peace|
|Rhetoric and Public Controversy|
|Culture and Technology|
|Supporting Courses and Related Areas|
|Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better|
|Select 15 credits of other CAS courses; at least 12 credits must be at the 400 level 1||15|
Program Learning Objectives
- Appreciation for the significance of communication in everyday experience and as a distinctive intellectual paradigm.
- Ability to understand, apply, critique, and extend communication concepts, principles, theories, and perspectives.
- Skill at communication inquiry, including humanistic and social scientific approaches.
- Logical, critical, creative, and ethical thinking about communication for decision-making and problem-solving.
- Competency at generating and performing messages appropriate to their audience, purpose and context.
- Facility with locating, synthesizing, and assimilating new information from a variety of sources and using it to inform communication analysis and practice.
- Interest, understanding, and capacity to engage diverse communities, both local and global, and to function as a member of a deliberative society.
The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.
Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee’s unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.
Liberal Arts Academic Advising
Program Coordinator, Assistant Professor
Reading, PA 19610
Assistant Teaching Professor Communication Arts and Sciences
25 Yearsley Mill Road
Media, PA 19063
Associate Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences
214 Grumbacher Building (GISTC)
York, PA 17403
Suggested Academic Plan
University Park Campus
The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.
|ENGL 15, 30, ESL 15, ENGL 137H, or CAS 137H‡||3||CAS 100, 100A, 100B, 100C, 138T, or ENGL 138T‡||3|
|CAS of your choice*||3||General Education course||3|
|General Education course||3||General Education course||3|
|World Language Level 1||4||World Language Level 2||4|
|General Quantification (GQ)‡||3||General Education course||3|
|Introduction to Communication Theory*||3||Rhetorical Theory*||3|
|CAS 2XX Skills course*||3||CAS 3XX*||3|
|World Language Level 3||4||General Education||3|
|General Quantification (GQ)‡||3||General Education||3|
|General Education†||3||Knowledge Domain (BA)||3|
|Communication Research Methods*||3||CAS 4XX||3|
|General Education||3||Effective Writing||3|
|Knowledge Domain (BA)||3||General Education||3|
|CAS 4XX||3||CAS 4XX||3|
|BA Other Cultures (OC)||3||General Health and Wellness (GHW)||1.5|
|Knowledge Domain (BA)||3||Elective||4|
|General Health and Wellness (GHW)||1.5||Elective||3|
|Total Credits 124|
* Course requires a grade of C or better for the major
‡ Course requires a grade of C or better for General Education
# Course is an Entrance to Major requirement
† Course satisfies General Education and degree requirement
University Requirements and General Education Notes:
US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).
W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.
GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.
Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.
All incoming Schreyer Honors College first-year students at University Park will take ENGL/CAS 137 in the fall semester and ENGL/CAS 138 in the spring semester. These courses carry the GWS designation and replace both ENGL 30 and CAS 100. Each course is 3 credits.
Bachelor of Arts Requirements:
Bachelor of Arts students must take 9 credits in Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Fields (Humanities; Social and Behavioral Sciences; Arts; World Languages [2nd language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the 1st]; Natural Sciences; Quantification). The B.A. Fields courses may not be taken in the area of the student’s primary major. See your adviser and the Degree Requirements section of this Bulletin.
Bachelor of Arts students must take 3 credits in Other Cultures.
See your adviser and the full list of courses approved as Other Cultures courses.
All incoming freshmen must take a First-Year Seminar (FYS) during Fall or Spring of their first year. Academic advisers can provide a list of FYS being offered and help the student enroll. Most FYS in the College of the Liberal Arts are worth 3 cr. and count as a General Humanities (GH) or General Social Sciences (GS) course. For this reason, the FYS is not listed separately on this eight-semester plan; most students will be able to fulfill the FYS requirement while also fulfilling a GH or GS requirement.
CAS graduates are change makers: analysts, strategists, persuaders, facilitators, collaborators, connectors, and scholars. The CAS program equips students for success in the work force, graduate school, and civic life. CAS courses provide students the theories, methods, practical tools, and experiences to understand the roots of social conflict and the sources of well-being. CAS majors can make a positive difference in our society.
An undergraduate degree in CAS prepares students for careers in academics, law, sales, corporate communication, health and human services, community activism, and digital technology. CAS graduates may work as analysts, strategists, facilitators, collaborators, or negotiators.
Opportunities for Graduate Studies
CAS graduates are prepared for graduate study in communication science or rhetoric, as well as fields such as law, public policy, behavioral science, health and human services, human development, business, social work, and related fields.
DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNICATION ARTS AND SCIENCES
234 Sparks Building
University Park, PA 16802
DIVISION OF HUMANITIES, ARTS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
Reading, PA 19610
25 Yearsley Mill Road
Media, PA 19063
214 Grumbacher Building (GISTC)
York, PA 17403