May 30, 2024  
2021-2022 University Catalog 
2021-2022 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Communication: Political and Civic Communication, BA

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About the Program

Studying communication at Purdue allows you to learn what to do in order to be an effective communicator, but it also allows you learn why those things are effective. So yes, you might learn how to think and write critically, how to speak persuasively, how to work in organizations and with teams, and how to produce media packages and public relations documents. But you’ll also learn why “best practices” got to be that way. You’ll gain not only skills, but also the theories that help explain and grapple with how persuasion works (and doesn’t work), the ethics of communication, and the nature of communication processes.

All students are required to take the same three foundational courses, and all students must take a writing class and a class focused on experiential learning. Students then choose one concentration that allows them to specialize.

Political and civic communication includes topics related to the interconnectedness of U.S. and international politics, media, interpersonal and group communication, as well as public relations and advertising. This area of study will help students learn the content, processes, and effects of political communication, how political and civic communication influence the social and physical environment in which we live, and the practical skills related to message construction, argumentation, and persuasion.

Coursework will prepare students for a wide range of career options, including but not limited to work in government, journalism, public relations, media, non-profit and NGOs, law, and academia.

Please visit the Brian Lamb School of Communication for more information.

Degree in 3

The College of Liberal Arts offers the opportunity for students to complete their degree in three years. Degree in 3 majors allow students to enter the work force or graduate school a year earlier than traditional plans of study while also providing a cost-effective way to complete an undergraduate degree.

Students can complete the three-year option with or without AP credit by adding summer sessions to traditional coursework in Fall and Spring semesters. Degree in 3 offers a great combination of cost-savings and the opportunity to accelerate your future and achieve your goals.

Degree Requirements

120 Credits Required

Communication: Departmental/Program Major Courses (28 credits)

A. Pre-Com Requirements (9 credits)

D. Communication Writing (3 credits)

F. Additional Communication Courses (3 credits)

  • Additional COM courses - Credit Hours: 3.00

Communication: Political and Civic Communication Concentration (15 credits)

Other Departmental - Liberal Arts Core (28-52 credits)

The College of Liberal Arts Other Departmental area is designed to be experiential, informative, and relevant to life in a rapidly changing universe. It combines courses that fulfill University Core foundational outcomes, discipline diversity, social diversity, and other languages to produce a well-rounded background for students. Coursework is integrative and collaborative and fosters insight, understanding, independence, initiative, and the desire to reach across divides and redefine our relationship to the peoples and the worlds that surround us.

Core I: Discipline Diversity (6-18 credits)

Choose 1 course in 6 different disciplines within the College of Liberal Arts.

Note: Disciplines are differentiated by course prefix. Undistributed credit does not count to satisfy this requirement.

Core II: Social Diversity (1-3 credits)

Culture, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity all play a role in how others perceive us and how we experience the world, and as such, are meaningful categories for analyzing social change and social problems past and present. The purpose of this category is to acquaint students with the pluralistic nature of the world and foster an appreciation and awareness of the diverse range of lived human experience. Courses in this list will expose students to important aspects of human diversity and foster understanding about different world views.

Choose 1 course from the Social Diversity Selective List .

Core III: Linguistic Diversity (3-4 credits)

Proficiency through Level IV in one world language. Courses may be required to reach Level IV proficiency; these courses will be counted toward electives (fulfills Humanities for core).

Foundational Requirements (18-27)credits)

Students must complete approved coursework that meet the following foundational outcomes. Many of these can also be used to fulfill Core I, Core II, or Core III.

  • Humanities - all approved courses accepted (fulfill HUM for core)
  • Behavioral/Social Science - all approved courses accepted (fulfills BSS for core)
  • Information Literacy - all approved courses accepted (fulfills IL for core)
  • Science #1 - all approved courses accepted (fulfills SCI for core)
  • Science #2 - all approved courses accepted (fulfills SCI for core)
  • Science, Technology, and Society - all approved courses accepted (fulfills STS for core)
  • Written Communication - all approved courses accepted (fulfills WC for core)
  • Oral Communication - fulfilled by COM 11400  in major (fulfills OC for core)
  • Quantitative Reasoning - all approved courses accepted (fulfills QR for core)


  • Double counting of courses is allowed across the various categories.
  • All accredited programs whose accreditation is threatened by CLA Core requirements, both professional BAs and BFAs, are exempt from Liberal Arts Core I & II in order to meet accreditation standards and requirements. Liberal Arts Core III: Linguistic Diversity is still required for such programs.
  • “Degree +” students (students with a second major outside of Liberal Arts) are exempt from the CLA Core.

Electives (25-49 credits)

University Requirements

University Core Requirements

For a complete listing of University Core Course Selectives, visit the Provost’s Website.
  • Human Cultures: Behavioral/Social Science (BSS)
  • Human Cultures: Humanities (HUM)
  • Information Literacy (IL)
  • Oral Communication (OC)
  • Quantitative Reasoning (QR)
  • Science #1 (SCI)
  • Science #2 (SCI)
  • Science, Technology, and Society (STS)
  • Written Communication (WC)

Civics Literacy Proficiency Requirement:

The Civics Literacy Proficiency activities are designed to develop civic knowledge of Purdue students in an effort to graduate a more informed citizenry.

Students will complete the Proficiency by passing a test of civic knowledge, and completing one of three paths:

  • Attending six approved civics-related events and completing an assessment for each; or
  • Completing 12 podcasts created by the Purdue Center for C-SPAN Scholarship and Engagement that use C-SPAN material and completing an assessment for each; or
  • Earning a passing grade for one of these approved courses (or transferring in approved AP or departmental credit in lieu of taking a course)

For more information visit the Civics Literacy Proficiency website.

Prerequisite Information:

For current pre-requisites for courses, click here.

Program Requirements

Fall 1st Year

16 Credits

Spring 1st Year

15-16 Credits

Fall 2nd Year

15 Credits

Spring 2nd Year

  • Area F: Additional COM Course - Credit Hours: 3.00
  • World Language Level IV - Credit Hours: 3.00 (CLA Core III)
  • Science - Credit Hours: 3.00
  • Elective - Credit Hours: 3.00
  • Elective - Credit Hours: 3.00

15 Credits

15 Credits

Spring 3rd Year

15 Credits

Fall 4th Year

  • Required Concentration Course - Credit Hours: 3.00
  • Area E: Experiential Learning Course - Credit Hours: 3.00
  • Elective - Credit Hours: 3.00
  • Elective - Credit Hours: 3.00
  • Elective - Credit Hours: 3.00

15 Credits

Spring 4th Year

  • Required Concentration Course - Credit Hours: 3.00
  • Required Concentration Course - Credit Hours: 3.00
  • Elective - Credit Hours: 3.00
  • Elective - Credit Hours: 3.00
  • Elective - Credit Hours: 2.00

14 Credits


  • Students must earn a “C-” or better in each Communication major course, including pre-com.
  • 2.0 Graduation GPA required for Bachelor of Arts degree.
  • 32 credit hours of Purdue coursework at the 30000 level or higher required for Bachelor of Arts degree.
  • Consultation with an advisor may result in an altered plan customized for an individual student.

College of Liberal Arts Pass/No Pass Option Policy

  • P/NP cannot be used to satisfy Liberal Arts Core, Liberal Arts major, minor, or certificate requirements.

World Language Courses

World Language proficiency requirements vary by program. The following list is inclusive of all world languages PWL offers for credit; for acceptable languages and proficiency levels, see your advisor.

ASL-American Sign Language ARAB-Arabic CHNS-Chinese FR-French
GER-German GREK-Greek (Ancient) HEBR-Hebrew (Biblical) HEBR-Hebrew (modern)
ITAL-Italian JPNS-Japanese KOR-Korean LATN-Latin
PTGS-Portuguese RUSS-Russian SPAN-Spanish  





Critical Course

The ♦ course is considered critical.

In alignment with the Degree Map Guidance for Indiana’s Public Colleges and Universities, published by the Commission for Higher Education (pursuant to HEA 1348-2013), a Critical Course is identified as “one that a student must be able to pass to persist and succeed in a particular major.  Students who want to be nurses, for example, should know that they are expected to be proficient in courses like biology in order to be successful.  These would be identified by the institutions for each degree program”. 


The student is ultimately responsible for knowing and completing all degree requirements.

The myPurduePlan powered by DegreeWorks is the knowledge source for specific requirements and completion.

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