You can reach your Communication Studies advisor by phone, by email, or by making an appointment. Note that all phone numbers are preceded by (360) 650 unless otherwise indicated.


Advisors Room Phone Email
Dr. Rita Daniels CF 277 6632
Dr. Michael Karlberg CF 289 7367
Dr. Ee Lin Lee CF 291 4032
Dr. Tara Perry CF 285 2202
Dr. Rae Lynn Schwartz-DuPre CF 283 4212
Dr. Jianglong Wang CF 279 3869
Dr. Steven Woods, Chair CF 293 4879

Applying for graduation

Schedule an appointment with your faculty advisor and follow the instructions for:

Registration policies

The automatic waitlist system is in effect for most Communication Studies courses. Once a course is full, we advise students to select the waitlist option in Web4U as it is the only method of enrolling in a course once it is full.

The Department of Communication Studies reserves the right to manage waitlists for the purpose of addressing specific issues such as graduating students who need to complete a major course requirement, or extenuating circumstances.


Special courses and opportunities

The department offers a variety of opportunities for communication studies majors beyond the coverage of class instruction. 

Comm 450 — Communication Pedagogy I (3 credit)

Prereq: recommendation; written permission from instructor

Serve as undergraduate tutor for students taking communication courses. Learn instructional methods and gain further mastery of course content. Conduct supervised tutoring and feedback for students enrolled in communication courses. S/U grading.

Comm 451 — Communication Pedagogy II (3 credits)

Prereq: Comm 450: recommendation; written permission of instructor.

Help supervise teams of undergraduate tutors. Develop leadership, organizational and pedagogical skills. S/U grading. 

Comm 452 — Communication Pedgagogy III (3 credits)

Prereq: Comm 450; Comm 451; recommendation; written permission of instructor.

Students enrolled in this course are the instructor assistants (IAs) returning to the COMM 101 program for the third time. Under the program director's supervision, students will mentor the first-time IAs enrolled in COMM 450; complete workshops demonstrating leadership, organizational and pedagogical skills for all IAs enrolled in COMM 450 and COMM 451; and supervise teams of COMM 101 students. S/U grading. 

Comm 459 — Field Internship in Communication (1 to 12 credits)

Prereq: senior status; written permission or advisor; departmental majors only.

Supervised work in communication with an educational institution, public agency, private enterprise, broadcast station or other appropriate business. Meetings, written reports and a paper related to the internship are required. For students applying for media internships, plan to complete all academic course work before the internship, as this is the usual career pattern for those in that area. Repeatable to 12 credits. A maximum of 6 credits may be applied to the communication major. S/U grading. 

Comm 492 — Senior Thesis (5 credits)

Prereq: departmental majors only; admission to departmental honors; complete 24 credits in communication; permission of instructor.

Supervised independent research on an advanced topic, leading to a substantial research paper.

Instructor Assistants or IA Positions

What are the prerequisites for the IA position?

In order to assist with the Comm 101 course, you need to have taken the class successfully at Western, to have been recommended to the 101 director by your Instructor or Instructor Assistant, to complete an evaluative interview, and to receive an invitation to participate after these prerequisites are complete. Then you will be given permission and an override code to add Comm 450 (first quarter IAs) or Comm 451 (returning IAs).

What kinds of things do IAs do?

IAs serve as tutors for small sections (about 10-12) of students who are taking Comm 101. IAs listen to preliminary speeches, letting students know whether they need to retake a speech or move to the next speech. IAs provide feedback on speeches and written assignments, and they give coaching for improved performance on all course requirements. They explain assignments, readings and lectures. They facilitate activities and group projects. In addition, they keep records and document student progress through the course requirements. Occasionally, IAs participate in the large lectures.

How do I go about getting an IA position?

After you have completed the prerequisites described above and received an invitation to be an IA, let the Director of 101 know when you want to register for Comm 450, 451. You will attend an orientation session at the end of the quarter prior to serving as an IA, and at the beginning of your IA service quarters. You must be available to sign up for one of the 101 section times, as well as the weekly 450/451/452 meeting time.

Do undergraduates assist in any other Comm courses besides 101?

Occasionally Communication Studies instructors request that outstanding students serve as Instructor Assistants in other courses. The student will typically have taken the course with the instructor in a prior quarter and shown strong ability and motivation. This experience provides good training for students who expect to go on to graduate school. All assistantships are unpaid and receive course credit as Comm 339 - Practicum in Applied Communication.