2023-2024 CATALOG

The Academic Catalog is the official listing of courses, programs of study, academic policies and degree requirements for Loyola University Chicago. It is published every year in advance of the next academic year.

School of Communication


The School of Communication is a community of learners that fosters critical thinking and innovation, integrates big ideas in communication theory and practice, tells stories across multiple platforms and adapts to changing technology and social needs. We develop ethical professionals with the knowledge and dedication to make a lasting contribution through communication and service in the world.

For more information on Loyola’s Jesuit mission, visit:

Values Statement

Members of the SOC community are dedicated to the well-being, growth and success of our students and our colleagues.

We are guided by our mission statement and by the Jesuit vision of cura personalis.

We believe:

  • Members of this community should treat others with empathy and kindness.
  • Honesty and trust-building should define our interactions.
  • Collaboration should be the signature of our work.
  • The core of all we do must reflect values of ethics, social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Through these beliefs and the actions that bring them to life, the SOC community fosters an environment of learning and belonging for all.

Degree Requirements

Students must fulfill the following requirements in order to graduate from the School of Communication with a bachelor's degree:

  • Core Requirements
  • College Requirements: Writing Intensive Course Sections and the Language Requirement
  • General Electives
  • Residency Requirement

Core Requirements

The university Core Curriculum seeks to play a key educational role in every Loyola student's undergraduate experience. Designed to provide both breadth and depth to a student’s program of study, the Core Curriculum introduces students to key concepts and modes of thought in a variety of areas of human intellectual endeavors. In particular, the Core introduces students to ten central Knowledge Areas of university learning, with a consistent focus on learning outcomes for those Areas. Core coursework develops students' understanding through knowledge and experience in the Knowledge Areas of artistic, historical, literary, quantitative, scientific, societal and cultural, philosophical, theological and religious studies, and ethical learning, plus written communication. In addition, the Core reinforces the development of six Skills crucial to facing the challenges of contemporary society. Each core course promotes at least one of the following skills: communication, critical thinking, ethical awareness and decision-making, information literacy, quantitative and qualitative analysis and research methods, and technological literacy. Finally, the Core integrates the understanding and promoting of four Values essential to a Loyola education: understanding diversity in the US or the world; understanding and promoting justice; understanding spirituality or faith in action in the world; and promoting engaged learning.

To complete the Core Curriculum, students will take 16 courses across ten Knowledge Areas. Two courses are required in six of these areas (Historical Knowledge, Literary Knowledge and Experience, Scientific Literacy, Societal and Cultural Knowledge, Philosophical Knowledge, and Theological and Religious Studies Knowledge). Students will begin their studies in these six areas with a Foundational (or Tier I) course that will introduce them to critical ideas and methods of analyses in that area. After completing the Foundational course, students will have an array of options to further their studies by taking one of a variety of Tier II classes to pursue their particular interests in more depth. The other four Knowledge Areas (College Writing, Artistic Knowledge and Experience, Quantitative Analysis, and Ethics) require one course each.

Additionally, students will have the opportunity to apply their Loyola education to real world experiences through the Engaged Learning requirement. This requirement may be satisfied by a course within the Core Curriculum, or in a student’s major or minor, or through an elective course.

Note: As of Fall 2005, students must earn a 2.00 overall cumulative GPA in Core Knowledge Areas and Engaged Learning courses. To calculate your cumulative Core GPA, use the GPA calculator available at http://www.luc.edu/advising/gpa_calculator.html.

Click on the links below to view the guides and worksheets about Loyola's Core Curriculum and Values Across the Curriculum requirements.

School Requirements

All SOC students are required to complete a language competency requirement and two writing-intensive sections of curses. These courses must be completed with a C- or better.

Writing Intensive Sections

Students should expect that virtually all of their courses will include a writing component. In addition, the college requirement for writing intensive courses is a means of strengthening the writing of all students throughout their years at Loyola.

In order to graduate with a degree from the School of Communication, students ordinarily must complete three writing courses. These include:

  • UCWR 110 Writing Responsibly (3 credit hours) (Core Curriculum requirement)
  • Two writing-intensive sections

Writing-intensive sections are designated sections of courses that are taught with a special emphasis on writing. They are identified by a "W" in the section number. Students in these course sections will have a variety of writing assignments that will be integrated closely with the learning objectives of the course. Often, students will be able to complete a writing-intensive course within their chosen major(s) and minor(s). The purpose of the program is to assure that students continue to give attention to writing as an essential component of education throughout their years at Loyola. Note: UCWR 110 Writing Responsibly must be taken in the freshman year and must be completed with a grade of "C-" or better before any writing-intensive course may be taken.

In order to ensure that training in writing is spread throughout the undergraduate years, the program specifies that no more than one writing-intensive course per semester may be applied to this requirement. Students must earn a C- or better in each writing intensive course in order for the requirement to be satisfied.

Transfer students who have taken and passed (with a C- or higher) both semesters of a two-semester requirement in college composition at their previous institutions or who have taken a composition course that is equivalent to UCWR 110 Writing Responsibly are not required to take UCWR 110 Writing Responsibly at Loyola. Transfer students with 59 or fewer transfer credit hours (completed prior to matriculation) must take two writing-intensive courses during their undergraduate career at Loyola; transfer students with 60-89 transfer credit hours must take one writing-intensive course during their undergraduate career at Loyola; transfer students with 90 or more transfer credit hours are exempt from taking writing-intensive courses. For further information, transfer students should consult their academic advisor.


Competency in reading, writing, and speaking at the 102-level or higher in a language other than English is required for all SOC students. Students may complete this requirement in one of the following ways:

  • In a language other than English, complete Loyola language coursework, earning a C- or better at the 102-level or above. (If a student wishes to study a language for which they have no background, this equates to taking two semesters of the same language, i.e. 101 and 102.). If coursework in a language is not offered at Loyola, a student may review eligibility and seek permission to take coursework at another college or university during the summer in accordance with the Policy on Prior Permission to Take Coursework at Other Universities. Students must first consult an academic advisor about this policy.
  • Earn the 102-level or above equivalent in transfer credit from another college/university, prior to Loyola matriculation.
  • If a student wishes to continue studying a language that is offered at Loyola, they may complete an online placement test that helps place them into the most appropriate language course. Scores are recorded for future reference and are valid for 15 months. (Past 15 months, students should retake the exam.) Students who take this exam must adhere to the Loyola policy on Academic Integrity—they should not receive help. This placement exam does not fulfill the language requirement. Rather, it determines at what level of a language a student should begin taking coursework.
  • Earn a score of 4 or 5 on an Advanced Placement examination (a score of 3 on an AP exam will satisfy the Language Requirement, but will not award academic credit). or
  • Demonstrate competency by passing a Language Competency examination. Students are permitted to take only one competency exam. Multilingual students who wish to take this exam should test in the language they know best. If a student does not pass their one competency exam, they must take language coursework, adhering to the above rules. Note: Language Competency exam results may take up to six weeks to return. Students who wish to take an exam are strongly encouraged to schedule the exam as soon as possible upon matriculation, and no later than the end of their junior year.

For a list of Language Competency exams offered, please consult the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures website.  

To schedule an appointment to take a Language Competency exam, send an email (from your Loyola account) to LanguageTesting@luc.edu. Include your Name, Student ID number, current SoC major, and the language in which you would like to be tested. The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures will reply with instructions on how to schedule your specific exam. Note: Students are responsible for the $100.00 cost of the exam. Language Competency exams that are conducted in the Language Learning Resource Center (LLRC) may not be scheduled during the first week of each semester or during registration week in each semester.

Requesting a Language Competency Exam in a Language Not Offered at Loyola

Students who would like to test in a language that is not offered at Loyola may submit a request (during their first semester in the SoC) to the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures by completing the Language Exam Request (PDF) for a competency exam in that language. The request form must be submitted to LanguageTesting@luc.edu. Once a request is submitted, the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures will make a reasonable effort to locate an academically qualified tester at Loyola or at another college or university. If a Language Competency exam is made available and the student passes the exam, they will meet the 102-level language requirement.

If no qualified tester can be found within one academic semester, the student’s request will be denied, and the student will be required to satisfy the SoC language requirement via language coursework at the 102-level or higher.

Elective Courses

Students must complete at least 120 credit hours (as of Fall 2011) to graduate from Loyola. By definition, electives are courses not used toward completing the major, minor, or Core requirements, and which students take to complete the graduation requirement of 120 credits. We encourage students, when choosing electives, to think of the knowledge, values, and skills you hope to gain in exploring a particular academic interest or in anticipation of a career after graduation. For undeclared students, elective courses present an excellent opportunity to develop academic interests leading toward a major or minor. General electives also present an opportunity to broaden your liberal arts education, add to your skill set, or simply try a new subject for the joy of it.

Residency Requirement (Required Hours in Residence)

In-residence hours refers to the course credit hours taken at Loyola University, the Rome Center, or taken from any of the Loyola sponsored study abroad programs through the Office for International Programs.

Students must take their final, uninterrupted 45 hours of instruction or a minimum of 60 hours in residence at Loyola University Chicago.