Your Adviser

Advising is an important part of your academic success. It allows you to build a relationship with an adviser and get answers to your questions about courses, majors, minors, careers, internships, study abroad programs, student activities, and anything else you may need to know.

As a student in the Diederich College of Communication, you’re assigned an adviser based on your major. If you’re undecided, don’t panic! Your adviser can help you navigate the decision-making process and find a major that’s right for you.

You can find out who your adviser is by logging onto CheckMarq and viewing the information in the column on the right.

You’re required to meet with your adviser during advising week every semester. However, we encourage you to check in with your adviser as often as you need to for mentoring and for information on your career path, academic progression, and registration.

How to Register for Classes

The Office of the Registrar provides extensive online information on class registration topics including what to do before you register, what to do while you register, and how to get additional help if you need it. These topics can be found on the Marquette Central Course Registration page.

The most important information on how to register through CheckMarq can be found on the Marquette Central webpage.

If you still have concerns, call our college Records Office at (414) 288-7702.

Video Resources for Registration

If you want to, you can watch some online tutorials that take a lighthearted look at registering for classes and changing majors. Check out the following links:

How to Prepare for Advising

Your adviser is there to help; however, you can make the most of your advising session if you come prepared. Think ahead about what courses you want to take and bring your questions about majors/minors, internships, study abroad programs, career opportunities, etc. To get more tips on what to expect from your advising session, go to

The Checklist and Academic Advisement

Your adviser will have a Checklist of your required courses to help guide you in choosing the right courses for the next semester. Your adviser can also assist you in selecting summer courses, if you have an interest.

The Checklist is a form created for every student in the Diederich College and is used by advisers and the Records Office. It lists the requirements for your major, summarizes all courses you have completed, shows your GPA, and other valuable information.

An electronic resource called Academic Advisement also available when you log into CheckMarq. To learn how to track your degree progress through the Academic Advisement tool, visit

Majors and Minors in Communication

The Undergraduate Bulletin provides a list of requirements for each major and minor within the university. Here’s an easy way to find the requirements for all the majors and minors in the Diederich College.

Remember that all students in the College must have a major plus a minor or a second major. The minor or second major can be another area within communication or it can be from another college within the university. Some restrictions may apply when combining double majors and minors, so check with your adviser or with the college Records Office for clarification.

Freshman Advisers for 2016

  • Advertising: Dr. James Pokrywczynski
  • Communication Studies: Dr. Scott D'Urso
  • Corporate Communication: Dr. Scott D'Urso
  • Digital Media: Prof. Joseph Brown
  • Journalism and Media Studies: Prof. Herb Lowe
  • Public Relations: Dr. Nurcihan Uysal
  • Theatre Arts: Prof. Debra Krajec
  • Undecided: Prof. Dave Denomie

What Freshmen Should Take, Fall Semester

As an incoming COMM freshman, you should plan to take about 16 credit hours – usually five 3-credit hour classes plus the 1-credit Communication Pathways course. However, you may end up with 17-17.5 credit hours if you are in a major that has an additional .5-credit or 1-credit course, or if you are taking a 4-credit course in foreign language or science. The range you want to aim for is 14-17.5 because taking less than 12 hours changes your status to part time, and taking 18 hours or more is too heavy a workload.

For your first semester, try to find a good balance of courses that will interest you and allow you to explore new disciplines, since moving from high school to college is a significant transition. Some majors have courses that freshmen can take first semester. Explore those options, too.

Top Priorities for All Students*

These three required courses are your top priority. They are:

  • COMM 1050, Communication Pathways, section 101. There is only one section, which meets F 10-10:50. This is a 1-credit class in the college core and is required of all communication freshmen.
  • CMST 1000, Intro to Communication, lecture section 101 (meets MW 10-10:50) plus a discussion section from 601-606 or COMM 1200, Media and Society, lecture section 101 (meets MW 10-10:50) plus a discussion section from 601-606. There are several discussion sections to choose from at different times of day. Register for the discussion section first and the lecture will automatically be added to your schedule. These are both 3-credit classes in the college core that are required for all students in the college. Note that both classes are offered at the same time so you should choose one and take the other course in the spring. 
  • ENGL 1001, any section between 101 and 178, or 701. There are literally 178 sections of the class to choose from. Everyone takes ENGL 1001 – with few exceptions. If you are in the Honor’s program, take ENGL 1301H instead or 1001. If you have AP credit for ENGL 1001 or if you took ENGL 1001 in summer school, don’t take ENGL 1001 for fall because you already have credit for it. Don’t take ENGL 1002, either. Take COMM 1100 in the fall if you can get in, or take it in spring. ENGL 1001 and COMM 1100 will fulfill your rhetoric requirement in the University Core. Students in the ESLP program take ENGL 1001 sections 380 or 381.

For JOUR majors

Students majoring in journalism are required to take JOUR 1964 first semester. It is a 1-credit course that you will want to add to your fall schedule. Others can take the course if they want to explore the JOUR major.

For THAR majors

Students majoring in theatre arts are required to take THAR 1100, plus 1300 and 1310 or 1320 and 1330 first semester.

Completing Your Schedule

To complete your schedule, you need two or three more classes, and you have options for courses to add to the courses above. Choose courses that are open, are the best fit for your schedule, and give you the right mix.

You can choose courses in theology, history, foreign language, diverse cultures, science, performing arts, math, or a course in your major or minor, if there is one offered to first semester freshmen. Or you can choose a 1000- or 2000-level course that simply looks like an interesting elective if it doesn’t have prerequisites. Here are some tips on how to choose.

Theology. Everyone needs to take THEO 1001 to satisfy one of two theology classes. Most freshmen (except THAR majors) take it first semester.

History. Everyone needs a history class, so you could take one now or you can wait. If you take a history class now, remember that HIST 1301 Latin America, 1401 Africa, and 1501 East Asia are “dual application” courses. That means they not only fulfill the history requirement but also the diverse cultures requirement in the university core. These courses are in high demand so you might have to wait a semester to get in. If they are not available and you want to get the history requirement out of the way now—or you simply prefer a different history course—choose from HIST 1001 Western Civilization 1, HIST 1002 Western Civilization 2, or HIST 1101 American History. These classes satisfy the history requirement for the university core; they simply aren’t dual application classes. History classes have both a lecture and discussion section, and you should register for the lecture portion and then add a discussion section—unlike the communication courses in which you choose the discussion section first.

Foreign Language or Diverse Cultures. Everyone in the Diederich College takes two semesters of foreign language or diverse cultures. You can fulfill this requirement by taking two foreign language courses, or two UCCS approved Diverse Cultures courses, or one semester of foreign language and one semester of approved diverse cultures courses. These courses are in addition to the one Diverse Cultures course you will take to meet UCCS requirements before graduation (making a total of 3 Diverse Cultures courses).

If you take two semesters of foreign language, the courses can be from the same language or from two different languages. If you have never studied a foreign language or if you want to pursue a new language, start with level 1001. 

If you want to continue studying the same language you took in high school, you can take a Foreign Language Placement Exam (for French, German, or Spanish) if you want to be placed above the introductory level in the appropriate language course. For further details on the placement exam, see the university section on Placement Exam for French, German, and Spanish.

If languages are not your choice, take two Diverse Cultures courses instead over the course of your four years. You could take one of them now or wait. If you think you might study abroad, many courses offered in those programs can transfer in as Diverse Cultures courses, so your best bet is to wait.

Literature or Performing Arts. Everyone takes either a Literature or Performing Arts course to satisfy a university requirement. If your preference is literature, wait until you have ENGL 1001 and COMM 1100 behind you because they are prerequisites for the literature classes. If you want to satisfy the requirement by taking a performing arts class, you can take it now or at any other time. Choose from MUSI 1020 Music Appreciation, MUSI 2420 History of the Musical in America, or THAR 1020 Theatre Appreciation.

Science. Everyone takes a Science course and you can take it now or wait. Courses that communication students have generally done well in are ARSC 1020 or 1021 Major Concepts in Modern Science, BIOL 1009 Biology for Non-majors, BIOL 1406 Plants, Pathogens, and People, and BISC 1010 Contemporary Issues in Nutrition. The regular biology and chemistry courses are intended for science majors and are not recommended for communication students.

Math. Everyone needs one math class, and you can take it now or wait. There are several math classes that satisfy the university core requirement, but some of the majors in communication and all the minors in the College of Business require statistics. If you take statistics (MATH 1700) you’ll never have to take another math class, but if you take a math course other than statistics and you end up in one of the majors or minors that require statistics, you’ll end up taking two math classes, including statistics. The majors that require statistics are: advertising, corporate communication, digital media, and journalism. Popular minors in the College of Business taken by Communication students are marketing and entrepreneurship.

See a complete list of Marquette's "University Core of Common Studies" or "UCCS" courses, required of all MU undergraduates. 

Major courses. You can also take courses in many of the majors. Freshmen majoring in advertising or public relations can take the principles classes – ADVE 1400 or PURE 1800. Students majoring in corporate communication can take CCOM 2000. Digital media students can take DGMD 2335. Students majoring in journalism are required to take JOUR 1964 first semester, and students majoring in theatre arts are required to take THAR 1100, plus 1300 and 1310 or 1320 and 1330 first semester.

Now that you know your options, choose a mix of classes that provide you with a good balance.

*Students in various programs, such as Honors, should follow the requirements of that program since there may be special courses required in ENGL, HIST, THEO, PHIL, etc.

What Freshmen Should Take, Spring Semester

Plan to take about 15 hours - 18 if you are doing very well this fall and want to get ahead. Otherwise, stay with 15. A good plan is to take two courses in the College Core, two in the University Core of Common Studies (UCCS), and one in your major. However, don't worry if you come up with some other combination such as one course in the college core course, two in the UCCS and two in your major.

Your top priorities are the following college core courses:

  • COMM 1200, lecture section 101 plus a discussion section or CMST 1000, lecture section 101 plus a discussion section. If you took one of these classes during fall, take the other one during spring. If you've had neither class, take at least one, but if possible, take both. Enroll in the discussion section first, and the lecture will automatically be added to your schedule. Every freshman should be able to register for this class, but if you have a scheduling conflict, you'll be able to take it next fall. Both courses count in the college core, and COMM 1200 counts in the Individual and Social Behavior area of the UCCS.
  • COMM 1100, lecture section 101 plus a discussion section. Note that not all freshmen are going to be able to get into the class. Some will take it next fall, and that's not a problem. This class counts toward the rhetoric requirement of the UCCS.
  • Any freshmen not currently taking CMST 1000 should enroll in the course this spring. 

To complete your schedule, you have many options. Choose courses that are available, are the best fit for your schedule, and give you the right mix.

  • If you took a foreign language and are planning to take the continuing course in that language, go ahead and take it in spring. If not, you can take a course now or you can wait and take either a language or diverse cultures class at a later time. Students planning to study abroad can usually find courses abroad that fulfill the diverse cultures requirement: thus, waiting may be a good decision. 

 Best UCCS courses to choose from:

  • THEO 1001
  • PHIL 1001
  • UCCS Science and Nature
  • UCCS History of Cultures and Societies
  • UCCS Mathematical Reasoning
  • UCCS Literature/Performing Arts

Best choices for UCCS Science and Nature taken by communication majors include ARSC 1021 Concepts in Modern Science 2, BIOL 1009 Biology for Non-Science Majors, BIOL 1410 Biology of Human Disease, BISC 1010 Contemporary Issues in Nutrition, and PHYS 1009 Earth and Environmental Physics. You can take any approved UCCS Science and Nature course, but some are better suited for science majors. 

Best choices for History of Cultures and Societies include HIST 1301 (Latin America), HIST 1401 (Africa), HIST 1501 (East Asia), HIST 1001 (Western Civ before 1715), 1002 (Western Civ since 1715) or 1100 (American History). HIST 1301, 1401, and 1501 are in demand because they not only fulfill a History requirement but also a diverse cultures requirement. If you want one of those courses, you may have to wait another semester.

Best choices for UCCS Mathematical Reasoning include MATH 1700, MATH 1300, and COSC 1000. MATH 1700 (Modern Elementary Statistics) is required for DGMD, CCOM, and JOUR majors. MATH 1700 or COSC 1000 is required of ADVE majors; however, students minoring in Marketing or Entrepreneurship should take MATH 17000 because it's required for all minors offered in the College of Business. Students majoring in Communication Studies, Media Studies and Theatre Arts can take any UCCS Math course such as MATH 1300 Nature of Mathematics. 

Best choices for Literature/Performing Arts for freshmen are MUSI 1020, MUSI 2420 or THAR 1020, which have no prerequisites. If you want to fulfill this by taking a literature course, wait till next semester because you'll need two prerequisites of ENGL 1001 and COMM 1100. Note that THAR majors need to take ENGL 2010 (Drama or Dramatic Lit section).  The second literature course required for THAR major is ENGL 4331 – Shakespeare.

Best choices for courses in your major:

Advertising: ADVE 1400 or ADPR 2100. If you took ADVE 1400 in the fall, take ADPR 2100. If not, you can take either or both. PSYC 1001 and ECON 1103 are support courses in the major that you can also choose. Remember that if you take math, take MATH 1700 or COSC 1000. MATH 1700 is the right choice if you are going to choose a minor in the College of Business such as Marketing. 

Communication Studies: CMST 2100 or CMST 2310. You can take either one or both in spring. Also, you could choose a math course- any one in the UCCS. 

Corporate Communication: CCOM 2000 or PURE 1800. You will also need ECON 1001 or ECON 1103 as a support course, which you could take now or later. ECON 1103 is required for most minors offered in the College of Business, so it's better choice than ECON 1001 if you want to pursue a business minor. CCOM majors are also required to take MATH 1700 to fulfill the mathematical reasoning requirement.

Digital Media: DGMD 2205 or 2335. You'll also need PSYC 1001 as a support course, which you could take now or later. DGMD majors are required to take MATH 1700 to fulfill the mathematical resigning requirement, and it's a course you could take now.

Journalism: JOUR 1100. JOUR majors are required to take MATH 1700 to fulfill the mathematical reasoning requirement, and it's a course you could take now.

Media Studies: following the college or university core courses at this time.

Public Relations: PURE 1800 or ADPR 2100. If you took PURE 1800 in the fall, take ADPR 2100. If not, you can take either or both. Also, you could choose a math course- any one in the UCCS.

Theatre Arts: THAR 1120 (if you're doing performance emphasis) or 2400 (if technical emphasis); THAR 1300 and practicum THAR 1310 OR THAR 1320 and practicum THAR 1330. Take whichever course was not taken in fall.  

More Regarding the University Core of Common Studies

(See a complete list of Marquette's "University Core of Common Studies" or "UCCS" courses.)

Dual Application Courses: Several courses have been approved for dual application within the UCCS. Any course used for a UCCS requirement cannot also be used to fulfill a college core or curriculum requirement unless specifically approved (COMM 1100 and 1200). UCCS courses can also be used towards major, minor and cognate requirements.

UCCS Individual and Social Behavior requirement is met by COMM 1200. There is no need to take another ISB course unless it is required as a support course, is a course in your minor, or simply looks like an interesting elective.

UCCS Diverse Cultures lower division courses included ANTH 1001 Intro to Anthropology; EDUC 1210 Intro to Schooling in Diverse Society; HEAL 1025 Culture and Health; INPS 2010 Intro to Peace Studies; SOWJ 2150 Immigrants and their Communities; HIST 1301 Latin America; HIST 1401 Africa and HIST 1501 East Asia. Remember that these three history classes are dual application courses and can also be used to fulfill the UCCS History of Cultures and Societies requirement. THEO 3420 Bridging the Racial Divide is also a dual application course that fulfills a diverse cultures requirement and the 2nd level UCCS Theology requirement. If you are an ADVE major, you may want to wait and take ADPR 4600 (International/Multicultural Advertising and Public Relations) because it counts as a diverse cultures class plus is an elective in the major. 

Credit Loads

Beginning with freshmen entering in Fall of 2015, students in the Diederich College are required to complete 120 credit hours with a 2.0 GPA in order to graduate. (Students were previously required to complete 128 credit hours).

Taking less than 15 credit hours in any of eight semesters (fall and spring semesters for four years) leaves a student short of the required number of credits. Some students take a few 16 credit or 18 credit semesters to make up the difference, whereas others take some summer courses in order to graduate in four years. Full-time students can register for 12-19 credits, but taking only 12 credits during a semester will slow your progress toward completing the 120 credit hours required to graduate.

Students wanting to take an overload (more than 19 credits) must complete an overload request form to our College Records Office (JH 112). Since full time is 12 or more credits, dropping below 12 credits could negatively influence financial aid, health insurance and progression within the academic program.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: I earned some AP and IB credits, so how do I find out if I am exempt from taking a class or if I can take the course at a higher level?
  • A: A list of courses and placement scores is available in the undergraduate bulletin, so check to see what is awarded based on your score. You can also check with the Records Office in JH 112 for clarification.
  • Q: When I tried to register for one of my courses, I found out it was full. What should I do?
  • A: This will happen to all students on occasion, and although it is frustrating, you will survive. In most cases, you can simply put off taking the course for a semester and take something else that you need to satisfy your major, minor, college core, or university core requirements. If delaying the course potentially delays your graduation, contact the instructor teaching the class to see if there’s room to add you into the class, or see an administrator in the college that offers the course. For example, if you are trying to register for Intro to Marketing and the class is full, contact the Assistant Dean or Associate Dean in the College of Business.
  • Q: Should I stay in a class and risk a bad grade or drop the course? I’m worried that a “W” on my transcript will look bad to a potential employer, but an “F” will look worse.
  • A: If you have a grade below a “C” at midterm, talk to the instructor and find out what you can do to raise your grade. If after taking any steps possible to raise your grade, you still think you are risking a “D” or “F” in the class or the class is taking so much of your time that it is pulling your grades down in other courses, drop the class. If you can get a “C” or above, stay in the class so you don’t lose the credits. An occasional “W” on your transcript won’t matter, but don’t get in the habit of dropping courses or you will delay your progress toward graduation.
  • Q: How do I drop a course I am currently enrolled in and add a different class?
  • A: During the first week of classes, you can log onto CheckMarq and drop or add a class yourself. You can also exchange one class for another using the “swap” feature on CheckMarq. Any class you drop during this time will not show up on your transcript; however, after the first week of classes, you will no longer be able to drop the class yourself. You will need to fill out the form for withdrawal from a single course and turn in the completed form to the College Records Office in JH 112. Your transcript will show a grade of “W” for the course.
  • Q: How do I declare or change my major/minor?
  • A: To declare or change a communication major, complete a form available in the Records Office, JH 112. It is also available on the college website under “Forms” in the Current Students section. Non-Communication majors can also use this form to declare one of the areas of Communication as a second major. However, students declaring a second major outside of the College of Communication fill out a form available through the college that offers the major. To declare any minor within MU, fill out the minor declaration form through the MU Central/Office of the Registrar website.
  • Q: What if the information on my checklist or on the Academic Advisement page isn’t up to date?
  • A: If you find inaccurate information on the checklist or the Academic Requirements page (e.g., a course you transferred from another institution has not been credited), please inform the college Records Office in JH 112. Any changes in your major, minor or adviser must be initiated through the Records Office.


College Records Office

For questions during the summer, call our college Records Office at (414) 288-7702 


  • Associate Dean, College of Communication: Dr. Joyce Wolburg, (414) 288-7309
  • Director of Student Records and Academic Advising: Sue Clinton, (414) 288-7075
  • Director of Student Success: David Denomie, (414) 288-3498

Department Chairs

  • Communication Studies, Dr. Scott D'Urso, (414) 288-5477
  • Digital Media and Performing Arts, Stephen Hudson-Mairet, (414) 288-3391
  • Journalism and Media Studies, Dr. John Pauly, (414) 288-7231
  • Strategic Communication (Advertising, Public Relations and Corporate Communication), Dr. Gee Ekachai, (414) 288-3450

Other Campus Resources

  • Career Services Center: (414) 288-7428
  • Counseling Center: (414) 288-7172
  • Information Technology Helpdesk: (414) 288-7799
  • Office of Disability Services: (414) 288-1645
  • Office of Student Educational Services: (414) 288-3270
  • Parking Services: (414) 288-6911
  • Public Safety: (414) 288-6800
  • Residence Life: (414) 288-7208
  • Student Employment Service: (414) 288-4000
  • Student Health Service: (414) 288-7184