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School of Communication

The SoC faculty and staff look forward to welcoming you this fall and helping you get off to a great start at Northwestern. During the summer, SoC will email you information about your major. Visit SoC’s undergraduate advising website, where you can find links to academic and advising resources, a glimpse into life as an SoC student, and information on cocurricular opportunities. The SoC new student survey will be made available in mid-July; please complete it by August 15.

If you have any questions before Wildcat Welcome in September, please email or call the SoC Office of Undergraduate Programs and Advising at 847-491-7214. Associate dean Lori Barcliff Baptista leads the SoC academic advising team. Names and contact information for SoC advisors are available on SoC's undergraduate advising website.


SoC academic advisors will host individual and group advising meetings with new students during Wildcat Welcome. Students will learn about opportunities in SoC and receive guidance on choosing fall classes. 

Fall Quarter Course Registration

You will register for fall courses during Wildcat Welcome, after arriving to campus. Your academic adviser will assist you at that time in understanding degree requirements and guide you in determining which classes to take in your first quarter. Your peer adviser will also provide you with advice from a student lens.

Placement Exams and Assessments

See the placement exams webpage for information on when and how to take online placement exams and assessments offered during the summer. Additional Placement Exams guidance for your school can be found in Purple Prep's June email.

Students pursuing a BA in any SoC department and students majoring in communication studies or radio/television/film have a language requirement to fulfill. Students in these groups who are not at a beginning level and who do not have a qualifying AP exam score should take a language placement exam to determine the course level corresponding to their knowledge and previous study of the language. Additional information about language placement is available at

SoC students who plan to take math and basic science courses—including premed students and those majoring in human communication sciences—should complete the relevant placement exams, particularly in chemistry and math.

SoC Degree Requirements

All students must earn at least 42 credits to complete a bachelor’s degree in SoC. Most courses count for one full credit each. Each SoC major has distinct course requirements, but all require 18 distribution requirements (courses outside the major) that fall into three areas:

Most students will enroll in a combination of major and distribution courses each quarter, and a typical full-time course load is three or four full-credit classes each quarter.