Skip to main content

Communication Courses Elsewhere

The Department of Communication Studies often receives requests from current Vanderbilt students hoping to receive credit for courses at other universities (e.g., summer work elsewhere). Such courses need to follow the policies laid out by the College of Arts & Science.

Also, as a rule, the Department of Communication Studies does not approve current Vanderbilt students to receive credit for taking public speaking (or a similar course) at another university. There are several reasons why:

  • Learning public speaking is rigorous, and many colleges and universities are unable to match the standards of instruction at Vanderbilt.
  • Many colleges and universities offer public-speaking courses with large class sizes, which do not allow for the kind of personalized instruction offered at Vanderbilt.
  • Large class sizes also entail too few or too brief speeches during the term.
  • At Vanderbilt, public-speaking instruction is standardized on persuasive policy speeches, giving students several opportunities to develop cogent arguments about public affairs; public speaking at other colleges and universities often gives persuasive policy short shrift.

Because of these reasons, current Vanderbilt students should not seek transfer-credit approval for public speaking taken at another college or university.

The best way to gain approval for course work elsewhere is to compare course descriptions and syllabi at the pertinent college or university with course descriptions provided by Vanderbilt’s Department of Communication Studies. The more closely a course description or syllabus from elsewhere aligns with Vanderbilt CMST courses, the more likely a student is to receive transfer-credit approval.

Questions about the approval process for communication courses elsewhere? Contact the CMST Director of Undergraduate Studies.