May 22, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Communication Studies Major, B.S. (Storytelling Concentration)

Department Information

Department of Communication Studies and Storytelling 
PO Box 70667
Johnson City, TN 37614
(423) 439-7676
Web Address:

The Communication Studies major, with concentrations in Communication Studies and Storytelling, prepares students with the essential career competencies that employers seek most often: managing conflict, working in and leading teams, embracing diversity, communicating ethically, and communicating like a professional be it a memo, a one-on-one interview, a sales pitch, or corporate seminar. The skills garnered in the Storytelling concentration adds creative elements to these skill sets, teaching you to perform narratives and how narratives are used in workplace settings (the courtroom, health advocacy, and more). Storytelling concentration students can move into a variety of fields where there is a need to craft messages that persuade, engage, and even entertain audiences: strategic communication and web marketing, ministry and celebrancy, and work as a performer and performance coach. Communication Studies majors are natural candidates for work in social justice, civic engagement, and diversity/equality efforts. The department also provides a teacher education major in communication studies that requires 36 credits and a teaching minor that requires 24 credits.


Students with 0-59 earned credits:

Contact the Center for Advisement and Student Excellence (CASE) to schedule an appointment with your advisor. Visit the CASE website and call (423) 439-5602. For more information or any questions about the program contact:

Dr. Wesley Buerkle
(423) 439-7676


Nancy Donoval, MFA
(423) 439-7863

Students with 60 or more earned credits:

Dr. Wesley Buerkle
(423) 439-7676


Nancy Donoval, MFA
(423) 439-7863

Transfer Students

Transfer students majoring in Communication Studies should contact the Center for Advisement and Student Excellence (CASE) for advising as soon as possible. This will ensure that the student’s previous work will be coordinated efficiently with ETSU requirements.

For general information about the department or courses, contact Dr. Wesley Buerkle, Department Chair at or (423) 439-7676.

Degree Requirements: 120 credits

General Education 41-42 credits
Total Major Requirement 36 credits
Core 15 credits
Concentration 21 credits
Minor 18-24 credits
Free Electives 18-25 credits
TOTAL 120 credits

Suggested Four-Year Program of Study: CMST-BS (Storytelling Concentration)   

College of Arts and Sciences : Visit link to view the complete list of B.S. degree requirements.

General Education Requirements  

These requirements include earning 41-42 credits in Communication, Humanities and Fine Arts, Social and Behavior Sciences, History, Natural Sciences and Mathematics categories.


Communication Studies Requirements: 36 credits

Communication Studies Core Requirements: 15 credits

Primary Skills Elective: 3 credits

Choose three credits from the following:

Professional Development Elective: 3 credits

Choose three credits from the following:

Storytelling Concentration Requirements: 21 credits

Minor: 18-24 credits

Free Electives: 18-25 credits

Additional Information

Click here to view Degree and Graduation Requirements  for all ETSU students.

CSCI 1100  or Proficiency exam: Must be completed to meet Bachelor’s Degree Requirements. 

Most minors range from 18-24 credits. Those few minors with more than 24 credits may affect the number of free electives allowed.