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Undergraduate Communications Requirement


The Undergraduate Communication Requirement is a two-course requirement that all undergraduates at the UW-Madison are required to complete. Both courses of this requirement include an information literacy component.

For a more detailed description of the information literacy components of these two courses, click on Course A or Course B in the table of contents at the left. If you need more information regarding the information literacy requirements for a course, please contact Sarah McDaniel , Campus Library & Information Literacy Instruction Coordinator.

For more information about General Education Requirements at UW-Madison click here .

Comm A

Except for the small percentage of students who test out, all incoming freshmen are required to take Course A of the Communication Requirement within their first year. Course A includes literacy components in information literacy, as well as in written and oral communications. The 2012 approved and modernized information literacy outcomes are available here.

The information literacy component, which is taught by campus teaching librarians, is designed to orient students to the campus library system and to introduce them to the basic information-seeking skills and strategies needed to find book and journal resources. The module consists of two parts: CLUE, a multimedia, library skills tutorial and a classroom session in one of our electronic library classrooms (see also: CLUE handout).

Comm B

Course B, the second course of the Undergraduate Communication Requirement, includes an information literacy component that should be developed in consultation with the campus Library & Information Literacy Instruction Program. It is intended to follow Course A and to build on the skills and strategies taught in that first course.

In many cases, Course B's are discipline- or subject- specific classes and the information literacy component, therefore, is designed to introduce students to resources and information-seeking skills related to those disciplines. The campus Library & Information Literacy Instruction Program can assist with the information literacy component of Course B in a number of ways:

  • by teaching a session on information resources and search strategies
  • by assisting faculty and instructors with the development of information literacy modules that they will teach
  • by providing handouts related to information resources and/or library services
  • by assisting with the design of library assignments

Click here for an introduction to the library research component of Communication-B courses.

Information for Campus Advisors

Roughly 75% of all incoming students at UW-Madison are required to take a Communication-A course. An important part of that course experience is the library instruction module that introduces students to the campus library system and to the strategies and skills they need to find books and journal articles.

Students who are exempt from the Communication-A requirement by virtue of their placement test score or who have transfer credit for a Comm-A equivalent course are strongly encouraged to complete CLUE, a multimedia tutorial that will introduce them to some of the basic resources and search strategies covered in the library module of the Communication-A course. CLUE is available at: A handout about CLUE is also available for advisors to give to advisees who are exempt from taking the Comm-A course.

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