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Curriculum & Courses

Mission

The Department of Communication's mission is to generate and share knowledge about human communication in a variety of social contexts and to teach applications for ethical and effective interaction in personal and professional settings. The program is designed to prepare students for careers in organizational settings, responsible citizenship, critical thinking about communication phenomena in society, as well as advanced studies in the field of communication. We offer courses covering human communication in a variety of contexts, which are reflected in the department's three areas of emphasis: 1) Relational Communication, 2) Intercultural and Global Communication, and 3) Advocacy.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Upon completion of the baccalaureate degree, students in communication are expected to:

  • Recognize the importance of communication across three related areas of emphasis: a) relational communication, b) intercultural/global communication, and c) advocacy;
  • Understand core communication theories and concepts and apply them in their daily lives;
  • Demonstrate competence in theories and concepts from one of the three areas of emphasis (i.e., relational communication, intercultural/global communication, rhetoric and public communication) and be prepared to apply them in their daily lives;
  • Evaluate communication research studies critically;
  • Research, develop, organize, and deliver effective and ethical written and oral presentations.

Curriculum

Innovative, flexible, cutting-edge curricula characterize both the Bachelor of Arts (BA) and the Bachelor of Arts in Communication (BAC). 

The BA (Bachelor of Arts) degree provides a liberal arts foundation to the study of communication.  It is distinguished by its academic rigor and attention to the development of exemplary oral and written communication skills. Students take communication courses emphasizing communication information, theories, and criticism.  They also enhance their education with the study of a foreign language, complementing communication study and providing students with a competitive advantage as they pursue careers in global corporations, government agencies, and international organizations.

The BA acquaints students with the study of the humanities (literature, performing arts, philosophy), social sciences (economics, political science, sociology), and natural sciences (biology, geography, physics).  Each student’s individual program benefits from one of the numerous outstanding minor programs across the campus including, but not limited to, Africana Studies, American Culture Studies, Art, Art History, Asian Studies, Computer Science, Creative Writing, Economics, Entrepreneurial Studies, Environmental Policy and Analysis, Ethnic Studies, Management, Marketing, and Peace Studies.

The BAC (Bachelor of Arts in Communication) degree emphasizes coursework, developing competencies in specific professional areas.  BAC students complement their major coursework by identifying a career focus.  The career focus requires 24 hours of credit in areas including, but not limited to, Communication Research, Organizational Communication, Performance Studies, Promotions and Advertising, Sales Communication, and Social Services.

Course Information

Follow the link to the Undergraduate Catalog to get more detail information about the two degree requirements.  You will find course descriptions belw or follow this link.

By clicking on the link Class Search you can access information on current COMM courses offered this semester.

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

COMM 1020. Introduction to Public Speaking (3). Fall, Spring, Summer. Basic principles of interpersonal communication, small-group communication and public speaking; exercises and activities in each area with attention to individual needs.

COMM 1990. Intercollegiate Forensic Activities (1). Fall, Spring. Instruction and experience in intercollegiate contest speaking, including forms of public address and oral interpretation. May be repeated for four credits. Extra fee.

COMM 2010. Communication Theory (3). Fall, Spring, Summer. Development of theoretical formulations in speech communication. Emphasis on special heuristic (not general explanatory) theories which focus on relationship factors, as well as speaker and message aspects. Interdisciplinary perspectives utilized. Prerequisite: COMM 1020. Approved for Distance Education.

COMM 2030. Small Group Communication (3). Fall, Spring, Summer. Theory and practice in the analysis of social interaction in small groups as it affects problem solving and policy formation processes. Prerequisite: COMM 1020. Approved for Arts & Sciences Group IV (Social Sciences) credit.

COMM 2050. Business and Professional Speaking (3). Fall, Spring. Principles of public communication, composition and public speaking, including practice. Prerequisite: COMM 1020.

COMM 2070. Interpersonal Communication I (3). Fall, Spring, Summer. Introduction to dyadic communication with a focus on factors which influence effectiveness. Practical experience in behaviors associated with interpersonal competence. No credit for both COMM 2070 and COMM 3060. Prerequisite: COMM 1020. Approved for Arts & Sciences Group IV (Social Sciences) credit.

COMM 2090. Interpersonal Communication and Interviewing (3). Fall, Spring. Introduction to interviewing as interpersonal communication. Theory, research and practice in the selection interview, performance-appraisal interview, information-gathering interview, survey interview, problem-solving interview and persuasive interview. Prerequisite: COMM 1020. Approved for Distance Education.

COMM 2100. Communicating in Global Contexts (3). Fall, Spring. In this course, students examine the ways in which humans create, exchange, and interpret meaning as a function of their national cultures. Readings and applied assignments stress intercultural sensitivity, empathy, and cross-cultural communication competence. Credit allowed for only one of COMM 2100 and INST 2100. Prerequisite: COMM 1020 and COMM 2010, or student must either be an International Studies major/minor or enrolled in the Global Village Approved for Distance Education.

COMM 3000. Communication Research Methods (3). Fall, Spring. This course introduces students to communication research methods. Students will learn to read and design communication research in social scientific, humanistic, and critical traditions. Prerequisites: COMM 1020 and COMM 2010.

COMM 3030. Persuasion (3). Fall, Spring, Summer. Theories and concepts of persuasive communication; attitude change, audience analysis and strategies of persuasion. Prerequisites: COMM 1020.

COMM 3040. Leadership in Communication (3). Fall. Conceptions, methods and techniques of leadership related to communication. Emphasis on understanding and application of communication theories to leadership. Prerequisites: COMM 1020.  Approved for Distance Education.

COMM 3060. Interpersonal Communication (3). Fall, Spring, Summer. Two-party communication, reduction of defensive climates as a means of facilitating effective communication. Practical experience in information seeking, persuasive and personal encounters. For nonmajors only. No credit for both COMM 2070 and COMM 3060. Approved for Distance Education.

COMM 3070. Organizational Communication (3). Fall, Spring. Message initiation, diffusion and reception in organizational setting. Role of communication in establishing and maintaining climates, systems, cultures; organization's external environment. Prerequisites: COMM 1020 and COMM 2010. Approved for Arts & Sciences Group IV (Social Sciences) credit. Approved for Distance Education.

COMM 3080. Argumentation (3). Fall, Spring, Summer. Principles of argumentation; case analysis and construction; practice in forms of debating using contemporary topics. Prerequisites: COMM 1020 and COMM 2010, or consent of instructor. Approved for Group V (A&H) credit.

COMM 3100. Rhetorical Criticism (3). Fall. Theories and methods of criticism of rhetorical communication. The critical lens focuses on the important communicators and messages directed at intended audiences capable of modifying a significant rhetorical situation. Prerequisites: COMM 1020 and COMM 2010, or consent of instructor. Approved for Group V (A&H) credit

COMM 3110. Virtual Teams (3). This course addresses issues relating to virtual teams such as theories about collaboration, communication, and organization in the era of globalization, and communication technologies that enable communication and collaboration among individuals and their effects on the individual team members and their organizations. Prerequisites: COMM 1020 and COMM 2010, or consent of instructor. Approved for Distance Education.

COMM 3500. Rhetoric of Sport (3). Fall, Spring. This course examines sport as a prominent site of communication in American and global culture. It is based on the critical engagement with sport as a symbolic means of creating communities and identities at the individual, community, national, and global levels. Course material addresses areas including, but not limited to, commercialization, globalization, media representation, mythology, nationalism, nostalgia, and performances of identity (such as class, gender and sexuality, and race). Prerequisites: COMM 1020, or consent of instructor.

COMM 3950. Workshop on Current Topics (1-3). On demand. Intensive educational experience on selected topics. Typically, an all-day or similar concentrated time format. May be repeated on approval of adviser, if topics differ. Prerequisites: COMM 1020 and COMM 2010.

COMM 3990. Intercollegiate Forensic Activities (1). Fall, Spring. For juniors and seniors; similar to COMM 1990. May be repeated for four credits. Extra fee.

COMM 4020. Political Communication (3). Fall. Rhetorical theories and practices are central in this study of political campaign communication. Emphasis is placed on contemporary presidential campaigns and mediated messages. Prerequisites: COMM 1020 or consent of instructor.

COMM 4040. Communication and Conflict (3). Fall, Spring. Communication skills in conflict situations in dyadic, group, and organizational settings; negotiation, mediation, and arbitration processes. Prerequisites: COMM 1020 or conent of instructor. Credit cannot be earned in both this course and MC 5040. Approved for Distance Education.

COMM 4050. Mediated Cultures and Identities (3). This course explores how meaning-making processes and social formations shape communication and cultures within computer-based technological environments in a variety of contexts. We critically examine theory and practice of producing online multimediated spaces. Prerequisites: COMM 1020 or conent of instructor. Credit cannot be earned in both this course and MC 5050.

COMM 4060. Topics in Communication Studies (3). Fall, Spring, Summer. Selected topics or subject areas within the field of communication, marital communication, legal speaking, assertiveness and nonverbal communication. May be repeated to six hours. Approved for Distance Education.

COMM 4070. Relational  Communication II (3). Fall, Spring, Summer. Extended analysis of current theoretical positions and research in interpersonal communication. Topics include social exchange, rules, attribution, attraction, relational stages, power, impression formation and management. Prerequisites: COMM 1020 and COMM 2010, or consent of instructor.

COMM 4080. Intercultural Communication (3). Fall. Communication variables in intercultural contexts. Culture and meaning, communication values in intercultural dialogue, culture as symbolic worldview, culture shock, conflict resolution across cultures. Credit cannot be earned in both this course and MC 5080. Prerequisites: COMM 1020 and COMM 2010, or consent of instructor.

COMM 4090. International Communication (3). Fall, Spring. Relationships between communication and national cultures. Background theory and research in international communication encourages an appreciation of communication similarities and differences across nations. Applied development of international and global communication competence. Credit cannot be earned in both this course and MC 5090. Prerequisites: COMM 1020 and COMM 2010, or consent of instructor. Approved for Distance Education.

COMM 4120. Communication and Gender (3). Fall, Spring. Theories and principles of communication, gender, and power issues in multiple contexts (interpersonal relationships among friends, family, and romantic partners, within organizations, media and advertising, and the academy). Prerequisites: COMM 1020 or consent of instructor. Approved for Group V (A&H) credit. Approved for Distance Education.

COMM 4180. Communication Ethics (3). This course addresses issues relating to communication ethics such as theoretical perspectives on communication ethics, codes of ethics for professions, and communication ethics in different contexts. Prerequisites: COMM 1020 or consent of instructor. Approved for Distance Education.

COMM 4200. Discourses of Power  (3). In this course, we will work together to investigate underlying racial politics in a number of contexts, seeking an understanding of those power structures that are often buried beneath our normalized communication practices. Our work will examine how race is constructed through our communication. Prerequisites: COMM 1020.

COMM 4220. Technology for Transnational  Communication (3). Examines the social, cultural, and political impact of information and communication technology around the world. Analyzes current styles and discourses of communication through technology, and explores interpersonal, ethical, socio-cultural implications of these developments. Emphasizes collaboration: students, individually and in small groups, will explore and critique current international and multicultural issues including gender, national identity, ownership, class, and privacy. Encourages "hands-on" approach to researching technology and thinking critically about its global impact. Prerequisites: COMM 1020 or consent of instructor. Approved for Distance Education.

COMM 4300. Rhetoric of Social Movements. This course introduces students to theories and practices of how groups organize to create social change. Course material will address movements including, but not limited to, civil rights, feminism, environmentalism, religion, and new social movements. Prerequisites: COMM 1020 and COMM 2010, or consent of instructor.

COMM 4440. Health Communication (3). Fall, Spring. Theory, research, and principles of communication in health industries, public policy, and individual health; emphasis on U.S. health with attention to cultural and gender issues. Applicable for students interested in becoming care givers, health administrators, researchers in health, or are interested in their own health. Prerequisite: COMM 1020 and COMM 2010, or consent of instructor.

COMM 4890. Communication Internship (1-10). Fall, Spring, Summer. Field experience in communication. Study of communication as intern in public or commercial agency. Open only to IPC majors in BAC program. Prerequisites: COMM 1020 and COMM 2010, 2.5 overall GPA, junior status and 12 hours of completed COMM courses. May be repeated up to 10 hours. Graded S/U.

COMM 4900. Problems in Communication Studies (1-3). Fall, Spring. For advanced student who wishes to do intensive study in rhetoric, public address or communication studies independently or in conjunction with courses regularly offered. May be repeated. Prerequisites: COMM 1020 and COMM 2010, or consent of department.

COMM 4910. Readings in Interpersonal Communication (1-3). Fall, Spring, Summer. Supervised readings on topics of current or specialized interest in interpersonal communication. Prerequisites: COMM 1020, COMM 2010, junior standing, and consent of instructor and department chair. Graded S/U. Not repeatable.