Chair Judd A. Case, Michelle Calka, Mary P. Lahman, Timothy P. McKenna-Buchanan
Communication studies focuses on how people use messages to generate meaning. From digital media like streaming video to small group communication topics like leadership, communication spans all contexts.
Students will be proficient in audience analysis, message production, and perspective-taking across cultures and channels. People in the professional world agree there has never been a more exciting time to study communication or to become a communication professional.
Major in communication studies; 39 hours: COMM 130, 230, 256, 324, 360, 370, 477 or 499; 18 hours of electives chosen in consultation with advisor and approved by department chair.
Communication studies majors must successfully complete COMM 477 Senior Internship or COMM 499 Senior Research Project to meet the senior comprehensive evaluation requirement prior to graduation. Details are available from the department chair.
Minor in communication studies, 21 hours: COMM 130, 256, 324, 360; nine hours of electives selected in consultation with advisor and with approval of the department.
110 FOUNDATIONS OF HUMAN COMMUNICATION - 3 hours
Examines a broad variety of communication contexts focusing both on the theoretical foundations and the development of communication skills. The course covers the definition and models of communication, including basic concepts such as the speaker, the listener and the message. The course also addresses mediating variables that affect communication across contexts, such as gender and culture. Finally, the course demonstrates how to communicate effectively in various settings, including interpersonal, group, public and mediated communication. C-1O. Fall. Spring.
130 MEDIA LITERACY - 3 hours
A study of the history, organization and mechanics of the mass media. Various media will be examined to discover their roles in society, their artistic aspects and their relationships to individuals. Fall.
210 INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION - 3 hours
A study of the factors involved in sending and receiving messages in interpersonal relationships. The student is encouraged to develop increased awareness of the effect one’s communicating has on others and on the self. Both theoretical and applied aspects are stressed in the course.
212 SMALL GROUP COMMUNICATION - 3 hours
An introduction to small group communication theory and practice. Lectures and assignments will provide the opportunity to examine the impact of the following on communication in a small group setting: group roles, leadership, group interaction patterns and group formation and development. C-3RC.
221 DISCOURSE IN POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS AND SOCIAL MOVEMENTS - 3 hours
An examination of campaign and social movement discourse and development theory. Students will analyze persuasive message strategies utilized in historical and current political campaigns and social movements. Fall, even years.
230 APPLIED THEORIES OF COMMUNICATION - 3 hours
Students will apply communication theory through the lens of their chosen concentration in communication studies to examine human interaction, both interpersonally and in the larger social world. Emphasis on presentation and preparation for the internship in communication studies. Fall.
232 NEW MEDIA - 3 hours
A broad survey of media developed beyond TV. Students will learn of fundamental issues in new media, including their development, consumer and civic applications, and effects. Course readings will emphasize audience and user behaviors, interactivity, industry issues, and the implications of media fragmentation.
234 INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL MEDIA - 3 hours
This course encourages hands-on familiarity with current social media platforms, explores the history of social media, and discusses ethical considerations for social media use. Prerequisite: COMM 110.
235 COMMUNITY RADIO - 3 hours
Students write, edit, record, produce, and distribute community-oriented programming. Pre-produced stories are aired through the campus radio station and are stored and streamed through its website. The facilities of the campus radio station are used as a laboratory.
256 INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION - 3 hours
An examination of how communication is influenced by culture and how culture is created and maintained through communication. Students will explore the complex relationship between culture and communication and how these and two issues interact with context and power in intercultural interactions. Fall.
260 INTRODUCTION TO PUBLIC RELATIONS - 3 hours
An introduction to the ethical management of relationships between organizations and the publics that can affect their success. Students will learn the public relations process of research, planning, communication and evaluation.
314 LANGUAGE AND THOUGHT (W) - 3 hours
Examination of some of the connections between the structure of language and the structure of thinking. Types of misevaluation are analyzed in terms of the language habits from which they spring. Effort is made to help the student be more aware of the interpersonal and organizational problems created by unexamined attitudes toward language. C-3RC.
324 PERSUASION - 3 hours
A study of the messages that move humans to act. Emphasis on the persuasive, argumentative and propagandistic appeals used to secure or resist social change. Students will employ a number of analytical tools to build critical inquiry skills and develop advocacy skills by creating and presenting ethical arguments. Spring.
335 ADVANCED PUBLIC RELATIONS - 3 hours
Students will refine skills learned in the introductory course by designing their own PR campaigns and by working in teams on crisis response simulations. Particular emphasis is placed on developing appropriate and individual approaches to community relations. Prerequisite: COMM 260.
336 VIDEO GAMES AND VIRTUAL IDENTITIES - 3 hours
A study of the convergence of media and rhetoric in video games. Students will learn how to analyze video games as cultural artifacts, as configurations of distinct, but interlocking units of meaning. Lectures will emphasize the interactivity, rhetoric, and cultural implications of this emergent medium. Assignments will include theoretical analyses and a presentation on media convergence.
341 COMMUNICATION IN ORGANIZATIONS (W) - 3 hours
An examination of approaches to the study of communication channels in complex organizations. Units cover organizational theories, communication climate, message flow, communication audit and communication with the public. Prerequisite: FYS or ENG 111. Spring.
344 LISTENING: A RELATIONAL APPROACH TO SALES - 3 hours
This course will explore the appropriate attitudes and relevant listening principles needed to develop effective sales relationships. Because effective listening skills and empathy have a positive effect on sales performance and buyer satisfaction, students will develop proficiency in the interrelated listening processes of hearing, understanding, remembering, interpreting, evaluating, and responding.
Developing an ethics of listening, students will consider important choices that must be made each time they communicate with others. Students will learn in theory and practice that effective and appropriate communication begins with listening: competent communicators work harder to understand than to be understood.
350 INTERVIEWING PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES - 3 hours
Examination of the communication principles that characterize formal interviews. The influence of roles, verbal and nonverbal communication, strategies, and ethics will be considered for interviews in a variety of settings: employment, medical, journalism and counseling.
360 COMMUNICATION ETHICS AND FREE SPEECH (W) - 3 hours
Examination of the tensions between free and responsible communication in society. Using selected case studies of communication (taken from a variety of contexts and forums: interpersonal, organizational and public), this course examines the moral implications of human communication. Spring.
362 TELECOMMUNICATIONS - 3 hours
A study of the economic, cultural, and technological implications of cell phones, PDAs, IPods, laptops, cameras and surveillance technologies. Students will learn the implications of these everyday media for larger issues, such as citizenship, consumerism and civic activism. Course content will emphasize the challenges and possibilities of adapting telecommunication technologies to civic purposes, and of the power of distance-collapsing and space-transforming media. Prerequisites: COMM 232.
367 TV CRITICISM - 3 hours
This course is an application of critical theory to the television industry and television programs. Students will learn how TV meaningfully combines images, sounds and words, and how audiences can negotiate and subvert these combinations. Particular attention will be paid to aesthetics, issues of representation and audience behaviors. Other topics will include reality TV, television as a culture industry, interactive TV, and the global television market.
370 RESEARCH METHODS - 3 hours
This course will provide an introduction to communication research. It will include framing appropriate questions for research, choosing a suitable qualitative or quantitative method and sample, crafting the research design and collection of data. Data analysis and interpretation, as well as research ethics, will also be addressed. Spring.
375 INTERNSHIP IN COMMUNICATION STUDIES - 3 hours
Students will function as applied professionals in communication fields appropriate to their interests and training, including radio and television stations, theatres, public relations firms, etc. May not be repeated for credit. Application forms are available in the department office. Prerequisite: Juniors or seniors majoring or minoring in communication studies.
415 RHETORIC OF WAR - 3 hours
An exploration of war rhetoric found in current and historical artifacts. Students will utilize classical and contemporary methods of rhetorical criticism and reflect upon the ethical nature of persuasive appeals. Course content will include a survey of historical, political, philosophical and religious documents, in addition to an investigation of site specific commemorative rhetoric such as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Korean War Veterans Memorial. C-3RC.
432 GUERRILLA JOURNALISM - 3 hours
At the intersection of professional media production and political activism, guerrilla journalists use cameras, microphones and post-production editing to craft media processes. Students will form “media collectives,” will produce audio and video projects, and will upload these projects to the internet. Activities will include formal instruction on equipment usage, video composition, distribution strategies, and the role of guerrilla journalism in civic activism. Prerequisites: COMM 232.
477 SENIOR INTERNSHIP IN COMMUNICATION STUDIES - 3 hours
Students will work in a professional environment as a part of their senior comprehensive evaluation. Students design the internship with the help of the communication studies faculty member in charge of internships. Senior internships may not be repeated for credit. Application forms are available in the department office. Prerequisite: COMM 370.
499 SENIOR RESEARCH PROJECT - 3 hours
Students will conduct original research as part of their senior comprehensive evaluation. Students will design a research study with the help of a communication studies faculty member. Senior research projects cannot be repeated for credit. Students must complete an application form in the department office. Prerequisite: COMM 370.
380 or 480 SPECIAL PROBLEMS - 1-4 hours
A student who has demonstrated ability to work independently may propose a course and pursue it with a qualified and willing professor. The department chair and the vice president and dean for academic affairs also must approve. A set of guidelines is available at the Office of the Registrar.
385 or 485 SEMINAR - 1-4 hours
An in-depth consideration of a significant scholarly problem or issue. Students pursue a supervised, independent inquiry on an aspect of the topic and exchange results through reports and discussions.