Communication

Requirements & Courses

  • Major Requirements
    Fifty-two credits which must include:
    1. COM 101, 111, 350, 385 (P/F only), and 450.
    2. One ethics class selected from PHL 126, 225, 227, 228 or 229.
    3. Twenty-eight credits from one of the two concentrations below.
      Relational and Cultural Communication
      1. COM 201 and 220.
      2. Eight credits selected from COM 123, 223, 281, 320, 381.
      3. Four additional COM credits from the Strategic and Public area, or from NMS.
      4. Eight credits of cognate coursework selected from: COG 120, 180, 280; IPH 223; PSY 212, 236, 240, 245; PHL 240; REL 202, 210; SOA 220, 241, 243, 251, 353; WGS 101, 102, 280; or other course pre-approved by the Department. Cognates may count toward second majors and minors.
      Strategic and Public Communication
      1. COM 211 and 302.
      2. Eight credits selected from COM 202, 227, 243, 253, 282, 327, 353, 382.
      3. Four additional COM credits from the Relational and Cultural area, or from NMS.
      4. Eight credits of cognate coursework selected from: BUS 323, 333, 334, 401; IPH 270, 331; ENG 270; PAF 150, 350, 450; POL 141, 242, 341, 345; SOA 234, 326; or other course pre-approved by the Department. Cognates may count toward second majors and minors.

    Note: No more than 4 credits of COM 385 may be counted toward the COM major, and no more than 8 credits of COM coursework may be counted toward another major or interdisciplinary minor.

  • Departmental Honors

    Completion of all COM major requirements, 3.5 GPA in the major, and completion of a senior thesis of honors caliber (COM 500).

  • Minor Requirements

    Twenty-four credits, 12 of which must be upper level. Must include COM 101, 111, 450; 4 credits from the Relational/Cultural area; 4 credits from the Strategic/Public area; and 4 additional COM credits.

  • Four credits from COM, with the exception of practicum or independent study courses, count towards the Distributive Requirements in the Humanities.

Courses

  • COM
    101
    .
    Human Communication
    4
    Beginning study of the nature, problems and theories of human communication. Examines issues of meaning, relationship and community within interpersonal, group and media contexts. Surveys rhetorical, pragmatic and interpretive perspectives on the communication process.
  • COM
    111
    .
    Fundamentals of Speech Communication
    4
    Elements of oral communication in public contexts. Emphasis on diagnosing rhetorical situations, inventing and delivering informative and persuasive presentations, and facilitating public discussion.
  • COM
    123
    .
    Performing Advocacy
    4
    Explores the relationships among identity, power and culture. Students learn how to become advocates through the use of Everyday Life Performance and other performance techniques, engaging in perspective taking and service learning with marginalized groups.
  • COM
    192
    .
    Introduction to Public Relations
    2
    Introduction to the principles of public relations and strategic corporate communication practices. Topics include message design, campaign planning, audience analysis, issue management, and case studies of ethical issues.
  • COM
    201
    .
    Relational Communication
    4
    Examination of messages, roles, rules and strategies through which interpersonal relationships are initiated, maintained and changed. Emphasis on analysis of interaction and communication processes in a variety of interpersonal contexts.
  • COM
    202
    .
    Group Communication and Teamwork
    2
    Uses academic literature, case discussions, illustrative exercises, and group projects to foster the development of skills needed to participate in and lead groups and teams. The course focuses on how to recognize and diagnose group communication difficulties, and to develop strategies for improving teamwork and group performance.
  • COM
    211
    .
    Political Communication
    4
    Explores the influence of political messages and discourse in civic life. Topics include the relationship of free speech and a free press to democracy, historical and contemporary foundations for understanding the social influence of political messages the political uses and effects of traditional and new media, and contemporary challenges to free speech, deliberative public discourse, and participatory democracy.
  • COM
    212
    .
    Sports Communication
    4
    Explores the function of sports communication and its impact on players, organizations, fans and professionals. Issues examined include decision making, crisis communication, gender dynamics, community relations and social media presence.
  • COM
    *
    220
    .
    Intercultural Communication
    4
    Study of interdependent relationship between communication and culture. Examines conceptual and experiential problems of communication across cultural boundaries. Focuses on perceiving, interpreting, and evaluating different cultural values, world views and patterns of communication. Course fee.
  • COM
    *
    223
    .
    Humor, Culture and Communication
    4
    Explores humor as an important means of communicating cultural messages by considering issues such as power, identity and marginality. Focusing on a variety of media - from stand-up comedy performance to literary parody, this course examines humor as social critique and potentially subversive rhetoric. Through analysis and performance of stand-up comedy, students gain an understanding of the relationship between humor and power, and the importance of this relationship in rhetorical and cultural contexts. Course fee.
  • COM
    *
    227
    .
    Argument & Public Advocacy
    4
    Investigates the nature and practice of argument in a democratic society. Focuses on speeches, debates, conversations, and other contexts of public argument. Emphasis on the analysis of evidence, reasoning, assumptions, and values in current policy debates.
  • COM
    *
    243
    .
    Health Communication
    4
    Examines communication practices in health care relationships and organizations. Topics include effective provider-patient interaction, communication relationships in health organizations, rhetorical and media strategies for managing health issues, and the uses of new communication technologies to promote health and manage health information.
  • COM
    *
    253
    .
    Environmental Communication
    4
    Examines issues and controversies in conservation, ecology and environmentalism from a communication perspective. Emphasizes critical analysis of the role of mass media and public discourse in the definition, deliberation and resolution of environmental issues.
  • COM
    *
    281
    .
    Topics in Relational Communication
    4
    Exploration of specific topics in relational communication, which may include nonverbal communication, conflict communication, intimacy and technology, family communication, communicating loss and other areas.
  • COM
    *
    282
    .
    Topics in Strategic Communication
    4
    In-depth exploration of specific topics in strategic communication, which may include political campaign communication, corporate image management, public policy and advocacy, presidential rhetoric, the rhetoric of social movements, organizational change, non-profit leadership, strategic health campaigns, environmental advocacy, and other areas. May be taken more than once for credit as topics vary.
  • COM
    *
    302
    .
    Strategic Organizational Communication
    4
    COM-202 or 4 credits in COM or Permission
    Study of strategic communication goals, messages, networks, and systems in organizations. Examines internal organizational processes of socialization, coordination, leadership, and change as well as external communication processes of issue management, corporate citizenship, and public relations.
  • COM
    *
    320
    .
    Gender and Communication
    4
    Four credits in COM or Permission; Sophomore Standing
    Explores the rhetorical construction of gendered identities, focusing on cultural messages about femininity and masculinity in social, political, institutional and relational contexts. Through readings, discussions, films and presentations, the course examines the way gendered identities are created, contested and performed, emphasizing the relevance of this process to our daily lives.
  • COM
    *
    327
    .
    Propaganda & Persuasion
    4
    COM-227 or Permission
    Examines the mediated and rhetorical processes of social influence and the elements of propaganda. Emphasis on analysis of institutional persuasive strategies in film, television, print and oral media.
  • COM
    *
    350
    .
    Seminar in Communication Inquiry
    4
    Twelve credits in COM, including COM-101 or Permission; Junior Standing
    Examination of systematic methodological approaches to the formal analysis of communication processes, messages and problems. Focus on evaluation of research literature and creation of a research proposal. Requires Junior standing.
  • COM
    *
    353
    .
    Risk and Crisis Communication
    4
    COM-243 or 253 or Permission
    This course examines the communication practices and resources through which individuals, groups, agencies, media organizations, and communities recognize and respond to natural and socially created risks and crises. Topics include the nature and types of risks and crises, the funcional requirements for effective risk and crisis communication, the organizational and procedural elements of risk and crisis communication systems, and the communication skills needed to design and disseminate the verbal, visual, and multi-media messages to redcue risks and manage crises.
  • COM
    *
    381
    .
    Sem in Relational Com Rsrch & Practice
    4
    Through substantive reading, discussion and presentation, students focus on a particular area of relational communication (topics vary)in order to gain in-depth understanding and become familiar with recent scholarship in that area. Using a seminar format, each student plays a significant role in sharing scholarly findings.
  • COM
    *
    382
    .
    Sem in Strategic Com Rsch & Practice
    4
    Junior Standing and 4 upper level credits in COM or Permission
    Topics vary. Students engage in advanced reading, lead substantive discussions, and develop research-based presentations to demonstrate in-depth understanding of specific and timely topics and issues in strategic public discourse and advocacy.
  • COM
    *
    385
    .
    Communication Internship
    2-4
    Twelve credits in COM and Junior Standing or Permission
    Application of communication concepts and skills through participation in communities, institutions, agencies, schools and businesses. Supervision by faculty and sponsoring organizations. Includes interpretive journal and substantive analytic paper.
  • COM
    *
    450
    .
    Communication Theory
    4
    COM Major or Minor; Senior Standing and COM-385 or Permission
    Synthesis, integration and elaboration of theoretical perspectives on communication issues, problems and practices developed through previous coursework, projects and internships. Coursework includes completion of individual senior project and compilation of portfolio.
  • COM
    *
    450T
    .
    Communication Theory
    4
    COM Major or Minor; Senior Standing and COM-385 or Permission
    Synthesis, integration and elaboration of theoretical perspectives on communication issues, problems and practices developed through previous coursework, projects and internships. Coursework includes completion of individual senior project and compilation of portfolio.
  • COM
    *
    500
    .
    Senior Thesis
    2-4
    Development and completion of original research. May be interpretive, critical, empirical, or theoretical. Required for departmental honors. Requires senior standing and permission.