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B.A. in Communication Studies
Summary of Requirements
Much like in personal relationships, communication is the key to success in business and your career. Communication Studies majors learn the skills most desired by employers:
The Communication Studies program teaches students about intrapersonal, interpersonal, public, intercultural, and corporate communication. This provides the firm foundation necessary for creating a successful career in fields such as media, health communication, human resources, and public relations. You’ll come out of the communication program with the ability to think critically, express ideas impactfully, and understand the diverse forms of communication that draw people in.
Students will have the ability to put their knowledge and experience into practice as they take up positions of influence in their communities or continue postgraduate studies.
Admission to Communication Studies requires:
Please contact Marina Dzougoutov for admission to the major.
Requirements to maintain good standing and graduation for Communication Studies majors:
Required pre-major courses 9 hours
Introductory survey of the field of communication that includes discussion of the importance of communication in our lives, examination of communication as a uniquely human process of interaction, an overview of the varied contexts in which communication occurs, and investigation of communication as an academic discipline, field of research, and possible career track. This course also provides an introduction to the Communication Studies Department.
Surveys genres and modalities of professional writing, including social media and writing for the web. Provides an overview of areas such as digital publishing, new media journalism, business and technical writing, and editing. Develops a rhetorical understanding of professional writing as the ability to write in response to elements including audience, purpose, medium, and design.
Prerequisite: GSR 102 and permission of the instructor.
An introduction to the scientific study of human behavior, providing an overview of the major issues, methods, and contributions of psychology. Content areas include development, language, learning, cognition, physiological psychology intelligence, and abnormal and social psychology.
Prerequisite: GSR 102 or the equivalent
Sociology attempts to understand how societies function. The course explores how social forces influence our lives and our chances for success. It also examines social groups, the relationships among social groups, and the ways groups get and maintain power.
Required courses 27-29 hours
This course will focus on the process of thinking and problem solving in committees and small groups; methods of leading and participating in discussions and conferences.
GSR 102/ENG 102 and GSR 103/ASL 125; or permission of the instructor.
The course emphasizes the principles involved in the selection and organization of ideas and their effective presentation to a group.
GSR 102/ENG 102 and GSR 103/ASL 125; or permission of the instructor
The Internship Seminar is required of all Communication Studies majors who anticipate that they will start an internship within the subsequent three academic terms. Typically offered during the spring semester of each year, this course is for students who anticipate that they will begin an internship int he coming summer, or the fall, or during the following spring semester. The primary goal of the course is to help prepare students for the internship and to provide them with the knowledge and insights to make the most of this learning experience.
Prerequisite: Permission of the program coordinator
Students who major in Communication Studies are required to complete an internship for career exploration, job experience, and the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills gained in the major. Students can earn up to three credits toward the major requirements through an internship.
Prerequisite: COM 320 and permission of the department chair.
This course will provide for the experiential learning of the elements of effective interpersonal communication. Students will observe, record, and analyze interpersonal transactions; opportunities for improving interpersonal skills will be provided.
Prerequisites: COM 280 and COM 290, or permission of the instructor
This course prepares students to be effective communicators in the workplace and includes interviewing, professional presentations at staff meetings, business writing, and interaction with a variety of professionals.
Prerequisites: COM 280 and COM 290 or permission of the instructor
This course involves a critical study of the development, scope, influence, and theories of mass communication in America.
This is a survey course that covers conceptual approaches to the study of human communication. There will be a emphasis on theories that focus on speaker and message aspects, and the use of communication strategies in the forming, building, and dissolution of relationships through interdisciplinary perspectives.
Prerequisites: COM 150, COM 280, and 290; or permission of the instructor.
An examination of the role played by communication in the bridging and separating of cultures. How norms, values, and expectations concerning the communication act itself differ from culture to culture, and how these differences affect intercultural encounters.
Prerequisite: COM 380 or permission of the instructor
Reviews a broad range of critical and theoretical approaches in contemporary visual practices. Students will learn how to find meaning and value in the images and texts that hold power in their world. Employs lectures, field trips and other experiential modes of learning.
Prerequisite: COM 350 or permission of the instructor.
This required course is designed for Communication Studies majors. The course assignments and discussions will focus on communication ethics in interpersonal, group, family, public and professional settings. One of the important functions of this course is to provide a structured environment for completion of the COM senior assessment project.
Prerequisites: Good standing in the program and a minimum of 30 credits in the Communication Studies major.
Required elective courses 15 hours
Choose 15 hours:
This course will focus on the process of inquiry within human communication. Students are introduced to concepts of framing research questions, conducting literature reviews, developing a research design, using qualitative and quantitative research tools, and interpreting results of research in communication.
Prerequisite/co-requisite: COM 150 or permission of instructor.
This course is designed to provide an environment that is supportive of self-exploration and understanding through attendance and participation in intergroup dialogue. The goal of intergroup dialogue is to develop comfort with, and skill for, discussion of difficult topics and fostering positive, meaningful, and sustained cross-group relationships. This course engages students in facilitated dialogue about the similarities and differences of experiences that exist within a group and/or between and across groups. In debate, the goal is to listen to gain advantage; in intergroup dialogue, the main goal is to listen to gain understanding. As a result, students develop increased multicultural interaction, increased intergroup awareness and sensitivity, and greater commitment to civic engagement. Each semester there will be a variety of topics addressed by the dialogue sections. The topics and number of sections of the dialogues are flexible and will change from semester to semester. The original set of dialogues includes race, language, LGBT, US/Foreign Born, and Interfaith/secular. Through the intergroup dialogue process, it is our hope that we will better understand our own biases and positioning on the topics, deepen our learning to build bridges and create kinship within the group, and develop skills for discussing difficult topics with people who hold a variety of perspectives.
Prerequisite: Permission of the department chair
In everyday life, we are interdependent with others and face many challenges in interpersonal and group situations. The difference or disagreements in perceptions, goals, needs, or interests can lead to conflicts. These conflicts can develop into positive situations that encourage creativity and new dimensions or they can devolve into negative situations that develop destructive and hurtful behaviors. Because such conflicts occur in daily life, it is important to understand the dynamics of conflict, use effective management techniques, and establish and maintain collaborative relationships. In this course we will use theoretical perspectives, case studies, personal experiences, journals, and class activities to examine the roots and nature of conflict, the styles and tactics used to deal with conflict, and the personal and group stakes in conflict. In addition, we will explore methods for analyzing and handling conflict, techniques for creating constructive conflict, uses of third-party interventions, and possibilities for forgiveness, reconciliation, and thinking of ''conflict as magic''.
Prerequisites: COM 324 or permission of the instructor
For many years, programs in mediation, dialogue, and deliberation have been invaluable in helping people change their communicative patterns in order to improve their situations at home, work, and in the community. In this course we will examine these three well-established types of programs, learn how and why they work, and experience using and participating in these methods through role plays, simulations, and actual events. We will use a communication perspective within a systemic approach to examine the complex factors involved in conflict and to learn how a change in communication can shift interaction dynamics.
Prerequisite: COM 330
This course provides a broad overview of components of public relations in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Students will examine the concept of public relations as an ongoing process. Students will be exposed to the basic knowledge, skills, strategies, and tools used by practitioners.
Prerequisite: COM 350
This course is cross-listed and is otherwise known as ITS 372. The ability to have access to communications is an important foundation for empowerment of people who are deaf and hard of hearing. This course explores how communication accessibility is achieved through study of current and emerging technology, trends in industry, public policies, and the government agencies that enforce these policies. Access to telecommunications (including Internet and wireless communications, relay services, etc.), information, video media, emergency services, public accommodations, employment, education, and other contexts are included.
Prerequisite: COM 290 or permission of the instructor
Students will study the ways in which beliefs, attitudes, and behavior are affected by communication in this course. The findings of behavioral research and contemporary theories will be employed to demonstrate the workings of persuasion in political campaigns, advertising, and everyday life.
Prerequisites: COM 380 or permission of the instructor.
Students in this course will approach public speeches and speech-making based on theory, performance and criticism. Students will both write and deliver their own addresses and learn principles for rhetorical criticism of others' speeches.
Prerequisite: COM 290
A study of the theories and research on the influence of artifacts, appearance, facial expression, gestures, paralanguage, posture, movement, space, time, and touch on human interaction. Opportunities for analysis and application of learned principles through in-class exercises, simulations, videotaped sessions, and original field research.
This course is an examination of communication and gender, including sex role stereotypes. The course provides a survey of how communication of and about gender interacts with various contexts, including biology, culture, family, mass media, education, religion, and the workplace.
Prerequisites: COM 380 or permission of the instructor
An examination of the persuasive strategies used by mainstream politicians, social activists, and propagandists. Special emphasis is on the rituals and implicit rules of conducting public information campaigns and electoral campaigns, and the relationship among politicians, the voting public, and the mass media that link them.
Prerequisite: COM 350 or permission of the instructor
The role of communication in complex organizations. Emphasis upon the role of communication styles of managers and employees in the creation of corporate culture. Dissemination of messages within and among divisions of organizations. Use of such diagnostic tools as the ICA Communication Audit to identify dysfunctional communication patterns.
Prerequisite: COM 150 or permission of the instructor
Examination of the communication concepts that are fundamental to understanding interaction in the family. Exploration of how communication affects the development, maintenance, and enhancement of family relations.
Students will study the process of arriving at reasons and conclusions; practice in debate; projects in analysis, research, ordering of arguments, and refutation.
Special topics in the discipline, designed primarily for seniors who are majors or minors. Students may enroll in 495 Special Topics multiple times, as long as the topics differ.
Prerequisites: COM 150; and permission of the department
Reading, research, discussion, or laboratory work, according to the interests of the student. Title indicating the content must be available at registration.
Required related courses 3 hours
Take any one of the following English courses:
Introduction to composition of texts using desktop publishing software and computer technology. Focuses on the writing conventions and standards of professional communication, as well as editing techniques and competencies. Also covers design principles, typography, layout and production techniques. When offered for 4 credits, this course will be cross-listed with GSR 210, 220, or 240 and will address the Student Learning Outcomes of these courses.
Prerequisite: GSR 102
Study and intensive practice of writing in digital environments, with a focus on journalistic contexts. Examines technical and rhetorical features of online environments, including interactivity, hyperlinking, spatial orientation, and non-linear storytelling. Focuses on the writing conventions and standards of digital media, as well as editing techniques and competencies.
Prerequisite: ENG 250 or permission of the instructor.
Study and intensive practice of composition in social media genres. Examines
rhetorical conventions for digital communication and the dissemination of information through social media for professional purposes, including developing a social media content strategy and analytics. Integrates editing techniques and competencies. May also cover theoretical issues such as copyright and authorship, visual literacy, and moderation of collaborative online environments.
Study and intensive practices of inventing, shaping, producing, and delivering text, audio, video, and images aesthetically and purposefully. Examines various genres of and technical platforms for multimedia composition. Integrates editing techniques and competencies. May also cover theoretical issues relevant to digital media such as universal access and participatory culture.
Prerequisite: ENG 250 or permission of the instructor.
Study of media literacy, including techniques and strategies used to analyze the use of diverse media to inform, entertain, and sell. Examines diverse media messages in advertisements, television, film, newspapers, magazines, and the Internet.
Study and intensive practice of professional writing skills and genres, such as resumes, letters of application, emails, memos, short proposals and reports.
Prerequisite: GSR 150 or permission of the instructor.
This course will deal with these features: news, feature, and editorial writing; copy editing and fact checking; headline writing; and page layout, both in print and online. This course touches on the growing possibilities and ethical considerations for journalism in the digital age.
The employment of Management professionals is expected to grow by a 5% rate from 2019-2029, with an average annual salary of $109,760.
Learn more about career opportunities in management.
Employment in Public Relations is expected to grow by a 7% rate from 2019-2029, with an average annual salary of $62,810. Learn more about career opportunities in public relations.
The employment of Fundraising and Marketing professionals is expected to grow by a 16% rate from 2019-2029, with an average annual salary of $59,610. Learn more about career opportunities in fundraising and marketing.
The employment of Media and Communications is expected to grow by a 4% rate from 2019-2029, with an average annual salary of $61,310.
Learn more about careers in media and communications.
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