Department of Communication
102 Ferguson Building
H. L. Goodall, Jr., Professor and Head of Department
Professor Smith; Associate Professor Natalle; Assistant Professors Dunlap, Kellett, Reeder; Lecturers Ferguson, Matthews
The Department of Communication offers coursework in interpersonal, organizational, and public communication. Our program helps students to become more effective communicators as well as facilitators of effective communication in others. The Department offers the BA in Communication Studies as well as an undergraduate minor. The MA and MEd degrees are also offered by the department. For details on graduate programs, see The Graduate School Bulletin.
The mission of the Department of Communication is "to teach students the study of strategic and ethical uses of communication to build relationships and communities." The undergraduate curriculum is based solidly in our core values: (1) we teach strategies for communication effectiveness if all contexts of application; (2) we teach ethics as a way of informing choices about strategies as well as a ways of improving our ability to intelligently consume and interpret public messages; (3) we teach ways and means of understanding and improving personal, professional, and mediated relationships, and (4) we teach ways and means of understanding and contributing productively to the evolution and changes in our personal, professional, and mediated communities.
The Department of Communication offers an additive approach to curricular design so that courses at the lower levels (e.g. 100 and 200 levels) lead into courses at the upper levels in an effort to reinforce and extend our core values through the four-year plan of study. Courses are also designed to make productive use of differing learning styles among students: theoretical and applied, textual and experiential, topical and case studies, coursework and internships, individual and group/team based performances. The capstone experience in each student's program of study is an individualized, semester-long, community-based research project that culminates in public presentation and evaluation. Throughout the program, each student will work with her or his advisor to develop a professional portfolio of materials and accomplishments.
The Department of Communication provides opportunities to study interpersonal, organizational, and public communication. These areas encompass rhetorical and communication theory, public persuasion and argument, group communication, political communication, political communication, and public relations. Communication courses contribute to a liberal education by teaching creative thinking and problem-solving, critical reasoning, and effective oral, written, and mediated communication. The faculty strongly believes in the interdisciplinary nature of communication and this curriculum encourages elective hours to be taken in allied disciplines such as Anthropology; Broadcasting, Cinema, and Theatre; Business; English; Political Science; Philosophy; Psychology; Sociology; and Women's Studies. Additionally, the Department of Communication participates in the College of Arts and Sciences' Honors Program and regularly offers Freshman Seminars. Opportunities exist for Study Abroad (see p. 225) including exchanges in Europe. Communication Studies majors with a 3.0 GPA may go abroad the spring semester of the Junior year to participate in the Intercultural Studies Program at Vaxjo University in Vaxjo, Sweden. The program (taught in English) requires coursework in sociocultural theory, intercultural interactions, cultural analysis, and field work with optional study in basic Swedish.
The undergraduate program in Communication Studies is designed to serve as a solid foundation for a variety of professional and entrepreneurial careers; it also provides preparatory work for graduate study in communication, as well as in related fields such as law, business, media studies, and the ministry. Faculty and students in the Department of Communication are actively involved in research and consulting activities for community, state, regional, national, and international organizations and agencies.
Criterion for Progression in the Major
Only grades of "C-" or better taken in Communication courses will count toward completion of a major in the Department.
Required: 122 semester hours
The Bachelor of Arts major in Communication Studies consists of:
1. The College of Arts and Sciences Liberal Education Requirements (CLER), 54-55 hours
All students must meet the All-University Liberal Education Requirements (AULER). The College of Arts and Sciences, however, has established liberal education requirements for its programs which, while including those of AULER, contain additional requirements in several categories. Therefore, students following this program should adhere to the College requirements. Please note that students who satisfy the College Liberal Education Requirements (CLER) will also satisfy the All-University Liberal Education Requirements (AULER). See College requirements and courses meeting AULER/CLER requirements.
2. Major Requirements (42 hours)
33 hours to include CST 105 or 111 or 341, 200, 205, 207, 210, 211, 299, 350, 399, 460 and 499; plus 9 additional hours of CST electives at the 300 level or above
Electives sufficient to complete the 122 semester hours required for degree.
Nine semester hours to consist of:
The designation "Honors in Communication Studies" will be printed on the student's official transcript.
Required: 18 semester hours
A minor in Communication Studies consists of CST 200, and at least 15 semester hours of additional courses in the Communication Studies Program
A minor in Communication Studies consists of CST 200, and at least 15 semester hours of additional courses in the Communication Studies Program.
Courses For Undergraduates
105 Introduction to Communication Studies (3:3).
Introduction to the principles and skills for effective communication in the contexts of public speaking, interpersonal communication, and small group/team communication. Videotaping used to enhance personal growth. [RD, CRD] (FA,SP,SU)
111 Argumentation and Debate (3:3).
Analysis of issues and arguments of current public interest; training in the presentation of reasoned, persuasive oral discourse. [RD, CRD] (FA)
114 The Narrative Self (3:3).
Theory and practice of voice and diction improvement with special emphasis on the telling of one's life story. (B/C Production Course) (FA,SP,SU)
200 Communication and Society (3:3).
Introduction to the study of human communication, emphasizing uses of communication to build relationships and communities. Application of theories of communication to interpersonal, organizational, communal, political, and mass contexts. [SB, CSB] (FA,SU)
205 Persuasion in Western Culture (3:3).
Significant theories in persuasive communication from classical times to the present. Types of societies in which oratory flourishes. Critical analysis of selected speakers. Contemporary issues, including the ethics of persuasion. [HP, CHP-CMO] (FA,SP)
207 Relational Communication (3:3).
Contemporary theory and practice of relational communication, with emphasis on increasing awareness of strategic and ethical uses of communication to build relationships. (FA,SP,SU)
210 Communication Ethics (3:3).
Provides students with an opportunity to think critically about ethical and moral dimensions of current practices in interpersonal, institutional, and public communication. (FA,SP)
211 Strategic Communication (3:3).
An introduction to the skillful, purposeful, and self-aware management of communication choices in personal relationships, teams, organizations, communal, and mass mediated forms of human communication. (FA,SP)
299 Communication Theory (3:3).
Critical analysis and evaluation of scientific, rhetorical, and critical theories of communication. Emphasis on how theory assists us to understand, predict, and transform society. (FA,SP)
308 Strategies in Organizational Communication (3:3).
Survey of organizational communication and public relations theories, practices, and functions, as strategic communication that enable organizations to function both ethically and effectively, to achieve goals within communities. (FA,SP)
309 Political Communication (3:3).
Study of the development, maintenance, and deterioration of political communities. Emphasis on conflicting needs, symbols, reasons and preferences in speeches, campaign activities, and the mass media. (FA)
341 Business and Professional Communication (3:3).
Foundation for achieving goals through communication in business and professional settings. Emphasis on oral competency within variety of contexts: public, interpersonal, interviewing, teams. Videotaping used for presentation improvement. [RD, CRD] (FA,SP,SU)
342 Communication and Public Relations (3:3).
Public relations and its function within society and the organization. Theoretical base and practical approaches to communicating with target publics. (FA)
344 Negotiation and Conflict Management (3:3).
Role and functions of negotiation in conflict management. (FA)
350 Small Group and Team Communication (3:3).
Theory and practice of small group/team communication, emphasizing student participation. Develops skills for leadership in small group/teams. Develops framework for analysis of effective small groups/teams. (FA,SP)
399 Communication Research Methods (3:3).
Theoretical examination and practical application of the philosophical, ideological, and processual bases for selecting, using, and evaluating methods of conducting and reporting communication research. (SP)
412 Communication Internship (3 to 6).
Field learning experience using public relations and/or organizational communication strategies in agencies and organizations within the larger community. (FA,SP)
460 Cases in Applied Communication (3:3).
Seminar in applying communication theory and research to actual situations through published cases. (FA,SP)
493 Honors Work (3-6).
499 Senior Project Seminar (3:3).
"Capstone experience" for majors. Course explores the themes of strategies, ethics, relationships, and communities, in their academic experience. Course also serves as a method of assessment for majors. (SP)
Courses For Advanced Undergraduates and Graduate Students.
502 Semantics and Semiotics (3:3).
Language, meaning, and sign systems as communication process. Emphasis on projects to apply theoretical concepts from general semantics and semiotics to promote understanding of how humans symbolically construct reality. (SU)
505 Speechwriting (3:3).
Composition and delivery of advanced informative and persuasive speeches. Methods of speech writing; special attention to manuscript delivery. (SU)
532 Communication and Social Change (3:3).
Examination of the influences of freedom of expression, persuasion, strategic protest rhetoric, repression, and social control in the evolution of communities. Topics and emphases vary by semester. (FA)
559 Gender and Communication Theory (3:3).
Examination of gender and issues of theory construction in rhetoric and communication science. In-depth analysis of gender in relation to persuasive, linguistic, nonverbal, and interpersonal communication. (SP)
561 Advanced Public Relations (3:3).
Advanced instruction in the preparation of public relations tools and classroom examination of public relations case studies. (SP)
562 Organizational Change (3:3).
Instruction in communicating changes into existing organizations. Methods of creating a climate for change, diffusing new ideas and technologies, and assessing change consequences. (SP)
563 Presidential Communication (3:3).
Examination of strategic and ethical dimensions of presidential information-gathering, reality-testing, relations with mass media, and public persuasion through analysis of significant decisions and addresses. (SP)
599 Instructional Communication (3:3).
Seminar for teaching communication. Designed for graduate teaching assistants, graduates and undergraduates interested in communication training. Pedagogical principles, collaborative problem-solving, micro-teaching with feedback and guidance in preparation of instructional materials. (FA)
Please refer to The Graduate School Bulletin for additional graduate level CST, CSD, and EDC courses.