Communication Studies Course Offerings

COMM 103 Introduction to Communication Students develop an increased competency in communicating with precision and style, and also are given an opportunity to think critically and creatively about the process of communication. Principles of interpersonal communication, small group communication are covered as well as a focus on public speaking. NOTE: A grade of B- or higher is required in this course to be accepted as a Communication Studies major.
COMM 200 Interpersonal Communication

A study of interpersonal communication theories and concepts. Focus on the role of communication in understanding and maintaining healthy interpersonal relationships in various social contexts. 

Prerequisite: COMM 103

COMM 203 Small Group Communication

A study of the process and theories of communication in small groups. The focus is on improving individual communication in groups.

Prerequisite: COMM 103

COMM 210 Mass Communication: Past, Present & Future

This course is designed to sensitize the student to the emergance , current status, and future direction of American media systems. Emphasis is placed on the political/economic pressures that shape media systems and how the media shape and influence mass culture.

Prerequisite: COMM 103 or permission of instructor.

COMM 240 Introduction to Performance Studies This course introduces students to key topics and theories in contemporary performance studies.  Special emphasis is placed on links between Theatre, Dance, and Communication Studies approaches to the field.
COMM 260 Digital Video Production This course focuses on the video production process as a whole by introducing students to the use of video cameras and microphones, the basic principles of lighting for video, the use of non-linear editing software, and the mechanics of delivering video content across a variety of media platforms, including interactive DVDs, podcasts, and Web-streaming. The emphasis of the course is on narrative and visual storytelling techniques and elements of contemporary communication theory that are useful for crafting and conveying messages to well-defined audiences over the medium of video.
COMM 266 Introduction to New Media

An introduction to the new visual technologies and basic concepts (mechanical, visual, and aesthetic) for their creative use in the visual arts. Those fields involved may include photography, film, video, computer imagery and holography and other contemporary media. Students will be introduced to these media through lectures, direct laboratory experiences, discussion sessions and creative problem-solving projects.

No prerequisites: ART 103 desirable. (Also listed as ART 266.) 

COMM 290 Special Topics

Topics of special interest in communication not covered in the regular department offerings.

COMM 302 History and Criticism of Public Address

A survey of the principles of human public communication. Topics include theories of public speaking, political and social movement communication, and beginning rhetorical criticism. Special attention is given to the communicative efforts of women in the public arena. Taught in the spring semester.

Prerequisite: 12 hours of communication courses

COMM 303 Advertising in Society

The study of the role of advertising in contemporary society. Topics include the history and sociology of advertising and the analysis of advertising and marketing efforts from a communication perspective.

Prerequisite: COMM 103

COMM 304 Public Relations

The course provides both theoretical knowledge and practical experience in the skills and techniques that cover several closely associated areas: writing for public relations, copy dissemination, media use and media network design ranging across internal and external media, print, electronic and audiovisual media.

Prerequisite: COMM 103.

COMM 307

Organizational Communication

This course examines communication processes that shape diverse oprganizational settings. Topics include the study of organizational culture, managerial communication, the construction of gender roles within organizational settings, and the role of communication in designeding progressive work environments.

Prerequisite: COMM 103.

COMM 308


Assessment of research and theory as they illuminate persuasion in interpersonal, public and mediated communication contexts. Topics include motivation, attitude information and change, social and cultural influences, credibility and non-verbal aspects of communication. Special attention is given to persuasive appeals.

Prerequisite: COMM 103 or permission of instructor.

COMM 312


The study of argumentation as applied to public and mediated discourse. Topics include: patterns of reasoning, identification and analysis of fallacies, types of supporting evidence, presentation and refutation of cases. Specific topics for analysis will be taken from contemporary discussions of political, social and economic issues.

Prerequisite: COMM 103 or permission of instructor. Taught during the spring semester.

COMM 313


Journalism Techniques of newswriting, editing, copy editing, feature writing and newspaper makeup and publication. (Also listed as ENWR 313).

COMM 330

Critical Issues in Mass Communication

This course is designed to introduce students to: the political economy of media institutions in a global environment; the media effects research tradition; and ethical issues associated with mass communication in culture. Special attention is focused on information control in this age of convergence of media institutions, the impact of computer technology on social and community life, and privacy issues.

Prerequisite: COMM 210. Taught during the spring semester.

COMM 333

Magazine Writing The rich field of periodical publications is the object of this course, which offers students the opportunity to try their hands at subject matters and voices both suitable to different magazine readerships and reflective of their own interests and opinions (Also listed as ENWR333).
COMM 350 Intercultural Communication

This course introduces students to the role communication plays in shaping interactions between members of different cultural groups. Topics include the role of media as vehicles of cultural expression, tourism as a characteristic type of encounter between people, and the ways in which maps construct the identity of social groups.

Prerequisite: COMM 103.

COMM 360 Oral Interpretation

The study and analysis of literature through performance. Students will gain experience in the epic, lyric, and dramatic modes of solo performance in addition to a beginning exploration of ensemble work in a performance study (also listed as THTR 360).



COMM 369

Public Communication

Investigation of the role of public speaking in society, pairing theoretical perspectives and experience with both extemporaneous and manuscripted speeches.

Prerequisite: COMM 103 or permission of instructor.

COMM 370 Political Communication This course studies politics through a communication perspective. The goal is to deepen students’ understanding of and critical thinking about communication’s role in political processes. Students will apply communication and media theories to political cartoons, speechwriting, advertising, debates, journalism, new media technology, and entertainment.

COMM 383

Art and Entertainment Law A study of intellectual property as it applies to art and entertainment. Topics include: moral and economic rights, contracts, copyright, unfair competition, privacy, publicity and censorship.

COMM 384

Mass Communication Law

Exploration of governmental regulations of electronic and print media in America. Historical and contemporary analysis of law in such areas as defamation, privacy, state secrets, obscenity, copyright, regulation of advertising, access to government information, free press/fair trail and regulation of broadcasting.

Prerequisite: COMM 210 or permission of instructor.

COMM 385

Research in Communication

Introduction to modes of scholarly inquiry in communication, treatment of historical and critical approaches as well as quantitative scientific approaches.

Prerequisites: 12 hours of communication courses. Taught in the Spring Semester

COMM 404 Non-Profit Public Relations Campaigns and Theory

In this course, you will learn about the driving theories of public relations, the particular nature and characteristics of non-profit organizations, and the practical element of designing a potentially working campaign for a local non-profit organization.

Prerequisite: COMM 304

COMM 406


Marketing Communication

This course surveys the field of marketing communications from the perspective of Integrated Marketing Communications. The course explores the principles of consumer behavior and mass communication as a theoretical basis as well as practical aspects of the field, such as strategies for media selection, message execution, and marketing mix tools.

Prerequisities: COMM 303 or COMM 304.

COMM 420 Female Beauty:Discourse, Rhetoric, and Theory

An examination of the cultural expectations and standards of female beauty as embodied and enacted through various discourses including: cultural, media, interpersonal and intrapersonal. Through studying the ways that female beauty is communicated throughout these discourses, students will come to a greater understanding of their own experiences of female beauty and formulate ways to move beyond and resist the dominant norms of beauty.

Prerequisite: Junior standing

COMM 454

Communication Ethics

Survey of ethical theories focusing on their application to communication. Interpersonal, small group, persuasion and mass media situations will be considered.

Prerequisites: 12 hours of communication courses.

COMM 486


This course allows students to gain hands-on experience with contemporary video and multimedia technology. Students produce individual or group projects that require them to designed and create video or multimedia content.

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

COMM 490

Special Topics Topics of special interest in communication not covered in the regular department offerings.

COMM 495

Seminar in Rhetoric and Criticism

A seminar critically examining both written and oral rhetoric. Topics include the varieties of rhetorical critical methods and frames. The major component of this course is the design, execution, and presentation of a critical essay. This course satisfies the senior comprehensive requirement.

Prerequisite: COMM 302. Taught in the Fall Semester

COMM 496

Seminar in Advanced Research Methods

A seminar to facilitate the design, execution and critique of an individual research project. This course satisfies the senior comprehensive requirement.

Prerequisite: COMM 385. Taught in the Fall Semester

COMM 497

Independent Study

Research for the advanced student.

Prerequisite: Permission of Department Chair. May be repeated for a maximum of six hours of credit.

COMM 499


Placement of the advanced student in internship opportunities, generally off-campus and within the local community. Designed specifically for the speech and/or mass communication major, a typical internship might be at a television or radio station, advertising or public relations firms, or in the marketing or public communication division of an area business.

Prerequisites: 18 hours of Communication Studies course work. Offered each semester. May be repeated.

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