COMM – Communication Studies

COMM 160 Communication in Everyday Life (3)     

Introduces students to basic skills necessary for communicating effectively across a variety of social and professional contexts. Emphasis is placed on the development of an analytical and critical approach to planning, implementing and assessing effectiveness when communicating with others. Oral communication competencies include listening, large and small group discussion, and formal presentations. (SB, EXP)


COMM 180 Introduction to Communication Theory (3)

Surveys and analyzes significant theories of the Communication Studies discipline. Topics include the self and messages, relationship development, groups and organizations, public communication, the media, and culture and diversity. Critical thinking and writing skills are cultivated through brief theory application papers. Theories are also explored through in-class exercises.


COMM 240 Multimedia Writing Strategies (3)

This course provides instruction and practice for developing the professional-level writing skills required of strategic communication experts. Students will gain confidence in writing strategic message planners, creative briefs, news releases, and social media posts. In addition, students will implement podcast shows, radio/ TV ads, campaign fundraisers, and various print materials. Composing messages for the appropriate audience, identifying strategies for PR campaigns, and interacting on social media are emphasized.


COMM 250 Evaluating Contemporary Media (4)

Prerequisite: Second-year standing or instructor’s permission. Investigates how contemporary screen media construct, reflect, and naturalize identities in the U.S. and other national contexts. In addition, the course introduces students to the contexts of production, text, and audiences, and invites them to actively respond to the identities constructed through screen media. (GPC)


COMM 262 Interpersonal Communication (4)

Prerequisite: second-year standing or instructor’s permission. Examines one-to-one communication encounters including friendships, intimates, family and work relationships. Applies theoretical concepts related to human perception, language, nonverbal communication, conflict resolution, listening and gender dynamics. (SB)


COMM 265 Performance Studies (4)

Studies aesthetic communication through a performative context including both individual and group performance methods. Emphasizes the creative process used to communicate a textual interpretation through a carefully prepared performance. Examples of aesthetic texts include fiction, digital media, personal narrative, poetry, and oral history. (ART)


COMM 268 Intercultural Communication (3)             

Prerequisite: second-year standing or instructor’s permission. Explores communication within and across cultural groups.  Addresses cultural differences broadly, including not only ethnicity, but also race, age, sexual orientation, gender, and disability.  Presents and applies key concepts, skills, and processes of intercultural communication.  Provides a forum not only to talk about diversity, but also to interact across difference and develop a better understanding of one’s own culture. (GPC)


COMM 270 Public Speaking (4)

Examines principles of effective public discourse while providing the opportunity to improve research skills, develop analytical abilities, increase confidence when giving oral presentations, and acquire proficiency in the use of computer graphics software. Emphasizes the discovery, organization, delivery and evaluation of information communicated within a public context. Includes both informative and persuasive speeches.


COMM 272 Oral Communication in Professional Contexts (3)

The course examines oral communication in a variety of professional contexts. Solid understanding and communication skills are developed in relation to job interviews, resume writing, social media personal branding, business presentations, team meetings, performance appraisals, and sales/ elevator pitches. Professional etiquette, workplace technology, interpersonal/ group interactions, persuasive speaking, workplace ethics, and work-life balance are also discussed.


COMM 275 Communication and Sport (4)

Prerequisite: second-year standing. Investigates the communication practices by which individuals, groups, and organizations frame their experiences in/through sport. It operates from the assumption that people enact, produce, consume, and organize sport primarily as a communication activity. The class is structured from a survey perspective where the relationship between communication and sport is examined in interpersonal, social, family, mediated, and organizational contexts. Analysis papers, independent research, oral presentations, and class discussion/activities will be emphasized.


COMM 276 Communicating Health & Illness (3)

Prerequisite: second-year standing. Provides a broad introduction to communication about health and illness, addressing multiple health care contexts.  Explores how health and illness are socially constructed through interaction and how they affect and are affected by our communication.  Topics include health/illness identity and social support, provider-client interaction, communication in health care organizations, and public health, including issues related to media, healthcare policy, and health promotion.  The course is both theoretical and practical.  While students will be introduced to the theoretical underpinnings of healthcare interactions, they will also gain practical information that they can use in their own experiences as health care citizens and professionals.


COMM 280 Communication Research and Writing (4)           

Prerequisite: COMM 180 and second-year standing or instructor’s permission.  Introduces basic primary and secondary research methods used in the study of human symbolic activity. Provides working knowledge of resources and research methods used in the communication discipline while refining research and academic writing skills.  Primary methods emphasized include survey, ethnography, interviewing, and textual analysis.  Includes significant writing component.  Designed for students planning to be Communication Studies majors. (WRT)


COMM 330 Media Criticism (3)

Prerequisite: third-year standing or instructor’s permission.  Students will examine the production, textual meaning, and reception contexts of media culture by focusing on the gains of historical and contemporary approaches to media studies and their theoretical limitations. Each unit will incorporate case studies that examine the influence of media, and students will be tested on each unit along with the opportunity to implement each theoretical approach. Finally, students will select a theoretical perspective to apply to their media object of choice in a critical analysis paper.


COMM 340 Public Relations (4)

Prerequisite: third-year standing or instructor’s permission. Focuses on the fundamental communication processes involved in public relations. Basic theories of identity formation, persuasion and social influence are examined. Applied areas of emphasis include planning and implementing campaigns, as well as public relations writing, crisis response and information management.  This course includes a service learning component.


COMM 342 Negotiating Organizational Cultures (4)

Prerequisite: third-year standing or instructor’s permission Examines the role of communication in workplace and other organizational cultures.  Presents and applies theories of organizational communication through readings, case studies, and an original primary research project.  Develops analytical, problem-solving, professional, and personal effectiveness through exploration of topics such as organizational systems and cultures, power and difference in organizations, and teamwork and leadership.


COMM 380 Communication Ethics (4)

Prerequisites: third-year standing or instructor’s permission. Investigates the complex nature of ethical issues imbedded in our everyday communication. Analyzes the principles and perspectives underlying ethical judgments, and examines the communication strategies used to relate these judgments to others. A variety of communication contexts are explored, including interpersonal, organizational, mediated, and political. Emphasis is placed on guided class discussion, with written analysis papers, case study research, and oral presentations comprising the main assignments.


COMM 385 Digital Media Discourses (4)

Prerequiste: third-year standing or instructor’s permission. Examines dystopian and utopian discourses about how digital media influence human communication with a focus on personal, interpersonal, social, educational, professional and virtual contexts. In addition to reading scholarly articles, students will consider how their media interactions fashion communication and relationships. This class is designed to engage students through daily readings and discussion, evaluated reviews of material and concepts, and primary and secondary research examining an issue in digital media.


COMM 397 Internship in Communication Studies (Arr)

Prerequisite: declared major or minor in Communication Studies; departmental  GPA of 2.0 or higher; and departmental approval. An applied professional experience in communication-related fields. Includes midterm and final evaluations by site supervisor; written reflection during the experience; conferences with supervising faculty member; and submission of an acceptable internship analysis paper. May be repeated for a maximum of 8 credit hours applied to the major or 3 credit hours applied to the minor. Pass/No Credit basis.