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Communication Courses


COM-100: Introduction to Communication Studies Session(s): Fall | Course Offered Every Year

This team-taught course will include an introduction to the scientific study of various disciplines in the field of communication. These include such topics as interpersonal communication, nonverbal communication, public communication, persuasion, public relations and mass communication.


COM-215: Introduction to Public Relations Session(s): Fall; Spring | Course Offered Every Year

This course provides an overview of the field of public relations, including history of the field, current trends, and career opportunities.  Effective principles and ethical issues in public relations are illustrated through case study examples.


COM-225: Public Speaking Session(s): Fall; Spring | Course Offered Every Year

A basic introduction to communication, primarily through public speaking, that stresses organization and delivery of spoken messages. Units include informative speaking, special occasion speaking, the use of language in oral style, audience analysis, and the use of logic and critical thinking in persuasive communication.


COM-260: Interpersonal Communication Session(s): Fall; Spring | Course Offered Every Year

An introduction to relational communication.  The student should increase her sensitivity of communication skills by questioning habits, traditions, and current ideas and behaviors related to personal perception and communication.  Through lectures, discussion, activities, and exercises, students will attain the knowledge and skills to become more effective communicators.  They will also increase their awareness of everyday communication behaviors.


COM-290: Introduction to Mass Communication Session(s): Fall; Spring | Course Offered Every Year

An introduction to the field of mass communication that deals with the examination of radio, newspapers, magazines, film, television and the internet. The course includes historical backgrounds of each division, career opportunities, current trends, and predictions. It is designed to enhance student appreciation of the various components of mass media. 


COM-299: Communication Research Project Session(s): Fall; Spring | Course Offered Every Year

In conjunction with a faculty mentor, the student will conduct an original research project that will culminate in a paper and a presentation.  A research proposal form completed by the student and the mentor is required for registration. Prerequisite: COM-330.


COM-300: Small Group Communication Session(s): Varies, Contact Department Head | Course Offered Varies, Contact Department Head

Theory and practice of effective communication in small groups,  including stages of group development, role emergence, leadership functions, decision making strategies, conflict management, and the significance of power.


COM-316: PR Techniques Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Every Year

In this course, students will  learn a range of tools PR practitioners use in their day-to-day activities in preparing materials for print, broadcast and online media. Students will also gain skills in managing media relations, crisis situations, and event planning. 


COM-320: Media Law Session(s): Fall | Course Offered Every Year

An introduction to the history and development of media law in the United States since the early 1900s.  Readings and lectures include the First Amendment, libel law, copyright protection, different regulations regarding print and electronic media, regulation of obscene and erotic material, the Freedom of Information Act, the regulation of advertising and telecommunication regulation.  Covered topics include, to some degree, the role of ethics and morality as they apply to current media practices such as industry mergers and censorship issues.


COM-325: The Oral Interpretation of Literature Session(s): Varies, Contact Department Head | Course Offered Varies, Contact Department Head

An approach to the study of language and literature that uses physical and vocal performance with analytical writing as the primary means of discovery. Students will develop skills in the analysis and interpretation of selected literary works while developing vocal poise and expressiveness. The process of literary communication will be explored through units on prose, poetry, Shakespearean drama, and literary theory. Principle assignments will be performances along with formal and informal writing assignments. A performance course and a writing intensive course. Prerequisite: ENG-200.


COM-330: Communication Research Methods Session(s): Fall; Spring | Course Offered Every Year

An introduction to the basics of research in the field of communication, students learn a variety of research methods including both qualitative and quantitative methods as well as gain hands-on experience in the research process. This course will better prepare students for upper-level communication courses by familiarizing them with the language and process of research done in the field. The course gives students the skills needed to successfully complete their own research for their senior thesis.


COM-350: Business and Professional Communication Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Every Year

The nature of communication theory and practice in business and professional settings.  Development of individual, dyadic, group, and organizational communication proficiencies.  Supervisory/subordinate and peer communication, active listening, group communication, and presentational speaking. Pre-requisite: COM-225.


COM-360: Writing for the Media Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Every Year

The theory and practice of writing for print and broadcast media on an introductory level.  Areas of study involve writing for newspapers, magazines, radio news, television news, documentaries, film, and public relations. The course is taught in a seminar-workshop environment.


COM-365: Digital Media Convergence Session(s): Fall; Spring | Course Offered Every Year

Convergence is the blending of text, sounds, still and motion images in the media environment to create integrated media. This course features units on visual literacy, photo editing, audio processing, video editing and web publishing. Students learn theories of audio and visual aesthetics and produce individual content for the web.


COM-370: Nonverbal Communication Session(s): Fall | Course Offered Every Year

Theory and research in nonverbal communication, including environment, space, physical appearance, body movement, eyes and facial expressions, and social cues.  Nonverbal communication in personal, workplace, and cultural settings.


COM-375: Gender Communication Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Every Year

Effects of gender on the interpersonal communication process. Explanations of gender differences, communication about women and men via language and media, and interpersonal communication.


COM-380: Social & Interactive Media Session(s): Fall; Spring | Course Offered Every Year

This course focuses on developing Social Media content for information sharing, branding, and marketing. Along with readings and discussion of research regarding interactive and social media, students will develop their own social media presence and writing. 


COM-385: Persuasion Session(s): Varies, Contact Department Head | Course Offered Varies, Contact Department Head

This course is designed for students who wish to learn about the contemporary theories and practices of persuasion and negotiation.  It is not a persuasive speaking course, but students will learn how to develop and analyze persuasive messages. The bulk of the course focuses on theories of persuasion and their applications to interpersonal, organizational and mediated communication. Alternative explanations for why persuaders and negotiators are successful or unsuccessful at influencing others' beliefs, attitudes, and actions will be examined. As a  result, students will become more critical consumers and more skillful producers of persuasive messages and more skillful negotiators.


COM-390: Intercultural Communication Session(s): Fall | Course Offered Every Year

This course examines communication from perspectives grounded in four premises: that culture happens through communication; that by understanding culture and how it shapes communication, we come to understand communication better; that intercultural communication can happen visibly as well as invisibly; and that knowing about communication and about culture can (sometimes) make intercultural communication go more smoothly.


COM-400: Special Topics in Communication Session(s): Varies, Contact Department Head | Course Offered Varies, Contact Department Head

Seminars will investigate a specific topic from a communication perspective, and address the various communication contexts that are the basis of current pedagogy in the field.  These contexts include rhetorical criticism, mass communication, interpersonal communication, and organizational communication.  Examples of specific topics include conflict management, persuasion, and mediated communication.  May be taken on multiple occasions when topics vary.


COM-410: Senior Thesis Session(s): Fall; Spring | Course Offered

In conjunction with a faculty instructor,  the student will formulate and execute an original research project that will culminate in a paper and presentation.  Open to seniors who are majoring in Communication. Prerequisite: COM-330, COM-495.


COM-415: PR Cases & Campaigns Session(s): Fall | Course Offered Every Year

As a capstone experience, students engage in service learning to create a campaign client-based project in a nonprofit setting. Prerequisite: COM-310.


COM-425: Media, Culture & Society Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Every Year

A critical look at the role of contemporary mass media in our society.  It examines the relationship of communication media and popular culture. Topics include media mergers, obscenity and indecency issues in television and radio, "reality" TV programming, current advertising and public relations issues, messaging and imaging in the media, and changes in FCC regulations.            


COM-450: Relational Communication Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Every Year

An advanced course focusing on the theories of interpersonal relationships by exploring the developmental, maintenance, and deterioration stages. Explores both verbal and nonverbal messages, listening, and conflict resolution. Prerequisite: COM-260.


COM-470: Forgiveness and Communication Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Every Year

An advanced course focusing on theory, research, and practice of forgiveness and reconciliation strategies in interpersonal relationships including:  family, romantic, and friendship relationships. Prerequisite: COM-260.  Must be junior/senior.


COM-480: Communication Internship Session(s): Fall; Spring | Course Offered Every Year

Supervised experience in business or governmental institutions where work is related to student interest in communication discipline.  Provides students with the opportunity to gain practical, professional experience in conjunction with their academic development. Limited to junior or senior majors in the Communication department with a  2.000 or higher GPA. For 3 hours credit, the student must work 120 hours total over the course of the semester in a single location in an approved site.


COM-495: Communication Theory Session(s): Fall; Spring | Course Offered Every Year

An advanced course designed to build critical understanding of the dynamics of human communication in several contexts, including intrapersonal, interpersonal and mass communication. Selected theories will emphasize the functions of language and social interaction in constructing meaning and facilitating communication. Theories about power, gender and the media will help to clarify the subjective nature of perception and culture in human communication.  The nature and function of social scientific theory forms a framework for an understanding of classical and contemporary ideas about ethical communication.  Prerequisites: COM-225, COM-260.


COM-498: Honors Thesis Session(s): Fall; Spring | Course Offered Every Year

An honors thesis involves a scholarly scientific project selected by the communication major in consultation with her advisor and subject to departmental approval, which will involve conducting a pilot study focusing on her area of specialization. Research, observation, writing and interpreting results will all be conducted by the student. In addition, the student is required to present her thesis orally in an appropriate setting to an audience.


COM-499: Communication Research Project Session(s): Fall; Spring | Course Offered Every Year

In conjunction with a communication faculty mentor, the student will formulate and execute a research project at an advanced level of complexity that will culminate in a paper and presentation.  A research proposal form completed by the student and faculty mentor is required for registration.  Open to junior and senior majors and others by permission. Prerequisite: COM-410 or COM-495.



Curriculum requirements and course descriptions are subject to changes with each catalogue.



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Our communication program focuses on real-world learning through professional internships and hands-on experience in the classroom.

Why major in Communication?

Our communication program focuses on real-world learning through professional internships and hands-on experience in the classroom.

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Contact Information
Teresa Holder
Head, Department of Communication
(919) 760-8803
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