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.

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.

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.

In this course, students will learn to use quantitative data through participation in an applied research project. Students will identify appropriate quantitative data to answer a research question and then use technological tools to organize, analyze and present that data. By the conclusion of the course students will generate a tangible product showcasing their participation in this project. Also offered as HIS 235, POL 235 and SOC 235.

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.

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. 

This course is designed to help new communication majors get established in the program by; 1) introducing the department’s academic portfolio process, 2) developing students’ academic course plans and 3) coaching students in their creation of personal and professional goals. This seminar also introduces research on emotional intelligence (EQ) and explores how EQ is connected to personal wellness and professional success. Learners will participate in an individual assessment of emotional intelligence and use the results along with Strengths Finder to develop goals focused on success in college and beyond. Prerequisite: COM majors only.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

A 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: Must be a junior/senior.

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

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. 

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.

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.

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-330and senior standing.

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

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.            

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.

This course will provide students with an in-depth study of the research conducted on relational conflict, forgiveness and reconciliation. Building on broad research skills, this course will offer students advanced skills to conduct research, synthesize results and present research findings. Students will then propose a research project as part of their course final project. Prerequisite: Interpersonal Concentration students only.

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.

This course is the culminating senior experience for majors with the goal of helping students transition to career and graduate school. The course is designed to build critical understanding of the major theoretical traditions in communication and apply these theories to everyday life. Prerequisites: Senior standing.

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.

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: Junior/Senior standing and by permission. 

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

Why major in Communication?

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


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

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