Communication Studies

Course List

COMM 1010: Communication Academic and Professional Development 1(1,0): Introduces students to General Education and Communication Studies major requirements, explains connections between general education and major courses, explores careers in communication, and prepares students to develop digital portfolios, résumés, and interview skills specific to communication professions and/or graduate school. To be taken Pass/Fail only.

COMM 1070: Media Representations of Science and Technology 3(3,0): Examines mediated representations of science and technology from a communication perspective. Attention is paid to portrayals/ coverage of science and technology in popular film, television, Internet, journalism, and other media. Students examine an array of theoretical issues and case studies in this area.

COMM 1500: Introduction to Human Communication 3(2,2): Overview of theoretical approaches to the study of communication, including the theory and practice of interpersonal/small group/intercultural/public communication. Includes a laboratory. Coreq: COMM 1501.

COMM 1501: Introduction to Human Communication Laboratory: Non-credit laboratory to accompany COMM 1500. Coreq: COMM 1500.

COMM 1620: Forensic Laboratory 1(0,3): Research, preparation, and practice leading to participation in on-campus and intercollegiate debate and individual events competition. May be repeated for a maximum of four credits.



COMM 1630: Advanced Forensic Laboratory 1(0,3): Advanced research, preparation, and practice leading to continued participation in on-campus and intercollegiate debate and individual events competition. May be repeated for a maximum of four credits. Preq: COMM 1620.

COMM 2010: Introduction to Communication Studies 4(3,2): Introduces Communication Studies majors to and prepares them for continued study in the discipline by providing them with an overview of important issues, areas of study, and approaches to the field. Includes a writing laboratory experience. Preq: COMM 1010. Coreq: COMM 2011.

COMM 2011: Introduction to Communication Studies Laboratory: Non-credit laboratory to accompany COMM 2010. Coreq: COMM 2010.

COMM 2500, H2500: Public Speaking 3(3,1): Practical instruction in public speaking; practice in the preparation, delivery, and criticism of short speeches. Develops an understanding and knowledge of the process of communication. Includes a laboratory. Coreq: COMM 2501.

COMM 2501: Public Speaking Laboratory: Non-credit laboratory to accompany COMM 2500. Coreq: COMM 2500.

COMM 3010: Communication Theory: Students explore the breadth and depth of theories within the major frameworks of the communication studies discipline. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better.

COMM 3020: Mass Communication Theory 3(3,0): Survey of the breadth and history of theories of mass communication and mass media from the 19th century to the present. Emphasizes contemporary schools of thought, theoretical debates, and the continuing controversies in the field. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better or consent of instructor.

COMM 3030: Communication Law and Ethics 3(3,0): Major topics in communication law and free expression and in communication ethics. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better or consent of instructor.

COMM 3040: Youth, Media, and Culture 3(3,0): Grounded in the cultural studies paradigm, examines the relationship among youth, mass media, and popular culture. Focuses on issues such as how youth are portrayed in media, how youth navigate the products of mass media/culture, and how youth creates its own media culture. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better or consent of instructor.

COMM 3050: Persuasion 3(3,0): Study of the processes by which communication influences attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors in our personal, social, civic, and professional lives. After discussion of definitional and methodological issues, particular theories of persuasion are examined. Treatment of political, market-driven, and social persuasion concludes the course. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better or consent of instructor.

COMM 3060: Discourse, Criticism, and Society 3(3,0): Students explore theoretically grounded methods of critical and cultural description, analysis, interpretation, and evaluation of public discourse. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better.

COMM 3070: Public Communication of Science and Technology 3(3,0): Examines the role of science and technology in society from a communication perspective. Particular attention is paid to this dynamic in public culture. Students examine an array of theoretical issues and case studies in this area. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better or consent of instructor.

COMM 3080: Public Communication and Popular Culture 3(3,0): Examines artifacts of popular culture, paying particular attention to their relationship to politics and public life. Explores the structures and constraints of the culture industry. Students apply communication principles to various examples. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better or consent of instructor.

COMM 3090: Visual Discourse and the Public 3(3,0): Examines the role of visuality in society and the cultural implications for ways of seeing. Using visual artifacts of various types, students learn the logic of visual representation. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better or consent of instructor.

COMM 3100: Quantitative Research Methods in Communication Studies 3(3,0): Explores methods of quantitative communication inquiry, including theory/research relationship, conducting studies, and utilizing statistical software. Methods may include experiments, surveys, and content analysis. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better.

COMM 3110: Qualitative Research Methods in Communication Studies 3(3,0): Explores methods of qualitative communication inquiry, including theory/research relationship and conducting studies. Methods may include interviewing, focus groups, textual analysis, and ethnography. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better.

COMM 3150: Critical Discourse Theory 3(3,0): Introduction to a variety of theoretical concepts associated with the critical study of public discourse. Students analyze theories related to the strategic use of language and its epistemological characteristics. Theoretical topics may include critical/cultural studies, visual communication, ideology, persona, social change, and identity studies. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better.

COMM (W S) 3160: Girlhood, Media, and Popular Culture 3(3,0): Explores how the mass media and popular culture contribute to social constructions of girlhood. Employing the critical lens of feminist and communication theories, students examine mediated depictions of girls as well as how girls actively produce and negotiate media and popular culture. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better or W S 3010 or consent of instructor.

COMM 3200: Broadcast Production 3(2,2): Explores both the philosophy of journalism and the applied skills of the journalist. Students produce news content in a variety of electronic formats. Coreq: COMM 3201.

COMM 3201: Broadcast Production Laboratory: Non-credit laboratory to accompany COMM 3200. Coreq: COMM 3200.

COMM 3210: Communication Across Media Platforms 3(3,0): Provides an overview of the communication convergence strategies and practices used across multiple media platforms, including print, broadcast, Internet, and social media. Emphasis is placed on media law, ethics, and professional communication practices used across multiple media platforms. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better or consent of instructor.

COMM 3220: Communication Design 3(2,2): Provides an overview of the communication theories, tools, and techniques available to design, manipulate, and convey messages and experiences. Provides practical knowledge and critical skills necessary to effectively consider communication design as an important and inevitable component of professional work. Includes a laboratory. Preq: COMM 201 with a C or better or consent of instructor. Coreq: COMM 3221.

COMM 3221: Communication Design Laboratory: Non-credit laboratory to accompany COMM 3200. Coreq: COMM 3220.

COMM 3240: Sport, Communication and Society 3(3,0): Covers the cultural influence of communication about sports on society. Explores how communication enables cultural meaning and values to become associated and established within sports. Exposes students to the ways that factors such as race, gender and nationalism manifest and perpetuate via communication about sports. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better or consent of instructor.

COMM 3250: Survey of Sports Communication 3(3,0): Covers fundamentals of communicating in a sports environment. Includes the basics of communicating for print and broadcast news, as well as communicating for sports information. Also covers ethical considerations in sports communication. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better or consent of instructor.

COMM 3260: Public Relations in Sports 3(3,0): Focuses on the preparation of professional sports communication materials for both internal and external audiences. Topics include the mechanics of creating press releases and other materials, as well as techniques in managing crises. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better or consent of instructor.

COMM 3270: Sports Media Criticism 3(3,0): Students gain in-depth understanding of sports communication issues through critically analyzing actual media coverage of sporting events, addressing social issues involved in college and professional sports, and developing an understanding of sports promotion and advertising. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better or consent of instructor.

COMM 3300: Nonverbal Communication 3(3,0): Develops a knowledge of the functions of nonverbal behaviors in human interaction. This includes the study of gesture and movement, physical appearance, vocal behavior, immediacy, time and space, and intercultural differences. Promotes understanding of nonverbal rules. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better or consent of instructor.

COMM 3480: Interpersonal Communication 3(3,0): Survey of the theories and research in interpersonal communication with emphasis on the application of research findings and developmental strategies for intra- and intercultural relationships. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better or consent of instructor.

COMM 3500: Small Group and Team Communication 3(3,0): Examines the principles and skills involved in effective small group communication. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better or consent of instructor.

COMM 3550: Principles of Public Relations 3(3,0): Students learn the principles, theories, process, history and contexts of public relations. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better or consent of instructor.

COMM 3560: Stakeholder Communication 3(3,0): Focuses on external stakeholders such as the media, the community, and the government. Students learn theory- and research-based communication tactics to manage various stakeholder relationships. Preq: COMM 3550 or consent of instructor.

COMM 3610: Argumentation and Debate 3(3,0): Basic principles of argumentation with emphasis on developing skills in argumentative speech. The role of the advocate in contemporary society with an emphasis on and an appreciation of formal debate. Preq: COMM 2500 or consent of instructor.

COMM 3620: Communication and Conflict Management 3(3,0): Introduces the study of communication practices in conflict situations within various personal and professional settings. Emphasis is on the central role of communication in the understanding and management of conflict. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better or consent of instructor.

COMM 3640: Organizational Communication 3(3,0): Examination of the process, theories, and techniques of communications within small groups and other organized bodies. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better or consent of instructor. 

COMM 3660: Special Topics in Communication Studies 3(3,0): Consideration of select major areas of practice in the field with a focus on application of communication concepts. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credits, but only if different topics are covered.

COMM 3680: Applied Communication 3(3,0): Students apply and develop practical knowledge and skills relevant to specific research areas in communication studies to be determined by the instructor. These may include organization, health, media and technological communication, etc. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better and one of COMM 3060, 3100, or 3110 with C or better, or consent of instructor.

COMM 3690: Political Communication 3(3,0): Examination of American political rhetoric after 1900, focusing on such notable speakers as Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King Jr. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better or consent of instructor.

COMM 3900: Communication Studies Internship 3(0,9): Preplanned, preapproved, faculty-supervised internship provides Communication Studies majors with field experience in areas related to their curriculum. May be repeated for a maximum of six credits. To be taken Pass/Fail only. Preq: Junior standing, consent of faculty advisor.

COMM 3990: Creative Inquiry in Communication Studies 1-4(1-4,0): In consultation with and under the direction of a faculty member, students pursue small group work on a particular research topic or practical problem. Arrangements with mentors must be established prior to registration. Content varies. May be repeated for a maximum of nine credits. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better or consent of instructor.

COMM 4000: Communication and Globalization 3(3,0): In-depth examination of communication’s role in globalization processes, including case studies of contemporary social, technical, professional, and ethical issues. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better or consent of instructor.

COMM 4020: Mass Communication: History and Criticism 3(3,0): Critical examination of mass communication in America, including discussions of history, theory, and current issues in television, film, popular music, telecommunications, and other media. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better or consent of instructor.

COMM 4050: Public Contest and Change 3(3,0): Examines the role of public communication in the process of contesting social values and practices and in the subsequent change that sometimes occurs. Students explore the public’s relationship with mass media as well as other forms of communication practices that can produce cultural change. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better and 3050 or consent of instructor.

COMM 4250: Advanced Sports Communication 3(3,0): Combination seminar and primary research class that explores contemporary sports communication issues. Students write position papers on seminar topics and conduct primary research on sports communication topics of their choice. Preq: COMM 3250 or consent of instructor.

COMM 4260: Social Media and Sport Communication 3(3,0): Covers the influence of communication and social media in sports and how these technologies are changing the communicative infrastructure of sports. Students will explore how social media is re-configuring sports media, how sports organizations are managing social media, and how social media affects fan behavior and athlete communication. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better or consent of instructor.

COMM 4270: Communication in Sports Organizations 3(3,0): Examines communication dynamics in sports organizations. Among other topics, identifies how sports organizations manage crisis communication with stakeholders, sexual harassment, ethical issues, and dissent. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better or consent of instructor.

COMM 4280: Interpersonal/Family Communication and Sports 3(3,0): Examines how communication functions in interpersonal and family contexts as it pertains to sports. Exposes students to identify ways that sports can be healthy rather than destructive, communicative topic for families and interpersonal relationships. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better or consent of instructor.

COMM 4300: Legal Communication 3(3,0): Explores the theory and practice of communication in the legal setting, including the trial and appeal processes. Emphasizes the importance of effective communication in the legal profession.

COMM 4310: Legal Communication Trial 3(3,0): Advanced study in communication and the law, legal analysis, and the elements of trial preparation, including out of court preparation, jury selection, limited motion practice, opening statements, direct examination and cross examination of witnesses, closing arguments, and jury charges. Preq: COMM 4300 or consent of instructor.

COMM 4510: Film Theory and Criticism 3(2,3): Advanced study into the theory of film/ video making emphasizing understanding a variety of critical methods to approach a film. Examines the history of film theory and defines the many schools of film criticism, including realism, formalism, feminism, semiotics, Marxism, and expressionism. Preq: ENGL 3570 or consent of instructor. Coreq: COMM 4511.

COMM 4511: Film Theory and Criticism Laboratory: Non-credit laboratory to accompany COMM 4510. Coreq: COMM 4510.

COMM 4550: Gender Communication 3(3,0): Explores the ways communication behavior and perceptions of communication behavior are affected by gender. The effects of gender on a variety of communication contexts are examined, including interpersonal, small group, organizational, and mass communication. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better or consent of instructor. 



COMM 4560: Strategic Communication for Social Change 3(3,0): In-depth examination and application of the strategic use of communication for creating social change. Preq: COMM 3100 or 3110; 3560; or consent of instructor.

COMM 4620: Communication and Negotiation 3(3,0): Building on the concepts and practices of conflict management, students develop knowledge and skills for distributive bargaining and integrative negotiation climates. Focuses on the objectives, goals, positions, interests, tactic, and other elements to negotiate successfully in a variety of situations. Preq: COMM 3620 or consent of instructor.

COMM 4640: Advanced Organizational Communication 3(3,0): Application of communication theory and research to the analysis of particular organizational communication processes. Students study significant issues and/or methods of intervention and innovation in organizational communication. Preq: COMM 3640 or consent of instructor.

COMM 4660: Advanced Special Topics in Communication Studies 3(3,0): Consideration of special areas of study in the field, emphasizing theoretical depth or extensive research. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credits, but only if different topics are covered. Preq: Junior or senior standing.

COMM 4700: Communication and Health 3(3,0): Considers institutional and health care communication issues as well as the relationship between social issues, communication, and health. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better or consent of instructor.

COMM 4800: Intercultural Communication 3(3,0): Introduces the process of communication between and among individuals from different cultures or subcultures. Emphasizes the effect of cultural practices within various communication relational contexts such as interpersonal, small group, and organizational communication. Preq: COMM 2010 with a C or better or consent of instructor.

COMM 4910: Classical Rhetoric 3(3,0): Traces the development of rhetoric from Protagoras through Isocrates, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero and Quintillian and considers questions essential to understanding persuasive theory and practices. Preq: ENGL 3100 or consent of instructor.

COMM 4920: Modern Rhetoric 3(3,0): Examines the “new rhetorics” of the 20th century, which are grounded in classical rhetoric but include findings from biology, psychology, linguistics and anthropology, among other disciplines. Preq: ENGL 3100 or consent of instructor.

COMM 4950: Senior Capstone Seminar 3(3,0): In-depth exploration and analysis of a special topic in Communication Studies, culminating in a senior project documented in written, oral, visual and/ or multimedia presentations. Topics vary based on faculty expertise and research interests. May be repeated for a maximum of six credits. Preq: Senior standing in Communication Studies and COMM 3010, 3020, or 3150 with a C or better.

COMM H4960: Honors Senior Capstone Seminar 3(3,0): Capstone course for honors students in the department’s creative inquiry sequence. Working with their departmental honors advisor, students apply theoretical understanding and research skills in completing a written product of conference or publication length/quality. Must be taken for a total of six credits over the course of two semesters. Preq: Two of the following: COMM 3060, 3100, 3110 each with a C or better; Senior standing in Communication Studies.

COMM 4980: Communication Academic and Professional Development II 1(1,0): Students reflect upon curricular relationships among general education, major, and minor courses. They complete and revise digital portfolios for presentation to the major, University, graduate schools, or potential employers. Students participate in résumé building, job seeking, and interviewing activities. Preq or Coreq: COMM 4950 or H4960.

COMM 4990: Independent Study 1-3(1-3,0): Tutorial work for students with special interests or projects in communication studies outside the scope of existing courses. May be repeated for a maximum of nine credits. Preq: Consent of department chair.