Communication, BS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
COMM-101
Human Communication
An introduction to the theoretical and conceptual underpinnings of oral, visual, and written communication. Introduces basic communication models, the role of language in communication, symbols and symbol making, issues of audience analysis, and the development of different modes of discourse. Also explores the history of communication and introduces students to basic principles and research in communication studies.
3
COMM-201
Public Speaking
The public speaking course is designed to equip the student with knowledge of the theories and principles necessary for formal public speaking. Informative and persuasive speeches are the focus with emphasis on organization, evidence, language use, strategy, delivery, and effective use of media aids. Public speaking is generally offered each semester.
3
COMM-202
Mass Communications
The history and development of U.S. media, theoretical aspects of mass communications, the composition of media audiences, law and regulation of mass communications and how the media affect and are affected by society are presented.
3
MATH101
LAS Perspective 7A (mathematical): College Algebra
This course provides the background for an introductory level, non-trigonometry based calculus course. The topics include a review of the fundamentals of algebra: solutions of linear, fractional, and quadratic equations, functions and their graphs, polynomial, exponential, logarithmic and rational functions, and systems of linear equations.
3
ACSC-010
Year One
The Year One class serves as an interdisciplinary catalyst for first-year students to access campus resources, services and opportunities that promote self-knowledge, personal success, leadership development, social responsibility and life academic skills awareness and application. Year One is also designed to challenge and encourage first-year students to get to know one another, build relationships and help them become an integral part of the campus community.
0
LAS Perspective 1 (ethical)
3
LAS Perspective 2 (artistic)
3
LAS Perspective 3 (global)
3
LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry)
3
First Year Elective
3
First Year Writing
3
Wellness Education*
0
Second Year
COMM-341
Visual Communication
This course is an introduction to the study of visual communication. The iconic and symbolic demonstration of visual images used in a variety of media is stressed. The major goal of the course is to examine visual messages as a form of intentional communication that seeks to inform, persuade, and entertain specific target audiences.
3
COMM-342
Communication Law and Ethics
This course examines major principles and trends in communication law. The course analyzes a broad range of issues related to the First Amendment, intellectual property, and media regulation. Special attention is paid to discussing the major ethical perspectives and issues surrounding contemporary communication behavior.
3
STAT-145
LAS Perspective 7B (mathematical): Introduction to Statistics I
This course introduces statistical methods of extracting meaning from data, and basic inferential statistics. Topics covered include data and data integrity, exploratory data analysis, data visualization, numeric summary measures, the normal distribution, sampling distributions, confidence intervals, and hypothesis testing. The emphasis of the course is on statistical thinking rather than computation. Statistical software is used.
3
Choose one of the following:
3
COMM-302
Interpersonal Communication
Interpersonal communication provides analysis and application of the major theories of interpersonal communication in various situations. The course focuses on perception of self and others, language use, nonverbal communication, and symbolic interaction in the communication of shared meanings in face-to-face and mediated interpersonal relationships. There is a strong focus on both conflict management and intercultural interactions.
 
COMM-304
Intercultural Communication
Intercultural communication provides an examination of the role of culture in face-to-face interaction. Students may find a basic background in communication, anthropology, or psychology useful.
 
COMM-303
Small Group Communication
This course provides students with opportunities to engage in small group decision making and problem solving. Students will analyze and evaluate their own experiences and relate them to theories and research from the field of small group communication.
 
COMM-343
Technology-Mediated Communication (WI)
Technology-mediated communication (TMC) was originally defined as a form of electronic written communication. As networking tools advanced, TMC expanded to include new software developments, such as instant messenger and the web. Today, the term technology-mediated communication is used to refer to a wide range of technologies that facilitate both human communication and the interactive sharing of information through computer networks. Through readings, discussions, and observations of online behavior, students will be introduced to TMC terms and theories to further develop their TMC communication and critical thinking skills.
3
LAS Perspective 4 (social)
3
LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles)
3
Free Elective
3
Professional Core‡
3
LAS Immersion 1
3
Third Year
COMM-301
Theories of Communication
An introduction to human communication theory, including a history of the field and major theories from the intrapersonal, language, interpersonal, small group, public, organizational, mass, visual, and computer-mediated communication contexts. Theories based both in the humanities and the social sciences are covered. This course should be taken during the student's second year.
3
COMM-401
Quantitative Research Methods
An introduction to the methods and ethics of scientific, scholarly communication research including methods of locating, analyzing, critiquing, and conducting communication research. The course focuses on empirical research methods and leads to the development of a research project proposal suitable for implementation in senior thesis in communication. This course should be taken during the student's third year.
3
COMM-499
Cooperative Education (summer)
One semester of full-time paid work experience in a professional setting related to the communication major.
co-op
Track Courses
6
LAS Immersion 2, 3
6
Professional Core‡
6
Free Elective
3
Communication Elective
3
Fourth Year
COMM-402
Qualitative Research Methods
Introduction to the methods and ethics of qualitative and critical research. Students are introduced to interviewing, participant observation, naturalistic study, and ethnography. They also develop a disciplined ability for the critical appraisal of public discourse, cultural phenomenon, and designed objects. Both qualitative and critical research methods rely on the researcher's observational, analytic, and critical skills, and seek to understand the behaviors, beliefs, values, attitudes, assumptions, rituals, and symbol systems that characterize relationships between the source, message, media, and audience of specific communication acts. Students will also investigate the processes of rhetorical action. By the end of the course, students will have developed a research proposal suitable for implementation as the senior thesis in communication. This course should be taken during the student's third year.
3
COMM-497
Communication Portfolio
Communication, advertising, and public relations majors create a portfolio comprised of projects, papers, and related professional materials; Journalism majors complete a senior project. Near the end of every semester, the department hosts a portfolio review day when department of communication seniors present their portfolio or project work in a public space for review and comment by faculty, staff, and peers. The presentation constitutes completion of the course.
0
COMM-501
Senior Thesis in Communication
A guided research seminar culminating in a major project that brings together the communication students’ communication studies and substantive work in his or her professional core. Focuses on designing, conducting, and completing an independent research project. The progress of each project is shared with the class for discussion and critiques.
3
Track Courses
6
Professional Core‡
3
LAS Electives
15
Total Semester Credit Hours
120

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two different Wellness courses.

‡ Professional core may be fulfilled by selecting a 300-level (or higher) course from a discipline outside the liberal arts.

§ Students will satisfy this requirement by taking either a 3- or 4-credit hour lab science course. If a science course consists of separate lecture and laboratory sections, the student must take both the lecture and lab portions to satisfy the requirement.

Tracks

Health communication
Required Courses
COMM-344
Health Communication
An introduction to the subject of communication in health care delivery and in public health campaigns, with an emphasis on interpersonal, organizational, and mass communication approaches. Also covered is the interrelationship of health behavior and communication.
Plus one of the following:
ECON-450
Health Care Economics
Examines the economics of health care, the organization of its delivery and financing, and analyzes access to care issues, the role of insurance, the regulation of hospitals, physicians, and the drug industry, the role of technology, and limits on health care spending.
MEDG-105
Health Awareness
This course explores the effects of wellness and disease prevention on the human lifecycle, lifestyles and overall health. Basic structure and function of selected human body systems are discussed and related to factors such as diet and nutrition, alcohol, drugs, smoking, stress and the environment in discussion of health promotion and disease prevention. Lecture and class discussion and student participation are used to explore health related issues.
MEDS-201
Language of Medicine
Language is a systematic means or method of communicating ideas, events, or feelings. It is a combination of words or symbols used to encode and decode information. Medicine has a language to communicate information regarding the human body, its functions, diseases, tests, and procedures. This course explores the language of medicine, the rules of “language,” language mechanics that apply how to create words, define terms, and identify abbreviations. In addition to learning the fundamentals, the student will gain experience in writing, using the language of medicine, as well as interpreting that language into everyday English.
PSYC-231
Death and Dying
This course examines the role of loss including death in our lives and the way we give and receive support during difficult times. It also looks at how society enfranchises some grievers and disenfranchises others. Included in this course is an examination of our options as consumers of funeral and burial services, grief counseling and other products and services which can either minimize or abate our grief. Central to the course is an examination of the ethical principles which apply to abortion, euthanasia and suicide and an examination of the ways in which the choices we make may be structured to express our core values. Finally, the course explores how The American way of Death differs from that of other societies and how we might incorporate the wisdom of other cultures into our own practices.
SOCI-245
Gender and Health
This course examines connections between gender and health that are both conceptual and empirical. Students will explore the causes of gender-based differences in health outcomes through case studies of sexual and reproductive rights, HIV/AIDS epidemics and violence. Students will also examine global gender and health trends. The course concludes with an examination of gender inequity in health care and policy implications of these inequities.
Electives
Choose two of the following
COMM-142
Introduction to Technical Communication
This course introduces students to current best practices in written and visual technical communication including writing effective email, short and long technical reports and presentations, developing instructional material, and learning the principles and practices of ethical technical communication. Course activities focus on engineering and scientific technical documents.
COMM-212
Public Relations*
An introduction to the practice of public relations. Topics include history, research areas, laws, ethics, and social responsibilities as they relate to the theory and practice of public relations.
COMM-221
Public Relations Writing*
This course covers a variety of forms of writing for public relations, including news releases, newsletters, backgrounders, public service announcements, magazine queries, interviews, coverage memos, media alerts, features, trade press releases, and public presentations. Students will write for a variety of media including print, broadcast, and the web.
COMM-223
Digital Design in Communication
In an increasingly visual culture, and culture of online user-created content, non-designers are called upon in the professional realm to illustrate their ideas. Graduates entering the workforce will encounter situations where they will benefit from possessing a visual communication sensibility and vocabulary to communicate effectively with a broad range of audiences, including professional designers. Creative approaches to challenges, such as visual thinking, are also shown to improve students’ comprehension and problem-solving abilities. Digital Design in Communication is an opportunity for undergraduates to receive an introduction to principles of visual message design from a critical rhetorical perspective. They will also get the opportunity to apply these principles to a variety of visual products such as advertisements, logos, brochures, resumes, etc. A variety of computer software applications are available to support the research, writing, visualization, and design of messages.
COMM-322
Campaign Management and Planning
This course introduces students to the managing and planning of advertising and public relations campaigns. It takes a team project approach thereby helping students learn how to work together in class as well as in a competitive agency. Service-learning will be used to expose students to community causes.
COMM-361
Reporting in Specialized Fields: Health
An in-depth study, analysis, and practicum of a selected advanced and focused subject in professional journalism. Specific subject matter of the course varies according to faculty assigned and is published when the course is offered; students may enroll in this class no more than twice as long as the specific subject matter is different. Examples include education journalism, health journalism, business journalism, reporting public affairs, sports journalism, editorial (or opinion) writing, and reporting for alternative media.

* Students may choose only one of these courses, but not both.

Media, rhetoric and culture
Required Course
Choose one of the following
COMM-304
Intercultural Communication
Intercultural communication provides an examination of the role of culture in face-to-face interaction. Students may find a basic background in communication, anthropology, or psychology useful.
COMM-306
Rhetoric of Race Relations
Rhetoric of Race Relations examines the history of the struggle for freedom and equality for blacks in American society. This course traces the history and rhetoric of key spokespersons from the pre-Civil War period to the 20th century as evidenced in texts of selected public speeches and reactions to them.
Electives
Choose three of the following (at least two must be COMM courses)
ANTH-370
Media and Globalization
The cultural importance of mass media has undergone tremendous growth in the context of globalization. Analysis of the global flows of media images across national borders emphasizes the cultural, social, and political impact of global media culture on communities in different parts of the world. How, for example, do mass media represent or shape cultural values and beliefs in developing societies? What is the role of mass media in forging national and ethnic identities, body images, cultural constructs of sexuality and gender, and the perceptions of war and violence in different societies?
COMM-223
Digital Design
In an increasingly visual culture, and culture of online user-created content, non-designers are called upon in the professional realm to illustrate their ideas. Graduates entering the workforce will encounter situations where they will benefit from possessing a visual communication sensibility and vocabulary to communicate effectively with a broad range of audiences, including professional designers. Creative approaches to challenges, such as visual thinking, are also shown to improve students’ comprehension and problem-solving abilities. Digital Design in Communication is an opportunity for undergraduates to receive an introduction to principles of visual message design from a critical rhetorical perspective. They will also get the opportunity to apply these principles to a variety of visual products such as advertisements, logos, brochures, resumes, etc. A variety of computer software applications are available to support the research, writing, visualization, and design of messages.
COMM-305
Persuasion
An in-depth study of the theories, practices, effects, and ethics of persuasion. Persuasion is defined as human communication designed to influence one’s beliefs, values, attitudes, and actions. This course examines persuasion from a receiver-oriented perspective with interpersonal, small group, organizational, and mediated perspectives.
COMM-346
Global Media
An introduction to media technologies from a global perspective. Major theories about the media, current trends in media, journalism practices, and governmental challenges and restrictions are reviewed. Students will use various media technologies both locally and abroad through site visits, readings, and online resources resulting in a media production (mini-documentary, movie trailer, and/or international film review). Special focus on the growing importance of the internet and digital media on news flow, advertising, and entertainment.
COMM-356
Critical Practice in Social Media
With the advent of virtual communities, smart mobs, and online social networks, questions about the meaning of human communication and how we construct our online and offline personal and professional identities need to be reevaluated. This course explores the relationship between social media and the construction of both individual and social identities as well as best practices for constructing the desired community or identity. Although the course is grounded in theory, it is equally committed to practice, and much of the class discussion and activity takes place in various online spaces. As a practicum, those who complete this course will know how to engage productively in practices such as tweeting, blogging, tagging, etc. and will develop an understanding of how these practices affect their construction of identity and community both personally and on behalf of an organization.
COMM-357
Communication, Gender, and Media
This course examines the relationship between gender and media communication with specific attention to how gender affects choices in mass media and social media practices. Students explore how gender, sexual orientation, sexuality and social roles, affect media coverage, portrayals, production and reception. They consider issues of authorship, spectatorship (audience), and the ways in which various media content (film, television, print journalism, advertising, social media) enables, facilitates, and challenges these social constructions in society. The course covers communication theories and scholarship as it applies to gender and media, methods of media analysis, and topics of current interest.
COMM-489
Special Topics in Communication
An in-depth examination of a selected aspect of the communication discipline (e.g. strategic communication, technical communication, visual communication, computer mediated communication, advertising, public relations, journalism). Special Topics in Communication can be taken multiple times provided the topic being studied has changed.
DHSS-377
Media Narrative
The contemporary understanding of communication and narrative is quickly shifting in a world where media is ubiquitous. The "language of new media" is the thematic used in this course to discuss contemporary and historic forms of non-linear narrative. Students will explore the properties of non-linear, multi-linear, and interactive forms of narratives. This course will survey some of the possibilities, examining both traditional and new media such as oral storytelling, literature, poetry, visual arts, museum exhibits, architecture, hypertext fiction, Net Art, and computer games. Writers on communication culture, gaming, television, digital aesthetics, contemporary art and film, as well as synchronic narrative will be addressed. The focus is to develop critical tools to analyze contemporary media as well as a minimal level of practical implementation. Students will produce a final media project.
ENGL-333
Rhetoric of Terrorism
This class examines the history of terrorism (both the concept and the term), definitions of terrorism and attempts to explain the root causes of terrorism through rhetorical and ethical analysis of narratives written by historians, journalists, and terrorists themselves. Students will read and discuss charters, manifestoes and messages (terrorism texts) of domestic and foreign, regional and global, non-state entities motivated by politics or religion to commit violence, as well as the efforts of analysts to explain and contextualize their activities.
ENGL-373
Media Adaptation
This course introduces students to the field of adaptation studies and explores the changes that occur as particular texts such as print, radio, theatre, television, film, and videogames move between various cultural forms and amongst different cultural contexts. The course focuses upon works that have been disseminated in more than one medium.
Technical communication
Required Course
COMM-142
Introduction to Technical Communication
This course introduces students to current best practices in written and visual technical communication including writing effective email, short and long technical reports and presentations, developing instructional material, and learning the principles and practices of ethical technical communication. Course activities focus on engineering and scientific technical documents.
Electives
Choose three of the following
COMM-223
Digital Design in Communication
In an increasingly visual culture, and culture of online user-created content, non-designers are called upon in the professional realm to illustrate their ideas. Graduates entering the workforce will encounter situations where they will benefit from possessing a visual communication sensibility and vocabulary to communicate effectively with a broad range of audiences, including professional designers. Creative approaches to challenges, such as visual thinking, are also shown to improve students’ comprehension and problem-solving abilities. Digital Design in Communication is an opportunity for undergraduates to receive an introduction to principles of visual message design from a critical rhetorical perspective. They will also get the opportunity to apply these principles to a variety of visual products such as advertisements, logos, brochures, resumes, etc. A variety of computer software applications are available to support the research, writing, visualization, and design of messages.
COMM-345
Ethics in Technical Communication
Ethics is the study of morals, of what is right and good, especially regarding specific moral choices. In a given situation, a system of ethics helps us answer the question: What should I do? Ethics in technical communication explores the ways in which ethical conduct is important in the communication of technical information, particularly among professional technical communicators; establishes principles, based on the history of ethical studies, for making ethical choices as technical communicators; and provides opportunities to apply ethical principles to case studies, in order to better understand the often problematical nature of ethical choices in technical-or any-communication.
COMM-440
Visual Communication of Technical Information
This course introduces students to the principles, conventions, and ethics of communicating technical information in graphs, tables, and illustrations. A secondary focus is on writing text to complement graphs and illustrations in technical documents.
COMM-441
Writing the Technical Manual
Develops in students those skills necessary for designing, writing, and editing long technical manuals. Special emphasis is given to graphics and page layout. Students enrolling should have command of concise English prose.
ENGL-361
Technical Writing
Provides knowledge of and practice in technical writing. Key topics include audience analysis; organizing, preparing and revising short and long technical documents; designing documents using effective design features and principles, and formatting elements using tables and graphs; conducting research; writing technical definitions, and physical and process descriptions; writing instructions; and individual and group peer editing.
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