Communication Minor

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Overview

The communication minor offers students a foundation in human communication theories, research, and skills. Students select courses in mass media analysis, communication in professional and organizational contexts, communication skills, and critical reflection of and on communication in society.

Notes about this minor:

  • This minor is closed to students majoring in communication.
  • Posting of the minor on the student's academic transcript requires a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the minor.

The program code for Communication Minor is COMM-MN.

Curriculum for Communication Minor

Course
Required Course:
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.
Electives
Choose four 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-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.
    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.
   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-253
   Communication
An introduction to communication contexts and processes emphasizing both conceptual and practical dimensions. Participants engage in public speaking, small group problem solving and leadership, and writing exercises while acquiring theoretical background appropriate to understanding these skills.
   COMM-272
   Reporting and Writing l
This course introduces students to the principles and practices of gathering, evaluating, investigating, and presenting information to general audiences. Rights and responsibilities of the press will be analyzed. Although special emphasis will be given to writing and reporting for print publications, other media will be addressed. Special attention will be given to the qualities of writing, especially organization, accuracy, completeness, brevity, and readability. Assignments must conform to Associated Press style.
    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-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-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-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-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.
    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.
   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.
   COMM-343
   Technology-Mediated Communication
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.
    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.
    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-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-503
   Advanced Public Speaking
Further development of knowledge and skills learned in public speaking. This course emphasizes language, delivery, and speech organization, requiring students to develop and deliver speeches for various occasions, using a variety of delivery methods. Students will present out-of-the-classroom speeches as well as practice ghostwriting.