Course Descriptions

COMM 1003 – Principles of Communication – 3 credit hours

Designed to introduce core concepts in the discipline of communication and to demonstrate applications in professional and relational contexts.


COMM 1503 – Mass Media & Society – 3 credit hours

Examines the role and impact of the media on individuals and society. Topics include the historical development of the mass media, along with media effects, ethics, legal considerations, and the role of journalism in society. Students develop a deeper awareness of the media in their lives and a critical perspective to become more responsible consumers of information. Also listed as JRNL 1503.


COMM 2003 – Critical Thinking & Communication – 3 credit hours

This survey course introduces critical thinking, establishes its historical nexus with the discipline of communication, and explores contemporary applications vis-à-vis information literacy, media literacy, new media literacy, quantitative literacy (i.e. numeracy), and visual literacy. Emphasis will be placed on developing critical thinking skills through intensive practice in in-class debate and deliberative exercises, and analysis of communication artifacts.


COMM 2103 – Public Speaking – 3 credit hours

Focused primarily on the construction of speeches. Includes introductions to audience analysis, persuasion, and delivery techniques. An additional focus is on developing appropriate listening behaviors. Strong emphasis on attendance. Recommended: ENGL 1013.


COMM 2503 – Interpersonal Communication – 3 credit hours

An analysis of interpersonal effectiveness, verbal and nonverbal techniques, encoding and decoding communication messages, and interaction within relationships. Recommended: COMM 1003.


COMM 3103 – Advanced Public Speaking – 3 credit hours

An intensive application of the basic skills of public speaking. Delivery is stressed as a critical component of speech-making. Emphasis is given to critical thinking skills, analysis of research findings, the impact of language on messages, and critiquing and examining the delivery and speaking skills of current political and entertainment figures. Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C in COMM 2103. Recommended: COMM 1003.


COMM 3113 – Public Relations Principles & Practices – 3 credit hours

Students will learn how information moves inside and outside organizations and how this information can be used to contribute to organizational goals. For students considering careers in public relations, this course will provide initial communication planning and writing skills. For students interested in communication applications as part of careers in other fields, this course will contribute to understanding communication applications in modern organizations.


COMM 3203 – Nonverbal Communication – 3 credit hours

An integral study relating to body language, facial expressions, vocal variations, proxemics, personal appearance, and artifacts. Recommended: COMM 1003.


COMM 3213 – Intermediate Public Relations – 3 credit hours

Helps students develop expanded skills in applying public relations principles and practices to case studies that reflect the realities of the profession today. As student skills expand, there will be some work with real companies as clients.


COMM 3303 – Group Communication & Decision Making – 3 credit hours

Study of time interaction and communication in small-group and team situations. Emphasis is placed on role identity, listening, conflict, problem-solving and decision-making. Recommended: COMM 1003.


COMM 3333 – Internal Communication – 3 credit hours

Focuses on the effect internal dialogue has on reasoning choice and intention. The course explores the role that conscious and unconscious discourse plays in our effort to understand both ourselves and our environment; and thus become more effective communicators.


COMM 3403 – Family Communication – 3 credit hours

An introduction to communication phenomena in the family setting. Designed to help students understand how, through communication, family relationships are developed, maintained, enhanced, or disturbed. Students will learn verbal and nonverbal skills that help promote healthy family communication.


COMM 3503 – Organizational Communication – 3 credit hours

A management approach to communication within business environments. Includes team approaches, problem-solving, and development of professionalism. Recommended: COMM 1003.


COMM 3603 – Intercultural Communication – 3 credit hours

Provides an overview of the study of communication and culture with an emphasis on the theory and practice of cross-cultural and intercultural communication. It includes comparative studies of communication practices in different cultures and subcultures (cross-cultural) and descriptive normative studies of communication between different cultures and subcultures (intercultural). Recommended: COMM 1003.


COMM 3703 – Communication & Aging – 3 credit hours

A study of communication as it pertains to human social development, with an emphasis on the effects of aging, generational differences and social stereotypes on interpersonal communication effectiveness. Recommended: COMM 1003.


COMM 3713 – Gender & Communication – 3 credit hours

An assessment of communication interaction as influenced by gender differences and similarities. Intensive study of gender in social and professional situations. Recommended: COMM 1003.


COMM 4103 – Conflict Resolution – 3 credit hours

An intensive study of the nature of conflict, its causes and consequences, and communication strategies for managing and resolving conflict. Recommended: COMM 1003.


COMM 4113 – Advanced Public Relations – 3 credit hours

Assigned work groups will plan and execute public relations/communication strategies for area business organizations. These plans will be expected to provide measurable gains against client objectives. Students will be expected to demonstrate exceptional professionalism, as established in the course structure and content.


COMM 4203 – Crisis Communication – 3 credit hours

Communication strategies for dealing with crisis situations through prevention, readiness, and resolution of crisis situations will be developed. Recommended: COMM 1003.


COMM 4403 – Communication Law & Ethics – 3 credit hours

Study focuses on media law and ethical considerations in the contemporary communication environment. Topics include the First Amendment, libel, invasion of privacy, information access, free press and fair trial considerations, obscenity, copyright, advertising, and telecommunication regulations. Also listed as JRNL 4403.


COMM 4503 – Interviewing – 3 credit hours

A comprehensive study of interviewing techniques as applied in diverse settings, including employment, performance appraisal, health care, and human services. Students will demonstrate understanding of relevant principles and techniques through observation of and participation in a series of interviews in and out of class. Recommended: COMM 1003.


COMM 4713 – Leadership – 3 credit hours

Study of communication relative to values, leadership, and power in organizational contexts such as business, professional, social, educational, and political groups. Recommended: COMM 1003.


COMM 4723 – Persuasion – 3 credit hours

An advanced study of theories of human influence and motivation and their applications with emphasis on commercial and political advertising in mass communication and computer-mediated communication.


COMM 4733 – Political Communication & Public Affairs – 3 credit hours

Study of communication issues related to interest group politics, including how interest groups use mass media to advance their public policy agendas. Citizen disengagement and the theory and practice of deliberative democracy are also emphasized.

COMM 4743 – Social Media Communication – 3 credit hours

A social scientific study of the influence of communication on the history, theory, ethics, technology, and uses of social media. Specific focus will be given to the analysis of messages and emergent social structures through social media platforms, i.e., Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn. Course topics include but are not limited to the impact of social media and technology on interpersonal relationships, the workplace, journalism, and politics. Recommended: COMM 1003.


COMM 4903 – Professional Internship in Communication – 3 credit hours

A student may elect to participate in a professional internship in a communication or communication-related field. The internship must involve a minimum of 120 clock hours per semester, for which at least 80 percent of the time at work involves activities that meaningfully contribute to the student’s professional development for a targeted career. The internship must be pre-approved and supervised by a communication program faculty member and comply with the program’s guidelines for professional internships. Grading: Credit/No Credit.


COMM 4993 – Communication Capstone – 3 credit hours

The capstone course gives all undergraduates in communication the opportunity for a culminating college experience that focuses on their discipline and areas of interest and requires them to integrate concepts from a related communication course. A written report and oral presentation of that report as well as a culminating reflection paper serve as the exit assessment for the major. Communication majors only, must be taken within the last two semesters prior to graduation or with the program’s permission.