Courses | Communication Studies


Initial Requirements

Comm 1010 - Introduction to Communication Studies

Examination of how communication principles and skills influence our understanding of current social problems such as global climate crisis, health care, and poverty. Focus on communication and community engagement includes experimental learning with community partners. Oral communication skills and collaborative group building skills are emphasized.

Comm 1440 - Honors Classical Argument

Uses of argument in rational decision-making based on classical theories of reason. Elements of argument, classical foundations of argument and contemporary application of argument principles.

Comm 2020 - Interpersonal Communication

Introduction to interpersonal communication research results and theories with application in two-person and small group relationships in a variety of human communication contexts.

Comm 2040 - Public Speaking

Introduction to principles of and practice in preparing public speaking speeches. Stresses the role of public speaking in democratic decision-making.

Comm 2060 - Performance of Literature

Performance as a method of textual study. An introduction to the theory and practice of analyzing, rehearsing and performing non-dramatic texts. Recommended for elementary education majors.

Comm 2140 - Rhetoric and Argument

Introduction to the critical dimensions of rhetoric and argument through presentation and evaluation of public discourse. Balanced attention to the theory and practice enabling students to analyze the persuasive function of public discourse; to discuss the role of audience in the construction of public discourse; and to develop skills for constructing, supporting, and evaluating public discourse.

Comm 3010 - Communication Perspectives

Intensive research and writing course in which students learn concepts and skills necessary to review communication research, engage in critical research about communication phenomena and write a research proposal. This course must be taken prior to or concurrently with a student's first enrollment in upper-division COMM courses. A student who fails to complete the course successfully after two attempts (either through withdrawal or failure to achieve a grade of C or better) will not be permitted to enroll in subsequent semesters.

Major Courses (Divided by Area of Interest)


Comm 3120 - Nonverbal Communication

Applications of research and theory in understanding the impact of nonverbal communication in a variety of human contexts.

Comm 3220 - Health Communication

Communication in medical settings; origins, nature and impact of communication practices and beliefs in the health-care delivery system; role of interaction on human well-being.

Comm 3320 - Communication and Conflict Management

Examination of the role of communication in the effective management of conflict and introduction to basic mediation topics such as gender, intercultural and nonverbal communication. Study of conflict in various common contexts: intrapersonal, interpersonal, group and organizational.

*Comm 3420 - Communication and New Technology

Examination of communication in technologically mediated environments. Emphasis on how these environments affect impression formation and management, deception and trust, attraction and relationship formation, group dynamics, social support and networking, community building, etc.

Comm 3520 - Advanced Interpersonal Communication

Advanced study of interpersonal communication research, focusing on theory and application in a variety of contexts.

*Comm 3620 - Intercultural Communication

Knowledge and skills designed to increase intercultural communication competence. Investigation into the ways in which culture interrelates with and affects communication processes. Examines affective, behavioral and cognitive processes involved in intercultural learning.

*Comm 3720 - Small Group Communication

Theory, research and laboratory experience in small group communication; problems in group discussion; decision-making techniques.

*Comm 3920 - Organizational Communication

Principles of communication applied in the organizational environment. Focus upon diagnosis, analysis, and resolution methods related to communication-based problems with organizations.

Comm 4020 - Communication Theory

Process of theory construction with particular emphasis on human communication, elements and types of theories, theoretical logics, and metatheoretical perspectives toward communication, and specific content theories of communication.

Comm 4320 - Communications and Virtual Gaming

Exploration of fundamental concepts related to games and gamers from socio-cultural, psychological and technological viewpoints. Explores the role of gaming technologies in communication, focusing on how they change the nature of communication and their impacts on people's lives and on society, and develops analytical abilities for examining games and gaming technology.

*Comm 4420 - Communication and Relational Development

The role of communication processes in initiating, developing, defining, maintaining and dissolving various forms of human relationships. Examines the nature of communication in a variety of relational contexts.

Comm 4829 - Topics in Interpersonal/Organizational Communication

Rotating topics in interpersonal communication, organizational communication, or communication research methods. Previously offered classes include:

· Leadership and Communication

· Communication and Virtual Gaming

· Sports Communication

· Social Media

Performance Studies

Comm 3260 - Storytelling

Investigation of folk literature, original sources and literary genres employed in the art of storytelling. Training in the acquisition of techniques and skills employed by the storyteller.

Comm 3265 - Topics in Storytelling

Understanding how the art of storytelling influences and supports the development of diverse cultures. Comparison and contrast of storytelling traditions of at least three different groups related by geography (i.e. Americas, Asia or Africa) or topic (fairy tales, family stories or creation myths). Performance and analysis of narratives develops performance skills and sharpens critical thinking skills. Provides opportunities to participate in performances as a researcher, adapter, performer and critic.

*Comm 3760 - Performance Methods

Advanced topics in individual performance as a method of textual study as well as theory and practice in individual performance as an aesthetic event and as a rhetorical and social act.

*Comm 3860 - Group Performance

Theory and practice in analyzing texts, adapting and compiling scripts, and directing and rehearsing productions. Group performance is studied from three perspectives: as a method of textual study, as an aesthetic event, and as a social and rhetorical act.

*Comm 3865 - Adaptation and Staging

Adaptation and staging for performance. Focus on the visual language of stage composition, adaptation and staging non-dramatic materials, examinations of the roles of the director, actor and audience member.

Comm 4060 - Performance Theory

Examination and comparison of text-centered, performer-centered and audience-centered theories of performance; functions of performance; and methods for evaluating performance.

Comm 4065 - History of Performance Theory

Examination of the varied performance techniques, philosophies and conventions that have contributed to the formation of contemporary performance theory and practice. Covers approaches from classical to contemporary solo performance styles. Provides the opportunity to engage these performance traditions critically through discussion, analysis and creative reconstruction.

Comm 4260 - Performance and Culture

Examination of the role of performance in cultures. Research and analysis of texts and performance practices among various ethnic and cultural group

*Comm 4360 - Performance Composition

Contemporary performance practices as critical and persuasive tools. Develops skills in reading, writing, analyzing and performing a broad range of texts to acquaint students with the variety of methods whereby performances can be composed.

Comm 4460 - Performance Art

Survey of historical and contemporary avant-garde performance art. Examination of historical and contemporary movements to develop a critical lens and vocabulary for composing performances.

Comm 4869 - Topics in Performance Studies

Rotating topics may include: performance of particular genres, including poetry narrative, drama or non-literary texts; performance methods, including thematic approaches to performance or historical styles of performance; or theoretical issues in performance, including narrative theory, intertextuality or New Historicism. Previously offered classes include:

· Tourism, Performance, and Culture

· Performative Writing

· Nonwestern Performance Practice

· Intertextuality and Performance

Rhetorical Studies

*Comm 3340 - Methods of Rhetorical Criticism

Survey of significant methodologies available to rhetorical critics. Emphasis on the critical abilities necessary to describe, explain, analyze, and evaluate symbolic influence in the public sphere.

Comm 3440 - Public Address Studies

Major theories of public address and the critical assessment of selected persuasive addresses in the public arena.

Comm 3840 - Argumentation and Debate

Theory, research and practice in developing and presenting arguments on public policy issues; reasoning, strategy and oral advocacy.

Comm 4040 - Rhetorical Theory

A study of rhetorical traditions that provide useful insights into how individuals engage in rhetorical transactions.

*Comm 4140 - Gender and Communication

Gender & Communication explores connections between gender, rhetoric, and public culture. Critiquing rhetorical constructions of gender expectations in U.S. discourses, especially as they intersect with race, class, and sexualities, this course offers students the opportunity to study a range of public rhetorics including protests, legislative policies, speeches, movies, poetry, television, and music.

*Comm 4240 - Rhetoric, Culture, and Ideology

Consequences of discourse on culture. May include communication throughout the life cycle, rhetorical creation and maintenance of social movements, international and intercultural rhetoric, feminist rhetorical criticism, ideological criticism, the rhetorical aspects of popular culture and the grounds for the criticism of culture from a rhetorical perspective.

*Comm 4340 - Rhetoric and Politics

Rhetoric of political campaigns, presidential rhetoric, legal communication, and the rhetorical creation, maintenance, use and legitimization of symbolic power.

Comm 4849 - Topics in Rhetorical Studies

Investigation of various topics related to the study of humans using symbolic discourse to influence others. Theory and application using qualitative and historical/critical methodologies. Previous classes offered include:

· Mythic Rhetoric of the American Superhero

· Visual Rhetoric

· Rhetoric of Social Movements

· Feminist Activism and Social Movements

· Coaching Forensics

Capstone and General Communication

Comm 4510 - Communication Research and Praxis

Skills and concepts necessary to conduct communication research, to convey research in writing and oral presentation, and to evaluate communication practices critically through community engagement.

* Indicates distribution requirement (groups A, B, and C in undergraduate advising packet) for graduation.

If you have any questions about these courses or your pre-requisites, please feel free to email our Undergraduate Advisors, Dr. Holley Vaughn ( or Joanna Lugo (, or stop by the main office in the General Academic Building room 309A.

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