The Department of Communication Studies offers a
variety of program areas, including speech communication, print and
electronic journalism, advertising, public relations, media theory and
history, as well as radio, television, and film/video production. While
each of these program areas have distinct outcomes in regard to
professional competence, the faculty makes a strong effort to work
collaboratively to assure that the measure of success in earning a
degree in Communication Studies is defined in three departmental
outcome goals which we seek to make one in the learning process:
We recognize that the development of
"professional skills" involve both general and specific outcomes.
General outcomes include producing students who display professional
standards in regard to interpersonal, intercultural, and organizational
communication skills, as well as professional work habits (punctuality,
reliability, ethical discernment, teambuilding, etc.). Specific
professional skills taught in the Department prepare students to
succeed in the professional areas of business communication, health
communication, advertising, public relations, film, broadcasting, and
- Oral and written communication competence.
- The development of critical thinking skills.
- The development of both social and professional skills.
The Department makes a conscious effort to assess
our curricula, teaching, as well as learning processes, and
student/faculty competence, on the basis of student learning outcomes.
We take pride in our reputation as a "teaching" department.
These outcome goals must equally serve students
who will be immediately entering the workplace following the attainment
of their undergraduate degree, as well as those who will be entering
graduate school programs in a wide variety of academic areas (law,
business, speech communication, journalism, film, among others).
In every departmental course/lab,
we consciously seek to employ specific learning process options that
reinforce the three goals above. For example, in a film/media
production class, student work is not only graded on professional
standards of technical skill, but also on the ability of the student to
give an oral presentation concerning their film/video production, as
well as the ability to turn in written work that demonstrates an
ability to apply a critical/theoretical/historical analysis of the
production. The same approach is likewise applied to professional
The department provides an multidisciplinary approach so students can satisfy their educational and occupational needs across multiple, firmly grounded degree tracks. Regardless of the emphasis, students are required to satisfactorily complete the department's core courses. Students must maintain a 2.0 GPA in their major field. A grade of "D" in a course within the major will not be accepted for credit in the program. With prior permission, three hours of elective credit from another department may be accepted as Communication Studies elective credit. At least 18 of 33 credit hours must be at the 300- or 400-level. Transfer students must complete a minimum of 15 credit hours within the department.
Required Core Courses: (6 Hours) Hours
COMM-ST 110 Fundamentals of Effective
Speaking and Listening 3
COMM-ST 483 Seminar in Communication
The program of study for the Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies consists of 33 total credit hours. COMM-ST 110 and COMM-ST 483 are required for all three emphasis areas. COMM-ST 483 must be taken during a students final semester. Students are expected to work closely with a departmental adviser in designing an undergraduate program of study for their emphasis. Only three credit hours within the 33 hours for a major may be taken in one-hour courses. Students are required to take one writing intensive course within their emphasis area.
Note: Students must successfully complete the WEPT Exam before enrolling in any writing intensive courses. As noted in Pathway, the following classes do not count toward electives in Communication Studies: COMM-ST 421P, COMM-ST 422P, COMM-ST 423P, COMM-ST 424P.
In addition to the department's six hours of core courses (110, 483), COMM-ST 308 is also required for this emphasis. Three hours of Interpersonal and Three hours of Public communication courses are required. Twelve hours of Interpersonal and Public electives are also required. Six hours of departmental electives complete the emphasis for a total of 33 credit hours. Students are required to take one writing intensive course within their emphasis area.
Required Courses: (9 Hours) COMM-ST 110 Fundamentals of Effective Speaking & Listening COMM-ST 308 Introduction to the Study of Human Communication COMM-ST 483 Research Seminar in Communication Studies
In addition to the 6 credit hours of the department's core courses (110, 483), the Film and Media Studies emphasis requires COMM-ST 330 - Introduction to Film Studies (3 cr. hrs) COMM-ST 339 - Film Theory & Criticism (3 cr. hrs) and 21 hours of Film and Media Studies electives for a total of 33 credit hours. Students are required to take one writing intensive course within their emphasis area.
Required Courses: (6 Hours)
Film and Media Studies Electives: (21 Hours)
In addition to the department's six credit hours of core courses (COMM-ST 110, COMM-ST 483), the Journalism and Mass Communication emphasis requires six hours: COMM-ST 220 and COMM-ST 303WI. An additional 21 hours of Journalism and Mass Communication electives are required, for a total of 33 hours. Students are required to take one writing intensive course within their emphasis area.