Communication Studies Requirements

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The Department of Communication Studies, formerly the Department of Speech Communication, offers courses in communication studies and public relations. Courses cover the history, theory and application of communication. These courses reflect liberal arts, humanities and social science traditions as approaches to theory and application.

The department also sponsors co-curricular activities in public speaking, debate, forensics, performance studies (oral interpretation), and public relations, all of which are open to non-majors.

English is the language of instruction in the Department of Communication Studies and proficiency in written and oral English is required of all students in Communication Studies. To meet the requirements for a major in the Department of Communication Studies a student must demonstrate the following basic skills: the ability to deliver effective oral public presentations; the ability to write clear, correct English prose; the ability to communicate effectively at the interpersonal level as well as in groups; and the ability to understand and apply communication theory and research.

These communication competencies may be demonstrated by completing the major program and any one of the specializations described below and by receiving no lower than a C- grade in courses listed in the required core and as required in the student’s chosen specialization. Under certain circumstances, a student may elect to demonstrate a competency by passing a proficiency examination administered by the Department of Communication Studies.

Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication Studies

Degree RequirementsCredit Hours
University Core Curriculum Requirements 41
College of Liberal Arts Academic Requirements 6-11
Includes: one year of foreign language and two writing intensive courses chosen from those listed in the required curriculum specializations below.
Requirements for Major in Communication Studies 42
Required Core Courses 15
Communication theory and foundational skills: CMST 201, CMST 262, CMST 280, CMST 301I, CMST 326
Required Curriculum Specialization (see below) 33
Intercultural Communication Specialization 33
For students interested in communication topics and practices as they occur in social, cultural, and cross-cultural settings, verbal and nonverbal transaction and exchange at the interpersonal, group, organizational, and public levels, and the challenges of cultural diversity at home and abroad; domestic and international careers in business, industry, teaching, and government with a focus on intercultural understanding, consensus, and appreciation. Required: CMST 262, CMST 301I (or CMST 341), CMST 361, CMST 440, CMST 441, CMST 448; and fifteen hours selected from any other communication studies courses. Electives: AFR 215, AFR 330; ANTH 202, ANTH 301, ANTH 304, ANTH 370, ANTH 410I, ANTH 410L, ANTH 410N, ANTH 410O; HIST 361, HIST 365; JRNL 306I; LING 200, LING 201, LING 415; MKTG 336, MKTG 435; POLS 352I, POLS 373; PSYC 307, PSYC 323; RTD 467; SOC 215, SOC 423, SOC 424, SOC 435, SOC 437.
Interpersonal Communication Specialization 33
For students interested in topics of communication in interpersonal relationships, language in everyday interactions, group communication dynamics, and nonverbal and intercultural aspects of communication; and careers in communication skills training, interviewing, communication research, conflict management, and employee or client relations. Required: CMST 261, CMST 262, CMST 301I (or CMST 341), CMST 361, CMST 463; and 18 hours selected from any other communication studies courses.
Organizational Communication Specialization 33
For students interested in a broad spectrum of communication topics in the context of the organization including, but not limited to, compliance-gaining, superior-subordinate interaction, communication audit methods, organizational networks, organizational climate and culture, conflict resolution, impact of new communication technology, and information flow. Required: CMST 280, CMST 281, CMST 326, CMST 380, CMST 383, CMST 480, CMST 483; 12 hours selected from any other communication studies courses.
Performance Studies Specialization 34
For students interested in theatrical and everyday performance and the oral interpretation of literature, and in careers in performance, writing-as-performance, and public presentation from business to the arts. Required: CMST 370, CMST 371, CMST 471, CMST 472; six hours selected from CMST 474, CMST 475, CMST 476; at least one hour selected from CMST 390F or CMST 490F; and 15 hours selected from any other communication studies courses.
Persuasive Communication Specialization 33
For students interested in public and political discourse, argumentation, rhetoric, social influence and media, careers in law, politics, sales, corporate and public advocacy, and selected areas in business and mass media. Required: CMST 221, CMST 325, CMST 326, CMST 411; six hours selected from CMST 310, CMST 382, CMST 412, CMST 413, CMST 421 (3,3), CMST 451; and 15 hours selected from any other communication studies courses.
Public Relations Specialization 33
For students interested in public relations: the study of internal and/or external communication between an organization or client and its publics. Includes media relations, writing for mass media, research, case studies, and planning of communication campaigns. Required: CMST 281, CMST 381, CMST 382, CMST 481, CMST 485, JRNL 335, JRNL 311, three hours of CMST 390H or CMST 494H, three hours from JRNL, RTD, CMST 482, CMST 484, CMST 486, or CMST 490H. Minor or cognate study in related areas: Fifteen hours in a single department or related field of study beyond the University Core Curriculum and required courses. A cognate study will only be allowed if another unit on campus does not offer a minor and the student wishes to focus in that area. Cognate study must be approved by a member of the Public Relations Faculty.
Electives and/or minor 1 20-25
(Electives for majors specializing in Public Relations include 15 hours of coursework in a minor or cognate study in a related area.)
Total 120

1 (For majors specializing in Public Relations, 15 elective credit hours of coursework must be concentrated in a minor or cognate study in a related area).

Communication Studies Minor

A minor in Communication Studies consists of a minimum of 15 hours (in addition to CMST 101), which must include nine hours at the 300- or 400-level.