Department of Communication Studies

The Department of Communication Studies offers a program of study leading to the master of arts degree. The program is a 30-hour interdisciplinary field of study designed to promote understanding of the functions of human communication in its various forms and venues. The program emphasizes three substantive research areas:  rhetoric and political discourse, organizational and interpersonal communication, and communication and culture.  For distance learning students, this academic degree program can be completed entirely online, with a 12-hour, elective emphasis in Organizational Leadership.

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Faculty

Professor
  • Robert N. Gaines
Associate professors
  • Meredith Bagley
  • Robin M. Boylorn
  • Mary M. Meares
  • Carol Bishop Mills
Assistant professors
  • Adam Sharples Brooks
  • William Sim Butler
  • Alexa S. Chilcutt
  • Darrin J. Griffin
  • Nikita Harris
  • Peter Jensen
  • Jessy J. Ohl
  • Cynthia Peacock
  • Joshua R. Pederson
Chair
  • Beth S. Bennett
Professor emeritus
  • Thomas Harris
Associate professor emeritus
  • Frank M. Thompson, Jr.
Adjuncts
  • Jane S. Baker
  • Jennifer Becker
Instructors
  • Angela Billings
  • Cory Paul Harrison
  • Robert Imbody
  • Caroline Parsons

Courses

COM
500
Hours
1
Intro Graduate Studies

The primary goal is to orient new graduate students to the expectations and procedures of graduate study in the department. Topics covered include developing the plan of study, thesis prospectus, comprehensive examination, and choosing advisors and committees.

COM
501
Hours
1
Intro Tchng Public Speak

The primary goal of this course is to facilitate the instruction of COM 123 Public Speaking. Students enrolled in this course will provide lesson plans for their classes and discuss options for improving classroom learning.

COM
513
Hours
3
Communication And Diversity

Study and analysis of issues of diversity as they relate to groups in society and in communication fields. Emphasis is on the media's treatment of various groups in society. Approved as a communication and cultural diversity elective.

COM
515
Hours
3
African American Rhetoric

A historical-critical investigation of African American public discourse from the Revolutionary era to the present, exploring rhetorical strategies for social change and building community.

COM
525
Hours
3
Gender & Political Comm

Study of the impact of gender on political communication activities. Topics include gender differences in political messages and voter orientation, masculine ideals of leadership, women's roles and advancement in the political sphere, and media representations.

COM
536
Hours
1-3
Independent Study

Students who want to count this course toward their Plans of Study must complete the official request form and submit it for the approval of their faculty advisor and the Graduate Program Director.

COM
541
Hours
3
Contemp Rhetoricl Theory

A survey of major contributions to rhetorical theory from the 20th century up to the present.

COM
545
Hours
3
Classicl Rhetorcl Theory

A systematic inquiry into the development of Greek and Roman rhetorical theory during the classical period (ca. 480 B.C.E. 400 C.E.).

COM
548
Hours
3
Sem Rhetorical Criticism

An examination of various methodological perspectives of rhetorical criticism. Specifically, the course aims to familiarize students with both traditional and alternative critical methods and to encourage students to perceive the rhetorical dimensions of all manner of public discourse, ranging from speeches, advertising, film, popular music to discursive forms in new media and the Internet.

COM
550
Hours
3
Qualitative Research Methods in Communication

An introduction to qualitative research methods in communication, including data collection and analysis. The goals of the course are to provide exposure to a broad array of qualitative methods, help students learn to use some of these methods, and to help them to understand the role of research in our field. The course is designed to help student actually conduct research, resulting in two conference-worthy papers.

COM
555
Hours
3
Conflict and Negotiation

Negotiation is fundamentally a communicative activity. The main objective of this course is to understand processes of formal conflict management in mixed motive settings. Students will apply negotiation theory and skills to simulated negotiation cases that include buyer-seller transactions, negotiating through an agent or mediator, salary negotiations, deal making, resolution of workplace disputes, multiparty negotiations, international and intercultural negotiations, and ethical decision making and communication in negotiation. The skills and theory introduced in this course will help students manage integrative and distributive aspects of the negotiation process to achieve individual and collective goals.

COM
560
Hours
3
Group Leadership

An advanced study of small-group behavior, examining in detail theories of leadership as they relate to problem solving in group situations.

COM
561
Hours
3
Human Communication Theory

A detailed review of selected theories of speech communication with a focus on the critical examination of the foundation of social scientific theories.

COM
562
Hours
3
Theories Of Persuasion

A critical review of social-influence theories in the area of persuasion and human action.

COM
563
Hours
3
Relational Communication

Focused investigation of to communication in close personal relationships, with primary emphasis on contemporary concepts and theories of romantic relationships and friendships.

COM
565
Hours
3
Intercultural Communication

Survey and analysis of major concepts, theories, and research dealing with communication between people of different cultural backgrounds in multicultural and international settings.

COM
567
Hours
3
Seminar Public Address

A topical consideration of individual case studies from public discourse, designed to probe problems of the nature of the audience, the ethics of persuasion, and the power of public advocacy in mass society. Topics may vary.

COM
569
Hours
3
Communication & Gender

Explores the role of communication in the construction of gender. Covers feminist theoretical approaches in communication and other disciplines, the intersections of gender with other marginalities, and the role of gender in various communication contexts. Approved as a communication and cultural diversity elective.

COM
571
Hours
3
Sem Organizatn Communctn

An introductory examination of historical and contemporary issues in organizational communication scholarship from a variety of theoretical and methodological perspectives.

COM
572
Hours
3
Org Assessment/Intervent

Examines the theoretical issues inherent in the study of organizational communication, the primary factors requiring assessment and intervention, the impact of on-going changes and new information techniques, current challenges facing the organizational consultant, and the practical application of communication processes for improving organizations.

COM
575
Hours
3
Technology, Culture, and Human Communication

Study of the complexity of technologically-mediated communication across cultures. This course combines literature and concepts from intercultural communication with human communication and technology and addresses the challenges of interacting with others via technology, working in global virtual teams and organizations, and participating as a citizen and consumer in the technology age.

COM
590
Hours
1-3
Internship

Proposal for supervised field experience in communication studies must be submitted and approved.

COM
595
Hours
3
Special Topics

Topics vary by instructor.

COM
598
Hours
3
Professional or Creative Project

MA students in Communication Studies who elect the Professional Plan II Option may earn 3 hours credit for completing a research or creative project.

COM
599
Hours
1-6
Thesis Research

No description available.