What courses are offered in the major?
The College’s official catalogue offers detailed descriptions of all courses. Below
are quick “takes” on the courses, emphasizing what they will teach you.
The first two courses equip students with the basic skills.
COMM 210 – Principles of Public Communication
Learn the fundamentals of preparing and delivery a public presentation.
COMM 215 – Interpersonal and Small Group Communication
Learn what research says about one-on-one and group communication; practice
effective conversational and group communication skills
A third course should be drawn from a menu of courses, among them are the following
COMM 220 – Argumentation
Study how to construct effective arguments in a variety of disciplinary contexts;
practice offering them orally
COMM 221 – Oral Interpretation of Literature
Study how to use voice and gesture to offer an effective rendition of a poem,
a story, or a dramatic scene.
COMM 225 – Media Writing
Develop an understanding of how different media work and develop skills writing
copy, designing documents, and planning visual components in traditional media and
The next two courses are, arguably, the crucial ones in the discipline. They provide
the theoretical and methodological foundations for advanced coursework in the major.
COMM 301 – Communication Theory
Explore the frameworks through which communication studies researchers view
interpersonal, group, organizational, public, and mediated communication.
COMM 302 – Communication Research Methods
Master the social science methods used to design, conduct, and analyze gathered
data from research studies in communication.
Students choose among these classes[J1] , steering their program in the direction
they desire. Students may also petition the program director to count courses in
cognate areas in this group.
COMM 303 – Communication Law and Ethics
Learn how the courts have interpreted the 1st Amendment to the U.S.
Constitution as media have expanded from public assembly and press to broadcast
to cyberspace; discuss the range of ethical questions facing those in a variety
of communication situations.
COMM 307 – Political Communication
Survey political campaigns since the 1950s; learn about how American presidents,
the U.S. Congress and Supreme Court communicate.
COMM 308 – American Campaigns and Elections
Investigate contemporary political campaigns, especially how they have used
media resources and how media have covered them.
COMM 309 – American Public Address
Explore the texts of the 20th Century’s most important speeches as
well as the contexts in which they occurred.
COMM 311 – Rhetorical Criticism
Learn many approaches to interpreting critically a wide variety of “texts” from
public speeches to public places; discover what theoreticians such as Aristotle,
Burke, Foucault, and Bakhtin contribute to one’s understanding of public discourse.
COMM 330 – Advanced Interpersonal Communication
Explore in much more detail than in COMM 215 the research on one-on-one communication
in relationships ranging from the intimate to the academic; learn about the positive
and negative dynamics of such relationships.
COMM 331 – Advanced Group Communication
Explore in much more detail than in COMM 215 the research on communication in
groups. These groups might be work groups, peer groups, or community groups. Learn
how group communication can go right and go wrong.
COMM 332 – Intercultural Communication
Explore how communication varies from culture to culture, both among nations
and within the United States. Learn especially how those cultures most unlike the
mainstream one in this nation differ in their communication behaviors from that
COMM 361 -- Gender Issues in Communication
Learn how communication differs with gender; discover how gender is portrayed
in the media; explore how communication and gender interact in contexts such as
relationships and careers.
COMM 450, 451 – Internship in Communication Studies
Work and learn in a variety of job contexts ranging from corporate communications
to public relations to broadcasting.
This last course culminates the major.
COMM 495 – Capstone Seminar in Communication Studies
Join other seniors in investigating a “problem” area such as adolescence or
lack of civic engagement or man- or nature-caused disasters from a variety of communication
studies perspectives. Do and present your research relevant to the chosen “problem”