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COMMUNICATION STUDIES (COM)

Dr. Marsha Houston, Chairperson
Office: 203 Phifer Hall

A student majoring in communication studies must make a "C-" or higher in all courses required in the major. Students who enroll in 300- or 400-level COM courses must have grade point averages of 2.0 or higher.

COM 100 Rhetoric and Society. Three hours.

The impact of public discourse on the ideas and issues of culture and history. Offered only in the fall semester.

COM 101 Principles of Human Communication. Three hours.

General introduction to communication studies as a way of understanding how humans coordinate social meaning and achieve communicative goals. The focus is on identifying the foundation of human communication and the functions of communication in everyday situations. Offered only in the spring semester.

COM 104 Forensics. One hour per semester (may earn up to six hours).

Prerequisite: Membership in the Alabama Debate Squad or the Alabama Individual Events Program.

The debate program focuses on the study of oral argument. The individual events program focuses on the preparation and presentation of various kinds of speeches and on the oral interpretation of literature.

COM 121 Honors Critical Decision Making. Three hours.

Prerequisite: Enrollment in the University Honors Program.

Introductory course in thinking critically for the purpose of participating in the process of public decision making and understanding how discussion, argumentation, and persuasion function as communication forms for that process.

COM 122 Critical Decision Making. Three hours.

Theory and practice of basic principles of decision making, providing a general introduction to persuasion, argument, and small-group theory.

COM 123 Public Speaking. Three hours.

Theory and practice of basic principles of public speaking, with emphasis on the compositional and presentational aspects of communication in formal speaking situations.

COM 210 Oral Interpretation. Three hours.

Beginning course in the oral interpretation of literature. The course covers principles and techniques of analyzing and presenting poetry, prose, and dramatic literature orally.

COM 220 Interpersonal Communication. Three hours.

Study of verbal and nonverbal communication in the evolution of human relationships.

COM 225 Small Group Communication. Three hours.

Survey and application of basic group communication principles as related to task-oriented interpersonal, small-group, and large-group dynamics, within the context of complex organizations.

COM 295 Special Topics. Three hours.

Reading and discussion in areas of significance. Topics vary.

COM 300 Human Communication Analysis and Criticism. Three hours.

Prerequisite: COM 100 or COM 101.

Focus on how communication research can be used to answer practical questions related to human communication and the media. Emphasis is given to critical analysis and empirical research.

COM 301 Introduction to Rhetorical Theory. Three hours.

Survey of the historical development of rhetorical theory from the classical period to the present.

COM 310 Rhetorical Criticism. Three hours.

Prerequisite: COM 100 or COM 101.

Survey of critical approaches to rhetorical analyses of discourse. Writing proficiency is a requirement for passing the course.

COM 323 Advanced Public Speaking. Three hours.

Prerequisite: COM 104, COM 121, COM 122, or COM 123.

Advanced exploration of principles and models of contemporary public address.

COM 340 Communication and Social Identity. Three hours.

Investigation of selected issues such as gender and minority group membership and their relationships to communicative strategies used by persons who seek to achieve identity and participation in the larger community. (This is an approved course for the minor in women's studies.)

COM 341 Rhetoric and American Politics. Three hours.

Introduction to the structures and functions of written, spoken, and electronically mass-mediated political discourse in contemporary society. Writing proficiency is a requirement for passing the course.

COM 342 Rhetoric of Social Protest. Three hours.

Study of social protest discourse and how it functions rhetorically. Writing proficiency is a requirement for passing the course.

COM 348 Argumentation. Three hours.

Theory and practice of argumentation, applying basic principles to both oral and written discourse.

COM 349 Practicum in Forensics. Three hours.

Practical experience in establishing and administering forensic programs, preparing students for competitive forensics events, rendering critical judgments, and conducting forensics tournaments.

COM 350 Organizational Communication. Three hours.

Theoretical approach to the study of human communication in the organization context. Emphasis is on predominant organizational communication theories and communication networks, as well as dyadic, small-group, and public communication processes.

COM 352 Business and Professional Communication. Three hours.

Prerequisite: COM 100 or COM 101, and junior standing.

Application of self-presentation and interaction concepts and skills to the transition from undergraduate studies to professional life, including résumé preparation and presentation, interviewing, and interaction management in business and professional settings.

COM 395 Special Topics. Three hours.

Reading, research, and discussion in areas of significance. Topics vary.

COM 413 Communication and Diversity (also MC 413). Three hours.

Prerequisite: COM 100, COM 101, or permission of the instructor.

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. Writing proficiency is a requirement for passing this course.

COM 415 Rhetoric of Malcolm X and the Civil Rights Movement. Three hours.

Prerequisite: COM 100, COM 101, or permission of the instructor.

Considers Malcolm X's public discourse by probing the nature of his audience, ethics of his discourse, and power of his public advocacy in a mass society. Will focus on how his discourse changed as his views on the Civil Rights Movement evolved and compare his rhetorical strategies to those of Martin Luther King Jr.

COM 421 Political Communication (also MC 421). Three hours.

Prerequisite: COM 100 or COM 101.

An exploration of rhetorical media, and cross-disciplinary theories related to political communication. Writing proficiency is a requirement for passing this course.

COM 425 Gender and Politics. Three hours.

Prerequisite: COM 100, COM 101, or permission of the instructor.

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 advancement in the political sphere, and media representations.

COM 431 Political Campaign Management (also APR 431). Three hours.

Prerequisites: COM 341, COM 421 , COM 425, or APR 420; junior standing.

The study of communication management in the context of political campaigns. Topics include audience analysis, candidate and electoral context analysis, strategic planning and assessment, leadership and campaign management styles, and data base management.

COM 436 Independent Study. Three to nine hours.

Arranged by permission of the department chairperson only.

COM 445 Seminar in Rhetorical Theory. Three hours.

Prerequisite: COM 100 or COM 101.

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

COM 450 Advanced Organizational Communication. Three hours.

Prerequisite: COM 100 or COM 101.

Advanced course focusing on current trends and issues in organizational communication. Course content will center on a variety of topics designated important to the conceptualization and successful operation of organizations. Writing proficiency is a requirement for passing the course.

COM 451 Instructional Communication. Three hours.

Prerequisite: COM 100 or COM 101.

Principles and strategies for teaching communication studies at the high-school and community-college level.

COM 460 Group Leadership. Three hours.

Prerequisite: COM 100, COM 101, or permission of the instructor.

Advanced study of small-group behavior. Theories of leadership are examined in detail as they relate to problem solving in group situations.

COM 462 Theories of Persuasion. Three hours.

Prerequisite: COM 100 or COM 101.

Critical review of social influence theories and practice in the area of persuasion and human action. Special emphasis is given to the application of the theories in mediated communication settings.

COM 463 Relational Communication. Three hours

Prerequisite: COM 100, COM 101, or permission of the instructor.

Focused investigation of communication in close personal relationships, with primary emphasis on contemporary concepts and theories of romantic relationships and friendships. Writing proficiency required for passing the course.

COM 467 Seminar in Public Address. Three hours.

Prerequisite: COM 100, COM 101, or permission of the instructor.

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.

COM 469 Communication and Gender. Three hours.

Prerequisite: COM 100, COM 101, or permission of the instructor.

Explores the role of communication in the construction of gender. Covers theories of gender construction, as well as the roles of gender and communication in various relational contexts. (This is an approved course for the minor in women's studies.)

COM 490 Internship. One to three hours.

Prerequisites: COM 100 or COM 101, 6 hours of COM courses at the 300 or 400 level, junior or senior standing, and written permission of the department. Supervised field experience in communication studies.

COM 495 Special Topics. Three hours.

Prerequisite: COM 100, COM 101, or permission of the instructor.

Reading, research, and discussion in areas of significance. Topics vary.

COM 499 Capstone Seminar. Three hours.

Prerequisites: COM 100 or COM 101; COM 300, COM 310, and junior or senior standing.

Gives advanced students an opportunity to integrate and synthesize what they have learned in the communication studies major. Topics will vary.

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