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DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNICATION STUDIES (COM)

Dr. Beth S. Bennett, Chairperson
Office: 203 Phifer Hall

A total of 120 hours is required for graduation. Thirty-three of these hours must be in courses at the 300 or 400 level.

Core Curriculum and General Education Requirements

I. Freshman composition (FC): 6 hours
    EN 101 (3), EN 102 (3) or by exam or equivalent
 
II. Humanities (HU) and fine arts (FA): 12 hours
    fine arts (3); literature (L) (3); humanities (6), may include COM 1001,
    COM 1211, COM 122, COM 1231, COM 155, COM 2101
 
III. Natural science (N) and mathematics (MA): 11 hours
    natural science (4), natural science (4), mathematics (3)
 
IV. History (HI) and social/behavioral sciences (SB):12 hours
    history sequence (6), SB (6) may include COM 1011, COM 2201
 
V. Pre-major requirements: 9–11 hours
    COM 1001 (3), or COM 1011 (3), foreign language or
    computer science2 (6–8)

ADDITIONAL UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA CORE REQUIREMENTS

Writing (W): 6 hours, may include COM 310, COM 341, COM 342, COM 413, COM 421, COM 450, COM 4631

COLLEGE REQUIREMENT

12 hours at the 300 or 400 level outside the major, (COM)

1These courses are cross-listed into the major.
2C” courses require a prerequisite programming course that does not fulfill University Core Curriculum requirements.

Requirements for the Major in Communication Studies

A minimum of 36 hours of courses in communication studies is required for the major, with a minimum of 21 hours in the major at the 300–400 level and a minimum of 33 total hours at the 300–400 level. No more than 45 hours in communication studies may be included in the hours required for graduation.

The program of instruction, to be planned in consultation with a faculty advisor, is as follows:

NOTE: Although not required, the department strongly recommends that communication studies majors take both COM 100 and COM 101.

A. Foundation courses (3 hours)
    COM 100 Rhetoric and Society or
    COM 101 Principles of Human Communication

B. Introductory performance courses (3 hours)
    Choose ONE of the following:
    COM 104 Forensics (open to UA Forensics Team students only)
    COM 121/COM 122 Critical Decision Making
    COM 123 Public Speaking
    COM 210 Oral Interpretation
    COM 225 Small Group Communication

C. Introduction to theory and analysis (3 hours)
    COM 300 Human Communication Analysis and Criticism or
    COM 310 Rhetorical Criticism

D. Capstone seminar (3 hours)
    COM 499 Capstone Seminar

E. Elective courses (minimum 24 hours)
    Through the selection of elective courses, communication studies majors may emphasize one of the following areas of study: rhetoric and prelaw; political communication; communication and culture; or organizational and interpersonal communication. Students should be aware that the courses listed under each area below are recommendations, not requirements. Each student should plan his or her individual course of study with the guidance of a departmental advisor.

Rhetoric and Prelaw
    This emphasis area focuses on argumentation, the effective construction and critical analysis of persuasive messages, and the role of rhetoric in constructing, sustaining, and changing the social order. It is an ideal preprofessional emphasis for students interested in careers in the legal profession; prelaw students should prepare broadly for a legal career, and this emphasis area is one means of accomplishing this preparation. Recommended minors for students who choose this emphasis area include American studies, African-American studies, criminal justice, English, history, philosophy, journalism, political science, telecommunication and film, and women’s studies.

    Recommended electives (minimum 24 hours)
    COM 323 Advanced Public Speaking
    COM 341 Rhetoric and American Politics
    COM 342 Rhetoric of Social Protest
    COM 348 Argumentation
    COM 460 Group Leadership
    COM 462 Theories of Persuasion
    COM 467 Seminar in Public Address
    COM 469 Communication and Gender

Political Communication
    This area focuses on the communication theories and practices evident in political discourse, artifacts, and campaigns. Attention is given to such areas of analysis and practice as public speaking, argumentation and debate, speech writing, and the role of media in politics and political campaigns. This is an appropriate emphasis for students interested in careers in any aspect of politics and public service. Recommended minors for students who choose this emphasis area include advertising and public relations, American studies, African-American studies, journalism, economics, history, political science, sociology, telecommunication and film, and women’s studies.

    Recommended electives (minimum 24 hours)
    COM 323 Advanced Public Speaking
    COM 341 Rhetoric and American Politics
    COM 342 Rhetoric of Social Protest
    COM 348 Argumentation
    COM 413 Communication and Diversity
    COM 421 Political Communication
    COM 425 Gender and Political Communication
    COM 460 Group Leadership
    COM 462 Theories of Persuasion

Communication and Culture
    This emphasis area explores public communication in a wide variety of contexts and settings. The focus is on the influence of rhetoric and visual communication on individuals, communities, and the larger social world. Students interested in careers involving community or social change or human services (e.g., the ministry), or in postgraduate study in communication studies or media studies should consider this emphasis. Recommended minors for students who choose this emphasis area include anthropology, advertising and public relations, American studies, African-American studies, apparel and textiles, art history, English/creative writing, international studies, journalism, modern languages, religious studies, telecommunication and film, theatre, and women’s studies.

    Recommended electives (minimum 24 hours)
    COM 340 Communication and Social Identity
    COM 342 Rhetoric of Social Protest
    COM 413 Communication and Diversity
    COM 425 Gender and Political Communication
    COM 463 Relational Communication
    COM 467 Seminar in Public Address
    COM 469 Communication and Gender

Organizational and Interpersonal Communication
    The focus of this area is on knowledge and skills vital to successful communication in organizational, group, family, and other interpersonal settings. Emphases include cultural, social, and cognitive influences on personal and professional interaction and such skills as conflict resolution, small group problem solving, interviewing, and intercultural communication. It is appropriate for students interested in professional and administrative careers in business, educational, human services, or media organizations. Recommended minors for students who choose this emphasis area include advertising and public relations, general business, consumer sciences, economics, human development and family studies, international studies, journalism, management, psychology, real estate, sociology, social work, world business, and telecommunication and film.

    Recommended electives (minimum 24 hours)
    COM 220 Interpersonal Communication
    COM 350 Organizational Communication
    COM 352 Business and Professional Communication
    COM 413 Communication and Diversity
    COM 450 Advanced Organizational Communication
    COM 460 Group Leadership
    COM 463 Relational Communication
    COM 469 Communication and Gender

Requirements for the Minor in Communication Studies

The minor in communication studies requires 21 hours of coursework in the department, including COM 100 or COM 101 and at least 6 hours at the 300 or 400 level. A grade of “C-” or higher is required in all communication studies courses counted toward the minor.

Requirements for the Leadership Communication Program (LCP) Certificate

Offered by the Department of Communication Studies, the Leadership Communication Program (LCP) is a certificate program designed to give students from around the University the opportunity to focus on the development of their communication skills in organizations with diverse groups of people, as well as the development of their leadership skills in action, through service learning and supervised study. The program consists of 15 hours.

Core Competencies (9 hours)
Either COM 220 Interpersonal Communication or
    COM 225 Small Group Communication
COM 350 Organizational CommunicationCOM 460 Group Leadership
Elective (3 hours)
COM 413 Communication and Diversity
COM 469 Communication and Gender
Capstone Course (3 hours)
“Communication Training and Development”

The capstone course has a service-learning component in a not-for profit environment and provides certificate students with hands-on experience with organizational audits and communication training.

Candidates for the certificate must complete an application form before the certificate can be awarded. Application forms must be completed and submitted no later than the semester prior to the semester of graduation.

University Scholars Program in Communication Studies

Communication Studies majors admitted into this program will be able to earn both the BA and MA in Communication Studies at the University of Alabama in five years. For the highly motivated and academically gifted student, this program offers several distinct advantages:

Admission into the University Scholars Program occurs in two phases. Phase I begins at the beginning of the third year, after the successful completion of 61 semester hours of study with a 3.3 GPA or better. Phase II begins after the completion of 91 semester hours, with a 3.3 GPA or better, when the student applies for admission to the Graduate School. Upon admission to the Graduate School, the student will be allowed to take graduate-level courses and begin a program of study leading to the master of arts in communication studies.

Sample Curriculum for the Major in Communication Studies

FRESHMAN YEAR
First Semester
CoursesHours
COM 100 or COM elective3
EN 1013
Fine arts (FA)3
General elective3
Natural science (NS)4
___
Total: 16
Second Semester
CoursesHours
COM 101 or COM elective3
EN 1023
Mathematics3
Natural science (NS)3
Social/behavioral sciences (SB)4
___
Total: 16
SOPHOMORE YEAR
First Semester
CoursesHours
COM introductory performance course3
Literature course (L)3
Foreign language or computer science (FL or C)3
History sequence I (HI)3
Social/behavioral sciences (SB)3
___
Total: 15
Second Semester
CoursesHours
COM electives6
Foreign language or computer science (FL or C)3
History sequence II (HI)3
Humanities (HU)3
___
Total: 15
JUNIOR YEAR
First Semester
CoursesHours
COM 300 or COM 310 3
COM elective (W), 300–400 level3
Minor6
Special requirement3
___
Total: 15
Second Semester
CoursesHours
COM elective, 300–400 level3
COM elective (W), 300–400 level3
Minor 6
Special requirement3
___
Total: 15
SENIOR YEAR
First Semester
CoursesHours
COM elective, 300–400 level3
General elective3
Minor 3
Minor, 300–400 level 3
Special requirement3
___
Total: 15
Second Semester
CoursesHours
COM elective, 300–400 level3
COM 4993
Minor, 300–400 level 3
General elective 3
Special requirement3
___
Total: 15

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