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COMMUNICATION STUDIES (COM)

Dr. Beth S. Bennett, 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. 3 hours.

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

COM 101 Principles of Human Communication. 3 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 in the spring semester.

COM 104 Forensics. 1 hour per semester (may earn up to 6 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. 3 hours.
Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Honors College.

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. 3 hours.

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

COM 123 Public Speaking. 3 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. 3 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. 3 hours.

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

COM 225 Small Group Communication. 3 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. 3 hours.

Reading and discussion in areas of significance. Topics vary.

COM 300 Human Communication Research. 3 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 or social scientific research.

COM 301 Introduction to Rhetorical Theory. 3 hours.

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

COM 310 Rhetorical Criticism. 3 hours.
Prerequisite: COM 100 or COM 101.

Survey of critical approaches to rhetorical analyses of discourse. Writing proficiency is a requirement for passing this W-designated course.

COM 323 Advanced Public Speaking. 3 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. 3 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. 3 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 this W-designated course.

COM 342 Rhetoric of Social Protest. 3 hours.

Study of social protest discourse and how it functions rhetorically. Writing proficiency is a requirement for passing this W-designated course.

COM 348 Argumentation. 3 hours.

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

COM 349 Practicum in Forensics. 3 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. 3 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. 3 hours.

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. 3 hours.

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

COM 413 Communication and Diversity (also MC 413). 3 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 W-designated course.

COM 415 African American Rhetoric. 3 hours.
Prerequisite:
COM 100 or permission of the instructor.

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 421 Political Communication (also MC 421). 3 hours.
Prerequisite: COM 100 or COM 101, and junior standing.

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

COM 425 Gender and Political Communication. 3 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 roles and advancement in the political sphere, and media representations.

COM 431 Political Campaign Management (also APR 431). 3 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 database management.

COM 436 Independent Study. 3–9 hours.

Arranged by permission of the department chairperson only.

COM 445 Seminar in Rhetorical Theory. 3 hours.
Prerequisite: COM 100.

A topical seminar reviewing selected theories of rhetoric and its role in the public sphere.

COM 450 Advanced Organizational Communication. 3 hours.

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 this W-designated course.

COM 451 Instructional Communication. 3 hours.

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

COM 460 Group Leadership. 3 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. 3 hours.
Prerequisite: 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. 3 hours

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 this W-designated course.

COM 467 Seminar in Public Address. 3 hours.

A topical consideration of individual case studies from public discourse and contexts, 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. 3 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. 1 to 3 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. 3–6 hours.

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

COM 499 Capstone Seminar. 3 hours.
Prerequisites: COM 100 or COM 101; COM 300, or 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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