Communications and Information Sciences
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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. Premajor requirements: 9–11 hours
COM 100 (3), or COM 101 (3), foreign language or computer science (6–8)

Additional University of Alabama Core Requirements

Writing (W): 6 hours, may include COM 310, COM 341, COM 342, COM 413, COM 415, 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.
²"C" 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.

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

  3. Introductory performance courses (3 hours)
  4. 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

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

  7. Capstone seminar (3 hours)
  8. COM 499 Capstone Seminar

  9. Elective courses (minimum 24 hours)
  10. Through the selection of elective courses, communication studies majors may emphasize one of the following areas of study: rhetoric and public discourse (includes pre-law emphasis); communication and culture; and/or organizational and interpersonal communication. Students should be aware that the courses listed under each area below are recommendations, not requirements. Also, students do not need to choose a particular emphasis; students should plan their individual programs of study with the guidance of a departmental advisor.

Rhetoric and Public Discourse

This emphasis area focuses on argumentation, the effective construction and critical analysis of persuasive public messages, and the role of rhetoric in constructing, sustaining, and changing the political/social/cultural/legal order. This area also attends to communication theories and practices evident in public (political/social/cultural/legal) 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 public/social/cultural/legal contexts. The area is an ideal pre-professional 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.

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.

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 welfare, world business, and telecommunication and film.

 

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.

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  
Courses Hours
COM 100 or COM elective 3
EN 101 3
Fine arts (FA) 3
General elective 3
Natural science (NS) 4
  ___
  Total: 16
   
Second Semester  
Courses Hours
COM 101 or COM elective 3
EN 102 3
Mathematics 3
Natural science (NS) 3
Social/behavioral sciences (SB) 4
  ___
  Total: 16
   
SOPHOMORE YEAR
   
First Semester  
Courses Hours
COM introductory performance course 3
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  
Courses Hours
COM electives 6
Foreign language or computer science (FL or C) 3
History sequence II (HI) 3
Humanities (HU) 3
  ___
  Total: 15
   
JUNIOR YEAR
First Semester  
Courses Hours
COM 300 or COM 310 3
COM elective (W), 300–400 level 3
Minor 6
Special requirement 3
  ___
  Total: 15
   
Second Semester  
Courses Hours
COM elective, 300–400 level 3
COM elective (W), 300–400 level 3
Minor 6
Special requirement 3
  ___
  Total: 15
 
SENIOR YEAR
First Semester  
Courses Hours
COM elective, 300–400 level 3
General elective 3
Minor 3
Minor, 300–400 level 3
Special requirement 3
  ___
  Total: 15
   
Second Semester  
Courses Hours
COM elective, 300–400 level 3
COM 499 3
Minor, 300–400 level 3
General elective 3
Special requirement 3
  ___
  Total: 15
   
   

 

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