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. Three hours.
The impact of public discourse on the ideas and issues of culture and history. Offered in the fall semester. HU designation for university core curriculum.
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 in the spring semester. SB designation for university core curriculum.
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 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. HU designation for university core curriculum.
COM 122 Critical Decision Making. Three hours.
Theory and practice of basic principles of the decision making process, providing a general introduction to persuasion, argument, and small-group communication. HU designation for university core curriculum.
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. HU designation for university core curriculum.
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. HU designation for university core curriculum.
COM 220 Interpersonal Communication. Three hours.
Study of verbal and nonverbal communication in the evolution of human relationships. SB designation for university core curriculum.
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.
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. 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. Survey of critical approaches to rhetorical analyses of discourse. Writing proficiency is a requirement for passing the course. W designation for university core curriculum.
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. W designation for university core curriculum.
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. W designation for university core curriculum.
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. Application of self-presentation and interaction concepts and skills to the transition from undergraduate studies to professional life, including resume preparation and presentation, interviewing, and interaction management in business and professional settings.
COM 366 Visual Culture and Communication. Three hours.
Introduction to the critical understanding of visual images and their uses in a variety of rhetorical actions that humans perform in persuasion: informing, governing, remembering, and authorizing public life and culture.
COM 395 Special Topics. Three hours.
Reading, research, and discussion in areas of significance. Topics vary.
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 the course. W designation for university core curriculum.
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. Writing proficiency is a requirement for passing the course. W designation for university core curriculum.
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 436 Independent Study. Three to nine hours.
Prerequisite: permission of the department chairperson (submit the form linked to the course title to secure permission).
Those permitted to do independent study will be required to participate in an undergraduate research colloquium as necessary to completing the work for academic credit.
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. W designation for university core curriculum.
COM 451 Instructional Communication. Three hours.
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.
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 interpersonal and organizational communication contexts.
COM 463 Relational Communication. Three hours.
Focused investigation of communication in close personal relationships, with primary emphasis on contemporary concepts and theories of romantic relationships and friendships. Writing proficiency is a requirement for passing the course. W designation for university core curriculum.
COM 467 Seminar in Public Address. Three hours.
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 Communication Studies Internship for Majors. One to three hours.
Prerequisites: COM 100 or COM 101, 6 hours of COM courses at the 300/400 level, junior or senior standing, and written permission of the department (use the form linked to the course title).
Supervised field experience in communication studies.
COM 495 Special Topics. Three to six hours.
Reading, research, and discussion in areas of significance. Topics vary.
Gives advanced students an opportunity to integrate and synthesize what they have learned in the communication studies major. Topics will vary.