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Communication (COM) Course Descriptions

COM 202: Public Speaking.
Goal: To provide students with the theory and practice of public address through a wide variety of experiences.
Content: Study of the principles of speaking from classical rhetoric to modern, cultural perspectives. Application of the principles and strategies for informative and persuasive processes and special-occasion events. Critical understandings and practice of evaluative analysis of presentations and ethics in speech situations.
Taught: Fall, Spring.
Gen. Ed. Category: Foundation Building; Speaking.
Credit: 3 hours.
COM 214: Relational Communication.
Goal: To explore and analyze diverse, strategic communication choices, and how they impact our self-concept, personal style, and effectiveness in a variety of situations.
Content: This course will focus on intrapersonal & interpersonal theories of self & relationships. It will center on personal identity & communicative style in a variety of situations such as friendship, family, romantic, group, & work contexts. Theoretical analysis will focus on relational development & dynamics, strategic choices & effectiveness, perceptions by & negotiation with others, intercultural differences, & the impact & use of in-person & mediated networks.
Taught: Alternate years.
Gen. Ed. Category: Exploring; Individuals & Communities; (HUM).
Credit: 3 hours.
COM 215: Introduction to Media Studies.
Goal: To introduce students to the major theoretical, critical, and methodological approaches to media studies.
Content: Readings, discussion, and analysis of media texts and artifacts. Understanding the impact and influence of media in our lives as individuals, in society, and as a major cultural institution. Critical methodologies studied will include semiotics, structuralism and poststructuralism, cultural studies, ideological criticism, Marxist analysis, psychoanalytic criticism, sociological analysis, and feminist criticism.
Taught: Alternate years.
Gen. Ed. Category: Exploring; Individuals & Communities; (HUM).
Credit: 3 hours.

COM 216: Intercultural Communication.
Goal: To understand the similarities and differences in cultures' communication understandings, performances, and privileging.
Content: Focus on the social construction of positionality, power dynamics, and expectations of cultural identity: race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, social economic status, sex, gender, sexuality, (dis)ability, age, etc. Explore the transitioning, negotiating, and managing in the process of intercultural communication in relationships, groups, societies, media, and institutions.
Taught: Alternate Years.
Gen. Ed. Category: Synthesizing Perspectives; Diverse & Interdependent World; (HUM).
Credit: 3 hours.
COM 305: Mediating Genders.
Goal: To analyze mediated representations of gender from critical cultural and feminist theoretical perspectives.
Content: An advanced focus on media representations, this course will take an intersectional approach to understand the cross-influence and perception of gender expectations that intersect with other identities. Topics would include representations of race, queer identities, ages, (dis)abilities, nationalities, etc., violence in the media, stereotypes and tropes, etc. in a variety of media platforms.
Taught: Alternate years.
Gen. Ed. Category: Synthesizing Perspectives; Women’s Experiences; (HUM).
Credit: 3 hours; cross-listed as WGS 305.
COM 338: Identity, Power, & Culture.
Goal: To analyze societal position, ideology, and power dynamics from critical cultural and feminist theoretical perspectives.
Content: This course will focus on cultural, rhetorical discourses in the United States with a feminist, intersectional approach. Working through contemporary conversations and controversies with an eye to past positionality and knowledge creation, topics will include critical theory, the social construction of reality, race, class, queer, and citizen/immigrant identities as historical sites of oppression, and US ideology, narratives, and social change.
Taught: Alternate years.
Prerequisites: COM 214, COM 215, COM 216, WGS 200, or WGS 250. Or permission of instructor.
Credit: 3 hours; cross-listed as WGS 338.

COM 340: Persuasion.
Goal: To study the processes of persuasion and identification surrounding source, message, and audience through rhetorical and psychological lenses.
Content: Deconstruction of the strategies and choices available in communication situations in relational, societal, and textual contexts to become cognizant and ethical in our own (ab)use of persuasion. Intensive analysis and reconstruction of advertising, political, and social movements campaigns through a persuasive theoretical lens.
Taught: Alternate years.
Prerequisite: COM 202, COM 214, COM 215, or COM 216 or permission of instructor.
Credit: 3 hours.
COM 355: Seminar in Cultural Texts.
Goal: To study a topic in communication focused on cultural texts. Topics will vary.
Content: Representative topics might include rhetorical criticism, reality television, social media, female action heroes in film, the cultural history of American popular music, media portrayals of sexuality, feminist rhetoricians, or the study of a rhetorical scholar or school of thought.
Taught: Offered occasionally.
Prerequisite: One COM course or permission of instructor.
Credit: 3 hours. Can be taken for up to 6 credits if different topics.

COM 396: Special Topics in Communication.
Goal: To offer courses on a communication topic not available in the curriculum.
Content: Dependent upon the subject matter.
Taught: Offered occasionally.
Prerequisite: One COM course or permission of instructor.
Credit: 3 hours.

COM 402: Senior Seminar in Communication.
Goal: To provide a capstone course in which students will develop a senior integrative project. To enable communication majors to apply their accumulated knowledge of communication and engage in critical analysis of a communication topic.
Content: Development of a comprehensive paper, portfolio, or project. All students will meet regularly as a group with communication faculty to assess, discuss, and critique their projects. Students will give an oral presentation of their projects at the end of the semester.
Taught: Annually.
Prerequisite: Senior status as declared communication major or permission of instructor.
Credit: 3 hours.

COM 451: Directed Independent Study.
Goal: To enable an intensive exploration of a topic in communication of special interest.
Content: Directed independent work of a on a topic in communication
Taught: Upon request of student, with approval of sponsoring faculty.
Prerequisite: Permission of program director.
Credit: 1-6 hours.

COM 452/199: Field Study.
Goal: To provide the student with intensive work experience in the field of communication.
Content: Observation and participation in the work of communication professionals.
Taught: Offered occasionally.
Prerequisites: Permission of advisor, program director, faculty sponsor, and the Director of Career Development.
Credit: 1-12 hours.

COM 499: Honors Thesis. (Fee required).

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