Areas of Emphasis

Communication Studies Emphasis

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Human Communication Studies

If your goal is to gain strong communication skills and knowledge to prepare you for a broad range of jobs as a communication specialist, then welcome to Communication Studies. People talking to other people—whether by texting, teleconferencing or face-to-face—is essential to our social and personal worlds, and to the business and professional arenas. College graduates who have effective communication skills and knowledge of the communication process will be qualified for a variety of employment options. As a student of Communication Studies you will enhance your skills in group collaboration and leadership, conflict management, team presentations, persuasion, and adapting to communication media like social media and cell phones. These skills are valuable for entry-level positions and beyond in corporate training, human resources, sales, corporate and employee communications, and management as well as being in demand at non-profit organizations and agencies.

Along with stronger communication skills, your coursework in Communication Studies helps you understand essential processes such as verbal and nonverbal communication, conflict, and persuasion. How and why does conflict happen and why does it sometimes escalate? What communication strategies seem to work when trying to get others to comply with a request? What happens when there is no nonverbal communication such as when we are using email or writing on someone’s Facebook wall? These are important questions, affecting our work and personal lives, and by focusing on Communication Studies you will learn answers to them.

In addition to the required courses designed to provide you with key skills and knowledge of communication, you will choose courses from the two main categories of "Human Relations" and "Strategic Communication" that include courses in interpersonal, family, organizational, political, environmental, and intercultural communication, among others. Courses incorporate activities to help you develop expertise as a communication specialist. You may, for example, develop social media strategies for promoting an organization or political candidate, examine relationship conflicts between co-workers or roommates, with a team study and propose solutions to campus problems, analyze online interactions, observe nonverbal behaviors and practices, or describe family interaction patterns.

By developing your skills and understanding of essential communication processes across a variety of contexts, the Communication Studies emphasis puts you on a path for career and personal success. For more information about the Communication Studies emphasis, contact Dr. Robert Duran, Dr. Donald Ellis, Dr. Branislav Kovacic, or Dr. Lynne Kelly.

Course requirements

In addition to the Communication Core, students in the Communication Studies emphasis take:

These required courses:

  • CMM 212 Persuasion
  • CMM 215 Making Sense of Social Media
  • CMM 222 Small Group Communication
  • CMM 447 Capstone in Communication Studies

2 courses from "Human Relations" or 2 courses from "Strategic Communication" or 1 course from each category:

Human Relations courses

  • CMM 225W Interpersonal Communication
  • CMM 251 Nonverbal Communication
  • CMM 325 Family Communication
  • CMM 325 Ethnic & Intercultural Communication
  • CMM 340 Conflict and Communication
  • CMM 366 Computer-mediated Communication
  • CMM 428 Language and Communication

Strategic Communication courses

  • CMM 111 Business & Professional Communication
  • CMM 230 Organizational Communication
  • CMM 310 Political Communication
  • CMM 320 Environmental Communication
  • CMM 343 Communication in Contemporary Organizations
  • CMM 406 Internship
  • CMM 430 Communication Law

One course each from the School of Communication’s other two emphases (Advertising and Public Relations and Media and Journalism) or two courses from either one of them.

More details about these requirements are provided on the Communication Studies Course Requirements form.

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