Undergraduate Course Catalog

Communication Studies

G. Stamp, Chairperson 
 
Communication studies offers programs in public, interpersonal, and organizational communication. The major and minors are designed to prepare students for careers in business, government, politics, corporate communication, public affairs, not-for-profit enterprises, the media, and for graduate study.

Baccalaureate Degrees
Students may receive either a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science degree in communication studies. Both degrees require completion of 21 credit hours of core classes that include foundation courses in the study of communication. Students are encouraged to complete these core classes prior to enrolling in more specialized COMM courses. It is also highly recommended that majors complete COMM 201 during the first semester in the department. After completing their core classes, communication studies majors are required to specialize in one of the following options:

  • Public communication: This option allows students to explore the principles that account for human communication between speaker and audience. Students will study such subjects as persuasion theory, campaign communication, and effective language use in public and mediated communication.
  • Interpersonal communication: This option exposes students to a range of courses that aid in understanding effective communication with our fellow human beings in personal relationships and small groups. Students will explore subjects such as relational development, nonverbal communication, and conflict management.
  • Organizational communication: This option prepares students to apply communication theory and research in organizational contexts. Students will examine subjects such as business and professional communication, leadership, organizational communication theory, training, and consulting.

Students who declare a communication studies major must participate in departmental assessment activities and submit a senior portfolio.

The department also offers the following minors:

  • Communication studies: This minor offers students a fundamental understanding of basic interpersonal and public communication and the opportunity to choose the focus of their communication study. The communication studies minor is not open to communication studies majors.
  • Campaign communication: This minor provides insight into the communication used in political, issues-oriented campaigns. It requires courses in communication studies, journalism, and political science.
  • Organizational communication: This minor introduces students to important communication and human relations issues, especially as they relate to improving human communications skills and applying those skills when dealing with supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates (management majors and communication studies majors only).

Students interested in teaching speech communication at the middle school or high school level should refer to the English/language arts teacher certification program description. 



MAJOR IN COMMUNICATION STUDIES,
48-51 hours

PREFIX NO    SHORT TITLE

CR HRS

Common core requirements, 21 hours

COMM






201
220
240
290
320
360
375
401

Explore Comm
Argmt Debate
Human Comm
Intercul Com
Persuasion
Comm Theory
Presen Comm
Sr Seminar

2
3
3
3
3
3
3
1

Complete one option
Interpersonal communication option, 30 hours

COMM

330
370
440
442
465

Grp Dec Mkg
Nonverb Comm
Intpers Comm
Conflict
Comm Inquiry

3
3
3
3
3

Directed electives
9 hours from COMM other than COMM 210, 475

9

6 hours from

CPSY
PSYSC
SOC



FCSFC

230
213
221
224
235
242
250

Hu Relat Dev (3)
Adjustment (3)
African-Amer (3)
Family Soc (3)
Women (3)
Problems (3)
Family Relat (3)

6


51 hrs

Organizational communication option, 30 hours

COMM






251
351
369
or
479
441
452
465

Bus Prof Com
Commun Organ
Professional (1-6)

Prac Exper (1-6)
Iss Org Comm
App Org Comm 
Comm Inquiry

3
3


3
3
3
3

Directed electives
6 hours from

COMM


325
330
340
442

Interviewing (3)
Grp Dec Mkg (3)
Ldrshp Comm (3)
Conflict (3)

6

6 hours from COMM other than
COMM 210, 475

6


51 hrs
Public communication option, 27 hours

COMM

310
322
412
420
385
or
404

Spchmkg Demo
Comm Pop Cul
Rhetorc Crit
Classic Rhet
Rhet Pub Adv (3)

Polit Comm (3)

3
3
3
3


3

Directed electives
6 hours from COMM other than
COMM 210, 475
6
6 hours from

AHS
ANTH
ENG



HIST

MUHIS
PHIL


POLS
SOC

264
342
220
285
303
335
240
422
105
202
203
307
411
441

Film Analysis (3)
Amer Culture (3)
Lang Society (3)
Intr Cr Wr (3)
Hist Rhet (3)
Pub Disc (3)
Intr Pub His (3)
Amer Pop Cul (3)
Mus Pop Cul (3)
Ethics (3)
Social Phil (3)
Aesthetics (3)
Amer Thought (3)
Change (3)

6


48 hrs

MINOR IN CAMPAIGN COMMUNICATION,
21-24 hours

PREFIX 

NO   

 SHORT TITLE

CR HRS

COMM     


JOURN
POLS

320  
404
412
250
370
372

Persuasion
Polit Comm
Rhetorc Crit
Intro Advert
Pub Op Pol 
Pol Campaign

3
3
3
3
3
3

3–6 hours from

COMM






JOURN
POLS

310
322
375
380
385
479
496
261
473

Spchmkg Demo (3)
Comm Pop Cul (3)
Presen Comm (3)
Prac Commun (1-6)
Rhet Pub Adv (3)
Prac Exper (1-6)
Direct Study (1-3)
Prin of P R (3)
Am Pol Parti (3)

3-6


21-24 hrs

MINOR IN  COMMUNICATION STUDIES, 21 hours

PREFIX

NO   

SHORT TITLE

CR HRS

COMM


240
320
375

Human Comm
Persuasion
Presen Comm

3
3
3

12 hours from electives in COMM
(Except COMM 210, 475)

12

21 hrs

MINOR IN ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION,
24 hours

PREFIX

NO

SHORT TITLE   

CR HRS

ISOM
MGT


COMM



341
300
361
363
325
330
340
351

Bus Mgl Comm
Mgt Beh Org
Mgt Hman Res
Empl Dev
Interviewing
Grp Dec Mkg
Ldrshp Comm
Commun Organ

3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3


24 hrs
This minor is open only to communication studies and human resource management, entrepreneurship, and business administration majors.

COMMUNICATION STUDIES (COMM)

201 Exploration of Communication Studies. (2)
An introduction to the study of communication for students new to the field. Provides guidelines for being a beginning communication student and scholar. 
    Open only to communication studies majors.

210 Fundamentals of Public Communication. (3)
Principles and practice of effective oral communication; analysis and evaluation of the speaking-listening process; preparation in message construction, emphasizing the selection, organization, and delivery of materials.

220 Argumentation and Debate. (3)
Explores argumentation theory through the practice of debate. While examining foundational theories of argument, the course provides students the opportunity to develop fundamental debate skills: invention, research, organization, delivery, refutation, and evaluation.

240 Introduction to Human Communication. (3)
Focuses on understanding interpersonal communication as a dynamic and complex system of interactions rather than on the skills of platform speaking. Stresses the importance of understanding and applying communication theory in everyday communication situations.

250 Articulation and Text Analysis. (3)
Development of oral performance techniques through an effective use of voice and body including poise and ease before an audience, efficient articulation, pronunciation, vocal variety, text analysis, and discrimination in interpreting thought to others.

251 Business and Professional Communication. (3)
Explores a variety of communication issues in business and professional contexts, including gender, diversity, co-worker relationships, interviewing, group and team skills, leadership, and nonverbal communication. Also emphasizes written communication and oral presentation skills appropriate to business.

290 Intercultural Communication. (3)
Critical survey of major concepts in cross-cultural and intercultural interaction. Examines the effects of customs, behaviors, and values on the interpersonal communication process.

299X Experimental/Developmental Topics. (3-6)
Topics relevant to the discipline. Course titles will be announced before each semester. 
    A total of 6 hours of credit may be earned.

310 Speechmaking and American Democracy. (3)
Speechmaking as a force in political and intellectual history; critical analysis of selected speeches in relation to political, social, and economic issues. Analysis of issues dealing with problems of progress, reform, and revolution. Emphasis on public address in American social and political institutions. 
    Prerequisite: COMM 210 or permission of the department chairperson.

320 Persuasion. (3)
Concerned with current theories and research related to persuasion and social influence. Specifically examines variables affecting implementation of persuasion principles and strategies. Designed to help students become critical consumers and effective, ethical producers of oral and written communication. 
    Prerequisite: COMM 210 or permission of the instructor. 
    Prerequisite recommended: COMM 240.

322 Communication and Popular Culture. (3)
Examines the modes of persuasion reflected in dimensions of American popular culture. Attention focuses on the persuasive appeals employed in forms of popular culture and methods for evaluating their persuasive potential and impact. Stresses the importance of applying communication theory in everyday transactions.

325 Interviewing. (3)
Examines the principles and types of interviews, with application of the principles in informational, persuasive, and employment interviews. Special attention is given to the various communication facets of the employment interview process: résumés, cover letters, selection interviews, and appraisal interviews.

330 Small Group Decision Making. (3)
Focuses on the theories, concepts, and processes of small group decision making and problem solving.

333 Topics in Communication Studies. (3)
Critical examination of selected topics and issues in communication studies. Designed to help students become familiar with current trends and theoretical and methodological issues in the discipline. May be repeated once by permission of the instructor and the department chairperson. 
    A total of 6 hours of credit may be earned, but no more than 3 in any one semester or term.

340 Leadership Communication. (3)
Introduces students to classic and contemporary leadership theories, with an emphasis on the central role of leadership communication.

351 Organizational Communication. (3)
Introduces students to traditional and contemporary theoretical perspectives in the study of organizational communication, with an emphasis on the structure and function of communication in organizations.

360 Communication Theory. (3)
Introduction to the varied and complex underpinnings of the human communication phenomenon. Several theoretical perspectives and applications will be explored. Topics include message theories, intrapersonal and interpersonal theories, and group and public communication theories. 
    Prerequisite: COMM 201.

369 Professional Experience. (1-6)
Paid, supervised work and learning experience related to careers in communication with business firms and not-for-profit agencies. Job description may include, but is not limited to, research, training, organizing, program or event development and management, sales, promotions, human resources, and marketing. 
    Prerequisite: 18 hours credit in communication studies; permission of the department chairperson or internship coordinator. 
    A total of 6 hours of credit may be earned. 
    Open only to communication studies majors and minors.

370 Nonverbal Communication in Human Interaction. (3)
Examines the nature, forms, and functions of nonverbal codes in human communication. Focuses on understanding one’s own nonverbal communication and that of others. 
    Prerequisite: COMM 240 for communication studies majors; recommended for nonmajors.

375 Presentational Communication. (3)
Focuses on the preparation and delivery of presentations and longer speeches within a wide variety of communication settings. Uses both theory and practice in analyzing, organizing, and delivering presentations. 
    Prerequisite: COMM 210.

380 Practicum in Communication Studies. (1-6)
Practical experience in intercollegiate debate, individual events, applied communication research, or alternate communication studies projects. 
    Prerequisite: permission of the department chairperson. 
    A total of 6 hours of credit may be earned.

385 Rhetoric and Public Advocacy. (3)
Examines rhetoric’s role in changing society and influencing public policy. Explores public debate of important social issues. Considers concepts such as freedom of expression, social responsibility, culture, power, race, ethnicity, class, and gender.

390 Honors Colloquium in Communication Studies. (2-4)
Seminar focusing on various aspects and problems of communication as they relate to people in their personal and professional relationships. 
    A total of 4 hours of credit may be earned. 
    Open only to honors students and to students with areas in communication studies with permission of the department chairperson.

401 Communication Studies Senior Seminar. (1)
Designed to assist senior communication studies majors with their transition from the academy to the professional world. Students will participate in assessment and explore career opportunities. 
    Open only to communication studies seniors.

404 Political Communication. (3)
Examines the nature, forms, and effects of persuasion in organized political campaigns that seek to influence mass publics. Focuses on the skills needed to describe, analyze, and evaluate persuasive uses of language and to understand better the role of campaign persuasion in influencing voter behavior. 
    Prerequisite recommended: POLS 372.

412 Rhetorical Criticism. (3)
The description, analysis, interpretation, and evaluation of persuasive uses of language. Theories and methodologies of selected classical and modern critics. 
    Prerequisite: COMM 320 or permission of the department chairperson.

420 Classical Rhetorical Theory. (3)
Explores the roots of rhetorical theory development by examining contributions of seminal theorists such as Isocrates, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, and Quintilian. Designed to provide insight into persuasion’s role within Greek and Roman culture and modern society.

440 Interpersonal Communication. (3)
Examines contemporary theories, concepts, models, and pertinent research related to the communication process in relatively unstructured face-to-face settings. Particular emphasis is given to understanding message exchanges between people and how they affect the people involved. Introduces students to the approaches, variables, and topics that influence social interaction. Special attention is given to communication models, perception, symbols, systems, self-concept, attitudes, meaning, and nonverbal message cues. 
    Prerequisite: COMM 240 (not required for organizational communication minors, but recommended).

441 Contemporary Issues in Organizational Communication. (3)
Study of contemporary theories of organizational communication, including cultural, critical/feminist, and postmodern theories. Examination of key theories of organizational communication in light of current organizational trends and social problems. 
    Prerequisite: COMM 351.

442 Communication and Conflict Management. (3)
Explores the strategies of productive and nonproductive conflict within the organizational setting. Theories of conflict are examined and explanations of the sources that stimulate conflict are investigated. 
    Prerequisite: COMM 240, 360 or permission of the department chairperson.

452 Applied Organizational Communication. (3)
Focuses on the diagnostic skills and pragmatic analyses necessary to undertake needs assessments for training and development in organizations. 
    Prerequisite: COMM 351, 465, or permission of the department chairperson.

465 Human Communication Inquiry. (3)
Introduces, reviews, and evaluates the various methods of research in the field of human communication from which the discipline’s body of knowledge is derived. 
    Prerequisite: COMM 360.

475 Coaching and Directing Secondary School Forensics. (3)
Examines the rationale and philosophy of coaching and administering secondary school forensic programs. Concentrates on selection of appropriate topics, materials, and coaching methods for interpretive, public address, and debate events. Includes development of coaching methods and philosophies, coaching ethics, forensic judging, and forensic program administration. 
    Prerequisite: COMM 220, 375. 
    Open only to language arts education majors or by permission of the instructor.

479 Practical Experience. (1-6)
Non-paid, supervised work and learning experience related to careers in communication with business firms and not-for-profit agencies. Job description may include, but is not limited to, research, training, organizing, program or event development and management, sales, promotions, human resources, and marketing. 
    Prerequisite: 18 hours credit in communication studies; permission of the department chairperson or internship coordinator. 
    A total of 6 hours of credit may be earned. 
    Open only to communication studies majors and minors.

496 Directed Study in Communication Studies. (1-3)
Students with areas in the Department of Communication Studies pursue a specific subject in-depth in consultation with a member of the faculty. 
    Prerequisite: permission of the department chairperson.
A total of 3 hours of credit may be earned.

Academic Systems
North Quadrangle, Room 360
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306

Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.