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 concentrations:

  • Interpersonal communication: This concentration exposes students to a range of courses that aid in understanding effective communication in personal relationships and small groups. Students will explore subjects such as relational development, nonverbal communication, and conflict management.
  • Organizational communication: This concentration 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, and training.
  • Public communication: This concentration allows students to explore the principles that account for communicators’ attempts to influence their audience. Students will study such subjects as persuasion theory, campaign communication, and effective language use in public and mediated communication.

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:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Organizational communication: This minor introduces students to important communication and human relations issues, especially as they relate to improving human communication skills and applying those skills when dealing with associates at all organizational levels (marketing and management department 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 (BA/BS), 51 hours

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NO

SHORT TITLE

CR HRS

Common core requirements, 21 hours   

COMM






201
220
240
290
320
360
375
401

Exploration of Comm Studies
Argumentation and Debate
Introduction to Human Comm
Intercultural Communication
Persuasion
Communication Theory
Presentational Communication
Comm Studies Senior Seminar

2
3
3
3
3
3
3
1

Complete one concentration
Interpersonal communication concentration, 30 hours 

COMM

330
370
440
442
465

Small Group Decision Making
Nonverbal Communication
Interpersonal Communication
Communication and Conflict
Human Communication Inquiry

3
3
3
3
3

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

9

6 hours from:     

CPSY
FCFC
PSYS
SOC


230
250
213
221
224
235
242

Human Relation Development (3)
Family Relations (3)
Psych of Human Adjustment (3)
Intro Race & Ethnic Relations (3)
Family and Society (3)
Sociology of Gender (3)
Social Problems (3)

6





51 hrs
Organizational communication concentration, 30 hours

COMM






251
351
369
or
479
441
452
465

Bus and Prof Comm
Organizational Communication
Professional Experience (1-6)

Practical Experience (1-3)
Contemp Issues in Org Comm
Applied Organizational Comm 
Human Communication Inquiry

3
3


3
3
3
3

Directed electives
6 hours from:

COMM


325
330
340
442

Interviewing (3)
Small Group Decision Making (3)
Leadership Communication (3)
Communication and Conflict (3)

6

6 hours from COMM other than COMM 210, 475

6



51 hrs
Public communication concentration, 30 hours

COMM

310
322
385
412
425
450

Communication and Democracy
Comm and Popular Culture
Rhet of Marginalized Voices
Rhetorical Theory & Criticism
Speechwriting
Rhetoric & Activism

3
3
3
3
3
3

Directed electives   

9 hours from COMM other than COMM 210, 475

9

3 hours from:    

AHS
ANTH
ENG



HSC
HIST

PHIL


POLS
SOC


264
342
213
328
425
435
180
240
301
200
202
203
475
221
235
242

Film Analysis (3)
American Culture (3)
Intro to Digital Literacies (3)
Language and Gender (3)
Film Studies (3)
Issues in Rhet & Writing (3)
Principles of Community Health (3)
Introduction to Public History (3)
The US and the Vietnam War (3)
Logic (3)
Ethics (3)
Social Philosophy (3)
Minority Group Politics (3)
Intro Race & Ethnic Relations (3)
Sociology of Gender (3)
Social Problems (3)

3





51 hrs

MINOR IN CAMPAIGN COMMUNICATION, 24 hours

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NO

SHORT TITLE

CR HRS

COMM


JOUR

POLS

320
404
412
101
250
372
375

Persuasion
Political Communication
Rhetorical Theory & Criticism
Media and American Society
Introduction to Advertising
Political Campaigns
Media and Politics

3
3
3
3
3
3
3

3 hours from:

COMM





JOUR
POLS

310
322
375
385
425
479
261
370
473
Communication and Democracy (3)
Comm and Popular Culture (3)
Presentational Communication (3)
Rhet of Marginalized Voices (3)
Speechmaking (3)
Practical Experience (1-3)
Principles of Public Relations (3)
Pub Opinion & Pol Behavior (3)
American Political Parties (3)








3
   
 24 hrs

MINOR IN  COMMUNICATION STUDIES, 21 hours

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NO

SHORT TITLE

CR HR

COMM

240
320
375

Introduction to Human Comm
Persuasion
Presentational Communication

3
3
3

12 hours from electives in COMM other than COMM 210, 475 

12



21 hrs
Not open to communication studies majors.

MINOR IN ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION, 21 hours

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NO

SHORT TITLE

CR HRS

COMM



MGT

325
330
340
351
300
361
363

Interviewing
Small Group Decision Making
Leadership Communication
Organizational Communication
Managing Behavior in Org
Managing Human Resources
Employee Development

3
3
3
3
3
3
3





21 hrs
Open only to communication studies and human resource management, entrepreneurial management, 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. Core Transfer Library: Communications (ICM 1103)

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. Core Transfer Library: Communications (ICM 1101)

250 Text Analysis and the Voice in Communication (3)
Focuses on human voice production, articulation, and expressiveness using phonetics and the analysis and performance of literary texts to improve clarity, preciseness, and effectiveness of vocal communication. 

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 Communication and Democracy (3)
Emphasizes the vital role that communication plays in America's political history. Examines various genres of discourse (e.g., speeches, pamphlets and handbills, political advertising, film) used to address political, social, and economic issues.
     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.

322 Communication and Popular Culture (3)
Examines popular culture and teaches methods for evaluating the influential appeal of a variety of texts. Focuses on the power, potential, and problems of popular culture. Stresses the importance of using communication theory to understand everyday communication.

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: resumes, 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 and Contexts in Interpersonal Communication (3)
Critical examination of relevant topics in the field of interpersonal communication. Designed to help students become familiar with the theoretical, methodological, and contextual issues related to interpersonal communication.
    A total of 9 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 of Marginalized Voices (3)
Examines the challenges faced by underrepresented groups as they attempt to make their voices heard in the public sphere. Considers concepts such as freedom of expression, social responsibility, culture, power, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, class, religion, 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. Focuses on the skills needed to describe, analyze, and evaluate persuasive uses of language and to understand better the role of campaign persuasion. 
    Prerequisite recommended: POLS 372. 

412 Rhetorical Theory and Criticism (3)
Examines theories and methods of selected classical and modern critics as they relate to persuasive communication.
    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.

425 Speechwriting (3)
Examines the process of effective speechwriting in a variety of contexts (i.e., corporate, political, nonprofit). Emphasizes key skills such as understanding audience and context, gathering information, and capturing the speaker's voice. Offers both a theoretical examination of the act of speechwriting and a pragmatic application of skills.
    Prerequisite: COMM 210.

440 Interpersonal Communication (3)
Examines contemporary theories, concepts, models, and pertinent research related to the communication process in interpersonal relationships to understand message exchanges and how they affect the people involved. Introduces the approaches, variables, and topics that influence social interaction.
    Prerequisite: COMM 360.

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. 

450 Rhetoric and Activism (3)
Students will employ their knowledge of and skills in rhetoric to address a need in the community.
    Prerequisite: COMM 385, 412, 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. 

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 English/language arts education majors or by permission of the instructor. 

479 Practical Experience (1-3) 
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, but no more than 3 in any one semester or term. 
    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 340
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306

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