Communication Requirements

Communication Major, B.A. (41 to 47 hours) - The communication major requires:

COMM 147 - Introduction to Public Speaking - 3 hrs.

This course focuses on the development of effective presentational skills through the performance of various speeches and interpretative performances of literature. Students successfully completing this course will understand and be able to apply public speaking knowledge, including audience analysis, exigency analysis, critical and interpretive analysis of content, organization of content in appropriate presentational formats, presentational skills, and the linguistic requirements of effective public speaking. This course fulfills one of the First Year Wesleyan Studies requirements. Students with exceptional prior experience in public speaking may petition to have this course waived. Contact the Communication Program Chair for information about the petition process. Waived courses do not award credit.

COMM 248 - Legal and Ethical Issues in Media - 3 hrs.

An introduction to the First Amendment and relevant statutes and case law for media in multiple platforms; an examination of governmental regulatory practices; and a study of several ethical issues of public expression. Students completing this course will recognize and understand the key laws and regulations affecting mediated expression, and will be able to articulate ethical issues associated with being a professional communicator. Writing intensive course. Alternate years.

COMM 447 - Theory of Communication - 3 hrs.

This capstone course for communication majors focuses on classical to contemporary theoretical perspectives on human communication, including rhetorical, social cognitive systems, social exchange, interactionism, interpretive, sociocultural, and mediated approaches. Students completing this course will understand the foundations of communication theory, articulate those theories, and demonstrate their knowledge by original research using appropriate supporting theories. Writing intensive course.

COMM 333 - Intercultural Communication - 3 hrs.

This course examines communication between cultures in the interpersonal and organizational context. Differences in communication behaviors due to nationality, ethnicity, and social status are explored. Students study their own cultures, as well as the cultures of others. Students who successfully complete this course will have a greater awareness of patterns of thinking, beliefs, assumptions, values, and cultural norms which influence communicative (verbal, nonverbal, and listening) behaviors. Writing intensive course


And 6 credits chosen from:

COMM 207 - Interpersonal Communication - 3 hrs.

A focus upon the nature and influence of communicative behavior in close, personal relationships. Interpersonal communication structure and processes are explored as they relate to the development and maintenance of identities and friendships, as well as romantic and family relationships. Students successfully completing this course will be able to articulate concepts and theories of interpersonal interactions and relationships, will be aware of the utilitarian, aesthetic, and therapeutic functions of interpersonal communication, and will be able to recognize, avoid, and correct barriers and breakdowns that may occur in communication processes

COMM 350 - Organizational and Group Communication - 3 hrs.

A course in the theory and practice of communication in groups and organizations, including interpersonal relationships in groups and organizations, problem solving and decision making, training and development, and conflict management. Students completing the course will understand the relationship between group and organizational structure and the dialectic actions of those affecting the structure, including the symbolic forms of socialization (i.e., ritual and storytelling), and expressions of power, leadership, and conflict. Alternate years

COMM 380 - Special Topics in Communication - 3 hrs. (may be repeated)

This course will give students the opportunity to study in-depth a particular topic beyond what is covered in existing Communication courses. Topics vary year by year, and this course may be repeated for different topics. No more than six hours will be counted toward the major unless approved in advance by the Division chairperson.


And 6 credits chosen from:

COMM 243 - Writing for Modern Media - 3 hrs.

An introduction to mass media writing, this course challenges students to become effective communicators in print, broadcast and other media environments. Students completing the course will be familiar with reporting and writing news, sports, features, and editorials; news values; information gathering, interviewing, and research techniques, and will learn how to write quickly, accurately and concisely on deadline. Writing intensive course.

COMM 250 - Public Relations Principles - 3 hrs.

A course in the theories and processes of organizational rhetoric as practiced by public relations and public affairs officials. Using primarily a case studies approach, students completing this course will learn about the historical and contemporary practice of public relations and relevant skills, career opportunities in t he field with related ethical and professional standards, and theories of organizational rhetoric.

COMM 260 - Basic Video and Audio Production - 3 hrs.

An orientation to video and audio equipment, software, and production techniques for commercial, broadcast, and online environments. Students learn the basic elements, components, and terminology associated with video productions, including analog and digital audio, lighting, camera and microphone techniques, audio and video editing, script writing, and pre- and post-production techniques. Students who successfully complete this course will demonstrate basic techniques and skills required in professional video and audio production environments. This course is a prerequisite for all electronic media courses in the major.

ART 204 - Graphic Layout and Design - 3 hrs.

Provides an introduction to the methods, materials, industry standard computer programs and techniques used in the development of various types of publications and advertising layout. Students will explore the fundamental elements of design, compose documents electronically, analyze design based on principles of perception, understand pre-press, and present completed projects while developing an understanding and critical awareness of contemporary practices.

ART 207 - Photography I - 3 hrs.

An introduction to black and white photography and basic digital photography. Students will understand traditional black and white cameras and digital photography. Specifically these areas are camera functions, image composition , lighting, film processing and digital input, and presentation of images. Recommended for students with little or no experience. Students must supply their own 35mm camera with manual exposure override. Lecture/demonstration/lab. Writing Intensive Course: Successful Completion of English 105 & 201 required.


Required support courses are:

ENG 311 - Expository Writing - 3 hrs.

Advanced writing course emphasizing clarity and coherence in expository expression. Students will submit writing portfolios demonstrating ability to fulfill a variety of writing tasks at a level of competence beyond the first year exit level. Writing intensive course.

PHIL 230 - Critical Reasoning - 3 hrs.

This course focuses on the various skills required for reasoning well, because reasoning poorly can undermine one’s life. The skills required for reasoning well include logic, careful attention to language, a sense of relevance, clarity of expression, discrimination among causes, listening, analysis of complex ideas, and self-examination. Students will examine a wide variety of case studies, arguments, issues, and theories in order to develop the critical skills outlined above. In order to develop their own intellectual and rhetorical skills, students will offer their own arguments, engage in debates, and construct their own philosophy of critical thinking.


Students must also complete:

COMM 398 - Practicum (may be repeated) - 2 hrs.

Students develop extended projects (minimum 60 hours of work) in a communication area of interest to the student, including:

Journalism - Practicum Prerequisite: COMM 243, and permission
Video and Audio Practicum - Prerequisites: COMM 260, and COMM 341 or COMM 346, and permission
Public Relations - Practicum Prerequisites: COMM 243, COMM 250 and permission.
New Media Practicum - Prerequisites: COMM 243 and COMM 260, and permission.

Advanced practica in each of these areas are also available. Students who successfully complete these practica courses will demonstrate the skills necessary qualifying them for obtaining an internship (see Comm 498 below). This course may be repeated, as long as each practicum is in a different area.

COMM 498 - Internship in Communication - 9-12 hrs.

The internship is the capstone experience for a communication major. Internships may be arranged in any field related to the professional practice of communication, including (but not limited to) the mass media and public relations. Individual placem ents will be tailored to each student’s particular interest and developing skills. The 12-hour internship is a full semester of work. Specific guid elines and ideas for placement opportunities may be obtained from the faculty and th e office of Field 145 Experience. Decisions about a student’s readiness for an internship and plans for any specific internship will be made in consultation with the studen t’s academic advisor. Students successfully completing the internship will demonstrate the skills necessary for professional employment in communication. Prerequisite: Comm 398 and permission.

Bachelor of Arts students must also complete the Language and Literature Division’s foreign language requirement (see above).

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