Concentrations

Communication Science Concentration

Communication science seeks to understand the production, processing, and effects of verbal and nonverbal code systems on myriad facets of human communication, within a multiplicity of interaction contexts, by developing testable theories, containing lawful generalizations that facilitate an increased knowledge and understanding about the dynamics of human communication.

Research in Communication science reveals several critical processes that affect how we define our relationships and influence relational outcomes. It can suggest ways to help people achieve personal goals, and help us to help one another in many kinds of day-to-day interactions. The goal of communication science is therefore four-fold:

1) to describe human communication

2) to predict human communication

3) to explain human communication

4) to effectuate increased control/management of human communicative events.

To this end Communication research focuses on how people use messages to inform, persuade, manage, relate, and influence each other in various contexts and cultures, using a variety of channels and media.

Courses in communication science provide an overview of the methods, concepts, and tools by which communication research is designed, conducted, interpreted, and critically evaluated.  A primary goal of communication science courses is to help individuals become knowledgeable consumers and limited producers of communication theory and research as they explore the patterns of human interaction that govern our daily lives.

Students seeking the Communication Science concentration must choose at least five (5) courses from the
following:

113 Relational Communication
220 Empirical Research in Communication
245 Introduction to Mass Communication
250 Communication in Entrepreneurial
Settings
270 Special Seminar
286 Individual Study I
287 Research Practicum I
288 Research Practicum II
305 Communication Ethics
314 Media Effects
321 Communication, Technology &
Entrepreneurship
330 Communication and Conflict
331 Communication, Terrorism, and
Hostage Negotiation
335 Survey of Organizational
Communication
342 Political Communication
350 Intercultural Communication
351 Comparative Communication
352 Interpersonal Communication
353 Persuasion
354 International Communication
355 Survey of Health Communication
356 Health Communication: Patient-Provider
357 Health Communication Campaigns
370 Special Topics
380 Great Teachers

Media Studies Concentration

The Media Studies concentration considers the production, interpretation, and theoretical analysis of communication that is (1) disseminated to a broad and largely anonymous audience and (2) mediated by the various technological devices that make such broad dissemination of the message possible.

The crafting of the message is addressed in the concentration’s production courses. These courses derive from the philosophy that one cannot fully comprehend mediated messages without understanding how they are created.  As mass media messages are intrinsically technologically oriented, it follows that a portion of the curriculum must be devoted to acquiring a familiarity with the tools that are used to produce the messages. The production courses therefore combine technical instruction in the use of the relevant tools with aesthetic instruction in how to use those tools most effectively.

Relevant theoretical underpinnings and the history and criticism of the message are addressed in such courses as Introduction to Mass Communication and Mass Communication Theory. As mass communication commonly occurs in an institutional context, owing to the costs associated with the requisite technology, survey courses in this area commonly focus, in part, on the industries that have grown up around the various mass media and how this capitalistic industrial context shapes the messages transmitted through these media. Since mass communication by its nature tends to reach large audiences, the concentration’s courses also focus on social contexts, especially the ongoing relationship between the mass media and mass culture.

The study of the interpretation, criticism, and production of the moving image receives a special emphasis in our curriculum in a core of film studies courses. Courses that reflect this special emphasis include Introduction to Film, Film Theory and Criticism, Film History to 1945, and Film History since 1945.

Students seeking the Media Studies Concentration must take at least five courses from the following:

116 On-Camera Performance
117 Writing for Public Relations and
Advertising (JOU 286)
140 Information and Disinformation
on the Internet
215 Broadcast Journalism
245 Introduction to Mass Communication
246 Introduction to Film & Media Aesthetics
247 Foundations of Digital Media
250 Communication in Entrepreneurial
Settings
270 Special Seminar
284 Production Practicum I
285 Production Practicum II
286 Individual Study I
287 Research Practicum I
288 Research Practicum II
304 Freedom of Speech
305 Communication & Ethics
309 Visual Storytelling
310 Advanced Digital Media P-247
312 Film History to 1945
313 Film History since 1945
314 Media Effects
315 Communication and Technology
316 Screenwriting
317 Communication and Popular Culture
318 Culture and the SitCom
319 Media Ethics
320 Media Theory & Criticism
321 Communication Technology &
Entrepreneurship
342 Political Communication
346 Sport, Media, and Communication
351 Comparative Communication
354 International Communication
358 Health Communication & Bioethics
370 Special Topics
380 Great Teachers

Rhetorical Studies Concentration

Students interested in a concentration in Rhetorical Studies in the Department of Communication will explore in coursework the critical, historical and theoretical study of public discourse. A concentration in Rhetorical Studies involves cultivating an appreciation of how speakers locate and use modes of persuasion in the interests of their communities, constituents, organizations, and institutions. “Rhetoric” is understood as the art of public speech in both theory and practice. Accordingly, the Rhetorical Studies concentration will link theory to practice throughout the curriculum.

Rhetorical practice encompasses such diverse forms of speech as public address, newspaper editorials, organizational handbooks, television programs, music, and film. Thus, a concentration in rhetorical studies explores a range of potential questions regarding the effects of public discourse: How can speech be assessed in terms of communication ethics? How does speech influence public opinion? How does speech manage public controversy? How does speech make space for (or close off) diversity of opinion? How can institutions or organizations alter their public images through public speech? How are cultural values and beliefs about race, class, gender, and religion shaped by public discourse? And what can rhetorical studies teach us about the basic character of our humanity? Students who concentrate in Rhetorical Studies must take at least five (5) courses from the following:

117 Writing for PR
225 Rhetorical Theory and Criticism
250 Communication in Entrepreneurial
Settings
270 Special Seminar
282 Debate I
283 Debate II
286 Individual Study I
287 Research Practicum I
288 Research Practicum II
300 Classical Rhetoric
302 Argumentation Theory
304 Freedom of Speech
305 Communication Ethics
306 Seminar in Rhetorical Theory (Burke
& Bakhtin
317 Communication and Popular Culture
335 Survey of Organizational
Communication
336 Organizational Rhetoric
337 Rhetoric of Institutions
338 African American Rhetoric
339 Practices of Citizenship
340 American Public Discourse I
341 American Public Discourse II
342 Political Communication
343 Presidential Rhetoric
344 Conspiracy Theories in Am. Public
Discourse
345 Rhetoric of Science & Technology
346 Sport, Media and Communication
347 Rhetoric of the Law
351 Comparative Communication
354 International Communication
358 Health Communication & Bioethics
370 Special Seminar
380 Great Teachers

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