Overview

The major in Communication Studies empowers students to acquire advanced skills in many areas involving human interaction, cross-cultural and international communication, advocacy, argumentation, relationship building, leadership, presentation (oral and written), critical thinking, research and writing. Students become familiar with the rich tradition of communication theory and research, investigate emerging knowledge about communication, and contribute to the growth of new understanding by developing and applying their research capabilities. Students also are challenged to employ their communication understanding and skills in meaningful ways through experimental learning, and professional and community involvement. Communication Studies blends a broad-based theoretical understanding of communication principles with specific and concrete applications to particular contexts.

Students are prepared for a variety of career options in health communication, business and the professions, politics and public advocacy, education, training and media, as well as further graduate and professional study in communication, law and other areas.

Curriculum Requirements for General Track

Core Courses
COS 120Exploring Human Communication3
COS 220Communication Theory3
COM 250Freedom of Expression and Communication Ethics3
Advanced Writing and Communication Skills Requirement
Select one of the following presentational skills courses:3
Public Speaking
Business Communication
Select one of the following digital skills courses:3
Web Lab
Introduction to Digital Filmmaking
Visual Design
Graphic Design for Strategic Communication
Majors in Communication Studies - General Track must select one of the following options: Applied or Research & Theory21
Applied Communication Option
Writing for Communication Studies
Speech Writing
Applied Communication Research Methods
15 credits in COS electives chosen with department advisor
Research and Theory Option
Writing for Communication Studies
Qualitative Research Methods
Quantitative Communication Research Methods and Analyses
12 credits in COS electives chosen with department advisor
Additional Requirements
ENG 105 & ENG 1066
MTH 113 or JMM 285 or STC 1033
Arts and Humanities Cognate9
STEM Cognate9
Minor, Second Major and Electives57
Total Credit Hours120

Curriculum Requirements for Intercultural Track

Core Courses
COS 120Exploring Human Communication3
COS 220Communication Theory3
COM 250Freedom of Expression and Communication Ethics3
Advanced Writing and Communication Skills Requirement
Select one of the following presentational skills courses:3
Public Speaking
Business Communication
Select one of the following digital skills courses:3
Web Lab
Introduction to Digital Filmmaking
Visual Design
Graphic Design for Strategic Communication
Intercultural Track Courses9
Nonverbal Communication
Introduction to Intercultural Communication
Intercultural Communication: International Perspectives
Intercultural Communication: Domestic Perspectives
Majors in Communication Studies - Intercultural Track must select one of the following options: Applied or Research & Theory12
Applied Communication Option
Writing for Communication Studies
Speech Writing
Applied Communication Research Methods
6 credits in additional COS electives chosen with a departmental advisor
Research and Theory Option
Writing for Communication Studies
Qualitative Research Methods
Quantitative Communication Research Methods and Analyses
3 credits in additional COS electives chosen with a departmental advisor
Additional Requirements
ENG 105 & ENG 1066
MTH 113 or JMM 285 or STC 1033
Arts and Humanities Cognate9
STEM Cognate9
Minor, Second Major and Electives57
Total Credit Hours120

 Curriculum Requirements for Organizational Track

Core Courses
COS 120Exploring Human Communication3
COS 220Communication Theory3
COM 250Freedom of Expression and Communication Ethics3
Advanced Writing and Communication Skills Requirement
Select one of the following digital skills courses:3
Web Lab
Introduction to Digital Filmmaking
Visual Design
Graphic Design for Strategic Communication
Organizational Concentration Track Courses
COS 316Small Group Communication3
COS 330Conflict Management3
COS 333Business Communication3
COS 418Organizational Communication3
Majors in Communication Studies - Organizational Track must select one of the following options: Applied or Research & Theory12
Applied Communication Option
Writing for Communication Studies
Speech Writing
Applied Communication Research Methods
6 credits of additional COS electives chosen with a departmental advisor
Research and Theory Option
Writing for Communication Studies
Qualitative Research Methods
Quantitative Communication Research Methods and Analyses
3 credits of additional COS electives chosen with a departmental advisor
Additional Requirements
ENG 105 & ENG 1066
MTH 113 or JMM 285 or STC 1033
Arts and Humanities Cognate9
STEM Cognate9
Minor, Second Major and Electives57
Total Credit Hours120

 Curriculum Requirements for Public Advocacy Track

Core Courses
COS 120Exploring Human Communication3
COS 220Communication Theory3
COM 250Freedom of Expression and Communication Ethics3
Advanced Writing and Communication Skills Requirement
Select one of the following presentational skills courses:3
Public Speaking
Business Communication
Select one of the following digital skills courses:3
Web Lab
Introduction to Digital Filmmaking
Visual Design
Graphic Design for Strategic Communication
Select 9 credits from the following for the Public Advocacy Track:9
Intercollegiate Debate Theory and Practice
Advanced Oral Advocacy
The Power of Dialogue
Small Group Communication
Nonverbal Communication
Conflict Management
Political Communication
Organizing for Action
Argumentation and Critical Thinking
Persuasion
Words that Shaped the World
Presidential Debates
Majors in Communication Studies - Public Advocacy Track must select one of the following options: Applied or Research & Theory12
Applied Communication Option
Writing for Communication Studies
Speech Writing
Applied Communication Research Methods
6 credits of additional COS electives chosen with department advisor
Research and Theory Option
Writing for Communication Studies
Qualitative Research Methods
Quantitative Communication Research Methods and Analyses
3 credits of additional COS electives chosen with department advisor
Additional Requirements
ENG 105 & ENG 1066
MTH 113 or JMM 285 or STC 1033
Arts and Humanities Cognate9
STEM Cognate9
Minor, Second Major and Electives57
Total Credit Hours120

Upper Level Elective Requirement

36 credits at the 300 level or higher are required for graduation. These credits may be earned from your major, minor and/or second major, and electives. 

Suggested Plan of Study for General Track (Applied Option)

Plan of Study Grid
Freshman Year
FallCredit Hours
COS 220 Communication Theory 3
ENG 105 English Composition I 3
MTH 113 Finite Mathematics 3
Arts and Humanities Cognate 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
COS 120 Exploring Human Communication 3
COM 250 Freedom of Expression and Communication Ethics 3
ENG 106 English Composition II 3
Arts and Humanities Cognate 3
STEM Cognate 3
 Credit Hours15
Sophomore Year
Fall
COS 211 or 333 Public Speaking
or Business Communication
3
Arts and Humanities Cognate 3
STEM Cognate 3
Minor or Second Major 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
COS 210 or 360 Writing for Communication Studies
or Speech Writing
3
Select one of the following: 3
Web Lab  
Introduction to Digital Filmmaking  
Visual Design  
Graphic Design for Strategic Communication  
COS Elective at the 300 level or above 3
STEM Cognate 3
Minor or Second Major 3
 Credit Hours15
Junior Year
Fall
COS Elective at the 300 level or above 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
COS Elective at the 300 level or above 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Senior Year
Fall
COS 355 Applied Communication Research Methods 3
COS Elective at the 300 level or above 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
COS Elective at the 300 level or above 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
 Total Credit Hours120

Suggested Plan of Study for Intercultural Track (Applied Option)

Plan of Study Grid
Freshman Year
FallCredit Hours
COS 220 Communication Theory 3
ENG 105 English Composition I 3
MTH 113 Finite Mathematics 3
Arts and Humanities Cognate 3
STEM Cognate 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
COS 120 Exploring Human Communication 3
ENG 106 English Composition II 3
Arts and Humanities Cognate 3
STEM Cognate 3
Minor, Second Major or Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Sophomore Year
Fall
COS 211 or 333 Public Speaking
or Business Communication
3
COS 343 Introduction to Intercultural Communication 3
Arts and Humanities Cognate 3
STEM Cognate 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
COM 250 Freedom of Expression and Communication Ethics 3
Select one of the following: 3
Web Lab  
Introduction to Digital Filmmaking  
Visual Design  
Graphic Design for Strategic Communication  
Arts and Humanities Cognate 3
STEM Cognate 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Junior Year
Fall
COS 318 Nonverbal Communication (or other COS elective at the 300 level or above) 3
COS 545 Intercultural Communication: International Perspectives 3
Minor or Second Major 3
Minor or Second Major 3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
COS 210 or 360 Writing for Communication Studies
or Speech Writing
3
COS 546 Intercultural Communication: Domestic Perspectives 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Senior Year
Fall
COS 355 Applied Communication Research Methods 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
COS Elective at the 300 level or above 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
 Total Credit Hours120

Suggested Plan of Study for Organizational Track (Applied Option)

Plan of Study Grid
Freshman Year
FallCredit Hours
COS 220 Communication Theory 3
ENG 105 English Composition I 3
MTH 113 Finite Mathematics 3
Arts and Humanities Cognate 3
STEM Cognate 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
COS 120 Exploring Human Communication 3
COM 250 Freedom of Expression and Communication Ethics 3
ENG 106 English Composition II 3
Arts and Humanities Cognate 3
STEM Cognate 3
 Credit Hours15
Sophomore Year
Fall
COS 333 Business Communication 3
Arts and Humanities Cognate 3
STEM Cognate 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
Select one of the following: 3
Web Lab  
Introduction to Digital Filmmaking  
Visual Design  
Graphic Design for Strategic Communication  
COS Elective at the 300 level or above 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Junior Year
Fall
COS 316 Small Group Communication 3
COS Elective at the 300 level or above 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
COS 210 or 360 Writing for Communication Studies
or Speech Writing
3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Senior Year
Fall
COS 355 Applied Communication Research Methods 3
COS 418 Organizational Communication 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
COS 330 Conflict Management 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
 Total Credit Hours120

Suggested Plan of Study for Public Advocacy Track (Applied Option)

Plan of Study Grid
Freshman Year
FallCredit Hours
COS 220 Communication Theory 3
ENG 105 English Composition I 3
MTH 113 Finite Mathematics 3
Arts and Humanities Cognate 3
STEM Cognate 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
COS 120 Exploring Human Communication 3
ENG 106 English Composition II 3
Arts and Humanities Cognate 3
STEM Cognate 3
Minor, Second Major or Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Sophomore Year
Fall
COS 211 or 333 Public Speaking
or Business Communication
3
COM 250 Freedom of Expression and Communication Ethics 3
Arts and Humanities Cognate 3
STEM Cognate 3
Minor or 2nd Major Course 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
Select one of the following: 3
Web Lab  
Introduction to Digital Filmmaking  
Visual Design  
Graphic Design for Strategic Communication  
COS Elective at the 300 level or above 3
COS Elective at the 300 level or above 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Junior Year
Fall
Select one of the following: 3
Intercollegiate Debate Theory and Practice (Must take 3 times)  
Advanced Oral Advocacy  
The Power of Dialogue  
Small Group Communication  
Nonverbal Communication  
Conflict Management  
Political Communication  
Organizing for Action  
Argumentation and Critical Thinking  
Persuasion  
Words that Shaped the World  
Presidential Debates  
Engaged Communication  
Minor, Second Major or Elective 3
Minor, Second Major or Elective 3
Minor, Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
COS 210 or 360 Writing for Communication Studies
or Speech Writing
3
Select one of the following: 3
Intercollegiate Debate Theory and Practice (Must take 3 times)  
Advanced Oral Advocacy  
The Power of Dialogue  
Small Group Communication  
Nonverbal Communication  
Conflict Management  
Political Communication  
Organizing for Action  
Argumentation and Critical Thinking  
Words that Shaped the World  
Presidential Debates  
Engaged Communication  
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Senior Year
Fall
COS 355 Applied Communication Research Methods 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
Select one of the following: 3
Intercollegiate Debate Theory and Practice (Must take 3 times)  
Advanced Oral Advocacy  
The Power of Dialogue  
Small Group Communication  
Nonverbal Communication  
Conflict Management  
Political Communication  
Organizing for Action  
Argumentation and Critical Thinking  
Persuasion  
Words that Shaped the World  
Presidential Debates  
Engaged Communication  
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
Minor or Second Major or Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
 Total Credit Hours120

Mission

Students in the Communication Studies (COS) Department explore the role of communication in personal and professional relationships. This program is rooted in research and theory promoting student development in advanced knowledge of human communication in specific contexts.

Goals

Program objectives provide students with an extensive understanding of communication principles, opportunity to develop oral and written communication skills, and application of critical analysis and research skills.

Student  Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of advanced communication concepts and critical analysis of research.
  • Students will demonstrate advanced writing skills.
  • Students will demonstrate advanced presentational skills.
  • Students will demonstrate application of communication and professional skills.