Communication Studies

Department/Program: Communication Studies

Majors, Minors & Degrees:

The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) are academically equivalent within the department.  All students majoring in this department are encouraged to pursue co-curricular experience through departmental organizations and activities.

Courses

This course is designed to help students develop the skills necessary to effectively communicate in a variety of settings. The course will focus on a broad base of communication concepts and skills and offer students the opportunity to apply those skills. Students will explore several models of communication, including: invitational, persuasive and dialogic. Once they have developed an understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of effective communication, students will develop the skills necessary to overcome the anxiety associated with public speaking, analyze audience needs, prepare effective speeches, deliver engaging speeches, better participate in small group discussions, and improve listening and response skills.

This course is designed to help students develop the skills necessary to effectively communicate in public, private and professional settings. The course will focus on a broad base of communication theory, concepts and skills and offer students the opportunity to apply those skills.  Students will explore several models of communication, including: invitational, persuasive, dialogic, conflict management, group and interpersonal. Students will explore the foundations of the communication discipline as well as the influence of communication scholars across public and private realms. Once they have developed an understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of effective communication; students will develop the skills necessary to overcome the barriers to effective communication.

The study of cultural differences that influence the exchange of meaning between individuals and groups of different cultural and/or racial backgrounds. The course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the uniqueness of cultures and the resulting variations in communication styles and preferences, and to provide strategies and skills for successfully communicating across cultural barriers. Students will spend at least 20 hours during the semester working with community agencies serving clients from different cultures.
(Normally offered each semester.)

This course is intended to serve as a general introduction for majors and interested students to the theories and research questions investigated by social scientists interested in the processes of human communication.
Prerequisite(s): Sophomore standing.
(Normally offered each semester.)

This course will provide students a direct encounter with the culture of Tuscany in Italy. Specifically, students will study cultural indicators of Florence such as verbal and nonverbal communication, food, transportation, business climate, politics, religious beliefs, and interpersonal relationships. Students live in apartments, read texts, listen/give presentations, view art, attendconcerts, experience the culture of Florence through walking, watching, eating, shopping and navigating the city and reflect on these experiences.

Students will explore components of leadership theory, skills, and behaviors, and will examine and practice effective communication behaviors as related to leadership processes and roles.

Family Communication is designed as an introduction to communication phenomena in the context of the family. The overall goal of the course is to help students understand how, through communication, we develop, maintain, enhance, or disturb family relationships. Students will learn theories focusing on the communication patterns and practices that shape family life.

Health Communication is the study and use of communication strategies to inform and influence individual and community decisions that enhance health. We will be exploring a wide range of messages and media in the context of health maintenance and promotion, disease prevention, treatment and advocacy. Through readings, discussion, written assignments, along with shadowing and interviewing a variety of health care professionals, you will learn theories focusing on the communication patterns and practices that shape health care in the U.S. as well as in other cultures.

A study of the development of types of media including books, newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and film. The interaction of these media and their impact on society and the individual are included. (Normally offered each spring semester.)

A topical course designed to investigate any relevant subject matter not included in any of the standard courses. The title, content and credit will be determined by current mutual interests of students and faculty.
Prerequisite(s): To be determined by the instructor.

The Junior-Level Communication Internship has been developed to provide an enriching, off-campus experience for your major. In addition to realizing the listed goals above, the Junior Internship can help you determine the type and location of your future internships. The Junior-Level Internship can be taken after successful completion of 60 credit hours. It is also a useful option as an elective credit in your senior year after your 2000-level internship requirement has been filled.
Pass/Fail only.
Prerequisite(s): Junior standing and permission of the internship coordinator or department chair.
(Normally offered each semester and summer.)

A study of theories and practices of persuasion within a variety of communication contexts. Students will be expected to apply these concepts to out-of-class persuasive situations.
Prerequisite(s): Junior standing.
(Normally offered each fall semester.)

The course in Public Relations is a study of the nature of public relations, the persons involved, its relationship to public opinion, and the channels of communication that are used. Special attention is given to the application of public relations strategies for particular events or organizations.
Prerequisite(s): Junior standing or permission of the instructor.
(Normally offered each semester.)

This course offers an exploration of theories of the creation and perpetuation of gender and gender roles through communication. In turn, students will consider the question of the impact of gender on communication. Students will examine gender in a variety of contexts including familes, schools, and media.

This course is a general introduction to research methods most commonly used in the Communication discipline. Students will learn how to identify and use qualitative, quanititative, and rhetorical methods; read, understand, and evaluate research arguments for each type of inquiry, and use communication-related topics for a literature review.
Prerequisite(s): Sophomore standing and COMM 2300 Communication Theory (may be taken concurrently) or permission of instructor.
(Normally offered each fall semester.)

This broad-based course overviews the history and criticism of advertising, as well as the fundamental aspects of targeting, positioning, media selection, and creative strategy.
(Normally offered each semester.)

Students will explore the intersection of the theory and practice of communication in an organizational context. Particular emphasis will be placed on understanding how power within and between organizations is shaped by and shapes society. Topics include identity, power, globalization, technology, and ethics.
Prerequisite(s): Junior standing, COMM 2300 Communication Theory and COMM 3500 Research Methods or permission of the instructor.
(Normally offered each fall semester.)

This course is designed to help students develop theoretical and practical understandings of dialogic communication. Students will develop the skills necessary to effectively participate in and facilitate transformational dialogue. In addition to developing a comprehensive understanding of current dialogic research, students will have several opportunities to practice their facilitating skills by helping NWU and Lincoln community groups engage impasse throught dialogue.
Prerequisite(s): Sophomore standing and permission of the instructor.

A topical course designed to investigate relevant subject matter not included in any standard courses. The title and the content will be determined by current mutual interests of students and faculty. This course may be offered to meet a requirement for a major only by approval of the department chair.

This is a research course. The student initially meets with the department chair to select a study topic and review research methods. At this time the student will be assigned a faculty resource person to guide his or her work and assist in an advisory capacity. A copy of the student's work is filed in the archives for the department. Independent study may not duplicate courses described in the catalog.
Prerequisite(s): Senior standing or permission of the department chair.

Supervised individual projects for students on topics selected by the student in consultation with the instructor. Special Projects may not duplicate courses described in the catalog.
Prerequisite(s): Permission of the instructor.

An on-the-job experience oriented toward the student’s major interest. The student is to secure a position in an organization that satisfies the mutual interests of the instructor, the sponsor, and the student.
Prerequisite(s): Permission of the department chair.

Students will design and make presentations for a variety of communication contexts and audiences. Both practical skills and theoretical insights will be enhanced. Students will complete major projects related to their professional interests.
Prerequisite(s): Junior standing and instructor permission.
(Normally offered each semester.)

An advanced topical course designed to investigate any relevant subject matter not included in any of the standard courses. The title, content, and credit will be determined by current mutual interests of students and faculty.
Prerequisite(s): To be determined by the instructor.

The Senior-Level Communication Internship has been developed to provide a culminating experience for your major, thus senior status (successful completion of 90 or more credit hours) is required. In addition, it is often the case that a senior level internship offers amazing career exploration opportunites. The Senior-Level internship should be viewed as seriously as you would a full-time job.
Pass/Fail only.
Prerequisite(s): Senior standing and permission of the department chair. 
(Normally offered each semester and summer.)

The capstone course in communication, this seminar will include a review of major communication theories and research methods and their application to a variety of contexts, settings, and contemporary issues as well as discussions of communication careers and graduate study.
Prerequisite(s): Senior standing and a major in communication or permission of the department chair.
(Normally offered each spring semester.)