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DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNICATION STUDIES (COM)

Dr. Beth S. Bennett, Chairperson
Office: 203 Phifer Hall

A total of 120 hours is required for graduation. Thirty-three of these hours must be in courses at the 300 or 400 level.

Core Curriculum and General Education Requirements

I. Freshman composition (FC): 6 hours
    EN 101 (3), EN 102 (3) or by exam or equivalent
 
II. Humanities (HU) and fine arts (FA): 12 hours
    fine arts (3), literature (L) (3), humanities (6) may include
    COM 1001, COM 1211, COM 1231, COM 2101
 
III. Natural science (N) and mathematics (MA): 11 hours
    natural science (4), natural science (4), mathematics (3)
 
IV. History (HI) and social/behavioral sciences (SB): 12 hours
    history sequence (6), SB (6) may include COM 1011, COM 2201
 
V. Pre-major requirements: 9–11 hours
    COM 1001 (3), COM 1011 (3), foreign language or
    computer science2 (6–8)
 
ADDITIONAL UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA CORE REQUIREMENTS
Writing (W): 6 hours, may include COM 310, COM 341, COM 342, COM 413,
COM 421, COM 450, COM 4631
 
DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNICATION STUDIES SPECIAL REQUIREMENT
12 hours at the 300 or 400 level outside COM

1These courses are cross-listed into the major.
2"C" courses require a prerequisite programming course that does not fulfill University Core Curriculum requirements.

Requirements for the Major in Communication Studies

A minimum of 36 hours of courses in communication studies is required for the major, with a minimum of 21 hours in the major at the 300–400 level and a minimum of 33 total hours at the 300–400 level. No more than 45 hours in communication studies may be included in the hours required for graduation.

The program of instruction, to be planned in consultation with a faculty advisor, is as follows:

NOTE: Although not required, the department strongly recommends that communication studies majors take both COM 100 and COM 101.

A. Foundation courses (3 hours)
Either COM 100 Rhetoric and Society
or COM 101 Principles of Human Communication

B. Introductory performance courses (3 hours)
Choose one of the following:
COM 104 Forensics (open to UA Forensics Team students only)
COM 121/COM 122 Critical Decision Making
COM 123 Public Speaking
COM 210 Oral Interpretation
COM 225 Small Group Communication

C. Introduction to theory and analysis (3 hours)
COM 300 Human Communication Analysis and Criticism or
COM 310 Rhetorical Criticism

D. Capstone seminar (3 hours)
COM 499 Capstone Seminar

E. Elective courses (minimum 24 hours)
Through the selection of elective courses, communication studies majors may emphasize one of the following areas of study: rhetoric and prelaw; political communication; communication and culture; or organizational and interpersonal communication. Students should be aware that the courses listed under each emphasis area below are recommendations, not requirements. Each student should plan his or her individual course of study with the guidance of a departmental advisor.

Rhetoric and Prelaw

This emphasis area focuses on argumentation, the effective construction and critical analysis of persuasive messages, and the role of rhetoric in constructing, sustaining, and changing the social order. It is an ideal preprofessional emphasis for students interested in careers in the legal profession; prelaw students should prepare broadly for a legal career, and this emphasis area is one means of accomplishing this preparation. Recommended minors for students who choose this emphasis area include American studies, African-American studies, criminal justice, English, history, philosophy, journalism, political science, telecommunication and film, and women's studies.

Recommended electives (minimum 24 hours)
COM 323 Advanced Public Speaking
COM 341 Rhetoric and American Politics
COM 342 Rhetoric of Social Protest
COM 348 Argumentation
COM 460 Group Leadership
COM 462 Theories of Persuasion
COM 467 Seminar in Public Address
COM 469 Communication and Gender

Political Communication

This area focuses on the communication theories and practices evident in political discourse, artifacts, and campaigns. Attention is given to such areas of analysis and practice as public speaking, argumentation and debate, speech writing, and the role of media in politics and political campaigns. This is an appropriate emphasis for students interested in careers in any aspect of politics and public service. Recommended minors for students who choose this emphasis area include advertising and public relations, American studies, African-American studies, journalism, economics, history, political science, sociology, telecommunication and film, and women's studies.

Recommended electives (minimum 24 hours)
COM 323 Advanced Public Speaking
COM 341 Rhetoric and American Politics
COM 342 Rhetoric of Social Protest
COM 348 Argumentation
COM 413 Communication and Diversity
COM 421 Political Communication
COM 425 Gender and Political Communication
COM 460 Group Leadership
COM 462 Theories of Persuasion

Communication and Culture

This emphasis area explores public communication in a wide variety of contexts and settings. The focus is on the influence of rhetoric and visual communication on individuals, communities, and the larger social world. Students interested in careers involving community or social change or human services (e.g., the ministry), or in postgraduate study in communication studies or media studies should consider this emphasis. Recommended minors for students who choose this emphasis area include anthropology, advertising and public relations, American studies, African-American studies, apparel and textiles, art history, English/creative writing, international studies, journalism, modern languages, religious studies, telecommunication and film, theatre, and women's studies.

Recommended electives (minimum 24 hours)
COM 220 Interpersonal Communication
COM 340 Communication and Social Identity
COM 342 Rhetoric of Social Protest
COM 413 Communication and Diversity
COM 425 Gender and Political Communication
COM 463 Relational Communication
COM 467 Seminar in Public Address
COM 469 Communication and Gender

Organizational and Interpersonal Communication

The focus of this area is on knowledge and skills vital to successful communication in organizational, group, family, and other interpersonal settings. Emphases include cultural, social, and cognitive influences on personal and professional interaction and such skills as conflict resolution, small group problem-solving, interviewing, and intercultural communication. It is appropriate for students interested in professional and administrative careers in business, educational, human services, or media organizations. Recommended minors for students who choose this emphasis area include advertising and public relations, general business, consumer sciences, economics, human development and family studies, international studies, journalism, management, psychology, real estate, sociology, social work, world business, and telecommunication and film.

Recommended electives (minimum 24 hours)
COM 220 Interpersonal Communication
COM 350 Organizational Communication
COM 352 Business and Professional Communication
COM 413 Communication and Diversity
COM 450 Advanced Organizational Communication
COM 460 Group Leadership
COM 463 Relational Communication
COM 469 Communication and Gender

Requirements for the Minor in Communication Studies

The minor in communication studies requires 21 hours of coursework in the department, including COM 100 or COM 101 and at least 6 hours at the 300 or 400 level. A grade of "C-" or higher is required in all communication studies courses counted toward the minor.

Sample Curriculum for the Major in Communication Studies

FRESHMAN YEAR
First Semester
CoursesHours
COM 100 or COM elective3
EN 1013
Fine arts (FA)3
General elective3
Natural science (NS)4
___
16
Second Semester
CoursesHours
COM 101 or COM elective3
EN 1023
Mathematics3
Natural science (NS)3
Social/behavioral sciences (SB)4
___
16
 
SOPHOMORE YEAR
First Semester
CoursesHours
COM introductory performance course3
Literature course (L)3
Foreign language or computer science (FL or C)3
History sequence I (HI)3
Social/behavioral sciences (SB)3
___
15
Second Semester
CoursesHours
COM electives6
Foreign language or computer science (FL or C)3
History sequence II (HI)3
Humanities (HU)3
___
15
 
JUNIOR YEAR
First Semester
CoursesHours
COM 300 or COM 310 3
COM elective (W), 300–400 level3
Minor6
Special requirement3
___
15
Second Semester
CoursesHours
COM elective, 300–400 level3
COM elective (W), 300–400 level3
Minor 6
Special requirement3
___
15
 
SENIOR YEAR
First Semester
CoursesHours
COM elective, 300–400 level3
General elective3
Minor 3
Minor, 300–400 level 3
Special requirement3
___
15
Second Semester
CoursesHours
COM elective, 300–400 level3
COM 4993
Minor, 300–400 level 3
General elective 3
Special requirement3
___
15

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