General Studies, Communication Studies Pathway

Associate of Arts

The Associate of Arts degree in communication studies is designed to prepare graduates to transfer to Bachelor of Arts programs in journalism, mass communication, speech communication, or other areas of study in the field of communication.  It will also prepare graduates for positions that require listening and interpersonal skills, critical thinking skills, an understanding of the effects of mass media, and oral communication skills.  The Associate of Arts degree in communication studies takes a generalist approach in order to prepare the graduate for a variety of career and life opportunities, including work in numerous areas of business and media.

Area A: Essential Skills
ENGL 1101English Composition I3
ENGL 1102English Composition II3
MATH 1111College Algebra3
or MATH 1001 Quantitative Skills/Reasoning
or MATH 1101 Intro to Mathematical Modeling
Area B: Institutional Options
COMM 1110Fundamentals of Speech3
One of the following electives: 1
Argumentation and Advocacy
Intro to Greek Mythology
Creative Writing
Natural Hazards
Appalachian Hist-Special Topic
Sports Hist & Amer Character
Mystery Fiction in Pop Culture
Political and Social Rhetoric
Christian Fiction/Pop Culture
Health & Wellness Concepts
Race and Ethnicity in America
Area C: Humanities/Fine Arts
Choose one to two ENGL course(s):3-6
World Literature I *
World Literature II *
British Literature I
British Literature II
American Literature I
American Literature II
Intro to Film as Literature
If only one ENGL course is chosen, add one of the following:0-3
Art Appreciation
Expressions of Culture I
Expressions of Culture II
Music Appreciation
World Music
American Music
Theatre Appreciation
Area D: Science/Mathematics/Technology
Two of the following Lab Science Electives: 8
Environmental Studies
Principles of Biology I
Principles of Biology II
Principles of Botany
Survey of Chemistry
Principles of Chemistry I
Principles of Chemistry II
Principles of Geology
Historical Geology
Geology & the Environment
Introductory Physics I
Introductory Physics II
Principles of Physics I
Principles of Physics II
One of the following electives: 3-4
Astronomy of the Solar System
Stellar and Galactic Astronomy
Environmental Studies
Principles of Biology I
Principles of Biology II
Principles of Botany
Survey of Chemistry
Principles of Chemistry I
Principles of Chemistry II
Computer Concepts/Programming
Principles of Programming I
Principles of Programming II
Principles of Geology
Historical Geology
Geology & the Environment
Precalculus Mathematics
Applied Calculus
Introduction to Statistics
Calculus and Analytic Geom I
Calculus and Analytic Geom II
Introductory Physics I
Introductory Physics II
Principles of Physics I
Principles of Physics II
Area E: Social Sciences
HIST 2111United States History to 18773
or HIST 2112 United States Hist since 1877
POLS 1101American Government3
Two of the following electives: 6
Intro to Cultural Anthropology
Principles of Macroeconomics
Principles of Microeconomics
Introduction to Geography
Intro to Human Geography
Intro to Physical Geography
World Civilization to 1650 CE *
World Civilization since 1650 *
United States History to 1877
United States Hist since 1877
Intro to World Religions
Intro to Philosophical Issues
Logic and Critical Thinking
Intro to Political Science
State and Local Government
Comparative Politics
International Relations
Introduction to Psychology
Psychology of Adjustment
Human Development
Introduction to Sociology
Social Problems
Area F: Major Related
COMM 1100Human Communications3
COMM 2000Intro to Mass Communication3
COMM 2110Interpersonal Communication3
Foreign Language Sequence
Two of the following electives: **6
Elementary French I
Elementary French II
Intermediate French I
Intermediate French II
Elementary German I
Elementary German II
Elementary Spanish I
Elementary Spanish II
Intermediate Spanish I
Intermediate Spanish II
Other electives
One of the following electives:3
Student Newspaper Practicum (One credit hour, must be taken 3 times to count in Area F.)
News Writing and Reporting
British Literature I
British Literature II
American Literature I
American Literature II
Intro to Film as Literature
Expressions of Culture I
Expressions of Culture II
Music Appreciation
Theatre Appreciation
Play Development
Physical Education
PHED Activity Elective1
Total Hours61-62

For the communication studies major, these courses are strongly recommended.


Students are required to take two courses from the French (FREN), German (GRMN), or Spanish (SPAN) series.


COMM 1100. Human Communications. 3-0-3 Units.

Provides a broad approach to oral communication skills including intrapersonal, interpersonal, small group, and public speaking. Presents students with an introduction to communication as a field of academic study. In addition, students will be required to demonstrate proficiency in various communication techniques, including public speaking, group presentations, and critical listening skills.

COMM 1110. Fundamentals of Speech. 3-0-3 Units.

Presents the basic principles of effective oral communication. Emphasizes planning, researching, organizing, and presenting types of speeches used in business, educational, and political activities. Gives special attention to informative and persuasive extemporaneous speeches.(F,S,M)

COMM 1120. Argumentation and Advocacy. 1-0-1 Unit.

Explores aspects of speech research and policy analysis. Students will research, develop, and persuasively argue selected topics. Additionally, the course will prepare students for competition in parliamentary and public debate. Issues to be discussed, analyzed, and debated include educational, political, and social events.(S)
Prerequisites: COMM 1110.

COMM 2000. Intro to Mass Communication. 3-0-3 Units.

Provides a historical and social overview of the mass media and their relationship to the mass communication process in a modern society.(F,S)
Prerequisites: ENGL 1101 with a grade of C or better.

COMM 2110. Interpersonal Communication. 3-0-3 Units.

Focuses on the development of assertiveness, leadership, conflict resolution skills, critical thinking, and greater understanding of the complexities of the communication process. Practical and theoretical applications for all theories and concepts will be discussed.(S)
Prerequisites: COMM 1110 and ENGL 1101.

COMM 3000. Intro to Public Relations. 3-0-3 Units.

An introduction to the history, role, and functions of public relations, including public relations theory, ethics, and industry and career issues.
Prerequisites: COMM 2000 or permission of instructor.

COMM 3001. Principles of Advertising. 3-0-3 Units.

Explores advertising and promotion as related to level of economic growth, cultural influences, and sociological environments.
Prerequisites: COMM 2000 or permission of instructor.

COMM 3100. Intro to Communication Theory. 3-0-3 Units.

Introduces the students to the diverse insights and approaches to the process of human communication, examining the philosophical and empirical backgrounds to the theories and the practical applications of the theories. The class will emphasize interactivity and use of communication skills as it examines theories of rhetorical, group, mass, interpersonal, and intercultural communication.
Prerequisites: COMM 1110, COMM 2000.

COMM 3101. Writing for Electronic Media. 3-0-3 Units.

Non-fiction writing for television, radio, and the Internet focusing on issues such as public affairs, commercials, documentaries, and narrative pieces. Prerequisite: COMM 2000 or instructor permission

COMM 3200. Sports Communication. 3-0-3 Units.

Examines the role communication plays in sports and sports organizations, including marketing, sports journalism, and critical examinations of how controversial issues in sports are discussed and disseminated by the media.
Prerequisites: English 1102.

COMM 3220. Persuasive Communication. 3-0-3 Units.

Focuses on the development of critical evaluation, research, and persuasive speaking skills. Individual oral presentations, small group problem-solving discussions, and debating contexts will be considered.
Prerequisites: COMM 1110 and ENGL 1102.

COMM 3301. Communication for Prof Setting. 3-0-3 Units.

Introduces baccalaureate students outside of the School of Business to the purposes, modes, and desired outcomes of oral and written communication in the business and professional workplace. Topics will include internal and external correspondence such as letters, email, reports, and newsletters; communication tasks involved in gaining employment; understanding the contemporary workplace environment; communicating in groups and teams; and public presentation for training and sales.(F,S)
Prerequisites: ENGL 1102 with a grade of C or better; COMM 1110 with a grade of C or better; successful completion of at least 30 credit hours.

COMM 3310. Communication Research Methods. 3-0-3 Units.

Examines research methods including survey, experimental, observational, and content analysis methods as well as philosophy of science, research design, measurement, sampling, data collection, analysis, interpretation, and reporting.
Prerequisites: COMM 2000.

COMM 3330. Advanced Communication Skills. 3-0-3 Units.

COMM 3331. Nonverbal Communication. 3-0-3 Units.

A review of recent literature on nonverbal communication including such topics as kinesics, proxemics, kinesthetic behavior, environment, physical characteristics, and personal appearance. Prerequisites: COMM 2110 or instructor permission

COMM 3332. New Communication Technology. 3-0-3 Units.

Relates the design, development, and the use of new communication technologies to social, economic, and policy implications. Prerequisite: COMM 2000

COMM 3350. Listening. 3-0-3 Units.

This course teaches students to understand the complexity of listening and the nature of listening in the human communication process. This course will stress six skill areas: 1) hearing messages, 2) understanding messages, 3) remembering messages, 4) interpreting messages, 5) evaluating messages, and 6) responding to messages. Prerequisite: COMM 2110

COMM 3400. Organizational Communication. 3-0-3 Units.

Introduces students to the processes and principles that explain the way organizations communicate both internally and externally. Examines topics such as organizational cultures, conflict management, initiating change, leadership, team building, globalization, technology, and organizational diversity, etc. Exposes students to organizational communication from a historical and theoretical perspective, as well as an examination of current trends.
Prerequisites: COMM 1110, ENGL 1102.

COMM 3425. Communication Small Grps/Teams. 3-0-3 Units.

Examines the theories behind small group interaction with a view to equipping students to perform leadership roles in small educational discussion groups, work teams, parliamentary style meetings, and decision-making groups. Emphasis will be placed on practical application, listening skills, conflict resolution, arriving at consensus, creativity, and critical thinking with many opportunities for leadership development.
Prerequisites: COMM 1110 and COMM 2000.

COMM 3500. Humor Communication. 3-0-3 Units.

Explores humor as a communication device in a variety of contexts including, but not limited to, interpersonal communication, public address, organizational communication, language health communication, humor theory, intercultural communication, and humor in the media. Focuses on theoretical moorings and application to real-world settings.
Prerequisites: COMM 1110, ENGL 1101.

COMM 3510. Political Communication. 3-0-3 Units.

This course will examine political campaigns, elections, and American politics with regard to the use of communication. Strategic communication and planning campaign strategies will also be covered. Prerequisite: COMM 2000, COMM 3100

COMM 3801. Epublishing. 3-0-3 Units.

Introduces the student to the following categories in Epublishing: history of the phenomena of epublishing, current venues for self- and traditional publishing through ebooks, technology used for formatting and reading ebooks, marketing ebooks, and social media. This class also contains a creative writing component in which students will do and receive peer review on their writing projects.
Prerequisites: ENGL 1102.

COMM 3900. Special Topics Communication. 3-0-3 Units.

Offers an examination of rotating topics relevant to the field of communication. This course may be repeated twice for credit when topics vary.
Prerequisites: ENGL 1102.

COMM 4000. Communication Internship. 0-10-3 Units.

Provides experience in applying communication skills in a variety of professional environments, including large corporations, media outlets (television, radio, newspapers, etc.), educational institutions, and others. Application and credit arrangements should be made through the department in advance, normally by mid-semester prior to the internship. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. Repeatable for a maximum of 6 credit hours.
Prerequisites: 15 hours of COMM coursework and permission of instructor.

COMM 4100. Integrated Marketing Comm. 3-0-3 Units.

This course will provide students with both a theoretical and practical understanding of integrated marketing communication, such as inbound and outbound promotional channels—advertisements, direct marketing, public relations, sponsorships, sales promotion, interactive and social media, and more. Prerequisite: COMM 2000, COMM 3100, COMM 3301

COMM 4180. Media Effects. 3-0-3 Units.

Examines individuals' selection, uses, and preceptions of media and the effects of media on individuals' attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.
Prerequisites: COMM 2000.

COMM 4200. Social Media Communication. 3-0-3 Units.

This course explores the evolution of social media platforms, the research methodologies and emerging research in social media platforms, and current and future trends in the industry and scholarship. Prerequisites: COMM 3100

COMM 4300. Emerging Media. 3-0-3 Units.

Provides students with in-depth historical and social perspectives on newly emerged and emerging digital media, namely in the form of the internet, and explores their relationship to the communication process in contemporary society.(F)
Prerequisites: COMM 2000.

COMM 4380. Law & Ethics in Communication. 3-0-3 Units.

This first part of this course will examine the development, interpretation, and case law surrounding the First Amendment and government regulations of media; the second part will explore various philosophical approaches to ethical communication, both public and private, moving from the ancient world to modern theorists. Prerequisites: COMM 2000; COMM 3100

COMM 4400. Studies in Film. 3-0-3 Units.

COMM 4425. Intercultural Communication. 3-0-3 Units.

Explores the meaning of culture, intercultural theories and research and examines the interactions of members of various cultures. Barriers to effective intercultural communication will be examined, as will methods of improving intercultural communication.
Prerequisites: COMM 1110 and COMM 2000.

COMM 4602. Mass Media and Society. 3-0-3 Units.

Critically explores mass media's effect and influence on society through an examination of communication theories, concepts, and principles.
Prerequisites: COMM 2000, ENGL 1102.

COMM 4711. Gender and Communication. 3-0-3 Units.

Exposes students to the theory and process of gender communication (about and between genders) from an interpersonal context perspective.
Prerequisites: COMM 2110.

COMM 4999. Senior Seminar in Communicatio. 3-0-3 Units.

Focuses on a problem, question, issue, or specialized subject. Topics vary.
Prerequisites: 30 hours of upper-level Communication courses.