Communication Studies (COM)

College of Arts and Humanities

How to Read Course Descriptions

COM 100. Internship in Computerized Communication. 1-3 Credits.

Internship for high school seniors to engage in a structural and supervised learning experience in computerized communication.
Repeatable for Credit.

COM 112. Communication Media Practicum. 1-3 Credits.

This course provides students with an opportunity to gain knowledge and skill as they do work at WCU media outlets.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.
Repeatable for Credit.

COM 200. Communication Careers Planning I. 1 Credit.

This course is designed to introduce the first of a two-phase, career-planning process. Self-assessment and exploration is provided through assigned readings, mini-lectures, reflective exercises, and small group activities.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 201. Fundamentals of Communication Technology. 3 Credits.

Examination of the use of computers and other technologies to create, organize, store, visualize, and present messages.

COM 204. Interpersonal Communication. 3 Credits.

One-on-one communication to give the student a fundamental understanding of the processes and experiences of the most basic type of human communication.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 206. Argumentation. 3 Credits.

This course develops abilities to engage in effective oral argument. Topics covered include the structure of arguments, reasoning, fallacies, refutation, argumentation ethics, and answering questions.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 209. Principles & Practice of Public Speaking I. 3 Credits.

This course is designed to build public speaking skills within the framework of an intensive "flipped" course format. Within this "flipped" format, students will be introduced to the theory of public speaking through a series of online lectures. In-class time will be reserved for public speaking practice and skill development. Topics covered include speech structure, speech introductions and conclusions, forms of support, speech delivery, persuasive speaking, and informative speaking.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.

COM 211. Communication Literacy & Inquiry. 3 Credits.

This course explores research in the communication studies discipline. Topics covered include strategies for reading primary source research, library resources for communication research database searches, APA formatting, various methods for data collection and analysis.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.
Cross listed courses COM 224, MDC 255, COM 211.

COM 212. Mass Communication. 3 Credits.

A survey course designed to identify, analyze, and evaluate the pragmatic, persuasive, creative, and technical dimensions of mass media.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 213. Public Communication. 3 Credits.

This course provides the theoretical foundation for studying public communication and persuasive influence. Topics covered include definitions of persuasion and rhetoric, the history of the rhetorical tradition and persuasion as social influence, as well as the nature and process of theorizing persuasive influence in communication.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 214. Relational Communication. 3 Credits.

This course explores theoretical approaches to communication in interpersonal (one-to-one) relationships. Topics covered include the place of our interpretations, selves, and roles in our one-to-one relationships as well as societal influences on our choices for friendship, romantic, and family relationships.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 215. Organizational Communication. 3 Credits.

This course explores foundational organizational communication and small group communication theory. Topics covered include explanations of the value of theory, major approaches to the study of organizations, select theories of small group communication, and theories related to organizational reputation.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 216. Small Group Communication. 3 Credits.

This course introduces communication skills needed when working with people in small group settings. The focus is on developing a working knowledge of theory and skills for the preparation of, analysis of, and participation in problem-solving oriented groups. This course focuses on the communication processes of the family, social, work, and political groups that we engage in throughout our personal and public lives. As such, this course will provide students with an understanding of basic concepts and theories that describe these processes, opportunities to analyze how these concepts and theories apply to their small group experiences, and practice in applying these concepts and theories to problem-solving situations.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 216 requires prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and COM 215.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 219. Communication Theory. 3 Credits.

A study of human communication that includes a historical view of the field, examinations of definitions of communication, analyses of the nature of theory and the process of theorizing, assessment of perspectives of communication, and construction of models of communication.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.

COM 224. Communication Research. 3 Credits.

An examination of the nature of inquiry and research in communication. Emphasis on understanding and appreciating the strengths and weaknesses of various methods of research in communication. Students will gain knowledge of the fundamentals of research, research methodologies, and basic descriptive statistics.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.
Cross listed courses COM 224, MDC 255, COM 211.

COM 252. Writing for Broadcast and Public Relations. 3 Credits.

Students are required to analyze, evaluate, and produce scripts for a variety of mass media formats. The course will focus on writing for radio and TV and will also emphasize public relations writing within those media. The primary course objective is to develop effective writing, critical analysis, and communication skills. This course is designed to help you improve your research and writing skills for each of these media and is geared toward students with a genuine interest in a media career.
Typically offered in Fall.
Cross listed courses COM 252, MDC 252.

COM 275. Media in Ireland. 3 Credits.

This course introduces students to the past, present and future of media in Ireland by examining the culture, history, law and economic conditions of the nation. It includes visits to the major historic sites and media centers in Dublin.
Typically offered in Summer.

COM 276. Media in London. 3 Credits.

This course explores the past, present and future of British media. Students will study England from a variety of perspectives (cultural, economic, legal, technological) as a way of understanding the evolution of British media, including both print and broadcast. Course includes three weeks in London visiting various media institutions.
Typically offered in Summer.

COM 292. Living in the Digital Age. 3 Credits.

New technologies result in immediate and far reaching changes in our communications systems and in our communication practices. They even effect how we define ourselves. This course examines a broad array of issues from Artificial Intelligence to the WWW.

COM 295. Communication and Disability. 3 Credits.

This course explores how individuals communicate through and about disability. Topics covered include the place of perceptions, identity, language, non verbal behavior, and assistive technology in interpersonal communicative interactions among and about individuals with disabilities in family, friendship, and professional relationships.
Gen Ed Attribute: American Sign Language Culture Cluster, Foreign Language Culture Cluster.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 304. Organizational Communication Consulting. 3 Credits.

This course extends organizational communication theory into the context of organizational effectiveness, and training and development. Through an examination of theories related to topics such as organizational structure, goal setting, organizational change, human resources, and organizational culture, the course provides students with tools to diagnose organizational issues and develop plans to address these issues at an organizational and personal level.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 304 requires prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and COM 215.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 307. Nonverbal Communication. 3 Credits.

This course explores the intricacies of nonverbal communication through an appreciation for communication theory and research. This enhanced understanding, combined with honing skills, will help shape the way you experience and witness nonverbal communication in interpersonal interactions. In this way, the course will apply to the complexities and contexts of your daily life. Topics covered include physical appearance and attractiveness, kinesics, vocalics, haptics, proxemics, artifacts, and chronemics.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 307 requires prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and COM 214.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 309. Principles & Practice of Public Speaking II. 3 Credits.

This course refines students' public speaking skills and introduces students to new forms of public speaking. Topics covered include speech structure, speech delivery, impromptu speaking, ceremonial speaking, motivational speaking, style, narratives, and visual aids.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 309 requires a prerequisite of a C or higher in COM 209.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 318. Forensics. 3 Credits.

Study in the philosophy and practice of forensics. Initiating, developing, and administrating a forensic program. Coaching and judging debate and individual events.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 318 requires prerequisites of SPK 208 and COM 219 and COM 224.

COM 332. Conflict Resolutions. 3 Credits.

This course explores resolving conflict in a variety of contexts from close interpersonal relationships to family relationships and work relationships. Topics covered include the means of resolving conflict through argument, negotiation, mediation, and arbitration.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 332 requires prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and COM 214.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 335. Corporate Social Responsibility. 3 Credits.

This course explores the organizational communication topic of corporate social responsibility (CSR). CSR encompasses the activities of organizations to ethically serve customers, suppliers, the environment, and society. Through reviews of competing viewpoints of CSR, topics covered include the intersections of CSR and organizational communication and reputation, stakeholder approaches to CSR, global approaches to CSR, and contemporary examples of the evolution of CSR.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 335 requires prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and COM 215.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 337. Communication and Leadership. 3 Credits.

This course is designed to focus on organizational theory as it relates to leadership and change concepts. Students will evaluate organizational leadership in the public sphere and reflect on their own personal leadership as it relates to their own interaction with organizations.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 337 requires prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and COM 215.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 340. Political Communication. 3 Credits.

This course explores the role of communication in the political process. Topics include persuading with political messages, citizen talk about politics, media coverage of politics, political ads, political debates, and politics over the Internet.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 340 requires prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and COM 213.
Typically offered in Fall.

COM 342. Persuasion. 3 Credits.

The focus of this course is to develop an understanding of the theories and means of social influence and persuasion that determine then drive audience change. Topics covered include: foundational theories of persuasion, applied persuasion efforts in various settings using varied mediums, and communication strategies for crafting written and spoken persuasive messages.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 342 requires prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and COM 213.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.

COM 344. Rhetorical Criticism. 3 Credits.

This course explores a variety of approaches for analyzing and explaining messages and symbols. Topics include historical foundations for the study of rhetoric, contemporary critical methods, and public address.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 344 requires prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and COM 213.
Gen Ed Attribute: Writing Emphasis.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 345. Communication and Gender. 3 Credits.

This course explores communication between and about women and men. Topics covered include interpersonal interaction between men and women in romantic, friendship, family, work, and professional relationships as well as societal assumptions and popular culture messages about communication and gender.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 345 requires prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and COM 214.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 348. Rhetoric & Popular Culture. 3 Credits.

This course explores the rhetorical tradition as a way of understanding and interrogating popular culture in terms of what it does and how it contributes to the construction of our social reality. Topics include the rhetorical tradition, Neo-Aristotelianism, critical theory, feminism, Marxism, dramatism, and visual rhetoric.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 348 requires prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and COM 213.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 349. Event Planning. 3 Credits.

This course explores the communication strategies relevant to event planning and production. Topics covered include the rhetorical situation, persuasion strategies, event proposal presentation techniques, event agenda management and agenda communication, rhetorical foundations of audience-centered invitations and thank you letters, audience analysis for event production, professional client communication, as well as managing and communicating in regard to event production.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 349 requires prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and COM 213.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 375. Language, Thought & Behavior. 3 Credits.

This course explores the relationship between language, thought, and behavior. Topics covered include meaning, naming, censorship, indirectness, framing, and power, as well as how language used in both public and private settings affects our thoughts and behaviors and how our thoughts and behaviors affect our use of language.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 375 requires prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and COM 214.
Gen Ed Attribute: Writing Emphasis.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 380. Health Communication. 3 Credits.

This course explores communication in health care settings. Topics covered include the changing perceptions of medical encounters, the language of illness and health, the roles of patients and caregivers, and health communication in historical, cultural, organizational, technological, and medical contexts.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 380 requires prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and COM 214.
Typically offered in Spring.

COM 385. Family Communication. 3 Credits.

This course explores the ways in which families are built, maintained, and destroyed by communication. Family communication is a complex phenomenon, so it is not surprising that approaches to studying the family have spanned disciplines including communication, psychology, child development, sociology, and anthropology. In this course, students will be exposed to a sampling of interdisciplinary research and theories on families, but the main emphasis of the course will be on contributions to the study of families from within the communication discipline. Topics covered include family communication theories, courtship and mate selection, parent-child relationships, sibling relationships, divorce, family violence and abuse, and extended family relationships.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 385 requires prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and COM 214.
Gen Ed Attribute: Writing Emphasis.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 387. Friendship Communication. 3 Credits.

This course explores communication in friendship relationships. Topics covered include the communication of similarity and difference between friends in various contexts from childhood and adolescence to adulthood through the theoretical perspectives of dialectics, narrative, and dialogue.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 387 requires prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and COM 214.
Gen Ed Attribute: Writing Emphasis.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 396. Special Topics in Public Communication. 3 Credits.

This course explores a specific area of study in public communication. Topics will be announced in advance.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 396 requires a prerequisite of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and COM 213.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.
Repeatable for Credit.

COM 397. Special Topics in Relational Communication. 3 Credits.

This course explores a specific area of study in relational communication. Topics will be announced in advance.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 397 requires prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and COM 214.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.
Repeatable for Credit.

COM 398. Special Topics in Organizational Communication. 3 Credits.

This course explores a specific area of study in organizational communication. Topics will be announced in advance.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 398 requires prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and COM 215.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.
Repeatable for Credit.

COM 399. Directed Studies in Communication Studies. 1-6 Credits.

Research, creative projects, reports, and readings in communication studies. Students must apply to advisors one semester in advance of registration. Up to 6 credits may count toward major requirements.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 399 requires approval of the department chairperson, junior or senior standing, and prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and one of the following courses: COM 213, COM 214, or COM 215.
Consent: Permission of the Department required to add.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.
Repeatable for Credit.

COM 400. Internship in Communication Studies. 3-15 Credits.

This internship provides students the opportunity to gain vital hands-on work experience in the communication discipline that cannot come from classroom experience alone. Credits earned vary based upon the amount of time spent on the job. All internships must be approved by the Department's Internship Coordinator and must meet federal guidelines. This course counts as an applied area course rather than as an upper-division course in the COM major. Please see the department website for more information.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 400 requires prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and one of the following: COM 213, COM 214, or COM 215; one 300-400 level COM course with a grade of C or higher; enrollment as a COM major or minor; and a minimum 2.8 cumulative GPA.
Consent: Permission of the Department required to add.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.
Repeatable for Credit.

COM 405. Argumentation & Debate. 3 Credits.

Functions and principles of argumentation and debate, including analysis, evidence, reasoning, and refutation. Class debates on vital issues.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 405 requires prerequisites of SPK 208 and COM 219 and COM 224.
Gen Ed Attribute: Writing Emphasis.
Typically offered in Spring.

COM 490. Capstone in Communication Studies. 3 Credits.

This course is designed to integrate students' learning experiences across the Communication Studies major. Students will be asked to bring together their understanding of communication theory and research with their oral communication skills. Topics examined vary by instructor.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 490 requires prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 206, COM 211, COM 213, COM 214, COM 215, and COM 309.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 499. Communication Seminar. 3 Credits.

Intensive examination of a selected area of study in the field of communication studies. Topics will be announced in advance.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 499 requires prerequisites of SPK 208 and COM 219 and COM 224.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.
Repeatable for Credit.