Communication Major

The Communication major at Graceland University encourages students to think critically about the interactions they engage in on a daily basis.  Given the complex process that is communication, we strive to create a learning environment in which students can examine the messages they create, the ways in which those messages impact others, and the ways in which their perceptions of others influence those messages. 

While earning a communication degree, students will come in contact with various communication theories, perspectives, and areas of study.  Through their experiences both in and out of the classroom, students will acquire the abilities to analyze and evaluate written and oral messages in addition to creating effective communication of their own.  We inspire communication major students to become competent communicators, whether it is interpersonally, within groups, or across diverse cultures.

BA Degree — Communication Major

In addition to the essential education requirements, majors in Communication must complete 42 semester hours as prescribed below:

The following 18 semester hours of core courses are required:

24 semester hours chosen from the list of elective courses below:

  • ARTS1710 Introduction to Graphic Design 3 s.h.
  • COMM2100 Introduction Organizational Communication 3 s.h.
  • COMM2300 Introduction to Media Technologies 3 s.h.
  • COMM3140 Campaigns and Theories of Persuasion 3 s.h.
  • COMM3200 Health Communication 3 s.h.
  • COMM/PEAC/SOCI3210 Conflict Management and Dialogue 3 s.h.
  • COMM3220 Gender and Communication 3 s.h.
  • COMM3500 Emerging and Social Media 3 s.h.
  • COMM3600 Trends in Communication 3 s.h.
  • COMM4300 Internship in Communication 3 s.h.
  • SOCI3440 Research Methods 3 s.h.

Minor in Communication*

A minor in Communication requires 18 or more semester hours in Communication, including all of the COMM core courses listed above (except for COMM4150 Senior Seminar) and one Communication elective COMM prefix (3 s.h.).

*This minor may require four sequential semesters to complete since it includes courses offered on an every-other-year basis.

Courses in Communication

ARTS1710 Introduction to Graphic Design 3 s.h.
Covers basic principles of typography, such as type anatomy, type fonts and families, communication with typography and an introduction to layout and grid structures. Typography as medium and message and conceptual solutions are emphasized. Additional fee required. Prerequisite: ARTS1680 Computer Graphics for Art & Design. Goal 2A

COMM1200 Speech Communication: An Introduction 3 s.h.
Introductory course in speech communication exploring the principles of communication theory and techniques of interpersonal communication, group discussion, and public speaking. Goal 3B

COMM1250 Introduction to Communication Theory 3 s.h.
Survey of the major theories that support research and study of communication, such as interpersonal communication, organizational communication, rhetoric, media, culture, and ethics. The course gives students a foundation in communication vocabulary, basic knowledge of key theories, and an introduction to practical application of theory to human communication.

COMM2000 Individual Study 1-3 s.h.

COMM2100 Introduction to Organizational Communication 3 s.h.
Introduction to the basic concepts in the study of organizational communication. The course considers approaches to the practice and study of communication within organizational setting, including classical approach, human relations, human resources approaches, systems approaches, cultural approaches, and critical approaches. It also introduces specific issues within the study of organizational communication, including assimilation, decision-making, conflict, change, emotion, organizational ethics, cultural diversity, and communication technologies.

COMM2300 Introduction to Media Technologies 3 s.h.
Introduction to the primary mass media forms ? newspapers, books, magazines, radio, television, sound recording, movies, and the Internet ? to gain an understanding of the ways they operate. Included are industries based on mass media?journalism, advertising, and public relations?as well mass media theory, law, and ethics. Emphasis on critical thinking about the mass media.

COMM2500 Introduction to Mass Media (Also ENGL2500) 3 s.h.
An examination of the various landmark theories, such as rhetorical, Marxist, and feminist to analyze popular culture, with an emphasis on the importance of communication in the production and consumption of culture. Students will study the development of culture by applying different theories or 'lenses' to cultural artifacts including music, movies, advertisements, clothing, etc.

COMM2600 Interpersonal Communication 3 s.h.
A focus on the study of communication within dyads with a specific focus on friendships, romantic relationships, and family relationships. The course seeks to draw from experience, interaction, and theory to encourage a behavioral and conceptual understanding of communication within interpersonal relationships. Goal 3B.

COMM3000 Individual Study 1-3 s.h.

COMM3100 Intercultural Communication (Also INTD3100) 3 s.h.
An examination of concepts that have application to communication across cultural boundaries, with emphasis on relating them to effective intercultural communication skills. Goal 4

COMM3140 Campaigns and Theories of Persuasion 3 s.h.
An emphasis in learning theories, information processing theories, perception theories, components of persuasive appeals, and the ethics involved in persuasion. Further, students will examine the theories and persuasive appeals involved in communication campaigns and critique the success, or lack thereof, of multiple persuasive strategies.

COMM3200 Health Communication 3 s.h.
Examines theory and research relevant to health communication, including interpersonal, organizational, and mass media approaches. Topics include the role of communication in general, models of health and illness, the relationship between patients and healthcare providers, social support, and the ethics involved within the health context.

COMM3210 Conflict Management and Dialogue (Also SOCI/PEAC3210) 3 s.h.
An examination of conflict theories and approaches, negotiation process, conflict ethics, and third party mediation. In this class, students will become familiar with the causes of conflict as well as ways strategies and tactics used in conflict management. Further, this class will explore the foundational theoretical concepts and models of dialogue in the context of conflict management. Goal 3B

COMM3220 Gender and Communication 3 s.h.
An exploration of sex, gender, and sexuality as they relate to the ways we communicate in personal, professional, and political contexts. Specific attention will be given to self-other relationships, how gendered identities affect interpersonal, cultural, and political interactions, where do individuals stand in terms of normative gender identities, and how those norms came to be.

COMM3230 Small Group Communication 3 s.h.
An examination of the communication processes within small group situations. Specifically, the class will consider theory, principles, and the practical application of small group problem-solving and decision-making process. Students will participate in group discussion, group projects, and will develop skills in analyzing group performance. Goal 3B

COMM3900 Topics in Speech Communication 1-3 s.h.
Advanced study in specific topics in speech communication, to be announced the semester before they are offered. May be repeated for credit as topics change.

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COMM4000 Individual Study 1-3 s.h.

COMM4150 Senior Seminar 3 s.h.
Allows students to synthesize knowledge across the communication studies major through the exploration and presentation of original research.

COMM4300 Internship in Communication 1-3 s.h.
Off-campus practical experience in a communication related professional setting. Offers an opportunity for application of communication skills and knowledge in monitored individual learning setting related to student’s academic and career interests. Pass/fail only. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Repeatable to a maximum of six hours.

COMM4390 Methods of Teaching Theatre and Speech (Also THTR4390) 3 s.h.
Consideration of the theatre and speech classroom experience on the secondary level. Provides training in methods, unit preparation, media, evaluation, and directing extracurricular activities. Required of prospective theatre and speech teachers. Prerequisites:  admittance into Teacher Education, unless part of an approved Liberal Studies Program.

COMM4400 Practicum in Information Services (Also ENGL4400) 1-3 s.h.
On-campus practical experience in college relations office, admissions office, media center or alumni relations office. Offers an opportunity for study in a monitored individual learning setting. Pass/fail only. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor and permission of the appropriate college official. Repeatable to a maximum of six hours.

SOCI3440 Research Methods 3 s.h.
A survey of the principles and practices of social research, including data analysis, research ethics, and the design and implementation of surveys, in-depth interviews, content analysis, participant observation, experiments, and field studies. Prerequisite: MATH1380.