Communication Studies, Minor

Communication studies is interdisciplinary and based on knowledge that has evolved out of the humanities, the performing arts and the social-behavioral sciences. This knowledge focuses on human communication processes, cultural practices and ethical and aesthetic preferences. The communication studies program emphasizes training in communication skills and the cognitive principles and strategies that support them.

Students learn to refine their communication skills in public, interpersonal, small groups and organizational contexts necessary to assist in both personal and professional growth. The refinement of communication skills and concepts, as well as the development of standards of ethical and thoughtful communication can contribute significantly to the building of a more mutually responsible community and a more civil and humane world.

Communication Studies offers a minor that allows students to study in two track areas: relational dynamics or public advocacy and civic engagement. Courses can be combined across the two areas to meet a student's career goals and personal interests.

Relational Dynamics: examines how to develop and maintain satisfying personal and social relationships. Courses related to conflict management, interpersonal communication, social media, family, health and social influence are paired with classes on organizational and business communication to allow students relational expertise in a variety of contexts.

Public Advocacy and Civic Engagement (PACE): emphasizes public aspects of communication. It includes classes related to project management, public interaction, civic responsibility, persuasion, advocacy, political processes, communication aesthetics and speechwriting, among others. Students will learn ethical and inclusive communication practices that allow them to serve as innovators and leaders.

Sample Course Requirements

18 credit hours (see Course Catalog for latest updates of degree requirements)


  • COM 101 - Oral Communication OR COM 217 Argumentation and Debate
  • COM 113 - Fundamentals of Speech Communication
  • COM 212 - Introduction to Communication Research
  • Nine additional COM elective credits

Note: GPA for required classes - Student must obtain a "C" (2.0 GPA) in all major or minor courses. The student also must maintain a 2.0 GPA overall to fulfill university and college graduation requirements.

Courses Offerings at a Glance: Students can choose to focus their electives within Relational Dynamics or Public Advocacy and Civic Engagement, or choose among all electives based on their interests and career goals.

General Electives

  • COM 202 - Interpersonal Listening: Theory and Application
  • COM 302 - Issues in Interpersonal Communication
  • COM 315 - Small Group Communication
  • COM 317 - Organizational Communication
  • COM 329 - Business and Professional Speaking
  • COM 412 - Intercultural Communication

Electives Emphasizing RD

  • COM 407 - Gender and Communication
  • COM 422 - Communication and Difference
  • COM 434 - Communication and Conflict Resolution
  • COM 454 - Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • COM 490 - Special Topics
  • COM 495 - Independent Study*
  • COM 499 - Internship*

Electives Emphasizing PACE

  • COM 395 - Crisis Communication
  • COM 404 - Principles of Persuasion
  • COM 441 - Rhetoric of Dissent
  • COM 464 - Leadership: A Communication Perspective
  • COM 468 - Facilitating Difficult Discussions
  • COM 474 - New Media in Human Communication
  • COM 475 - Communication and Community Engagement
  • COM 484 - Political Communication
  • COM 490 - Special Topics
  • COM 495 - Independent Study*
  • COM 499 - Internship*

*Independent studies and internships require instructor permission. Students must work with a full-time faculty member to set up requirements and learning contract in advance of the semester the student wishes to receive credit.

More Info