Communication Studies

Kimberly Powell (department head)

Since the ancient Greeks, the study of rhetoric (the art of effective discourse) has been recognized as a vital pillar of human learning. It formed one of the seven liberal arts of education in medieval Europe. Modern communication studies focus on three essential areas: expressing ideas through excellence in speaking and writing; understanding interpersonal, organizational and group dynamics; and appreciating the role of various media in our highly technical world. The communication studies department encourages students to use their communication expertise ethically and in service to the larger community.

Students who major or minor in this discipline take one basic course in each of the three essential areas of rhetoric, interpersonal communication, and mass media. Upper-level courses allow students to deepen their knowledge of these three aspects of the discipline and to specialize in one of them. Internships, campus and community projects, the student newspaper


, and the campus radio station KWLC provide practical experience.

Required for a major in communication studies: COMS 130, 132, 133, 357; one theory course of COMS 342, 354, 356 or COMS 362; one applied human communication course of COMS 236, 330, or COMS 350; one advanced oral communication course of COMS 255 or COMS 353; one media analysis course of COMS 246, 258, 359, COMS 463, or designated COMS 239 or 339 courses; plus eight additional credit hours in the department. Writing requirement completed with COMS 133, 247, or COMS 357.

Senior project presentation requirement: All majors who choose to complete their senior project in the communication studies department must present their research in a public forum scheduled by the department each semester. The senior project requirement is not completed until the project has been publicly presented.

Required for a minor in communication studies: COMS 130, 132, 133, and three additional courses in the department.

Required for a minor in journalism: See requirements listed under Journalism in the Curriculum section of the catalog.

Required for a second teaching area in speech and theatre: See Education department for specific requirements. The second teaching area license is offered only in the state of Iowa.