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Communication Degree Courses

(CTM) = Communication Theory and Methods
(CCSC) = Communication, Culture and Social Context
(MC) = Mass Communication

  • COMM 100 Introduction to Communication (3)
     Introduction to fundamental concepts of communication with emphasis on the centrality of communication across a wide variety of contexts and its relevance in society. Focuses on the structures and processes of communication, including how messages are produced and received in interpersonal and intercultural relations, institutional life, and the world of mediated culture and politics.
  • COMM 200 Argumentation & Dialogue (3)
    Study of and practice in the methods of critical thinking, argumentation and dialogue.  Involves using reasoning, both inductive and deductive, and evidence to advance original theses; recognizing and avoiding fallacies; learning to develop and argue propositions of value; comprehending the role of standpoint and context in relation to audience reception of persuasive arguments.
  • COMM 300 Communication Theory (3)
    Introduces students to the major 20th Century frameworks for understanding the field of communication and their respective influences in the areas of social and political practice as well as cultural understanding. May include semiotic, phenomenological, cybernetic, socio-psychological, sociocultural, and critical traditions. (CTM)
  • COMM 310 Group Interaction and Problem Solving Methods (3)
    Examines how groups work as they conduct inquiry, solve problems, and make decisions; procedures for organizing group interaction, processes of symbolic convergence, and influences over group success. Special emphasis is placed on reflective thinking, teamwork/collaboration, leadership, creativity, and intergroup conflict. Methods for facilitating small group discussion; use of group methods in instruction, and use of new media to augment group discussion practices are also addressed. (CCSC)
  • COMM 320 Conflict and Communication (3)
    Conflicts are situations in which individuals and groups with differing assumptions about reality (both facts and values), clash with one another about right and wrong. Discusses the nature of communication in such situations, the strengths and weaknesses of the various types of discourse employed in dealing with them, and visions for transcending conflicts. Three general types of responses to conflict will be explored: rhetorical attempts to persuade (rhetorical eloquence), hostile resistance (lost eloquence), and transcendence (transcendent eloquence). Recommended preparation: Junior or Senior status or consent of instructor. (CCSC).
  • COMM 330 Intercultural Communication (3)
    Introduction to traditional and critical theories, concepts, and principles regarding communication between and about people of different racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds. Takes a culture-general approach to examining the relationships among culture, communication, context (social, historical, political), and power. Emphasizes domestic issues with attention given to how they impact, and are impacted by, international communities. (CCSC)
  • COMM 333 Language and Social Interaction (3)
    Introduction to theories of language and interaction. Addresses how language is used within social and institutional interaction. Special emphasis will be given to problematic situations and their resolution. Fosters cultural awareness through a concentration on the interactions in which culture is constructed and the cultural institutions by which interaction is governed. (CCSC)
  • COMM 340 Interviewing Principles and Practices (3)
    Examines interviewing as a method for eliciting information, resolving problems, and building personal communities. Principles of effective interviewing in a variety of contexts are examined. Students learn about interviewing practices that will be useful to their everyday lives and careers. Requires students to conduct various types of interviews and self-appraisals of interviewing performance. (CTM)
  • COMM 350 Topics in Communication (3)
    Explores topics in Communication. Students should check the Class Schedule for listing of actual topics. Students should check the Class Schedule for listing of actual topics. May be repeated for credit as topics change for a total of six (6) units.
  • Comm 355 Communication and Collaboration (3)
    Explores how individuals, group dynamics and technologies affect collaboration in a variety of professional settings. Readings and lectures draw upon international and interdisciplinary research on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, usability design theory and distributed cognition. Students apply course concepts in group projects including usability testing, and multimedia product evaluation and redesign. Strongly recommended: Prior completion of COMM 360 or 440, or junior or senior status. (MC)
  • COMM 380 Health Communication (3)
    Explores health communication in various personal and public contexts. Emphasizes the role of communication theory and research in the development of effective health campaigns, understanding physician patient interaction, assessing inequality in patient access and treatment, negotiating health care systems, and healthcare advocacy. Special emphasis is placed on assessing health problems, both globally and locally, and the communicative efforts to address those problems. May not be taken for credit by students who have received credit for COMM 350G. (CCSC)
  • COMM 390 Research Methods and Design (3)
    Introduction to qualitative research methods. Students will learn procedures for conducting various kinds of research (i.e., participant observation, interviewing, focus groups, ethnography, textual analysis, etc.) useful for understanding human problems and media texts and processes. Emphasis is on the implementation of a research project which encourages students to consider the usefulness of various ways of knowing and to apply the selected method(s) in a systematic way. Also considers the theoretical, practical, and ethical issues that arise in conducting research. Enrollment restricted to students with Junior or Senior standing. Prerequisites: COMM 100 and 200. (CTM).
  • COMM 400 Discourse Analysis (3)
    Various approaches to the study of discourse, including ethnography of communication, ethnomethodology, culturally focused approaches, speech act theory, and conversation analysis. Students are expected to acquire competency in analyzing recorded and transcribed data from various social settings. (CTM)
  • COMM 401 Rhetorical Theory (3)
    Study of rhetorical theory that involves exploring periods in rhetorical theory, ranging from Greek antiquity to the present. Also examined is the relationship between rhetorical theory practice, the purpose(s) and conceptions of rhetoric to the social world, issues of agency and voice, and the role of rhetoric to the social world, issues of agency and voice, and the role of rhetoric in re/constituting identities and a sense of community. (CTM; CCSC).
  • COMM 402 Approaches to Rhetorical Criticism (3)
    Study of approaches to rhetorical inquiry that aid in the description, analysis, interpretation, and evaluation of human discourse in rhetorical situations. Applies various critical models to a chosen artifact. Enrollment restricted to students with Junior or Senior standing. Prerequisite: COMM 200. (CCTM).
  • COMM 405 Feminist Rhetorics (3)
    Introduces students to the area of feminist rhetoric as independent and intertwined fields of study. Learned are diverse perspective of feminisms and theories of feminist rhetoric that act as lenses for application and evaluation purposes. Also studied are varied social and political topics where feminisms, feminist thought and rhetoric present themselves. Recommended preparation: COMM 401 or 402. (CCSC or CTM)
  • COMM 415 Communication and Social Protest (3)
    Examines collective efforts and attempts to produce social change via protest. Applies theory and criticism to understand contemporary and historical debates shaping popular and political culture. Studies how social practices and protests enrich or hinder participation in public life; determines the effectiveness, ineffectiveness, and ethical dimensions of communicative/rhetorical acts that disrupt, provoke, encourage, and help mobilize social protest. Enrollment restricted to students with Junior or Senior standing. Prerequisite: COMM 200. (CCSC or CTM).
  • COMM 420 Topics in Communication Theory (3)
    Focused study of a specific communication theory or theoretical approach. Topics vary by instructor. Students should check the Class Schedule for listing of actual topics. May be repeated for credit as topics change for a total of six (6) units. (CTM)
  • COMM 425 Communication and Mediation (3)
    Examines the conceptualization of conflict and of mediation as an area of teaching, training and research in communication. Designed to guide students through a specific academic view of conflict and its relationship to communication as a point of departure. We will continue by studying dispute mediation as one way to approach conflict. Case studies as well as dispute mediation simulations will help in understanding the powers and limitations of the process. Demystifies conflict and dispute mediation and shows how to use "the tools" of dispute mediation ethically.  Recommended preparation: COMM 320. Junior or Senior status is recommended. (CCSC).
  • COMM 426 Dialogic Communication (3)
    An examination of Communication theory and communicative practices to improve the quality of dialogues such as listening, asking direct questions, presenting one's ideas, arguing, and debating. Aim of study is to improve the quality of dialogues. Course uses case studies in a variety of settings among people with different social discourses and cultural experiences to model dialogic communication. Prerequisites: Junior or Senior status AND COMM 300 or COMM 320, or COMM 330.
  • COMM 430 Power, Discourse and Social Identity (3)
    Examines notions of identity in public discourse. Introduction to theories of discourse, identity, and power in public discourse (i.e., legal, mediated, policy, etc.) on current social issues. Focuses on the politics of identity, the ways in which identity politics play out in public debate, and in the formation of economic, political, and social policies and realities. Recommended: Completion of COMM 330. (CCSC)
  • COMM 435 Communication and Gender (3)
    Introduction to a number of conceptual and theoretical problematics that have a bearing on the study of communication and its relevance to questions of gender. Explores differences between males and females with respect to communication styles, the cultural motivations for these differences, how they are reproduced in ongoing socialization experiences, their social and political implications, and the stratagems speakers deploy in the course of exploiting, bridging, negotiating, or overcoming such differences. (CCSC)
  • COMM 437 Interpersonal Communication (3)
    Introduction to the theory and research focused on interpersonal communication. Emphasis is on experientially acquired insights into the initiation and maintenance of interpersonal relationships across a wide range of socialization institutions (e.g., family, peer group, and workplace). (CCSC)
  • COMM 440 Organizational Communication (3)
    Examination of theoretical and research literature on the interaction within organizations and its bearing on individuals and groups in society at large. Some of the themes stressed are: the function of organizations within complex technological, market and sociopolitical environments; the communicative challenges of organizing; social responsibility and responsiveness; conflict mediation between organizational groups and actors; corporate wrongdoing; issues management; corporate political activity; institutional ethics; and whistle blowing. (CCSC)
  • COMM 441 Organizational Communication Ethics (3)

    Examines ethical questions that impact how organizations communicate and what they choose to really and omit to their various audiences. Consider personal ethical decision-making processes taking place in workers' everyday lives. Explores theories on ethics as well as approaches that engage important questions of power, equality, and justice. Encourages connections between communication, social justice, and ethics through in-class discussions, personal reflection, and evaluation of contemporary ethical organizational communication dilemmas. May not be taken for credit by students who have received credit for COMM 350-1 or COMM 350-3 Org Comm Ethics. (CCSC) 

  • COMM 444 Narratives in Organizations (3)
    Develops understanding of the role of narratives in contemporary workplaces and cultivates narrative appreciation. Students gain familiarity with concepts from organizational narratology such as action, motivation and morality; sequence and locale; character and identity; interest and memory; complexity and control; point of view and verisimilitude, and aesthetics. Students construct their own narratives describing organizational experience, analyze narratives, improve storytelling ability, and apply their knowledge of narratives to improve communication in organizations. May not be taken for credit by students who have received credit for COMM 350-1. Prerequisites: COMM 310, or 437, or 440. (CCSC)
  • COMM 445 Communication Portfolio (3)
    Students will learn to craft professional documents: resumes, reports, and proposals. Students learn how, as colleagues, to evaluate, revise, and edit as well as how to give and respond to criticism of oral and written work. Informed by case studies, students also learn how to highlight and articulate their skills, abilities and interests as Communication majors as part of a job search or in preparation for graduate or professional study. Enrollment restricted to Communication majors with senior standing. (CTM)
  • COMM 450 Topics in Intercultural Communication (3)
    Focused study of a specific aspect of intercultural communication. Topics vary by instructor. Students should check the Class Schedule for listing of actual topics. May be repeated for credit as topics change for a total of six (6) units. (CCSC)
  • COMM 453 Communication and Transnationalism (3)
    Examines the communication practices that occur across transnational borders as well as the multiple ties and/or interactions linking peoples/institutions across the borders of nation states in the context of globalization. Explores experiences of transnational subjects, and particularly identity performances that emerge as people become transnational and locate themselves in new imagined and/or real communities. Investigates a variety of transnational issues in intercultural communication (such as migration, hybridity, colonialism/postcolonialism, nationalism/postnationalism, cosmopolitanism, etc.) and the power dynamics emerging from these issues. Prerequisite: 330. (CCSC). May not be taken for credit by students who have received credit for COMM 450-1
  • COMM 454 Communication of Whiteness (3)
    Introduction to basic theories, concepts, and principles regarding the idea of whiteness as a discursive (communicative) construct, and the key role that communication plays in the construction of whiteness. Particular attention will be given to the important role of communication (face-toface, mediated, discursive), context (social, cultural, and historical), and power as they relate to whiteness.  Enrollment requirement: Completion of COMM 330 or other course dealing with race. (CCSC).  
  • COMM 456 Leadership and Social Change (3)
    Introduction to leadership theories and practices from a communication perspective, with a particular emphasis on effectiveness with different cultures and contexts. Development of Personal Leadership Skills through self-awareness exercises, and hands on practice in class and through service learning projects. Explores theories of leadership and emotional intelligence, examines exemplary leaders from different cultural contexts, ad considers ethical questions for leaders in multicultural society. Credit may not be counted toward a Business major. (CCSC).
  • COMM 460 Visual Communication and Rhetoric (3)
    Introduction to theories of visual communication, practices of seeing and looking, and approaches to critically analyzing objects of visual culture that come from art, popular culture, and mass media images. Explores how representations and the visual play important roles in constructing images of groups, communities, cultures, nations, and identities. Focuses on the power of the visual in public discourse and intercultal relations. (CCSC; MC)
  • COMM 480 Topics in Mass Communication (3)
    Focused study of a specific aspect of mass communication. Topics vary by instructor. Students should check the Class Schedule for listing of actual topics. May be repeated for credit as topics change for a total of six (6) units. (MC)
  • COMM 485 Chicana/o and Latina/os in Film and TV (3)
    Course examines representations of Chicana/os and Latina/os in film and television. Learned is the development of Chicana/o-Latina/o cinema as a means to communicate counter narratives of Chicana/os' and Latina/os' social experiences. Explored are the ways that language, images and symbols convey individual and group identity and social identity categories are examined using critical rhetorical, media, feminist approaches. Students will analyze films or television shows with the purpose of demonstrating persuasive elements, identities communicated, and/or ideologies proffered. Enrollment restricted to students with Junior or Senior standing. (CCSC or MC)
  • COMM 495 Communication Internship (3)
    Provides students with opportunities to examine, organizational, intercultural, mediated and other modes of communication during routine work activities in private and public enterprises outside of a classroom setting. Students complement classroom and laboratory learning with that of the work world. Internships may be paid or unpaid. COMM 495 and 499 may total no more than six (6) units applied toward the major. Enrollment Requirement: COMM 100. Prerequisite one of the following: COMM 300, 330, 360, 390 or MDIA 301, 303, or 304. Corequisite: Internship placement. Enrollment restricted to Communication or Media Studies majors with Junior or Senior status (more than 60 completed units) who have obtained consent of instructor. Note: COMM majors advised to enroll in COMM 495, not MDIA 495.
  • COMM 499A (1) 499B (2) 499C (3) Independent Study (1-3)
    May be used by students who desire to do special individualized projects with an instructor. Number of units to be decided between the student and the instructor. May be repeated for a total of six (6) units. Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor.