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School of Communication Studies

Mission Statement

Degree and Major Requirements

Goals

Concentrations

Career Opportunities and Marketable Skills

Minor Requirements

Co-curricular Activities and Organizations

Admission to the Major




Dr. Eva M. McMahan, Director

Phone: (540) 568-6228

Web: www.jmu.edu/commstudies/

Professors
A. Gabbard-Alley, W. Kimsey, E. McMahan, S. Rollman

Associate Professors
M. Aleman, M. Smilowitz, J. Stone

Assistant Professors
C. Aleman, T. Ball, P. Bsumek, D. Della Noce, E. Fife, L. Nelson, T. Whitfield, J. Yoon

Instructors
E. Armstrong, A. Brickner, A. Conis, G. Hazard, J. Jackson, E. Jenkins, T. Jenkins, R. Leppington, L. Mayfield, A. Roth, S. Sylvest



Mission Statement

The School of Communication Studies seeks to provide students with the opportunity to study the messages and outcomes resulting from human interactive processes that involve the content and relationship dimensions of sources, receivers, channels and contexts. The study of communication includes the social scientific study of human communication behavior in diverse contexts and the qualitative study of rhetoric. The context of primary concern in the School of Communication Studies is that involving face-to-face communication between and among people. The primary concerns within the school include human communicative interactions within interpersonal settings such as dyads and small groups, public speaking, communication within organizations, between organizations and the public as well as campaign communication processes. Within these contexts students study conflict resolution, communication in health settings and political settings, the interaction of culture and communication, language, nonverbal communication, written and oral communication skills and social influence among human beings in a variety of settings.


Goals

As the school offers courses and programs in communication studies, the school seeks to fulfill the following goals:

  • To prepare all JMU students who take a communication studies course to use oral communication skills effectively
  • To prepare students with a major or minor in communication studies for graduate and professional study as well as for careers in communication and communication-related professions
  • To provide co-curricular opportunities which enhance and reinforce communication competencies for all JMU students

Career Opportunities and Marketable Skills

Ideal for the communication studies graduate are careers that involve substantial interaction with other people.
Such careers are part of the following fields:

  • Consulting
  • Entertainment
  • Hospitality Industry
  • Management
  • Personnel
  • Politics
  • Sales
  • Teaching

Study in communication studies also serves as valuable pre-professional preparation for graduate and professional studies in the following fields:

  • Communication
  • Counseling
  • Law
  • Management
  • Ministry

Students who study communication studies acquire skills that enable them to interact with others effectively. These skills include:

  • Speaking in front of groups
  • Interacting effectively in small groups
  • Using nonverbal communication skills such as use of space, voice, eyes and facial expressions
  • Constructing persuasive messages and campaigns
  • Using computers for word processing, statistical analysis, desktop publishing, graphic design, web page construction and browsing the Internet
  • Analyzing communication problems at the organizational level
  • Persuading successfully
  • Using language effectively
  • Writing effectively
  • Mediating and resolving conflicts

Co-curricular Activities and Organizations

To enhance courses and programs in communication studies, the school offers a variety of co-curricular activities and organizations open to all JMU students. Co-curricular activities involve practical communication experiences for which credit is available, either through the various practica or one of the school’s applied courses. Co-curricular organizations are student clubs and honorary societies associated with the school’s individual programs of study. Below is a complete list of the school’s activities and organizations.

Activities

  • Center for Mediation Studies: Activities concern the use of methods of alternative dispute resolution for resolving conflicts.
  • Communication Evaluation Conference: An annual, student-organized program in which student research papers on communication topics are presented.
  • Debate Team: Affords students interested in debating intercollegiate tournament competition and local audience experiences.
  • Individual Events Team: Intercollegiate tournament competition and local audience experiences for students interested in public speaking and the oral interpretation of literature can be acquired through individual events team participation.
  • Health Communication Institute: Students interested in effective communication with health communication professionals can work with the institute in a practicum or directed project.

Organizations

  • Delta Sigma Rho - Tau Kappa Alpha: A chapter of a national honorary organization for students competing in intercollegiate debate and individual events.
  • International Association of Business Communicators: A chapter of a national organization for students and professionals interested in business communication and public relations.
  • Lambda Pi Eta: A chapter of a national honorary organization for students interested in communication.
  • Madison Mediators: Students interested in effective conflict resolution and mediation skills can participate in the activities of the Madison Mediators.

Admission to the Major

Admission to JMU does not guarantee admission to the School of Communication Studies. The School of Communication Studies reviews applications for admission to the major each semester. All students interested in majoring in the program must apply for a limited number of spaces. Admission to the major or minor is based on availability to the most qualified students. Applicants with an average of 2.7 in SCOM 240 and SCOM 245 and a cumulative 2.7 GPA at JMU will be automatically admitted. Other applicants will be admitted based on qualifications and availability of spaces.
Once admitted to the School of Communication Studies, a student cannot retroactively apply more than 9 hours of SCOM courses, including SCOM 240 and SCOM 245, to her/his major.

Policy for Students Transferring from Another Institution

Admission to JMU does not guarantee admission to the School of Communication Studies. The School of Communication Studies reviews applications for admission to the major and minor each semester. All transfer students interested in majoring or minoring in the program must apply for a limited number of spaces. Admission to the major or minor is based on availability to the most qualified students. Applicants with an average of 2.7 in SCOM 240 and SCOM 245 and a cumulative 2.7 GPA at JMU will be automatically admitted. Other applicants will be admitted based on qualifications and availability of spaces. Once admitted to the School of Communication Studies, a transfer student may petition for SCOM credit for courses taken at previous institutions.

Minimum Grades

Any course taken to fulfill a degree requirement in communication studies must be completed with a minimum grade of "C" (2.0). A communication studies course completed with a grade of "C-" or "D," including courses to fulfill JMU's baccalaureate degree requirements, may be credited toward graduation, but may not be included as course work toward a communication studies major or minor.

Limitations in Applied Courses

No more than six hours combined credit in SCOM 318, Practicum in Communication Studies; SCOM 390, Directed Projects and SCOM 495, Internship in Communication Studies may be counted toward a major in communication studies.


Degree and Major Requirements

The School of Communication Studies offers the Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees with a major in communication studies. Students must take at least 39 hours of work in communication studies beyond the General Education requirement. All programs must include at least five elements

  • 15 hours of required courses
  • Successful completion of SCOM 394. Core Assessment in Communication Studies upon completion of the core requirements
  • 15 hours of courses within distribution areas to meet the school depth requirement
  • 9 hours of free elective courses in communication studies at the 300 or 400 levels
  • 12 hours of course work in a cognate area with a minimum of 9 hours at the 300 level or above; or a second major or a minor

Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies

Degree Requirements

Required courses

Credit Hours

General Education1

41

Foreign Language classes (Intermediate level required)2

0-14

Philosophy course (In addition to General Education)

3

University electives

11-37

Cognate requirements

0-12

Major requirements (listed below)

39


 

120

1 The General Education program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.
2 The foreign language requirement may be satisfied by successful completion of the second semester of the intermediate level of the student’s chosen language (typically 232), or by placing out of that language through the Department of Foreign Language’s placement test.

Major Requirements

Core Courses

Credit Hours

SCOM 240. The Process of Human Communication

3

SCOM 242. Presentational Speaking

3

SCOM 245. Signs, Symbols, and Social Interaction

3

SCOM 280. Introduction to Communication Research1

3

SCOM 341. Persuasion

3

SCOM 394. Core Assessment in Communication Studies

0

Depth Requirement: (15 hours required from the depth areas below)

 

Communication Skills (Choose one of the following)

3

SCOM 243. Oral Interpretation
SCOM 247. Small Group Communication
SCOM 261. Public Relations Techniques I: Written
SCOM 332. Mediation
SCOM 342. Argument and Advocacy
SCOM 358. Business and Professional Communication Studies
SCOM 361. Public Relations Techniques II: Visual
SCOM 449. Communication Training

 

Communication Research (Choose one of the following)

3

SCOM 381. Communication Criticism
SCOM 383. Communication Research Methodologies
SCOM 386. Communication Survey Research

 

Communication Theory and Context (Choose three of the following)

9

SCOM 220. Introduction to Interpersonal Communication
SCOM 231. Introduction to Alternative Dispute Resolution
SCOM 248. Intercultural Communication
SCOM 260. Introduction to Public Relations
SCOM 270. Introduction to Health Communication
SCOM 313. Topics in Communication Studies (one to three credits)
SCOM 331. Communication and Conflict
SCOM 345. Nonverbal Communication
SCOM 346. Free Speech in America
SCOM 347. Communication, Diversity, and Popular Culture
SCOM 348. Communication and Gender
SCOM 349. Ethnographic Approaches to Communication Studies
SCOM 350. Organizational Communication
SCOM 352. Communication and Social Movements
SCOM 353. American Political Culture and Communication
SCOM 354. Communication, Environment and Environmentalism
SCOM 431. Legal Communication
SCOM 432. Senior Seminar in Conflict and Mediation Studies
SCOM 440. Advanced Interpersonal Communication
SCOM 448. Seminar in Cultural Communication
SCOM 450. Advanced Studies in Organizational Communication
SCOM 460. Public Relations Management
SCOM 461. Public Relations Campaigns
SCOM 470. Health Communication Campaigns
SCOM/SMAD/POSC 472. Media and Politics

 

Additional communication studies electives at the 300/400 levels

9


 

39

1 This course fulfills the College of Arts and Letters writing-intensive requirement for the major.

Bachelor of Science in Communications Studies

Degree Requirements

Required courses

Credit Hours

General Education1

41

Quantitative requirement2

3

Scientific Literacy requirement2

3-4

University electives

21-34

Cognate requirement

0-12

Major requirements (listed below)

39


 

120

1 The General Education program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.
2 In addition to course work taken to fulfill General Education requirement.

Major Requirements

Core Course Requirements

Credit Hours

SCOM 240. The Process of Human Communication

3

SCOM 242. Presentational Speaking

3

SCOM 245. Signs, Symbols, and Social Interaction

3

SCOM 280. Introduction to Communication Research1

3

SCOM 341. Persuasion

3

SCOM 394. Core Assessment in Communication Studies

0

Depth Requirement: (15 hours required from the depth areas below)

 

Communication Skills (Choose one of the following)

3

SCOM 243. Oral Interpretation
SCOM 247. Small Group Communication
SCOM 261. Public Relations Techniques I: Written
SCOM 332. Mediation
SCOM 342. Argument and Advocacy
SCOM 358. Business and Professional Communication Studies
SCOM 361. Public Relations Techniques II: Visual
SCOM 449. Communication Training

 

Communication Research (Choose one of the following)

3

SCOM 381. Communication Criticism
SCOM 383. Communication Research Methodologies
SCOM 386. Communication Survey Research

 

Communication Theory and Context (Choose three of the following)

9

SCOM 220. Introduction to Interpersonal Communication
SCOM 231. Introduction to Alternative Dispute Resolution
SCOM 248. Intercultural Communication
SCOM 260. Introduction to Public Relations
SCOM 270. Introduction to Health Communication
SCOM 313. Topics in Communication Studies (one to three credits)
SCOM 331. Communication and Conflict
SCOM 345. Nonverbal Communication
SCOM 346. Free Speech in America
SCOM 347. Communication, Diversity, and Popular Culture
SCOM 348. Communication and Gender
SCOM 349. Ethnographic Approaches to Communication Studies
SCOM 350. Organizational Communication
SCOM 352. Communication and Social Movements
SCOM 353. American Political Culture and Communication
SCOM 354. Communication, Environment and Environmentalism
SCOM 431. Legal Communication
SCOM 432. Senior Seminar in Conflict and Mediation Studies
SCOM 440. Advanced Interpersonal Communication
SCOM 448. Seminar in Cultural Communication
SCOM 450. Advanced Studies in Organizational Communication
SCOM 460. Public Relations Management
SCOM 461. Public Relations Campaigns
SCOM 470. Health Communication Campaigns
SCOM/SMAD/POSC 472. Media and Politics

 

Additional communication studies electives at the 300/400 levels

9


 

39

1 This course fulfills the College of Arts and Letters writing-intensive requirement for the major.

Cognate Requirement

Successful completion of a cognate area of study also is required for the major, unless the student has officially completed a second major or minor approved by the school. A cognate area is a structured set of courses outside the school but closely related to the major. These courses may stem from one department or a variety of departments. The courses must center on a common theme that complements and strengthens the major.
All cognates must:

  • Include a minimum of 12 credit hours, with at least 9 of these hours at the 300 level or above
  • Be pre-structured by the school or prepared jointly by the student and adviser
  • Receive approval from both the adviser and school director at the beginning of the student's program
  • Consist of courses in which the student receives a grade of "C" (2.0) or higher

Concentrations

Conflict Analysis and Intervention

This concentration prepares students to analyze conflict interaction and explore various methods of formal and informal conflict intervention in interpersonal, workplace, and legal contexts. Included among the conflict intervention processes studied are negotiation and mediation. A concentration in conflict analysis and intervention can prepare students for careers in human services, human resources, government, and dispute resolution, and is also useful for students who wish to pursue the study of law or careers in management and international relations. In addition to the 15 hours of required communication students courses, student studying conflict analysis and intervention must complete the following 18 hours from among the depth requirements. Additionally, students are encouraged to enroll in an internship during their junior or senior year.

Courses

Credit Hours

SCOM 231. Introduction to Alternative Dispute Resolution

3

SCOM 331. Communication and Conflict

3

SCOM 332. Mediation

3

SCOM 383. Communication Research Methodologies

3

SCOM 431. Legal Communication

3

SCOM 432. Senior Seminar in Conflict and Mediation

3


 

18

Cultural Communication

This concentration prepares students to analyze, engage, and manage communication situations where cultural identity becomes relevant to the persons involved in the interaction. Students study communication processes and theories that help explain dynamics of intercultural interactions in personal and professional contexts. The concentration affords students cultural competencies necessary for personal growth and professional success in increasingly diverse work and social settings. Communication skills learned here prepare students for careers in education, management and training, international relations, and law. In addition to the 15 hours of required communication studies courses, students studying communication and culture must complete the following hours from among the depth requirements. Additionally, students are encouraged to enroll in an internship during their junior or senior year.

Courses

Credit Hours

SCOM 248. Intercultural Communication

3

SCOM 347. Communication, Diversity and Popular Culture

3

SCOM 348. Communication and Gender

3

SCOM 349. Ethnographic Approaches to Communication Studies

3

SCOM 381. Communication Criticism

3

SCOM 448. Seminar in Cultural Communication

3


 

15

Health Communication Studies

This concentration prepares students to study communication in a variety of contexts within the health care environment. Students study communication interaction between health professionals and patients/clients and health promotion communication strategies. This concentration prepares students for a variety of careers including public relations director in a healthcare context, hospice manager, health director for corporations and many others.
In addition to the 15 hours of required communication studies courses, students studying health communication must complete the following hours from among the depth requirements. Students are encouraged to enroll in an internship during their junior or senior years.

Courses

Credit Hours

SCOM 260. Introduction to Public Relations

3

SCOM 261. Public Relations Techniques I Written

3

SCOM 270. Introduction to Health Communication

3

SCOM 350. Organizational Communication

3

SCOM 449. Communication Training

3

SCOM 470. Health Communication Campaigns

3


 

18

It is strongly recommended that health communication students take SCOM 381 for their second required research course.

Interpersonal Communication Studies

This concentration provides a liberal arts approach to the study of how people influence and relate to one another. Students examine the communication processes and effects that occur in a variety of settings. Areas of study that can be explored include communication in personal relationships, groups, public encounters and professional settings. Through a curriculum emphasizing theory, practice, research and the evaluation of content and behavior, students become prepared for careers in which effective communication is essential. This concentration also can prepare students for graduate or professional study in communication, law or human services.
In addition to the 15 hours of required communication studies courses, students studying interpersonal communication must complete the following 18 hours from among the depth requirements. Additionally, students are encouraged to enroll in an internship during their junior or senior year.

Courses

Credit Hours

SCOM 220. Introduction to Interpersonal Communication

3

SCOM 247. Small Group Communication

3

SCOM 345. Nonverbal Communication

3

SCOM 383. Communication Research Methodologies

3

SCOM 440. Advanced Interpersonal Communication

3

Choose one of the following:

3

SCOM 248. Intercultural Communication
SCOM 270. Health Communication
SCOM 331. Communication and Conflict
SCOM 348. Communication and Gender
SCOM 449. Communication Training

 


 

18

Organizational Communication Studies

Organizational communication involves the study of the ways people interact within organizations, such as business, government, education and non-profit groups. The specific focus of this concentration is internal and external communication of organizations. This concentration prepares students for careers in business and for the study of law.
In addition to the 15 hours of required communication studies courses, students studying organizational communication must complete the following 18 hours from among the depth requirements. Additionally, students are encouraged to enroll in an internship during their junior or senior year.

Courses

Credit Hours

SCOM 350. Organizational Communication

3

SCOM 449. Communication Training

3

SCOM 450. Advanced Organizational Communication

3

Communication research course (depth requirement)

3

Communication courses in theory and context (depth requirement)

6


 

18

Public Relations Studies

This concentration focuses on the management of communication between organizations and their internal and external publics with the goal of mutual understanding and influence. Public relations practitioners work with specific publics relative to focused goals. Preparation for a career in public relations should include a broad educational base and a variety of communication skills.
In addition to the 15 hours of required communication studies courses, students studying public relations must complete the following 18 hours from among the depth requirements in order to receive a letter upon graduation that verifies that they have completed a program of public relations studies. The school also recommends that students enroll in an internship during their junior or senior year.

Courses

Credit Hours

SCOM 260. Introduction to Public Relations

3

SCOM 261. Public Relations Techniques I: Written

3

SCOM 361. Public Relations Techniques II: Visual

3

SCOM 386. Communication Survey Research

3

SCOM 460. Public Relations Management

3

SCOM 461. Public Relations Campaigns

3


 

18

Public Communication Studies

This concentration is concerned with the presentation and management of messages in public contexts. Analysis, preparation and criticism of public messages prepares students for participation in public life. Professional preparation should include a broad educational base and a variety of communication skills. In addition to the 15 hours of required communication studies courses, students studying public communications must complete the following 15 hours from among the depth requirements. The school also recommends that students enroll in an internship during their junior or senior year.

Courses

Credit Hours

SCOM 342. Argument and Advocacy

3

SCOM 352. Communication and Social Movements

3

SCOM 353. American Political Culture and Communication

3

SCOM 381. Communication Criticism

3

SCOM 431. Legal Communication

3


 

15


Minor Requirements

Admission to the Minor

Admission to JMU does not guarantee admission to the School of Communication Studies. The School of Communication Studies reviews applications for admission to the minor each semester. All students interested in minoring in Communications Studies, Conflict and Mediation Studies, or Health Communication must apply for a limited number of spaces. Admission to the minor is based on availability to the most qualified students. Applicants with an average of 2.7 in SCOM 240 and SCOM 245 and a cumulative 2.7 GPA at JMU will be automatically admitted. Other applicants will be admitted based on qualifications and availability of spaces. Once admitted to the School of Communication Studies, a student cannot retroactively apply more than 9 hours of SCOM courses, including SCOM 240 and SCOM 245, to her/his minor.

Communication Studies Minor

A minor in communication studies requires 18 hours of course work in communication studies beyond the General Education requirement, including SCOM 240 and SCOM 245, and a minimum of nine hours at the 300 level or above. Before a student begins a minor in communication studies, the school director and the student's adviser must approve his or her planned program of study.

Conflict Analysis and Intervention

The minor in conflict analysis and intervention prepares students to analyze conflict interaction and explore various methods of formal and informal conflict intervention in interpersonal, workplace, and legal contexts. The program is intended for students not majoring in communication studies who wish to supplement and augment their major area of study. The requirements for a conflict analysis and intervention studies minor are 18 credit hours.


Courses

Credit Hours

SCOM 231. Introduction to Alternative Dispute Resolution

3

SCOM 240. Process of Human Communication

3

SCOM 245. Signs, Symbols and Social Interaction

3

SCOM 331. Communication and Conflict

3

SCOM 332. Mediation

3

Choose one from the following:

3

SCOM 247. Small Group Communication
SCOM 248. Intercultural Communication
SCOM 270. Introduction to Health Communication
SCOM 345. Nonverbal Communication
SCOM 348. Communication and Gender
SCOM 350. Organizational Communication
SCOM 352. Communications Social Movements
SCOM 353. American Political Culture and Communication
SCOM 431. Legal Communication

 


 

18

Health Communication Minor

The minor in health communication is designed to provide students not majoring in communication studies with conceptual and applied knowledge about communication interaction and its effects on health care, health care practitioners and patients/clients. In addition, the minor should provide students with knowledge of the functions of communication within health care organizations. It is designed for students pursuing careers in health communication or other health care fields.

Courses

Credit Hours

SCOM 240. Process of Human Communication

3

SCOM 245. Signs, Symbols and Social Interaction

3

SCOM 270. Introduction to Health Communication

3

SCOM 350. Organizational Communication

3

SCOM 450. Advanced Organizational Communication

3

SCOM 470. Health Communication Campaigns

3


 

18

Political Communication Minor

The School of Communication Studies and the Department of Political Science offer a joint minor in Political Communication with emphases on political campaigning and interest groups. The purpose of this minor is to provide students with conceptual, practical and applied knowledge in the fields of public and private interest groups and political campaigns. For a full description of this minor, refer to “Interdisciplinary Programs.” This minor is exempt from the School of Communication Studies Minor Admissions Policy.

 

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