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School of Communication Studies

Mission Statement

The School of Communication Studies promotes an academic environment in which students, faculty and staff develop innovative communication practices and facilitate constructive dialogue in the classroom and community to inspire responsible citizenship in a diverse world. We are committed to the teaching of communication theory and criticism, the development of communication and advocacy skills, the research of communication processes and practices, and the application of generated knowledge about human communication toward the betterment of self and community.

Accordingly, members of the School of Communication Studies strive to create a learning environment whereby:

  • Individuals are academically well-rounded, diverse in experience and reflective in their methods, research, and skill sets for approaching communication;
  • Scholarship is communication focused, but inter-disciplinary in approach, and produces meaningful dialogue within our academic disciplines and communities;
  • Professional service, outreach to communities, and advocacy for human betterment is valued by and from each individual.

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

Students of communication studies develop skill competencies required for effective interaction and leadership in communities, workplaces, and groups. Some of these skills include:

  • Speaking
  • Interacting in small groups
  • Using nonverbal communication skills such as use of space, voice, gaze 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 at all levels including interpersonal, small group and organizational
  • Persuading successfully
  • Using language effectively
  • Writing effectively
  • Mediating and resolving conflicts
  • Listening and problem solving

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 practicums 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.

Activities

  • Institute for Conflict Analysis and Interventions: Activities concern the use of methods of alternative dispute resolution for resolving conflicts.
  • Annual Communication Studies Conference: Annual program highlighting undergraduate scholarship in which students deliver professional presentations to the JMU community on a variety of topics that reflect the diverse research methodologies and areas of study in the School of Communication Studies.
  • International Undergraduate Research Conference: Annual conference provides a forum for undergraduate research in the broad range of topics in conflict transformation. Papers may be presented live or via video-teleconferencing.
  • 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.
  • Destination Imagination: Students interested in effective conflict resolution and mediation skills can participate in the activities.
  • Public Relations Student Society Association: An award-winning student organization for students pursuing careers in public relations.
  • Health Communication Institute: Students interested in effective communication with health communication professionals can work with the institute in a practicum or directed project.

Admission to the Major

Admission to JMU does not guarantee admission to the School of Communication Studies. All students interested in majoring in the program must apply for a limited number of spaces while first completing SCOM 240 and SCOM 241. In order to register for these classes, students must change their major to “SCOM declared” to register for SCOM 240 and SCOM 241.

The School of Communication Studies reviews applications for admission to the major each semester. Students must submit their applications (which can be accessed from the SCOM website and submitted by email) in the semester in which they are completing the SCOM 240 and SCOM 241 requirements. Applications are due by November 15 (fall semester) and April 15 (spring semester). Students who have applied by the above deadlines will be notified of the department’s admission decision at the end of the semester in which they complete the SCOM 240 and SCOM 241 requirements.

Admission to the major is based on availability to the most qualified students as determined by performance in SCOM 240 and SCOM 241. It is possible for a student to be accepted into the major but not into their first choice concentration.

Students who are not admitted may file one more additional application in the next regular semester. Students reapplying must apply in two consecutive semesters of enrollment at the university. If a student reapplies after retaking SCOM 240 and SCOM 241 (whether repeat or repeat/forgive), the school will look only at their highest grades earned when evaluating their second application.

Successful completion of a major in the School of Communication Studies requires, at the very least, a minimum of four semesters after a student is fully admitted to the School. Depending upon the student’s particular circumstances and degree progress, more than four semesters may be required for completing the major. Once admitted to the School of Communication Studies, a student cannot retroactively apply more than nine hours of SCOM courses, including SCOM 240 and SCOM 241, to his/her major.Policy for Students Transferring from Another Institution

Students applying from other institutions are held to the same policies and guidelines as other applicants. However, once admitted to the School of Communication Studies, transfer students may petition for SCOM credit for courses taken at previous institutions. As with other applicants, they cannot retroactively apply more than nine hours of SCOM courses taken at JMU, including SCOM 240 and SCOM 241, to their major or minor once admitted to the School of Communication Studies.

Policy for Students Transferring from Another Institution

Students applying from other institutions are held to the same policies and guidelines as other applicants. However, once admitted to the School of Communication Studies, transfer students may petition for SCOM credit for courses taken at previous institutions. As with other applicants, they cannot retroactively apply more than nine hours of SCOM courses taken at JMU, including SCOM 240 and SCOM 241, to their major or minor once admitted to the School of Communication Studies.

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. Additionally, courses completed with a grade less than "C" will not count as fulfilling prerequisites for future courses, and enrolled students may be administratively removed from courses for which they have not completed a required prerequisite with a grade of "C" or higher.

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.

Double Counting

Students with a communication studies major are allowed to count toward the major a maximum of six hours of credit earned to satisfy requirements in another major or minor.

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:

  • Twelve hours of required courses.
  • Successful completion of SCOM 394, Core Assessment in Communication Studies, upon completion of the core requirements.
  • Fifteen hours of courses within distribution areas to meet the school depth requirement.
  • Nine hours of free elective courses in communication studies at the 300 or 400 level and three hours at the 200,300 or 400 level.
  • Twelve hours of course work at the 300 level or above outside of the major program of study; or a second major or minor.

Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies

Degree Requirements

Required Courses

Credit Hours

General Education 1

41

Foreign language classes (intermediate level required) 2

0-14

Philosophy course (in addition to General Education courses)

3

University electives 3

11-49

Major requirements (listed below)

39


 

120

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 Languages, Literatures and Cultures' placement test.
3 A minimum of 12 credit hours of university electives must be at the 300 level or above, or students must earn a second major or minor.

Major Requirements

Core Requirements

Credit Hours

SCOM 240. Introduction to Communication Theory

2

SCOM 241. Communication Theory Lab

1

SCOM 242. Presentational Speaking

3

SCOM 280. Introduction to Communication Research 1

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 247. Small Group Communication

 

SCOM 261. Public Relations Techniques I: Written

 

SCOM 332. Mediation

 

SCOM/JUST 333. Negotiations

 

SCOM 340. Principles and Processes of Interviewing

 

SCOM 342. Argument and Advocacy

 

SCOM 344. Oral Interpretation

 

SCOM 358. Business and Professional Communication Studies

 

SCOM 361. Public Relations Techniques II: Visual

 

SCOM 365. Sports Public Relations

 

SCOM 367. Advanced Public Relations Writing

 

SCOM 447. Facilitating Public Processes

 

SCOM 449. Communication Training

 

Communication Research (choose one of the following):

3

SCOM 381. Communication Criticism

 

SCOM 383. Communication Research Methodologies

 

SCOM 385. Qualitative Communication Research Methods

 

SCOM 386. Communication Survey Research

 

Communication Theory and Context (choose three of the following): 2

9

SCOM 248. Intercultural Communication

 

SCOM 260. Introduction to Public Relations

 

SCOM/ANTH 305. Language and Culture

 

SCOM 313. Topics in Communication Studies (1-3 credits)

 

SCOM 314. Communication in Romantic Relationships

 

SCOM 320. Introduction to Interpersonal Communication

 

SCOM 330. Special Topics in Interpersonal Communication

 

SCOM 331. Communication and Conflict

 

SCOM 334.  Alternative Dispute Resolution

 

SCOM 345. Nonverbal Communication

 

SCOM 346. Free Speech in America

 

SCOM 347. Communication, Diversity and Popular Culture

 

SCOM/WMST 348. Communication and Gender

 

SCOM 349. Ethnographic Approaches to Communication Studies

 

SCOM 350. Organizational Communication

 

SCOM/WRTC 351. Visual Rhetoric

 

SCOM 352. Communication and Social Movements

 

SCOM 353. American Political Culture and Communication

 

SCOM 354/WRTC 326. Environmental Communication and Advocacy

 

SCOM 357. Youth, Communication and Culture

 

SCOM 370 Introduction to Health Communication

 

SCOM 371.Talking through Tough Cases: Ethical Principles and Practices in Communication Studies

 

SCOM 395. Study Abroad Seminar

 

SCOM 413. Advanced Topics in Communication Studies

 

SCOM/WMST/WRTC 420. Feminist Rhetorics

 

SCOM 425. Leadership Communication

 

SCOM 431. Legal Communication

 

SCOM 432. Senior Seminar in Conflict and Mediation Studies

 

SCOM 440. Family Communication

 

SCOM/ANTH/HIST 441. Oral History and Social Justice

 

SCOM 442. Advanced Topics in Advocacy Studies

 

SCOM 448. Communication, Culture and Identity

 

SCOM 450. Advanced Studies in Organizational Communication

 

SCOM 453. Political Campaign Communication

 

SCOM 460. Public Relations Management

 

SCOM 461. Public Relations Campaigns

 

SCOM 463. International Public Relations

 

SCOM 464. Communication, Culture and Sport

 

SCOM 467. Global Public Relations Seminar

 

SCOM 470. Health Communication Campaigns

 

SCOM 471. Culture and Health Communication

 

SCOM/SMAD/POSC 472. Media and Politics

 

Additional communication studies elective at the 200, 300 or 400 level

Additional communication studies electives at the 300-400 levels


 

39

1 This course fulfills the College of Arts and Letters writing-intensive requirement for the major.
2 At least one theory and context course requirement must be at the 400-level.

Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies

Degree Requirements

Required Courses

Credit Hours

General Education 1

41

Quantitative requirement 2

3

Scientific Literacy requirement 2

3-4

University electives 3

21-46

Major requirements (listed below)

39


 

120

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.
3 A minimum of 12 credit hours of university electives must be at the 300 level or above, or students must earn a second major or minor.

In addition, students pursuing a B.S. in communication studies must complete MATH 220. Elementary Statistics or a school-approved statistics course with a grade of "C" (2.0) or better. School-approved statistics courses include, but are not limited to, COB 191, Business Statistics. MATH 220 can count as either a General Education or a B.S. quantitative requirement, but not both.

Major Requirements

Core Requirements

Credit Hours

SCOM 240. Introduction to Communication Theory

2

SCOM 241. Communication Theory Lab

1

SCOM 242. Presentational Speaking

3

SCOM 280. Introduction to Communication Research 1

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 247. Small Group Communication

 

SCOM 261. Public Relations Techniques I: Written

 

SCOM 332. Mediation

 

SCOM/JUST 333. Negotiations

 

SCOM 340. Principles and Processes of Interviewing

 

SCOM 342. Argument and Advocacy

 

SCOM 344. Oral Interpretation

 

SCOM 358. Business and Professional Communication Studies

 

SCOM 361. Public Relations Techniques II: Visual

 

SCOM 365. Sports Public Relations

 

SCOM 367. Advanced Public Relations Writing

 

SCOM 447. Facilitating Public Processes

 

SCOM 449. Communication Training

 

Communication Research (choose one of the following):

3

SCOM 381. Communication Criticism

 

SCOM 383. Communication Research Methodologies

 

SCOM 385. Qualitative Communication Research Methods

 

SCOM 386. Communication Survey Research

 

Communication Theory and Context (choose three of the following): 2

9

SCOM 248. Intercultural Communication

 

SCOM 260. Introduction to Public Relations

 

SCOM/ANTH 305. Language and Culture

 

SCOM 313. Topics in Communication Studies (1-3 credits)

 

SCOM 314. Communication in Romantic Relationships

 

SCOM 320. Introduction to Interpersonal Communication

 

SCOM 330. Special Topics in Interpersonal Communication

 

SCOM 331. Communication and Conflict

 

SCOM 334. Alternative Dispute Resolution

 

SCOM 345. Nonverbal Communication

 

SCOM 346. Free Speech in America

 

SCOM 347. Communication, Diversity and Popular Culture

 

SCOM/WMST 348. Communication and Gender

 

SCOM 349. Ethnographic Approaches to Communication Studies

 

SCOM 350. Organizational Communication

 

SCOM/WRTC 351. Visual Rhetoric

 

SCOM 352. Communication and Social Movements

 

SCOM 353. American Political Culture and Communication

 

SCOM 354/WRTC 326. Environmental Communication and Advocacy

 

SCOM 357. Youth, Communication and Culture

 

SCOM 370. Introduction to Health Communication

 

SCOM 371. Talking through Tough Cases: Ethical Principles and Practices in Communication Studies

 

SCOM 395. Study Abroad Seminar

 

SCOM 413. Advanced Topics in Communication Studies

 

SCOM/WMST/WRTC 420. Feminist Rhetorics

 

SCOM 425. Leadership Communication

 

SCOM 431. Legal Communication

 

SCOM 432. Senior Seminar in Conflict and Mediation Studies

 

SCOM 440. Family Communication

 

SCOM/ANTH/HIST 441. Oral History and Social Justice

 

SCOM 442. Advanced Topics in Advocacy Studies

 

SCOM 448. Communication, Culture and Identity

 

SCOM 450. Advanced Studies in Organizational Communication

 

SCOM 453. Political Campaign Communication

 

SCOM 460. Public Relations Management

 

SCOM 461. Public Relations Campaigns

 

SCOM 463. International Public Relations

 

SCOM 464. Communication, Culture and Sport

 

SCOM 467. Global Public Relations Seminar

 

SCOM 470. Health Communication Campaigns

 

SCOM 471. Culture and Health Communication

 

SCOM/SMAD/POSC 472. Media and Politics

 

Additional communication studies elective at the 200, 300 or 400 level

Additional communication studies electives at the 300-400 levels



 

39

1 This course fulfills the College of Arts and Letters writing-intensive requirement for the major.
2 At least one theory and context course requirement must be at the 400-level. 

Concentrations 

Advocacy Studies

This concentration prepares students to understand, critically evaluate and engage the communication theories, processes, media institutions and communication technologies that citizens, political leaders, government officials, public administrators, interest groups and community service organizations use to campaign, deliberate, adjudicate, govern and advocate for social change. Skilled advocates adopt, develop and implement diverse sets of communication strategies that help clients articulate interests and goals, determine social systems and audiences most likely to achieve goals, identify effective media and appropriate goal oriented messages, and develop plans for implementing change.

In addition to the 12 hours of required communication studies courses, students studying advocacy must complete the following 18 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 442. Advanced Topics in Advocacy Studies 

3

Choose one of the following:

3

SCOM 331. Conflict and Communication

 

SCOM/WRTC 343. Contemporary Rhetorical Theory and Practice

 

SCOM 346. Free Speech in America

 

SCOM 347. Communication, Diversity and Popular Culture

 

SCOM 354/WRTC 326. Environmental Communication and Advocacy

 

SCOM/SMAD 357. Youth, Communication and Culture

 

SCOM/SMAD/WRTC 420. Feminist Rhetorics

 

SCOM 431. Legal Communication

 

SCOM 453. Political Campaign Communication

 

SCOM 470. Health Communication Campaigns

 

SCOM/SMAD/POSC 472. Media and Politics

 

SCOM 495. Internship in Advocacy Studies

 


 

18

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, legal, political, religious and intercultural contexts. Included among the conflict intervention processes studied are family therapy, community dialogue, negotiation and mediation. A concentration in conflict analysis and intervention can prepare students for careers in human services, human resources, government, peacebuilding, conflict intervention and humanitarian agencies, and dispute resolution. It is also useful for students who wish to pursue the study of law or careers in business management, diplomacy and international relations.

In addition to the 12 hours of required communication studies courses, students 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 331. Communication and Conflict

3

SCOM 332. Mediation

3

SCOM 334. Alternative Dispute Resolution

3

SCOM 385. Qualitative Communication Research Methods

3

SCOM 432. Senior Seminar in Conflict and Mediation

3

Choose one of the following:

3

SCOM/ANTH 305. Language and Culture

 

SCOM 333. Negotiation

 

SCOM 349. Ethnographic Approaches to Communication Studies

 

SCOM 354/WRTC 326. Environmental Communication and Advocacy

 

SCOM 371. Talking Through Tough Cases: Ethical Principles and Practice

 

in Communication Studies

 

SCOM 395. Study Abroad in Northern Ireland Seminar

 

SCOM 431. Legal Communication

 

SCOM 440. Family Communication

 


 

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 analyze 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 12 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 349. Ethnographic Approaches to Communication Studies

3

SCOM 448. Communication, Culture and Identity

3

Choose one of the following:

3

SCOM 381. Communication Criticism

 

SCOM 385. Qualitative Communication Research Methods

 

Choose two of the following:

6

SCOM 305. Language and Culture

 

SCOM 347. Communication, Diversity and Popular Culture

 

SCOM 348. Communication and Gender

 

SCOM 352. Communication and Social Movements

 

SCOM 357. Youth, Communication and Culture 

 


 

18

Health Communication Studies

This concentration prepares students for careers in patient advocacy, health promotion and education, social marketing, health-related public relations, health-related writing, pharmacy sales and health-related advertising. Students will gain strong writing and research skills, project management expertise, leadership and team building, as well as gain knowledge in the areas of interpersonal doctor-patient communication, health campaigns and public health, culture and health, ethics and health and organizational communication.

In addition to the 12 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 370. Introduction to Health Communication

3

SCOM 470. Health Communication Campaigns

3

Choose one of the following:

3

SCOM 350. Organizational Communication

 

SCOM 371. Talking Through Tough Cases: Ethical Principles And Practices

 

in Communication Studies

 

SCOM 471. Culture and Health Communication

 

Choose one of the following:

3

SCOM 381. Communication Criticism

 

SCOM 383. Communication Research Methodology

 

SCOM 385. Qualitative Communication Research Methods

 

SCOM 386. Communication Survey Research

 


 

18

Interpersonal Communication Studies

Students analyze how messages are used to manage personal relationships in social and professional contexts. By examining research, theory and processes of interpersonal communication, students learn important principles for managing impressions and building rapport, identifying needs and pursuing influence goals, reducing relational uncertainty and adapting to change. Students completing the concentration learn to communicate the value of healthy relationships, are well prepared for graduate school, and develop relational skills for excelling in careers such as peer counseling, education, family and human services, sales and management, aging services, ministry and community leadership.

In addition to the 12 hours of required communication studies courses, students must complete the following 18 hours from among the depth requirements. Students are encouraged to enroll in an internship as well as become involved in a research or community service project during their junior or senior years.

Courses

Credit Hours

SCOM 320. Introduction to Interpersonal Communication

3

SCOM 440. Family Communication

3

Choose one of the following:

3

SCOM 247. Small Group Communication

 

SCOM 248. Intercultural Communication

 

SCOM 334.  Alternative Dispute Resolution

 

SCOM 370. Introduction to Health Communication

 

SCOM 432. Senior Seminar in Conflict Analysis and Intervention

 

Choose one of the following research requirements:

 

SCOM 381. Communication Criticism

3

SCOM 383. Communication Research Methodologies

 

SCOM 385. Qualitative Communication Research Methods

 

SCOM 386. Communication Survey Research

 

Choose one of the following:

3

SCOM 332. Mediation

 

SCOM 340. Principles and Processes of Interviewing

 

Choose one of the following:

3

SCOM 314. Communication in Romantic Relationships

 

SCOM 331. Communication and Conflict

 

SCOM 345. Nonverbal Communication

 



 

18

 

Students are encouraged to enroll in SCOM 330, Special Topics in Interpersonal Communication, in partial fulfillment of their SCOM elective requirement.

Organizational Communication Studies

Organizational communication involves the study of the ways people interact within organizations, such as business, government, education and nonprofit groups. The specific focus of this concentration is internal and external communication of organizations. This concentration prepares students for careers in business, consulting, training and event planning and for the study of law.

In addition to the 12 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 358. Business and Professional Communication Studies

3

SCOM 425. Leadership Communication

3

SCOM 450. Advanced Studies in Organizational Communication

3

Choose one of the following:

3

SCOM 447. Facilitating Public and Organizational Engagement Processes

 

SCOM 449. Communication Training

Communication research course (depth requirement)

3


 

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 audiences 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 12 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

Choose one of the following:

3

SCOM 361. Public Relations Techniques II: Visual

 

SCOM 367. Advanced Public Relations Writing

 

Choose one of the following:

3

SCOM 383. Communication Research Methods

 

SCOM 386. Communication Survey Research

 

SCOM 460. Public Relations Management

3

SCOM 461. Public Relations Campaigns

3


 

18

Minor Requirements

Admission to the Minor

Admission to JMU does not guarantee admission to a minor in the School of Communication Studies. All students interested in minoring in the program must apply for a limited number of spaces while first completing SCOM 240 and SCOM 241. In order to register for these classes, students must first submit their application for an SCOM minor. Applications can be accessed on the SCOM website and must be submitted by email. The School of Communication Studies reviews applications for admission to the minor each semester. Students who have applied will be notified of the department’s admission decision at the end of the semester in which they complete the SCOM 240 and SCOM 241 requirements.

Admission to an SCOM minor is based on availability to the most qualified students as determined by performance in SCOM 240 and SCOM 241.

Students who are not admitted may file one more additional application in the next regular semester. Students reapplying must apply in two consecutive semesters of enrollment at the university. If a student reapplies after retaking SCOM 240 and SCOM 241 (whether repeat or repeat/forgive), the school will look only at their highest grades earned when evaluating their second application.

Successful completion of any minor in the School of Communication Studies requires, at the very least, a minimum of two semesters after a student is fully admitted to the School. Depending upon the student’s particular circumstances and degree progress, more than two semesters may be required for completing the minor. Once admitted to the School of Communication Studies, a student cannot retroactively apply more than nine hours of SCOM courses, including SCOM 240 and SCOM 241, to his/her minor. Also, once admitted to an SCOM minor, a student cannot automatically transfer into the SCOM major without reapplying in a subsequent semester, and there is no guarantee of acceptance.

Communication Studies Minor

A minor in communication studies requires 18 hours of course work in communication studies beyond the General Education requirement, including SCOM 240SCOM 241 and a minimum of nine hours at the 300 level and three hours at the 400 level. 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 Minor

The minor in conflict analysis and intervention prepares students to analyze conflict interaction and explore various methods of formal and informal conflict intervention in a wide variety of 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 240. Introduction to Communication Theory

2

SCOM 241. Communication Studies Lab

1

SCOM 331. Communication and Conflict

3

SCOM 332. Mediation

3

SCOM 432. Senior Seminar in Conflict Analysis and Intervention

3

Choose two of the following:

6

SCOM 245. Signs, Symbols and Social Interaction

 

SCOM 320. Introduction to Interpersonal Communication

 

SCOM 333. Negotiations

 

SCOM 334. Alternative Dispute Resolution

 

SCOM 350. Organizational Communication

 

SCOM/WMST 348. Communication and Gender

 

SCOM 352. Communication and Social Movements

 

SCOM 353. American Political Culture and Communication

 

SCOM 371. Talking Through Tough Cases: Ethical Principles and

 

Practices in Communication Studies

 

SCOM 431. Legal Communication

 


 

18

Cultural Communication Minor

The minor in cultural communication is designed to provide students with principles and theories of communication processes that help explain dynamics of intercultural interactions in personal and professional contexts. The program is intended for students not majoring in communication studies who wish to augment their major area of study, develop skills of cultural competence and increase their awareness of diversity.

Courses

Credit Hours

SCOM 240. Introduction to Communication Theory

2

SCOM 241. Communication Studies Lab

1

SCOM 248. Intercultural Communication

3

SCOM 349. Ethnographic Approaches to Communication Studies

3

SCOM 448. Communication, Culture and Identity

3

Choose two from the following:

6

SCOM 305. Language and Culture

 

SCOM 347. Communication, Diversity and Popular Culture

 

SCOM/WMST 348. Communication and Gender

 

SCOM 352. Communication and Social Movements

 

SCOM/SMAD 357. Youth, Communication and Culture

 


 

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. Students will gain strong writing and research skills, project management expertise, leadership and team building skills as well as gain knowledge in the areas of interpersonal doctor-patient communication, health campaigns and public health, culture and health, ethics and health, and organizational communication. It is designed for students pursuing careers in related health care fields or for students who have an interest in health communication.

Courses

Credit Hours

SCOM 240. Introduction to Communication Theory

2

SCOM 241. Communication Studies Lab

1

SCOM 370. Introduction to Health Communication

3

SCOM 470. Health Communication Campaigns

3

SCOM 471. Culture and Health Communication

3

Choose any two SCOM courses

6



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 the political communication minor entry in the cross disciplinary minor section. This minor is exempt from the School of Communication Studies minor admissions policy.

Sport Communication Minor

The School of Communication Studies administers a cross disciplinary minor in sport communication. For a full description of this minor, refer to the sport communication minor entry in the cross disciplinary minor section.