School of Speech Communication

Dr. Philip Emmert, Director


P. Emmert, Fuller, Gabbard-Alley, W. Kimsey, Rollman, Soenksen, Whitman

Assistant Professors

Rawlins, Wastyn, S. Williams


Barbee, V. Emmert, Goodwin, Wrenn

Course Descriptions: Speech Communication

The School of Speech Communication (formerly the Department of Human Communication) offers the Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees with a major in speech communication. In addition, a minor is offered in speech communication for students majoring in other disciplines.

A major in Speech Communication is intended to provide students with the opportunity to study the messages and outcomes resulting from human interactive processes involving the content and relationship dimensions of sources, receivers, channels and contexts. In providing this major the School of Speech Communication is committed to serving JMU students in three ways:

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 Speech Communication is that involving face-to-face communication between and among people, though mediated communication is studied as well in larger organizational and political contexts.

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.

Students with a major in speech communication may elect to concentrate their program in conflict and mediation studies, health communication studies, interpersonal communication studies, organizational communication studies, public communication studies or public relations studies. Students may design their own area of study in consultation with their school-assigned speech communication adviser, in programs of study in legal communication, gender communication and intercultural communication. Other areas of study are possible, depending on student interests. Students also can pursue general communication studies rather than developing a specific concentrated study program. The program must be approved by both the student's adviser and the School Director at the beginning of the program.

Major Requirements

Students must take at least 39 hours of work in speech communication beyond the liberal studies requirement. All programs must include at least four elements:

Students must have their program of study approved by both their adviser and the school director at the beginning of the program. Students pursuing the B.S. in speech communication are required to complete MATH 220, Elementary Statistics, or a school-approved statistics course with a grade of "C" or better. Refer to pages 45-49 for a detailed listing of the liberal studies requirements that must be completed in addition to school requirements.

The Speech Communication Major

Required Courses 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 3
SCOM 341. Persuasion 3
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
Speech Communication
SCOM 449. Communication Training
Communication Research 3
SCOM 383. Communication Research
SCOM 386. Communication Survey Research
SCOM 481. Communication Criticism
Communication Theory and Context 9
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 Speech Communication
(one to three credits)
SCOM 331. Communication and Conflict
SCOM 345. Nonverbal Communication
SCOM 346. Free Speech in America
SCOM 350. Organizational Communication
SCOM 352. Communication and Social Movements
SCOM 431. Legal Communication
SCOM 432. Senior Seminar in Conflict and
Dispute Resolution
SCOM 440. Advanced Interpersonal Communication
SCOM 450. Advanced Studies in
Organizational Communication
SCOM 452. Political Communication
SCOM 460. Public Relations Management
SCOM 461. Public Relations Campaigns
SCOM 470. Advanced Health Communication
Additional speech communication electives 9
at the 300/400 levels

Cognate Requirement

Successful completion of a cognate area of study, in addition to 39 hours, 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 or may not be from a single department, but should have a common theme which complements and strengthens the major. The cognate must be approved by the student's adviser and the School Director at the beginning of the student's program of study.

All cognates must meet the following criteria:

Special Requirements

Transfer Policy

Entering freshmen are accepted as the major is declared; but JMU students transferring from another department and undeclared students transferring after the freshman year must meet a minimum grade point average requirement. External transfers from other institutions may be subject to registration restrictions. For specific information, see the announcements in the class schedule each semester or consult the school director or course instructor.

Minimum Grades

All courses taken counted toward requirements in a speech communication major must carry a grade of "C" or better to apply. A speech communication course completed with a grade of "D" may be credited toward graduation but may not be included as course work toward a speech communication major or minor in any program or concentration.

Limitations in Applied Courses

No student may count toward a major in speech communication more than six hours combined credit in SCOM 318, Practicum in Speech Communication; SCOM 390, Directed Projects; and SCOM 495, Internship in Speech Communication.

Continue School of Speech Communication

College of Arts and Letters Directory

Undergraduate Catalog Contents

1996-97 Undergraduate Catalog
Last reviewed: 30 November 1996
Information Publisher: Division of Academic Affairs
James Madison University