Go to content

Undergraduate Catalog 2013-2014

Communication (COMM)

College of Arts and Humanities
2130 Skinner Building, 301-405-6519
www.comm.umd.edu
commadvising@umd.edu
Chair: E. Toth
Director: L. Waks (Director, Senior Lecturer)
Professors: E. Fink, R. Gaines, J. Klumpp, S. Parry-Giles, T. Parry-Giles, A. Wolvin
Associate Professors: D. Hample
Assistant Professors: S. Khamis, B. Liu, M. Liu, K. Maddux, X. Nan, A. Seate, E. Sommerfeldt
Lecturers: S. Cohen (Lecturer & Managing Dir.), R. Coleman, L. Gordon, J. Gowin, P. Grant, J. Hoffman, S. Hubbard, K. Lamb, J. McKinney, J. Murdock, D. Payne, S. Rubin, S. Simon, J. Tenney, R. Toth, J. Vandenbosch
Affiliate Professors: L. Aldoory, J. Fahnestock (ENGL), M. Gelfand (PSYC), A. Kruglanski (PSYC), Y. Peri (Prof & Dir), D. Rosenfelt (WMST)
Affiliate Associate Professors: S. McDaniel (KNES)
Professors Emeriti: J. Grunig, L. Grunig
Visiting Faculty: K. Kendall (Res Prof, Visit Prof), W. Lawson

The Major

Communication takes as its subject matter the history, processes, and effects of human communication through speech and its extensions.  The departmental curriculum is designed to provide a liberal education in the arts and sciences of human communication as well as preparation for career opportunities in business, government, education, law, and related fields.  Students pursue academic programs that emphasize many disciplinary areas, including intercultural communication, political communication, public relations, negotiation and conflict management, cognition and persuasion, rhetorical theory, risk communication, history of rhetoric, and criticism of public discourse.  Departmental advising is mandatory for new majors, second semester sophomores, and seniors.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the degree program in Communication, students should be able to demonstrate the following knowledge and skills:

1. An ability to distinguish among a variety of theoretical approaches in the communication discipline and use them appropriately and effectively in academic and professional work.

2. An ability to conduct research and write research reports employing social scientific and/or humanistic approaches in the communication discipline.

3. An ability to argue clearly and effectively in a speech.

Academic Programs and Departmental Facilities

The Center for Political Communication and Civic Leadership unites research, education, and public engagement to foster democratic communication by a diverse people.  See www.comm.center.umd.edu.

The Center for Health and Risk Communication (CHRC) advances dialogue and understanding about communication's role in controlling and preventing risk; about how publics perceive risk communication; and about the political, economic and social contexts for risk communication. Scholars associated with the CHRC examine health, food safety, security, and environmental risks.  See www.healthriskcenter.umd.edu.

The department's Oral Communication Center is designed to provide one-on-one tutoring and instructional support to further students' oral communication skills and confidence.  The Oral Communication Center is equipped with cameras and recording equipment to tape speeches and presentations for practice and critique. 
 

Admission to the Major

First-time Freshman

All first-time freshmen who designate communication as a major prior to the end of the final exam period of their first semester will be admitted directly to the program. They must sign a Memorandum of Understanding that states that they understand that by the semester in which they attain 45 University of Maryland credits (excluding AP), they must meet the following Gateway requirements.

a.   Complete 50% of the general education requirements, including Fundamental Studies requirements in Mathematics and English.

b.   Complete one of the following courses with a grade of C- or better: BMGT230, CCJS200, EDMS451, PSYC200, SOCY201, STAT100, or equivalent.

c.  Complete COMM107, COMM 200, or COMM230 with a grade of C- or better

d.   Complete COMM250 with a grade of C- or better and

e.   A GPA of 2.0 or better

Students may repeat only one of the Gateway courses and that may be repeated only once in their attempt to meet the requirements.  Students who fail to meet the Gateway requirements by the semester in which they attain 45 credits will be dismissed from the program and cannot reapply.

Transfer Students

Internal and external transfer students who meet the Gateway requirements specified above must also have a cumulative GPA of 2.7 in all college-level coursework to apply to the program.

Appeals

All students may appeal admission decisions. Students directly admitted as freshmen, who are dismissed because of failure to meet Gateway requirements or to be in good academic standing at 45 credits, may appeal directly to the Undergraduate Director in the Department of Communication. All other students who are denied admission may appeal to the university's Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Requirements for the Major

The course of study for a Communication major must satisfy all of the following requirements:

   

Credits

     

COMM107

Oral Communication: Principles and Practices, OR

3

COMM200

Critical Thinking and Speaking, OR

3

COMM230

Argumentation and Debate

3

COMM250

Introduction to Communication Inquiry

3

COMM400

Research Methods in Communication

3

COMM401

Interpreting Strategic Discourse

3

 

 

 

 

Completion of one of the following tracks: 

 

 

 

 

 

Social Influence Track

 

COMM402

Communication Theory and Process

3

 

Five from:

15

COMM420

Theories of Group Discussion

 

COMM424

Communication in Complex Organizations

 

COMM425

Negotiation and Conflict Management

 

COMM426

Conflict Management

 

COMM435

Theories of Interpersonal Communication

 

COMM470

Listening

 

COMM475

Persuasion

 

COMM477

Discourse Analysis

 

COMM482

Intercultural Communications

 

COMM 

COMM Elective

3

COMM UL

Upper Level COMM Elective

3

 

One Statistical Analysis from:

3-4

PSYC200

Statistical Methods in Psychology

 

SOCY201

Introductory Statistics for Sociology

 

BMGT230

Business Statistics

 

EDMS451

Introduction to Educational Statistics

 

STAT100

 Elementary Statistics and Probability

 

 

(or an equivalent course - see advisor)

 
 

One Structural Analysis of Language from:

3

LING200

Introductory Linguistics

 

HESP120

Introduction to Linguistics

 

ANTH380

Culture and Discourse

 
 

(or an equivalent course - see advisor)

 
     

COURSESXX

Courses related to Social Influence in one department other than COMM

9

     
 

Communication Studies Track

 

COMM402

Communication Theory and Process

3

 

One from:

3

COMM420

Theories of Group Discussion

 

COMM424

Communication in Complex Organizations

 

COMM425

Negotiation and Conflict Management

 

COMM426

Conflict Management

 

COMM435

Theories of Interpersonal Communication

 

COMM470

Listening

 

COMM475

Persuasion

 

COMM477

Discourse Analysis

 

COMM482

Intercultural Communications

 
 

One from:

3

COMM330

Argumentation and Public Policy

 

COMM360

The Rhetoric of Black America

 

COMM450

Ancient and Medieval Rhetorical Theory

 

COMM451

Renaissance & Modern Rhetoric Theory

 

COMM453

The Power of Discourse in American Life

 

COMM455

Speechwriting

 

COMM460

Public Life in American Communities, 1634-1900

 

COMM461

Voices of Public Leadership in the Twentieth Century

 

COMM469

The Discourse of Social Movements

 

COMM471

Public Communication Campaigns

 

COMM476

Language, Communication, and Action

 

COMM

COMM Elective

3

COMM300/400

Upper Level COMM Electives

12

 

One Statistical Analysis from:

3-4

PSYC200

Statistical Methods in Psychology

 

SOCY201

Introductory Statistics for Sociology

 

BMGT230

Business Statistics

 

EDMS451

Introduction to Educational Statistics

 

STAT100

 Elementary Statistics and Probability

 

 

 (or an equivalent course - see advisor)

 

 

One Structural Analysis of Language from:

3

LING200

Introductory Linguistics

 

HESP120

Introduction to Linguistics

 

ANTH380

Culture and Discourse

 
 

or an equivalent course - see advisor

 
 

 

 

COURSESXX

Courses related to Communication Studies in one department other than COMM

9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Public Relations Track

 

 

The requirements below are effective for incoming Fall 2008 freshmen and transfers admitted to Communication.

 

COMM231

News Writing and Reporting for Public Relations

3

COMM232

News Editing for Public Relations

3

COMM350

Public Relations Theory

3

COMM351

Public Relations Techniques

3

COMM352

Specialized Writing in Public Relations

3

COMM386

Experiential Learning*

 3-6

 

* only 3 credits apply to major

 

COMM483

Senior Seminar in Public Relations

3

COMM300/400

Upper Level COMM Electives

6

 

One Statistical Analysis from:

3-4

PSYC200

Statistical Methods in Psychology

 

SOCY201

Introductory Statistics for Sociology

4

BMGT230

Business Statistics

 

EDMS451

Introduction to Educational Statistics

 

STAT100

 Elementary Statistics and Probability

 

 

(or an equivalent course - see advisor)

 

COURSESXX

Courses related to Public Relations in one department other than COMM or JOUR

9

 

 

 

 

Rhetoric and Political Culture Track

 

COMM450

Ancient and Medieval Rhetorical Theory

3

 

Five from:

15

COMM330

Argumentation and Public Policy

 

COMM360

The Rhetoric of Black America

 

COMM451

Renaissance & Modern Rhetoric Theory

 

COMM453

The Power of Discourse in American Life

 

COMM455

Speechwriting

 

COMM460

Public Life in American Communities, 1634-1900

 

COMM461

Voices of Public Leadership in the Twentieth Century

 

COMM469

The Discourse of Social Movements

 

COMM471

Public Communication Campaigns

 

COMM476

Language, Communication, and Action

 

COMM 

COMM Elective

3

COMM300/400

Upper Level COMM Elective

3

 

One Critical Analysis of Discourse from:

3

AMST432

Literature and American Society

 

CMLT488

Genres

 

ENGL453

Literary Theory

 

JWST263

Hebrew Bible: Poetry and Prophecy

 

PHIL233

Philosophy in Literature

 

 

One Structural Analysis of Language from:

3

LING200

Introductory Linguistics

 

HESP120

Introduction to Linguistics

 

ANTH380

Culture and Discourse

 

 

or an equivalent course - see advisor

 

COURSESXX

Courses related to Rhetoric and Political Culture in one department other than COMM 

9

Notes:

  • Because the department's curriculum changes over time, the department's Undergraduate Director may approve other appropriate Communication courses to meet the requirements for each track.
  • Courses required for the Communication major, but taken outside COMM, may be used to satisfy general education requirements.
  • Only 3 credits of COMM386 may apply toward the major.
  • No course grade below the grade of C- may count toward the major.
  • An overall GPA of 2.0 in the major is required for graduation.

Requirements for the Minor

Rhetoric is the theory of persuasive communication, both written and spoken. The minor in rhetoric has been designed for students who want to know the principles and skills of practical persuasion in its varied contexts. The program will be of value for all students wishing to improve their writing and speaking skills and especially useful for those students who plan careers in business, management, law, government, and education. The minor in rhetoric is an interdisciplinary program offered through the cooperation of the Department of English and the Department of Communication.

To make an appointment to explore or declare a minor, go to www.arhu.umd.edu/undergraduate/academics/minors.

Fifteen semester hours of coursework are required:

  1. Six semester hours from the course list in Rhetorical Theory and Analysis of Discourse
  2. Six semester hours from the course list in Writing and Speaking Skills
  3. Three semester hours in electives from either section of the Rhetoric Course List
  4. At least nine of the fifteen semester hours must at the 300-level or higher (including at least six hours at the University of Maryland, College Park)
  5. No more than six of the fifteen semester hours may be taken at an institution other than the University of Maryland, College Park
  6. No more than six of the fifteen semester hours may count toward the student's major, supporting courses, and college requirements
  7. No course from the student's major department may count toward the minor
  8. No course used to satisfy a Fundamental Studies requirement may count toward the minor
  9. No course used to satisfy the requirements of another minor may count toward the rhetoric minor.
  10. No course grade below the grade of "C-" may count toward the minor
  11. An overall GPA of 2.0 in the minor is required for graduation.

Entering the Minor:

Students wishing to pursue the minor should review the requirements above, make tentative selections of courses below to satisfy these requirements, and meet with one of the advisers below. The earliest possible meeting to draft a list of courses is recommended.  Students must then officially declare the minor in rhetoric.

Current course lists for the minor in Rhetoric can be found at:
www.comm.umd.edu/rhetoricminor.html

 

Minor Advisors:

 

James F. Klumpp
Department of Communication
2122 Skinner Building

jklumpp@umd.edu

301-405-6520

 

Vassela Valiavitcharska
Department of English
3227 Tawes Hall
vvaliav@umd.edu

301-405-3757

 

Advising

Advising is available throughout the year in 2101D Skinner Building.  Students should check Testudo for their registration date and for any mandatory advising blocks.  Advising questions can be sent to commadvising@umd.edu or you may call 301-405-0862.

Undergraduate Research Experiences

Research experiences include assisting on faculty research projects, participating in special team research projects, and working with the department's Center for Political Communication and Civic Leadership and Center for Health and Risk Communication.

Internships

The department's internship program helps communication majors gain professional experience, build a professional portfolio, and take the first steps toward a career.  The department structures its internship program around a course, COMM386: Experiential Learning, offered each school term. 

Honors Program

The Honors Program provides students with an opportunity for intensive study of Communication. The program provides participants with opportunities to deepen their understanding of the discipline through supervised research with faculty, graduate-level coursework, and involvement in the intellectual life of the department.

Students interested in the Honors Program apply for the program, ordinarily during the second semester of the sophomore year or the first semester of the junior year. The application is filed with the Undergraduate Director. Students should have the following qualifications:

  • An overall GPA of 3.3 or above.
  • Completion of nine semester hours in Communication including COMM 250.
  • GPA of 3.5 or above in Communication.

Student Societies and Professional Organizations

Social and academic activities are available to students by participating in the following student organizations:  the Undergraduate Communication Association, the Lambda Pi Eta Honor Society, and the Maryland chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. 

Scholarships and Financial Assistance

The department offers the June Dowler Buteau Scholarship to a freshman student who exhibits academic excellence. 

Return to top