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Communication Studies

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The Communication Studies Major

www.commstudies.las.iastate.edu

The Communication Studies Program focuses on human communication, exploring the ways humans create and negotiate meaning.  Communication Studies majors master a focused course of inquiry into interpersonal processes as they create and sustain relationships and impact individuals, groups, and organizations.  The Communication Studies curriculum builds primarily on social science traditions in developing a liberal arts education emphasizing human communication.  Students in the Communication Studies major study applied communication theory and research in interpersonal, small group, organizational, intercultural, and other contexts. 

The Communication Studies (ComSt) major teaches students how to think critically, giving them the ability to examine complex communication issues, and develop and implement strategies grounded in evidence-based research. This prepares students for careers in business and industry and graduate education. Students majoring in ComSt will find their career opportunities enhanced in professions requiring applied communication expertise, e.g., human resource management, public relations, training and development, sales management, recruitment, event planning, sales, management, organizational development, business communication, law, and international and intercultural relations.

ComSt majors must earn at least 120 credits, with 45 credits at the 300-400 levels, and a minimum of 33 credits in ComSt.

Communication Studies majors will...

  • Develop foundational knowledge of human communication
  • Apply human communication strategies in a diverse world
  • Evaluate and utilize evidence-based research
  • Cultivate communication competence

Communication Proficiency Requirement

To meet the University’s Communication Proficiency requirement students are required to take:

ENGL 150Critical Thinking and Communication3
ENGL 250Written, Oral, Visual, and Electronic Composition3
or ENGL 250H Written, Oral, Visual, and Electronic Composition: Honors
Plus one of the following:3
Business Communication
Proposal and Report Writing
Technical Communication
Business and Technical Editing
A C is required in ENGL 250 Written, Oral, Visual, and Electronic Composition (or ENGL 250H Written, Oral, Visual, and Electronic Composition, Honors).

 The Communication Studies Major

Core Requirements (15 credits)

COMST 101Introduction to Communication Studies3
COMST 102Introduction to Interpersonal Communication3
COMST 203Introduction to Communication Research Methods3
COMST 301Human Communication Theory3
Plus one of the following:3
Professional Communication
Conflict Management
Communication and U.S. Diversity
Total Credits15

 Upper Division Requirements (15 credits). Select five courses from the following

COMST 310Intercultural Communication3
COMST 311Studies in Interpersonal Communication3
COMST 313Leadership Communication Theories3
COMST 314Organizational Communication3
COMST 317Small Group Communication3
COMST 319Communication Training and Development3
COMST 325Nonverbal Communication3
COMST 330Computer Mediated Communication3
SP CM 323Gender and Communication3
Total Credits 15

 Capstone Course Requirement (3 credits)

COMST 404Research Seminar3

 Credits in COMST 384 Applied Organizational Communication, may not be applied toward the upper division requirements.

In accordance with college requirements, an overall average in Communication Studies courses of C (2.0) or better is required.

 Enhancement Requirement (4 credits)

COM S 103Computer Applications4

 Additional Recommended Courses

STAT 101Principles of Statistics4
SP CM 212Fundamentals of Public Speaking3
COMST 450Special Topics in Communication Studies3

The Communication Studies Minor (18 credits)

The requirements for a minor in ComSt may be fulfilled by credit in:

COMST 101Introduction to Communication Studies3
COMST 102Introduction to Interpersonal Communication3
COMST 203Introduction to Communication Research Methods3
COMST 301Human Communication Theory3
Plus six credits in 300-level ComSt courses. 6
Credits in COMST 384 Applied Organizational Communication, may not be applied toward the minor. Students must earn an overall average of C (2.0) or better in all courses taken for the minor.
Total Credits18

Communication Studies, B.A.

Freshman
FallCreditsSpringCredits
ENGL 1503COM S 1034
COMST 1013Social Science Choice3
Social Science Choice3Humanities Choice3
Humanities Choice3Natural Science Choice3
Natural Science Choice3Elective3
LIB 1601 
 16 16
Sophomore
FallCreditsSpringCredits
COMST 1023COMST 214 or 2183
Foreign Language/Elective3-4Foreign Language/Elective3-4
ENGL 2503Elective3
Humanities Choice3Math Choice (STAT 101 recommended)3-4
Social Science Choice3Elective(s) (if STAT 101 and/or For. Lang. is not taken)1-2
 15-16 13-16
Junior
FallCreditsSpringCredits
COMST 2033Upper Division Comm. Requirement3
COMST 3013Upper Division Comm. Requirement3
U.S. Diversity Choice3Humanities Choice3
Natural Science Choice3Elective - 300+3
Elective 300+3Elective - 300+3
 15 15
Senior
FallCreditsSpringCredits
Upper Division Comm Requirement3COMST 4043
Upper Division Comm Requirement3Upper Division Comm Requirement3
Any Elective3Verbal Comm--ENGL 302, 309, or 3143
Electives 300+3Elective 300+3
Elective 300+3Elective 300+3
 15 15

To meet Upper Division Comm Requirements students select from among the following:

  • COMST 301
  • COMST 310
  • COMST 311
  • COMST 313
  • COMST 314
  • COMST 317
  • COMST 319
  • COMST 325
  • COMST 330
  • SP CM 323

Students in all majors must complete a three-credit course in U.S. diversity and a three-credit course in international perspectives. (COMST 310 fulfills the international perspective requirement/COMST 210 and SP CM 323 fulfill the U.S. diversity requirement). Approved courses are listed at: http://www.registrar.iastate.edu/courses/div-ip-guide.html. Discuss with your adviser how the two courses that  you select can be applied to to your graduation plan.

LAS majors require a minimum of 120 credits, including a minimum of 45 credits at the 300/400 level. You must also complete the LAS foreign language requirement.

The LAS College requires all students to have a 2.0 in the major to graduate. This means students need a 2.0 GPA in the 33 hours taken to fulfill the major requirements in Communication Studies.

Expand all courses

Courses

Courses primarily for undergraduates:

(3-0) Cr. 3.


An introduction to communication theory, the development and functions of communication, and a survey of verbal, nonverbal, interpersonal, small group, organizational, and intercultural communication.

(0-2) Cr. 1.

Prereq: Concurrent enrollment in COMST 101.
Laboratory component of COMST 101. Skill building, experiential activities, and in-depth discussions relevant to the study of communication.

(3-0) Cr. 3.


Application of communication principles, theory, and research to the process of interpersonal communication; includes verbal and nonverbal communication, listening, and conflict management. Particular emphasis given to using communication to manage interpersonal relationships.

(1-0) Cr. 1.

Prereq: Available only for Communication Studies majors
Orientation to Communication Studies discipline, program requirements and career opportunities. Required of communication studies majors. Offered on a satisfactory-fail basis only.

(3-0) Cr. 3.

Prereq: COMST 101
An introduction to analyzing and conducting communication research. Provides an overview of quantitative and qualitative approaches to communication research.

(3-0) Cr. 3. F.S.SS.


Introduction to the role of diversity in communication. Developing competent communication with diverse social groups within interpersonal and organizational contexts in the United States. Topics may include structured reflection of one’s role in diverse communication experiences, cultural variations in communication mores, impacts of racial/ethnic/gender identities on communication, workplace policies regarding cultural diversity, the intersection of communication and cultural privilege, communication practices that can reduce prejudice/discrimination, and communication characteristics of advocates for diversity.
Meets U.S. Diversity Requirement

(3-0) Cr. 3.


Communication theory and skill development in organizational settings. Emphasis on interpersonal skill development, team and meeting facilitation, informational interviewing, individual and team presentations, and self-assessment.

(3-0) Cr. 3.


Exploration of communication theories, principles and methods associated with effective conflict management.

(3-0) Cr. 3.

Prereq: COMST 101
Examination of the major theories related to human communication; with particular emphasis on theories underlying interpersonal, small group, organizational, and intercultural communication.

(3-0) Cr. 3.

Prereq: COMST 101, COMST 102, COMST 203, COMST 301
Examines the theories, principles and research on intercultural communication to enhance cultural sensitivity and to recognize, accept, and adapt to cultural diversity. Interactive assignments.
Meets International Perspectives Requirement.

(3-0) Cr. 3.

Prereq: COMST 101, COMST 102, COMST 203, COMST 301
This class focuses on studies of contemporary interpersonal communication concepts and theories. Emphasis on research that examines issues central to communication in interpersonal relationships.

(3-0) Cr. 3. F.S.

Prereq: COMST 101, COMST 102, COMST 203, COMST 301
Investigation of theories, research and principles of leadership communication. Exploration of the contexts in which leadership and communication occurs, with emphasis on the connection between communication and leadership and the dyadic linkage of leader and follower.

(3-0) Cr. 3.

Prereq: COMST 101, COMST 102, COMST 203, COMST 301
Theory and research in organizational communication. Provides strategies for assessing and improving individual and organizational communication effectiveness. Addresses issues such as technology, diversity, work-life negotiation, emotional labor, conflict, socialization, and socially responsible organizations. Explores how organizational meaning is created and sustained through human communication.

(3-0) Cr. 3.

Prereq: COMST 101, COMST 102, COMST 203, COMST 301
Theory and research in small group communication; application to group decision-making and leadership. Includes communication analyses of groups and teams.

(3-0) Cr. 3.

Prereq: COMST 101, COMST 102, COMST 203, COMST 301
Theories and approaches to communication training and development; includes adult learning theory. Emphasis on the design, presentation and assessment of communication skills in organizational contexts.

(3-0) Cr. 3.

Prereq: COMST 101, COMST 102, COMST 203, COMST 301
Approaches to studying nonverbal communication. Foci include topics such as emotion, gestures, gaze, use of space, and parsing intention in social interaction.

(3-0) Cr. 3.

Prereq: COMST 101, COMST 102, COMST 203, COMST 301
Theories and approaches related to mediated communication in interpersonal and organizational settings. Focus on how new technology impacts human interaction and relationships.

(3-0) Cr. 3.

Prereq: COMST 101, COMST 102 or equivalent course.
Theory and research of micro-level organizational communication, including interpersonal and small group interactions taking place in a professional setting. Topics include interpersonal dynamics in such areas as conflict, generational communication, negotiation, superior/subordinate communication, external communication, and virtual communication. Not available for major credit.

(Dual-listed with COMST 504). (3-0) Cr. 3. Repeatable, maximum of 9 credits.

Prereq: COMST 301 plus 3 additional communication studies classes from the following list: COMST 310, COMST 311, COMST 313, COMST 314, COMST 317, COMST 319, COMST 325, or COMST 330.
Capstone communication studies course. Students develop an original research study linked to the study of communication. Data are collected and analyzed. Results are presented in a final research paper and a presentation.

(3-0) Cr. 3. Repeatable, maximum of 6 credits. F.S.


Research and theory related to special topics and issues in communication studies.

Cr. 1-3. Repeatable, maximum of 6 credits.

Prereq: 9 credits in communication studies and junior classification
Application must be submitted for approval the semester prior to the independent study.

Cr. arr. Repeatable, maximum of 6 credits. F.S.SS.

Prereq: COMST 203, COMST 301 plus permission of instructor.
Providing research assistance on projects conducted by Communication Studies faculty.

Cr. 1-3. Repeatable, maximum of 6 credits.

Prereq: 12 hours in Communication Studies including COMST 203, COMST 301, and one other 300-level COMST class. Junior Classification. Application required.
100 hours of on-site professional work per credit hour plus completion of the academic requirement set by the internship committee. Application should be submitted in the term prior to the term in which the internship will be served. Internship cannot be used to meet degree requirement in Communication Studies.

Courses primarily for graduate students, open to qualified undergraduates:

(Dual-listed with COMST 404). (3-0) Cr. 3. Repeatable, maximum of 9 credits.

Prereq: COMST 301 plus 3 additional communication studies classes from the following list: COMST 310, COMST 311, COMST 313, COMST 314, COMST 317, COMST 319, COMST 325, or COMST 330.
Capstone communication studies course. Students develop an original research study linked to the study of communication. Data are collected and analyzed. Results are presented in a final research paper and a presentation.

Cr. 1-4. Repeatable.


Application must be submitted for approval the semester prior to the independent study.