• Communication Studies

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    Communication Studies
    MS-B1801
    Hamline University
    1536 Hewitt Avenue
    Saint Paul, MN 55104

    651-523-2296

    Patricia Palmerton
    Department Chair
    651-523-2228
    ppalmerton@hamline.edu

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    Communication Studies Courses

    COMM 1100 - Introduction to Communication Studies

    Goals: To introduce students to the field of communication studies by providing an overview of approaches to studying communication in a variety of contexts.

    Content: An examination of the research and theory related to the dynamics of human communication. The process of attributing and sharing meaning, the effects of nonverbal behavior on interpretation and meaning attribution, the factors influencing interpersonal, small group, organizational, intercultural, and mass communication.

    Taught: Annually.

    Prerequisites: None.

    Credits: 4 credits

    COMM 1110 - Public Speaking

    Goals: To develop an awareness of the role of public discourse in American society; to achieve an understanding of the processes of research, reasoning, and rhetorical invention that underlie the creation of effective oral arguments and critical listening; to develop competence in basic public speaking skills; to learn to present information more clearly, and to argue a case more effectively.

    Content: Theory of communication in the public setting; factors influencing message creation and construction; the role of research and evidence in public discourse; adaptation to the communication situation and audience; ethical issues in public communication; exposition; argumentation and persuasion; delivery.

    Taught: Annually.

    Prerequisites: None.

    Credits: 4 credits

    COMM 1320 - Introduction to Critical Media Studies

    Goals: To introduce students to conceptual frameworks of critical media studies; to create savvy media consumers by teaching them to understand forces behind media institutions that influence the ways they create messages; to learn to construct and express oral arguments pertaining to media issues more effectively and more academically.

    Content: New media and old media, media theory, communications infrastructure, media ownership, media impact, media policy and law, media ethics.

    Taught: Annually.

    Prerequisites: None.

    Credits: 4 credits

    COMM 1650 - Argumentation and Advocacy 

    Goals: To study argumentation theories, including historical perspectives and current approaches; to understand arguments as a method of inquiry and advocacy, and as a problem-solving tool; to consider the ethical implications of formal and informal argument; to increase skills in critical thinking, in evaluation of evidence and reasoning, in developing strategies for the invention of persuasive argument, in evaluating formal and informal argument, and in justifying argumentation choices. To learn to construct and express oral arguments effectively in a public setting.

    Content: Analysis of theories and strategies of argumentation; application of principles and theories of argumentation; emphasis on critical assessment of argumentation in a variety of contexts and media.

    Taught: Annually.

    Prerequisites: None.

    Credits: 4 credits

    COMM 3180 - Film Studies

    Crosslisted under Theatre Arts, THTR 3180.

    COMM 3300 - Communication Research Methods

    Goals: To introduce a range of research methods used in studying communication; to develop an understanding of the purposes of communication research; to learn how to design a research project; to identify strengths and limitations of various research methods; to develop an appreciation of ethical issues in research.

    Content: Various types of research methods, both qualitative and quantitative, such as experimental research, survey research, ethnographic research, textual analysis, content analysis, historical/critical research.

    Taught: Annually.

    Prerequisite: COMM 1100 or consent of instructor.

    This course must be completed by the end of the junior year to be eligible for departmental honors. It is also a prerequisite for the Senior Research Seminar (COMM 5900).

    Credits: 4 credits

    COMM 3320 - Mass Communication

    Goals: To study the characteristics of mass communication creation, dissemination, consumption, and impact.

    Content: Analysis of theoretical approaches to studying and understanding mass media; discussion of the historical development and current and future technologies of print and electronic media; technical, regulatory, economic, social, and ethical factors in mass communication; and the impact of mass media in society.

    Taught: Annually.

    Prerequisite: COMM 1100 or COMM 1320, acceptance into the international journalism certificate program, or consent of instructor.

    Credits: 4 credits

    COMM 3360 - Interpersonal Communication

    Goals: To study one-on-one and relational communication; to provide opportunities to examine individual communication interaction patterns.

    Content: Overview and analysis of theories of interpersonal communication. Topics include communication and self-image, self-disclosure relationship communication, conflict and communication, communication and relationship development, and analysis of conversation. Attention is given to ways of studying interpersonal communication interaction and practical application.

    Taught: Annually.

    Prerequisite: COMM 1100 strongly recommended.

    Credits: 4 credits

    COMM 3370 - Family Communication

    Goals: To introduce students to a wide variety of theories that attempt to describe, explain, and analyze the different kinds of issues and interpersonal dynamics in the field of family communication; to become familiar with the ways that research is conducted in family communication and to gain an understanding of the results of that research.

    Content: Theories of family communication. Interpretative, quantitative, and critical approaches to doing research in the field of family communication. Spousal, sibling, and parent/child communication patterns. Cultural differences in family functioning and family communication. Conflict management in families. Changes in family dynamics over the lifespan of a family. Single parent families, stepfamilies, blended families, and gay and lesbian families. Communication patterns in families with adopted children and biracial children. Families dealing with crisis.

    Taught: Alternate years.

    Prerequisite: None.

    Credits: 4 credits

    COMM 3380 - Small Group Communication

    Goals: To examine communication interaction in the small task-oriented group. To gain an understanding of how group dynamics are influenced by communication, and how group dynamics in turn affect communication patterns. To gain an understanding of task issues as well as interpersonal relationships in groups, and how communication affects both; to provide opportunities to examine individual communication interaction patterns.

    Content: Theory of small-group communication. Examination of the phases of small-group interaction, development of norms, roles, group cohesiveness, productivity, and leadership. Analysis of the impact of power, status, conflict, and conformity on small-group discussion. Pragmatic skills related to group presentations and methods and enhancing group discussion.

    Taught: Annually.

    Prerequisite: COMM 1100 or junior/senior standing.

    Credits: 4 credits

    COMM 3390 - Organizational Communication 

    Goals: To introduce the role of communication in organizational settings, with particular emphasis upon examining organizational dynamics as communication processes; to introduce classic and contemporary organizational communication theoretical approaches; to gain skills in applying theoretical concepts to the investigation of communication issues in actual organizations; to examine processes of organizational communication, including culture, socialization, leadership, technological processes, and diversity management processes.

    Content: Organizational communication theories, approaches, perspectives, functions, and structures; organizational culture; communication processes in organizations; methods for conducting research in organizational settings.

    Taught: Annually.

    Prerequisite: COMM 1100 or consent of instructor.

    Credits: 4 credits

    COMM 3420 - Media in Global Perspective

    Goals: To help students gain a theoretical and practical perspective on global mass media systems, both as national and international purveyors of information and culture; to examine and critically analyze the factors influencing media operations and content.

    Content: Examination of social, cultural, political, technical, regulatory, economic, and linguistic factors that influence media systems around the world; analysis of national laws, ethics, and norms in relation to media systems; examination of the interconnectedness of world media systems, including patterns of import and export of media products; analysis of the relationship between media and culture.

    Taught: Annually.

    Prerequisites: COMM 1100 or COMM 1320, and COMM 3320, or permission of instructor or the director of the international journalism certificate program. International journalism certificate candidates should consult the director regarding foreign language requirements.

    Credits: 4 credits

    COMM 3460 - Intercultural Communication

    Goals: To study the nature of communication as it is affected by cultural and co-cultural variables; to become familiar with philosophies and approaches to the study of communication and diversity; to experience dynamics of intercultural communication; to examine the relationship between culture and perception, thought, language, and behavior; to examine how culture influences and plays a role in public and private communication interactions (e.g., interpersonal relationships, communication in small-group and organizational settings, argumentation, mass communication).

    Content: Philosophies and theories of intercultural communication; application of concepts and issues to actual experiences; discussion of the influence of culture on all aspects of communication; emphasis is on understanding the relationship of culture to communicative practices and meaning systems.

    Taught: Annually.

    Prerequisite: COMM 1100 strongly recommended.

    Credits: 4 credits

    COMM 3480 - Media and Global Environmental Conflicts

    Goals: This course examines the role news and popular media (e.g. advertising, micro-marketing, social networking such as web 2.0) play in setting agenda and constructing meanings of various issues in global environmental discourse. The students will learn to expand understanding in how language and image shape human perception about the natural world; to critically examine the structures and implications of environmental representation; to analyze the ways in which environmental issues are framed by different media; and to understand the complex relationship between economic development that fosters consumer culture and the environment.

    Content: The course is presented in the forms of both theoretical analysis and practical media writing. The coursework involves general reading and discussion on different stages of world development, social change, environmental impacts, and the global politics of sustainable development with a central focus on how mass media make meanings of these issues.

    Note: Student evaluation is based on class participation, discussion, examinations, essays and the student’s weblog production.

    Taught: Annually.

    Prerequisite: COMM 1100 or COMM 1320.

    Credits: 4 credits

    COMM 3560 - Communication in Conflict Situations

    Goals: To learn about the dynamics of communication interaction in conflict situations; to explore approaches to dealing with conflict, including examining the strengths and weaknesses associated with communication styles, tactics, strategies, uses and expressions of power, the impact of “face,” the impact of culture, and framing; to become familiar with and examine the role of third-party intervention; to develop greater awareness of the consequences associated with one’s own communicative choices in conflict situations.

    Content: The role that communication plays in conflict situations, the general principles of communication in conflict, including the way communities develop and share symbolic world views that may come into conflict with those held by different communities. Examination of approaches to dealing with conflicts, such as problem resolution approaches, mediation, and negotiation strategies. Students will apply the theoretical perspectives to individual interpersonal conflict situations as well as to contemporary societal conflicts.

    Taught: Alternate years.

    Prerequisite: None.

    Credits: 4 credits

    COMM 3630 - Strategic Communication

    Goals: To develop insight into the role of strategic communication in advocating ideas, establishing identification, and influencing policy and people; to learn how to analyze the components of strategic communication and persuasive campaigns in a variety of fields; to apply rhetorical and persuasion theory in creating, analyzing, and critically examining strategic messages.

    Content: The diverse purposes of strategic communication and the influence of communication environments on strategic communicative choices. Discussion of attitude and behavioral change as influenced by symbolic processes. Critical analysis of persuasive messages and campaigns. How to undertake research and planning in developing communication approaches to a variety of situations.

    Taught: Annually.

    Prerequisite: COMM 1100 or COMM 1650, or consent of instructor.

    Credits: 4 credits

    COMM 3635 - Essentials of Public Relations

    Goals: This course will familiarize students with the basic concepts and principles of public relations and prepare them to develop and deliver effective and ethical public communications on behalf of both for- and non-profit organizations.

    Content: The role, function, and historical evolution of public relations in post-industrial society; professional and legal responsibilities of those who work in public relations; public relations activities across contexts (private and public, and in for- and non-profit organizations); concepts of public relations; audience analysis; development of market surveys; production and presentation of an integrated public relations campaign; use of new media (internet) in public relations campaigns.

    Taught: Annually.

    Prerequisites: COMM 1650; COMM 3320, 3360, or 3390 recommended.

    Credits: 4 credits

    COMM 3639 - Public Relations Cases & Campaigns

    Goals: This course will familiarize students with setting objectives, programming, and evaluation of public relations cases and campaigns. Students will study theories and illustrative cases treating emergency or crisis communications; evaluate an assortment of cases, including industry PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) Silver Anvil Award winners; learn about the newest area of public relations, Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC); and become familiar with ethical practice guidelines provided by the PRSA Member Code of Ethics 2000.

    Content: Discussion of the ways in which public relations decisions reflect the moral and ethical positions of the people involved; identify approaches to solving public relations problems; the challenges involved in reaching major audiences; emergency public relations; and integrated marketing communications. Many industry professionals and analysts believe that the best public relations campaigns are characterized by interactive participation among sources and consumers (receivers) of communication. This course will emphasize the role of interpersonal communication, including speeches, speakers bureaus, small-group and one-on-one formats in the development of objectives within specific public relations campaigns.

    Taught: Annually.

    Prerequisites: COMM 3635 or permission of instructor.

    Credits: 4 credits

    COMM 3650 - Political Communication

    Goals: To examine and criticize the political rhetoric of individuals and groups as well as the research and theory that illuminates that rhetoric; to learn about communication strategies used to attempt to win votes, establish, maintain, or re-establish the legitimacy of elected and appointed officials, build or destroy support for political policies and actions, and realize political and/or social change.

    Content: Readings and discussion of historical and contemporary rhetoric that has sought to influence political decision making and governance. Study and application of theoretical perspectives on rhetorical criticism. Study and application of other theoretical approaches to the analysis of political communication.

    Taught: Alternate years.

    Prerequisite: COMM 1650 is recommended.

    Credits: 4 credits

    COMM 3670 - Gender, Communication, and Knowledge

    Goals: To increase awareness of the relationship of communication and gender; the portrayal of gender in public discourse; the influence of gender socialization in developing communicative behaviors and interpretive frames; and the implications of societal response to communication as it relates to gender.

    Content: Examination of research into gender differences and communication; examination of public messages as they influence perceptions of women and men; analysis of historical processes as they have influenced current perceptions of gender.

    Taught: Annually.

    Prerequisite: COMM 1100 or WSTD 1010 strongly recommended.

    Credits: 4 credits

    COMM 3960 - Field Experience Seminar

    Goals: To support and strengthen the academic component of internships and field experiences.

    Content: A focus on the workplace experience in the context of the liberal arts and communication research findings.

    Taught: Periodically.

    Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. All planning and paperwork for internship placement must be completed in the fall term preceding the spring internship. See departmental guidelines.

    Credits: 4 credits

    COMM 5400 - Managing the Performing Arts

    Crosslisted under Theatre Arts as THTR 5400.

    COMM 5650 - Western Rhetorical Theory 

    Goals: To study the history of Western thought as applied to understanding and explaining communication processes; to understand the ways in which contemporary thought has been influenced and shaped by previous perspectives and assumptions about the role of communication in society; to critically examine contemporary standards for evaluating communication in light of this history.

    Content: The roots and evolution of theories of public communication; perspectives on public discourse from the sophists of ancient Greece to contemporary theorists. Emphasis is given to understanding the evolution of thought in relationship to contemporary ideas about the role of communication in society.

    Taught: Annually.

    Prerequisite: None, but junior/senior standing is recommended.

    Credits: 4 credits

    COMM 5900 - Senior Research Seminar

    Goals: To synthesize prior learning in the communication studies discipline through a senior capstone experience; to explore significant issues in communication studies through intensive research and discussion.

    Content: Individual students will engage in and present the results of major independent research projects that apply the knowledge and skills they have gained in the discipline. The seminar affords an opportunity for students to pursue individual interests in communication studies in depth.

    Taught: Annually.

    Prerequisites: COMM 1100, COMM 3300, senior standing, and consent of instructor. Course is restricted to senior majors only.

    Credits: 4 credits

  • News
    • john-wesley-awards-thumb
      Recipients of the 2014 John Wesley Leadership and Service Awards are announced. Congratulations to the winners.
    • The Hamline to Hamline Collaboration is offering grants for collaborative programming or events that enrich the collaboration between Hamline Elementary and Hamline University with applications due by Monday, May 12.
    • Senior Jenna Potter, an English major and German and communications double minor at Hamline, was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to teach in Hamburg, Germany. Senior Libby Otto named as alternate to Norway.
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