Communication Studies

The Department of Communication Studies offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies, a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Studies (with or without certification). The department also offers a minor in Communications. Recommendations concerning a student’s minor and course requirements are made to the department head by academic advisors.

The Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication Studies

Required Courses
General Education Requirements 142
COMS 110Mass Communication and Society3
COMS 304Interpersonal Communication3
COMS 310Communication Law3
COMS 406Group Process and Decision Making3
ENGL 309Technical Writing & Document Design-WI3
HIST 101World History to 1700 23
HIST 102World History Since 1700 23
Foreign Language 101, 102, 201, 20214
Total Hours77
Additional Required Courses for Concentrations
Public Relations Event Management
COMS 211Media Writing3
COMS 220Promotional Writing3
COMS 311Feature Writing3
COMS 320Public Relations3
COMS 340Persuasion3
COMS 420Event Planning and Management3
COMS 425Public Relations Cases and Campaigns3
COMS Electives6
PHIL 301Ethics in the Professions 33
ENGL 310Technical Writing and Editing3
ENGL 312Graphics and Technical Writing3
ENGL 412Technical Writing with Computer Applications3
MKTG 314Marketing3
MKTG 316Consumer Behavior3
or MKTG 415 Marketing Research
MKTG 318Promotional Strategy3
Total Hours48
Journalism and Broadcasting
COMS 211Media Writing3
COMS 214Photojournalism3
COMS 215Broadcast Journalism3
COMS 308Digital Video Production3
COMS 311Feature Writing3
COMS 318News and Magazine Editing3
COMS 409Advanced Reporting3
COMS 412Rhetorical and Communication Theory3
Advanced COMS Electives3
PHIL 301Ethics in the Professions 43
ENGL 310Technical Writing and Editing3
ENGL 312Graphics and Technical Writing3
ENGL 412Technical Writing with Computer Applications3
ENGL 420Writing for Electronic Mediums3
Electives4
Total Hours46
Speech Communication
COMS 201Voice and Performance3
COMS 303Debate3
COMS 308Digital Video Production3
COMS 332Intercultural Communication3
COMS 404Organizational Communication3
COMS 412Rhetorical and Communication Theory3
PHIL 201Introduction to Logic 53
Select two of the following:6
Technical Writing and Editing
Graphics and Technical Writing
Advanced Composition
Technical Writing with Computer Applications
Writing for Electronic Mediums
Electives (15 hours Advanced)21
Total Hours48
1

Please see Academic Information section.

2

Course may be counted toward general education requirement.

3

Course may be counted toward general education requirement.

4

Course may be counted toward general education requirement.

5

Course may be counted toward general education requirement.

The Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication Studies

Required Courses
General Education Requirements 142
COMS 110Mass Communication and Society3
COMS 304Interpersonal Communication3
COMS 310Communication Law3
COMS 406Group Process and Decision Making3
ENGL 309Technical Writing & Document Design-WI3
Electives15
Total Hours72
Additional Required Courses for Concentrations
Public Relations Event Management
COMS 211Media Writing3
COMS 220Promotional Writing3
COMS 311Feature Writing3
COMS 320Public Relations3
COMS 340Persuasion3
COMS 420Event Planning and Management3
COMS 425Public Relations Cases and Campaigns3
COMS Electives6
PHIL 301Ethics in the Professions 23
MKTG 314Marketing3
MKTG 316Consumer Behavior3
or MKTG 415 Marketing Research
MKTG 318Promotional Strategy3
ENGL 310Technical Writing and Editing3
ENGL 312Graphics and Technical Writing3
ENGL 412Technical Writing with Computer Applications3
Electives3
Total Hours51
Journalism and Broadcasting
COMS 211Media Writing3
COMS 214Photojournalism3
COMS 215Broadcast Journalism3
COMS 308Digital Video Production3
COMS 311Feature Writing3
COMS 318News and Magazine Editing3
COMS 409Advanced Reporting3
COMS 412Rhetorical and Communication Theory3
Advanced COMS Elective3
PHIL 301Ethics in the Professions 33
ENGL 310Technical Writing and Editing3
ENGL 312Graphics and Technical Writing3
ENGL 412Technical Writing with Computer Applications3
ENGL 420Writing for Electronic Mediums3
Electives9
Total Hours51
Speech Communication
COMS 201Voice and Performance3
COMS 303Debate3
COMS 308Digital Video Production3
COMS 332Intercultural Communication3
COMS 404Organizational Communication3
COMS 412Rhetorical and Communication Theory3
PHIL 201Introduction to Logic3
Select two of the following:
Technical Writing and Editing
Graphics and Technical Writing
Advanced Composition
Technical Writing with Computer Applications
Writing for Electronic Mediums
Electives (12 hours Advanced)21
Total Hours42
Level 8-12 Certification
COMS 102Public Speaking 13
COMS 201Voice and Performance3
COMS 303Debate3
COMS 412Rhetorical and Communication Theory3
Advanced COMS Elective3
Additional teaching field or minor/electives (Advanced)9
EDU 320Professional Development I: Understanding Learners3
EDU 330Professional Development II: Effective Instruction3
EDU 430Professional Development III: Application of Effective Teaching Practices3
EDU 435Professional Development IV: Issues in Professional Development3
EDU 490Practicum in Teaching6
Select one of the following:3
Child and Adolescent Psychology
Elementary Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences
Child Development
RDG 351Content Area Reading3
PHIL 201Introduction to Logic3
Total Hours51
1

Please see Academic Information section.

2

Course may be counted toward general education requirement.

3

 Course may be counted toward general education requirement.

Additional Information for the BS in Communications with Certification:

  1. No substitutions are allowed for any COMS course listed on certification plan.
    1. No Tarleton COMS course may substitute for another Tarleton COMS course.
  2. A transfer course must be a direct translation for a COMS course listed on the certification plan.For admission to the teacher certification program, each certification candidate must pass a public speaking competency exercise upon completion of COMS 101, 102, or 301, but no later than the first semester of the junior year.
    1. The presentation will be a 7-10 minute persuasive speech evaluated by three Communications faculty members.
    2. Student must pass the presentation with a combined score of 80 or better.
      1. If a student fails to complete the presentation with a score of 80 or better, he/she may request to repeat the presentation within the same semester.
      2. After one semester, any student wishing to repeat the public speaking requirement must make an alternative presentation.
    3. The presentation will be judged for a variety of communication skills including organization, appropriate style of delivery for subject matter, ability to communicate concepts to an audience clearly, articulation, and diction.
  3. Before being allowed to take the TExES, each candidate must pass the departmental “mock” TExES examination in partial fulfillment of requirements for COMS 485.
    1. Each student will take a mock exam based on the format for the TExES.
    2. Students are required to pass each section of the mock exam with a grade of 80 percent or better before taking TExES.
    3. A student who fails a section of the mock exam may retake just the failed section within the same semester.
    4. A student who does not successfully pass all parts of the mock exam within the semester of the initial exam must retake the entire mock examination.
  4. Students seeking certification must meet with the COMS certification representative at least once a semester.
  5. The departmental certification representative will review specific COMS requirements with each student. Candidates for certification will then be required to sign an acknowledgment form.

Courses

COMS 101. Fund Spch Comm. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 0 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours). (TCCN = SPCH 1311)

This course is designed to improve the individual's understanding of the human communication process. Classroom exercises involve the student in interpersonal, small group, and presentational speaking situations. Special emphasis on developing communication skills needed to check and validate perceptions, control language usage, and analyze and improve reasoning processes.

COMS 102. Public Speaking. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 0 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours). (TCCN = SPCH 1315)

An introduction to the principles and practice of presentational communication. Methods of topic analysis, research, evidence evaluation, organization, and delivery are covered. Students participate in several classroom presentations.

COMS 110. Mass Comm & Society. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 0 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

Places mass media in historical perspective; explores the relationships among media; examines the structure of the American communications system and compares it to international communications systems. Analyzes the social, economic, and political implications of modern society's reliance on mass communications. Explores the ways in which the mass media provides images of our world.

COMS 201. Voice And Performance. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 0 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours). (TCCN = SPCH 1342)

Oral presentation of literary forms with emphasis on the vocal mechanism and phonetics. Interpretative readings in prose, poetry, and drama are directed to help students gain a sensitivity to literary genre and develop effective speech habits through vocal analysis, guided practice, and class drills emphasizing pronunciation, enunciation, and articulation. Credit for both COMS 201 and THEA 201 will not be awarded.

COMS 207. Audio Production. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 0 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

The course fee will cover the cost of required materials, upgrades, and lab maintenance. Materials include tapes, batteries, cables (USB 2.0 and Firewire) and audio recorders. Equipment related to the audio recorders may include mini-disks, format or flash media cards, and computer software (e.g., Adobe Audition). Lab Fee $5.

COMS 211. Media Writing. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 0 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

Fundamentals of news writing and reporting. Students will learn basic newspaper style and compose stories using traditional stylebook techniques. Students will learn how to write stories for both print, broadcast and online medida.Prerequisite ENGL 111, ENGL 112,.

COMS 214. Photography. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 0 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours). (TCCN = COMM 1316)

Fundamentals of camera operation, film development and printing. Study in the use and layout of photography in newspaper and magazines. Students will learn new photographic technology as well as traditional applications. Course fee $10. Lab fee $10.

COMS 215. Broadcast Journalism. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 0 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

A study of broadcast news practices. The basic rules of broadcast news writing will be reviewed and stories will be written and delivered for both radio and television. Studio and newsroom procedures will be examined.

COMS 220. Promotional Writing. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 0 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

Study and practice in the techniques of writing promotional materials for public relations and event management purposes, with emphasis on creativity and on matching style and medium to targeted publics.

COMS 301. Business and Prof Speaking. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 0 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

A study of verbal and nonverbal communication as it functions in business and professional organizations. Special emphasis will be given to developing oral language proficiency, interviewing, small decision-making groups, oral reporting, and organizational communication.

COMS 303. Debate. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 0 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

An introduction to the principles of argumentation and debate. Subject material will include research, evidence, reasoning, case construction, refutation, and delivery. Classroom debating will provide students with opportunities to observe and participate in competitive debating. This course is particularly applicable to those anticipating study in pre-law. Prerequisites: COMS 101, 102 or permission of the department head.

COMS 304. Interpers Comm. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 0 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

A course designed to improve individual communication skills relevant to human relationships. The development and maintenance of interpersonal (one-to-one) relations are examined, with special emphasis on identifying and correcting communication breakdown. A portion of the course will be devoted to exercises designed to improve interpersonal skills. Prerequisite: COMS 101 or 301 or permission of the department head.

COMS 308. Digital Video Production. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 0 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

Introduces students to the collaborative process of narrative and non-narrative production while fostering the creation of an individual voice. Students learn the basic techniques and aesthetics of single-camera production, including shot composition, lighting and graphic effects. Students also learn techniques of digital post-production editing. Lab Fee $5.

COMS 309. Interviewing. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 0 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

This class teaches communication skills essential for a professional career. It integrates theoretical principles from the text with in-class practice of interviewing and being interviewed. Students learn to identify, explain, and apply essential elements of successful interviews to several types of interviews.

COMS 310. Communication Law. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 0 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

Examines First Amendment case law and state and federal regulations of speech and media. Provides historical and contemporary analyses of the laws of defamation; obscenity; fighting words; and time, place and manner restrictions. Issues such as copyright, privacy, and freedom of information will also be covered. Prerequisite: 3 hours of COMS or approval of department head.

COMS 311. Writing For Publication. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 0 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

Study and practice in the techniques of writing contemporary nonfiction for publication, with special attention given to methods of research and markets for literary material. Numerous private conferences. Prerequisite: 12 hours of ENGL or approval of department head.

COMS 318. News and Magazine Editing. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 0 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

The basics of story placement and layout, copy and style editing. This course would emphasize the role and responsibilities of different editorial departments as well as the overall responsibility of editorial management. Prerequisites : COMS 131, COMS 3113 and ENGL 310 or consent of the instructor.

COMS 320. Public Relations. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 0 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

An introduction to the theory, history, and principles of public relations programs for profit and nonprofit organizations, including fundraising, media relations, crisis management, ethics, social responsibility, management counseling, campaign basics, professionalism, and related topics. Teamwork with nonprofit clients is an integral part of the course, as is portfolio development.

COMS 332. Intercultural Communication. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 0 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

A study of intercultural communication theories and how they shape interpersonal, small group, and public interactions. Students will observe, participate, and analyze intercultural interactions on campus and in the community.

COMS 340. Persuasion. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 0 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

A study of persuasive communication theory in interpersonal, small group, and public settings. Emphasis on audience analysis, ethics, motivational factors, source credibility, compliance gaining and theories of attitude change. Prerequisites: COMS 101, 102 or 301.

COMS 401. Advertising. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 0 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

Analysis of advertising in modern media. Study of the history, design, and effects of advertising. Students will also study the uses of different media for advertising purposes. Credit for both COMS 401 and MKTG 401 will not be awarded.

COMS 404. Organizational Comm. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 0 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

An advanced study of communication as it takes place in business and industrial settings. Special attention will be given to managerial communication, communicator style, channels and networks, and organizational communication consulting. Prerequisite: COMS 301.

COMS 406. Group Process/Decision Making. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 0 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

A study of small group theory and process. Special attention will be given to leadership, organization, group analysis, and interaction. Students will observe and participate in small group discussions on contemporary issues. Prerequisites: COMS 110, 304, 310.

COMS 409. Advanced Reporting. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 0 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

A capstone course for Journalism students. This course will provide advanced studies for reporting, news writing, newsgathering, interviewing, records evaluation and investigative techniques. Students will be required to submit articles for publication and provide evidence of superior writing skills. Prerequisites: COMS 131, 213, 310, 311, and 318.

COMS 412. Rhetorical & Comm Theory. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 0 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours). [WI]

A general survey of classical through contemporary rhetorical and communication theory. Emphasis on how theories have been and are being applied in criticism of public address and rhetorical movements and in contemporary communication research. Prerequisites: COMS 101, 102 or permission of the department head.

COMS 420. Event Planning and Management. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 0 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

Application of public relations processes to the planning and management of special events in various types and styles. Topics include theme development, budgeting, creative design, logistics, promotions, monitoring, client liaison, evaluation, and other relevant aspects of event planning and management.

COMS 425. Public Relations Cases and. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 0 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

Critical case analysis and campaign development applying the four-step campaign process central to professional practice of public relations. Emphasis is on critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making. Prerequisites: C or better in COMS 420, MKTG 318 and MKTG 316 or 415.

COMS 484. Communications Internship. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 0 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

Approved and supervised work experience in communications related positions. May be repeated once for a total of 6 hours of academic credit. Prerequisites: Junior standing and 12 hours COMS or approval of department head. Field experience fee $50.

COMS 485. Seminar. 1-3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 0 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

Content varies according to the needs and desires of the students. When topic varies, course may be taken for credit more than once. Prerequisite: Junior classification or approval of department head.

COMS 486. Coms Problems. 1-3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 0 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

A course featuring independent reading, research, and discussion under personal direction of instructor, topics vary according to student need. Open to students of senior classification with department head approval.

Dr. Charles Howard, Department Head
Department of Communication Studies
Davis Hall, Room 411
Box T-0230
Stephenville, Texas 76402
(254) 968-9149
choward@tarleton.edu
www.tarleton.edu/communications

Associate professors

  • Helvie-Mason
  • Howard
  • Wakefield

Assistant professors

  • Anderson
  • Edwards
  • Maben

Instructors

  • Goen
  • Holley
  • Horton
  • Malone
  • Truax