Communication Studies

The Department of Communication Studies offers a Bachelor of Arts and the more popular Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Studies. The department also offers a minor in Communication Studies. Recommendations concerning a student’s minor course requirements are made to the department head by the student's academic advisor. 

For the Bachelor of Science degree program, concentrations are offered in areas of Public Relations & Social Engagement, Journalism & Broadcasting, Sports Communication, Travel, Event, & Activity Management (TEAM), and Professional & Relational Communication.  In the Bachelor of Arts program, concentrations are offered in the areas of Public Relations & Event Management, Journalism & Broadcasting, and Professional & Relational Communication. 

Not all programs are offered on all campuses. 

The Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication Studies

Required Courses
General Education Requirements42
COMM 1307Introduction to Mass Communication3
COMM 3310Communication Law3
ENGL 1301 [shared] [WI] Composition I
ENGL 1302 [shared] [WI] Composition II
ENGL 3309 [WI] Technical Writing and Document Design3
PHIL 3301 [shared] Ethics in the Professions
Sophomore Literature [shared]
Total Hours51
Additional Required Courses for Concentrations
Public Relations Social Engagement
COMM 2302 [shared] Business and Professional Speaking
COMM 2311News Gathering & Writing I3
COMM 2325Event Coordination3
COMM 3308Digital Video Production3
COMM 3320Public Relations3
COMM 3328 [WI] Public Relations Writing3
or ACOM 3314 Writing and Editing for Agricultural Publications
COMM 4310Computer-Mediated Communication3
Select one of the following:3
Event Planning and Management
Communications Internship
Communications Seminar
COMM 4325Applied Public Relations and Event Planning3
Select one of the following:3
Marketing
Consumer Behavior
Promotional Strategy
Select one of the following:3
Technical Writing and Editing
Graphics and Technical Writing
Technical Writing and Computer Applications
Writing for Electronic Mediums
Advanced COMM Electives9
Electives24
Advanced Electives6
Total Hours69
Journalism and Broadcasting
Select one of the following [shared]:
Introduction to Speech Communication
Public Speaking
Business and Professional Speaking
COMM 1316News Photography I3
COMM 2311News Gathering & Writing I3
COMM 2333Broadcast Journalism3
COMM 3308Digital Video Production3
COMM 3311 [WI] Feature Writing3
COMM 3318News and Magazine Editing3
COMM 4309Advanced Reporting3
COMM 4312 [WI] Rhetorical & Communication Theory3
ENGL 3310 [WI] Technical Writing and Editing3
ENGL 3312Graphics and Technical Writing3
ENGL 4312Technical Writing and Computer Applications3
ENGL 4320Writing for Electronic Mediums3
Electives24
Advanced Electives9
Total Hours69
Professional and Relational Communication
COMM 2302 [shared] Business and Professional Speaking
COMM 3303Debate3
or COMM 3340 Persuasion
COMM 3304Interpersonal Communication3
COMM 3332Intercultural Communication3
COMM 4304Organizational Communication3
COMM 4312 [WI] Rhetorical & Communication Theory3
COMM 4339Teamwork and Decision Making3
Advanced COMM elective3
Select two of the following:6
Technical Writing and Editing
Graphics and Technical Writing
Advanced Composition
Technical Writing and Computer Applications
Writing for Electronic Mediums
Electives33
Advanced Electives9
Total Hours69
Sports Communication
Select one of the following [shared]:
Introduction to Speech Communication
Public Speaking
Business and Professional Speaking
COMM 1316News Photography I3
COMM 2308Broadcast Production3
COMM 2311News Gathering & Writing I3
COMM 2333Broadcast Journalism3
COMM 3308Digital Video Production3
COMM 3320Public Relations3
COMM 3321Advertising3
COMM 3350Sports Communication3
COMM 4310Computer-Mediated Communication3
Advanced KINE Electives6
KINE 4398Internship - Professional Development 3
KINE 4399Internship - Field Experience3
Electives21
Advanced Electives6
COMM 4312 [WI] Rhetorical & Communication Theory3
Total Hours69
Travel, Event and Activity Management
Choose one of the following [shared]:
Introduction to Speech Communication
Public Speaking
Business and Professional Speaking
COMM 1307Introduction to Mass Communication3
COMM 2311News Gathering & Writing I3
COMM 2325Event Coordination3
COMM 3304Interpersonal Communication3
or COMM 4339 Teamwork and Decision Making
COMM 3312Travel Writing and Blogging3
COMM 3328 [WI] Public Relations Writing3
COMM 3320Public Relations3
COMM 3329Travel & Tourism3
COMM 4320Event Planning and Management3
COMM 4325Applied Public Relations and Event Planning3
ENGL 3310 [WI] Technical Writing and Editing3
COMM 4384Communications Internship3
COMM 4384Communications Internship3
Electives24
Advanced Electives6
Total Hours69

The Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication Studies

Required Courses
General Education Requirements 142
COMM 1307Introduction to Mass Communication3
COMM 3310Communication Law3
ENGL 1301 [shared] [WI] Composition I
ENGL 1302 [shared] [WI] Composition II
ENGL 3309 [WI] Technical Writing and Document Design3
HIST 2321World Civilizations I3
HIST 2322World Civilizations II3
Foreign Language 1411, 1412, 2311, 231214
Sophomore Literature [shared]
Total Hours71
Additional Required Courses for Concentrations
Public Relations and Event Management
COMM 2302 [shared] Business and Professional Speaking
COMM 2311News Gathering & Writing I3
COMM 2325Event Coordination3
COMM 3320Public Relations3
COMM 3328 [WI] Public Relations Writing3
COMM 4320Event Planning and Management3
COMM 4325Applied Public Relations and Event Planning3
Advanced COMM Electives3
PHIL 3301 [shared] Ethics in the Professions
ENGL 3310 [WI] Technical Writing and Editing3
ENGL 3312Graphics and Technical Writing3
ENGL 4312Technical Writing and Computer Applications3
or ENGL 4320 Writing for Electronic Mediums
MKTG 3312Marketing3
MKTG 3316Consumer Behavior3
MKTG 3318Promotional Strategy3
Electives (6 hours advanced)10
Total Hours49
Journalism and Broadcasting
Choose one of the following [shared]:
Introduction to Speech Communication
Public Speaking
Business and Professional Speaking
COMM 1316News Photography I3
COMM 2311News Gathering & Writing I3
COMM 2333Broadcast Journalism3
COMM 3308Digital Video Production3
COMM 3311 [WI] Feature Writing3
COMM 3318News and Magazine Editing3
COMM 4309Advanced Reporting3
COMM 4312 [WI] Rhetorical & Communication Theory3
PHIL 3301 [shared] Ethics in the Professions
ENGL 3310 [WI] Technical Writing and Editing3
ENGL 3312Graphics and Technical Writing3
ENGL 4312Technical Writing and Computer Applications3
ENGL 4320Writing for Electronic Mediums3
Electives (9 hours advanced)13
Total Hours49
Professional and Relational Communication
COMM 2302 [shared] Business and Professional Speaking
COMM 3303Debate3
or COMM 3340 Persuasion
COMM 3304Interpersonal Communication3
COMM 3332Intercultural Communication3
COMM 4304Organizational Communication3
COMM 4312 [WI] Rhetorical & Communication Theory3
COMM 4339Teamwork and Decision Making3
Advanced COMM elective3
Select two of the following:6
Technical Writing and Editing
Graphics and Technical Writing
Advanced Composition
Technical Writing and Computer Applications
Writing for Electronic Mediums
Electives (9 hours Advanced)19
PHIL 3301Ethics in the Professions3
Total Hours49
1

Please see Academic Information section.

Academic Advising Guides

Academic Advising Guides area available at the following website:

https://web.tarleton.edu/majorinfo/

Courses

COMM 1100. Transitioning to University Studies in Human Communication. 1 Credit Hour (Lecture: 1 Hour, Lab: 1 Hour).

Practical study designed to prepare the student for university life, aid in the development of skills for academic success, promote personal growth and responsibility, and encourage active involvement in the learning process from an individual college perspective. These skill sets are presented in the context of communication and languages disciplines.

COMM 1307. Introduction to Mass Communication. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 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.

COMM 1311. Introduction to Speech Communication. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

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 requiring critical thinking skills, teamwork, and personal responsibility. Special emphasis on developing communication skills needed to check and validate perceptions, control language usage, and analyze and improve reasoning processes.

COMM 1315. Public Speaking. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

An introduction to the principles and practice of presentational communication. Methods of topic analysis, research, evidence evaluation, organization, and delivery are covered and assignments require critical thinking skills, teamwork, and personal responsibility. Students participate in several classroom presentations.

COMM 1316. News Photography I. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

Focus on 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.

COMM 1342. Voice & Diction. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

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 1342 and DRAM 2336 will not be awarded.

COMM 2302. Business and Professional Speaking. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

A study of communication in business and professional organizations. Special emphasis will be given to applying thinking skills, teamwork, and personal responsibility to development of speaking skills, interviewing, team-building skills, and a knowledge of organizational communication.

COMM 2308. Broadcast Production. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

This course will cover on air performance for both radio and TV, audio production, writing for broadcasting and producing radio and television programming. Areas will include radio, TV, podcasting and in studio and remote broadcast.

COMM 2311. News Gathering & Writing I. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 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 media. Prerequisites: ENGL 1301 and ENGL 1302.

COMM 2322. Survey of Social Media. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

In this course students will look at the expansion of social media in the public relations field, learn basic strategies of social networks, blogs, RSS feeds, media sharing, tagging and other social media platforms, and practice the development of social media plans and infographics.

COMM 2325. Event Coordination. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

Fundamentals for professional coordination of special events in various types and styles. Topics focus on event implementation as an essential element of public relations management. Activities center on event logistics, promotions, monitoring, and client liaison.

COMM 2333. Broadcast Journalism. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 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. Prerequisites: COMM 2311.

COMM 3303. Debate. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 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: COMM 1311, or 1315, or 2302 or permission of the department head.

COMM 3304. Interpersonal Communication. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 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: COMM 1311, or 1315, or 2302 or permission of the department head.

COMM 3305. Environmental Communication. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

This course is designed to improve students’ understanding of the human communication process in shaping perceptions of and relationships with nature and environmental decision making. Prerequisites: COMM 1311,1315 or COMM 2302.

COMM 3308. Digital Video Production. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 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.

COMM 3310. Communication Law. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 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.

COMM 3311. Feature Writing. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours). [WI]

This course is a course in our journalism sequence. The class focuses on magazine writing, feature writing, editorial and review writing. The course also focuses on free lance and professional writing and reporting skills. Prerequisites: COMM 2311 or approval of department head.

COMM 3312. Travel Writing and Blogging. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

This course examines writing about travel and tourist destinations for different media. The course examines how traveling writing and blogging is done from different perspectives and examines the ethical and practical issues that guide the process. Prerequisite: COMM 2311.

COMM 3317. News and Feature Writing I. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 2 Hours, Lab: 2 Hours).

This course focuses on writing and reporting both hard news and feature stories. There will requirements that students report, write and edit features and news stories with the goal of publication. Prerequisites: COMM 2311. Lab fee: $5.

COMM 3318. News and Magazine Editing. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 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: ENGL 3310 or consent of the instructor.

COMM 3319. News and Feature Writing II. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 2 Hours, Lab: 2 Hours).

This course focuses on writing and reporting both hard news and feature stories. There will requirements that students report, write and edit features and news stories with the goal of publication. Prerequisites: COMS 211 or COMM 2311. Lab fee: $5.

COMM 3320. Public Relations. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

An introduction to the theory, history, and principles of public relations programs for profit and nonprofit organizations, including media relations, crisis management, ethics, social responsibility, and related topics. Critical analysis of public relations is an integral part of the course as is extensive hands-on volunteer work.

COMM 3321. Advertising. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

Analysis of advertising in modern society, including history, design and effects of advertising. Students will study the uses of different media for advertising purposes, working in teams to achieve common goals.

COMM 3323. Political Communication. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

Analysis of political campaigns in modern society, including history, design and effects of campaigns. Students will study the uses of different media for campaign purposes, working in teams to achieve common goals.

COMM 3325. Organizational Spokespeople. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

Analysis of organizational spokespeople in modern society, including history, ghost writing, and effects of their roles and statements. Students will study the uses of different media for spokesperson purposes, working in teams to achieve common goals.

COMM 3328. Public Relations Writing. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours). [WI]

Study and practice in the techniques of writing and producing public relations materials with an emphasis on creativity and aligning work to targeted publics. Teamwork and portfolio development are integral learning components of the course. Prerequisites: Have a C or better in COMM 2311 and COMM 3320 or permission of instructor.

COMM 3329. Travel & Tourism. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

This class covers the way travel and tourism affects the local economy and how Convention & Visitor Bureaus (CVBs) and other local entities "sell" locals and properties to potential customers.

COMM 3332. Intercultural Communication. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 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.

COMM 3340. Persuasion. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 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: COMM 1311, 1315 or 2302.

COMM 3350. Sports Communication. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

This course focuses on the role of communication in the sports industry. The class will examine the history of sports journalism and the role of mass media as well some of the common conceptual models and theories used in sports communication studies. Additionally, the influence of digital, mobile, and social media platforms will be considered, as well as the functions of marketing and public relations. Students will be exposed to a number of issues relating to sports media, careers, legal issues, digital media, and more.

COMM 3384. Documentary Film. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

This course will examine the history of the international documentary film movement from 1923 to the present. Students will examine a variety of different documentary films from different cultures and time periods.

COMM 3500. Sports Communication. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

This course focuses on the role of communication in the sports industry. The class will examine the history of sports journalism and the role of mass media as well some of the common conceptual models and theories used in sports communication studies. Additionally, the influence of digital, mobile, and social media platforms will be considered, as well as the functions of marketing and public relations.

COMM 3508. Sports Media Production. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

This class will introduce students to the process of producing digital elements commonly used in sports production. Students learn the Associated Press Broadcast Style, digital graphic preparation, interviewing techniques, and editing styles. Multiple commercial productions will be studied and analyzed. Students will utilize both audio and video digital post-production industry standard software throughout the semester. Prerequisite: COMM 3308 Digital Video Production.

COMM 4085. Communications Seminar. 1-3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 1-3 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.

COMM 4086. Communication Problems. 1-3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 1-3 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.

COMM 4205. Practicum in Journalism. 2 Credit Hours (Lecture: 1 Hour, Lab: 2 Hours).

Practicum in Journalism requires a demonstrated proficiency in a variety of activities related to writing, reporting, editing and publishing.

COMM 4301. Media Management. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

The course will cover business and sales in a comprehensive media environment, as well as issues such as advertising sales, personnel and budget management, and planning and executing of media programming including documentaries.

COMM 4304. Organizational Communication. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 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: COMM 1311 or COMM 1315 or COMM 2302.

COMM 4309. Advanced Reporting. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 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: COMM 3310, 3311, and 3318, or with department head approval.

COMM 4310. Computer-Mediated Communication. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

A course designed to introduce students to key concepts of social networking websites/applications, enable students to interact with others through hands-on experiences on social networking websites/applications, and provide students with experiences to critically analyze the positive and negative aspects of communicating (interpersonal, small group, organizational, etc.) with others through social networking websites/applications.

COMM 4312. Rhetorical & Communication Theory. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 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: COMM 1311, or 1315, or 2302, or permission of the department head.

COMM 4320. Event Planning and Management. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 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. Prerequisite: COMM 2325 or permission of the instructor.

COMM 4324. Trade Show Planning and Management. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

This course provides background and practice in the processes and techniques of trade show planning and management. It applies public relations’ four-step process (research, planning, execution, and evaluation) to trade shows. Specifically, students will develop budgets, creative designs, logistics, promotions, and appropriate monitoring and evaluation. Prerequisite: COMM 2325 (B or better).

COMM 4325. Applied Public Relations and Event Planning. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

Hands-on application central to the professional practice of public relations and event planning. Emphasis is on collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving, decision-making, client work, portfolio development, and career preparation. Prerequisites: Must have a C or better in COMM 3320 and COMM 3328 or instructor permission.

COMM 4339. Teamwork and Decision Making. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

A study of work teams, small group theory and processes. Special attention will be given to leadership, organization, group analysis, and interaction. Students will observe and participate in work teams and discussions on contemporary issues regarding teamwork such as virtual work teams. Prerequisite: COMM 1307, 3304, 3310, and at least 6 hours of senior-level COMM.

COMM 4384. Communications Internship. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 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, 12 hours COMM, and approval of the department's appropriate concentration coordinator.

Dr. Christopher Gearhart, Department Head
Department of Communication Studies
Grant 394-D
Box T-0230
Stephenville, Texas 76402
(254) 968-9023
gearhart@tarleton.edu
www.tarleton.edu/communications

Main Office
Department of Communication Studies
Grant 394-P
Box T-0230
Stephenville, Texas 76402
(254) 968-9149
www.tarleton.edu/communications

Professor

  • Edwards, Jennifer

Associate professors

  • Anderson, Robert
  • Gearhart, Christopher
  • Goen, Karley
  • Horton, Cristi
  • Howard, Charles
  • Maben, Sarah
  • Stafford, Paul

Assistant professors

  • Benedict, Elizabeth
  • Holley, Tracey
  • Winslow, Cessna

Instructors

  • Dawson, Winston
  • Endres-Parnell, Prairie
  • Lewter, Austin
  • Wise, Kirk