Department of Communication

The Department of Communication covers communication in its multifaceted dimensions—from nonverbal communication to media criticism, public speaking to public relations crisis management, cross-cultural communication to writing and podcasting the journalistic news and feature stories, and the history of mass communication to principles of communicating in organizations. In addition to preparing for graduate school, graduates forge successful careers in a wide range of media-based jobs, including public relations, journalism and a variety of non-media areas that use communication as the central tool for accomplishing objectives—such as human resources, intercultural ministry and missions, information management, event coordination and teaching.

Majors in Communication

The Department of Communication offers three majors, leading to a bachelor of arts degree: communication studies, journalism and public relations

All students seeking the bachelor of arts degree in the communication program complete five foundational courses for a total of 15 hours. These courses address the central issues within the discipline from a Christian perspective and also lay a foundation in writing skills for the media. They include CO 111 Introduction to Communication, CO 213 Social Media, CO 241 Introduction to News Writing, CO 246 Interpersonal Communication and CO 481 Mass Communication.

The communication studies major allows students to gain a solid grasp of communication principles while exploring additional skill areas both inside the Communication Department and in a chosen area outside the department. By combining communication fundamentals with a focus on an outside area (such as science, literature, music, business, marketing, education or ministry), students can prepare to carve out a specialized niche in a field of work. Students who plan to later pursue a graduate degree may choose the communication studies major in order to gain expertise in interpersonal, organizational, cross-cultural and mass communication theory. In addition to the foundational communication courses (CO 111, 213, 241, 246, and 481), students in the communication studies major complete CO 266, 380, 480, and 485; six hours from CO 322, 346, 370, 371, 381, 395 (up to three times), and 495; and six hours from 300 or 400 level complementary courses outside the Communication Department. The following specific core requirement is necessary in order to fulfill prerequisites to courses required in the major: MA 151.

Students in the journalism major complete, in addition to the foundational communication courses (CO 111, 213, 241, 246, and 481), 31 hours in journalism courses for a total of 46 hours in the major. Requirements in the journalism major include CO 331, 342, 381, 485; four hours of CO 395JOUR; one hour of CO 395PREL; AR 107, 241ID; and EN 391; and eight additional hours from CO 266, 322, 346, 371, 480, 495, DM 155 and 341. Journalism students are encouraged to complete a minor in another discipline such as history, political science, business or education as additional preparation for a career in journalism.

Students in the public relations major complete the 15 hours of foundational communication courses (CO 111, 213, 241, 246, and 481) and 29 hours in public relations courses to total 44 hours in the major. Requirements in the public relations major include CO 331, 346, 370; two hours of CO 395JOUR; three hours of CO 395PREL; DM 341; AR 241ID; BA 281, 312; and six hours from CO 266, 322, 371, 381, 480, 485, 495, and DM 155.

Students may earn a minor in communication studies by completing CO 111, 213, 241, 246; and six hours selected from CO 266, 322, 346, 370, 371, 380, 395JOUR, 481, and 485. Students may earn a minor in journalism by completing CO 111, 213, 241, 331, 342; and three hours of CO 395JOUR. Students may earn a minor in public relations by completing CO 111, 241, 331, 346; one hour of CO 395JOUR; two hours of CO 395PREL; and BA 281. 

Courses in Communication

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CO 111 Introduction to Communication
(3 credits - Fall)

Communication is much more than just talking. This course is designed to expose students to the wide range of topics that comprise the field of communication. This survey course will introduce students to topics such as group communication, interpersonal communication, conflict resolution, public speaking, listening and intrapersonal communication.

CO 213 Social Media
(3 credits - Fall)

This course introduces students to the theory and practical application of social media for marketing, journalistic reporting and public relations professionals.
Identical with BA 213.

CO 215 Public Speaking
(3 credits - Fall, Spring)

An introduction to the principles of oral communication as applied to public speaking situations. Opportunities are provided for developing skills in composition, research, delivery and criticism of representative types of speeches.
Prerequisite: EN 121

CO 241 Introduction to News Writing
(3 credits - Spring)

Students enrolled in this introductory applied course gain experience writing news stories, feature stories, broadcast stories, opinion pieces and public relations pieces and using the Associated Press stylebook for copy editing. Emphasis is placed on the skills for information gathering, organization and composition necessary to the hard news story as well as the ability to produce under a publication deadline.

CO 246 Interpersonal Communication
(3 credits - Spring)

This course introduces human communicative interaction in dyads and small groups. Theory is applied through participation in laboratory exercises and observation of dyads and groups on and off campus.
Prerequisite: CO 111

CO 266 Communication Theory and History
(3 credits - Fall Odd Years)

The course examines the development of various issues in communication history. Emphasis is given to different types of humanistic and social scientific theories of communication.

CO 322 Intercultural Communication
(3 credits - Spring)

This course explores issues related to the intercultural communication process and considers the important role of context (social, cultural and historical) in intercultural interactions. Students in the class examine the complex relationship between cultures and communication from various perspectives. Special emphasis will be given to managing cross-cultural conflict, cross-cultural teaching and cross-cultural ministry applications.
Identical with MI 321.
Prerequisite: CO 111

CO 331 Principles of Public Relations
(3 credits - Spring Odd Years)

A foundation for the professional practice and theory of public relations. The course surveys public relations principles, history, ethics and challenges and includes field assignments that blend the theory and practice in PR research, planning, communication and evaluation. Students develop a portfolio of work for a selected client organization or business. The course also introduces the principles of crisis management.
Prerequisite: CO 241

CO 342 Advanced Reporting and News Writing
(3 credits - Spring Even Years)

This course provides an advanced study of news writing covering in-depth news articles for publications and advanced interviewing and news gathering techniques.
Prerequisite: CO 241

CO 346 Organizational Communication
(3 credits - Spring Even Years)

Students in this course learn principles of communication applied to the organizational context. Topics covered include information flow, organizational structure, leadership styles related to communication interviewing and communication problems within organizations.
Identical with BA 341.
Prerequisite: CO 111 or BA 252

CO 370 Argumentation and Persuasion
(3 credits - Fall Even Years)

This is an advanced course in oral communication with an emphasis on motivation and persuasion in such interaction. Argumentation is studied within the framework of the logos, pathos and ethos of persuasion. Principles are emphasized and applied through presentations and analyses of contemporary communication artifacts.
Prerequisite: CO 215

CO 371 Nonverbal Communication
(3 credits - Spring Odd Years)

Students in this class examine the types and influences of nonverbal communication that are evident in most face-to-face communication situations. These include but are not limited to appearance, gestures, vocal behavior, space, touch, time and environment. Students will have the opportunity to conduct a small-scale research project on one aspect of nonverbal communication.
Prerequisite: CO 111

CO 380 Introduction to Research Methods
(3 credits - Fall)

Introduces behavioral science research as a scientific process. Students become familiar with the basics of empirical research design, descriptive and basic inferential data analysis techniques and interpretation, measurement considerations, empirical journal articles, APA style scholarly writing and ethical issues in research. Students will analyze and interpret data and write APA style reports. Students will also develop basic skills in analyzing data using statistical analysis software.
Identical with CJ 380, PY 380 and SO 380.
Prerequisites: PY 111 or SO 111, and successful completion of MA 151

CO 381 Media Law
(3 credits - Fall Odd Years)

An overview of current law pertaining to the regulation of mass communication and its historical development in the United States will be the focus of this course. Landmark court decisions regarding the fairness doctrine, equal opportunities provision, libel, First Amendment and the Freedom of Information Act will be covered.
Prerequisite: CO 111

CO 395 Practicum in Communication
(1 to 3 credits - Fall, Spring)

Practicum in some aspect of communication designed to give student practical, directed experience.
Prerequisite: Consent

CO 395JOUR Practicum in Journalism
(1 credit - Fall, Spring)

Students may gain practical on-campus experience through a variety of hands-on media experiences. Journalism students meet weekly for coaching as they report for the campus newspaper, The Huntingtonian, or for a student-produced magazine.
On-campus practica are one credit but may be repeated to the limits prescribed for each major.

CO 395PREL Practicum in Public Relations
(1 credit - Fall, Spring)

Students may gain practical on-campus experience through a variety of hands-on media experiences. Public relations students work under the supervision of the Office of Public Relations, writing and editing college publications and planning events or public relations campaigns.
On-campus practica are one credit but may be repeated to the limits prescribed for each major.
Prerequisites: CO 241 and one credit of CO 395JOUR

CO 480 Applied Research Methods
(3 credits - Spring)

A continuation of the 380 course, though additional focus is placed on the execution and dissemination of behavioral science research. Topics include empirical research design and statistical data analysis, analysis and critique of empirical research, implications of research results and writing in APA style. Students will plan, conduct, analyze and present a research project during the course, and they will further develop skills in analyzing data using statistical analysis software.
Identical with CJ 480, PY 480, and SO 480.
Prerequisite: CO 380

CO 481 Mass Communication
(3 credits - Fall Even Years)

Theories of communication systems will be explored, including the purposes and nature of mass communication and the effects of mass media. Students will examine the Christian role in media ethics, value formation and criticism.
Prerequisite: CO 111

CO 485 Senior Seminar
(3 credits - Spring Odd Years)

Students in this course read qualitative studies and methodologies and conduct a major empirical research project in communication studies using ethnographic and critical research methods. Papers are presented in class or at an academic conference.
Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing

CO 490 Independent Study
(1 to 4 credits - Fall, Spring)

Students earn credit for completing a creative research or communication project approved by the department.
Prerequisites: Junior or senior communication major and consent

CO 495 Internship
(2 to 4 credits - Fall, Spring)

For journalism and public relations students, this is a capstone opportunity for advanced work off campus in areas of concentration at newspapers, magazines, public relations organizations and ad agencies. For communication studies students, the internship is a supervised field study involving communication with a communication organization. The student will complete a project for the organization and write a critical analysis paper about the experience.
Prerequisites: Junior or senior communication major and consent