Communication Studies

Undergraduate Program Information

The communication studies program is designed to enhance students’ interpersonal skills, presentation skills and critical thinking skills. Thus the successful graduate should be able to work effectively with people, assimilate, organize and analyze information, solve problems, make effective presentations and show potential for leadership. The program prepares students for careers in several professions, such as training and development, public relations, law, advertising and sales, government service, mediation, customer relations, human resources, international service, fundraising and the ministry.

Graduate Program Information

The Master of Arts in Communication Studies provides students with a social scientific approach to the study of human interaction, using quantitative and qualitative methods. Our curriculum is designed to explore how communication takes place interpersonally, within organizations, within our political system, and between and within cultures. Students take courses in interpersonal communication, organizational communication, political communication and/or cultural communication. All graduate students take courses in communication theory and research methods. In addition, students can take courses in topic areas such as conflict management, small group communication, persuasion and nonverbal communication.

The program offers a wide variety of courses allowing students an opportunity to select topics pursuant to their special interests. In addition to courses, students have the opportunity to obtain practical experience by participating in professional activities offered by the department; for example, graduate teaching assistantships, research and colloquia.

Master's Accelerated Program Information

This is the Communication Studies Department policy for the MAP program. 

The Master’s Accelerated Program is an opportunity for qualified, advanced undergraduate students to begin graduate study while still enrolled as an undergraduate student. Students accepted into the program will be able to take up to 12 credits that can be applied to a Master’s degree in Communication Studies at New Mexico State University. This equates to one third of the required credits to obtain a graduate degree in Communication Studies at NMSU. 

Student Qualifications

Potential MAP students must meet the minimum qualifications for the program as outlined in the Graduate School policy concerning MAP programs. 
In addition to these qualifications, students must meet the following requirements in order to be eligible for application to the MAP program. 

  • Must be a junior or senior
  • Must have a GPA of 3.25 or higher
  • Must apply to the program with sufficient time to take the 12 credit hours that will be applied toward the overall program of study. (Students will not be able to retroactively apply credits to MAP program).
  • Must participate in the online graduate student development program run through the graduate school. (Note: this training must be completed while the student is still an undergraduate student.) 

Eligible courses for the MAP Program in Communication Studies

  • Students may take any COMM course numbered 500 or higher. If students want to enroll in COMM 505 Research Methods, COMM 506 Qualitative Research Methods in Communication, or COMM 583 Seminar in Theories of Communication, then they must receive permission from the Department Head. 
  • Students may elect to take all 12 credits numbered 500 or higher.
  • Students have the option to take the following:
  • Any two courses (6 credits) numbered 450 or above in the Department of Communication Studies. 
  • Students will not be allowed to use more than two courses (6 credits) for credit toward a graduate degree in Communication Studies. If a student uses courses numbered 450 or greater in the MAP program (up to 6 credits), then that student will not be able to use any other course below 500 to count toward the M.A. in Communication Studies.
  • Graduate courses do not substitute for undergraduate core courses unless approved by the professor teaching the graduate course. 
  • Students who are accepted into the Communication Studies MAP program will only be allowed to matriculate into the graduate program in Communication Studies at NMSU.
  • Students who enroll in a MAP program other than Communication Studies will not be able to apply those credits toward a graduate degree in Communication Studies at NMSU.
     

Eric Morgan, Department Head

Professors Hubbell, Flora, Associate Professors Morgan, Armfield; Assistant Professors Halliwell Emeritus Hacker

G. Armfield, Ph.D. (University of Missouri-Columbia)– organizational communication, communication and sports; J. Flora, Ph.D. (Kansas)– interpersonal communication and family communication;   K. Hacker, Ph.D. (Oregon)– new media networking, political communication, national security communication; D. Halliwell, Ph.D. (University of Missouri)- interpersonal communication, communication and technology; A. Hubbell, Ph.D. (Michigan State) – organizational communication, health communication; E. Morgan, Ph.D. (University of Massachusetts-Amherst)– communication and culture, environmental communication;

Communication Studies Courses

COMM 250. Introduction to the Communication Major

1 Credit (1)

This is a one-credit course for new Communication Studies majors. It helps them get acquainted with the department, the department head (professor for this course, the professors, other students, and the department student organizations. It also deals with degree mapping and career mapping and any problems the students are having in their first year. Finally, the students learn about the the Communication Studies discipline and various communication careers they can pursue with their degree. The class meets one day each week for one hour. Restricted to: Communication Studies majors. Restricted to Las Cruces campus only.

COMM 253G. Public Speaking

3 Credits (3)

Principles of effective public speaking, with emphasis on preparing and delivering well-organized, logical, and persuasive arguments adapted to different audiences.

COMM 265G. Principles of Human Communication

3 Credits (3)

Study and practice of interpersonal, small group, and presentational skills essential to effective social, business, and professional interaction.

COMM 285. Survey of Communication Theory

3 Credits (3)

Exploration of major theories, concepts and methods of research in the study of human communication. Primarily for majors.

COMM 290. Independent Study

1-3 Credits

Individualized, self-paced projects for students with a special interest in communication topics. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits.

Prerequisites: COMM 265G and sophomore standing.

COMM 291. Special Topics

1-3 Credits

Specific subjects and credits to be announced in the Schedule of Classes. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits.

COMM 305. Communication Research Methods

3 Credits (3)

Introductory course in communication research. Emphasis on how to be an effective consumer of research.

COMM 310. Communication Theory and Discovery

3 Credits (3)

This course combines the content of the former COMM 285 and COMM 305 courses. The course explores the nature of communication science, major communication theories, and how communication research is conducted and interpreted.

COMM 351. Persuasion Theory and Practice

3 Credits (3)

Training in understanding and applying the principles and techniques of argumentation and persuasion.

COMM 370. Organizational Communication

3 Credits (3)

Communication strategies and patterns of private and governmental organizations, including research on the communication process.

COMM 376. Communication and Culture

3 Credits (3)

Cultural and intercultural communication theory and behavior, with a concentration on the development of specific communication skills which should facilitate effective intercultural communication.

COMM 377. Conflict Management

3 Credits (3)

Communication strategies to manage and negotiate conflict in intrapersonal, interpersonal, group, and organizational settings.

COMM 384. Interpersonal Communication

3 Credits (3)

Theories of interpersonal communication and relational communication including study of relevant models, contexts and constructs.

COMM 425. Small Group Communication

3 Credits (3)

Principles and methods of modern group discussion with emphasis on the role of the group in problem solving.

COMM 440. Political Communication

3 Credits (3)

Presidential and congressional campaigns, political persuasion techniques, political advertising, power in language, and media aspects of political information. Ideology, resistance to political manipulation, and dependence of democracies on communication.

COMM 450. Technologies of Human Communication

3 Credits (3)

Development and evolution of human communication technologies from prehistory through the future of computer-mediated communication networks. Examines behavioral, cognitive, social, cultural, and political issues of new communication technologies and their use and management.

Prerequisite: junior or senior standing.

COMM 455. Fundamentals of Communication and National Security

3 Credits (3)

This course addresses communication perspectives informing national security, strategic intelligence, and the intelligence process. Students will examine U.S. national security history, policy, the development of the Intelligence Community, and intelligence as processes of communication. This course serves as an introduction to national security studies.

COMM 456. Communication and the Intelligence Cycle

3 Credits (3)

The course addresses communication requirements and the technical, cognitive, and cultural complexity of the collaborative research environment. Students participate in novel, team-based problem scenarios that provide the foundation for acquiring advanced cognitive analytic methods and strategies. Students will engage in interdisciplinary information science processes and will develop and present analytic products responding to national security requirements.

COMM 457. Strategic Communication and Public Diplomacy

3 Credits (3)

This course covers history, theory, and research related to the use of communication to change attitudes in favor of U.S. national security interests. Students will examine the use of strategic communication and influence in diplomacy, intelligence, and military communities in terms of specific strategies, effects, and issues. Students will learn to distinguish public diplomacy, information operations, public affairs, and other forms of political communication that are used by the U.S. government to persuade target populations about American interests and goals. Topics include soft power, intelligence-based negotiation processes, and research methods used to identify influence techniques or groups that threaten U.S. national security.

COMM 458. Intercultural Communication and National Security

3 Credits (3)

This course provides a concentration on cultural factors in international affairs and conflicts, how culture affects perceptions of national interests, and the relationship of U.S. national security to understand the general and political cultures of other nations. Students will integrate cultural and intercultural communication theory and behavior, with an emphasis on the development of specific communication skills to facilitate developing cultural knowledge in government and political contexts. Students will learn how to study the cultural factors that affect international conflicts and how strategic communication should address such cultural factors.

COMM 460. Deception and Communication

3 Credits (3)

Deceptive communication including nonverbal indicators of lies, types of lies, and influence of relationships on lying behavior and interpretation.

COMM 462. Family Communication

3 Credits (3)

A communication perspective on traditional and nontraditional family configurations, roles, interaction patterns, and conflict. Includes an examination of media depictions of families and family interaction, as well as current social and political issues related to the family.

COMM 465. Nonverbal Communication

3 Credits (3)

Study of and experimentation with nonverbal aspects of human communication as vital components of the total communication process.

COMM 470. Leadership Communication

3 Credits (3)

Examination of traditional theories and concepts of leader-follower dynamics; presentation of cognitive, systems, and symbolic interpretative views of leadership with an emphasis on persuasion and motivation in leader-follower interactions.

COMM 471. Sports Communication

3 Credits (3)

This course provides a senior-level exploration of the role sports and sports communication plays in contemporary culture. Readings will examine the interrelationship between sports and media in society, the identities that fans assume when engaging in fanship and sports viewership, the pervasiveness of sports communication practices in the sports industry, the role of media in story telling, and the way cultural identifiers of class, ethnicity, and gender play out in the media. This is taught with COMM 571.

COMM 475. International Communication

3 Credits (3)

Exploration of the forms and channels of communication substantially influenced by international cultural and political factors. Covers: global communication technology; news, information and entertainment flows; international diplomacy and negotiation, communication in war and peace.

COMM 477. Environmental Communication

3 Credits (3)

Examines the link between communication and environment within the context of communication scholarship. Topics include sense of place, cultural approaches to interacting with environment as well as exploring current themes surrounding environment.

COMM 480. Health Communication

3 Credits (3)

Examination of central issues in communication theory and practice as applied to health care. Includes communication in health care organizations, media dissemination of health information, role of communication in disease prevention and health promotion, and symbolic meaning of illness within cultures.

COMM 484. Verbal Communication

3 Credits (3)

Examination of rules governing conversational structures such as speech acts, action sequences, topics and topic shifts. Also covers humor in conversation and conversational control.

COMM 485. International Teaching Assistant Development

3 Credits (3)

International teaching assistants will receive instruction in communicative skills to enable them to meet their responsibilities at NMSU. Course includes lectures, seminars, video-taped presentations, and tutorial sessions emphasizing pedagogic and presentation skills and styles.

Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

COMM 490. Independent Study

1-3 Credits

Individualized, self-paced projects for advanced students. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits.

Prerequisites: COMM 265G and junior standing with consent of participating instructor.

COMM 491. Selected Topics

1-6 Credits

Individual and/or group study of selected topics. To be identified by subtitle. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits.

Prerequisite: prior arrangement with faculty supervisor(s).

COMM 495. Communication Internship

3 Credits (3)

Internship opportunity to apply what has been learned to a real-world situation. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits. Restricted to majors.

Prerequisite: junior standing and 3.0 GPA in major.

COMM 505. Research Methods

3 Credits (3)

Seminar in the quantitative study of human communication phenomena, research desgin, and statistical analysis.

COMM 506. Qualitative Research Methods in Communication

3 Credits (3)

Survey of qualitative research methods in the study of human communication, including historical and critical approaches, interviewing, participant-observation, and communication ethnography. Students apply methods to their own research.

COMM 540. Seminar in Political communication

3 Credits (3)

Political communication theory, research, and issues. Empirical studies of campaigns, movements, news media, voter decision-making, political participation, socialization, and knowledge. Political theory, field research, communication science findings and research methods.

COMM 545. Seminar in Ethicism, Racism, and Communication

3 Credits (3)

Course focuses on theories and research concerning the social, cognitive, and communication aspects of ethnic and racial prejudice. Specific psychological and communication processes of person and group categorization are explored along with findings about the effects of ethnic prejudice on everyday communication (and vice versa).

COMM 550. Seminar in Communication Technologies

3 Credits (3)

Seminar on design, usage, and social impact of electronic mail, communication through computer networks, and new technologies of organizational communication such as group decision support systems (GDSS). Each student will study an actual application of a major communication technology in an organization.

COMM 551. Seminar in Persuasion

3 Credits (3)

Work with an actual persuasion campaign, such as public information, political, or commercial marketing campaigns. Includes case studies of large-scale persuasion efforts, current theoretical models of persuasion processes, and methods for studying, evaluating, and refining messages for optimal effects.

Prerequisite: COMM 351 or consent of instructor.

COMM 555. Seminar Fundamentals of Communication and National Security

3 Credits (3)

This seminar course addresses communication perspectives informing national security, strategic intelligence, and the intelligence process. Students will examine U.S. national security history, policy, the development of the Intelligence Community, and intelligence as processes of communication. This course serves as an introduction to national security studies. Graduate students are required to fulfill advanced research and presentation requirements.

COMM 556. Seminar Communication and the Intelligence Cycle

3 Credits (3)

This seminar course addresses communication requirements and the technical, cognitive, and cultural complexity of the collaborative research environment. Students participate in novel, team-based problem scenarios that provide the foundation for acquiring advanced cognitive analytic methods and strategies. Students will engage in interdisciplinary information science processes and will develop and present analytic products responding to national security requirements. Graduate students will be required to fulfill advanced research and presentation requirements.

COMM 557. Seminar Strategic Communication and Public Diplomacy

3 Credits (3)

The seminar course covers history, theory, and research related to the use of communication to change attitudes in favor of U.S. security interests. Students will examine the use of strategic communication and influence in diplomacy, intelligence, and military communities in terms of specific strategies, effects, and issues. Students will learn to distinguish public diplomacy, information operations, public affairs, and other forms of political communication that are by the U.S. government to persuade target populations about American interests and goals. Topics include soft power, intelligence-based negotiation processes, and research methods used to identify influence techniques of groups that threaten U.S. national security. Graduate students will be required to fulfill advanced research and presentation requirements.

COMM 558. Seminar Intercultural Communication and National Security

3 Credits (3)

The seminar course provides a concentration on cultural factors in international affairs and conflicts, how culture affects perceptions of national interests, and the relationship of U.S. national security to understand the general and political cultures of other nations. Students will integrate cultural and intercultural communication theory and behavior, with an emphasis on the development of specific communication skills to facilitate developing cultural knowledge in government and political contexts. Students will learn how to study the cultural factors that affect international conflicts and how strategic communication should address such cultural factors. Graduate students will be required to fulfill advanced research and presentation requirements.

COMM 562. Seminar in Family Communication

3 Credits (3)

This course examines cutting edge research on family communication, as well as classic theories and research findings that have influenced and revolutionized the way scholars conceptualize family interaction. Topics include basic family communication processes, communication in family subsystems, communication during family stress, and the role of family interaction in health and well-being. Students will explore how family relationships are built, maintained, and destroyed by communication as well as the potentially important and long lasting effects of family relationships on individuals.

COMM 565. Seminar in Nonverbal Communication

3 Credits (3)

This course focuses on human physical behaviors as the basis of communication between persons. This physical behavior includes such variables as the voice, face, eyes, posture, gesture, space, territory, clothing, and touch. The content of the course considers the individual and social factors affecting the production of such behaviors, and the effects of such behaviors on others' attitudes, perceptions, cognitions, and relationships. Applications of research and theory in nonverbal communication to infant development, personality, sex differences, marital satisfaction, relationship development, culture, aging, and brain functioning are also studied throughout the course.

COMM 570. Seminar in Organizational Communication

3 Credits (3)

Communication strategies and patterns of private and governmental organizations, including research on communication systems.

COMM 571. Seminar in Sports Communication

3 Credits (3)

This seminar provides a graduate-level exploration of the role sports and sports communication plays in contemporary culture. Readings will examine the interrelationship between sports and media in society, the identities that fans assume when engaging in fanship and sports viewership, the pervasiveness of sports communication practices in the sports industry, the role of media in story telling, and the way cultural identifiers of class, ethnicity, and gender play out in the media. This is taught with COMM 471.

COMM 576. Seminar on Communication and Culture

3 Credits (3)

Cultural and intercultural communication theory and research. Focuses on discovering and describing distinctive ways of speaking within and between cultures.

COMM 583. Seminar in Theories of Communication

3 Credits (3)

Communication systems, symbolic processes, analysis of messages.

COMM 584. Seminar in Interpersonal Communication

3 Credits (3)

Theories of interpersonal communication and communication within a relationship, including study of relevant models, contexts, and constructs.

COMM 590. Independent Study

1-6 Credits

Individualized, self-paced projects.

Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

COMM 591. Special Topics

1-9 Credits

Individual and/or group study of special topics. To be identified by subtitle.

Prerequisite: prior arrangement with faculty supervisor(s).

COMM 595. Communication Internship for Graduate Students

3 Credits (3)

Internship opportunity to apply what students have learned to the real world. Restricted to majors.

Prerequisite: 9 credits of M.A. degree.

COMM 598. MA PROJECT

1-6 Credits (1-6)

Project credits are used for the master's degree project option. May be repeated up to 6 credits. Restricted to: Comm Studies graduate majors only. majors.

COMM 599. Master's Thesis

15 Credits

Thesis.

 

Phone: (575) 646-2801

Website:   https://commstudies.nmsu.edu/