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 oral 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.

Professor  Kenneth L. Hacker, Department Head

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

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

Communication Studies

COMM 253G. Public Speaking

3 Credits

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

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

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

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

COMM 351. Persuasion Theory and Practice

3 Credits

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

COMM 370. Organizational Communication

3 Credits

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

COMM 376. Communication and Culture

3 Credits

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

COMM 384. Interpersonal Communication

3 Credits

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

COMM 425. Small Group Communication

3 Credits

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

COMM 440. Political Communication

3 Credits

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COMM 470. Leadership Communication

3 Credits

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COMM 506. Qualitative Research Methods in Communication

3 Credits

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COMM 571. Seminar in Sports Communication

3 Credits

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

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

Communication systems, symbolic processes, analysis of messages.

COMM 584. Seminar in Interpersonal Communication

3 Credits

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

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

Prerequisite: 9 credits of M.A. degree.

COMM 599. Master's Thesis

15 Credits

Thesis.

Name:

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Phone: (575) 646-2801

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