Courses Offered in the Communication Department at Southwestern University


Southwestern's interdisciplinary Communciation major is designed to sharpen speaking, writing, and critical thinking skills. Although the program focuses primarily on humanistic, rather than technical, training, it provides important background for students who eventually wish to pursue a more specialized aspect of communication. Because communication skills relate to all areas of knowledge, we encourage our students to pursue double majors and minors in other fields. The program is flexible in order to accommodate students who wish to combine their study of Communciation with other disciplines.

Requirements for the major and minor

The Bachelor of Arts in Communication requires a total of 30 hours (21 core hours and 9 elective hours). The core courses are indicated below in the list of all the courses offered by the communication department. Other core courses are 75-943, 951, 952, and 953 which are all Capstone Experiences. Suggested electives are also indicated on the list of courses below. A minor in communication may be obtained by completing eighteen hours of Communication, twelve of which must be above the introductory level. The Communication minor may be taken in conjunction with any other major program.

Public Speaking

Interpersonal Communication

Introduction to Performance Studies

Voice and Speech

  1. Course number: 75-283
  2. Development of the speaking voice; exercises and readings for the improvement of spoken language through training in projection, pronunciation, enunciation, and articulation. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. (Also Theatre 73-283)
  3. *Suggested elective

Chamber Theatre

  1. Course number: 75-373
  2. A course focusing on the analysis of narrative fiction through scripting, staging, and performance. (Also Theatre 73-373) Prerequisite: communication 75-123 and 173.
  3. *Suggested elective


  1. Course number: 75-453
  2. Basic principles of education debate: reasoning, fallacies, evidence, and refutation. Special emphasis placed on the analysis of social issues. (POK-Social Analysis) Prerequisites: Communication 75-113 and 123.
  3. *Suggested elective

Organizational Communication

  1. Course number: 75-463
  2. An investigation of the commmunication patterns of a wide variety of organizations, both public and private. Organizing is viewed as a dynamic process of communication. Particular emphasis is placed on organizational culture and the analysis of case studies. Prerequisites: Communication 75-113 and 75-123.
  3. *Suggested elective

Small-Group Communication

  1. Course number: 75-513
  2. This course emphasizes both the theory and practice of communicating in social groups, support groups, living groups, work teams, and committees. Groups are viewed as systems involving issues of climate development, decision-making, roles, leadership, problem-solving, power, and conflict management. Prerequisites: Communication 75-113 and 75-123.
  3. **Core Course

Communication and Gender

  1. Course number: 75-563
  2. This course discusses the impact of gender on communication through the perspectives of various authors and modes of inquiry. Analysis of intrapersonal, interpersonal, small-group, classroom, organizational, and mass media settings. (Also Women's Studies 04-463.) Prerequisites: Communicaiton 75-113 and 75-123.
  3. *Suggested elective

Rhetorical Theory: An Introduction to Argumentation

  1. Course number: 75-573
  2. An introduction to rhetorical analysis, designed to familiarize the student with the basic concepts of the discipline. Both structural and stylistic questions will be considered. Emphasis on problems of evidence, inference, induction, deduction, semantic arguments, fallacies, arguments from authority, pathetic appeals, voice, rhetorical terms, and audience. Students will be required to analyze as well as produce argumentative prose. Prerequisites: Communication 75-113 and 123.
  3. **Core Course


  1. Course number: 75-613
  2. This writing-intensive course considers the character, purposes, and subject matter of newspaper feature stories and magazine articles. Prerequisites: Communication 75-113 and 123.
  3. **Core Course (Advanced Composition can be taken in place of journalism--course number 10-413)

Narrative Communication

  1. Course number:75-653
  2. This course features the art of narration, particularly the genres of fiction, autobiography, and documentary. Primary emphasis will be placed on aesthetic issues. Prerequisites: Communication 75-113 and 75-123. Communication 75-573 is recommended. (POK-Aesthetic Experience: Lecture)
  3. *Suggested elective

Mass Communication

  1. Course number: 75-683
  2. This course constitutes a critical approach to the history, functions, and control of mass communication in situations--popular press, cinema, television, and radio--and media content and its effects on attitude change. Special emphasis will be given to the organization of news and entertainment, the communication media in public policy, propaganda, and the complex question of the ethics of mass communications. (Also Theatre 74-683.) Prerequisites: Communicaiton 75-113 and 75-123. (POK-American and Western Cultural Heritage)
  3. **Core Course

Advanced Performance Studies

  1. Course number: 75-713
  2. A course which focuses on performance as a field of knowledge and a way of knowing. Topics will include cultural performance, literary performance, and performance art. (Also Theatre 73-713 and Women's Studies 04-713.) Prerequisites: Communication 75-123 and 173.
  3. *Suggested Elective

Feminism and Performance

  1. Course number: 75-723
  2. A course focusing on the ways culture has constructed the performance of gender on stage, in everyday life, and in the media. (Also Theatre 73-723 and Women's Studies 04-723) Prerequisite: Women's Studies 04-103.
  3. *Suggested Elective

Intercultural Communication

  1. Course number: 75-753
  2. This course examines the relationships between culture and communication and the various dynamics that influence interaction in multicultural contexts, including Eastern and Western cultures. An emphasis is placed on the awareness of self as cultural being and tolerance for ambiguity. Prerequisites: Communication 75-113 and 75-123. (POK-Other Cultures and Civilizations)
  3. *Suggested elective

Communication Theory and Research Methods

  1. Course number: 75-763
  2. The first half of this course provides a broad survey of humanist and empirical theories of communicaiton. The second half features major qualitative and quantitative research methods within the field. Prerequisites: Communication 75-113 and 75-123.
  3. *Suggested elective

Introduction to Acting

Directing for the Theatre

Writing for the Theatre

Selected Topics

  1. Couse number: 75-301, 302, 303
  2. Special topics not in the regular curriculum--offered on student request. May be repeated with change in topic.
  3. *Suggested elective

Academic Internship

  1. Course number: 75-943
  2. Must be taken on a Pass/D/F basis. In normal circumstances, may be repeated only once for credit.
  3. *Suggested elective

Independent Study


  1. Course number: 75-983
  2. Students wishing to participate in the University Honors Program develop an honors project which is evaluated by an examination committee. To be in the Honors Program in a department, a student must be invited to participate by that department and have a minimum cummlative grade point average of 3.1 and a grade point average of 3.4 in courses taken in the major. Admission to the program is based on an assessment of the student's academic ability, his or her motivation and ability to do the work, and the coherence and feasibility of the proposed honors project. Students may be admitted to the program no earlier than the second semester of their junior year and no later than the first semester of their senior year. A student who successfully completes the Honors Program will graduate with honors in his or her major field.
  3. *Suggested elective

E-mail Dr. Christine Kiesinger, Acting Chair

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