Department of Communication

Department of Communication Home Page


Michael Beatty, Professor; Chairperson
Ph.D., Ohio State University
Donald Shields, Professor Emeritus
Ph.D., University of Minnesota
Alice E. Hall, Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
Alan D. Heisel, Associate Professor
Ed.D., West Virginia University
Su Ahn Jang, Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of Texas
Elizabeth Kizer, Associate Professor Emerita
Ph.D., Purdue University
Amber Reinhart, Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of Buffalo
Yan Tian, Assistant Professor
Ph.D., Temple University
Jina Yoo, Assistant Professor
Ph.D., Michigan State University
Alan Akerson, Lecturer
M.A., University of Missouri-St. Louis
Leighanne Heisel, Lecturer
M.A., West Virginia University
Clark McMillion, Lecturer
M.A., State University College of New York at Brockport

The faculty represents many fields within the discipline of communication including interpersonal communication, organizational communication, mass communication, and rhetoric in addition to public relations.  Most faculty members contribute to the continued growth of the knowledge base, publishing the results of their research in scholarly journals and presenting papers at national and international professional conferences.   By integrating theory, research, and practice, the faculty is able to offer a comprehensive approach to contemporary communication problems.

General Information

The Bachelor of Arts in Communication
The B.A. in communication is a flexible degree program that allows the student to tailor a specific concentration to meet the student’s individual needs and interests. The faculty encourages all students to meet early and often with their faculty adviser to select a meaningful group of courses for a coherent, career-oriented academic program.

Minors and Certificates for Communication
The department actively supports the following minor and certificate programs open to students majoring in communication: Minor in Public Affairs Journalism, Minor in Photographic Studies, Minor in Legal Studies, Certificate in Writing, and Certificate in Secondary Education. For more information, see Certificate Programs and Interdisciplinary Studies in this Bulletin.

Master of Arts in Communication
The Master of Arts program, provides the opportunity for an advanced degree program in communication with emphasis in organizational and mass communication. For further details, please see the Graduate Studies section of the Communication Department listings.

Undergraduate Studies

General Education Requirements
Majors must satisfy the university and college general education requirements. The college's foreign language requirement may be taken in any language. Communication courses may not be taken on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Arts in Communication:
Majors must complete a minimum of 36 semester hours in Communication courses.  At least 18 of these must be taken at UM-St. Louis.  Furthermore, at least 12 semester hours of the Communication courses completed must be numbered 3000-4999.  Finally, all students must complete the required courses.

Required courses for the major:
1030, Interpersonal Communication I
1050, Introduction to Mass Media
1135, Communication Theory
2231, Communication in the Organization
3332, Intercultural Communication

At least 3 hours from practicum courses (1193, 1194, 1197 or 1198) or internship courses (3393, 3394, 3396, or 3397).

Bachelor of Arts in Communication with Certification in Secondary Education

In addition to the requirements for the B.A. in communication and general requirements set by the College of Education, students must meet the state requirements for certification.

The B.A. and certification for grades 7-12 can be completed by taking a minimum of 39 hours in communication, selected according to departmental recommendations.  The B.A. and certification for grades 7-9 can be obtained by taking 36 hours in communication, selected according to departmental recommendations. Requirements of the College of Education include courses in professional education and Engl 3600, The Curriculum and Methods of Teaching English (same as SEC ED 3600).

Department Activities and Internships
Cocurricular projects and activities relevant to student interests and vocational plans are sponsored and advised by the department.  In addition to the traditional classroom experience, students receive practical training in internships at community agencies, and public relations, marketing, and advertising firms, and a variety of business organizations provide valuable opportunities for majors to apply their communication studies.

Minors in Communication
Coursework for a minor in Communication consists of 15 semester hours of the core requirements for the major.  Credit hours in Comm 1195, and/or Comm 3395, may be substituted for credit hours listed below with written consent of the communication department chairperson.

Core Requirements:
Comm 1030, Interpersonal Communication I
Comm 1050, Introduction to Mass Media
Comm 2231, Communication in the Organization
Comm 3330, Research Methods in Communications I
Comm 3332, Intercultural Communication

At least 9 of the 15 hours required for the minor must be taken at UM-St. Louis.

A minimum GPA of 2.5 is required in the minor.

Graduate Studies

The department offers the Master of Arts degree in communication.

Admission requirements:
Applicants must have a baccalaureate in communication or a related discipline by the end of the semester in which they apply. The minimum cumulative GPA required for regular admission to the graduate program in communication is 3.25 on a 4-point scale.   Three letters of recommendation, at least two of which address the applicant’s potential to succeed in graduate studies in communication, are also required.  Finally, International students must obtain a TOEFL score of at least 600 (233 for the computer-based exam) to be considered for admission.

Degree Requirements:
Candidates selecting the thesis or internship option for the M.A. degree will complete at least 30 semester hours of approved study, at least 21 of which must be taken in courses offered by the department.  Candidates electing the non-thesis, non-internship option must complete 36 semester hours of approved study, 27 of which must be taken in courses offered by the department.

6400, Seminar in Communication Theory
6405, Introduction to Communication Research Methods
6411, Seminar in Mass Communication
6431, Seminar in Organizational Communication
6435, Seminar in Advanced Applied Communication Research

Students complete one of the following exit projects: No less than a 6-hour thesis or a 6-hour internship. After consultation with the graduate coordinator the student selects either the 36 hour or the 30 hour program and, in the latter case, selects the appropriate exit project with input from prospective exit project committee members,  the internship option requires submission of an essay in which the coursework and internship experiences are integrated. Internship essay and thesis must be approved by the student’s committees and assigned a grade by the advisor. The candidate must pass an oral examination conducted by student's committee regardless of exit option selected.

Career Outlook

The B.A. in communication prepares students for careers in numerous fields. Past graduates are working in the following positions: promotion and public relations, administration, advertising, marketing, Web page design, market research, corporate media, sales, training, speech writing, teaching, and research. Other students have pursued graduate education in communication programs offering the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees.

Course Descriptions

Prerequisites may be waived by consent of the department.

Students who have earned 24 or more semester hours of credit at any accredited post-secondary institutions(s) before the start of the fall 2002 semester must meet the general education requirements stipulated in the UM-St Louis 2001-2002 Bulletin.  The following courses fulfill the Humanities breadth of study requirements as described in that Bulletin:
1070,1160, 2271, 2272, 3337, 3340, 3341, 3342, 3343, 3344, 3350,3352.

The following courses fulfill the Social Sciences breadth of study requirements:
1065,1135, 2218, 2230, 2231, 2243, 3330, 3331 3332, 3333, 4335,3350, 3354, 4356.

1030 Interpersonal Communication I (3) [C]
Introduction to the theories of interpersonal communication. Emphasis on basic principles involved in one-to-one interactions.

1040 Introduction to Public Speaking (3) [C]
Theories and techniques of organization, evidence, argumentation, persuasion, and delivery in public speaking.

1041 Basic Public Debate (3)
History and practice of debate in the public arena, with opportunities to prepare for a variety of public forums for argumentation. Various debate formats, including panel discussions, joint news conferences, and audience-participation debates, in a variety of settings, will be surveyed.

1050 Introduction to Mass Media (3) [C,SS]
Introduction to oral, print, and electronic media of communication. Emphasis on history, theory, and criticism of the mass media as cultural institutions.

1135 Communication Theory (3)
Survey of elements and processes critical to human communication behavior. Comparison of influential communication theories.

1140 Advanced Public Speaking (3)
Prerequisite: Comm 1040. Application of advanced public speaking skills, with emphasis on special occasion speaking situations.

1141 Business and Professional Speaking (3)
Prerequisite: Comm 1040. Application of communication skills in the business and professional environment with emphasis on presentational speaking, organizational constructs germane to professional careers, and uses of various media.

1143 Parliamentary Procedure (2)
Prerequisite: Comm 1040. Study and practice in rules of procedure by which self-governing groups transact business.

1150 Introduction to Public Relations (3)
Prerequisite: Comm 1040 or 1050. Publicity methods and public relations representation of profit and nonprofit institutions to the public; use of communication research and media, as applied to the public relations profession.

1193 Practicum in Applied Communication (1-3)
Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Practicum work at any of the UM-St. Louis public relations offices, sports and school newspapers, Office of Research or Photography Services. Work must be done on campus, under supervision of a working professional in the field, in consultation with a faculty member.

1194 Practicum in Debate/Forensics (1-3)
Prerequisite:  Consent of instructor.  Practical work in the University debate and forensics program, supervised by a faculty member. Repeatable, but no more than 6 credit hours may be earned in departmental practicum courses.

1195 Seminar in Communication (3)
Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. In-depth study of topics pertaining to current research in the department or otherwise of timely interest to students or faculty.

2230 Small Group Communication (3)
Prerequisite: Comm 1040. Development of communication skills needed in small group decision making. Application of these skills to contemporary problems.

2231Communication in the Organization (3)
Prerequisite: Junior standing or consent of instructor. Course integrates communication theories applicable to the structure and function of organizations. The effect of communication variables on departmental interface, member satisfaction and motivation, leadership and subordinate styles, and perception of the organization by the external environment.

2232 Effective Communication in the Organization: Tool for Leadership (3)
Prerequisites: Junior standing or consent of instructor. Telecourse designed to equip students with communication skills applicable to the organizational context. The course will present effective strategies for the articulation of ideas, with particular emphasis on the development of leadership skills.

2240 Persuasive Communication (3)
Prerequisite: Comm 1040. A study of persuasive communication, including theories, techniques, forms, functions, applications, potential, and limitations for the individual and organizations. Insights from both classical rhetoric and contemporary communication theory.

2241 Argumentation and Debate (3)
Prerequisite: Comm 1040, or 1041, or consent of instructor. Principles of argumentation and debate with practice in preparing briefs and in delivering spoken arguments in formal debate. Emphasis on analysis of issues, logical reasoning, and audience analysis.

2243 Communication in American Politics (3)
Prerequisite: Comm 1040. Analysis of audience response and media preferences in political campaigns, campaign speeches, candidates' uses of television and other mass media, and measuring effectiveness of campaign communications.

3130 Advanced Interpersonal Communication (3)
Prerequisite: Comm 1030.  Continuation of Comm 1030, focusing on contemporary theories and research regarding interpersonal relationships.

3330 Research Methods in Communication I (3)
Prerequisite: Comm 1135. Introduction to the fundamental tools of quantitative research in communication. Focus of the course is on reading and comprehending communication research reports rather than conducting quantitative research.

3331 Research Methods in Communication II (3)
Prerequisite: Comm 3330. Extends the study of research methods covered in Com 3330 to the planning and executing of research projects.  Students acquire data analysis, research design, and basic measurement skills.  Problems of quantitative study unique to the study of communication are explored.

3332 Intercultural Communication (3)
Prerequisite: Junior standing or consent of the instructor. Study of culture as a variable in both interpersonal and collective communicative situations. Emphasis upon opportunities and problems arising from similarities or differences in communication patterns, processes, and codes among various cultural groups.

3333 Communication Audit (3)
Prerequisite: Comm 2231. The application of specific empirical research designs to evaluate communication flows, effectiveness, or channels in complex organizations.

3337 Male/Female Communication (3)
Prerequisite: Junior standing or consent of instructor. This course explores the influence of gender upon contemporary American communication behavior. Topics include semantic and syntactic variations in male and female speech, gender-role development as process and product of communication, analysis of communication patterns and barriers within gender groups. Mass, public, interpersonal, and dyadic communication contexts are considered.

3340 Rhetorical Criticism (3)
Prerequisite: Comm 1040. The application of rhetorical theories to the analytical and critical explanation of persuasive messages.

3341 Classical Rhetoric and Public Address (3)
Prerequisite: Comm 1040 or consent of instructor. A survey of the history and theories of persuasion and public address from ancient times to the Renaissance.

3342 Modern Rhetoric and Public Address (3)
Prerequisite: Comm 1040 or consent of instructor. A survey of the history and theories of persuasion and public address from the post-Renaissance era to the present.

3343 The Rhetoric of Protest (3)
Prerequisite: Comm 1040. An examination of the persuasive messages and tactics used in social movements and their campaigns.

3344 Advanced Argumentation Theory (3)
Prerequisite: Comm 2241 or consent of instructor. This course focuses on advanced argumentation theory. It is aimed at providing an advanced understanding of the complex issues faced by argumentation scholars.

3345 Theory and Practice of Interviewing (3)
Prerequisite: Comm 1040 and junior standing, or consent of instructor. The application of modern communication theory to interview situations. This theory and practicum course is designed to aid the student in mastering specific skills appropriate to specialized settings.

3346 Advanced Interviewing Techniques (3)
Prerequisite: Comm 3345. Examination and application of problem solving and information-gathering methods, with emphasis on specialized situations such as journalistic; health, crisis intervention, and counseling; superior-subordinate relationships and employment. In-class study approach and field interview assignments.

3352 Mass Media Criticism (3)
Prerequisite: Comm 1050 or 1060. The study of media content and its effect on society. Reading and viewing of selected works. Independent reading and critical analysis required.

3358 Communication in Public Relations I (3)
Prerequisite: Comm 1150. An overview of communication within the area of public relations. Emphasis on ethics, law, professional standards, and written communication. Case study approach.

3359 Communication in Public Relations II (3)
Prerequisites: Comm 3358. A continuation of Com 3358 with special attention given to communication theories and strategies that underlie public relations initiatives.

3360 Health Communication in Mass Mediated Contexts (3)
Prerequisite: Comm 1050 or consent of instructor.  Examination of the theories and literature dealing with the role of mass media in health behavior.  Topics include health promotion and prevention campaigns and the effect of news and entertainment media on health behaviors.

3361 Health Communication in Interpersonal and Organizational Contexts (3)
Prerequisites:  Comm 1030 and 2231, or consent of instructor.  Examination of the theories and literature dealing with the role of interpersonal organizational communication in health behavior and health care organizations.

3362 Storytelling (1-3)
Prerequisite: Junior standing or consent of instructor. This course gives an overview of the history of storytelling, types of tales, and appropriate uses for storytelling. The primary emphasis of the course is in developing storytelling skills through preparation, performances, and evaluation.

3392 Administration of Cocurricular Activities (3)
Prerequisites: Comm 1040 or Consent of Instructor.  A survey of skills required to administer the various cocurricular activities associated with teachers who teach speech and communication courses in the secondary schools.  Practical experience in skills such as: operation of debate tournaments, public speaking competitions, and mock trial competitions.

3395 Special Topics in Communication (3)
Prerequisite: Senior or graduate standing. In-depth study of topics pertaining to current research in the department. May be repeated up to six credit hours if topic is different.

4035 Integrated Approaches to Public Relations, Advertising, and Promotion (3)
Prerequisite: Comm 3336 and Comm 3358. Overview of how publicity, advertising and other promotional activities can be integrated into a single cohesive communication initiative or program.

4335 Seminar in Applied Communication Research (3)
Prerequisites: Comm 1135 and consent of instructor. This course explores the use of communication concepts, theories, methods, and designs in applied field settings with an emphasis on original research.

4390 Directed Readings (3)
Prerequisites: Consent of instructor; not open to students who have any Y or delayed grades outstanding. Supervised independent study involving readings, conferences, papers, etc., in one of the department's disciplines: communication theory and rhetoric, or mass communication.

4391 Supervised Research (1-5)
Prerequisites: Junior/senior standing and consent of instructor; not open to students who have any Y or delayed grades outstanding. Supervised field or laboratory research, data collection, literature searches, qualitative or quantitative data analysis, report writing and other techniques used by communication researchers. Repeatable, but no more than 5 credit hours may be earned in supervised research courses.

4393 Internship in Applied Communication (3-6)
Prerequisites: Senior standing, with a least 12 hours of course work in Communication, consent of instructor; open to communication majors only.  Advanced practical work in business and organizational communication, public relations, or campaign communication.  Work must be done under the supervision of a working professional in consultation with a faculty member.  Repeatable, but no more than six hours total credit may be earned in internship courses toward the 36-hour minimum required for the degree.

6400 Seminar in Communication Theory (3)
Prerequisites: Graduate Standing. Examination of the theoretical, methodological, and philosophy of science issues in the discipline of communication. Examines general, micro, contextual, and interdisciplinary (symbiotic) communication theories. Required of all graduate communication students. (Core Course.)

6405 Introduction to Communication Research Methods (3)
Prerequisites: Graduate Standing. Concerns the logic of scientific inquiry including the discovery, counting, and analysis of material, social, and symbolic facts, and reviews research methods guided by general, micro and contextual communication theories. Provides an orientation to graduate research including proposal development for thesis, internship and paper requirements and includes a theory-based research project of the student's choice. Required of all graduate communication students. (Core Course.)

6406 Introduction to Communication Education Research (3)
Prerequisites: Graduate Standing. The development of educational communication research as a social scientific field. Critical evaluation of techniques and problem selection. Emphasis on the function of communication education concept formation and theory.

6411 Seminar in Mass Communication (3)
Examines the communication research literature pertaining to media planning, content, and effects. A broad range of media forms and possible effects are considered.

6431 Seminar in Organizational Communication (3)
Prerequisites: Graduate Standing. Explores communication theories and topics related to organizational, institutional, and social system contexts and reviews the communication literature on behavior in organizations. Emphasizes a case study approach to the communication strategies used by agencies and corporations. (Core course.)

6435 Seminar in Advanced Applied Communication (3)
Prerequisites: Graduate Standing. Examines the logic and forms of communication inquiry in solving client-centered problems. Topics include audience ratings and segmentation, targeting, applied and basic research paradigms and approaches to grounding theory. Reviews the use of research by agencies, campaigns and organizations. Includes a team research project. (Core Course.)

6445 Seminar in Advanced Organizational Communication (3)
Prerequisite: Com 6431. Extends the exploration of communication in organizations covered in Com 6431 to more advanced quantitative models of organizational communication. Focuses heavily on the quantitative studies published in communication research literature.

6454 Seminar in Communication Systems and Technologies (3)
Prerequisites: Graduate Standing. Examines innovation in modern communications technologies, their impact on society, and their contribution to the information revolution.

6490 Directed Readings in Communication (1-10)
Prerequisites: Graduate Standing. Individual research on a problem defined by the graduate student and the faculty member in conference. May be repeated once with the consent of the departmental graduate faculty.

6491 Supervised Research in Communication (1-3)
Prerequisites: Graduate Standing, Special Consent Collaborative research with a faculty member on a communication topic of mutual interest.  May be repeated up to 10 hours.

6492 Practicum in Computer-Mediated Communication (1-3)
Prerequisites: Graduate Standing, Special Consent Collaborative research with a faculty member on a communication topic of mutual interest.  May be repeated up to 6 hours.

6495 Seminar in Special Topics in Communication (3-9)
Prerequisites: Graduate Standing. Selected topics in the study of communication. Review of the communication theory and methods appropriate to the topic. The course includes a research project. May be repeated if the topic is different.

6498 Thesis Research and Preparation (1-10)
Prerequisites: Graduate standing. Individual research for and preparation of the graduate thesis.

6499 Graduate Internship (3-6)
Prerequisites: Graduate standing and approval of graduate coordinator. Individual on-site internship in organizational or mass communication setting.

The following courses have been moved to Media Studies:


Course #

Course Title



Introduction to Information Technology



Introduction to Cinema



Advertising Copywriting



Introduction to Radio and Television Broadcasting



Basic Television Studio Production



Radio Production I



Radio and Television Announcing



Practicum in Radio



Practicum in Television/Film



Television Production I



Broadcast Writing and Reporting



Radio Production II



Radio News



Script Writing for Business and Industry



Public Policy in Telecommunication



Promotion, Publicity, and Advertising in Broadcasting



Public Relations Writing



International Communication



News Writing



Television Production II



Broadcast Management



Advanced Video Editing



Television News



Radio and Recording Industry



Advertising Media Planning



Communication in Advertising



Mass communication History



Comparative Telecommunication Systems



Media Law and Regulation



Health Communication



Documentary Film



Internship In Journalism



Special Topics in communication



Internship in Radio



Internship in Television/Film



Media Ethics