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    Davidson College
   
 
  Nov 21, 2017
 
 
    
2013-2014 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Communication Studies Concentration


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A presidential debate. A conversation between friends. An episode of CSI. An American negotiating in Paris, or Madrid, or Dubai. All are examples of the process of communication, in which people create messages through which they seek to share meaning. Communication Studies at Davidson explores the basic concepts of communication in a variety of contexts, whether individuals talking one-on-one or organizations creating messages for millions. From the classical wisdom of the ancient Greeks to the cutting-edge insights of contemporary scholars, Communication Studies explores the elements of the communication process, the options in assessing them, the significance of selections among those alternatives, and the ample opportunities for misunderstanding and disagreement.

Students interested in the Communication Studies concentration should enroll in COM 201: Introduction to Communication Studies as soon as possible, to gain an overview of the basic concepts of communication and the contexts in which it occurs. Then students should take COM 101: Principles of Oral Communication, to understand theories of effective speaking in practice; and select three courses from one of the three tracks:

  • Interpersonal/Intercultural communication, which examines how meaning develops in messages within personal relationships, small groups, and organizational contexts, as well as within and across cultures;
  • Public communication/Rhetoric,  which examines how meaning develops in messages in a variety of public forums, with attention to rhetorical analysis and such intentional efforts to influence audiences as persuasion, social movements, and political communication; and
  • Mass communication, which examines how meaning develops in messages in the mass media, including the history of mass media, the critical analysis of media, and how media shape the communication process.

The capstone course for second semester senior year, COM 495: Communication Theory and Research, examines how theories of communication frame questions and enable the discovery of answers. The course culminates in a major project, which brings together a variety of theoretical perspectives.   

Requirements


The concentration in Communication Studies requires six courses including the following:

Tracks


Select three courses in one of the following tracks, from at least two different departments.  At least two should be completed before enrolling in COM 495.

Note


COM 390: Special Topics in Communication Studies and COM 395: Independent Study may count toward any of the above tracks, as appropriate.

Additional Information


Students interested in the Communication Studies concentration should enroll in COM 201: Introduction to Communication Studies as soon as possible; COM 101 is not a prerequisite. The list of electives in each track is as complete as possible, but  not exhaustive. Given the changing nature of course offerings, students should check with the faculty liaison for the most recent list of electives for the Communication Studies concentration when planning a program of study. If students have a question about when a particular elective will be offered next, please consult the department offering that course. COM 390: Special Topics in Communication Studies and COM 395: Independent Study may count toward any of the above tracks, as appropriate.

No more than two courses in the concentration may also be in the student’s major field of study. Only one course may be transferred from another institution. Only one independent study may be included in the concentration. No courses taken pass/fail may be applied to the concentration. A grade of “C” or higher must be earned in all courses applied towards the concentration.

Application Procedure


The Communication Studies concentration is administered by the Communication Studies Advisory Committee.  The faculty liaison is Dr. Kathleen J. Turner.  Students interested in pursuing the Communication Studies concentration should contact the faculty liaison as early as possible to discuss curricular options.  A student must submit a written application by the last day of classes in the fall of the junior year to the Communication Studies Advisory Committee.  The application will specify the courses to be used to satisfy the concentration requirements.  If one of the proposed electives is an independent study, the students shall provide for the Advisory Committee’s approval a complete description of that course prior to the term of enrollment.  Certification of completion of all the requirements for the concentration is made by the Registrar upon the recommendation of the Communication Studies Advisory Committee.

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