Jul 22, 2018
Associate Professor: Martinez (Chair)
Visiting Professor: Hogan
Visiting Assistant Professors: Marinelli, Spikes
The Communication Studies (COM) major and minor at Davidson provide students with a broad understanding of the discipline, while focusing more specifically on the theory and practice of civic discourse and deliberation. This emphasis reflects the communication discipline’s historical roots in the ancient rhetorical tradition, while preparing Davidson graduates for lives of civic leadership and engagement in the twenty-first century. Although Communication Studies is one of the oldest liberal arts disciplines, the modern study of communication has expanded to include critical and social scientific approaches to a diverse array of symbolic forms, including not only speech but also interpersonal and intercultural communication, mass media, and new digital technologies.
The major requires 10 courses, as follows.
I. Required Courses (2)
II. Elective Courses (7)
- Four courses from within Communication Studies
- Three courses from outside Communication Studies
- One of these seven electives MUST focus on a research method or methods suitable for use in a thesis or other research project in the field.
Methodology courses that fulfill this requirement are:
COM 202 - Methods in Rhetorical Criticism
HHV 250 - Methods in Health & Research
SOC 201 - Social Statistics
SOC 390 - Qualitative Research Methods
SOC 391 - Survey Methodology
SOC 392 - Quantitative Data Analysis
III. Senior Capstone: CIS 495 - Thesis/Capstone
All Communication Studies majors are required to complete an independent research, experiential learning experience, or community engagement project to fulfill the senior capstone requirement.
IV. Honors Option: CIS 496 - Thesis/Capstone
Students seeking honors in Communication Studies complete a two-semester thesis (CIS 495/496) instead of the senior capstone (see Honors Requirements below).
- No more than two courses at the 100-level may count towards the major.
- No more than one independent study course may count towards the major.
- A maximum of two courses may count towards both the COM major and a second major or minor.
- No more than two courses taken from an institution other than Davidson may count towards the major. Once the Registrar has granted transfer credit, students may petition the Communication Studies department to approve transfer courses for the major.
- Careful course planning is important to all Communication Studies majors, particularly those who plan to study abroad.
Students who qualify during their junior year with a minimum GPA and an approved research proposal will be eligible to complete a year-long thesis. The Thesis will replace the capstone experience for students seeking honors. To qualify for honors at graduation, a student must have:
- 3.5 GPA or higher in the major
- 3.2 or higher overall GPA
- A- or above on the final thesis
The interdisciplinary minor in Communication Studies requires six courses as follows:
- COM 101 - Principles of Oral Communication
- COM 201 - Introduction to Communication Studies
- Three elective courses chosen from the list of courses.
At least one of the three must come from within Communication Studies
- COM 495 - Communication Theory and Research
Usually completed in the spring of senior year
- Students interested in the Communication Studies interdisciplinary minor should first enroll in COM 101 and COM 201. Although these are not prerequisites to other courses in the department, they should be completed before declaring the minor (see Application Procedures below).
- No more than two courses in the interdisciplinary minor may also be in the student’s major field of study.
- No more than one course may count toward a student’s major and the Communication Studies interdisciplinary minor.
- Only one course may be transferred from another institution.
- Only one independent study course may be included in the interdisciplinary minor.
- No courses taken Pass/Fail may be applied to the minor.
- A grade of “C” or higher must be earned in all courses applied towards the interdisciplinary minor.
Minor Application Procedures
The Communication Studies Interdisciplinary Minor is administered by the Communication Studies department. The faculty liaison is Dr. J. Michael Hogan. Students interested in pursuing the Communication Studies Interdisciplinary Minor should contact the faculty liaison as early as possible to discuss curricular options. A student must complete a written application, including a list of proposed courses for meeting the minor requirements, by the end of the junior year, and the College’s Minor Declaration Form must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office by February 1 of the student’s senior year. If one of the proposed electives is COM 390 or COM 395 , the special topic or a complete description of the independent study must be included in the application. Certification of the student’s completion of the requirements for the Interdisciplinary Minor will be made by the Registrar upon the recommendation of the Communication Studies department.
Courses Within Communication Studies
For the major, choose four electives from this list.
For the minor, at least one elective must come from this list.
Courses Outside Communication Studies
For the major, choose three electives from this list.