Communication

Undergraduate Program

The Communication major prepares you for a variety of career opportunities as well as preparing you for graduate work. To become a Communication major, you must be a student in good standing at WIU. This means that you need a grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher to declare a major in Communication.

As a Communication Major you must complete:
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  • WIU's General Education requirements
  • 42 credit hours of required and elective Communication courses
  • WIU's Foreign Language/Global Issues (FLGI) requirement, which may be fulfilled by successfully completing one of the following: 1) an intermediate foreign language requirement; 2) a General Education global issues course; 3) a Communication (COMM) global issues course; or 4) an approved Study Abroad program.
  • An approved minor.

Core Courses

There are five required core courses:

  • COMM 130, Introduction to Human Communication
  • COMM 247, Argumentation
  • COMM 309, Communication Theory
  • COMM 310, Qualitative Research Methods in Communication
  • COMM 311, Quantitative Research Methods in Communication

For students beginning major Fall 2016 or later:

Bachelor of Arts — Communication

All students seeking the Bachelor of Arts in Communication must complete one of the Options listed below. The minimum semester hour requirement for the baccalaureate degree is 120 s.h. Current WIU students must be in good standing (2.0 GPA or higher) to declare a major in Communication.

Options (Choose One):

A.  Communication Studies (27 s.h.)
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  1. Comprehensive Electives - Students must choose three of the following courses (9 s.h.):
    COMM 343 (Organizational Communication)
    COMM 344 (Interpersonal Communication)
    COMM 356 (Persuasion)
    COMM 312 (Rhetorical Criticism)
  2. Advanced Theory Electives - Students must choose one of the following 400-level courses (3 s.h.):
    COMM 410 (Advanced Interpersonal Communication)
    COMM 413 (Advanced Organizational Communication)
    COMM 441 (Rhetoric and Public Culture)
    COMM 457 (Social Influence)
  3. General Communication Electives - Students must choose two of the following courses (6 s.h.):
    COMM 254 (Great Speeches)
    COMM 315 (Gender and Communication)
    COMM 330 (Language and Communication)
    COMM 345 (Computer-Mediated Communication)
    COMM 377 (Nonverbal Communication)
    COMM 381 (Intercultural Communication)
    COMM 428 (Family Communication)
    COMM 445 (Advanced Computer-Mediated Communication)
    COMM 480 (Special Topics)
  4. Applied Communication Electives - Students must choose three of the following (9 s.h.):
    COMM 235 (Communicating in Small Groups)
    COMM 305 (Interviewing)
    COMM 314 (Professional Presentations)
    COMM 341 (Small Group Communication)
    COMM 409 (Conflict Management)
    COMM 430 (Communication Training & Development)
    COMM 456 (Persuasive Campaigns)
    COMM 496 (Internship)
B.  Interpersonal Communication & Processes (27 s.h.)

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  1. Interpersonal Sequence (9 s.h.):
    COMM 344 (Interpersonal Communication)
    COMM 377 (Nonverbal Communication)
    COMM 410 (Advanced Interpersonal Communication)
  2. Directed Electives (9 s.h.; Choose three of the following):
    COMM 235 (Communicating in Small Groups)
    COMM 315 (Gender and Communication)
    COMM 330 (Language and Communication)
    COMM 345 (Computer-Mediated Communication)
    COMM 356 (Persuasion)
    COMM 409 (Conflict Management)
    COMM 428 (Family Communication)
    COMM 425 (Health Communication)
  3. Communication Electives: (9 s.h.)

C.  Social Influence (27 s.h.)
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  1. Social Influence Sequence (9 s.h.):
    COMM 356 (Persuasion)
    COMM 456 (Persuasive Campaigns)
    COMM 457 (Social Influence)
  2. Directed Electives (9 s.h.; Choose three of the following):
    COMM 312 (Rhetorical Criticism)
    COMM 314 (Professional Presentations)
    COMM 344 (Interpersonal Communication)
    COMM 377 (Nonverbal Communication)
    COMM 409 (Conflict Management)
    COMM 425 (Health Communication)
    COMM 441 (Rhetoric and Public Culture)
  3. Communication Electives: (9 s.h.)
For students beginning major prior to Fall 2016:

Students will need to complete the core courses listed above.

Additionally, you will need to select two sequences of study from rhetoric, persuasion, interpersonal communication, and organizational communication for your additional required communication courses. (If you are majoring in Communication in the Quad Cities, you will only be able to select the interpersonal communication and organizational communication sequences.) Please consult with Jennifer Grimm (Communication Academic Advisor, Macomb) or Kenny Wheeler (Academic Advising, QC) who will help you plan your Communication major program of study.

Communication Sequences
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Rhetoric The rhetoric sequence focuses on understanding the situation, the audience, and the speaker and how they influence persuasive messages. Specific areas of study in the rhetoric sequence are political style, the rhetoric of social and political movements, and the rhetorical discourse and controversies that occur in the public sphere.

Required courses are:

  • COMM 312 Rhetorical Criticism
  • COMM 441 Rhetoric and Public Culture

Persuasion

The persuasion sequence focuses on the theory behind reinforcing, developing, and changing the attitudes and opinions of people. Topics such as advertising campaigns, political campaigns, and social movements are studied in this sequence's courses.

Required courses are:

  • COMM 356 Persuasion
  • COMM 456 Persuasive Campaigns

Interpersonal Communication

The interpersonal communication sequence focuses on the communication patterns used to initiate, maintain, escalate, de-escalate, and dissolve personal and professional relationships. The individual communication strategies that people use in relationships are of particular interest in this sequence.

Required courses are:

  • COMM 344 Interpersonal Communication
  • COMM 410 Advanced Interpersonal Communication

Organizational Communication

The organizational communication sequence focuses on the form, structure, and use of communication in groups and organizational settings. Topics such as conflict management, superior and subordinate communication, and the establishment and maintenance of organizational culture are studied in this sequence's courses.

Required courses are:

  • COMM 343 Organizational Communication
  • COMM 413 Advanced Organizational Communication

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Recommended Minors

Selecting a minor usually depends on your interests and career goals. Currently, WIU communication students have selected minors in over 35 different departments that include Spanish, French, English, Journalism, Broadcasting, History, Sociology, Psychology, Political Science, Marketing, Women Studies, African American Studies, and Management, just to name a few. Please consult with your Communication Academic Advisor, who is knowledgeable of the available minors and their specific requirements.

Course Descriptions

For more information on the Communication program and course descriptions, see the WIU Undergraduate Course Catalog.