Communication Studies

More Information About Courses


Students in Communication Studies will learn:

Strategies for interpersonal communication as an integral part of becoming effective in a variety of settings. Courses include:

To think critically, make sound decisions, and develop excellent presentation skills. Courses include:

Theoretical foundations to improve your abilities to consider complex ideas and apply those skills in the workplace and your personal life. Courses include:


COMM 2300 - Interpersonal Communication

Ever walk away from a conversation knowing that things went wrong, but you couldn't figure out what or how to fix it?  This course looks at real situations so you can understand the process better and become more effective communicators with friends, family, professors, and co-workers!

Topics include:

  • how self-concept is formed and affected by communication
  • how communication and emotions can affect your relationships
  • how to build and maintain relationships effectively

One of the goals of this course is to lay the foundation for strong face-to-face skills in social and business settings.

Here are some students who took Interpersonal in the spring of 2010. We had GREAT class discussions!

Back to top

COMM 3210 - Argumentation

Ever been in a discussion with someone and you know there's something wrong with their argument but you can't put your finger on it?  Understanding how to spot errors in logic and conduct thorough research as well as how to present your own views are all invaluable skills in college and the workplace.

In this class you'll learn how to identify and name common logical fallacies, evaluate the validity of sources, present arguments as well as distinguish between issues of fact, policy and value.

Back to top

COMM 3220 - Small Group Communication

In 1961 President Kennedy and his advisors approved a plan to train Cuban refugees to invade Cuba and overthrow the government. The plan turned out to be a complete disaster and when it was over people asked: how could a group of intelligent, educated, well-informed people make such a bad decision? In this course you'll learn not only how to avoid the pitfalls of bad group decision-making, but you'll learn what is needed to be an effective member or leader of a group.

Back to top

COMM 3300 - Communication Theory in Films

Many people tend to look at films as a way of passing the time - and they can definitely serve that purpose.  But they can also serve as a "text" that allows us to understand our world better.  In this course films are used to illustrate communication theories as well as offer a forum for application in an attempt to increase our understanding of how the world works.

Back to top

COMM 3560 - Intercultural Communication

A former Thai ambassador to the U.N. said that American businessmen frequently come to Thailand, sit down in a typical American fashion (with the ankle of one foot on the knee of the other) to do business with their Thai contact and don't realize that they've done anything wrong. What's the problem? Well, in Thailand, showing the bottom of your feet is the worst insult you can do! (It's like showing your middle finger!)

This is just one example of the complexities that can occur when people from two different cultures interact with each other. We used to think that as long as everyone spoke the same language, everything would work out. In reality, however, cultures vary a lot in values, perceptions and norms of behavior. In this class we examine those variations and discuss how you can improve intercultural interactions.

How well do you know British English? Try a quick quiz!

  • Bangers
  • Biscuit
  • Bonnet
  • Boot
  • Braces
  • Chips
  • Crisps
  • Full stop
  • Loo
  • Nappy
  • Public school
  • Randy
  • Rucksack
  • Scone
  • Second floor
  • Serviette
  • Takeaway
  • Torch

Click Here for Answers

Students in this Intercultural Communication class are making gestures - some of which have a positive meaning in one culture but a negative meaning in another. And, of course, some gestures don't mean anything except to the people from one country! (Do you know which gestures would cause problems in other cultures?)

Back to top

COMM 4320 - Theories of Persuasive Communication

Would you be surprised to learn that some researchers estimate that we are bombarded by 5,000 persuasive messages in just one day!  You may think you're immune to being manipulated by persuasive messages but have you ever left a store wondering how the sales person ever persuaded you to buy so much stuff?! Or, maybe you found yourself believing something that turned out to be a hoax or urban legend. In this course we examine research that explores the nature of persuasion and how it works (or doesn't work!).  By the end of the course, you will know how to use specific persuasive techniqes ethically as well as be better prepared to defend yourself from unsavory tactics.

Back to top

COMM 4650 - History, Theory and Criticism of Rhetoric

Picture this: two guys in togas standing around in Greece. They're arguing over what is appropriate to study and teach.  Plato, who thinks students should focus only on philosophy and math, insults Aristotle by saying that "rhetoric" is just like studying cooking!  Not great chef cooking, not Julia Child's cooking - but McDonald's cooking!!

You may think this is made up (well, it is kind of) but the insult was really made - Plato really did refer to the study of rhetoric as "mere crockery."  But Aristotle's views prevailed and went on to serve as the foundation of western education as well as the development of the field of Communication Studies.  Great stuff!

In this course we'll examine the concept of rhetoric from the time of Ancient Greece to the 21st century to increase your understanding of the world today.  Learn how rhetoric has been used for good and for evil!

Back to top

COMM 3225 - Gender Communication

This course focuses on interactive relationships between gender and communication in contemporary American society.  This implies three priorities.  First, we explore several ways communication in families/friendships, media, and society creates and perpetuates gender roles.  Second, we consider how we enact socially constructed gender differences in public and private spheres and how this affects individual success, satisfaction, and self-esteem.  Third, we connect theory and research to our personal lives.  Your experiences, insights, questions, and ideas are a key part of this course. Throughout the term, we consider norms for gender roles today and in the past, as well as what might be in the future and how we, as change agents, can actively improve our individual and collective lives.

Back to top

COMM 3340 - Interview Communication

Do you want to know how to ace a job interview?  Do you want to know how to ask the right questions in the right way to get the information you seek?  If so, Interview Communication is the right class for you!  This class will help you build a fantastic resume and cover letter and will teach you how to prepare for and do well in job interviews.  In addition, you will learn how to effectively conduct interviews.  Whether you are simply looking to improve your interview skills to get a job or are seeking to become the next Barbara Walters, this class will meet your needs.

Back to top

COMM 3350 - Diversity in Communication

As the population in the U.S. continues to become more diverse, it is even more important to understand issues that accompany increased diversity. This course focuses on interethnic communication theory and practice to improve your ability to interact effectively with people from different racial/ethnic backgrounds in the U.S.  Prejudice and discrimination, assimilation issues, English only policies, and inter-group posturing are just some of the topics covered.

Back to top

Study Abroad

MTSU has excellent study abroad opportunities in countries around the world! You can go abroad for as short as a few weeks to a full semester or year. You can work with a professor here to develop an Independent Study that would incorporate your international experiences with your academic studies.

In order to receive credit for Communication Studies, you MUST work out the details with a professor BEFORE YOU Sign Up and LEAVE!

Back to top

COMM 3580 - Political Communication

In 2008, a newcomer to politics not only beat a more experienced opponent to obtain the nomination of his party, but he became president of the United States.  How did a neophyte succeed against an opponent who was a decorated war veteran as well as an experienced politician?  What part do charism, damage control, image, and issue management play in a campaign?  In this course we will examine how communication affects political campaigns for election and for issues.

Back to top

COMM 4600 - Communication Research Methods

Back to top