• Classes in public speaking enhance personal development
  • Debate participation improves research skills and improves confidence
  • Experiential learning is an important component of Communication Studies
  • MTSU's Debate Program has a tradition of achievement

Communication Studies

The Princeton Review ranked communication studies as one of the top-ten college majors. MTSU’s program is student-centered with small classes and personal advising. Communication Studies offers flexibility in career choices as well as the opportunity for personal development. Our courses stress developing strong interpersonal skills, knowledge of diverse cultures, improved problem-solving abilities, and the ability to work well in a group as both member and leader. Exciting opportunities in the program include the Experiential Learning Scholars Program (EXL), our internship program, and debate, which is open to all students. Not only does debate improve research skills and boost confidence, it’s a great way to make friends!

Succeeding in the real world

Succeeding in the real world

Dianne Guerrier is off to study in France! The Communication Studies major worked part-time for the National Guard while taking classes at MTSU. As a senior, she is participating in a study-abroad program and taking classes in Caen, France. “Communication Studies has given me the ability to communicate confidently and effectively by providing me with the knowledge of diverse cultures. Classes, such as “Argumentation” and “Tradition and Change in Middle East Communication,” have allowed me to face my fears, challenge myself, and overcome my uncertainties. I am ready to travel the world and meet people from different cultural backgrounds!“ Diane realizes that she can have a great time expanding her horizons and learning important career skills.

A passion for Communication Studies!

A passion for Communication Studies!

Elijah Longwell realized that Communication Studies is a perfect fit with his goals for success in his career and personal relationships. He wanted courses that would help him develop skills to work with people from all backgrounds and in a variety of settings. “Communication Studies courses have given me a toolbox of communication styles to use so that I can adapt to the needs of the situation and person I’m communicating with.”  He also pointed out that when you look for a career, you can learn skills for a specific job but effective communication takes more time and understanding to master. “If you can grasp that (communicating well with others) first, you will be more successful in the future.”

Depending on the combination of elective courses and minor(s), successful Communications Studies graduates can pursue careers in areas as diverse as business, law, education, the government, and non-profits.

Career possibilities include such areas as

  • Bank manager or loan officer
  • Community outreach and education director
  • Counselor
  • Entrepreneur
  • Event planner
  • Human resources manager
  • Intercultural and diversity trainer
  • International study abroad director
  • Lawyer
  • Military officer
  • Political campaign strategist
  • Professor
  • Public relations practitioner
  • Recruiter
  • Researcher
  • Trainer
  • University administrator

Employers of MTSU alumni include

  • Advantage Sales and Marketing
  • Army National Guard
  • Asurion Protection Company
  • Belden Street Music
  • Birmingham Museum of Art
  • Bounce U
  • Broadway Brewhouse
  • DLR Restaurants
  • Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center
  • Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County
  • Kohl’s Department Store
  • Motlow State Community College
  • Nashville State Community College
  • OSTO 360, LLC
  • Propeller Entertainment Consulting
  • redpepper (an advertising agency)
  • Sam’s Club
  • Shalom Foundation
  • Signal Centers
  • Southwest Airlines
  • State Farm Insurance
  • Tennessee Valley Authority
  • University Ridge 

The Department of Communication Studies and Organizational Communication offers a concentration in Communication Studies. Additionally, the department offers a major in Organizational Communication. Both programs lead to a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree. The concentration in Communication Studies requires 39 hours of coursework plus a minor of at least 15 hours. Internships allow students to apply information from the classroom to real work situations and are highly recommended. Undergraduate minors in Communication Studies and Organizational Communication are available.

Organizational Communication, Communication Studies Concentration, B.S.

Department of Communication Studies and Organizational Communication
615-898-5601
Sharon Smith, program coordinator
Sharon.Smith@mtsu.edu
 

The program in Organizational Communication with a concentration in Communication Studies is designed to provide students with maximum opportunities to develop theoretical and practical appreciation of all phases of human communication. For students following the Communication Studies concentration, preparation is offered for entry into communication work in business, industry, and government or for the pursuit of graduate study in a number of fields.

Academic Map

Following is a printable, suggested four-year schedule of courses:

Organizational Communication, Communication Studies, B.S., Academic Map  

Degree Requirements

General Education (41 hours)

General Education requirements include Communication, History, Humanities and/or Fine Arts, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Social/Behavioral Sciences categories.

Communication Studies Concentration (39 hours)

  • COMM 2300 - Interpersonal Communication

    3 credit hours

    Introduces fundamental theories and principles for communicating effectively with others in everyday relationships. Topics include development of self-concept, perception, verbal and nonverbal communication, conflict negotiation, romantic relationships, and diversity.

  • COMM 3210 - Argumentation and Debate

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: COMM 2200 or permission of instructor. Theory and practice of advocacy with emphasis on organization, refutation, reasoning, and rebuttal. In-class debating on questions of fact, value, and policy.

  • COMM 3220 - Small Group Communication

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: COMM 2200 or COMM 2300 or permission of instructor. Exploration of theories of group dynamics through practical application. Study of verbal, nonverbal, leadership communication, and group decision making.

  • COMM 3560 - Intercultural Communication

    3 credit hours

    Examines how perceptions, values, norms of behavior, and communication patterns vary among cultures. Content emphasizes increased understanding and problem-solving techniques when people from different cultures interact.

  • COMM 4320 - Theories of Persuasive Communication

    3 credit hours

    Includes theories and concepts that explain key variables in the persuasion process. Emphasis on becoming more aware as consumers as well as users of persuasive techniques.

  • COMM 4600 - Communication Research Methods

    3 credit hours

    Analysis of methodological issues in research on human communication. Designed to teach critical analysis and understanding of how communication researchers develop hypotheses, test and interpret data, and present their findings.  

  • COMM 4700 - Senior Seminar in Communication

    3 credit hours

    Intensive investigation of the major research methodologies in communication studies; presentation of projects and a synthesis of the communication discipline.

  • ORCO 3240 - Introduction to Organizational Communication

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. An overview of organizational communication theories and processes examined through a hands-on approach. Includes communication networks, teamwork, leadership and power, information technology, crisis communication, and organizational trends.

Select 9 hours from the following:

  • COMM 2150 - Voice and Diction

    3 credit hours

    Development of self-confidence, more articulate speech, and effective voice quality through knowledge of the vocal mechanism; classroom drills and individualized instruction.

  • COMM 3225 - Gender Communication

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: COMM 2200 or COMM 2300 or permission of instructor. Critical discussion of values, issues, decision-making paradigms, and traditions in the field of gender communication. Emphasis on individual practical application in personal and professional environments.

  • COMM 3230 - Professional Public Speaking

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: COMM 2200 or permission of instructor. Students will create a variety of live and mediated presentations that offer preparation for leadership in professional situations.

  • COMM 3350 - Diversity in Communication

    3 credit hours

    Communication and intergroup relationships among people of different ethnic/racial backgrounds in the United States.

  • COMM 3580 - Political Communication

    3 credit hours

    Nature and functions of communication with political institutions and groups, including campaign communication, decision-making strategies, deliberative discourse, advocates, and interest groups.

  • COMM 3620 - Applied Communication  1 credit hour credit hours  

    COMM 3620 - Applied Communication

    1 credit hour credit hours

    Prerequisite: Recommendation by a departmental faculty member. Field and laboratory experiences for the study of communication. May be repeated for a maximum of 3 hours credit.

  • COMM 4260 - Independent Study

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: Permission of instructor and completion of 21 semester hours in communication studies courses. Intensive study of a specific area of communication; topic is chosen in instructor-student conference. Maybe repeated for a maximum of 6 credits.

  • COMM 4800 - Topics in Communication Studies

    1 to 3 credit hours

    Meets individual and group needs for advanced study in communication studies. Topic determined at the time of scheduling. A maximum of six semester hours may be applied toward a degree.

  • COMM 4900 - Internship in Communication Studies

    1 to 3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of department. Practical experience in a professional work setting in a field requiring communication skills. May be repeated for a maximum of six credit hours.

  • COMM 3340 - Interview Communication

    3 credit hours

    (Same as ORCO 3340.) Prerequisite: Junior standing or permission of instructor. A critical study of professional interviewing techniques for employment, recruiting, counseling, persuasion, and appraisal.

  • ORCO 3340 - Interview Communication

    3 credit hours

    (Same as COMM 3340.) Prerequisite: Junior standing or permission of instructor. A critical study of professional interviewing techniques for employment, recruiting, counseling, persuasion, and appraisal.

Minor (15-18 hours)

Electives (22-25 hours)

Total hours in program: 120

Curriculum: Organizational Communication, Communication Studies

Curricular listings include General Education requirements in Communication, History, Humanities and/or Fine Arts, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Social/Behavioral Sciences categories.

The following is a suggested pattern of study. Consult with an advisor before each registration.

Freshman

  • ENGL 1010 - Expository Writing  3 credit hours  (Comm)

    ENGL 1010 - Expository Writing

    3 credit hours

    The first General Education English course. Emphasis on learning to adapt composing processes to a variety of expository and analytic writing assignments. Minimum grade of C- required for credit.

  • ENGL 1020 - Research and Argumentative Writing

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: ENGL 1010. The second General Education English course. Emphasis on analytic and argumentative writing and on locating, organizing, and using library resource materials in the writing. Minimum grade of C- required for credit.

  • COMM 2200 - Fundamentals of Communication

    3 credit hours

    Principles and processes of effective public oral communication including researching, critical thinking, organizing, presenting, listening, and using appropriate language. Emphasis on informative, persuasive, special occasion, and extemporaneous (impromptu) speaking. Counts as part of the General Education Communication requirement.

  • COMM 2300 - Interpersonal Communication

    3 credit hours

    Introduces fundamental theories and principles for communicating effectively with others in everyday relationships. Topics include development of self-concept, perception, verbal and nonverbal communication, conflict negotiation, romantic relationships, and diversity.

  • Mathematics 3 credit hours
  • Social/Behavioral Sciences 3 credit hours
  • Humanities and/or Fine Arts (2 prefixes) 6 credit hours

Choose 6 hours from:

  • HIST 2010 - Survey of United States History I

    3 credit hours

    Survey of the political, economic, social, cultural, and diplomatic phases of American life in its regional, national, and international aspects. HIST 2010 discusses the era from the beginning to 1877. HIST 2020 discusses the era from 1877 to the present. These courses are prerequisite for all advanced courses in American history and satisfy the General Education History requirement. HIST 2010 is NOT a prerequisite for HIST 2020.

  • HIST 2020 - Survey of United States History II

    3 credit hours

    Survey of the political, economic, social, cultural, and diplomatic phases of American life in its regional, national, and international aspects. HIST 2010 discusses the era from the beginning to 1877. HIST 2020 discusses the era from 1877 to the present. These courses are prerequisite for all advanced courses in American history and satisfy the General Education History requirement. HIST 2010 is NOT a prerequisite for HIST 2020.

  • HIST 2030 - Tennessee History

    3 credit hours

    The role of the state in the development of the nation. May be used to satisfy one part of the General Education History requirement.

Subtotal: 30 Hours

Sophomore

  • ENGL 2020 - Themes in Literature and Culture  3 credit hours  (Hum/FA) OR

    ENGL 2020 - Themes in Literature and Culture

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: ENGL 1010 and ENGL 1020. Traces a specific theme or idea through a number of literary texts that reflect different historical and cultural contexts. Subject will vary.

  • ENGL 2030 - The Experience of Literature  3 credit hours  (Hum/FA) OR

    ENGL 2030 - The Experience of Literature

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: ENGL 1010 and ENGL 1020. The reading of a variety of literary types which illuminate themes and experiences common to human existence.

  • HUM 2610 - Foreign Literature in Translation

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: ENGL 1010 and ENGL 1020. Representative works of French, German, and Hispanic authors in English translation. No foreign-language proficiency required. Carries General Education credit.

  • COMM 3210 - Argumentation and Debate

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: COMM 2200 or permission of instructor. Theory and practice of advocacy with emphasis on organization, refutation, reasoning, and rebuttal. In-class debating on questions of fact, value, and policy.

  • COMM 3560 - Intercultural Communication

    3 credit hours

    Examines how perceptions, values, norms of behavior, and communication patterns vary among cultures. Content emphasizes increased understanding and problem-solving techniques when people from different cultures interact.

  • Social/Behavioral Sciences 3 credit hours
  • Natural Sciences (2 prefixes) 8 credit hours
  • Minor courses as advised 6 credit hours
  • General electives 4 credit hours

Subtotal: 30 Hours

Junior

  • COMM 3220 - Small Group Communication

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: COMM 2200 or COMM 2300 or permission of instructor. Exploration of theories of group dynamics through practical application. Study of verbal, nonverbal, leadership communication, and group decision making.

  • COMM 4320 - Theories of Persuasive Communication

    3 credit hours

    Includes theories and concepts that explain key variables in the persuasion process. Emphasis on becoming more aware as consumers as well as users of persuasive techniques.

  • COMM 4600 - Communication Research Methods

    3 credit hours

    Analysis of methodological issues in research on human communication. Designed to teach critical analysis and understanding of how communication researchers develop hypotheses, test and interpret data, and present their findings.  

  • COMM electives 6 credit hours
  • Minor courses 6 credit hours
  • General electives 6 credit hours

Subtotal: 30 Hours

Senior

  • COMM 4700 - Senior Seminar in Communication

    3 credit hours

    Intensive investigation of the major research methodologies in communication studies; presentation of projects and a synthesis of the communication discipline.

  • ORCO 3240 - Introduction to Organizational Communication

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. An overview of organizational communication theories and processes examined through a hands-on approach. Includes communication networks, teamwork, leadership and power, information technology, crisis communication, and organizational trends.

  • COMM elective 3 credit hours
  • General electives 12 credit hours
  • Minor courses 6 credit hours

Subtotal: 30 hours

Dr. Mary Beth Asbury
Assistant Professor
marybeth.asbury@mtsu.edu

Hide

Debra Boyd
Lecturer
debra.boyd@mtsu.edu

Hide

Jeri Layne Burnett
Adjunct
jeri.burnett@mtsu.edu

Hide

Dr. Perry Coleman Cotham
Lecturer
perry.cotham@mtsu.edu

Hide

Stephen Decker
Lecturer
steve.decker@mtsu.edu

Hide

Dr. Andrew Dix
Assistant Professor
andrew.dix@mtsu.edu

Hide

Dr. Kaylene Gebert
Professor
kaylene.gebert@mtsu.edu

Hide

Katie G Gruber
Lecturer
Katie.Gruber@mtsu.edu

Hide

Melicent M. Homan
Lecturer
melicent.homan@mtsu.edu

Hide

Bethany Hoppe
Lecturer
bethany.hoppe@mtsu.edu

Hide

Dr. Yang Kim
Associate Professor
yang.kim@mtsu.edu

Hide

Lori Kissinger
Lecturer
lori.kissinger@mtsu.edu

Hide

Natonya Listach
Lecturer
natonya.listach@mtsu.edu

Hide

Kelly Lynch
Lecturer
Kelly.Lynch@mtsu.edu

Hide

Dr. Janet K. McCormick
Associate Professor
janet.mccormick@mtsu.edu

Hide

Margaret (Peg) McCree
Lecturer
peg.mccree@mtsu.edu

Hide

Dr. Patrick Richey
Assistant Professor | Director of Forensics
patrick.richey@mtsu.edu

Hide

Dr. Linda Seward
Professor
Linda.Seward@mtsu.edu

Hide

Dr. Xiaowei Shi
Associate Professor
xiaowei.shi@mtsu.edu

Hide

Dr. Sharon S. Smith
Associate Professor
sharon.smith@mtsu.edu

Hide

Dr. Elizabeth Stephens
Lecturer
elizabeth.stephens@mtsu.edu

Hide

L'Oreal Stephens
Lecturer
LOreal.Stephens@mtsu.edu

Hide

Pierre Vincent, Esq
Lecturer
pierre.vincent@mtsu.edu

Hide

Communication

COMM 2150 - Voice and Diction
3 credit hours

Development of self-confidence, more articulate speech, and effective voice quality through knowledge of the vocal mechanism; classroom drills and individualized instruction.

COMM 2200 - Fundamentals of Communication
3 credit hours

Principles and processes of effective public oral communication including researching, critical thinking, organizing, presenting, listening, and using appropriate language. Emphasis on informative, persuasive, special occasion, and extemporaneous (impromptu) speaking. Counts as part of the General Education Communication requirement.

COMM 2300 - Interpersonal Communication
3 credit hours

Introduces fundamental theories and principles for communicating effectively with others in everyday relationships. Topics include development of self-concept, perception, verbal and nonverbal communication, conflict negotiation, romantic relationships, and diversity.

COMM 3050 - Listening
3 credit hours

(Same as ORCO 3050.) Explores the function and impact of listening in workplace and other relationships. Includes analysis, interpretation, and application of effective listening skills.

COMM 3210 - Argumentation and Debate
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: COMM 2200 or permission of instructor. Theory and practice of advocacy with emphasis on organization, refutation, reasoning, and rebuttal. In-class debating on questions of fact, value, and policy.

COMM 3220 - Small Group Communication
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: COMM 2200 or COMM 2300 or permission of instructor. Exploration of theories of group dynamics through practical application. Study of verbal, nonverbal, leadership communication, and group decision making.

COMM 3225 - Gender Communication
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: COMM 2200 or COMM 2300 or permission of instructor. Critical discussion of values, issues, decision-making paradigms, and traditions in the field of gender communication. Emphasis on individual practical application in personal and professional environments.

COMM 3230 - Professional Public Speaking
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: COMM 2200 or permission of instructor. Students will create a variety of live and mediated presentations that offer preparation for leadership in professional situations.

COMM 3300 - Communication Theory in Films
3 credit hours

Readings and films used to explain and illustrate key communication theories.

COMM 3340 - Interview Communication
3 credit hours

(Same as ORCO 3340.) Prerequisite: Junior standing or permission of instructor. A critical study of professional interviewing techniques for employment, recruiting, counseling, persuasion, and appraisal.

COMM 3350 - Diversity in Communication
3 credit hours

Communication and intergroup relationships among people of different ethnic/racial backgrounds in the United States.

COMM 3400 - Romantic Relationship Communication
3 credit hours

Provides a general overview of contemporary research on relationship communication with a particular emphasis on romantic relationship development. Theories about the role of communication in initiating, maintaining, and disengaging from romantic relationships.

COMM 3560 - Intercultural Communication
3 credit hours

Examines how perceptions, values, norms of behavior, and communication patterns vary among cultures. Content emphasizes increased understanding and problem-solving techniques when people from different cultures interact.

COMM 3580 - Political Communication
3 credit hours

Nature and functions of communication with political institutions and groups, including campaign communication, decision-making strategies, deliberative discourse, advocates, and interest groups.

COMM 3620 - Applied Communication
1 credit hour credit

Prerequisite: Recommendation by a departmental faculty member. Field and laboratory experiences for the study of communication. May be repeated for a maximum of 3 hours credit.

COMM 4260 - Independent Study
3 credit hours

Prerequisites: Permission of instructor and completion of 21 semester hours in communication studies courses. Intensive study of a specific area of communication; topic is chosen in instructor-student conference. Maybe repeated for a maximum of 6 credits.

COMM 4320 - Theories of Persuasive Communication
3 credit hours

Includes theories and concepts that explain key variables in the persuasion process. Emphasis on becoming more aware as consumers as well as users of persuasive techniques.

COMM 4400 - Sexual Communication
3 credit hours

Overview of contemporary research on sexual communication with an emphasis on how people communicate about sex in varying relationships and throughout varying stages of life. Includes the role of communication in parent/child communication about sex, in dating and married relationships, and in varying contexts such as the media.

COMM 4600 - Communication Research Methods
3 credit hours

Analysis of methodological issues in research on human communication. Designed to teach critical analysis and understanding of how communication researchers develop hypotheses, test and interpret data, and present their findings.  

COMM 4650 - History, Theory, and Criticism of Rhetoric
3 credit hours

Explores history, theory, and criticism of rhetoric from ancient times to the present.

COMM 4700 - Senior Seminar in Communication
3 credit hours

Intensive investigation of the major research methodologies in communication studies; presentation of projects and a synthesis of the communication discipline.

COMM 4800 - Topics in Communication Studies
1 to 3 credit hours

Meets individual and group needs for advanced study in communication studies. Topic determined at the time of scheduling. A maximum of six semester hours may be applied toward a degree.

COMM 4900 - Internship in Communication Studies
1 to 3 credit hours

Prerequisite: Permission of department. Practical experience in a professional work setting in a field requiring communication skills. May be repeated for a maximum of six credit hours.

Student Resources

Contact and Student Information

Linda Seward
linda.seward@mtsu.edu
615-904-8572

Debate
patrick.richey@mtsu.edu

Sonja R. Burk (A-K)
Sonja.Burk@mtsu.edu
615-898-5089 | JH 114

Jeanne Hoechst (L-Z)
Jeanne.Hoechst@mtsu.edu
615-904-8180 | JH 115

Department of Communication Studies and Organizational Communication
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 200
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Request Information








MTSU True Blue Preview: Communication Studies

The Princeton Review ranked communication studies as one of the top-ten college majors. MTSU's progr... [more]

MTSU Campus Tour

From the acclaimed academic programs and state-of-the-art facilities to MTSU campus life and the thr... [more]