Communication Studies

Image Caption

College of Arts and Sciences

The Faculty of Arts and Letters

Fine and Performing Arts Center, Room 202

570-422-3759...www.esu.edu/cmst

About the Program

The mission of the Department of Communication Studies is to prepare students for civic participation in an increasingly complex world that requires sophisticated practical, critical, and theoretical understandings of human communication.

The department offers coursework and degree programs that focus on the history, theory, and critical evaluation of human and mediated communication in the areas of broadcasting, speech communication, media studies, and public relations.

Communication majors secure employment in a variety of fields after graduation including journalism, sales, advertising, public relations, media development, and broadcasting.

Some graduates pursue advanced degrees at the masters or doctoral level. The department offers a Minor in Communication Studies to students majoring in other disciplines.

Several options are available to students majoring in Communication Studies. Four tracks are offered: Broadcasting, Media Studies, Speech Communication and Public Relations. Students may also choose to minor in Communication Studies.

Is communication studies a career path for me?

Career Potential

  • Public relations specialist
  • Advertising executive
  • Media developer
  • Broadcaster
  • Journalist
  • Speech writer
  • Public affairs specialist
  • Government official
  • Media critic
  • Sales representative

More detailed career information is available from the department and from the department website: www.esu.edu/cmst.

Are you interested in...

  • Communicating persuasively
  • Analyzing data
  • Gathering information, preparing stories and informing the public
  • Becoming a public figure

Choose Communication Studies at ESU

  • Small class sizes
  • Practical field experiences
  • Qualified, experienced faculty
  • Frequent faculty interactions

Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies

  • Students must complete the Core Curriculum and the specified courses within one of three different tracks.

  • Program Curriculum Plan

    • Suggested Program Curriculum Plan

      (Subject to change by the university without notice)

      Freshman Year

      Fall

      CMST 111 GE: Speech Communication or CMST 126 GE: Introduction to Mass Media

      3

      ENGL 103: English Composition

      3

      General Education Elective – Natural Science

      3

      General Education Elective – Social Science

      3

      Elective Course

      3

      Subtotal

      15

      Spring

      CMST 111 GE: Speech Communication or
      CMST 126 GE: Introduction to Mass Media

      3

      General Education Elective – Humanities

      3

      General Education Elective – Natural Science

      3

      General Education Elective – Social Science

      3

      Elective Course

      3

      Subtotal

      15

      Sophomore Year

      Fall

      CMST 250: Analysis of Communication Theory

      3

      Required Course in CMST Track

      3

      General Education Elective – Natural Science

      3

      General Education Elective – Humanities

      3

      Elective Course

      3

      Subtotal

      15

      Spring

      CMST 310: Intercultural Communication

      3

      Required Course in CMST Track

      3

      General Education Elective – Natural Science

      3

      General Education Elective – Social Science

      3

      Elective Course

      3

      Fitness Course(s)

      2

      Subtotal

      17

      Junior Year

      Fall

      CMST 365: Communication Research or 300-400 Track Elective

      3

      Required Course in CMST Track

      3

      General Education Elective – Natural Science

      3

      General Education Elective – Social Science

      3

      Elective Course

      3

      Subtotal

      15

      Spring

      CMST 364: Communication Research or 300-400 Track Elective

      3

      Required Course in CMST Track

      3

      General Education Elective – Humanities

      3

      General Education Elective – Social Science

      3

      Elective Course

      3

      Subtotal

      15

      Senior Year

      Fall

      CMST 495: Seminar in Communication Studies or 300-400 Level Track Elective

      3

      300-400 Level Track Elective

      3

      Elective Course

      3

      Elective Course

      3

      Elective Course

      3

      Subtotal

      15

      Spring

      CMST 495: Seminar in Communication Studies or 300-400 Level Track Elective

      3

      300-400 Level Track Elective

      3

      Elective Course

      3

      Elective Course

      3

      Elective Course

      3

      Subtotal

      15

      Total Credits

      122

      For more information, contact the department by calling 570-422-3694 or visit www.esu.edu/cmst

Communication Studies Minor

  • Required courses: CMST 111, 126, and 250, and nine semester hours of CMST coursework (at least 6 semester hours at the 300-400 level). Selection of these courses is done after consultation with a Communication Studies faculty member.

Internship Opportunities

  • The Communication Studies Department's Internship Program is designed to provide students with real-life working experiences related to the field of communication.

    Internships are considered essential in the areas of broadcasting and public relations, but are also helpful in preparing students for many other communication areas, including graduate school.

    The broadcasting track requires students to take a three-credit internship (CMST 486), but students in the other tracks are also encouraged to apply.

Faculty

Course Descriptions

  • Courses marked with * fulfill the requirements for Fine Arts.

    Courses marked with ** fulfill the requirements for Performing Arts.

  • CMST 111 GE: Speech Communication (3)**

    • This course includes an introduction to the study and application of some principles of dyadic communication, small group interaction, and public speaking, in addition to listening skills. Attendance requirement will be enforced.

  • CMST 126 GE: Introduction to Mass Media (3)*

    • This course is a survey of the defining characteristics and histories of each of the media in mass communication. The focal point in each media is the relationship of the mass media to society.

  • CMST 136 GE: Popular Culture and Communication (3)*

    • This introductory course affords the student an opportunity to systematically examine popular culture: the cultural environment in which virtually all Americans have lived during the twentieth century. Emphasis is placed upon the study of popular artifacts, arts, and rituals as communicators of cultural belief.

  • CMST 163 GE: Introduction to Film Study (3)*

    • This course is designed to provide the students with an understanding of the elements necessary for film analysis toward a development of an appreciation for film as art. Representative films are screened in order to study the impact of the art form on modern society and on the individual.

  • CMST 219 Radio Practicum (1.5)

    • This course introduces students to basic operations of a radio station. Students will learn practical skills in policies, strategies, and broadcasting techniques of radio stations. The course may be repeated for a maximum of 3 credits. Pass/Fail course.

  • CMST 220 GE: WS: Gender Differences and Human Communication (3)**

    • This course is designed to examine the ways in which women and men communicate differently in interpersonal, work, and family settings and to discuss ways in which both men and women can improve communication and reduce conflict. Attendance requirement will be enforced. Prerequisite: CMST 111.

  • CMST 222 The Dynamics of Human Interpretation (3)

    • This course is an introduction to the process of interpretation as it relates to an overall understanding of the various forms of communication. Emphasis is placed upon the nature of meaning and language, the concept of text, and the assessment of the communicative act through various methods of criticism. Prerequisites: CMST 126 and completion of at least 30 credit hours.

  • CMST 229 Broadcast Journalism (3)

    • Radio and television are studied as media for news and information. Included are basic principles of newscasting, on-the-spot coverage, editing, writing, and delivery of news; use of wire copy; news policy and censorship codes; and theory and practice in station news operations. Prerequisite: CMST 126.

  • CMST 230 GE: Small Group Communication (3)**

    • This course not only teaches skills useful for effective group interaction but also explores theories that describe and explain group dynamics in various contexts. Topics covered in this course typically include: 1) general systems theory; 2) analysis of group interaction; 3) group cohesion enhancing techniques; 4) critical and creative problem solving skills; 5) leadership skills; and 6) conflict management. Prerequisite: CMST 111.

  • CMST 235 GE: Interpersonal Communication (3)**

    • This course introduces the processes and functions of communication in two-person and familial contexts. Emphasis is placed on the different types of interpersonal communication occurring in romantic relationships, friendships, and family relationships to help students improve their abilities as communicators throughout their daily interpersonal interactions.

  • CMST 250 Analysis of Communication Theory (3)

    • This course analyzes the dominant theories of human interaction, both general theories and those specific to particular contexts. Prerequisites: CMST 111 or 126 and completion of at least 30 credit hours.

  • CMST 253 GE: Public Speaking (3)**

    • This course deals with instruction and practice in selecting, analyzing, arranging, and delivering material for different types of public speeches; consideration of various methods of appeal, rhetorical devices, selected speeches, audience analysis and principles of criticism. Attendance requirement will be enforced.

  • CMST 255 Introduction to Public Relations (3)

    • This course will acquaint students with introductory concepts pertaining to public relations and communication in the public sphere. The course will emphasize the significance of public communication in a democracy and encourage critical thinking regarding the issues, functions, contributions, and theories of public relations. The course will provide a forum for student discussion of and engagement with both theoretical and practical aspects of public relations via its civic, corporate, and legal components within a historical context. Prerequisites: CMST 126.

  • CMST 290 Special Topics (Semester hours arranged)

    • These courses are designed to meet specific needs of groups of students, or are offered on a trial basis in order to determine the demand for and value of introducing them as a part of the university curriculum.

  • CMST 307 GE: Art and History of the Film (3)

    • This course studies the historical and aesthetic developments of the cinema, emphasizing the aesthetic aspects of film in an attempt to develop critical standards through surveying the methods and problems of film. Narrative, non-narrative, fictional, and documentary films are screened and discussed. Prerequisite: CMST 163.

  • CMST 310 Intercultural Communication (3)

    • Intercultural Communication is communication between persons who share different patterns of thoughts (attitudes, beliefs, values, and opinions) and behaviors. This course will deal with communication between men and women, black and white, young and old, straights and gays, students and teachers, and other subcultures in conflict. Prerequisite: CMST 111 or 126.

  • CMST 315 Voice for Broadcasting (3)

    • This course reviews the variables of the voice and their development as they pertain to the medium of radio and television. Students are given the opportunity to study and practice projecting their personalities through the medium of their respective voices as well as an opportunity to develop their vocal skills for broadcasting news, sports, interviewing, and educational programming. Prerequisites: CMST 111, 229.

  • CMST 329 GE: Rhetorical Perspectives (3)**

    • This course is designed to familiarize the students with various theoretical perspectives which attempt to explain how we are persuaded to our beliefs and actions. Attendance requirement will be enforced. Prerequisite: CMST 111.

  • CMST 331 GE: Advanced Public Speaking (3)**

    • Advanced Public Speaking builds upon a student's general knowledge of communication gained in Public Speaking. The course enables a student to gain more experience in composing, delivering, and criticizing public speeches. Students will refine techniques in their delivery in various modes of public speaking. Attendance requirement will be enforced. Prerequisite: CMST 253.

  • CMST 333 GE: Argumentation and Persuasion (3)**

    • This course studies the ways beliefs are changed or instilled in an audience as a result of a message's argumentative or persuasive qualities. The principal mode of message studied is that of the public speech, but other messages will be examined critically to determine how those messages function argumentatively and persuasively. Attendance requirement will be enforced. Prerequisite: CMST 253.

  • CMST 337 Broadcast Management (3)

    • This course deals with the organization and management of radio and television stations: personnel, programming formats, sales, audience analysis, social and governmental responsibility. Prerequisite: CMST 126.

  • CMST 342 Popular Music as Cultural Text (3)

    • This course will examine the importance of contemporary American popular music as a communicative medium and signifying practice which can affect cultural and subcultural identity. Prerequisite: CMST 136.

  • CMST 348 GE: Media Criticism (3)*

    • This course develops a variety of methods for analyzing both the functions and the products of mass media. After examining the cultural contexts in which the media operate, the course will establish important critical methods and offer opportunities to apply these methods in critical practice. Prerequisite: CMST 126.

  • CMST 350 Organizational Communication (3)

    • This course teaches theories that describe and explain the roles and functions of human communication within an organization. Communication is examined from such perspectives as human relations theory, system theory, theory of organizational culture and critical theory. In addition, this course links theory with practice by engaging students in observing and studying communication practices in actual organizational settings. Prerequisite: CMST 111.

  • CMST 355 Public Relations Theory (3)

    • This course will examine significant public relations and communication theories. Students will explore the work of key scholars in order to understand the current state of public relations theory. Public Relations Theory will also investigate the history of public relations as a field. The course is designed to help students look critically at the foundations, implications, and consequences of public relations theory. Prerequisites: CMST 255.

  • CMST 363 Psychology of Speech (3)

    • This course is a study of the secondary variables that influence communicational interaction. Emphasis is placed upon developing a concept of communicational context, situation, and circumstance, as well as developing skills of interpreting the unspoken messages which underlie communicational transactions. Prerequisite: CMST 250.

  • CMST 364 GE: Studies in Television Genre (3)*

    • This course examines a variety of television genres, allowing the student to develop an understanding of the nature of American formulaic television through critical analysis of programming. Prerequisite: CMST 136.

  • CMST 365 Communication Research (3)

    • This course will familiarize the student with the vast array of methods employed in the field of mass communication research and to provide him/her with a basic fluency in each of these methods. Prerequisite: CMST 111 or CMST 126, CMST 222 or CMST 250, and Junior-Level Standing (completion of 60 credits).

  • CMST 367 Advertising and Propaganda (3)

    • This course will provide an introduction to the special type of persuasive communication that characterizes both advertising and other forms of propaganda. Advertising, other forms of sociological propaganda, and political propaganda will be studied in terms of their relation to society, their techniques, and the ethical issues that they raise. Prerequisite: CMST 126.

  • CMST 370 GE: Film Genres (3)*

    • These courses will analyze significant films of either one or two genres in an attempt to define the characteristics of each genre and understand their cultural meaning. Readings will focus on the genres' historical development with emphasis on their relation to the social currents of the times. Representative films will be screened. Selected genres will vary with each offering of the course. Genres studied will include: the comedy film, the science fiction film, the musical film, the documentary film, the film noir, and the horror film. Prerequisite: CMST 163.

  • CMST 410 Comparative Media (3)

    • This course will expose students to media from around the world. Students will learn how to compare media content, formats, systems, and ownership structures in an effort to better understand underlying assumptions that help shape our perceptions of the world. Prerequisites: CMST 126, 310.

  • CMST 415 Genres of Rhetoric (3)

    • This course will examine one or two rhetorical genres to define the characteristics of each and understand its nature, meaning, and influence within a particular cultural movement. Students will apply classical and contemporary rhetorical theories to genres such as presidential, war, feminist, and environmental rhetoric. Representative examples of speeches, letters, essays, advertisements, and demonstrations will be analyzed. Prerequisites: CMST 111, 329.

  • CMST 429 Criticism of Rhetoric and Public Address (3)

    • This course is designed to develop and enhance the student's critical response to rhetorical discourse in the area of public address. The course includes a survey of rhetorical theory and opportunity to evaluate critically examples of rhetorical discourse from these various theoretical points of view. Prerequisites: CMST 111, 329.

  • CMST 440 Ethical and Legal Issues in Broadcasting (3)

    • This course will cover ethical and legal issues that confront broadcasters in their daily routine. Topics include programming decisions, FCC regulation, community standards, personnel management and precedent-setting court cases. Prerequisites: CMST 126 or 229; PHIL 110 or 231.

  • CMST 465-H Scapegoats and Witchhunts (3)

    • This course is an interdisciplinary seminar which explores the phenomena of cultural scapegoating and witchhunting. The primary perspectives will be rhetorical, historical, and psychological. By focusing on various targeted individuals and groups, past and present, the seminar will culminate in a synthesized view based on the instructors' various disciplines. Prerequisite: Junior standing in Honors Program or permission of instructor and Honors Program Director.

  • CMST 466-H Engendering Communication: Shaping Our Society and Selves (3)

    • Gendered identification shapes our sense of self, the way we communicate, the way we are perceived by others, and the manner in which we act in the world. Through a variety of readings, this seminar will explore the nature and implications of gender and the way it shapes our interactive lives. This course is designed as an interdisciplinary Honors Junior-level seminar. Prerequisite: Junior standing in Honors Program or permission of instructor and Honors Program Director.

  • CMST 485 Independent Study (Semester hours arranged)

    • This course consists of directed research and study on an individual basis. Open to a limited number of students who are juniors and seniors or who have completed 12 credit hours in Communication Studies and who receive departmental approval. A student engaging in Independent Study will complete a minimum of five (5) hours per credit of exclusive conference time with the faculty member in charge of the Independent Study relative to the design, consultation, and evaluation of the study. The student must demonstrate competencies appropriate to the level of the course. The standards shall include performance in the subject, explication of that work by written or oral reports, and evidence of a willingness to meet the commitments of the discipline.

  • CMST 486 Field Experience and Internship (Semester hours arranged)

    • Field experience gained through placement in a practical on-the-job situation under professional supervision. Credits from an internship cannot be applied to the elective requirements of the department's degree programs. Prerequisite: completion of all basic courses required in the major. (Pass/Fail course).

  • CMST 495 Seminar in Communication Studies (3)

    • The course consists of discussion and research of selected topics in communication theory, criticism, and application. It is designed to further those research methods characteristic of professional competence in the field of Communication Studies. Prerequisite: Senior class standing.

  • CMST 499 Student Teaching Internship (1)

    • This course is designed to provide the student with an opportunity to work with a faculty member in the student's primary Arts and Sciences discipline during the student teaching experience. The course will enhance the student's ability to understand and maximize the relationship between disciplinary subject matter and pedagogy. Prerequisite: Qualification to student teach. Concurrent registration in PSED 430 or 431 required.