Department of Communication Studies

Bachelor of Arts

Laurie P. Arliss, Professor and Chair

Communication studies is the home of Ithaca College’s liberal arts approaches to understanding human interaction in its many forms. Students and faculty in the Department of Communication Studies seek to understand the ways in which culture both affects and results from communication, as they explore a diversity of communication forms, practices, and organizations in an increasingly complex global culture. The department emphasizes small, interactive classes and close student-faculty interaction; its courses and cocurricular activities both provide a foundation in communication theory and skills and encourage multiple avenues of inquiry within which students can craft their own meaningful academic experiences.

The department offers two majors and one minor.

The communication studies major combines theory and practice in classes that focus on how, why, and with what effects people communicate — creating and sharing meaning, whether it be in the workplace, an informal gathering of friends, a family celebration, or a nationwide political process (to name just a few possibilities). A major in communication studies develops competence in theoretical analysis as well as the practical implementation of communication. The program is recommended for students who want a broad liberal arts background as preparation for careers in such fields as public relations, business, government, social services, and law, or for graduate study.

The culture and communication major is offered in cooperation with the Roy H. Park School of Communication and other departments at the College. This interdisciplinary program makes connections between two areas of inquiry: the study of how culture informs and shapes all aspects of communication, and its corollary area of investigation — how communication is the process through which culture is created, modified, and challenged. To explore these relationships, students consider culture and communication from a variety of intellectual perspectives across schools and divisions at the College. A degree in culture and communication prepares students for graduate study, whether law school or business school, or master’s and doctoral programs in a range of critical studies areas. Students interested in this major should contact the coordinator, Robert Sullivan, associate professor of communication studies, 417 Muller Center.

The minor offered in the department allows considerable flexibility so that a student can select courses which best complement his or her major. The minor must be declared through consultation with the departmental chair; the minor adviser guides students in course selection.

Requirements for Honors in Communication Studies

Departmental honors are awarded based on a senior project done under the sponsorship of a faculty member and its successful defense in an oral examination conducted by a faculty committee. A cumulative GPA of 3.50 is required. Students must propose the project by the end of the penultimate semester before graduation and must complete it by the middle of the semester they plan to graduate.

Subjects in this department include: Communication Studies (CMST) and Culture and Communication (CLTC)

Communication Studies (CMST)

CMST 11000 Public Communication (LA)

Exposure to a variety of speaking situations as a means to more comfortable, effective communication. Brief unit on language followed by exercises in various kinds of influential speaking. Emphasis is placed on the ethical responsibilities of the speaker and on the need for a critical posture by both speaker and listener. (F-S,Y)
Attributes: 3A, HU
3 Credits

CMST 11500 Business & Professional Comm (LA)

Study of public communication skills used in business and professional settings; emphasis is placed on presentational speaking and motive analysis; opportunity for individualized skill development provided. (F-S,Y)
Attributes: HU
3 Credits

CMST 12000 Comm, Culture, & Rhetoric (LA)

Introduction to fundamentals of rhetorical theory and rhetorical approaches to the study of communication. Emphasis is placed on the discovery and critical analysis of the rhetorical impulse in a variety of forms of persuasion. Includes a basic survey of rhetorical forms such as speeches, essays, advertising, films, and television. (F,Y)
Attributes: 1, HM, HU, TIDE
3 Credits

CMST 12400 Courtrooms & Communication (LA)

An investigation of trials and legal advocacy as communication phenomena. The course includes observations of live criminal trials and participation in mock trials. (F,Y)
Attributes: 1, HU
3 Credits

CMST 13200 Storytelling (LA)

Introduction to the practice, history, and theories of storytelling as a performing art. Emphasis is placed on cultural dimensions of oral/folk narrative through study of tales and traditions from different cultures and ethnicities. Students examine a variety of situations and functions for storytelling (e.g., bardic, theatrical, religious). (F,Y)
Attributes: 3B, CA, FA, TIII
3 Credits

CMST 14000 Small Group Communication (LA)

Examination of the dynamics of small group communication with a focus on problem-solving groups. Topics include leadership, cohesiveness, norms, roles, conflict, problem-solving techniques, conformity and deviance, networks, and listening skills. (F-S,Y)
Attributes: 1, SO, SS, TIDE, TWOS
3 Credits

CMST 14900 Fundamentals of Interpersonal Communication (LA)

Introduction to basic principles of interpersonal communication. Presents a theoretical perspective integrated with activities in and out of the classroom. Topics include interpersonal perception, language, nonverbal communication, self-concept, social roles, conflict management, and dynamics of intimacy. (F-S,Y)
Attributes: 1, SO, SS, TMBS
3 Credits

CMST 21500 Argumentation & Debate (LA)

Study of the philosophy of argument and logic in persuasion, debate forms, construction of the debate case, and responsibility for reasoned discourse in a society. Prerequisites: Two courses in the humanities and/or social sciences. (F,Y)
Attributes: HU
3 Credits

CMST 21900 Communication Studies Practicum (NLA)

Practical experience in speech on campus, at the intercollegiate level, and in the community at large; debate and legislative assemblies; discussion, oratory, impromptu, and extemporaneous speaking; oral interpretation and readers' theater. The instructor will designate the minimum activities required to receive credit. May be repeated for a total of eight credits. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor; participation in one of the department's cocurricular programs (such as debate or readers' theater). Pass/fail only. (F-S,Y)
Attributes: UND
1 Credit

CMST 22600 Health Communication (LA)

Introduction to the field of health communication, including origins and development. Presents theories of health behavior and communication and how they relate to one another in practice. Examines communication between health professionals and clients, and the roles media play in the health care industry and the delivery of health services. Cross-listed with HLTH 22600. Students may not receive credit for both HLTH 22600 and CMST 22600. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing or above. (F,Y)
Attributes: SS
3 Credits

CMST 23000 Analysis and Performance of Literature (LA)

Introduction to the art of oral interpretation of literature, including communicative and literary analysis, oral performance, and performance criticism. Survey of basic performance and analysis techniques for fictional prose and poetry. Prerequisites: Two courses in the humanities and/or social sciences. (S,Y)
Attributes: 3A, 3B, CA, FA, TIII
3 Credits

CMST 26900 Communication Research Perspectives (LA)

Introduces the premises of knowledge construction from the variety of perspectives, including, but not limited to humanistic, social scientific, and critical, that guide research in the communication studies discipline. Students will read and critique scholarly literature from multiple perspectives, with the goal of becoming more competent and critical readers of published and unpublished research in communication studies. Prerequisites: One course in CMST or CLTC. (Y)
3 Credits

CMST 28900-28910 Selected Topics: Communication Studies (LA)

Topics of current interest. Examples include nonverbal communication, campaign rhetoric, listening, intrapersonal communication, and legislative and parliamentary procedure. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing. (IRR)
Attributes: HU
3 Credits

CMST 29700 Directed Readings (LA)

Study of an extensive selection of literature, compiled by an instructor, on a topic of special interest. This literature should further student development within a relevant topic area that is not otherwise covered in an available course. Offered on demand only. Prerequisites: Three credits in communication studies; sophomore standing; approval of the communication studies faculty.
Attributes: HU, SS
1-4 Credits

CMST 31100 Advanced Public Communication (LA)

Advanced public speaking, with three complementary goals: (1) to develop a professional level of oral skill before a live audience; (2) to practice advanced communication skills in the public sphere as speakers, speechwriters, and consultants; and (3) to be exposed to a variety of speech types and criteria by which speeches can be judged. Prerequisites: CMST 11000 or CMST 11500; three courses in the humanities and/or social sciences. (Y)
Attributes: 3A, HU
3 Credits

CMST 32000 Communication at the Bargaining Table (LA)

Examination of conflict resolution through communication, especially methods to manage bilateral conflict, including negotiation and mediation. Course moves from theoretical to experiential with application to contemporary and practical approaches. Includes survey of the legal framework underlying established methods of conflict resolution in business, community relations, labor/management relations, international trade and international disputes. Prerequisite: junior standing and one course in communication studies. (S,O)
Attributes: HU
3 Credits

CMST 32100 Oral Advocacy in Arbitration and the Courts (LA)

Advanced communication performance course focusing on oral communication of a persuasive nature set in legal contexts, including arbitration and U.S. courts. Students learn techniques of legal reasoning and argumentation, in conformity with procedural and evidentiary rules, and apply these techniques to oral advocacy in legal settings. Observation and critique of oral advocacy from scholarly writings; professional legal training materials; in-class performances, and actual or mock arbitrations and trials. Prerequisite: CMST 12400 and junior standing. 3 redits. (S,E)
Attributes: HU
3 Credits

CMST 32600 Classical Theories of Rhetoric (LA)

Study of various theories of persuasion from the Platonic era through the Roman-Christian period (Plato to St. Augustine). Prerequisites: CMST 11000, CMST 11500; junior standing. (Y)
Attributes: 3A, H, HU
3 Credits

CMST 32700 Modern and Contemporary Theories of Rhetoric (LA)

Rhetorical theories offer a particular way of exploring the practice of communication. This seminar addresses one or more theoretical themes in the rhetorical approach to communication. Objectives include understanding the nature and value of communication theories in the modern world, as well as being able to put theories into practice. Prerequisites: CMST 11000 or CMST 12000; junior standing. (Y)
Attributes: 3A, H, HU
3 Credits

CMST 33200 Folklore and Cultural Performances (LA)

Survey of the major forms and traditions of folklore and cultural performances ranging from everyday conversations to rituals and celebrations. Emphasis is placed on the analysis of aesthetic, rhetorical, and group dimensions of folkloric and oral performances. Narrative forms to be studied include personal storytelling, jokes and humor, legends, and tales. Larger performance forms are also included, such as spectacles, holidays, and festivals. Prerequisites: of courses from one or more of the following departments: anthropology; cinema, photography, and media arts; English; sociology; communication studies; theater arts. (IRR)
Attributes: FA
3 Credits

CMST 33300 Analysis and Performance of Prose (LA)

Study of analysis, cutting, adaptation, and performance techniques appropriate to oral interpretation of expository, descriptive, and narrative prose literature. Solo and ensemble performance experience and performance evaluation experience. Prerequisites: CMST 23000, or three courses in communication studies and/or theater. (F,E)
Attributes: 3B, FA
3 Credits

CMST 33400 Group Performance of Literature (LA)

Study of the principles and practice of readers' theater as a creative and presentational art form. Includes study of adaptation and compilation scripting; direction and performance of ensemble interpretation projects. Prerequisites: CMST 23000, or three courses in communication studies and/or theater. (IRR)
Attributes: 3B, FA
3 Credits

CMST 33500 Analysis and Performance of Poetry (LA)

Exploration of vocal and performance behavior appropriate to poems written in the lyric, epic, and dramatic modes; evaluation of the student's oral performance in each of the modes and in various periods of English literature. Prerequisites: CMST 23000, or three courses in communication studies and/or theater. (IRR)
Attributes: FA
3 Credits

CMST 34600 Gender and Interpersonal Communication (LA)

Advanced theoretical examination of interpersonal communication, concentrating on nonverbal communication, language, power, gender, and characteristics of and problems in interpersonal relationships. Prerequisites: CMST 14000 or CMST 14900; two courses in the social sciences; sophomore standing. (F,Y)
Attributes: 1, SS, WI
3 Credits

CMST 34700 Intercultural Communication (LA)

Introduces speech communication processes in intercultural, interracial, interethnic, and international contexts. Presents other cultural groups, patterns of thought, perception, and communication, and examines students' own cultural assumptions. Prerequisites: CMST 14000; CMST 14900; three additional credits in communication studies. (F,O)
Attributes: 1, DV, G, SS
3 Credits

CMST 34800 Family Communication (LA)

The family from a communication perspective. Studies the dominant theories and methodologies that illuminate communication about and within the contemporary American family. Emphasis is placed on the central role communication plays in determining expectations and realities in a diversity of situations (e.g., nuclear, extended, single-parent, blended, voluntarily childless, or gay/lesbian-led families). Prerequisites: CMST 14000 or CMST 14900; two courses in the social sciences; sophomore standing. (S,E)
Attributes: 1, DV, SS
3 Credits

CMST 35300 Language and Social Interaction (LA)

Studies how symbolization reflects and generates a particular view of reality. Emphasizes how certain methods of describing the world determine the orientation a person has toward the world. Focus is on the reality structures of American language. Prerequisites: Three courses in communication studies; junior standing, and WRTG 10600 or equivalent. (Y)
Attributes: HU, WI
3 Credits

CMST 36000 Race and Public Policy (LA)

Examines the multifaceted countervailing forces within American political/legal communication that indicate race still matters. Incorporates analysis of documentaries, court opinions, and Congressional debates, as these forms of communication relate to Native Americans, Asian Americans, African Americans, and Latinos. Prerequisite: Junior standing. (Y)
Attributes: HU
3 Credits

CMST 36200 Political Communication: Campaigns and Elections (LA)

Analysis and critique of local and national campaigns and elections. Focuses on key questions such as how candidates and their campaigns create and package "the message", how that message and others impact public opinion and perception. Students also construct a campaign. Prerequisites: Junior standing. (Y)
Attributes: HU
3 Credits

CMST 38900-38910 Selected Topics in Communication Studies (LA)

Topics of current interest. Examples include small group dynamics, research methodology, interracial/intercultural communication, conflict management, and male/female relationships. Prerequisites: Junior standing. (IRR)
Attributes: HU
3 Credits

CMST 39500 Internship: Communication Studies

1-12 Credits

CMST 39700 Directed Readings (LA)

Study of an extensive selection of literature, compiled by an instructor, on a topic of special interest. This literature should further student development within a relevant topic area that is not otherwise covered in an available course. Offered on demand only. Prerequisites: in communication studies; junior standing; approval of the communication studies faculty.
Attributes: HU, SS
1-4 Credits

CMST 42900-42910 Seminar in Public Communication (LA)

In-depth study of a specific topic in public communication, such as the speaking of a particular person (Nixon) or type of person (president), communication strategies of a movement (women’s) or kind of rhetoric (famous pleas). Prerequisites: Senior standing or equivalent in communication studies. (IRR)
Attributes: HU
3 Credits

CMST 43900 Seminar in Literary and Cultural Performances (LA)

Detailed study of special topics in fields such as linguistics, literary composition, prosody, and rhetoric as they relate to the oral presentation of prose, poetry, and the play. May be repeated for credit when topics vary up to three times for a total of nine credits. Prerequisites: Two of the following: CMST 23000, CMST 33300, CMST 33400, or CMST 33500. (IRR)
Attributes: FA, HU
3 Credits

CMST 44900 Seminar in Interpersonal Communication (LA)

In-depth study of a specific topic in interpersonal communication, such as stages in relationship development, language behavior and interpersonal communication, nonverbal codes and relationships, and interpersonal apprehension. May be repeated for credit when topics vary up to three times for a total of Prerequisites: CMST 14000; CMST 14900; any 3-credit course identified as an “applications in communication studies” course. (IRR)
Attributes: SS
3 Credits

CMST 45100 Communication and Social Influence (LA)

Examination of current theories of social influence and their relationship to communication. Focuses on analyzing current persuasion practices in terms of theories such as social learning and self-persuasion, attribution theory, information processing, and social change. Prerequisites: CMST 14000; CMST 14900; one level-3 or above course identified as an "applications in communication studies" course. (S,Y)
Attributes: SS
3 Credits

CMST 45900-45902 Seminar in Communication Theory (LA)

Detailed study of special topics, with an emphasis on theories of human communication. May be repeated when topics vary, for a total of Prerequisites: Three courses in communication studies, at least one of which must be at level 3. (IRR)
Attributes: 1, SS
3 Credits

CMST 46900 Seminar in Communication Research (LA)

In-depth study of a specific topic in research methods, such as survey methodology, ethnography, or rhetorical criticism. May be repeated for credit when topics vary up to three times for a total of nine credits. Prerequisites: CMST 26900 and one level-3 CMST course. (IRR)
3 Credits

CMST 49500 Internship: Communication Studies (NLA)

Work-study project designed by the student in consultation with a sponsoring faculty member and a cooperating practicing professional. The proposal must define the work to be done, the theories to be explored, and the student's plan for submitting a written report based on his or her experience. Offered on demand only. No more than may be used toward the major. Prerequisites: Communication studies major, with a cumulative GPA of 2.30 and 3.00 in the major; permission of communication studies faculty. Variable credit, up to .
Attributes: UND
1-12 Credits

CMST 49800 Directed Research (LA)

Research project arranged at student request with an individual instructor in communication studies. Offered on demand only. No more than may be used toward the major. Prerequisites: Communication studies major or minor, with a cumulative GPA of 2.30 and 3.00 in the major; junior standing; permission of communication studies faculty.
Attributes: UND
1-4 Credits

CMST 49900 Independent Study: Communication Studies (LA)

Special reading and research under the supervision of the department. Must not duplicate standard coursework. Application must be made to the communication studies faculty before preregistration for the semester in which the study is to be undertaken. Offered on demand only. May be repeated for a total of Prerequisites: Cumulative GPA of 2.30 and 3.00 in major; junior or senior standing; permission of communication studies faculty.
Attributes: UND
1-4 Credits

Culture and Communication (CLTC)

CLTC 10000 Introduction to Culture and Communication (LA)

Introduction to the interdependent relationship between symbols, rituals, artifacts, and patterns of thought of cultural groups and the communication practices of those groups. Core concepts are demonstrated through an illustrative case focused on a social issue, problem, or other phenomenon. Students are also introduced to resources and basic skills that enhance study in the liberals arts. Not open to seniors except by permission of instructor. (F,S)
Attributes: DV, UND
3 Credits

CLTC 11000 Media Literacy and Popular Culture (LA)

This course serves as an introduction to the theory and practice of media literacy with an emphasis on developing skills in analysis and evaluation of media messages, as well as an understanding of critical thinking and the mediated communication process. Using an interdisciplinary approach that draws from many fields (including communications, psychology, and education), the course includes analyses of messages from both traditional (e.g., print, TV, film) and digital (e.g., websites) popular and educational media, and examines the effects of media messages on beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. Open to freshmen and sophomores only. (S, Y)
Attributes: 1, SO, SS, TIII
3 Credits

CLTC 23000-23001 Special Topics in Media Literacy (LA)

Using the principles and practice of media literacy, this course will examine how media messages are constructed and how they affect our individual and collective understanding of specific topics. Students will develop critical decoding skills through analysis of current and historical media documents. A wide range of media forms will be explored, including digital, audio, audiovisual, and print-based media. Each year the seminar will focus on a different topic reflecting current issues and media literacy curricula developed at the College (e.g., environmental issues, social justice, peace and war). In presidential election years, the topic will be media construction of presidential campaigns. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing. Can be repeated for up to six credits when topics vary. (F, Y)
Attributes: HU
3 Credits

CLTC 48000 Senior Seminar in Culture and Communication (LA)

In this capstone course each student will undertake a major scholarly research project involving a topic related to her or his designated area of inquiry. Drawing on the skills and knowledge developed through previous coursework, and with the mentoring of the seminar instructor, each student will execute a suitable research design and present the results both in writing and orally in a public forum. Prerequisites: Senior standing in culture and communication major; TVR 26200, CNPH 30000 or CNPH 30100. (S)
Attributes: CP
3 Credits

CLTC 49000 Internship: Culture and Communication (NLA)

The internship provides a structured intensive learning experience in an organization dedicated to research, planning, policymaking, or service provision in an area related to culture and communication. Supervision is provided by an on-site professional preceptor. Students are required to submit periodic written field reports, as well as a final internship experience report. Prerequisites: Junior standing or above and permission of instructor. 1 to (F-S, Y)
1-6 Credits

CLTC 49900 Independent Study: Culture and Communication (LA)

Intensive study of the theoretical and empirical relationships between culture and communication. These projects will be conducted under the supervision of a faculty adviser and will require a comprehensive research paper and/or project. A proposal for the topic and specific plans must be approved by the dean's office of the Division of Interdisciplinary and International Studies. Prerequisites: Junior standing or above and permission of instructor. 1 to (F-S,Y)
1-4 Credits