"The Communication Major has definitely made me a more effective advocate. It's given me the tools to understand other perspectives and collaborate with others. The beauty of the program is that it's really flexible and it gives you the skills you need to succeed in any career."

Nicole Alvarado '06, Dinuba, California
President, HSU Associate Students

Forms & Documents

Major & Minor

Major Requirements

The following is an outline of the courses required to complete the major in Communication at Humboldt State University.

INTRODUCTION TO THE FIELD: Required

  • COMM 105 Survey of Communication Studies (3 units)

PUBLIC COMMUNICATION SKILLS: 6 units taken from the following (only 3 units of COMM 110/310 may be used to fulfill this requirement):

  • COMM 108: Oral Interpretation (3 units)
  • COMM 110/310: Intercollegiate Speech and Debate (1 to 3 units)
  • COMM 214: Persuasive Speaking (3 units)

PERSONAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS: One of the following

  • COMM 213: Interpersonal Communication (3 units)
  • COMM 312: Group Communication (4 units)
  • COMM 324: Nonverbal Communication (4 units)

CULTURAL STUDIES: One of the following

  • COMM 309b: Gender and Communication (3 units)
  • COMM 322: Intercultural Communication (4 units)

COMMUNICATION AND SOCIETY: One of the following

  • COMM 300: American Public Discourse (3 units)
  • COMM 315: Social Advocacy (3 units)

RESEARCH METHODS: Required

  • COMM 319: Communication Research (4 units)

APPLIED COMMUNICATION: One of the following

  • COMM 411: Organizational Communication (4 units)
  • COMM 416: Theory & Practice of Social Advocacy (3 units)

THEORIES OF COMMUNICATION: Two of the following

  • COMM 404: Theories of Communication Influence (4 units)
  • COMM 414: Rhetorical Theory (4 units)
  • COMM 415: Communication Theory (4 units)

SPECIAL TOPICS: Required (Must be taken from a single 3 or 4 unit class. Other 480 classes may be used as electives.)

  • COMM 480: Seminar in Speech Communication 3 or (4 units)

ELECTIVES: 3 to 6 units to complete 45 units in the major. Choose from the following

  • COMM 300, 309b, 310, 311, 312, 315, 322, 324, 404, 414, 415, 416. 417, 422, 426, 480, 495, 499

CAPSTONE: Required

  • COMM 490: Capstone Experience (2 units)

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Minor Requirements

The minor in Speech Communication requires a total of 12 units selected from courses offered by the Department of Communication. 6 of those units must be at the upper division level (courses numbered 300-499), and no more than 3 units may be activity courses. Fundamentals of Speech Communication (SC 100) and Critical Thinking Courses (SC 101, 102, and 103) used to fulfill General Education requirements may not be included in the minor.

If you already know a Speech Communication faculty member you can go to her or him for advisement, or you can go to the department chair, Scott Paynton. When you go for advisement you will fill out a form indicating which courses you intend to count for the minor.

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Communications Courses

Lower Division
COMM 100. Fundamentals of Speech Communication (3). Introductory course. Develop oral communication abilities for functioning effectively in various settings. Fundamental communication theory. [GE.]
COMM 101. Critical Thinking in Small Groups (3). Principles of reasoning, evidence, and critical evaluation. Case studies of small group problem solving. [GE.]
COMM 102. Introduction to Argumentation (3). Principles of reasoning, analysis, strategy, evidence, and delivery in presenting/evaluating arguments. [GE.]
COMM 103. Critical Listening & Thinking (3). From listener’s (consumer’s) perspective, apply reasoned inquiry in evaluating marketplace communication. [GE.]
COMM 105. Introduction to Human Communication (3). Perceptual effects, verbal/nonverbal codes, and dynamics of interpersonal, group, and organizational communication. [GE.] COMM 108. Oral Interpretation (3). Perform prose and poetry. [GE.]
COMM 110. Intercollegiate Speech & Debate (1-3). Prepare for intramural/intercollegiate forensics. [Rep.]
COMM 213. Interpersonal Communication (3). Discuss and apply concepts/theories relating to self and self/other communication.
COMM 214. Persuasive Speaking (3). Principles and practices of persuasion in various communication contexts. Prepare extemporaneous persuasive speeches.
Upper Division
COMM 300. American Public Discourse (3). Critique genres of discourse and their importance in American culture. [Majors must take 4 units; nonmajors may fulfill GE requirements with 3 units. DCG-d. GE.]
COMM 309B / WS 309B. Gender & Communication (3). Critique relationship of gender to communication as viewed from perspectives of sciences, social sciences, and arts/humanities. [GE. CWT. DCG-d.]
COMM 310. Advanced Intercollegiate Speech & Debate (1-3). Prepare for intramural/intercollegiate forensics. [Rep.]
COMM 311. Business & Professional Communication (4). Problems and possible solutions achieving effective communication in various types/sizes of organizations.
COMM 312. Group Communication (4). Principles, practices, and theories: formation, cohesion, change, problem solving, roles, leadership, norms, efficiency.
COMM 315. Communication and Social Advocacy (4) Study of communication strategies utilized to create and resist social change in the context of historical/contemporary social movements. Possible topics: civil rights, suffrage movement, environment, animal rights. [Prereq: COMM 100 or equivalent. DCG-d.]
COMM 319. Communication Research (4). Social scientific and humanistic research methods. [Prereq: COMM 105 or IA.]
COMM 322. Intercultural Communication (4). Develop skills for communicating in various settings with people from different cultural backgrounds. [DCG-d.]
COMM 324. Nonverbal Communication (4). How human communication behaviors acquire meaning. Body language, voice, and use of our environment.
COMM 340. Oral Interpretation for Instructional Settings (1-2). Practice reading literature for primary/secondary classroom audiences.
COMM 404. Theories of Communication Influence (4). How communication influences human thought and behavior. Theories of argumentation and persuasion in various communication contexts. [Prereq: COMM 105 or IA.]
COMM 411. Organizational Communication (4). Interpersonal, small group, and systemic communication in organizations. Improve skills; increase understanding of communication process. Substantial independent work with instructor supervision. [Prereq: COMM 105 or IA.]
COMM 414. Rhetorical Theory (4). Major communication theories, from classical period to present, using rhetorical perspective. [Prereq: COMM 105 or IA.]
COMM 415. Communication Theory (4). Multidisciplinary survey of theories from perspective of social sciences. [Prereq: COMM 105 or IA.]
COMM 416. Social Advocacy Theory & Practice (3). Explores theories, models, and case studies pertaining to the study of social advocacy. [Prereq: COMM 315 (C).]
COMM 417 / ENGL 417. Second Language Acquisition (3). Compare/contrast first and second language acquisition. Assess factors affecting learning of second language: interference of first language, structure of second, personality characteristics, age, cultural attitudes. [Prereq: ENGL 326 or 328 or equivalent (C).]
COMM 422. Children’s Communication Development (4). Emergence and refinement of communication skills in children. Role of interaction in cognitive, social, and personal development. Strategies to enhance communication.
COMM 426. Adolescent Communication (4). Strategies of adolescents from diverse cultural backgrounds. Develop communication skills useful in working with them.
COMM 480. Seminar in Speech Communication (1-4). New dimensions in the field. [Rep.]
COMM 490. Capstone Experience (2). Under guidance, complete and present senior project and finalize assessment portfolio. [Recommended before enrolling: COMM 105.]
COMM 495. Field Experiences in Speech Communication (1-6). Either propose and develop a project (under direction of instructor) or perform supervised research on a project initiated by a professor. [Prereq: IA. Rep.]
COMM 499. Directed Study (1-4). Individual study on selected problems. Hours TBA. [Rep.]

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