Course Descriptions

The following are brief descriptions of the courses offered by the Speech Communications department.

SPCM 100 Fundamentals of Public Speaking (2) Organization and presentation of verbal materials. Emphasizes developing performance skills through graded speaking activities. Stresses basic public communication theory.


SPCM 110 Introduction to Speech Communication Theory and Practice (2) Introduces the field of speech communication, its history, major theories, and major contexts of study including interpersonal communication, intercultural communication, oragnizational communication, public communication, and group communication.
SPCM 210 Interpersonal Communication (4) Introduction to the theory and practice of interpersonal communication. Emphasizes actively practicing interpersonal communication skills through graded exercises. The student is encouraged to develop increased awareness of the effect oneÔÇÖs communicating has on others and the self.
SPCM 220 Intercultural Communication (4) An examination of similarities and differences in the communication patterns of cultures, focusing on theory and research. Study of the way these patterns reveal themselves in values, beliefs, assumptions, and ways of perceiving. Practice in improving communication between members of different and similar cultures.
SPCM 230  Science Communication (4) Introduction to the theory and practice of argumentation and theory, emphasizing science and communication, and how to communicate effectively to a wider audience. *Science communication is reserved for freshman Biology majors, and is only offered in the January interterm.
SPCM 240 Persuasion and Social Influence (4) A study of the messages that move humans to act. Emphasis on persuasive, argumentative, and propagandistic appeals and strategy selection. Attention to theories of human attitude change, compliance-gaining, and interpersonal influence.
SPCM 250 Public Controversy and Criticism (4) An examination of the various aspects of the informative, persuasive and aesthetic dimensions of public discourse. This course will include historical and contemporary examples of public discourse and invite students to analyze these speeches and practice various forms of discourse in graded exercises.
SPCM 310 Dark Side of Interpersonal Communication (4) An examination of the more dysfunctional aspects of relationships including: abuse, criticism, infidelity, hurt, secret keeping, and relational transgressions. Attention to theories and models pertaining to the darker aspects of communication within interpersonal relationships.
SPCM 332 Interviewing Principles and Practices (4) Examination of the communication principles that characterize formal interviews. The influence of roles, verbal and nonverbal communication, strategies, and ethics will be considered for interviews in a variety of setting. Students will participate in a variety of practice interviews.
SPCM 345  Trial Advocacy (4) Practical skills course where students learn direct and cross examination, building foundations, evidentiary objections, opening statements and closing arguments. Participate in College of Law Moot Court/Mock Trial competition.
SPCM 350 Argumentation and Debate (4) Rhetorical principles of argumentation in theory and practice. Novice and experienced debaters will practice using the World Championship Debating format.
SPCM 360 Leadership Communication (4) Using the tenets of interpersonal communication, leadership communication cultivates a theoretical and practical understanding of leadership practice. Leaderhsip communication is designed for students desirous of becoming authentic leaders in their community, organizations, or any specific component requiring some form of leadership.
SPCM 400 Voices of Revolution (4) Through the academic intersection of historical contextualization and applied rhetorical theory, this course examines historical speeches. In the process, the application of devices and mechanisms employed in these speeches will be analyzed, along with their effect in emboldening a new generation of orators to take their place on the podium, behind the lectern and in creating their own history.
SPCM 420 Health Communication (4) Introduces theory and research on communication within the context of health, illness and medicine. This course examines such subjects as cultural conceptions of health and illness, patient provider communication, end of life communication and how media influences perceptions about healthcare.
SPCM 440 Advocacy: An Experience in Social Justice (4) Students will engage in a 15-week social justice advocacy campaign where they will learn and apply various principles and theories that lead to effective advocacy. A combination of classroom lessons and exercises with practical real world application provides students the tools of advocacy needed for successful futures as world-changers.
SPCM 450 Political Communication (4) Focuses on various theories, communication concepts, and academic research in relation to political speeches, public discourse, debates, the election cycle, and the binary discourse that relates from historical to the contemporary political structure.
SPCM 452 Rhetorical Theory and Criticism (4) Teaches theory and methods of rhetorical criticism. Students will read the criticism of other rhetorical critics, apply methods of criticism to material provided by the text and professor, and produce original pieces of rhetorical criticism.
SPCM 490 Special Topics in Speech Communication (4) Special topics in speech communication related to current issues or special fields of study. Offerings are faculty designed courses in areas of expertise. May be repeated once with a different topic.
SPCM 499 Senior Project (2-4)