Robert Brady
Department Chair
417 Kimpel Hall
479-575-3046 

Myria Allen
Graduate Coordinator
417 Kimpel Hall
479-575-5957
E-mail: myria@uark.edu 

Department of Communication Website

Degree Conferred:
M.A. (COMM)

Program Description: Communication with specific emphasis in civic engagement. We define civic engagement broadly, but seek to study and use communication to create more inclusive organizations, more resilient communities, and more informed and engaged citizens.

Primary Areas of Faculty Research:  Film; media; rhetoric; organizational, environmental, health, interpersonal, inter-cultural and political issues using interpretive, quantitative, rhetorical and critical lenses.

Prerequisites to Degree Program: A student entering graduate studies should have a minimum of 24 semester hours in undergraduate credit within the area of communication or closely related studies. Prospective students must supply: 1) three letters of recommendation (preferably from professors who can comment on their ability to do graduate-level work) and 2) their GRE examination scores through the Graduate School application portal. They must send 3) an essay-length writing sample (preferably an essay or research paper written for a class) and 4) a statement of their goals for graduate study in Communication at the University of Arkansas directly to the Communication Department’s Graduate Coordinator.

Requirements for a Master of Arts Degree: A minimum of 30 semester hours in graduate-level courses plus the capstone course (3 hours) or 27 hours of course work and a thesis (6 hours). The following departmental requirements must be met by students pursuing the M.A. in Communication:

  1. Completion of the COMM 5163 Introduction to Communication Paradigms (Fa) during their first semester of resident graduate study in which it is offered.
  2. Two graduate courses in communication research methods taken in their first year of graduate study and selected from the following:  COMM 5173 Qualitative Methods in Communication (Sp), COMM 5123 Quantitative Research Methods in Communication (Fa), or COMM 5183 Interpretive Research Methods in Communication (Sp).  
  3. Either three hours of capstone project credit (COMM 5923 Capstone Course in Communication (Sp, Su, Fa)) or six hours of thesis credit (COMM 600V Master's Thesis (Sp, Fa)). Each student must complete and successfully defend either a capstone project or an M.A. thesis.
  4. In addition to the Paradigms class, the two required methods courses, and the selected exit option (i.e., thesis or capstone course), at least four three-hour 5000-level courses must be completed in the Department of Communication. At least three of these courses should be in one focal area of civic engagement.
  5. The remaining hours of graduate credit must be selected from the following options:
    1. Additional 5000-level departmental seminars;
    2. 4000-level Department of Communication courses that are approved for graduate credit. Students should limit the number of 4000-level courses to no more than six hours;
    3. Up to six hours of graduate-level courses outside the department that directly relate to the student’s plan of study;
    4. Three hours of internship credit in COMM 5913 Internship in Communication (Sp, Su, Fa);
    5. Up to six hours of credit in COMM 590V Special Problems (Sp, Su, Fa).

Students should also be aware of Graduate School requirements with regard to master's degrees.

Courses

COMM 4113. Legal Communication (Irregular). 3 Hours.

Examines communication processes in the legal environment and focuses on communication skills and behaviors among judges, attorneys, litigants, and jurors. Particular attention will be given to verbal strategies and nonverbal messages related to interviews, negotiation, mediation, and litigation and to the rhetorical functions of legal pleadings and judicial opinions. Prerequisite: COMM 1313 or permission of instructor.

COMM 4133. Media and the Family (Fa). 3 Hours.

This course is designed to examine our culture's images, definitions, and ideas regarding family and domestic life. This examination involves a critical analysis of media messages regarding families, as well as an in-depth exploration of media's roles in daily domestic life. Prerequisite: COMM 1233 and COMM 2813.

COMM 4143. American Film Survey (Fa). 3 Hours.

A survey of major American film genres, major directors and films that have influenced the development of motion pictures. Prerequisite: COMM 1003 or permission of instructor.

This course is cross-listed with ENGL 4143.

COMM 4283. Communication in Contemporary Society (Irregular). 3 Hours.

An examination of research and theory on the process and effects of communication in modern society. Prerequisite: COMM 1023 and COMM 1233 or permission of instructor.

COMM 4313. Language and Society of Japan (Fa). 3 Hours.

The primary objective of this course is to investigate the way the Japanese language reflects the beliefs and customs of the Japanese people as a social group. For comparison purposes, this course makes reference to studies in American language and culture. Proficiency in Japanese not required. Prerequisite: Junior standing.

COMM 4323. Communication and Conflict (Fa). 3 Hours.

Study of the processes, effects, and managements of communicative conflict, including a consideration of conflict styles, power, goals, tactics, assessment, self-intervention and third-party intervention. Prerequisite: COMM 1023 or COMM 1313 or permission of instructor.

COMM 4333. Communication and Gender (Fa). 3 Hours.

Study of the nature, construction, functions, and effects of gender and gender-role stereotypes related to verbal and nonverbal communication, small-group and organizational interaction, and mass mediated images in contemporary culture. Prerequisite: COMM 2323 or permission of instructor.

COMM 4343. Intercultural Communication (Sp). 3 Hours.

Study of intercultural communication skills, intercultural issues and their impact at home and abroad, and cross-cultural comparisons of communication phenomena from a variety of theoretical perspectives. Prerequisite: COMM 1023 or COMM 1233.

COMM 4353. American Public Address (Irregular). 3 Hours.

Historical and critical study of the leading American speakers, their speeches, the issues with which they were identified. Lectures, discussion, reports, and critical papers. Prerequisite: Junior standing.

COMM 4363. Gender, Race and Power (Irregular). 3 Hours.

Examines how communication shapes gender, race, sexuality, and power. Rather than focusing exclusively on interpersonal communication, this course looks at theories of power that shape institutional macro communication.

This course is cross-listed with GNST 4363.

COMM 4373. Political Communication (Even years, Sp). 3 Hours.

Study of the nature and function of the communication process as it operates in the political environment.

This course is cross-listed with PLSC 4373.

COMM 4383. Rhetoric of the Modern American Presidency (Irregular). 3 Hours.

A study of the increasing reliance of contemporary presidents on public persuasion through rhetorical discourse.

COMM 4393. Freedom of Speech: Cases & Issues (Fa). 3 Hours.

Study of philosophy, cases, and issues relevant to the first amendment right to the free expression, with focus on issues relevant to internal security, obscenity, pornography, slander, and the regulation of communication. Prerequisite: COMM 1313 and COMM 2333.

COMM 4613. Rhetoric of American Women (Fa). 3 Hours.

Examines the social and cultural assumptions that have limited the role of women in public communication. Focus is on the rhetorical biographies of selected women and their arguments on important social and political issues. Prerequisite: At least 6 hours of communication courses.

COMM 4623. Relational Communication (Sp). 3 Hours.

Review of the major theories and concepts in a relational approach to interpersonal communication. Provides exposure to a sampling of the research findings in relational communication. Prerequisite: COMM 2323 or permission of instructor.

COMM 4633. History and Development of International Film I (Irregular). 3 Hours.

A critical survey of international film as a distinctive art form and as a medium of expression and communication with attention given to films and cinema from its origins to 1975. Prerequisite: COMM 1003.

COMM 4643. Environmental Communication (Sp). 3 Hours.

Explores how communication is used by individuals, corporations, and governments to shape public debates about environmental issues. Topics include rhetorical strategies, the publics' right to information and input, dispute resolution techniques, advocacy campaigns, and green marketing. Prerequisite: COMM 1233 and COMM 1313 and COMM 2333 or permission of instructor.

COMM 4653. International Film II (Irregular). 3 Hours.

A critical survey of international film as a distinctive art form as a medium of expression and communication with attention given to films and cinema from 1976 to the present. Prerequisite: COMM 1003.

COMM 4683. Documentary Film (Fa). 3 Hours.

A study and analysis of the documentary film as a discrete film form and as an important contribution to the international cinematic scene. Prerequisite: Advanced standing. Prerequisite: COMM 1003.

COMM 4763. Health Communication Campaigns (Odd years, Sp). 3 Hours.

Canvasses the theoretical frameworks used in the conceptualization of communication campaigns focused on health information dissemination and the purposes these campaigns serve. Students participate in a service learning project by defining campaign goals; identifying, segmenting, and assessing target audiences; and designing messages for multi-mediated health campaigns.Prerequisite: COMM 1023.

COMM 4773. Treatment of Native Americans in Film (Irregular). 3 Hours.

This course compares the treatment of Native Americans in film with how representatives of this group identify themselves. Particular attention is paid to how motion pictures focusing on Native Americans produced by indigenous filmmakers compare to treatments of this people produced by Hollywood and others. Prerequisite: COMM 1003.

COMM 4803. Seminar in Social Media (Even years, Sp). 3 Hours.

This class encourages in depth examination of contemporary theory and research on the potential effects of social media on cognitive, social, cultural, political, affective, and economic structures. Focus is on critical thinking and contextualization of social media. Pre- or Corequisite: COMM 1233.

COMM 4823. Children and Media (Sp). 3 Hours.

An in-depth examination of children's use of media and the effects of media content on child and adolescent development. Topics may include violence and sex in media, commercialism, and new media.

COMM 4843. Computer-Mediated Communication (Sp). 3 Hours.

Provides an in depth consideration of the nature of computer-mediated communication by examining its use and effects in interpersonal, work, educational, and societal contexts.

COMM 4853. Telecommunication Policy (Irregular). 3 Hours.

Research and discussion of social, ethical, education, cultural, and technological aspects of telecommunications with attention given to changing programming patterns, world systems of broadcasting, data transmission, emerging technology, international politics, and regulatory policies. Prerequisite: COMM 2813 or permission of instructor.

COMM 4863. Seminar in Media (Sp). 3 Hours.

Research/discussion of contemporary issues in media. Emphasis on the economic and social impact of advertising, news, censorship, programs directed toward children, portrayals of women and minorities, future trends in media technologies, and analysis of the changing media landscape. Prerequisite: COMM 1233 or permission of instructor.

COMM 4883. Television and American Culture (Fa). 3 Hours.

Historical and critical study of how television shapes American culture and is shaped by it. Attention will be given to the study of television history, programs and audiences; particularly how race and gender shape content and reception of programming. Prerequisite: COMM 1233 and COMM 2813.

COMM 5111. Colloquium in Communication Research (Sp, Fa). 1 Hour.

Presentation, evaluation, and discussion of research proposals or on-going research projects. Graduate students are required to register for this course each semester of residence. May be repeated for degree credit.

COMM 5113. Historical and Legal Methods in Communication (Fa). 3 Hours.

Emphasizes the assumptions and procedures of historical and legal research methods in communication. May be repeated for up to 3 hours of degree credit.

COMM 5123. Quantitative Research Methods in Communication (Fa). 3 Hours.

Emphasizes the assumptions and procedures of social scientific research methods in communication.

COMM 5133. Media Processes & Effects (Fa). 3 Hours.

Introduction to scholarly research and theory in media processes and effects. Particular attention will be devoted to the impact of media messages on individuals and societies. Emphasis will be placed on the construction and development of theory.

COMM 5143. Ethnographic Methods in Communication (Fa). 3 Hours.

This class focuses upon the fieldwork procedures and narrative writing strategies that comprise the methods of ethnographic research in communication. Students conduct fieldwork requiring in-depth interpersonal contact with members of a group or culture, and practice narrative writing skills.

COMM 5163. Introduction to Communication Paradigms (Fa). 3 Hours.

Introduces the variety of modes of inquiry used in communication. Reviews the field's history and boundaries. Explores contemporary communication research.

COMM 5173. Qualitative Methods in Communication (Sp). 3 Hours.

Emphasizes the assumptions and procedures of qualitative research methods in the examination of human communication behavior.

COMM 5183. Interpretive Research Methods in Communication (Sp). 3 Hours.

Examines various perspectives used to analyze and critique various texts (e.g., media programming, speeches).

COMM 5193. Seminar in Communication (Sp, Su, Fa). 3 Hours.

Research, discussion, and papers focus on one of a variety of communication topics including symbolic processes in communication, philosophy of rhetoric, communication education, criticism of contemporary communication, interpersonal communication, organizational communication, and contemporary applications of rhetoric. Maximum credit is 9 semester hours. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. May be repeated for up to 3 hours of degree credit.

COMM 5303. Seminar in Rhetorical Theory (Even years, Fa). 3 Hours.

Humanistic theories of communication and rhetoric with emphasis upon the development of rhetorical theory in the classical world and upon contributions of contemporary theorists. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

COMM 5323. Seminar in Persuasion (Fa). 3 Hours.

Focus is on comparing theoretical accounts of persuasion and research evidence concerning the effects of various factors on persuasion.

COMM 5333. Interpersonal Communication Theory (Even years, Fa). 3 Hours.

Survey of the theoretical orientations in interpersonal communication with primary focus on conceptual, philosophical and research issues.

COMM 5343. Interpersonal Communication (Fa). 3 Hours.

Theory and research concerning the exchange of information and the mutual influencing of behavior among people. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

COMM 5353. Rhetorical Criticism (Irregular). 3 Hours.

A seminar in rhetorical criticism. A study of the development of standards of rhetorical appraisal from the foundations of the art of speaking to the modern period; examination of contemporary approaches to rhetorical appraisal and practice in critical analysis of contemporary address.

COMM 5363. Seminar in Small Group Communication (Su). 3 Hours.

A consideration of recent developments in small group research which relate to problem solving tasks, leadership and other kinds of human interaction through speech communication. Emphasis given to the interpersonal speech transaction and to the emergence of participant roles. Prerequisite: COMM 2343.

This course is cross-listed with SOCI 5363.

COMM 5373. Content Analysis (Irregular). 3 Hours.

Techniques for observing and analyzing the overt communication behavior of selected communicators. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

COMM 5383. Seminar in Political Communication (Irregular). 3 Hours.

Research seminar focusing on selected topics such as candidate imagery, diffusion of political information, or political symbolism. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

This course is cross-listed with PLSC 5383.

COMM 5403. Organizational Communication Theory (Irregular). 3 Hours.

A seminar on the historical development of theory and research into communication processes occurring within an organizational setting. Lecture, discussion, oral and written reports. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

COMM 5413. Organizational Communication Research (Su). 3 Hours.

A seminar on conducting applied research within an organizational setting. Prerequisite: COMM 5403 and graduate standing.

COMM 5423. Seminar in Mass Media Cognition (Even years, Sp). 3 Hours.

Seminar exploring how people learn from written, aural and visual mass media messages. Topics to include attention, memory, comprehension, emotional response, arousal, unconscious processing, picture perception and person perception. Seminar will be concerned with most popular media (e.g., television radio, newspaper, and film), and with several content genres (e.g., entertainment, news, advertising).

COMM 5433. Marital Communication (Irregular). 3 Hours.

An exploration of the major theories and lines of research that examine marital communication in contemporary American life.

COMM 5443. Issues of Race and Gender in Interpersonal Communication (Odd years, Sp). 3 Hours.

An exploration of the major theories and lines of research that examine how race and gender influence interpersonal communication in everyday life in America.

COMM 5453. Myth and Communication Criticism (Irregular). 3 Hours.

Seminar in major theories of mythology, including archetypal and ideological perspectives, and their applications to the criticism of public communicative events. Practice in written critical analysis. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

COMM 5463. Descriptive Linguistics (Fa). 3 Hours.

A scientific study of language with primary emphasis on modern linguistic theory and analysis. Topics include phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, language acquisition, and historical development of world languages.

This course is cross-listed with WLLC 5463, ANTH 5473, ENGL 5463.

COMM 5503. Communication and Cultural Studies (Fa). 3 Hours.

Examinations of the role of communication in modern culture. Emphasis is upon the production and circulation of meanings with society, and special attention is given to the role of popular and mass media in this process. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

COMM 5513. Sustainability and Communication (Even years, Fa). 3 Hours.

Communication's role in creating and conveying an organization's environmental sustainability philosophy and initiatives. Discusses internal communication when establishing and communicating sustainability goals and initiatives. Covers communicating sustainability to external groups through websites, sustainability reports, and advocacy initiatives. For profit, nonprofit, governmental, NGOs, and/or advocacy organizations discussed.

COMM 5533. Family Communication (Even years, Fa). 3 Hours.

An exploration of the major theories and lines of research that examine family communication in contemporary American life.

COMM 569V. Seminar in Film Studies (Irregular). 1-3 Hour.

Research, discussion; papers on a variety of film genres and areas including the new American film, the science-fiction film, directors, film comedy, the experimental film, criticism, and the film musical. May be repeated for up to 6 hours of degree credit.

This course is cross-listed with ENGL 569V.

COMM 5763. Health Communication (Irregular). 3 Hours.

Examines the difficulties of effective communication between health care providers and recipients including the following: issues of social support, conveying bad news, cultural issues, and identifying relevant communication skills associated with effective health care provision. Explores medical education models for training in effective patient-provider communication.

COMM 590V. Special Problems (Sp, Su, Fa). 1-6 Hour.

Credit by arrangement. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. May be repeated for degree credit.

COMM 5913. Internship in Communication (Sp, Su, Fa). 3 Hours.

Internship in applied communication within public and private organizations. Prerequisite: 15 hours graduate level communication in residence.

COMM 5923. Capstone Course in Communication (Sp, Su, Fa). 3 Hours.

Students organize and synthesize knowledge developed throughout their graduate coursework into a tangible capstone product which becomes part of their professional portfolio.

COMM 5993. Readings In Cultural Studies (Irregular). 3 Hours.

Classic and current theoretical approaches to cultural studies. Subject matter changes depending on student interest and faculty expertise.

COMM 600V. Master's Thesis (Sp, Fa). 1-6 Hour.

Master's Thesis. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. May be repeated for degree credit.

Myria Allen, Professor
Trish Amason, Associate Professor
Robert M. Brady, Associate Professor
Peggy Lee Catron-Ping, Instructor
Lisa Corrigan, Associate Professor
Lauren J. DeCarvalho, Assistant Professor
Tom Frentz, Professor
Cathy A. Hollingsworth, Instructor
Sophie H. Janicke, Visiting Assistant Professor
Lynn Meade, Instructor
Meredith D. Neville-Shepard, Clinical Assistant Professor
Ryan M. Neville-Shepard, Assistant Professor
J. Brian O'Loughlin, Visiting Assistant Professor
Thomas Oommen, Visiting Assistant Professor
Thomas Rosteck Jr., Associate Professor
Frank Milo Scheide, Professor
Stephanie Ricker Schulte, Associate Professor
Matthew L. Spialek, Assistant Professor
Ron Warren Jr., Associate Professor
Robert Howard Wicks, Professor