Communication and Media Studies

Associate Professors Susan Dummer, Alma Hall and Chris Nix (Chair);

Assistant Professors Jacob Dickerson and Kenny Sibal

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Department of Communication & Media Studies
Georgetown College
400 East College Street
Georgetown, KY 40324

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The Department of Communication and Media Studies represents one of the fastest-growing disciplines in higher education.  It is founded on the belief that competent communication transforms individuals, organizations and society.  Graduating majors are prepared for careers, or for advanced education, in fields as diverse as advertising, entrepreneurship, public relations, broadcast journalism, law, ministry, human resources, higher education and not-for-profit management.


Departmental faculty define oral communication competence as the ability to form and maintain satisfactory relationships as well as the ability to gather, organize and deliver informative and persuasive speeches.  Thus, course offerings in the broad areas of corporate communication, media studies and organizational communication are supported by both interpersonal and rhetorical theory.


Graduates of the Department of Communication & Media Studies will be able to:

analyze the relationship between communication and context by examining how communication functions in specific interpersonal, group, organizational, and public context(s);

relate communication and culture in the construction of alternate worldviews;

articulate and apply ethical guidelines for communication practice;

think critically about communication situations or problems;

effectively use research methods and materials;

construct and deliver an ethical, well-organized, and appropriate message using technologically diverse methods.


Department learning outcomes are measured by the students’ abilities to demonstrate skills in and/or knowledge about (1) message design and (2) message effectiveness in public forums.


Effective message design requires (a) audience adaptation, (b) established speaker credibility, (c) support for claims (through logical argumentation and credible research), (d) adherence to ethical standards (i.e., understanding the intended and untended consequences of manipulating or falsifying information), and (e) a recognition of how various channels influence message reception (e.g., computer mediated information).



(B.A. degree) Thirty-three hours required in Communication and Media Studies,including COMM 115, 200, 250, 335 and 450.  Eighteen additional hours, including a minimum of twelve upper level hours, may be selected in the student’s area of interest.  (No more than three hours of practicum and three hours of internship credit may be applied to the major or minor.)



Eighteen hours required in Communication and Media Studies, including COMM 115 and 200.  Twelve additional hours may be selected in the student’s area of interest.  A minimum of nine semester hours must be 300/400 level.


101. Principles of Communication. (3 hours) Survey course designed to provide students with an introduction to human communication processes.  Students will acquire a theoretical basis for understanding and evaluating specialized content areas within the discipline which include: (1) Interpersonal/Relational Communication, (2) Media Studies, (3) Corporate/Organizational Communication, and (4) Rhetorical Studies.                                                                                                       Fall and Spring


115. Professional Communication. (3 hours) Introduction to the rhetorical dimensions of public communication in the professional world including the use of technology to enhance multi-media presentations. Fall and Spring


200. Personal and Interpersonal Bases of Communication. (3 hours) Introduction to the social, psychological, and physiological bases of private communication.                                                                          Fall and Spring


215. Introduction to Broadcast and New Media. (3 hours) Introduction to the operation of radio studio equipment and general studio operation; practical experience producing various types of radio broadcast material. Lecture and Lab.Fall and Spring


250. Communication Theory and Research Methods. (3 hours) This course examines the role of communication theories used to understand and assess communication in contemporary social environments.  Specifically, this course examines current trends in communication research along with various fundamental theories.  Prerequisite: COMM 115 or 200.            Fall and Spring

260, 261, 262. Speech Lab Practicum. (1 hour each) Supervised practical experience in tutoring, communication assessment, and speech lab administration and management.  Requires 2 scheduled hours per week for every credit hour taken.  Prerequisites: COMM 115 and instructor approval.                                                                                  Fall and Spring


263, 264, 265. Practicum in Broadcasting. (1 hour each) Supervised practical experience in radio production through the facilities of the student radio station and, possibly, Webcasting.  Prerequisite: COMM 115. Fall and Spring


300. Advanced Interpersonal Communication. (3 hours) This class examines theoretic assumptions that guide relationship research across major developmental periods of the life cycle, such as childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood. Prerequisite: COMM 200.                                                                                                                             As needed


302. Media Journalism. (3 hours) Principles and problems of news and feature writing for print media. Prerequisite: COMM 115 or 200.                                                                                                                             As needed


306. Media Criticism. (3 hours) Provides an examination of critical theories and their application to a variety of media forms.  Prerequisite: COMM 115 or 200.                                                                          Spring


308. Argumentation. (3 hours) Argumentation in political, economic, cultural, and social decision-making through theoretical examination and practical application of basic concepts. Prerequisite: COMM 115 or 200. As needed


310. Persuasion and Propaganda. (3 hours) Examination of classical and contemporary theories of rhetoric (persuasion and propaganda), as they apply to speech, media, campaigns, social movements, and popular culture.  Prerequisite: COMM 115 or 200.        Fall


312. Group Dynamics. (3 hours) Examination of the increasing importance of interpersonal communication in small group situations. Experiential group activities and research required for in-class and outside projects.           Spring


315. Advertising. (3 hours) Examination and analysis of principles and concepts of advertising with special emphasis on developing creative strategies for the marketing plan and advertising campaign. Prerequisite: COMM 115 or 200.



323. Conflict Management. (3 hours) Examines the roles of communication relational conflict. Addresses interpersonal theories that explain ineffective skills, personal dispositions and strategies that affect dispute resolution.              Spring


329. Gender and Communication. (3 hours) Examination of gender and gender stereotypes related to communication competency in four primary contexts: intimate relationships (e.g., friendships and family), the educational setting, the media, and the workplace.                  Fall


331. Nonverbal Communication. (3 hours) Examines nonverbal communication codes, including their structures, usages, and interrelationships. Stresses student understanding, analysis, and application of nonverbal communication through lecture, discussion, and experiential activities.                                                                                              Spring


335. Media Communications. (3 hours) Study of media communications and the effects of the media on our lives. Prerequisite: COMM 115 or 200.

Fall and Spring


350. Entrepreneurial Leadership. (3 hours) Attempts to identify the new characteristics and behaviors that benefit new ventures and also questions whether these characteristics benefit leaders in contexts other than startup organizations. Prerequisite: COMM 115 or 200.   Fall


400. Organizational Communication. (3 hours) Communication processes within an organization, such as socialization, performance control, decision-making, conflict management, diversity, and technology.    Fall


413. Leadership for Change. (3 hours) Overview of leadership theories, and the examination of the communication processes involved in developing and sharing a vision, making and implementing decisions, and managing conflict. Prerequisite: COMM 115 or 200.                                                                                                                                     Spring


415. Public Relations. (3 hours) A campaign based study of public relations literature and practices in business, industrial, educational, social, and governmental contexts. Prerequisite: COMM 115 or 200.          Spring


418. Intercultural Communication. (3 hours)Examination of the influence of culture as a primary variable on interpersonally oriented communication outcomes in contexts ranging from macro and mirco cultures of social and ethnic identification to countercultures, social classes, rural-urban settings, geographic regions, and gender differences in organizations and families.           As needed


420. Videography: The Documentary. (3 hours) An examination and analysis of principles and concepts of videography including the planning, development, production, and post-production of short-video genres. Prerequisites: COMM 115 or 200 and COMM 215.      Fall


440. Independent Study. (1, 2, or 3 hours) Study of a limited subject within any communication area, proposed by the student, and submitted in written form stating objectives, methodology, and time limit. Must be approved by a COMM faculty member who agrees to supervise the study and by the department chair prior to registration. Only three hours may be applied toward the major. Prerequisites: COMM 250 and approved prospectus.                                                        As needed


450. Seminar in Communication and Media Studies. (3 hours) Integrative experiences and research on current topics of interest in communication theory and practices. Prerequisites: 27 hours of major completed including all core courses and application approved by department.                                                                                               Fall and Spring


461. Internship. (3-6 hours) Fieldwork activity in a related communication field to apply classroom theory.  Prerequisites: 24 hours of major completed and chair approval.                                                          As needed


471. Topics in Communication and Media Studies. (3 hours) Group study of selected topics in special areas Communication Theory; Non-verbal, Family, Health Care, and Electronic Media. Prerequisite: COMM 115 or 200.                                                                As needed

Click to See Career Options


  • Sales
  • Customer Service
  • Management
  • Human Resources
  • Training and Development
  • Labor Relations
  • Writing/Editing
  • Office Management
  • Product and service organizations
  • Retail stores
  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Manufacturers
  • Financial companies
  • Insurance companies
  • Hospitals and other healthcare organizations
  • Print and electronic media
  • Other business corporations
Develop strong verbal and written communication skills. Demonstrate excellent interpersonal skills. Learn to work well on a team.
Join related professional associations. Get involved in other campus organizations. Take business courses or earn a business minor. Gain experience through internships, part-time, or summer jobs. Develop computer skills in areas such as spreadsheets, databases, and presentation software.


  • Public Relations
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Corporate Public Affairs
  • Development
  • Media Analysis/Planning
  • Creative Directing
  • Writing/Editing
  • Audience Analysis
  • Public Opinion Research
  • Private corporations
  • Public service organizations
  • Public opinion research firms
  • Public relations firms
  • Advertising agencies
  • Public opinion organizations
  • Radio and television companies
  • Sports and entertainment organizations
  • Hospitality and tourism industry
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Consulting firms
  • Freelance
Develop excellent writing skills. Gain experience through internships, even if unpaid. Serve as public relations officer of an organization. Take additional courses in marketing, advertising, public relations, or other area of interest. Develop a portfolio of writing samples, ad campaigns, and other relevant work. Join related professional associations. Be willing to move to locations with greater numbers of job opportunities. Be prepared to start at the bottom and work to more desirable positions.


  • Writing
  • Editing
  • Copywriting
  • Publishing
  • Producing
  • Managing/Directing
  • Research
  • Media Sales
  • Publishing firms including newspaper, magazine and book
  • Internet sites
  • Television and radio stations
  • Film industry
Develop excellent interpersonal and presentation skills. Take elective courses in journalism, broadcasting, public relations, and advertising. Develop research skills. Work for campus or local newspaper, radio station, or television station. Get related experience through internships, even if unpaid. Learn desktop publishing, webpage design, and other computer skills.


  • Administration
  • Program Coordination
  • Grant Writing
  • Writing/Editing
  • Fundraising
  • Volunteer Coordination
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Professional associations
  • Chambers of commerce
  • Community centers
  • Philanthropies
  • Hospitals
Take courses in psychology, sociology, or social work to broaden perspective. Volunteer with community and campus organizations. Learn to work well with different types of people. Develop a wide array of skills including writing, speaking, budgeting, grant writing, and leadership.


  • Public Information
  • Campaigning
  • Programming
  • Legislative Assistance
  • Research
  • Lobbying
  • Conflict Negotiation
  • All branches of local, state and federal government
  • Political parties
  • Political action committees
Learn local, state, and federal government job application process. Take courses in conflict management and develop negotiation skills. Volunteer to work on a local political campaign. Join related student organizations and earn leadership roles. Find an internship with a government organization to get a foot in the door. Maintain a strong grade point average as many government programs are very competitive.


  • Law Assistance
  • Prosecution
  • Defense
  • Contractual
  • Corporate
  • Nonprofit or Public Interest
  • Government
  • Mediation
  • Lobbying
  • Law firms
  • Government agencies
  • Corporations
  • Public interest organizations
  • Private practice
  • Colleges and universities
Plan on attending a specialized paralegal training school or law school depending upon area of interest. Participate in a debate or forensic team to hone communication skills. Join pre-law organizations. Obtain a part-time or summer job at a law office. Take courses in and gain experience with mediation and conflict resolution.


  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Student Support Services including: Admissions, Advising, Development, Student Affairs, Recruitment, Alumni Affa
  • Colleges and universities
Ph.D. required for teaching and research in colleges and universities. Maintain a high grade point average and secure strong faculty recommendations. Earn a master’s degree in college student personnel or a related field for administrative positions. Get involved in campus leadership roles in residence halls, student unions/activities, programming boards, etc.

General Information

  • Develop strong written and verbal communication skills and excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Get experience with public speaking by joining Toastmasters.
  • Learn to work well on a team and develop leadership skills.
  • Explore specializations within major and professional field. Select electives to enhance knowledge in area(s) of interest.
  • Obtain experience through part-time employment, co-op, internships, or volunteer experience.
  • Get involved in campus activities and professional organizations.
  • Speech communication is a broad degree that can lead to job opportunities in many different fields. Skills and experiences gained through co-curricular activities, internships, part-time jobs, and volunteering are critical in shaping a career path.
  • Speech communication is also good preparation for graduate school in many disciplines.

Helpful Links

Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
(2005) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA /ADEA Employer

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Georgetown College admits students of any race, color and national or ethnic origin.