Current COMS Course Descriptions
COMS 101 Public Speaking (4) GE A2
Introduction to the principles of public speaking. Practical experience in the development, presentation, and critical analysis of speeches to inform, to persuade, and to actuate. 4 lectures. Not open to students with credit in COMS 102. (Also listed as HNRS 101)
COMS 102 Principles of Oral Communication (4) GE A2
Introduction to the fundamentals and principles which underlie effective speech communication. Practical experience in various types of speaking situations: informative speaking, persuasive speaking, and panel discussion. 4 lectures. Not open to students with credit in COMS 101.
COMS 126 Argument and Advocacy (4) GE A3
The nature of critical thinking as applied in written and oral argument. Analysis of inductive and deductive reasoning. Analysis of reasoning, argument, forms of support and fallacies of argument and language. Instruction in and practical experience in writing sound persuasive arguments and engaging in oral argumentation assignments. 4 lectures. Prerequisite: Completion of GE Area A1 or A2 with grade of C‐ or higher.
COMS 145 Reasoning, Argumentation, and Writing (4) GE A3
The principles of reasoning in argumentation. Examination of rhetorical principles and responsible rhetorical behavior. Application of these principles to written and oral communications. Effective use of research methods and sources. 4 lectures. Prerequisite: Completion of GE Area A1 or A2 with grade of C‐ or higher. (Also listed as ENGL/HNRS 145)
COMS 201 Advanced Public Speaking (4)
Further consideration of the principles of public address. Advanced practice in manuscript, extemporaneous, and impromptu speaking. 4 lectures. Prerequisite: COMS 101 or COMS 102.
COMS 208 Performance of Literature (4) GE C3
Poetry, prose, nonfiction and dramatic literature performed to communicate the levels of meaning within each work to the audience. 4 lectures. Prerequisite: Completion of GE Areas A and C1.
COMS 212 Interpersonal Communication (4)
Introduction to the interaction process in two‐person (dyadic) communication settings. Emphasis on the functions of varying messages in the initiation, development, maintenance and termination of personal relationships. 4 lectures. Prerequisite: COMS 101 or COMS 102.
COMS 213 Organizational Communication (4)
Introduction to communication within the organization and between the organization and its environment. Effects of networks, superior/subordinate message patterns, team building, climate, message flow patterns and distortion on organizational effectiveness. 4 lectures. Prerequisite: COMS 101 or COMS 102.
COMS 217 Small Group Communication (4)
Basic principles and techniques of small group communication. Survey of the importance of discussion in contemporary society, including study of and practice in informal group discussion, panel discussion, symposium, and forum. 4 lectures. Prerequisite: COMS 101 or COMS 102.
COMS 218 Media, Self and Society (4) GE D4
Overview of the interaction between mass media and individuals in American society. Drawing on theoretical perspectives from mass communication and psychology to explore how individuals develop a coherent understanding of self within a highly mediated world. The power of influence of media messages and practices. Individual responsibility in an information society. 4 lectures. COMS/JOUR 218. Fulfills GE D4.
COMS 226 Applied Argumentation (4)
Intermediate level course in the theory and practice of everyday argument. Select theories of argumentation, and practical experience arguing in a wide variety of contexts. 4 lectures. Prerequisite: Completion of GE Area A.
COMS 250 Forensic Activity (2)
Introduction to competitive debate activities. Research, analysis, and debating about contemporary issues. Any student who wishes to receive academic credit for participation in such activities during the quarter should enroll. Total credit limited to 6 units. 2 laboratories. Prerequisite: COMS 101 or COMS 102 or consent of instructor.
COMS 301 Business and Professional Communication (4)
Communication skills and functions for all levels of organizational employees. Interviewing, oral briefings, motivational and conference speaking. 4 lectures. Prerequisite: COMS 101 or COMS 102.
COMS 308 Group Performance of Literature (4) GE C4
Examination and experience in the various modes of group performance of literature: Readers Theatre, Chamber Theatre, Story Theatre. Scripting; directing; performing and critiquing of group performance of literature. 4 lectures. Prerequisite: Completion of GE Areas A, C3 and junior standing. (Communication Studies majors will not receive GE C4 credit.)
COMS 311 Communication Theory (4)
Concepts and theories of the human communication process from a social science perspective. 4 lectures. Prerequisite. Completion of GE Area A.
COMS 312 Communication Research Methods (4)
Exploration of communication research strategies and methodologies. Basic methods of designing research in empirical communication studies. 4 lectures. Prerequisite: COMS 311 and STAT 217, junior standing. For majors only.
COMS 315 Intergroup Communication (4)
Survey of theory and research concerning language and communication between various social groups (e.g., age, sex, race, sexual orientation), with an emphasis on understanding the role verbal, nonverbal, and mass communication plays in identity formation and differentiating group members. 4 lectures. Prerequisite: Completion of GE Area A.
COMS 316 Intercultural Communication (4) USCP and GE D5
Examination and clarification of cultural aspects of communication within and among ethnic groups. 4 lectures. Prerequisite: Completion of GE Area A.
COMS 317 Technology and Human Communication (4)
Impact of technological change upon human communication. Past, present, and future technological developments that have affected how humans communicate. Emphasis on new communication technologies. 4 lectures. Prerequisite: Completion of GE Area A.
COMS 319 Critical Cultural Studies and Communication (4)
Analysis and integration of theories and methods of Cultural Studies as an interdisciplinary mode of critical qualitative inquiry. Emphasis on the role of communication in differential power relations, particularly on issues of identity, struggle, and representation in a diverse culture. 4 lectures. Prerequisite: GE Area A completed and junior standing.
COMS 322 Persuasion (4)
Theory of persuasion with particular emphasis upon social psychological principles of influence. Analysis of various forms of persuasion, social influence and propaganda. 4 lectures. Prerequisite: Completion of GE Area A.
COMS 330 Classical Rhetorical Theory (4)
Early development of rhetorical theory in Greco‐Roman civilization. Analysis of the canons of rhetoric. Rhetorical thought of Sophists, Isocrates, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero and Quintilian. 4 lectures. Prerequisite: Completion of GE Area A.
COMS 331 Contemporary Rhetoric (4)
Rhetoric's role in contemporary culture. Issues: political advocacy; science, technology and mass persuasion; ethics and rhetoric. Representative theorists: Burke, Weaver, Richards, Toulmin and McLuhan. 4 lectures. Prerequisite: Completion of GE Area A and junior standing.
COMS 332 Rhetorical Criticism (4)
Theory and method used in the analysis and evaluation of rhetorical discourse. Study of critical essays. Practice in interpreting and evaluating persuasive discourse. 4 lectures. Prerequisite: Junior standing, COMS 330.
COMS 350 Advanced Forensic Activity (2)
Advanced participation in intercollegiate speech activities. Intercollegiate tournament competition, judging speech competition and other communication‐related public service on campus and in the community. Total credit limited to 6 units. 2 activities. Prerequisite: COMS 250 or consent of instructor.
COMS 384 Media Effects (4) GE D5
Effects of media on the individual. Influence of mediated message producers, production technologies, and message content. Empirical approaches to data collection using experimental and survey techniques. 4 lectures. Prerequisite: Completion of GE Area A and junior standing.
COMS 385 Media Criticism (4) GE D5
Theory and method used in analyzing media from critical, rhetorical, and cultural perspectives. Practice in interpreting and evaluating news, advertising, prime‐time television, the Internet, and other mass‐ mediated texts, with special attention to relationships among media, identity, and political action. 4 lectures. Prerequisite: Completion of GE Area A and junior standing.
COMS 386 Communication, Media, and Politics (4) GE D5
Political communication and the U.S. mass media system, including role of the media in democratic society; news, norms, government regulation of media, and media ownership; the changing media landscape and implications for news construction, polarization, and selective exposure; and incivility and bias. 4 lectures. Fulfills GE D5 except for Communication Studies majors. Prerequisite: Junior standing; completion of GE Area A and two lower division courses in GE Area D. Recommended: COMS 218 and POLS 112
COMS 390 Environmental Communication (4)
Exploration of classroom communication development. Student‐teacher‐parent interaction. Communication style, environmental stimuli, dialectal differences and bilingualism, measurement of communication competence. 4 lectures. Prerequisite: Completion of GE Area A and junior standing.
COMS 395 Science Communication (4)
Examination of science communication in a variety of contexts. Issues covered may include: scientific journal articles, boundary-work, information deficit models, public understanding/awareness of science, accommodated science, mediated science, popular science. 4 lectures.
COMS 400 Special Problems for Advanced Undergraduates (1–2)
Individual investigation, research, studies, or surveys of selected problems. Total credit limited to 4 units. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor and junior standing.
COMS 413 Advanced Organizational Communication (4)
Describing and measuring the organization's human message system. Planning and implementing communication training and development for the organization. New functions, careers and opportunities for the communication professional. 4 lectures. Prerequisites: COMS 301 and junior standing.
COMS 418 Health Communication (4)
Communication in health contexts. Topics include interpersonal communication (e.g., health professional/patient), group and organizational communication (e.g., health‐related groups), and mass communication (e.g., persuasive health campaigns). Open to all majors and valuable to laypersons who are consumers of health care, and pre‐health professionals. 4 lectures. Prerequisite: Completion of GE Area A and junior standing.
COMS 420 Nonverbal Communication (4)
Influence of kinesic, proxemic, artifactual, olfactory, paralinguistic and environmental factors in human communication. Theory, research and practice in nonverbal communication. 4 lectures. Prerequisite: Completion of GE Area A.
COMS 421 Gender and Communication (4)
Explores the theory and practice of how gender is created, maintained, and transformed through communication; examines how gender roles are enacted and interpreted in various public and private contexts. 4 lectures. Prerequisite: Completion of GE Area A and junior standing.
COMS 422 Rhetorics of Science, Technology, and Medicine (4)
Examination of rhetorical strategies and persuasive techniques used within scientific, technical, and medical discourses. Topics include genre features of scientific articles, rhetorical topoi in scientific discourse, pop-culture depictions of science, the scientific ethos, and risk communication. 4 lectures. Prerequisite: Completion of GE Area A and junior standing.
COMS 428 Family Communication (4)
Focuses on communication theory and practice within family structures. Examines relationship communication in marital/partnership, parent/child, intergenerational, and sibling relationships. Topics include family communication regarding identity, attachment, conflict, relational dialectics, storytelling/narratives, family transition, cultural influences, and family support. 4 lectures. Prerequisite: Completion of GE Area A. Completion of COMS 212: Interpersonal communication.
COMS 435 American Political Rhetoric (4)
Role of oratory in American political and social history since Lincoln. Historical and rhetorical analyses of important political speeches delivered by presidents, activists, demagogues, and leaders of social movements. 4 lectures. Prerequisite: Junior standing.
COMS 450 Internship: Communication Studies (2–4 CR/NC)
Supervised practicum and application of principles and theories of communication in organizational settings. Total credit limited to 8 units. Credit/No Credit grading only. Prerequisite: Junior standing, 2.5 GPA, and consent of instructor.
COMS 460 Undergraduate Seminar (1)
Discussion and design of individual projects, oral reports on material in current professional writings. 1 seminar. Prerequisite: Completion of COMS 311, COMS 312, COMS 330, COMS 332 and junior standing. For majors only.
COMS 461 Senior Project (3)
Completion of approved project under faculty supervision. Project results are presented in a formal written report. Minimum 90 hours total time. Prerequisite: COMS 460. For majors only.
COMS 470 Selected Advanced Topics (1–4)
Directed group study of selected topics for advanced students. Open to undergraduate and graduate students. Class Schedule will list topic selected. Total credit limited to 8 units. 1–4 lectures. Prerequisite: Junior standing, Completion of GE Area A and junior standing.
COMS 485 Cooperative Education Experience (1‐6 CR/NC)
Part‐time work experience in business, industry, government, and other areas of student career interest. Positions are paid and usually require relocation and registration in course for two consecutive quarters. Formal report and evaluation by work supervisor required. Major credit limited to 4 units; total credit limited to 12 units. Credit/No Credit grading only. Prerequisite: 2.5 GPA and consent of instructor.