Communication, M.A.

Department

Department of Communication

Douglas M. Fraleigh, Chair
Speech Arts Building, Room 15
559.278.2826
FAX: 559.278.4113
www.fresnostate.edu/communication

Degrees and Programs Offered

BA in Communication, B.A.
MA in Communication, M.A.
MN in Communication, Minor

Our aim is to prepare students to understand and provide leadership in a competitive communication-oriented society. We offer a balance of humanistic and scientific instruction in communication skills people need to function effectively in teaching, business, law, nonprofit organizations, public service and administration, public relations, government, and management. Outside the workplace, these skills will also enhance students' ability to be active in civic engagement and community service.
Our program requires a comprehensive understanding of the breadth and depth of our discipline, as well as its major theoretical frameworks and research methodologies. Both the major and minor are grounded in the fundamental communication contexts including public, interpersonal, group, organizational, instructional, and intercultural communication. Additionally applied contexts in business communication, gerontology communication, technology, and leadership are available. Students investigate problems in diverse cultural settings, which make the San Joaquin Valley - with its tremendous ethnic diversity - an ideal location for study.

The Communication Skills for Professionals Certificate program recognizes development in such areas as presentational speaking, problem solving and decision making, leadership, and interpersonal communication.

Our program offers a variety of exciting activities to enrich students' educational experience. We have an active student organization, the Professional Communication Association, and a debate team that participates in competitive intercollegiate tournaments and hosts public debates on campus. Our annual Peach Blossom Festival brings more than 5,000 elementary-age students to campus to present prose and poetry.

We offer you personalized advising. Our major builds on a sound core of foundation courses and is completed by courses selected to meet your needs and career objectives. Our major requirements are flexible and easily integrated into a host of minors.

Courses

Communication

COMM 3. Fundamentals of Public Communication

Theories of human communication and their function in contemporary public settings; experiences designed to enhance fundamental communication skills -- research, organization, reasoning, listening, and problem solving -- through a series of oral presentations. G.E. Foundation A1. (CAN SPCH 4) (Formerly SPCH 3)

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
GE Area: A1

COMM 4. Introduction to Interpersonal Communication

Introduction to various theories of interpersonal communication; participation in experiences designed to enhance competence in interpersonal relationships. (CAN SPCH 8) (Formerly SPCH 4)

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

COMM 5. Argumentation

Logical analysis, evidence, reasoning, and proof used in arriving at rational decisions as demonstrated through presentation of public speeches and debates. G.E. Foundation A3. (CAN SPCH 6) (Formerly SPCH 5)

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
GE Area: A3

COMM 7. Persuasion

Analysis and practice of the use of persuasion as a social tool for resolving controversy and forming opinions from the perspectives of both the persuader and the persuaded. G.E. Foundation A1. (Formerly SPCH 7)

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
GE Area: A1

COMM 8. Group Discussion

Communication in group thinking and problem solving through preparation and presentation of panels and symposia on public issues. G.E. Foundation A1. (Formerly SPCH 8)

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
GE Area: A1

COMM 10T. Topics in Communication

Contemporary problems and issues in communication; sections include such topics as freedom of speech, parliamentary procedure, special communication skills, rhetoric of protest and response, and communication processes. (Formerly SPCH 10T)

Units: 1-3, Repeatable up to 9 units

COMM 15. Forensics Laboratory

This course provides instruction and experience in competitive policy debate and public debate Course credit for tournament competition and public debate participation is available.

Units: 3, Repeatable up to 6 units
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

COMM 100. Theories of Human Communication

Survey of major theories of human communication, philosophical issues, and applications; theories include interpersonal, group, organizational, intercultural, linguistic, and persuasion. (Formerly SPCH 100)

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

COMM 103. Advanced Public Speaking

Advanced principles of expository and persuasive speaking; development of skills through analysis, preparation, organization, and delivery of various types of speech. (Formerly SPCH 103)

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Spring

COMM 105. Argumentation Theory

Analysis of the theories and techniques of argumentation, including models of argument, relationships between persuasion and argumentation, and the effects of argumentative discourse. (Formerly SPCH 105)

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall

COMM 108. Communication and the Small Group

Analysis of group communication theories and their application to small group behavior in specific variables such as leadership, power, conflict-resolution, conformity, cohesiveness, and related group processes. (Formerly SPCH 108)

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Spring

COMM 114. Communication and Learning

(COMM 114 same as CI 158.) The nature of communication and its relationship to learning and instruction; management of oral communication strategies in the educational setting. (Formerly SPCH 114)

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

COMM 115. Advanced Forensics Laboratory

This course provides advanced instruction and experience in competitive policy debate and public debate. Course credit for tournament competition and public debate participation is available.

Units: 3, Repeatable up to 6 units
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

COMM 116. Communication and Humor

Develop your sense of humor and learn to incorporate humor into your world by examining humor theories, social and personal functions of humor. Focuses on (1) stand-up comedy, writing, and presentation, or (2) application of techniques for management, sales, marketing, teaching, and health related fields. (Formerly SPCH 116)

Units: 3

COMM 120. Gender Communication

Exploration of gender variables that affect human communication behaviors, focusing on behaviors that have some mythical or factual bases in sex similarities and differences. (Formerly SPCH 120)

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall

COMM 140. Rhetorical Theory

An examination and analysis of significant theories and theorists of rhetoric from the classical to the modern period. Emphasis on preparation of research papers reflecting rhetorical principles of communication. (Formerly SPCH 140)

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

COMM 142. Communication Criticism

Examination of historical and contemporary communication events using principles of critical evaluation from rhetorical, artistic, and media perspectives. Written papers and presentations of analyses utilizing critical principles from these perspectives. (Formerly SPCH 142)

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

COMM 148. American Public Address

An examination of significant American speakers and speeches set in an environment of social and political history. The course is designed to acquaint students with the role of public address within the forces of American history. (Formerly SPCH 148)

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Spring

COMM 149. Freedom of Speech

Examines the tradition of freedom of speech and expression in the American democracy. Focuses upon the First Amendment to the Constitution and major case laws which impact contemporary standards for public discourse, politics, broadcast, and journalism. (Formerly SPCH 149)

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall

COMM 150. Communication and Aging

(COMM 150 same as GERON 150.) Focusing on the communication aspects of the aging process, organized around the major communication components of intrapersonal, interpersonal, and mass communication with addition of such topics as attitudes, stereotypes, nonverbal, and the communication aspects of health care.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall

COMM 160. Meaning, Language, and Communication

A review and analysis of the various approaches to the study of human symbolic behavior, with focus on such theories as: General Semantics, Psycholinguistics, Sociolinguistics, Epistemology, and other philosophical and scientific enquiries into the nature of language and meaning. (Formerly SPCH 160)

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall

COMM 161. Family Communication

Examine communication theories and empirical findings related to interaction in relationships such as parent-child, sibling, romantic, and grandparent-grandchild. Coverage also includes blended and non-traditional family forms. Investigate positive and sub-optimal processes including conflict, relational dissolution, and abuse.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Spring

COMM 162. Interpersonal Communication

An examination, analysis, and application of communication theories and variables involved in interpersonal contexts such acquaintanceships, courtships, friendships, and families. Attention is given to communicative practices involved in the effective management of interpersonal relationships over time. (Formerly SPCH 162)

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

COMM 163. Social Influence and Attitude Change

Seminar on the nature and effects of social influence, with special emphasis on attitude formation and change, conformity, behavior, "brain washing," prejudice, and propaganda as functions of communication. (Formerly SPCH 163)

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

COMM 164. Intercultural Communication

Prerequisites: G.E. Foundation and Breadth Area D. Analysis of cultural variables and factors in the communication process and strategies for the resolution of intercultural problems; consideration of implications for education and programs necessarily involving intercultural communication. G.E. Multicultural/International MI. (Formerly SPCH 164)

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
GE Area: M/I

COMM 165. Computer Applications in Communication

Survey of information technologies and computer applications in human communication professions, including word processing, spreadsheets, graphics, presentation visuals, e-mail, and Internet. Advanced techniques for creating Web pages, reports, training, presentations, brochures, and newsletters. (Formerly SPCH 165)

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

COMM 166. Communication Research Methods

Application of behavioral research principles to problems in quantification, design, and analysis of data in communication research. (Formerly SPCH 166)

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

COMM 167. Leadership in Groups and Organizations

Theory and practice of selected leadership variables in groups and organizations; functions of leadership in formal and informal structures, understanding and analysis of role-playing techniques. (Formerly SPCH 167)

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall

COMM 168. Communication in Organizations

Examination of organizational communication from a multiple discipline perspective. Through the study of theory and experiential learning in simulations, students develop skills necessary for planning, staffing, developing, decision-making, and problem-solving in organizations. (Formerly SPCH 168)

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

COMM 169. Communication and Conflict

Examination of the role of communication in conflict in interpersonal, small groups, organizational, and societal settings. Through experiential learning, case study analyses, and practice of intervention skills, students address conflict styles, strategies, tactics, third-party intervention, and mediation techniques. (Formerly SPCH 169)

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Spring

COMM 170. Business and Professional Speaking

Development of communication skills necessary for success in business, government, and the professions. Includes theory and practice of interviewing, job instruction training, work group leadership, and proposal presentations. Class activities are adapted to students' career goals. (Formerly SPCH 170)

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Spring

COMM 171. Communication and Planning Change in the Social System

Provides students with an understanding of the communication processes involved in the evolution of social systems. Students will examine a full range of social settings (small groups, organizations, cultures, etc.) from a variety of theoretical and analytical perspectives. (Formerly SPCH 171)

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall

COMM 176. Communication Consulting and Training

Development of skills necessary for effective communication consulting in business, government, and the professions. Includes theory and practice of needs assessments, planning and conducting training activities, and evaluation of educational activities; topics relating to adult education and client-consultant relationships. (Formerly SPCH 176)

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Spring

COMM 179. Internship

Prerequisites: major in communication, at least 75 units completed and permission of instructor. Supervised work experience in government, business, social agencies, or nonprofit organizations. CR/NC grading only. (Formerly SPCH 179)

Units: 1-6, Repeatable up to 12 units
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

COMM 188T. Topics in Communication

Selected topics in communication. (Formerly SPCH 188T)

Units: 1-3, Repeatable up to 9 units

COMM 188T. Rhetoric of Terrorism

This course will examine the rhetorical practices involved in communicating the threat of terrorism to public audiences. Readings will consider the discourse of terrorists as well as foreign policy officials involved with counter-terrorism in order to explore the relationships among these rhetorics, public perceptions of terrorism, and political argumentation regarding the "war on terrorism". In addition to analyzing the effects that diverse rhetorical practices have upon American foreign policy orientations, this course will also evaluate the ways in which talk about terrorism shapes the space for, and scope of, public deliberation on a multitude of political issues.

Units: 3, Repeatable up to 9 units

COMM 188T. Mediated Relationships

This course will examine how emerging mediated communication technologies such as the internet affect interpersonal and family relationships. This course provides an overview of recent research on new information and communication technologies such as social networking services (e.g., Facebook), blogging, and mobile phones affect social relationships in both the public and private spheres. Students will develop an understanding of the impacts of information technology on their everyday life practices.

Units: 3, Repeatable up to 9 units

COMM 188T. Culture & Conflict

As society becomes more diverse, the potential for intercultural misunderstanding and conflict increases. The purpose of the workshop is to address the communication process involved in intercultural conflict. Among the issues explored are the role of culture in communication, prejudice, cultural values, norms, and perceptions. As a result of taking the workshop, participants will develop a better understanding of culture and communication.

Units: 1, Repeatable up to 9 units

COMM 189. Projects in Communication

Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Projects in communication. (4 hours activity) (Formerly SPCH 189)

Units: 1-3, Repeatable up to 6 units
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

COMM 190. Independent Study

See Academic Placement -- Independent Study. Approved for RP grading. (Formerly SPCH 190)

Units: 1-3, Repeatable up to 6 units
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

COMM 205. Seminar in Argumentation

Prerequisite: COMM 105, COMM 140, or permission of instructor. Examination of traditional and contemporary argumentation theory and research. Analysis of argument fields, theories of argument, argument as epistemic, argument and persuasion, argument and critical thinking. (Formerly SPCH 205)

Units: 3

COMM 214. Seminar in Instructional Communication

An examination of the relationships of learning theories to communication study and research. Research in instructional communication, teaching strategies in communication education, and techniques for applying these concepts in educational and training settings. (Formerly SPCH 214)

Units: 3

COMM 215. Seminar in Communication

Research and individually directed work within one area of specialization. Approved for RP grading. (Formerly SPCH 215)

Units: 3, Repeatable up to 9 units

COMM 241. Seminar in Rhetorical Theory

Prerequisite: COMM 140, equivalent, or permission of instructor. A seminar which deals with the development of specific principles by selected theorists. (Formerly SPCH 241)

Units: 3

COMM 242M. Seminar in Contemporary Criticism

Prerequisite: COMM 142, equivalent, or permission of instructor. The role of rhetorical criticism in contemporary society. (Formerly SPCH 242M)

Units: 3

COMM 243. Seminar in Public and Strategic Discourse

A detailed study of the theory and practice of public discourse used to persuade audiences regarding the nature and resolution of political, social, religious, and economic problems.

Units: 3

COMM 262. Seminar in Communication Theory and Research

Prerequisite: COMM 100, equivalent, or permission of instructor. An examination and evaluation of mathematical, philosophical, sociological, psychological, and rhetorical theories of human communication. Emphasis upon the assumptions and implications of various theories, models, and constructs. (Formerly SPCH 262)

Units: 3

COMM 263. Seminar in Group Communication

Prerequisite: COMM 108, equivalent, or permission of instructor. A critical examination of the scientific research and theories in group communication including research variables and methodologies. Implications of research findings for contemporary communication problems. (Formerly SPCH 263)

Units: 3

COMM 264M. Seminar in Communication Research Methods

Prerequisite: Application of quantitative, qualitative, and/or critical methodologies to a variety of problems studied in human communication. Discussion of design, analysis, and interpretation of quantitative and/or experiences.

Units: 3

COMM 265. Seminar in Interpersonal Communication

Prerequisite: COMM 162, equivalent, or permission of instructor. An examination of current quantitative and qualitative theory and research in interpersonal communication. Implications and applications to various kinds of human relationships and various aspects of those relationships, e.g., stages, relational communication, attraction, conflict, self-disclosing. (Formerly SPCH 265)

Units: 3

COMM 266. Seminar in Communication and Culture

An examination of current critical, humanitsitc, and/or social scientific approaches to studying the communicative construction, negotiation, and performance of cultural identities and practices.

Units: 3

COMM 268. Seminar in Organizational Communication

Prerequisite: COMM 168, equivalent, or permission of instructor. Theory and application of organizational communication, including interpersonal and group communication in planning, staffing, development and decision making in complex organizations; organizational systems and environments; recognizing, diagnosing, and solving organizational problems. (Formerly SPCH 268)

Units: 3

COMM 275. Seminar in Applied Communication

An extended examination of theories, research methodologies, and professional practices regarding communication in a specific applied context (e.g., health communication, risk communication, legal communication, etc.).

Units: 3

COMM 276. Seminar in Communication Training and Development

Prerequisite: COMM 176, equivalent, or permission of instructor. In-depth view and application of approaches to training in communication skills in organizations including needs assessment for training, workshop and seminar development, and evaluation of interventions. (Formerly SPCH 276)

Units: 3

COMM 290. Independent Study

See Academic Placement -- Independent Study. Approved for RP grading. (Formerly SPCH 290)

Units: 1-3, Repeatable up to 6 units

COMM 298. Project

Prerequisite: prior advancement to candidacy, appropriate methodological tools (COMM 242M or COMM 264M), equivalent, or permission of student's committee. See Criteria for Thesis and Project. Preparation, design, conduct, and evaluation of project applying rhetorical and communication theories; e.g., communication campaign for public agency, communication audit of corporate organization, extensive consulting or training activites, etc. Requires scholarly report similar in format to thesis and final oral defense. Approved for RP grading. (Formerly SPCH 298)

Units: 2-6

COMM 298C. Project Contiunation

Pre-requisite: Project 298. For continuous enrollment while completing the project. May enroll twice with department approval. Additional enrollments must be approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Units: 0

COMM 299. Thesis

Prerequisite: appropriate methodological tools (COMM 242M or COMM 264M), equivalent, or permission of student's committee. See Criteria for Thesis and Project. Preparation, completion, and submission of an acceptable thesis for the master's degree. Approved for RP grading. (Formerly SPCH 299)

Units: 2-6

COMM 299C. Thesis Continuation

Pre-requisite: Thesis 298. For continuous enrollment while completing the thesis. May enroll twice with department approval. Additional enrollments must be approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Units: 0

EHD 155B. Studt Tchg Spch

Prerequisites: admission to student teaching, EHD 155A, CI 161 (or concurrently, depending on major departmental policy); senior or post baccalaureate standing; approval of major department including subject matter competency approval; completion of the subject matter preparation program or passing the subject matter examination(s) designated by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Supervised teaching in single subject classroom; assignment is for the full day; five days per week. CR/NC grading only.

Units: 5-10, Repeatable up to 999 units
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

Requirements

Master of Arts Degree in Communication Requirements

Graduate Program

The Master of Arts degree program in Communication is designed to be a comprehensive program reflecting the history and breadth of the communication discipline. Four objectives serve as measures for competent M.A. graduates of the program. First, all graduates will have a comprehensive understanding of the historical and philosophical assumptions of the communication discipline, as well as the various theoretical perspectives underlying scholarship in the discipline. Second, all graduates will recognize and be able to use appropriate communication strategies in formal, informal, professional, and personal contexts. Third, all graduates will understand quantitative and qualitative methods of research in communication. Fourth, all graduates will understand various communication perspectives and will have a clear understanding of their own personal perspective and ideologies.

Master of Arts Degree Requirements

The graduate program in communication is designed to extend the competencies of students in the study of human communication. Graduate teaching assistantships provide students with opportunities for financial assistance and additional educational experiences.

The graduate program in communication assumes undergraduate preparation equivalent to a California State University, Fresno major or minor in communication. The Communication Department offers a 30 unit Master of Arts degree with coursework in three areas of human communication: rhetoric and public address, communication, and applied communication. Coursework in these areas provides preparation for a variety of career opportunities including teaching and doctoral work in communication and rhetoric,* business and industry, public service, law, and government.**

Program Requirements

Admission Requirements for Classified Standing. See Admission to Graduate Degree Programs with Graduate Standing in the Division of Graduate Studies of this catalog.

COMM 241 and 262(6 units)

COMM 205, 214, 215, 242M, 243, 262, 263, 264M, 265, 266, 268, 275, 276 or 290(15 units)

Electives (3-9 units)

Culminating experiences (0-6 units)
Select one of the following:
A. Comprehensive Examination (0 units; take at least 9 units of approved electives)
B. COMM 298: Graduate Project (3-6 units; additional approved communication electives if needed)
C. COMM 299: Thesis (3-6 units; additional approved communication electives if needed)

Minimum total (30 units)

* For those individuals pursuing careers in teaching and doctoral work, the Communication Department highly recommends selecting 12 units from among the following core requirements: COMM 205, 215, 242M, 243, 214, 263, 264M, 265, and 266.

** For those individuals pursuing professional careers such as business and industry, public service, law, and government, the Communication Department highly recommends selecting 12 units from among the following core requirements: COMM 205, 214, 215, 263, 264M, 265, 266, 268, 275, and 276.

Advising Notes

  1. At least 21 units in the student's program of study must be in 200-level (seminar) communication courses.
  2. One methods seminar (COMM 242M or 264M) is required in every program.
  3. In order to fulfill the university's Graduate Writing Skills Requirement, students are asked to submit an academic writing sample for evaluation prior to advancement to candidacy. Consult the department's Graduate Handbook or graduate coordinator for further details on the policy.
  4. Elective requirements can be met by any approved communication seminar, upper-division undergraduate communication course, or appropriate course outside the department. Any undergraduate course counted toward the M.A. must include additional work to make it commensurate with a graduate-level experience; verification is the responsibility of the student and the student's graduate adviser. Elective requirements are approved by the student's graduate adviser and the graduate coordinator.

Faculty

Name Degree Email Phone
Adolphson, Jeremy Master of Arts jadolphson@csufresno.edu
Aragon-Lopez, Loretta Master of Arts laragon@csufresno.edu
Aston, Barbara A Master of Arts baston@csufresno.edu 559.278.5104
Ayotte, Kevin J Doctor of Philosophy kjayotte@csufresno.edu 559.278.4086
Barrett, Nicholas M Master of Arts nbarrett@csufresno.edu 559.278.5413
Blair, Diane M Doctor of Philosophy dblair@csufresno.edu 559.278.8578
Briones, Stephanie R Master of Arts sbriones@csufresno.edu
Cooper, Deven E Master of Arts decooper@csufresno.edu
Cooper, Nicole M Master of Arts ncooper@csufresno.edu 559.278.2826
Dosanjh, Harjit K Master of Arts hdosanjh@csufresno.edu
Fletcher, Eric P Master of Arts efletcher@csufresno.edu
Fraleigh, Douglas M Juris Doctor douglasf@csufresno.edu 559.278.4292
Hayes, Ladonna L Master of Arts ladonnah@csufresno.edu 559.278.5413
Hernandez, Jonathan C Master of Arts jonhernandez@csufresno.edu 559.278.5105
Husain, Mary E Doctor of Philosophy mhusain@csufresno.edu 559.278.5702
Jones, Hillary A Doctor of Philosophy hjones@csufresno.edu
Kartch, Falon F Doctor of Philosophy fkartch@csufresno.edu
Laughnan, Woodrow J Master of Arts wlaughnan@csufresno.edu
Mimura, Stacielee N Master of Arts smimura@csufresno.edu
Moreman, Shane T Doctor of Philosophy smoreman@csufresno.edu 559.278.2994
Munoz, Angela L Master of Arts anmunoz@csufresno.edu 559.278.5104
Niles Goins, Marnel N Doctor of Philosophy mngoins@csufresno.edu 559.278.8804
Powell, Robert G Doctor of Philosophy robertpo@csufresno.edu 559.278.4216
Ramos Salazar, Leslie Doctor of Philosophy lramossalazar@csufresno.edu
Rodriquez, Tiffany S Master of Arts trodriquez@csufresno.edu 559.278.2202
Scott, Daniel J Master of Arts dascott@csufresno.edu
Scott, Judith C Master of Arts jscott@csufresno.edu 559.278.7122
Shabaglian, Arris B Master of Arts ashabaglian@csufresno.edu
Sharma, Devendra Doctor of Philosophy dsharma@csufresno.edu 559.278.5105
Sparrow, Courtney B Master of Arts csparrow@mail.fresnostate.edu
Stuntz, Tracy E Master of Arts tstuntz@csufresno.edu 559.278.2826
Swan, Stacia D Master of Arts swanstacia@mail.fresnostate.edu
Tipton, Jennifer A Master of Arts jtipton@csufresno.edu
Weatherson, Michael A Doctor of Philosophy miweatherson@csufresno.edu
Wells, Christina M Master of Arts chwells@csufresno.edu