Communication

Undergraduate Programs

Description

The School of Communication (COMM) prepares students to become engaged, knowledgeable, and ethical communicators, advocates, and storytellers. We inspire students to embrace media technologies, create diverse stories, think critically about social relations, and foster the public good by advancing socially responsible communication practices through education, research, and service. Communication Studies and Mass Communication are the foundation for the School. 

  • Communication Studies (CMST) fosters ethical and effective communication as the foundation of civic and multicultural society. The program prepares students for successful career and lifelong learning by focusing on how to craft culturally appropriate messages, build relationships across differences, lead diverse communities, and engage in research to advance meaningful social change. 
     
  • Mass Communication (MASS) fosters the public good by advancing socially responsible communication through education, research and service. The focus is on preparing students for careers as ethical and responsible public communicators, innovative creators of media texts, and competent professionals in the fields of news, public relations, and other media-related occupations. 

Majors

Program Locations Major / Total Credits
Communication Studies BS BS - Bachelor of Science
  • Mankato
  • Normandale
36 / 120
Integrated Communication BS BS - Bachelor of Science
  • Mankato
37 / 120
Mass Communication BA BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • Mankato
52 / 120
Mass Communication BS BS - Bachelor of Science
  • Mankato
44 / 120
Mass Communication BS Public Relations BS - Bachelor of Science
  • Mankato
44 / 120

Minors

Program Locations Total Credits
Advocacy Minor
  • Mankato
20
Communication Studies Minor
  • Mankato
20
Health Communication Minor
  • Mankato
16
Interdisciplinary Communications Minor
  • Mankato
18
Mass Media Minor
  • Mankato
28

Policies & Faculty

Policies

SCHOOL OF COMMUNICATION

Double-Counting Credits: Students majoring in Communication Studies or Mass Communication may not double-count courses between majors or minors in Communication.

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COMMUNICATION STUDIES

Waiver of CMST 102: Students who take CMST 100 and CMST 333 will have CMST 102 waived for the BS major in Communication Studies.

CMST 100 does not count toward major requirements.

CMST 485W Limits: Students in CMST 485W are limited to no more than 8 credits in Communication Studies taken concurrently with CMST 485W. All other coursework for the major must be completed before taking CMST 485W. 

CMST 498 and CMST 499 Limits:

  • Communication Studies minors may apply no more than 4 credits of CMST 498 and 4 credits of CMST 499 to fulfillment of the minor. Additional credits may be applied for graduation requirements.
  • Communication Studies majors may apply no more than 8 credits of CMST 498 and 4 credits of CMST 499 to fulfillment of the major. Additional credits may be applied for graduation requirements. 

Internship Requirements (CMST 497, CMST 498): In compliance with federal policy, standard expectations are 45 hours of on-site internship experience for each credit hour earned. 

P/N Grading: Total credits in the department must not exceed 25 percent P/N for a major or a minor. Internships are P/N option only.

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MASS COMMUNICATION 

Proficiency in English grammar, spelling, and composition is essential for success in the major or minor.

MASS 110 and MASS 221W may be taken concurrently with instructor permission. 

P/N Grading Policy. Mass Communication majors and minors are required to take department courses for a letter grade, except for MASS 498, which must be taken P/N.

Internships. Opportunities for Mass Communication internships exist on and off campus for junior and senior majors who want to work in professional settings. The internship must be done under professional supervision and taken only after the student has (1) completed all prerequisite courses; and (2) submitted a department internship contract signed by the student, the student’s internship supervisor, and the department chair. 

Minor. All policies pertaining to Mass Communication majors apply to the Mass Communication minor. 

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ADVOCACY MINOR

Internships. Internships are P/N option only.

Internship and Individual Study: Students are limited to a total of four credits among the following courses: CMST 498, CMST 499, MASS 498, and MASS 499. Any Internship or individual study must have an advocacy focus approved by their advisor. 

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HEALTH COMMUNICATION MINOR

Students majoring in Communication Studies or English may not double-count courses toward the Health Communication minor. 

Contact Information

School of Communication

  • Communication Studies, 230 Armstrong Hall
  • Mass Communication, 136 Nelson Hall 
Communication Studies (507) 389-2213
Mass Communication (507) 389-6417
http://www.mnsu.edu/cmst/
http://link.mnsu.edu/masscomm

Faculty

100 Level

Credits: 3

A course designed to improve students' understanding in communication, including the areas of interpersonal, nonverbal, listening, small group and public speaking.

Prerequisites: none

Goal Areas: GE-1B

Credits: 4

A course blending theory and practice to help individuals build effective relationships through improved communication.

Prerequisites: none

Goal Areas: GE-02

Credits: 4

Communication Literacy relates to how effectively we engage with other people across a range of communication types including oral, written, nonverbal, graphic, visual, melodic, and kinesthetic. Communication Literacy expands our understanding for the array of messages we receive and share with the world.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 3

A course in communication principles to develop skills in the analysis and presentation of speeches.

Prerequisites: none

Goal Areas: GE-1B

Credits: 4

Nature, functions, responsibilities and effects of the media in contemporary society.

Prerequisites: none

Goal Areas: GE-09

Diverse Cultures: Purple

Credits: 4

Provides an introduction to storytelling and design in games through their analysis and application. Students will design their own basic game as part of the class.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 1

This course provides practical experience in writing and editing stories for campus news entities, such as the newspaper or radio station or other communications organizations, working under the supervision of a faculty advisor. Minimum of 2 hours per week. Cannot be substituted for MASS498 Internship.

Prerequisites: none

Goal Areas: GE-9

Diverse Cultures: Purple

200 Level

Credits: 2-4

Development of communication skills for working with others in small group situations.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 4

Investigation of the concepts and theories of nonverbal communication. Designed to assist students in increasing their awareness and understanding of their nonverbal communication and in analyzing and understanding the nonverbal communication of others.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 4

The course explores communication with people from other cultures, why misunderstandings occur and how to build clearer and more productive cross-cultural relationships.

Prerequisites: none

Goal Areas: GE-07, GE-08

Diverse Cultures: Purple

Credits: 2

This course is designed to provide students with skills of effective listening, and the ability to apply that knowledge in a variety of educational and professional settings.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 1-4

Activity course involving participation in intercollegiate speech tournaments. Course can be repeated for credit.

Prerequisites: none

Goal Areas: GE-11

Credits: 4

Basic techniques of gathering information and writing readable and accurate media stories.

Prerequisites: ENG 101, MASS 110

Credits: 4

A course designed to help students learn effective communication using a variety of contemporary technologies. Students will be better equipped to use communication technologies to communicate personal, professional, and public messages.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 4

Survey of current practices and problems in the field of public relations. Emphasizes successful case histories and planning techniques.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 1-4

Special interest courses devoted to specific topics within the field of communication studies. Topics vary, and course may be retaken for credit under different topic headings.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 4

Introduction to advocacy through communication and mass media, including principles, theories, practices, and ethics.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 4

Exploration of the basic principles of visual media design, stressing the significance of images in a mass media society. Special focus on contextualizing historial and technological changes affecting image production for mass media.

Prerequisites: none

Goal Areas: GE-06, GE-07

Diverse Cultures: Purple

Credits: 4

Explores social media and their impacts on society through consideration of technologies, social networks, markets, communities, politics and social movements, and major companies. Special focus on individuals' roles as users, producers, consumers, and laborers toward becoming responsible online citizens.

Prerequisites: none

Goal Areas: GE-06, GE-09

Credits: 1-4

Selected topics in mass media.

Prerequisites: MASS 221W or consent

300 Level

Credits: 4

Course is designed to provide the student with an understanding of the history, scholarly writing, and academic journals in the communication discipline, thus preparing the student for more advanced courses in the Department of Communication Studies.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 4

An exploration of the field of argument, addressing structure, types and critical analysis. Students will learn to identify types of reasoning, argument fallacies and pseudo-reasoning. Students will apply concepts in the construction and refutation of argument positions.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 4

An introduction to the theory and practice of research in communication studies, including the critical evaluation of contemporary communication research.

Prerequisites: CMST 301

Credits: 4

This course is designed to develop the skills to complete the artistic process of studying literature through performance and sharing that study with an audience.

Prerequisites: none

Goal Areas: GE-06, GE-11

Credits: 4

Designed to help students improve oral communication skills in the workplace. The emphasis is on the preparation and presentation of public messages in formats commonly used in business and professional settings. Listening as an oral communication skill in the workplace will be explored, as will the role of intercultural communication in the workplace. Individual speeches, group presentations, and interviews are the major presentations.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 4

Principles of the First Amendment, libel, fair trial, privacy, access to news, pornography and regulation of radio and television.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 1-4

Activity course involving participation in intercollegiate forensics with primary emphasis on applying communication theories to forensic practice. Students may not enroll concurrently with CMST 220. Course may be repeated for an overall total of 4 credits.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 4

This class uses a critical and cultural approach to explore the intersections of gender, race, and media across multiple media platforms, including film, television, news, social media, and other emerging media.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 4

Development of skills in the analysis, application and evaluation of argumentative communication.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 4

Interpersonal communication skills are applied to psychological, social, and cultural theories of leadership to investigate how to successfully achieve goals through the establishment of relationships with others. Strategies of social influence, relational competence, equity and inclusion are discussed relative to the roles formal and informal leaders play across society.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 4

Discussion of and practice in reporting about public affairs and social issues, plus examination of copy editing and headline writing for traditional and new media.

Prerequisites: MASS 221W

Credits: 4

This course is divided into two sections. First, the class explores ethical parameters involved in communication from a variety of social and cultural perspectives. Second, the class investigates current standards and issues involving freedom of speech.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 4

Creation of photo, audio, video, and written content for multi-platform distribution. Includes critical consideration and application of content creation tools, social media management tools, and legal and ethical issues.

Prerequisites: MASS 221W

Credits: 4

This is an advanced course in public presentation focused on improving presentational skills of speech delivery and language choice.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 4

Planning, writing and delivering of broadcast news.

Prerequisites: MASS 221W

Credits: 4

Students examine everyday communication practices (rituals, stories, symbols) analyzing what discursive practices turn individuals into a community. Students explore the meaning of community through experiential learning by experiencing and reflecting upon the way communication creates, maintains, transforms, and repairs community.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 1-4

Special interest courses devoted to specific topics within the field of communication studies. Topics vary, and course may be retaken for credit under different topic headings.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 4

This course introduces students to the concepts, approaches and tools for gathering and analyzing information in mass media research. Students will become acquainted with and effectively use the terminology and concepts used in mass media research.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 4

Instruction in the fundamental concepts, terminology, techniques and applications of digital imaging in mass communication. Development of the basic skills necessary to design, create, manage and distribute photographic and video digital images in mass communication.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 4

Addresses the principles and practices of advertising, emphasizing creative media strategies; strategic decision-making; and historical, social, legal, and economic influences. Students will research and develop an advertising implementation plan.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 4

Practicum in typography, design, layout and production processes, including job budgeting and estimating, for newspapers, magazines, newsletters, brochures, posters, annual reports, direct mail and related print materials used public relations and journalism. Emphasis on graphic design software.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 4

Communication impacts every facet of our experience of health and well-being. This course introduces students to the subdiscipline of health communication, its key concepts, and important theories and research in the field.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 4

Explores and analyzes theories of game studies through examination of games, their development, history, representation, study, and industry toward considering their impacts on society.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 0

Curricular Practical Training: Co-Operative Experience is a zero-credit full-time practical training experience for one summer and an adjacent fall or spring term. Special rules apply to preserve full-time student status. Please contact an advisor in your program for complete information.

Prerequisites: MASS 221W. At least 60 credits earned; in good standing; instructor permission; co-op contract; other prerequisites may also apply.

400 Level

Credits: 4

This course is designed to develop an understanding of how gender and communication interact. Students learn the basic theories and principles of communication as it applies to gender and develop skills to enhance communication between and among gender groups.

Prerequisites: none

Diverse Cultures: Purple

Credits: 4

The course focuses on theoretical and applied aspects of persuasion. The aim is to apply theories and research findings in the area of persuasion to the development of social and political campaigns.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 4

This course is an overview of key performance studies concepts, including cultural performance, performance of everyday life, theories of play, social influence, and identity performance. Students will develop and present performances as a means to understand theoretical concepts.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 1-4

Special interest courses devoted to specific topics within relationship communication. Topics vary, and course may be retaken for credit under different topic headings.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 4

Study, analysis and criticism of the mass media, their ethics and performance.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 4

This course is designed to develop an understanding of communication studies in the organizational context. The course will aid each individual in working more effectively within any type of organization through exposure to major theories and works in the area of organizational communication.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 4

The course provides explanations and analysis of the historical evolution of American mass communication from the colonial period of the 1600s to the present. Students will study media history within the broader contexts of American social and cultural history. Developing a deeper understanding of how mass media evolved will lead to a deeper and more effective comprehension of the roles and effects of mass communication in today's society.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 1-4

Special interest courses devoted to specific topics within the intersecting fields of rhetoric and culture. Topics vary, and course may be retaken for credit under different topic headings.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 1-4

Special interest courses devoted to specific topics within field of American Public Address. Topics vary, and course may be retaken for credit under different topic headings.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 4

his is a special interest course devoted to the development of students¿ understanding of the strategies and practices of communication in cultural contexts. The course is an experiential course involving travel, typically outside the United States.

Prerequisites: none

Diverse Cultures: Gold

Credits: 2-4

This course provides a framework for students to learn about professional media practice off-campus. Students will travel off-site to explore, find, and report original stories across multiple media platforms.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 4

This course interrogates difference as a communicative production. Students will examine social identities--in the form of race, social class, sex/gender/sexuality, age, and ability--as socially constructed communication phenomena used to understand the self and others. The course will involve both historical and contemporary investigations of how social identities have been produced through time, and how they continue to affect--and be affected by--everyday communication practices. In short, this course will investigate the dynamic relationship between culture and identity, and how communication facilitates that relationship.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 1-4

The course fulfills secondary licensure requirements for Communication Arts and Literature. First, the course covers teaching methods and materials needed to develop units for communication courses in grades 5-12. Second, the course covers methods and techniques in the development of competitive speech programs in grades 5-12.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 4

A critical analysis of contemporary social movement discourse and the means for advocacy by a movement. We examine communication theories, issues, trends, social movement processes, advocacy strategies, and how it all ties back into the field of contemporary communication studies.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 4

Marketing and writing of non-fiction articles for contemporary print and electronic magazines.

Prerequisites: MASS 221W

Credits: 4

Grassroots campaigning is a proven strategy of civic discourse, engagement, and advocacy. Grassroots organizing works from the bottom up and is uniquely suited to engage historically marginalized constituencies and to amplify the voiced of traditionally excluded populations. This course emphasizes a practical, skills-based approach grassroots advocacy using communication strategies and tactics.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 4

Practical skill in the development of public relations writing including news releases, brochures, public service announcements, pitch letters, annual reports.

Prerequisites: MASS 233 

Credits: 4

Course is designed to give students a theoretical understanding of competitive speech and debate.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 4

In this advanced nonfiction writing course, students will analyze examples of professional media writing and employ techniques to create a portfolio of persuasive, informative, and personal writing for a variety of media markets.

Prerequisites: MASS 221W

Credits: 1-4

A course designed for students who have a general interest in communication studies. Content of each special topics course will be different. May be retaken for credit.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 4

This theory and research-oriented course examines the relationship between communication and conflict, and is designed to provide students with knowledge and skills in dealing with conflict situations.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 4

Exploration of historic and contemporary examples of strategic public relations successes and failures. Analysis of public relations practices related to these cases, including planning, communication, evaluation exercises and management responsibilities.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 4

Trains students in mass communication production within the contexts of agriculture, food, and life sciences to create multimedia content about science, technology, and other complex agricultural issues. Drawing on interviews, research, and theories, students will create targeted, multimedia campaigns for expert and general audiences.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 4

This course is designed to provide students with the theoretical foundations necessary to both participate and critique arguments. Students will engage contemporary theories of argumentation and apply those theories in discussion and formal debate.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 4

This course focuses on the theory and criticism of mass communication in global contexts. It trains students to analyze and evaluate global media in cultural contexts toward becoming media literate consumers and producers. Course is taught in English.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 4

Special interest courses devoted to specific topics within health communication. Topics vary, and course may be retaken for credit under different topic headings.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 4

Hands-on production of interactive documentary content for online audiences. Special focus may include web series, docu games, interactive documentary, and virtual and augmented reality.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 4

Examines serious game theory and design principles in training simulations, persuasive games, and news games. Using these theories and principles, students will research, develop, test, and evaluate their own serious game.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 4

This is a required capstone course of all Communication Studies majors and involves the completion and presentation of a senior level research project. Teaching majors are excluded from this requirement.

Prerequisites: CMST 301, CMST 302, CMST 306

Credits: 4

Hands-on development, implementation, analysis, and evaluation of a digital advocacy campaign. Special focus on brandraising, network analysis, and social media analytics toward creating messages and determining campaign effectiveness.

Prerequisites: MASS 221W

Credits: 1-4

Discussion and hands-on experience involving mass media activities. Topic varies.

Prerequisites: MASS 221W

Credits: 1-12

First-hand experience in the classroom assisting a faculty member.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 1-4

Course in which students in School of Communication programs synthesize research and learning and/or prepare portfolios and job application materials. Course must be taken in the last year in the major.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 1-12

Provides first-hand experience in applying communication theories in the workplace under the direction of an on-site supervisor.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 2-4

.

Prerequisites: MASS 221W, MASS 312, and MASS 411, plus two additional 300/400 level MASS courses, one of which must be MASS 325, MASS 330, MASS 334, MASS 431, MASS 434 or MASS 436

Credits: 1-4

Independent study under the supervision of an instructor.

Prerequisites: none

Credits: 1-2

Directed research on a mass media topic chosen by the student.

Prerequisites: MASS 221W