Academic Year: 2009 – 2010

The broad-based Communication Department offers students the opportunity to specialize in journalism/media studies or interpersonal communication, and to explore theatre, media technology, public relations, intercultural communication, photography, and radio and video production. Courses help students improve their skills in writing, speaking, and understanding the messages of others in individual, group, and mass media contexts. To accomplish these goals, the curriculum addresses the theoretical, critical, and technical aspects of communication.

UIS Theatre is currently part of the Communication Department. Theatre course offerings are listed in the course schedule under the THE prefix and are cross-listed with COM.


The undergraduate degree in Communication has three main objectives: 1) to instruct the student in general communication theory and technology; 2) to provide the student an opportunity for more intensive study in a specific area of communication; and 3) to ensure that the communication graduate is capable of applying knowledge of general communication theory and technology to specific social problems. The baccalaureate curriculum covers two topical areas: interpersonal communication, and journalism and media studies.

Entrance Requirements
Requirements for admission as a candidate for the B.A. degree are identical to general UIS requirements but must be met at the time of admission to the degree. Students who are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination must achieve a score of 580 or above on the paper test or the equivalent on the computer-based test to be admitted to the degree.

Faculty members work with new students to plan courses of study. Based on instructors’ assessments of writing ability in required courses, advisors may require advisees to take remedial courses. Generally, advisors assist students in developing personal programs of study and in identifying all necessary requirements.

Credit for Prior Learning
Students with extensive life or work experience in some area of communication may apply for academic credit through Credit for Prior Learning (CPL). The Communication Department awards such credit in each of its two topical areas (interpersonal communication, and journalism and media studies) through COM 431 and COM 451. Prior learning credit is not awarded for specific courses. The Department will award a maximum of four hours of credit for prior experiential learning in any one topical area and a maximum of 8 hours of CPL credit to any undergraduate student.

Credit/No Credit
Communication majors may not take any COM course as part of the requirements for the major on a CR/NC basis.

Course Repetition
COM 380 and COM 480 may be taken for credit more than once provided the course topic is different each time. No more than eight semester hours of credit for COM 499 (tutorials) will be accepted for the degree. All other Communication courses may be repeated for grade improvement only once.

Major Requirements
Communication majors must complete 32 hours in the major. In addition, they may take up to 8 hours in Communication courses to satisfy the upper-division general electives. COM 302 and 303 should be taken prior to or concurrent with any other course work in their respective curricular areas.

All undergraduate students are required to take a department assessment examination during their first semester and during their last semester before graduation. The entrance examination is normally administered during a regular class and is used by the department to assess its curriculum. It does not affect students’ grades in any way.

Students should consult with general education advisors or advisors in the major for specific guidance regarding completion of general education requirements.

COM 302 Introduction to Interpersonal/Organizational Communication 4 Hrs.
COM 303 Introduction to Mass Media 4 Hrs.
Communication emphasis requirements (primary topical area) 16 Hrs.
Communication distribution requirements (from other than primary area) 8 Hrs.

Course Offerings
Cross-listed courses from other departments used as part of the 32-hour major must bear the COM course prefix.

Transfer Credit
Transfer credits from other institutions may not be used to substitute for introductory core courses. However, students may file a Student Petition Form to use them to satisfy other parts of the major or minor, provided the credit is for an upper-division course equivalent to one offered by the Communication Department and that the grade earned was a C or better.


COM 302 Introduction to Interpersonal/Organizational Communication
COM 303 Introduction to Mass Media 4 Hrs.
Plus a choice of two courses in the same curricular area as
the course selected above 8 Hrs.

Any 300-level or 400-level COM course
or 200-level COM course (by petition) 4 Hrs.

There are no prerequisites for entry into the minor. Students are advised to take the basic core courses (COM 302 or 303) before or concurrent with other courses in the same curricular area. The elective course may be from within or outside this curricular area; if outside, it may be taken without the corresponding introductory course. Communication minors may not take any COM course as part of the requirements for the minor on a CR/NC basis.


The graduate program in Communication has two main objectives: 1) to guide students in an intensive exploration of the structure and function of communication; and 2) to educate students in the methods and theory of communication inquiry.

Although 400-level courses are open to both B.A and M.A. candidates, graduate students enrolled in 400-level courses should expect more stringent grading standards and/or more assignments (and perhaps differently structured assignments) than undergraduates enrolled in the same courses.

Entrance Requirements
For admission to the M.A. degree, the student must have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent and pass the department’s graduate admission writing examination. The department reserves the right to require additional course work where deficiencies are indicated. A student must have an undergraduate GPA of 3.00 or greater (on a 4.00 scale) for regular admission to the degree. Students with GPAs slightly below 3.00 may file a Student Petition Form with the department for admission and should contact the department for details. Students who are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination must achieve a score of 580 or above on the paper test or the equivalent on the computer-based test to be admitted.

Each new graduate student should consult with a faculty advisor before initial registration. Advisors work with students to develop a tentative course of study based on department requirements and on the students’ personal interests.

Grading Policy
No grade below B- in a Communication course may be applied toward the degree, and students who do not maintain a 3.00 grade-point average will be placed on academic probation. Communication courses to be counted toward the degree requirements may not be taken on a CR/NC basis except for COM 501.

Course Repetition
COM 570 and 580 may be taken for credit more than once provided the course topic is different each time. No more than six semester hours of credit for COM 499 and COM 599 (tutorials) will be accepted for the degree. All other Communication courses may be repeated for grade improvement only once.

Required Courses
Students must complete department-required courses (COM 501, COM 504, COM 506) at UIS to graduate. No waivers or substitutions are accepted. Courses with a 300 number that advisors require of graduate students as prerequisites must be passed with a minimum grade of B. Hours so earned may not be counted toward the graduate degree.

Degree Requirements
All Communication M.A. candidates are required to complete at least 36 hours of graduate study in communication, including at least three 500-level graduate seminars. Graduate seminars are numbered 514 through 580.

No more than eight semester hours of COM courses may be taken before taking COM 504. A student may not register for COM 501 Closure Experience until he/she has registered for COM 506.

COM 504 Introduction to Graduate Study in Communication 4 Hrs.
COM 506 Research Methods in Communication 4 Hrs.
500-level graduate seminars in Communication 12 Hrs.
Graduate-level COM courses (400- or 500-level) 12 Hrs.
*Elective (400- or 500-level) 4 Hrs.
COM 501 Closure Experience (minimum) 4 Hrs.
*If elective is outside of Communication, it must be approved by a Student Petition to the Communication Department.

Additional courses may be required by the advisor, with department approval, in order to meet deficiencies. COM 599 Tutorial credit may not be used to satisfy the 500-level seminar requirement.

Master’s Closure
In accordance with campus requirements, all graduate students must complete a closure experience (COM 501) consisting of one of the following: a thesis, a project, or comprehensive exams. The proposed thesis or project must be approved by a faculty committee before it is begun. Students must have completed a minimum of 32 (preferably 36) credit hours to be eligible for comprehensive exams. Students write comprehensive exams over five areas during a two-day period. Comprehensive exams will be offered once every semester at a regularly scheduled time. More specific guidelines on any of the three options listed above are available from the Communication Department or from COM faculty.

Students must enroll for a total of four hours credit in the closure experience; however, they may accrue the total in increments. Campus policy requires that students be enrolled in at least one semester hour of closure experience for each fall and spring semester after they have begun their graduate closure exercise until that exercise is completed. For Communication students, this means that if the closure experience (thesis/project/comprehensive exams) has not been completed by the end of four continuous credit hours of enrollment in COM 501, students must register for COM 502 Closure Experience Continuing Enrollment (zero credit hours, one billable hour) each semester (excluding summer terms) until the closure experience is completed.

Course Offerings
Cross-listed courses may be accepted for the major. Students should be careful to register for the course with the appropriate department prefix (COM) to ensure that credit is received. Other courses may be accepted toward the major through Student Petition to the Department.


Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, Undergraduate Minor


Mary Bohlen, Michael Cavanagh, Michael Cheney, J. Michael Duvall, Jim Grubbs, Kathy Petitte Jamison, Amie Kincaid, Hazel Rozema, Elizabeth Ribarsky, Eric Thibodeaux-Thompson, Missy Thibodeaux-Thompson
Emeritus Faculty: Henry Nicholson, Ray Schroeder
Adjunct Faculty: Deborah Antoine, Thomas Bartl, Cindy Greene, Lana Kains, Peter Stott, Nan Vehovic, Nancy Zimmers


Phone: 217/206-6790