Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017


Communication (SPE)

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

8 Semester Plan

120 Credit Hours

CIP Code: 09.0101

College of Arts & Sciences


Major Description

The Bachelor of Arts in Communication is a liberal arts degree that prepares students to communicate effectively and ethically in personal, professional, and public relationships in both face-to-face and mediated contexts. More specifically this degree prepares students to:

  1. work and lead in culturally-diverse teams and organizations;
  2. develop advanced oral, interpersonal, written, visual, digital, and electronic communication skills and competencies;
  3. create and analyze messages, content, and persuasive communication strategies;
  4. understand, build, and strengthen personal and professional identities and relationships;
  5. study and critique culture and media institutions, processes, technologies, and content, (e.g., television, film, music, print, computer, Internet, and social media);
  6. apply communication knowledge and skills in one or more specialized contexts (e.g, health care; advertising and marketing; law and politics; public advocacy and social movements; religion and church; world cafés and public dialogues; performance and improv; media and media literacy; intimate and family relationships);
  7. engage in undergraduate communication research; and
  8. become active and productive U.S. and global citizens.

State Mandated Common Course Prerequisites

Students wishing to transfer to USF should complete an A.A. degree at a Florida College System institution. Some courses required for the major may also meet General Education requirements thereby transferring maximum hours to the university.

If a student wishes to transfer without an A.A. degree and has fewer than 60 semester hours of acceptable credit, the student must meet the university’s entering freshman requirements including ACT or SAT test scores, GPA, and course requirements.

Transfer students are also required to comply with the immunization, foreign language, and continuous enrollment policies of the university.

Students should complete the following prerequisite courses at the lower level prior to entering the university. If these courses are not taken at a Florida College System institution, they must be completed before the degree is granted.

Unless stated otherwise, a grade of C is the minimum acceptable grade in prerequisite courses.

Total Major Hours: 39 Hours

Major Core Courses - 27 Hours

There are six required, core courses including one prerequisite and one department capstone. Students in the major should take the first five core courses listed below as early as possible and take the department capstone course [which also fulfills the University's FKL Capstone Experience (CPST) requirement] during the students' senior year.

  • SPC 2608 Public Speaking (prerequisite for the Communication major)
  • COM 2000 Introduction to Communication (students must take this course during their first semester in the major, if not taken previously)
  • ORI 3004 Communication as Performance
  • SPC 3301 Interpersonal Communication
  • SPC 3544 Persuasion and Media
  • COM 4958 Communication Senior Capstone [or other Communication course approved as a University Capstone (CPST)]
  • Nine credit hours of required Distribution Area Courses

Required Distribution Area Courses (9 credit hours)
Students must take one course in each of the three distribution areas (Communication and Human Relationships, Public Communication and Media, and Applied Communication) for a total of three courses.

Communication and Human Relationships (select one course)
Communication and Human Relationships focuses on the role of communication in constructing, sustaining, and changing human relationships. ​This area includes the study of intimate relationships such as family, friendships, and romantic; professional relationships such as employer-employee, patient-health care provider; identity, self-awareness, and personal narrative; verbal and nonverbal communication including talk, conversation, and writing; performing literary and real-life relationships; and communication and cultural diversity (gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity/nationality, social class, abilities, age, age cohorts, spirituality and religion).

Public Communication and Media (select one course)
Public Communication and Media focuses on the critical study and analyses of communication, culture, and media in the public sphere. ​Specific areas include media (television, film, music, print, Internet and social media), media texts, and media literacy skills; culture, social institutions, and power; public opinion and memory; political discourse, social protest and social movements; and public performances of literature and other texts. ​Approaches include critical and cultural studies, rhetorical studies, performance studies, diversity studies (e.g., gender, race, and class), and culture and identity studies.

Applied Communication (select one course)
Applied Communication focuses on advanced communication skills, communication practice and how communication practice in specialized contexts informs and is informed by communication theory and research. ​ Advanced communication skills include leadership (working in teams and organizations); oral communication (interviewing, performing, public speaking, creating presentations); ​written, digital and electronic communication, and undergraduate research. ​The specialized contexts of "applied" communication includes ​for profit corporations, not-for-profit organizations, health care institutions, tourism, religious institutions, families, civic organizations and communities in both domestic and global settings.

  • COM 3120 Organizational Communication
  • COM 3122 Interview Communication
  • COM 4104 Communication, Tourism, and Travel
  • COM 4124 Communication and Organizational Change
  • COM 4128 Integrated Organizational Communication
  • COM 4151 Communication and Working Life in Contemporary Organizations
  • COM 4020 Communicating Illness, Grief and Loss
  • COM 4021 Family Communication and the End of Life
  • COM 4022 Health Communication
  • COM 4225 Global and Cultural Issues in Health Communication
  • ORI 3950 Communication Performance Laboratory
  • ORI 4120 Performance of Poetry
  • ORI 4310 Group Performance of Literature
  • ORI 4320 Writing for Performance
  • SPC 3513 Argumentation and Debate
  • SPC 3425 Group Communication
  • SPC 3602 Advanced Public Speaking
  • SPC 4714 Communication, Culture and Community

Major Elective Courses - 12 Hours

Additional Departmental Electives (12 credit hours)

Students must take additional 3000- or 4000-level Communication courses to fulfill the remaining 12 hour elective requirement.

Please consult Catalog for full listing of Communication course titles, and consult Oasis for current SPC 4930 Selected Topics courses. Faculty strongly recommend that students interested in a specialization within their major select and take at least 9 of these 12 elective hours within one of the three Department Distribution Areas: Communication and Human Relationships, Public Communication and Media, or Applied Communication.

Additional Major Requirements

Major Grade Requirement

A final grade of at least C- is required for all major coursework to count toward a Communication major. Courses may not be taken S/U where a grade option exists.

Major Foundations of Knowledge and Learning (FKL) Requirement

  • SPC 2608 Public Speaking (CAHU) (Required)
  • SPC 3301 Interpersonal Communication (CASB) (Required)
  • SPC 3710 Communication and Cultural Diversity (CACG HHCP) (Recommended)

Major Foundations of Knowledge and Learning (FKL) Exit Requirement

  • COM 4958 Communication Senior Capstone (CPST) (Required)
  • COM 4030 Women and Communication (WRIN) (Recommended)

Major Other Requirements

Service Learning

  • SPC 4714 Communication, Culture, and Community

Gordon Rule Courses (6AC)

  • COM 4020 Communicating Illness, Grief and Loss (Recommended)
  • COM 4030 Women and Communication (Recommended)
  • COM 4710 Writing Lives (Recommended)
  • SPC 3425 Group Communication (Recommended)
  • SPC 4305 Communicating Emotions (Recommended)
  • SPC 4632 Rhetoric and Social Change (Recommended)

  More About this Major

  Honors Program

This major has an optional component designed for the academically superior student who embraces challenge and wishes to go the extra mile.

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  Research Opportunities

There are research opportunities associated with this major.

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  Additional Requirements

There are additional requirements for this major such as grade, GPA, foreign language, and/or general education requirements.


  Additional Information

There is more information available for this major such as faculty, advising, and/or accreditation information.

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