Undergraduate Catalog 2018-2019


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 and professional relationships and in both face-to-face and mediated contexts. More specifically this degree prepares students to:
  1. Collaborate, work, and lead in culturally-diverse teams and organizations;
  2. Develop advanced communication skills and competencies in oral, written, social media, and/or other forms of communication;
  3. Analyze and create messages, presentations, and persuasive communication strategies;
  4. Understand, build, and strengthen personal and professional identities and relationships;
  5. Study and critique culture and media including: media organizations, communication technologies, and mediated 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; media; marketing;law; politics; profits and not-for-profits; government; public advocacy;social movements; religion; ; world cafés;public dialogues; performance;; ; 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

Required Core Courses (18 credit hours)

There are six required core courses including one prerequisite and one department capstone. Once enrolled in the major, students 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] late in the students' junior year or early in 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)]

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 (family, friendships, and romantic); professional relationships (patient-health care provider); personal identity (self-awareness and personal narrative); verbal and nonverbal communication (talk, conversations, and writing); performance (performing literary and real-life relationships); and communication and cultural diversity (communicating across differences based on gender, sexuality/sexual orientation, 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 and media texts (television, film, music, print, Internet and social media), 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.

  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.

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  Additional Information

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

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