Graduate Course Descriptions

ACOM 5310 Applied Communication Research
Examination of the applied role of communication research in a variety of contemporary organizations, using quantitative and/or qualitative approaches. Focus on identifying the practical applications of research for organizational members by completing a quantitative or qualitative research study. Dual-listed in the UALR Undergraduate Catalog as ACOM 4310. May be taken for both undergraduate and graduate credit. Three credit hours.

ACOM 5311 Organizational Communication
Students develop an ability to understand and apply major theories and concepts from communication theories to varied organizational contexts. Topics such as leadership, motivation, planned change, conflict, diversity, and decision making are explored through practical application to cases and during class activities. Dual-listed in the UALR Undergraduate Catalog as ACOM 4311. Cannot receive graduate-level credit for class if taken for undergraduate credit. Three credit hours.

ACOM 5312 Intercultural Communication
An exploration of the relationship between communication and varied ethnic and national cultures across multiple contexts, including work, community, medical, and interpersonal. Topics such as culture shock, language, conflict, and cultural identity are explored. Class studies and case studies focused on developing competent and ethical application of major intercultural theories and concepts. Dual-listed in the UA Little Rock Undergraduate Catalog as ACOM 4312. Cannot receive graduate-level credit for class if taken for undergraduate credit. Three credit hours.

ACOM 5313 Seminar: Topics in Communication
Investigation of specific communication theories, skills, and practices. Focus is on an in-depth treatment of a content area not typically represented in other courses in the major. May be repeated for credit. Dual-listed in the UA Little Rock Undergraduate Catalog as ACOM 4313. May be take for both undergraduate and graduate credit if on a different seminar topic. Three credit hours.

ACOM 5323 Family Communication
Study of communication phenomena in the family setting. Examination of how communication creates and influences the development, maintenance, and enhancement of family relationships. Case analysis and course activities focus on co-constructing family relationships with effective communication skills. Dual-listed in the UA Little Rock Undergraduate Catalog as ACOM 4323. Cannot receive graduate-level credit for class is taken for undergraduate credit. Three credit hours.

ACOM 5324 Organizational Communication Seminar
Prerequisite: ACOM 5311. This seminar addresses special topics in organizational communication. Course topics may include organizational identification, risk and issue management, organizational change, or critical approaches to organizational communication. The focus is giving students an in-depth understanding of a specialized aspect of organizational communication.

ACOM 5350 Effective Crisis Communication
This course investigates and analyzes instances of effective and ineffective crisis communication. Students will examine the internal organizational processes and the larger environment within which various organizations exist, focusing on issues such as stakeholders, legal environments, and the larger social and cultural contexts. Focus on media, image, and resiliency theories of crisis communication and their practical implications for organizations. Dual-listed in the UA Little Rock Undergraduate Catalog as ACOM 4350. Cannot receive graduate-level credit for class if taken for undergraduate credit. Three credit hours.

ACOM 5357 Communicating and Managing Difference
This course explores communication and difference in such areas as race and ethnicity, social class, age, sexual orientation, and disability. Through applying communication theories and ideas to our experiences in each of the targeted areas, we can emerge with tools to manage communication across lines of difference and create more positive social worlds. Dual-listed in the UA Little Rock Undergraduate Catalog as ACOM 4357. Cannot receive graduate-level credit for class if taken for undergraduate credit. Three credit hours.

ACOM 7350 Effective Crisis Communication
This course investigates and analyzes instances of effective and ineffective crisis communication. Students will examine the internal organizational processes and the larger environment within which various organizations exist focusing on issues such as stakeholders, legal environments, and the larger social and cultural contexts. Three credit hours.

ACOM 7300 Interpersonal Communication Concepts
Prerequisites: Graduate standing, consent of instructor. (For non-Applied Communication graduate students.) Concepts of human interaction as a basis for developing interpersonal communication skills; framework for personal growth in one-to-one interaction, small group dynamics, or leadership roles.

ACOM 7301 Human Communication Theory
Basic theoretical approaches to human communication; includes symbolic interactionism, systems, rules, linguistics, relational, rhetorical theories.

ACOM 7302 Interpersonal Communication: Theory and Context
Influence of contexts on various theories of interpersonal communication; each theory is evaluated, placed in a relational context, considered for its applications to personal and professional interaction.

ACOM 7310 Topics in Interpersonal Communication
Topics vary; chosen for interest, needs of current class; may include in-depth study of topics from earlier courses. Offered on demand.

ACOM 7311 Small Group Communication
Systems study of small group formation, maintenance, performance; special attention to problem solving in groups.

ACOM 7312 Intercultural Communication
Intercultural factors influencing human interaction; how cultures, subcultures interact verbally, nonverbally; how communication patterns are inherently culturally determined.

ACOM 7320 Topics in Organizational Communication
Topics vary; chosen for interest, needs of current class; may include in-depth study of topics from earlier courses. Offered on demand.

ACOM 7321 Organizational Communication Theory
Theoretic overview of organizational communication; includes communication flow, networks, organizational relationships, groups, conflict, language.

ACOM 7322 Organizational Communication Culture Analysis
This course explores the concept of organizational culture and its relationship to effective and ineffective organizational communication. Students develop an understanding of a model for analyzing organizational culture and communication and apply this model to a case analysis.

ACOM 7323 Conflict Analysis and Intervention
An introduction to conflict dynamics with an emphasis on communication intervention skills; covers different frames for analyzing conflict analysis tools, opportunities for conflict self-assessment, and skill-building in difficult conversations.

ACOM 7324 Negotiation
Examination of the nature of conflict and presentation of theories and techniques of negotiation as a method of resolving or managing conflict. Students will analyze cases of negotiation at many levels, such as buying and selling, contracts, group decision making, plea bargaining, international treaties, and organizational creation. Emphasis is on solving problems through negotiation. Consideration of the role of third parties.

ACOM 7330 Communicating Change and Information Diffusion
This course provides an understanding of diffusion theory, which seeks to explain the process through which new ideas (innovations) spread over time via communication channels among the members of a social system. Students will apply diffusion theory to corporate, public health, social change, and policy contexts.

ACOM 7332 Communication Assessment and Consulting
Methods used to assess communication behavior in organizations, prepare intervention techniques, evaluate communication effectiveness.

ACOM 7341 Organizational Communication Applications
Prerequisite: 15 program hours. Role of applied behavioral research methods in developing effective communication in organizations; focus on use of organization development theories to change the way people in organizations communicate.

ACOM 7351 Managerial Communication
Communication skills needed by supervisors, managers; focus on conflict management, interview skills (selection, performance appraisal, discipline, information gathering); includes theory, research, applied projects.

ACOM 7352 Organizational Communication Training
Development, delivery of a training project; student prepares and presents an intervention for a specific organizational communication problem.

ACOM 7390 Introduction to Graduate Study in Speech Communication
Prerequisite: Program admission or consent of instructor. (Prerequisite course for entering students with fewer than 18 undergraduate speech hours; does not count toward degree requirements.) Speech communication theories, terminology; program writing, speaking responsibilities; emphasis on research skills necessary for the field.

ACOM 8300/8600 Graduate Internship
Urban-related practical job experience; students apply theoretical knowledge, develop interpersonal and organizational communication skills, meet regularly to share experiences, write a paper related to experiences.

ACOM 8301 Master’s Research Paper
Students apply theoretical knowledge to an action research project, dealing with the identification of a need in an interpersonal, institutional, public, or organizational context and the implementation and evaluation of an intervention to meet that need.

ACOM 8304/8604 Cooperative Education
Job experience through application of theories, develop interpersonal and organizational communication skills, meet with faculty advisor and complete a major paper reflecting on experiences in light of communication theory. Prerequisites: Graduate standing and consent and by advisor.

ACOM 8310 Seminar in Applied Communication Studies
This capstone seminar draws on various applied communication theories to engage students in reflection on two years of study in the program. Students develop and present their final project proposal for their MA in Applied Communication Studies. A final portfolio will also be presented before faculty and students. Only students who are in the final semester of this program are allowed take this course. (SPCH7301; SPCH7321; plus 12 hours grad level SPCH courses)

ACOM 8602 Master’s Thesis
Prerequisite: successful completion of written comprehensive examinations. Preparation of an appropriate original investigation demonstrating knowledge and methods of scholarship.

The department is eager to answer questions and/or to provide more information upon request. Please call Dr. Gerald Driskill, the graduate program coordinator, at (501) 569-8385 or e-mail at gwdriskill@ualr.edu with any questions or to request additional information.