Graduate Course Descriptions

SPCH 5312 Intercultural Communication

Prerequisite: SPCH 1300. This course examines culture as it influences human interaction in a wide range of contexts, including work, medical, interpersonal, and political. Topics include culture shock, language, nonverbal, intercultural conflict, and culture and the media. The focus is on using communication theories and concepts, as well as in-class activities to develop a heightened awareness of intercultural issues, as well as intercultural communication competence.

SPCH 5313 Seminar: Topics in Communication

Prerequisite: SPCH 1300. This course investigates timely communication theories, skills, and practices. Topics may be selected from a variety of theoretical or practical perspectives. The focus is on an in-depth treatment of a content area not typically represented in other courses in the major. This course may be repeated for credit.

SPCH 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.

SPCH 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.

SPCH 7301 Human Communication Theory

Basic theoretical approaches to human communication; includes symbolic interactionism, systems, rules, linguistics, relational, rhetorical theories.

SPCH 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.

SPCH 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.

SPCH 7311 Small Group Communication

Systems study of small group formation, maintenance, performance; special attention to problem solving in groups.

SPCH 7312 Intercultural Communication

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

SPCH 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.

SPCH 7321 Organizational Communication Theory

Theoretic overview of organizational communication; includes communication flow, networks, organizational relationships, groups, conflict, language.

SPCH 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.

SPCH 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.

SPCH 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.

SPCH 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.

SPCH 7332 Communication Assessment and Consulting

Methods used to assess communication behavior in organizations, prepare intervention techniques, evaluate communication effectiveness.

SPCH 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.

SPCH 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.

SPCH 7352 Organizational Communication Training

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

SPCH 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.

SPCH 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.

SPCH 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.

SPCH 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.

SPCH 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)

SPCH 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 with any questions or to request additional information.