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Course Descriptions Communication and Emerging Media

Oral Communication Requirement.

Students seeking a baccalaureate degree must complete an applied course in oral communication as part of the general education requirements. The following two courses are considered applied oral communication courses: COMM A201 and A241. Some majors may require a specific course, so students should consult the requirements for each major.

General Education Humanities Requirement.

Certain communication classes will meet the General Education Humanities requirement. These classes are designated by the last two digits of the course number, and end in the 50’s and 60’s; for example, COMM A351, Persuasive Communication, will meet the requirement but COMM A385, Group Communication, will not.

COMM A190 Introduction to Communication. (3) An introduction to communication as a field of study, including the concepts, ideas, issues, methods, and theories associated with the discipline.

COMM A201 Interpersonal Communication. (3) (Sophomore standing or departmental permission) A study of communication in one-on-one and small group situations. Emphasis is on applying the theories and principles toward becoming a more competent interpersonal communicator. This course may satisfy the applied speech communication requirement.

COMM A241 Public Speaking. (3) (Prereq: Grade of C or better in ENGL A102 or departmental permission) A course in the principles, preparation, delivery, and evaluation of public speaking. This course may satisfy the applied speech communication requirement.

COMM A252 Media Literacy. (3) (Prereq: Grade of C or better in ENGL A102) This course develops the knowledge and skills students need to navigate and critically examine images and messages in our media saturated society. The course focuses on behaviors and practices of media consumption, in addition to interpretation of media products. Students will critically engage, assess, analyze, and evaluate media content to practice and demonstrate media literacy.

COMM A299 Internship in Communication. (1-4) (departmental permission) Applied work experience supervised by a faculty member and a qualified Communication professional. Internships increase student exposure to and understanding of potential career paths for Communication majors and allow the student to apply knowledge and skills from the Communication curriculum. The experience requires a learning contract approved by the student’s academic advisor, department head, and on-site supervisor. General elective credit only. May be taken pass/fail. Course is not a substitute for the Communication Capstone Experience.

COMM A303 Media Law. (3) (Grade of C or better in ENGL A102; Junior Standing) This course examines both constitutional and statutory laws with emphasis on the regulation of communications media, including newspapers, broadcast media, and new media. Focus will be on best practices for professional communicators to navigate the current laws and policies related to media creation and distribution.

COMM A305 Editing Skills. (3) (Prereq: Grade of C or better in ENGL A102) Techniques required in preparing materials for publication.

COMM A320 Research Methods in Communication. (3) (Prereq: Grade of C or better in COMM A190) This course will introduce students to quantitative (e.g., measurement, sampling, design, analysis) and qualitative research methods (e.g., interviewing, focus groups, ethnographic, and participant observations). At the end of the course, students should be able to formulate significant research questions after reviewing existing relevant research, conduct systematic data collection, use appropriate tools to analyze data, and organize and write research results to share with others.

COMM A324 Integrated Marketing Communication. (3) (Prereq: Grade of C or better in ENGL A102 or departmental permission) Study of the history, theory and practice of strategic message development and transmission through multiple media platforms to create unified and compelling campaigns to engage the desired audience.

COMM A325 Principles of Advertising. (3) (Prereq: Grade of C or better in ENGL A102 or departmental permission) Advertising and its relationship to media, marketing, and consumers.

COMM A328 Principles of Public Relations. (3) (Prereq: Grade of C or better in COMM A332 or better or departmental permission) History, theory, and principles of public relations including an analysis of how business, government, and other groups work to influence public attitudes toward their activities. Class requires practice in writing, including press releases and public relations campaigns.

COMM A329 Crisis Communication. (3) (Prereq: Grade of C or better in ENGL A102) This course focuses on key elements of strategic crisis communication, from preventing, preparing for, responding to, and dealing with the long-term effects of a crisis. Students learn and apply crisis communication theory, using case studies to examine the strategies and tactics of organizations that have dealt with crises. The course provides learners with principles and procedures for handling multiple stakeholders and publics under crisis conditions and offers training in dealing with media during crisis situations.

COMM A332 Writing Across the Media I. (3) (Prereq: Grade of C or better in ENGL A102) Basic instruction in writing for different media forms, such as print, broadcast, websites, public relations, and presentations. Includes development of researching and interviewing skills.

COMM A335 Writing Across the Media II. (3) (Prereq: Grade of C or better in COMM A332) Study of and practice in writing for mass media with emphasis on Associated Press style.

COMM A345 Workplace Communication. (3) (Prereq: Grade of C or better in ENGL A102) Students will apply Communication theories, principles, and concepts to workplace challenges to expand the verbal and nonverbal communication skills needed for success in business and professional settings. Possible topics include managing conflict, selecting and appraising employees, handling meetings and presentations, analyzing audiences, taking advantage of electronic media for business purposes, and eff effectively presenting your organization to media outlets.

COMM A351 Persuasive Communication. (3) (Prereq: Grades of C or better in both COMM A190 and COMM A241 or consent of instructor.) This course focuses on expanding the student’s ability to recognize persuasive messages, and analyze and act as competent, critical receivers of those messages, whether written, oral, or mediated.

COMM A352 Media and Culture. (3) Situated in historical contexts, this course examines the role of media in constructing national and global cultures. The course takes a cultural studies approach by examining media production, text, and audience to provide students with critical analysis skills and broad understanding of media research. (Students who earned credit for COMM A300 may not take COMM A352 for credit.)

COMM A353 Advanced Public Speaking. (3) (Prereq: Grade of C or better in COMM A241 or departmental permission). Course focuses on enhancement of public speaking and argumentation/debate skills, through selection and application of appropriate organizational strategies, compelling support, and convincing arguments. Includes application of classical and contemporary rhetorical theories to the critical analysis of choices made by notable speakers.

COMM A355 Video Games, Media, and Culture. (3) In this survey course, students will examine specific aspects of the video gaming industry and media, including the emergence of video games in the United States and current industry practices. Students will examine the impact of video games on culture, society, social values, visual aesthetics, and the portrayal and treatment of marginalized groups. The course will also provide students with opportunities to analyze, interpret, and evaluate the influence of video games as an independent medium and in comparison to other media.

COMM A358 Sports, Communication, and Culture. (3) (Prereq: Junior Standing or Permission of Instructor) In this course, students explore the role of sports in communicating cultural values, beliefs, and norms, and examine the impact of sports on interpersonal, group, and mediated communication. Students will review the communication history of sports as well as its current landscape, and will critically analyze how communication in and about sports manifests, influences, and perpetuates communication practices, human behavior, and beliefs about race, gender, social issues, myths, sports narratives, and nationalism.

COMM A361 Communication and Public Advocacy. (3) (Prereq: Grade of C or better in ENGL A102) 62 University of South Carolina Aiken Examination of how symbols are used in public advocacy from both applied and theoretical perspectives with emphasis on rhetorical uses of language and nonverbal symbols in the creation and transmission of public messages. More specifically, the courses focuses on opportunities for public protest and develops effective communication skills in verbal advocacy, written advocacy, use of visuals and social media in advocacy, and use of the body in protest.

COMM A363 Media Ethics. (3) (Prereq: Grade of C or better in ENGL A102) An exploration of the ethical practices and challenges encountered as a professional communicator. By reviewing best ethical practices involving print, broadcast, and new media, this course informs future ethical considerations.

COMM A365 Computer Mediated Communication. (3) (Prereq: Grade of C or better in ENGL A102) Computer mediated communication (CMC) is the human-to human interaction that takes place via computer networks, such as the Internet as well as via mobile digital media. This course covers practical and theoretical issues associated with CMC, with a focus on the influence of CMC on identity, language, interpersonal relationships, community and group interactions, and the social structures that emerge when people use CMC.

COMM A376 Visual Communication I. (3) (Prereq: Grade of C or better in COMM A190). Basic instructions on design and layout with emphasis on visual communication principles for design, layout, and production of printed materials. Introductory practice using computer desktop publishing.

COMM A379 Data Visualization. (3) (Prereq: Grade of C or better in ENGL A102 and HSSI A220) Visual analysis and presentation of quantitative information. Examines the planning, design, and preparation of statistical graphs, charts, timelines, diagrams, and maps for static and interactive display. Direct work with data from social media and other big data sources to visualize an analysis

COMM A385 Group Communication. (3) (Prereq: Grade of C or better in COMM A190). A study of the theories, principles, and practices associated with effective communication in the small group setting. The course relies on both theoretical and experiential approaches to understanding group communication.

 COMM A386 Negotiation and Conflict Resolution. (3) (Prereq: Junior Standing or Permission of Instructor) A study of theories and practice of negotiation and conflict resolution. Topics may include planning and preparing for negotiations, recognizing cognitive biases, collecting and sharing information, building trust, managing emotions, understanding the influence of power and individuals’ cultural backgrounds, making ethical decisions, and reaching goals while maintaining relationships. Completion of COMM A201 is recommended but not required.

 COMM A399 Independent Study. (1-6) (Prereq: departmental permission) Directed independent project. COMM A436 Public Relations Writing. (3) (Prereq: Grade of C or better in COMM A332 or COMM A328 or departmental permission) Practice in special areas of writing for Public Relations, including news releases, corporate and individual profiles, presentations, proposals, and internet writing.

COMM A450 Intercultural Communication. (3) (Prereq: Grade of C or better in ENGL A102) A study of cultural differences in human communication with a focus on theoretical and experiential approaches toward gaining competence in communicating across cultures. (Satisfies non-Western world studies requirement)

 COMM A455 Gender, Communication, and Culture. (3) (Prereq: Grade of C or better in ENGL A102 or departmental permission) An exploration of the relationships among gender, communication, and culture from descriptive and critical perspectives with three focused themes: 1) communication creates, sustains, and sometimes challenges concepts of gender; 2) the conceptualization of gender is a cultural process; and 3) gender shapes communication.

 COMM A460 Science Communication. (3) (Prereq: Junior or higher standing) The purpose of this course is to increase students' knowledge and awareness of the challenges and practices involved in communicating science. Special attention is paid to communication practices and channels related to the general populace and how the lay person understands, interprets, criticizes, and applies science and scientific messages to his or her own life. This course will bridge the science and communication disciplines to explore how humans communicate science, examine the problems in communicating science to diverse populations, and analyze the difficulty of crafting science communication messages. The course explores the development of science as a perspective to understanding our world. Students will evaluate science communication messages, science communication campaigns, and case studies. Students will also translate science information into science communication designed for the general public and create original science communication messages.

COMM A462 Political Rhetoric. (3) In order to become more sophisticated and critical participants in the democratic process, students will apply classical and contemporary models in the critical analysis of political and campaign rhetoric. The course also provides the opportunity to acquire and practice argumentation and debate skills.

COMM A476 Visual Communication II. (3) (Prereq: Grade of C or better in COMM A376 or departmental permission) Advanced theory and methods for using graphics to communicate in a variety of media, including print and internet-based materials. Students gain experience in desktop publishing techniques to create visual communication materials from the concept stage to production.

COMM A477 Fund Raising and Volunteer Leadership. (3) This course explores the principles and practices of fund raising and volunteer management with an emphasis on promoting an understanding of the nature of philanthropy and its importance in our society. The course will seek to provide students with the knowledge and skills to assess and prepare an organization for fund raising, identify prospective sources of funding, prepare a case, organize an annual fund raising eff ort, and have a working knowledge of ethical issues and future fund raising trends.

COMM A478 Digital Storytelling. (3) (Prereq: Grade of C or better in ENGL A102) An introduction to writing and producing electronic video and audio materials, with a focus on preparing the student to produce entry level work suitable for live and recorded broadcasts and Internet media. Topics include video camera and audio recording, audio and field techniques, basic editing procedures, and distribution.

COMM A480 Organizational Communication. (3) (Prereq: junior standing and completion of COMM A190 and COMM A201 with grades of C or better in each) A study of how the context of the organization influences interpersonal communication processes. Emphasis on applying theory and research to identify effective organizational communication practices and strategic communication behavior within organizations.

COMM A482 Health Communication. (3) (Prereq: Junior Standing or Permission of Instructor) This course examines theory and research relevant to health communication, including interpersonal, organizational, and mass communication approaches. Topics include communication between patients and health care providers, the importance of social support for patients and providers, the role of communication in general models of health and illness as well as health campaigns. Prior completion of COMM A201 is recommended but not required.

COMM A485 Leadership and Communication. (3) (Prereq: Junior standing or departmental permission) A study of the central role of communication in effective leadership in workplaces and communities. Students will examine theories, analyze attributes and abilities of effective leaders, critique leadership successes and failures, and explore such topics as values, ethics, and power, all with an eye toward enhancing leadership and communication skills.

COMM A494 Topics in Communication. (1-3) (Prereq: varies by topic) Study of selected topics in communication. Course content will be announced in the schedule of classes. Course may be repeated with different topics.

COMM A497 Directed Capstone Internship. (3) (Prereq: departmental permission, COMM A190, A201, A241 with a grades of C or better in each, successful completion of Writing Proficiency Portfolio and USC system GPA of 2.0 or better) Supervised professional experience in communication. Students complete additional work under the direction of the faculty supervisor. Contract required. (May be repeated for a maximum of six hours.)

COMM A499 Service Learning Capstone Experience. (3) (Prereq: departmental permission, completion of COMM A190, A201, A241 with grades of C or better, successful completion of Writing Proficiency Portfolio, and USC system GPA of 2.0 or better) The course provides an opportunity to apply principles of effective communication to the work of a community-based non-profit or government organization. Students complete additional work under the direction of the faculty supervisor. Contract required. (May be repeated for a maximum of six hours.)

About the B.A. in Emerging Media

Cyber literacy and media literacy have never been more critical. Our new Emerging Media BA program focuses on studying new communication technologies.

Studying media from historical, cultural, and ethical perspectives develops a strong understanding of media’s role in our lives and society. This increase in media literacy and experiences gained in graphic design, photography, videography, UX & UI design, social media analytics, and data visualization prepare you as an Emerging Media major to excel when joining the workforce.

Majoring in Emerging Media prepares you to think critically about media creation and media consumption. You will develop the high-demand skills employers desire in journalism, public relations, advertising, and many other professions.

For questions about this degree program, students should contact their advisor or Dr. Jason Munsell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Core Classes

  • COMM A190: Intro to Communication
  • COMM A241: Public Speaking
  • COMM A332: Writing Across the Media
  • COMM A352: Media and Culture
  • COMM A376: Visual Communication
  • COMM A379: Data Visualization
  • COMM A385: Group Communication
  • COMM A476: Visual Communication II
  • COMM A478: Digital Storytelling
  • COMM A497 OR A499: Capstone 

NCA Logo

National Communication Honors Society

Lambda Pi Eta was founded in 1985 at the University of Arkansas. The National Communication Association established LPH as an affiliate organization and the official national communication honor society for undergraduates in 1995. In February 1996, Lambda Pi Eta was certified by the Association of College Honor Societies. Now, there are nearly 500 chapters worldwide. Our chapter at UofSC Aiken, the Nu Rho Chapter, was established in 2001 by Dr. Charmaine Wilson at the urging of student Jason J. Hancock.

To be invited for membership, students must have earned at least 60 hours and have a GPA of at least 3.0. In addition, students must have completed at least 12 hours in communication and have earned at least a 3.25 in those classes.

For more information about the honor society, see faculty advisor Dr. Jason Munsell in H&SS B-11 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Lambda Pi Eta Chapter Constitution

Chapter Facebook Page

Media Club

Media club presents students with an opportunity to experience production, discuss the more technical side of content they consume every day, an outlet to create, and the ability to form bonds with students of similar interests. These options include podcasts, video, and photography. Students will also be able to consume and discuss media together. Social events such as shared viewings, guest speakers, and media tours are also offered to students. For more information, see Dr. David L. Morris II in H&SS B-10 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Public Speaking Competition

Students will be able to participate in a public speaking competition. Each section of Public Speaking (COMM 241) will send two representatives, selected by the professor and/or student votes from that section, to compete. The speech should be persuasive and focus on a policy change. Students must also prepare an outline to be submitted, alongside the 7-10 minute speech. For more information, contact Dr. Rachel Whitten at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or in H&SS B-9.

Constitution of Lambda Pi Eta

USCA Chapter

Article I - Name

The name of the Communication Honor Society shall be Lambda Pi Eta. The National Communication Association will assign the chapter designation.

Article II - Purpose and Activities

Section 1. The purposes of Lambda Pi Eta shall be: (a) to recognize, foster and reward outstanding scholastic achievement in communication studies; (b) to stimulate interest in the field of communication; ( c) to promote and encourage professional development among communication majors; ( d) to provide an opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas in the field of communication; ( e) to establish and maintain closer relationships and mutual understanding between communication studies faculty and students; (f) to engage in service activities and promote civic responsibility, and (g) to explore options for graduate education in communication studies.

Section 2. Lambda Pi Eta is the honor society of the National Communication Association
(NCA). Lambda Pi Eta exists to further the mission of the Association and is subject to the Association's policies and procedures.

Section 3. The USCA chapter of Lambda Pi Eta may sanction undergraduate honors conferences; propose programs and workshops at national, regional, and state professional association conventions; recognize outstanding undergraduate scholarship with awards or prizes; recognize outstanding faculty contributions in undergraduate teaching, program advising, or chapter advising; establish programs of faculty-student mentorships; and conduct other activities consistent with the stated purposes of Lambda Pi Eta.

Article III - Membership

Section 1. Eligibility for Membership. To be eligible for consideration for admission, applicants must have completed 60 semester credit-hours; have a minimum cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 for all courses taken; be in the upper 35% of their institutional academic class; have at least a 3.25 GPA for all communication studies courses; completed the equivalent of 12 semester credit­hours in communication studies; and currently be enrolled as a student in good standing, as determined by the institution's policies. In addition, students should display commitment to the field of speech communication. In addition, all persons considered for membership shall exhibit high standards of personal and professional character and shall support the purposes of the honor society.

Section 2. Election to Membership. Once each semester, Communications Department faculty and current members of the honor society will have the opportunity to nominate members. The faculty advisor is responsible for verifying that nominees meet the credit and GPA requirements in Article III, Section 1. If there are questions about an individual's eligibility, the faculty advisor and the officers will meet to make a final decision regarding election to membership. If a consensus is not achieved, the advisor has the ultimate responsibility for determining eligibility. All those deemed eligible will be invited to become members.

Section 3. No rushing and/or social pressure shall be used to ensure acceptance of invitation to membership or for initiation into membership.

Section 4. The chapter shall collect and transmit to the National Communication Association an initiation fee for each member eligible for membership in the local chapter and a list of new members by December 1 and/or April 1 of each year. Dues must be paid before membership certificates will be processed.

Section 5. The chapter shall transmit to the National Communication Association the names of any student who has previously paid an initiation fee and is still an active member of the chapter by December 1 and/or April 1 of each year.

Section 6. Students who are members of Lambda Pi Eta and transfer to USCA will automatically be a member of the USCA chapter.

Section 7. Privileges of Membership. A member in good standing shall be eligible to vote at all chapter meetings of the Society, be eligible for election to chapter offices, be eligible to attend scholarly presentations and colloquia of the sponsoring academic department, and be eligible to represent the local chapter at state, regional, and national conventions. Individuals shall not be considered members of the National Communication Association by virtue of their membership in Lambda Pi Eta.

Section 8. Honorary Members. The local chapter may, by majority vote, confer Honorary Member status upon communication faculty members or individuals who demonstrate exceptional commitment to the goals of the Society or make outstanding contributions to the academic goals of the chapter. Honorary Members may not vote or hold office in the Society or the chapter, or represent the chapter at the national meeting.

Section 9. Non-Discrimination. Selection for membership shall be made without regard to race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, physical disabilities, physical qualities, or age.

Article IV - Chapter Offices and Elections

Section 1. Offices. The officers of the honor society shall be President, Vice• President/Scholarship, Treasurer and Secretary. The chapter may elect in a given year by majority decision of the chapter to install a differing leadership structure. In addition, a faculty advisor shall be elected or appointed annually from the faculty or staff of the sponsoring academic unit.

Section 2. Requirements for Office. Officers shall be full-time students.

Section 3. Duties of Office. Each officer shall have the following responsibilities.

(a) The President shall announce all meetings, preside in the conducting of business, and actively promote the purposes of Lambda Pi Eta in the university community.

(b) The Vice President/Scholarship Officer shall be responsible for special programs and projects, and serve in the absence of the President. She or he shall be responsible for encouraging academic excellence and stimulating intellectual inquiry among the members through activities such as inviting guest speakers, informing members of opportunities for research and involvement in professional associations, recruiting new members, and presenting awards for outstanding contributions.

(c) The Treasurer shall be responsible for collecting annual chapter dues, collecting and transmitting initiation fees and information, establishing a yearly budget, disbursing funds for appropriate organizational expenses, and accounting for all funds.

(d) The Secretary shall keep a complete set of minutes of the business of the chapter, deposit the minutes with the faculty advisor at the expiration of the term in office, assure adequate media coverage of the activities of Lambda Pi Eta, and keep a record of chapter activities.

Section 4. Terms of Office. Officers shall be elected for terms of one academic year. All officers shall be elected at the last regular meeting of the academic year (April) and shall assume the duties oflheir respective officers at the first regular meeting of the next academic year or at the end of the current semester during which they are elected. A majority of a quorum of the members shall determine the election. Voting may be conducted by ballot, by mail, or by voice, but lhere &hall be no voting by proxy.

Section 5. If a person is elected to office but cannot complete the term she/he is to be replaced by an election of the current membership.

Section 6. An officer may be removed from office by two thirds of a quorum of voting members present at a regularly scheduled meeting.

Section 7. Committees. The President, or alternative officer, may appoint such committees as shall be appropriate for furthering the purposes of Lambda Pi Eta.

Article V - Meetings

Section 1. Regular meetings of the organization shall be held every month of the academic year. The President may call additional or special meetings at any time.

Section 2. There may be as many as two meetings a year for the purpose of electing new
members-one in the fall and one in the spring. The Vice President and Secretary are responsible for providing the voting members with advance notice of the date and time of these meetings.

Section 3. The initiation of new members shall be conducted as soon after election of members as is feasible. The Vice President and Secretary are responsible for providing all members with notice of the date and time of the induction ceremony.

Article VI - Chapter By-Laws

Section 1. A majority of a quorum of the members shall detennine the election of officers.
Voting may be conducted by ballot, by mail, or by voice, but there shall be no voting by proxy.

Section 2. The chapter shall determine the method for setting a quorum for the conducting of
chapter business for the given year.

Section 3. Dues for local chapter membership shall be determined, collected, and retained by the chapter. All voting members shall pay semesterly dues, to be set by a majority of voting
members at the last regular meeting of the academic year (April) for the subsequent year.

Section 4. There shall be a local initiation fee of $5.00 in addition to the national induction tee.

Section 5. Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revise shall govern in all matters not stipulated in
this constitution.

Section 6. A member of the honor society "in good standing" shall be defined as a member who has paid the current semester's dues, and attended at least one meeting during the previous

Article VII - Amendments

Section 1. The Constitution may be amended by three-fourths of a quorum at a regularly
scheduled meeting, provided the proposed amendment has been placed before the membership in writing at the prior regular meeting.

Section 2. The Chapter By-Laws may be amended by a majority vote at any meeting if a
quorum is in attendance, and if the proposed change has been placed before the membership in writing at the prior regular meeting.

Adopted October 2001

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