May 26, 2024  
2015-2016 University Catalog 
2015-2016 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Human Communication Studies, Department of

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Department Chair

Gary Ruud

Department Office/Website

College Park 420-1


Claudia Anguiano, Kristofer Brock, Jon Bruschke, K. Jeanine Congalton, Michael Davis, Tenzin Dorjee, Robert Gass, Nise Bloomfield Frye, Javette Hayes, Zac Johnson, Minjung Kim, Kurt Kitselman, Patty Malone, Summer Martin, Irene Matz, Peter Nwosu, Donald Peters, Gary Ruud, Terry Saenz, Alyssa Samek, Hye-Kyeung Seung, Daniel Sutko, Jason Teven, Erika Thomas, Stella Ting-Toomey, Kenneth Tom, Ying-Chiao Tsao, Phil Weir-Mayta, Toya Wyatt.


The mission of the department is to provide students with an understanding of communication processes in a culturally diverse society. An in-depth understanding of communication processes brings a number of benefits, including the ability to analyze communication barriers and the competency to facilitate effective communication between individuals, within organizations, between organizations and their customers or constituencies, and across cultures. Our vision is to train good men and women speaking well to solve communication problems by studying the ways in which messages link participants during transactions. Understanding communication processes in depth can, with specialized education and training, also be used to diagnose and treat disorders of communication.

Learning Goals and Student Learning Outcomes

The following goals and learning outcomes have been established for students pursuing a degree in Communication Studies:


  • Identify the basic elements of an argument, such as claim, grounds and warrant, to apply the basic “tests of evidence” to the proof or support offered by an advocate, and identify common fallacies in reasoning
  • Demonstrate knowledge of basis postulates, theories and models of human communication
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the basic stock issues associated with propositions of value and propositions of policy and be able to advance an argumentative case, refute an opponent’s case, and extend one’s own arguments


  • Adapt a persuasive message to the audience’s frame of reference, arrange the points into a hierarchy of coordinate and subordinate points, and display appropriate message-enhancing nonverbal behaviors
  • Distinguish between independent and dependent variables in an experimental investigation and identify the basic threats to validity in controlled laboratory investigations
  • Demonstrate knowledge of communication research objectives and methods, utilize library resources to access appropriate scholarly information, and to develop and reference persuasive scholarly arguments in writing


  • Identify and analyze core cultural values that shape communication behaviors

For the goals and learning outcomes for students pursuing a degree in Communicative Disorders, see

Programs and Courses Offered


    Bachelor of ArtsMaster of ArtsNon-DegreeCertificate


      Human Communication Studies

      Courses are designated as HCOM in the class schedule.

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