Arts & Sciences Communication Studies

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Attribute Value
College: Arts & Sciences
Degree Offered: Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science
Hours Required: 120
Minimum Cumulative GPA: 2.0 for graduation
Minor Available: Yes
Chief Adviser: Karen Lee, Kristen Carr
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  1. Intro
Communication Studies

Communication Studies

COLLEGE: Arts & Sciences

MAJOR: Communication Studies

DEGREE OFFERED: Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science

HOURS REQUIRED: 120

MINIMUM CUMULATIVE GPA: 2.0 for graduation

MINOR AVAILABLE: Yes

CHIEF ADVISER: Karen Lee, Kristen Carr

DESCRIPTION

Chair: Dawn O. Braithwaite, 433 Oldfather

Director of Forensics: Aaron Duncan

Professors: Braithwaite, Krone, R. Lee, Seiler

Associate Professors: Kellas, Soliz

Assistant Professors: Pfister, Woods

Assistant Professor of Practice: K. Lee

Communication studies is a social science and humanistic field of study, research, and application. The mission of the Department of Communication Studies is to examine human symbolic activity as it shapes and is shaped by relationships, institutions, and societies. This work concerns how, why, and with what effects people communicate through verbal and nonverbal messages. Through research, teaching, and service, the Department devotes particular attention to understanding the ways in which communication erodes and sustains collaboration within and among local, national, and global communities.

Communication competencies are among those most highly desired in professional, personal, organizational, and civic arenas. Additionally, a major in Communication Studies goes beyond learning communication skills by fostering a world view that demonstrates a commitment to communication, collaboration, and community. Communication Studies majors go on to careers in sales, marketing, human resources, customer service, nonprofit management, event planning, fund raising, public relations, management, and government, to name just a few. Majors also go on to graduate school and law school.

University Debate and Forensics

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln offers a nationally recognized debate and forensics program of participation in campus and intercollegiate debate, public speaking, and interpretation events. The program gives students the opportunity to compete at the local, state, regional, and national level. No previous debate or speech experience is required. All students who are in good standing may take part in intercollegiate debate and forensics.

Graduate Work. Graduate programs leading to the master of arts and doctor of philosophy degrees are offered in the department. A detailed description of these programs appears in the Graduate Studies Bulletin.

MAJOR REQUIREMENTS

Specific Major Requirements

All prospective majors must consult and register with a departmental chief adviser. Majors are expected to meet regularly with their adviser. An approved program of study must be filed at the time students declare the major or within the first 12 hours of course work in the major. In order to graduate with a communication studies major, students must have an approved program of study. The minimum number of hours for a major in communication studies is 36. The 36-hour requirement must include the following:

1. Majors must complete one of the following: COMM 109, COMM 205, COMM 209, COMM 212, COMM 220, COMM 286, or COMM 295.

2. Majors must complete both COMM 101 and COMM 201. These courses should be completed within the first twelve hours in communication studies of a student’s program.

3. Majors must complete two of three 200-level foundational courses which include COMM 283. See major adviser for additional eligible course options.

4. Majors must complete COMM 495.

Program Assessment. In order to assist the department in evaluating the effectiveness of its programs, majors will be required to complete an assessment of the major. This assessment will be implemented in the communication studies capstone course: COMM 495.

Results of participation in this assessment activity will in no way affect a student’s GPA, but could prevent or delay graduation if the assessment is not completed as required.

Minor Requirements

A communication studies major must have either an approved Plan A minor or two approved Plan B minors. An approved individualized program of studies of 24 hours can also be used to meet the minor requirement. A departmental adviser must approve the minor.

ADDITIONAL MAJOR REQUIREMENTS

Prerequisite Requirements/Rules

COMM 101 and COMM 201 must be completed before a student can enroll in any 400-level course.

Grade Rules

C- and D Grades

A grade of C or above is required for all courses in the major.

Pass/No Pass Limits

Availability of Pass/No Pass credit in COMM courses is at the discretion of the course director and/or instructor of the course. Although the department discourages Pass/No Pass credit for majors, up to 6 hours of Pass/No Pass credit may be applied to the major requirements. Up to 6 hours Pass/No Pass credit is permitted toward the minor, subject to the approval of the department granting the major.

Course Level Requirement

A minimum of 21 hours must be taken in communication studies courses at or above the 300 level, excluding COMM 390 and COMM 490. Of the 21 hours, at least 9 must be at the 400 level. COMM 101 and COMM 201 must be completed before a student can enroll in any 400-level course. COMM 490 cannot be used to meet this requirement.

Extended Education, Independent Study Rules, Internship Credit Rules

The department encourages qualified students to enroll in internship, independent study, and education abroad experiences in order to supplement classroom experiences. However, non of these is a substitute for classroom experiences. No more than 3 hours of internship, independent study, or education abroad credits may count toward the 36-hour requirement in the major.

REQUIREMENTS FOR MINOR OFFERED BY DEPARTMENT

Plan A. This minor consists of a minimum of 18 hours in communication studies courses with at least 9 hours at or above the 300 level. The 18-hour requirement must include the following:

1. Plan A minors must complete either COMM 101 or COMM 201.

2. Plan A minors must complete either COMM 109, COMM 205, COMM 209, COMM 212, COMM 220, COMM 286, or COMM 295.

3. A minimum of 9 hours must be taken in communication studies classes at or above the 300 level excluding COMM 390 and COMM 490.

4. Of the 9 hours, at least 3 must be at the 400 level. COMM 101 or COMM 201 must be completed before a student can enroll in any 400-level course. COMM 490 cannot be used to meet this requirement.

5. The department encourages qualified students to enroll in internship, independent study, and study abroad experiences in order to supplement classroom experiences. However, none of these is a substitute for classroom experiences. No more than 3 hours of internship, independent study, or study abroad credits may count toward the 36-credit-hour requirement in the major. Please refer to items 4 and 5 above. .

Plan B. 12 hours of communication studies courses with at least 9 hours at or above the 200 level, excluding COMM 390 or COMM 490. A maximum of 3 hours of internship or independent study may apply to the 12-hour requirement.

COLLEGE REQUIREMENTS

College Admission

College Admission

The entrance requirements for the College of Arts and Sciences are the same as the UNL General Admission Requirements. Students who are admitted through the Admission by Review process may have certain conditions attached to their enrollment at UNL. These conditions are explained under “Removal of Deficiencies.”

In addition to these requirements, the College of Arts and Sciences strongly recommends a third and fourth year of languages. Four years of high school language will exempt students from the College of Arts and Sciences’ language requirement. It will also allow students to continue language study at a more advanced level, and give more opportunity to study abroad.

Transfer Students

To be considered for admission as a transfer student, Nebraska resident or nonresident, students must have an accumulated average of C (2.0 on a 4.0 scale) and a minimum C average in the last semester of attendance at another college. Transfer students who graduated from high school January 1997 and after must also meet the UNL General Admissions Requirements. Those transfer students who graduated before January 1997 must have completed in high school 3 years of English, 2 years of the same foreign language, 2 years of algebra, and 1 year of geometry. Transfer students who have completed less than 12 credit hours of college study must submit either the ACT or SAT scores.

Ordinarily, hours earned at an accredited college are accepted by the University. The College, however, will evaluate all hours submitted on an application for transfer and reserves the right to accept or reject any of them. Sixty is the maximum number of hours the University will accept on transfer from a two-year college. Transfer credit in the major must be approved by the major adviser on a Request for Substitution Form to meet specific course requirements, group requirements, or course level requirements in the major. At least half of the hours in the major field must be completed at the University regardless of the number of hours transferred.

The College of Arts and Sciences will accept no more than 15 semester hours of C- and D grades from other schools. The C- and D grades cannot be applied toward requirements for a major or minor. This policy does not apply to the transfer of grades from UNO or UNK to UNL. All D grades may be transferred from UNO or UNK, but they are not applicable to a major or minor.

Readmitted Students

Students readmitted to the College of Arts and Sciences will follow the requirements stated in the bulletin for the academic year of readmission and reenrollment as a degree-seeking student in Arts and Sciences. In consultation with advisers, a student may choose to follow a bulletin for any academic year in which they are admitted to and enrolled as a degree-seeking student at UNL in the College of Arts and Sciences. Students must complete all degree requirements from a single bulletin year. Beginning in 1990-1991, the bulletin which a student follows for degree requirements may not be more than 10 years old at the time of graduation.

Admission Deficiencies/Removal of Deficiencies

Students must remove entrance deficiencies in geometry and foreign language before graduating from the College of Arts and Sciences.

Removing Foreign Language Deficiencies

Students must complete the second semester of the first year language sequence to clear the deficiency and the second semester of the second year language sequence to complete the college graduation requirement in language.

Removing Geometry Deficiencies

A deficiency of one year of geometry can be removed by taking two high school geometry courses by Independent Study or by completing a geometry course from an accredited community college or a four-year institution. Neither of these options count for college credit.

College Degree Requirements

College General Education Requirements

The College of Arts and Sciences distribution requirements are designed to further the purposes of liberal education by encouraging study in several different areas. Courses satisfying these requirements may impart specialized knowledge or broadly connect the subject matter to other areas of knowledge.

All requirements are in addition to University ACE requirements. A student may not use a single course to satisfy more than one of the following five distribution requirements. A student cannot use a single course to satisfy both an ACE outcome and a College distribution requirement. A student cannot use a course from their major to satisfy the Breadth Requirement (F), but may apply an ancillary requirement of the primary major or a course from their second major toward this requirement. Independent study or reading courses and internships cannot be used to satisfy distribution requirements. To see a complete list of excluded courses, run a degree audit through MyRED.

Courses from interdisciplinary programs will count in the same area as courses from the home/cross-listed department(s).

Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science (16 credits + Language)

A. Written Communication: 3 hours

To be selected from courses approved for ACE outcome 1.

B. Natural, Physical and Mathematical Sciences: 4 hours

Must include one lab in the natural or physical sciences. Lab courses may be selected from biochemistry, biological sciences, chemistry, geology, meteorology, physics and astronomy, geography*, and anthropology*. All other courses select from: biochemistry, biological sciences, chemistry, computer science and engineering, geology, meteorology, mathematics, physics and astronomy, and statistics.

* See degree audit or College of Arts and Sciences adviser for approved geography and anthropology lab courses, approved non-lab psychology courses, or courses cross-listed with an Arts and Sciences department.

C. Humanities: 3 hours

Select from classics*, English, history, modern languages and literatures*, philosophy, and religious studies*.

*Language courses numbered 210 or below apply only for the foreign language requirement.

D. Social Sciences: 3 hours

Select from anthropology*, communication studies, geography*, political science, psychology*, or sociology

*See degree audit or College of Arts and Sciences adviser for list of natural/physical science courses in anthropology, geography, and psychology that do not apply as social sciences.

E. Languages Classical and Modern: 0-6 hours

Fulfilled by the completion of the 6-credit-hour second-year sequence in a single foreign language in one of the following departments: Classics and religious studies, modern languages and literatures, or anthropology. Instruction is currently available in Arabic, Chinese, Czech, French, German, Greek, Japanese, Latin, Omaha, Russian, and Spanish. A student who has completed the fourth-year level of one foreign language in high school is exempt from the languages requirement.

F. Additional Breadth Requirement (may not be used toward the primary major; may apply toward ancillary requirements and second majors): 3 hours

Select from natural, physical and mathematical sciences (Area B), humanities (Area C), or social sciences (Area D).

Scientific Base

The bachelor of science degree requires students to complete 60 hours in mathematics and natural sciences, including:

1. At least one of the following quantitative courses: CSCE 235, MATH 104, PHIL 211, or any mathematics or statistics course numbered 106 or above, except MATH 200 and MATH 201.

2. At least one natural or physical science course and at least 1 credit of laboratory work, taken as part of a course or separately, from the following departments: biochemistry (BIOC), biological sciences (BIOS), chemistry (CHEM), earth and atmospheric sciences (GEOL, METR), or physics and astronomy (PHYS, ASTR), ANTH 242/ANTH 242L, ENVR 201, GEOG 155, and the following geography techniques courses also apply: GEOG 317, GEOG 412, GEOG 414, GEOG 415, GEOG 417, GEOG 418, GEOG 419, GEOG 420, GEOG 422, GEOG 425, and GEOG 432. Other courses that may be applied toward the 60 hour total include courses in actuarial science for which calculus or above is a prerequisite and up to 12 hours of scientific and technical courses offered by other colleges with approval of the academic adviser.

Foreign Languages/Language Requirement

Languages Exemption Policy

UNL and Arts and Sciences will exempt or waive students from the UNL entrance requirement of two years of the same foreign language or from the College’s language distribution requirement based on documentation only. The following are the options and procedures for documentation:

High School Transcripts

1. For the University entrance requirements, students must show an official high school transcript with two or more years of the same foreign language in high school.

2. For the College of Arts and Sciences College Distribution Requirements Area 5 languages requirement, students must show an official high school transcript with four or more years of the same foreign language in high school, or show evidence of graduation from a non-English-speaking foreign high school.

3. For the College of Arts and Sciences College Distribution Requirements Area 5 languages requirement, students whose native language is not English must show English as a Second Language study on an official high school transcript. Four years of ESL at the high school level (9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grades) will be the basis for a waiver of the Area I Language requirement.

Proficiency Examination at UNL

1. For the University entrance requirement, students who do not have transcript documentation can request to take a proficiency exam in the language. (This is not the same test as the Modern Languages Placement Exam.) However, UNL will provide testing only in the languages it teaches. Currently, these languages are:

Arabic

French

German

Spanish

Russian

Czech

Japanese

Chinese

The Department of Modern Languages will oversee the test and provide written documentation to the Admissions Office that the student has passed the proficiency test at the 102 level.

2. For the College of Arts and Sciences College Distribution Requirements Area E requirement, the Department of Modern Languages will oversee the test at the 202 level. If the student passes the test, the department will sign the College Request for Waiver form and indicate the level of proficiency. The form is then forwarded to the Arts and Sciences Advising Center for approval.

Distance Education

1. For the University entrance requirement, students without transcript documentation who claim proficiency in a language not taught at UNL, have the option of seeking out a distance education program in languages. If the student completes the equivalent of 102 from an approved distance education program, the student will meet the UNL entrance requirement. The student must have the course work approved before he/she takes/completes the course as equivalent to 102 by the modern languages department. The student then completes the course and has the distance education program send the transcript to the Admissions Office.

2. For the College of Arts and Sciences College Distribution Requirements Area E languages, the student can seek out a distance education program and complete the equivalent of the 202-level course. The student must submit the request on the College Request for Substitution form and have the course work approved by the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures and the Director of Advising. The student then completes the course and has the distance education program send the transcript to the Admissions Office.

Third Language Option

If a student demonstrates knowledge of two foreign languages at the 102 level, the College of Arts and Sciences may consider waiving two semesters of the four semester College Distribution Requirements Area 5 languages requirement. If this waiver were granted, the student would then be required to complete 101 and 102 in another (3rd language) at UNL.

Minimum Hours Required for Graduation

A minimum of 120 semester hours of credit is required for graduation from the College of Arts and Sciences. A total grade point average of at least 2.0 is required.

Grade Rules

Restrictions on C- and D Grades

The College will accept no more than 15 semester hours of C- and D grades from other schools except for UNO and UNK. No transfer C- and D grades can be applied toward requirements in a major or a minor. No UNL C- and D grades can be applied toward requirements in a major or a minor.

Pass/No Pass Privilege

University regulations for the Pass/No Pass (P/N) privilege state:

  • The Pass/No Pass option is designed for your use by seeking to expand your intellectual horizons by taking courses in areas where you may have had minimal preparation.
  • For students in Arts and Sciences, the University regulations for Pass/No Pass apply as follows:

1. Neither the P nor the N grade contribute to your GPA.

2. P is interpreted to mean C or above.

3. A change to or from a Pass/No Pass may be made until mid-term (1/2 of the course).

4. The Pass/No Pass or grade registration cannot conflict with the policy of the professor, department, college, or University governing the grading option.

5. Changing to or from Pass/No Pass requires using the MyRED system to change the grading option or filing a Drop/Add form with the Office of the University Registrar, 107 Canfield Administration Building. After mid-term of the course, a student registered for Pass/No Pass cannot change to a grade registration unless the Pass/No Pass registration is in conflict with the policy of the professor, department, college, or University governing Pass/No Pass. The Pass/No Pass grading option is not available to students on academic probation unless the course is offered only on a Pass/No Pass basis.

6. The Pass/No Pass grading option cannot be used for the removal of C- or D or F grades.

Pass/No Pass privileges in the College of Arts and Sciences are extended to students according to the following additional regulations:

1. Pass/No Pass hours can count toward fulfillment of University ACE requirements and college distribution requirements up to the 24-hour maximum.

2. Many Arts and Sciences departments and programs do not allow courses in the major or minor to be taken Pass/No Pass; students should refer to the department’s or program’s section of the bulletin for clarification. By college rule, departments can allow up to 6 hours of Pass/No Pass in the major or minor.

3. Freshmen and sophomores may enroll for no more than 6 hours of P/N work per semester.

4. Departments may specify that certain courses of theirs can be taken only on a P/N basis.

5. The college will permit no more than a total of 24 semester hours of P/N grades to be applied toward degree requirements. This total includes all Pass grades earned at UNL and other U.S. schools. NOTE: This 24-hour limit is more restrictive than the University regulation.

Students who wish to apply P/N hours to their major and minor(s) must obtain approval on a form that is available in the Arts and Sciences Advising Center, 107 Oldfather Hall.

Grading Appeals

A student who feels that he/she has been unfairly graded must ordinarily take the following sequential steps in a timely manner, usually by initiating the appeal in the semester following the awarding of the grade:

1. Talk with the instructor concerned. Most problems are resolved at this point.

2. Talk to the instructor’s department chairperson.

3. Take the case to the Grading Appeal Committee of the department concerned. The Committee should be contacted through the department chairperson.

4. Take the case to the College Grading Appeals Committee by contacting the Dean’s Office, 1223 Oldfather Hall.

Course Level Requirements

Courses Numbered above 299

Thirty of the 120 semester hours of credit must be in courses numbered above 299. Of the 30 hours above 299, 15 hours (1/2) must be completed in residence at UNL. NOTE: ALEC 397E and ALEC 397K do not count toward these 30 hours.

Graduate Courses

Seniors in the University who have obtained in advance the approval of the dean for Graduate Studies may receive up to 12 hours credit for graduate courses taken in addition to the courses necessary to complete their undergraduate work, provided that such credits are earned within the calendar year prior to receipt of the baccalaureate. For procedures, inquire at the Office of Graduate Studies.

Course work taken prior to receipt of the baccalaureate may not always be accepted for transfer to other institutions as graduate work.

Residency

Residency Requirement and Open Enrollment and Summer Independent Study Courses

Students must complete at least 30 of the 120 total hours for their degree at UNL. Students must complete at least 1/2 of their major course work including 6 hours above 299 in their major, and 15 of the 30 hours required above 299 in residence. Credit earned during education abroad may be used toward the residency requirement if students register through UNL and participate in prior-approved education abroad programs. UNL open enrollment and summer independent study courses count toward residence.

ACE Requirements

Consistent with the mission and values of the University, ACE is based on a shared set of four institutional objectives and 10 student learning outcomes. The ACE program was approved by faculty in all eight undergraduate colleges and endorsed by the Faculty Senate, the student government, and the Academic Planning Committee in January 2008 for implementation in the fall 2009. ACE aligns with current national initiatives in general education.

Key characteristics of ACE demonstrate the benefits of the program to students:

  • Students receive a broad education with exposure to multiple disciplines, critical life skills and important reasoning, inquiry, and civic capacities.
  • ACE is simple and transparent for students, faculty and advisers. Students complete the equivalent of 3 credit hours for each of the ten student learning outcomes.
  • Students connect and integrate their ACE experiences with their selected major.
  • Students can transfer all ACE certified courses across colleges within the institution to meet the ACE requirement and any course from outside the institution that is directly equivalent to a UNL ACE-certified course. Courses from outside institutions without direct equivalents may be considered with appropriate documentation for ACE credit (see academic adviser).

ACE allows faculty to assess and improve their effectiveness and facilitate students’ learning.

ACE Institutional Objectives and Student Learning Outcomes

To meet the ACE Program requirement, a student will complete the equivalent of 3 credit hours for each of the ten ACE Student Learning Outcomes (a total of 30 ACE credit hours). See the ACE website at: http://ace.unl.edu for the most current information and the most recently certified courses.

Bulletin Rule

Students must fulfill the requirements stated in the bulletin for the academic year in which they are first admitted to and enrolled as a degree-seeking student at UNL. In consultation with advisers, a student may choose to follow a subsequent bulletin for any academic year in which they are admitted to and enrolled as a degree-seeking student at UNL in the College of Arts and Sciences. Students must complete all degree requirements from a single bulletin year. Beginning in 1990-1991 the bulletin which a student follows for degree requirements may not be more than 10 years old at the time of graduation.