Catalog Version

Summer/Autumn 2013
Catalog update:
May 15, 2013

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Students are required to follow the Academic Handbook and Code of Student Responsibility

Course Requirements

The Master of Arts in Relational Communication requires 12 courses — two core courses, one methods course, and nine Relational Communication electives that include the option to earn a concentration in Training in Development. If preferred, two of the electives can be taken outside of the program with the permission of the graduate program director.​

Core Courses

Students are required to take both of the following:

Methods Requirement

Students choose one of the following:

Elective Courses

Nine elective courses are taken from the following list*:

Concentration in Training and Development

Completion of all three classes required to earn concentration:

* With approval of the graduate program director, students can take up to two relevant elective courses from other College of Communication graduate programs or relevant elective courses from other graduate departments/programs outside of the College of Communication.

Comprehensive Final Examination or Project/Thesis

Students in the Master of Arts in Relational Communication complete their degree requirements by passing a comprehensive final examination. Students who attain a 3.7 GPA or higher and obtain prior approval from the graduate program director have the option to complete a culminating  project or thesis instead of the comprehensive exam. Students completing a project or thesis will enroll in RELC 599 as their 12th and final course in the quarter they defend their project/thesis.

Grade Requirements

Students must maintain a 3.0 average in their graduate work to remain in good standing. Students who drop below this average will be put on academic probation and expected to attain the minimum requirement within two quarters. Failure to meet the conditions of academic probation result in dismissal from the program.​

RELC 500

RELATIONAL COMMUNICATION THEORIES

Students will gain an understanding of the different meta-theoretical frameworks used to explain relational communication as well as an understanding of what theories are and how theories are developed. A wide range of relational theories will be used in explaining what constitutes relational communication. Students will be provided with opportunities to apply theoretical concepts to everyday personal and professional relations as well as given opportunities to critique and analyze the efficacy of those theories presented.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Relational Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

CMNS 500

FOUNDATIONS IN GRADUATE COMMUNICATION STUDIES

This course provides an orientation and introduction to the Communication Studies Graduate Programs (Health, Relational, Organizational/Multicultural) in the College of Communication, as well as the larger field of communication studies. The course provides an orientation into graduate program policies, program faculty, DePaul resources, the broader academic discipline of Communication and potential career opportunities for graduates and resources in the field. In addition, the course provides a survey of research paradigms and methodologies, while offering students an introduction to areas of faculty specialization. Students will develop a personalized study plan and a literature review related to their area of research interest. This class will be primarily lecture/discussion based, emphasizing student participation, active learning, and diverse disciplinary perspectives. The course will take the form of several guest lectures, critical reading and reflection of research, and discussion. Students will be required to participate in small group discussions, and submit papers and other written assignments.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

CMNS 581

QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS

Introduction to qualitative approaches to research in communication. The course includes a systematic review and application of ethnography, unstructured interviewing, personal document analysis, historical research, and critical practice. Addresses the rationale, method, and theory of each qualitative approach to research in addition to placing emphasis upon data collection and interpretation.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

CMNS 582

QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS

Introduces students to quantitative approaches to research and basic statistics. Topics include research design and control, survey construction, measurement and other general research issues, nonparametric statistics, correlation, the t-test and analysis of variance.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

RELC 502

ATTACHMENT & RELATIONAL COMMU

This course will explore the unique role that attachment styles play in the formation, maintenance, and deterioration of close relationships. Attachment theory will be used to examine how working models of self and other influence patterns of interaction among relational partners. Topics will include how attachment styles influence self-disclosure, conflict resolution, jealousy and deceptive communication. Students will also explore communicative strategies for dealing with attachment related problems.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Relational Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

RELC 511

TOPICS IN INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION

Explores specialized topics within the field of relational communication. Past topics have included emotions and communication, gender and its relationship to interaction, and the social construction of interpersonal realities.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Relational Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

RELC 513

NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION

Nonverbal messages are important as we typically monitor our own nonverbal messages less, but believe others nonverbal messages more than their verbal messages. Likewise, research suggests that 65% of our communication is based on nonverbal messages and some estimates are as high as 93%. Clearly such messages are important, yet we spend little time examining such messages. That said, the goal of this course is to provide you with a research based overview of a variety of nonverbal messages, that is, everything we communicate without using our words. This course surveys various conceptual areas generally subsumed under the broad rubric of nonverbal communication. Topics include physical appearances, gestures, face and eye behavior, vocalic, proxemics, touch, time, environmental contexts as well as application of nonverbal behaviors to specific interpersonal communication contexts.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Relational Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

CMNS 523

GENDERED COMMUNICATION

Examines research into the ways the various aspects of communication are affected by and affect the social construction of gender. Topics covered include language and language usage differences, interaction patterns and perceptions of the sexes generated through language and communication. (Cross-listed as MLS 445/WMS 440).
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

CMNS 529

TOPICS IN ORGANIZATIONAL AND MULTICULTURAL COMMUNICATION

The current historical moment increasingly defines itself through (for, against, and in multiple relations to) globalization. This course surveys interdisciplinary theories, discourses and practices of globalization with an emphasis on communication and culture. Through reading, writing, and attending to contemporary and historical moments of globalization we consider its productive force in its transnational relations and dynamics, relations of power and uneven flows, as well as resistances and collaborative imaginaries of social justice and sustainable practices.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

CMNS 530

INSTRUCTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

This course is designed to assist students in understanding the principles necessary for effective design, delivery and evaluation of instruction based on recognition of situational learning styles, instructional content, the educational venue, and measured outcomes. The point of view of the course is that the instructional development process is a dynamic, unique, significant, and challenging concept that demands the attention of instructors and faculty in all educational settings, both academic and corporate. This course will help students reflect upon issues related to instructional development by emphasizing the realms of interaction within and about educational setting and the components that are recognized as critical in the development, delivery, and assessment of quality instructional experiences.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

CMNS 547

COMMUNICATION IN CUSTOMER SERVICE

America's economy is currently driven by service industries. In this course we will explore the communicative dimensions of customer service. By reviewing the theory and research of customer service and exploring the research methods available for assessing service, students will be both better able to appreciate the service process and diagnose and change ineffective service systems.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

CMNS 552

STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION

This course explores the process by which communicators attempt to accomplish their goals. In particular, this course covers theories of persuasion, strategic message design (creating messages that take into account multiple audiences and goals), and how the inferential process influences decision-making.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

CMNS 556

INTERCULTURAL CONFLICT AND NEGOTIATION STRATEGIES

This course focuses on the role of communication strategies in conflict negotiation, mediation, and resolution within a globalized society. Students will be introduced to core concepts in intercultural communication in order to understand differing value systems and communication strategies between cultures. The course will examine conflict situations in a variety of cross cultural contexts, e.g., conflict in interpersonal relationships between members of different cultural groups, conflict in multicultural organizations, and conflict at global political levels. Students will apply intercultural communication theories to various cross cultural conflict scenarios in order to obtain practical and theoretical understanding of conflict negotiation and resolution between cultures.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

HTHC 525

NARRATIVES IN HEALTH CARE

Focusing on the performance and narrative paradigms of communication studies, the course would survey uses of performance and narrative methods to consider health communication relationships. Narrative and narrative performance are sites of health communication issues for marginalized populations, difficult conversations, and alternate means of reporting. For example, narrative and narrative performance are increasingly being used as part of medical curriculum, as a means to train health care professionals to understand the experiences of their patients, encourage deep listening, and foster different professional-patient relations. For cancer, HIV/AIDS, and other patients, performance becomes a means of speaking into mainstream and dominant discourses of health and to actively shape discourses from their own subjectivities. This increases the visibility of health care experiences in its gendered, sexualized, and racialized dimensions. Finally, narrative and narrative performance offers an additional means of visibility in catalyzing change in public, legislative, scholarly and relational arenas.
Prerequisites:
Graduate HTHCM students

CMNS 590

COMMUNICATION WORKSHOP (VARIABLE TOPICS)

This course allows students to sample a range of hands on, practical offerings in communication that can enhance their knowledge and expertise. Topics offered include survey design and focus groups.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

CMN 591

INTERNSHIP

This graduate level course is designed to integrate the student's work experience at the internship site with a career-management curriculum that enhances internship success and increases employability.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communications student is a prerequisite for this class

CMNS 592

INDEPENDENT STUDY

Students will be guided in the development of a special project that furthers their collaboration with an instructor and produces a report that demonstrates their mastery of critical content and competencies. The independent study option is intended for students who have demonstrated a mastery of course content, who would benefit from a sustained, focused collaboration with a relevant faculty member.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

RELC 599

RESEARCH THESIS

Enroll in 599 during the term you plan to defend your thesis or complete your final project. This is a graded, 4-credit hour course. Tuition is charged. You must have a scheduled defense/completion date to be approved for this class. Your thesis/project advisor needs to communicate this date to the Graduate Studies Director for your program, before you are allowed to enroll. Loan deferment is allowed to those registered for this class.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Relational Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

CMNS 527

ASSESSMENT AND INTERVENTION IN ORGANIZATIONS

Organizations are symbolic realities constructed by humans in communication. In other words, organizations are creations, and both organizational members and observers need to comprehend them as such. Communication 527 is devoted to preparing you to become communication professionals able to understand organizations through the anlaysis of organizational patterns of meanings and expectationbs. Communication professionals help organizations to improve communication by (1) identifying differences between actual and desired conditions of communication and (2) devising ways to close the gap between actual and desired states. The first function involves organizational communication evaluation (gathering, analyzing, and interpreting data about an organization's communication processes). The second function is referred to as intervention (actions taken to improve organization communication). People who perform organizational communication evaluation and intervention may be members of the organization or outside agents brought in to perform specific projects. This class will on the role of the communication professional in the maintenance and change of organizational communication functions, structures, and the communication processes that occur at various systems levels, including dyads, groups, intercultural and multicultural relations, and organization-wide network processes.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

CMNS 532

INTRODUCTION TO TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT

This course provides an introduction to training and its relationship to organizational problem solving. Basic and advanced training strategies are taught within the context of developing organizations. Organizations often have in house training and development specialists that facilitate on-going organizational change processes. The functions of such human relations specials are explored and the kinds of communication knowledge, competencies and skills needed to enact such functions are examined.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.