Course Requirements

Relational Communication majors must complete the three core courses required of all College of Communication students. In addition, they must take one required course and choose seven classes from among the Relational Communication course offerings. Relational Communication majors must also take any two electives within the College of Communication.  All Relational Communication majors must complete a total of 13 classes, or 52 credit hours. 

Internship Credit

Students in the major may take CMN 394 or CMN 395 (when placement relates to the major) for credit. In order to take CMN 394, or CMN 395, students must have completed the three communication core courses (CMN 101, CMN 102, CMN 103), one required course (RELC 211) and have fulfilled internship program eligibility requirements.

Open Electives

Open elective credit also is required to meet the minimum graduation requirement of 192 hours.

RELC 211


An introduction to the factors that shape communication between two people. Topics include self-concept formation, perception, message formation, verbal and nonverbal communication, active listening, and defensiveness. (Relational) (Formerly CMNS 211)

CMN 394


This course is for communication majors and minors who meet eligibility requirements. Students will learn career planning skills, explore the organizations in which they work, gain an understanding of how they contributed to their organizations, and discuss societal and world issues, as they affect their workplaces. Students are required to work 10 hours per week while enrolled in the course. Students must cmplete the Communication Internship orientation workshop. Students registering for a hybrid section must also attend five 2-hour class meetings.

CMN 395


This course is for students who wish to receive academic credit for a second or third internship. Must be a Communication major or minor who has completed CMN 394 or ISP250 and meets eligibility requirements. Must be taken concurrently with an internship. Topics include building and managing a communication career, effective networking, and leadership development.

CMNS 291


This course is an introduction to the study of communication through the observation and analysis of empirical (i.e. aspects of the observable world) data. It will stress how to form appropriate questions from the theories (or hunches, dreams etc.) and rigorously test these propositions (quantitatively and qualitatively) to see how well they correspond to the world outside ourselves. An added benefit of the course will be to show how to be a more informed judge of the claims of others. The format of the course is lecture/discussion.

CMNS 315


This course overviews the theory and practice of communication in the health care setting. Topics include the dynamics of doctor-patient interaction and the cursory nature of health care campaigns. (Organizational, Relational)

INTC 330


Advanced study in performance focusing on a specific genre each quarter such as: Poetry, Fiction, Nonfiction, Drama or Chamber Theater. Other possibilities include: performing autobiography; life performances; ritual, ceremony, and storytelling; and radio and television performances. (Formerly CMNS 330)

INTC 361


A review of the differences in communication patterns between women and men. Topics covered include language and language usage differences, interaction patterns, gender social movements, and perceptions of the sexes generated through language and communication. (Formerly CMNS 361)

ORGC 201


Employers demand strong communication and presentation skills. In order to compete effectively in the job market, students need to acquire and practice the written and oral communication skills needed to interview successfully. Furthermore, as a professional you will not only be expected to be a confident speaker, but also to organize and prepare clear, concise and interesting presentations. You will also need to communicate effectively while working as the member of a team or in other group contexts. In developing the knowledge, competencies and skills needed to communicate effectively in these and other contexts, this course will embrace opportunities for both critical thinking and applied problem solving. (Formerly CMNS 201)

ORGC 212


A survey of the variables operating in group interactions. Combines principles with practice through participation in small group experiences. Topics include group formation, group formats, organizational approaches, decision-making models, group observation and evaluation. (Group) (Formerly CMNS 212)

ORGC 354


Studies theory and practice of interviewing. Course focuses each term on a particular interview application (journalistic, employment, research, etc.) and examines strategies appropriate for interviewer and interviewee. Covers planning, conducting and evaluating interviews as well as relevant legislation. (Formerly CMNS 354)

ORGC 355


Examines the theory and process of conflict in interpersonal and organizational contexts. Focuses upon the causes, types, and theories of conflicts as well as upon practical approaches to dispute resolution. Topics include: social-psychological as well as process perspectives of conflict; personal conflict style/s; conflict sources; destructive versus constructive interaction cycles; impression management; conflict escalation or diminishment; and resolution strategies. (Formerly CMNS 355)

RELC 290


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. (Formerly CMNS 290)

RELC 311


Explores specialized topic within the field of interpersonal communication. Past topics have included: emotions & communication, gender & its relation to interaction, the "social construction" of interpersonal realities, etc. (Formerly CMNS 311)

RELC 312


This seminar explores how communication, across a variety of topics, can be understood with respect to the theory of evolution. Specifically, this course examines how millions of years of human evolution influences how people interact in their personal and social relationships. (Formerly CMNS 312)

RELC 313


This course surveys various conceptual areas generally subsumed under the broad rubric of nonverbal communication. Topics include: physical appearances, gestures, face and eye behavior, vocalics, proxemics, touch, time, environmental contexts as well as application of nonverbal behaviors to specific interpersonal communication contexts. (Relational, Group, Organizational) (Formerly CMNS 313)

RELC 314


This course surveys topics relevant to understanding communication phenomena in the setting of the family. Topics include: family systems, patterns, meaning, themes, roles and types, family life cycles, stressors and conflict, changing family forms and contexts. (Relational, Group, Organizational) (Formerly CMNS 314)

RELC 318


This course examines the role of communication in the development, maintenance, and deterioration of romantic attachments. Topics include attraction, intimacy and self-disclosure, attachment beliefs, jealousy, satisfaction, commitment, trust, betrayal, conflict, autonomy, interdependence, etc. (Relational) (Formerly CMNS 318)

RELC 319


This course explores the "dark side" of interpersonal communication by examining the growing literature on the troubling or problematic aspects of close relationships. Topics covered include relational dilemmas, relational control and dominance, hurtful messages, paradoxical communication, social predicaments, relational transgressions, privacy violations, physical abuse, verbal aggression, etc. (Formerly CMNS 319)

RELC 320


Explores the use of deceptive communication in social and personal relationships from a range of theoretical perspectives including ethics, evolutionary biology, linguistics, social and developmental psychology and jurisprudence. (Formerly CMNS 320)

RELC 329


Explores major theoretical assumptions of current persuasion research. Examines causes and effects of effective and ineffective persuasion.Analyzes persuasive skills and strategies for a variety of persuasion applications, e.g. political, interpersonal, intercultural, and advertising. (Formerly CMNS 329)

RELC 340


The goal of this course is provide students with a research-based understanding of the role of communication within dating relationships. Accordingly, this course traces the life-cycle of a dating relationship. Specifically, this course begins by examining initial interactions that are potentially romantic and could turn into dating interactions. Next, the course focuses on how people engage in dating relationships and the factors that influence relationships. Finally, the course concludes with what happens after dating (i.e., long term commitment/marriage, relational termination, or the death of a partner). (Formerly CMNS 340)

CMNS 392


Independent Study.

RELC 393


Structured and supervised student participation in collegiate debating, radio production or group presentations for various audiences. Includes practical experience in research, rehearsal and performance. Students may take a maximum of 2 credit hours in one quarter, 4 credit hours in the major, and 8 total credit hours.

CMN 101


This course provides an introduction to the field of relational, group and organizational communication. Students become acquainted with the basic terms, concepts and theoretical perspectives used to examine communication in dyadic, group and organizational contexts.

CMN 102


This course offers students a broad overview of the mass media (print, film, video, recorded music, radio, television and the internet) with a particular focus on how these media impact our everyday lives. Students will develop critical frameworks for understanding how power operates across the media spheres of production, circulation, representation and reception. Attention is placed on how the social categories of race, class, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, age and nationality inform each of these media spheres. The course also considers how recent developments in digital technologies, media convergence and globalization have transformed our media culture.

CMN 103


Examines the role culture plays in interethnic and international communication. Explores differences and similarities in cultural values and communication behaviors between and among diverse cultures and develops intercultural competence. Critiques stereotypes and increases cultural sensitivity.