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USA Undergraduate/Graduate Bulletin 2007-2008


Chair: Gerald L. Wilson (251) 380-2800
Professors: Aucoin, Wilson
Associate Professors: Rockwell, Ward
Assistant Professors: Carstens, Glover, Mark, Moody, Murphree
Instructors: Dardeau, Dupree Taylor, Rigsby
Department of Communication web site
The primary objectives of the Communication Department are: to understand and teach the functions, processes, and effects of communication; to attempt to influence communication environments in which we live in a contributory way; and to provide professional preparation for communication-oriented careers, including communication technology, journalism, public relations, organizational communication, and the mass media.
Given these goals, the Department attempts to meet individual performance and career needs with a flexible curriculum. Thus, while a “core” of courses is required of all Communication majors, students select one of the six tracks offered and confer with their advisors to plan their courses of study. These focused areas of study are not a vocational education, but they will help to prepare students for several employment possibilities.
The six tracks, or concentrated areas of study, offered in Communication are: Communication Technology, Interpersonal Communication and Rhetoric, Journalism (Print Journalism and Broadcast Journalism), Organizational Communication, Public Relations (Public Relations and Advertising), and Radio-Television-Film. In brief, the Department’s commitment to a broad-based study of communication activities permits a more intelligent choice of career fields. In addition, it provides a more meaningful classroom experience during the junior and senior years. Students pursuing a degree in Communication also must have a minor in another discipline.
All first-time freshmen with less than 15 semester hours are required to successfully complete CAS 100: New Student Seminar.
Communication majors must complete the College of Arts and Sciences Public Speaking requirement (CA 110), plus a two-course Communication Core consisting of Communication Theory (CA 200) and Foundations of Communication Research (CA 300). EH 101 and 102 are prerequisites to CA 200. CA 200 is a prerequisite to CA 300.
In addition to these three courses, all Communication majors must complete 33 semester hours in one of the department’s six tracks listed below. At least five communication classes must be numbered 300 or higher and must be taken at USA.
Only three hours of credit from CA 394 or CA 494 can be used to satisfy this requirement.
General Education Requirements for Communication are specified in the College of Arts and Sciences Section.
Minors in Communication must complete a total of 24 hours to include CA 110 (Public Speaking), CA 200 (Communication Theory), CA 210 (Argumentation), CA 220 (Writing for Communication Media), CA 300 (Foundation of Communication Research), plus nine additional hours in Communication including at least three hours of upper level credit. At least nine hours must be taken at USA.
This track is for students interested in studying communication technology, including Internet-based technology.
Required: CA 220, CA 260, CA 360, CA 366, CA 445
Choose Two: CA 211, CA 230, CA 241, CA 286
Choose Four: CA 340, CA 352, CA 435, CA 453, CA 455, CA 496
This track is for students interested in studying interpersonal communication and rhetoric.
Required: CA 100, CA 210, CA 211, CA 310, CA 315, CA 410, CA 411, CA 422, CA 424
Choose Two: CA 230, CA 360, CA 366, CA 400, CA 430
This track is for students interested in studying print or broadcast journalism.
Required: CA 101, CA 220, CA 445, CA 455
Print Journalism:
Required: CA 281, CA 370, CA 387, CA 472
Choose One: CA 381, CA 382, CA 388, CA 453, CA 481, CA 496
Choose Two from Group One or Group Two:
Group One: CA 241, CA 244, CA 250, CA 340, CA 350
Group Two: CA 260, CA 360, CA 366, CA 457
Broadcast Journalism:
Required: CA 250, CA 350, CA 450
Choose Two: CA 241, CA 244, CA 340, CA 382, CA 388, CA 440, CA 453, CA 496
Choose Two from Group One or Group Two:
Group One: CA 281, CA 370, CA 387
Group Two: CA 260, CA 360, CA 366, CA 457
This track is for students interested in studying organizational communication.
Required: CA 210, CA 211, CA 230, CA 275, CA 286, CA 430
Choose One: CA 310, CA 411
Choose One: CA 400, CA 410, CA 422
Choose Three: CA 221, CA 260, CA 360, CA 435, CA 457, CA 496
This track is for students interested in studying public relations or advertising.
Public Relations:
Required: CA 101, CA 220, CA 286, CA 386, CA 445, CA 484, CA 486
Choose Two: CA 221, CA 230, CA 381
Choose Two: CA 210, CA 221 (if not selected above), CA 230 (if not selected above), CA 241, CA 244, CA 260, CA 320, CA 321, CA 350, CA 360, CA 370, CA 381 (if not selected above), CA 435, CA 496
This track is for students interested in studying advertising.
Required: CA 101, CA 220, CA 221, CA 310, CA 321, CA 322, CA 381, CA 445, CA 455, CA 476
Choose One: CA 340, CA 360, CA 496
This track is for students interested in studying radio, television, or film.
Required: CA 101, CA 220, CA 241, CA 340, CA 356, CA 445
Choose One: CA 343, CA 344
Choose Four: CA 244, CA 260, CA 343 (if not selected above), CA 344 (if not selected above), CA 350, CA 352, CA 360, CA 388, CA 440, CA 441, CA 453, CA 455, CA 457, CA 496
The Master of Arts degree in communication provides education for the student who wishes to pursue either graduate study beyond the master’s degree or a career in corporate or public communication. The department offers a thesis program. Students who select the thesis program will demonstrate mastery of knowledge of corporate and/or public communication and skills necessary to conduct communication research. Students who select the non-thesis program will demonstrate the mastery of knowledge of corporate and/or public communication and skills necessary to carry out a project.
Students are admitted each semester. The following criteria supplement the Graduate School criteria (see Categories of Admission).
1.   Submission of a satisfactory score on the general portion of the Graduate Record        Examination or the GMAT. The scores required for regular admission are as        follow: A score of 1000 or better combined points on the quantitative and verbal        portions on the GRE, or a combined score of 1000 or better on the GMAT when        calculated as by the formula: 200 x undergraduate GPT + GMAT score. An earned        master's degree may substitute for graduate entry exam scores.
2.    A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0.
3. An undergraduate major in communication or 36 semester hours in        communication. A master’s degree earned in a field other than communication        may be offered as a substitute for a major in communication. All such requests        will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
4.   Satisfactory completion of these courses at the University of South Alabama or        elsewhere: Communication Theory (CA 200 or 400), Research Methods (CA 300).        An undergraduate course in Statistics is recommended.
5.    International students must submit documentation of TOEFL test score of 525 or        above, or its equivalent.    
6. Students who are required to take the English Language Proficiency        Examination (see English Language Proficiency in the university of South Alabama        Undergraduate and Graduate Bulletin) and whose score suggests a deficiency in        the command of English will be required to take appropriate ESL courses. These        courses will not be counted as part of the student's 33-hour communication        graduate degree program.
7.    Approval by the Graduate Program Coordinator for Communication, the Director of        Graduate Studies for the college of Arts and Sciences, and the Graduate Dean.
Provisional standing is awarded to students who do not meet the basic requirements for regular admission. Provisional admission requirements are the same as those for regular standing with the exception of the grade point average and required standardized scores. Provisional standing is granted to students with:
1.    A score of at least 800 on the GRE (or GMAT when calculated by the formula:200 x        undergraduate GPA + GMAT score).
2.    A minimum grade point average of 2.5 on all undergraduate work (A = 4.0) or 2.75        on the last 64 hours of college work.
3. An undergraduate minor in communication or 24 semester hours in        communication. Applicants with otherwise strong records may be admitted        provisionally with fewer than 24 semester hours in communication, but a student        who does not have the required theory and/or research-methods background will        be required to take up to 3 additional undergraduate e courses to make up this        deficiency. While some of these courses may count toward the student's degree        program, they WILL NOT be included in a student's calculated GPA.
Provisional-standing students will be eligible for regular standing after accruing at least nine 500-level semester hours (usually three courses) taken for graduate credit toward the degree requirements, provided at least a B average is maintained in all such work attempted. The provisional-standing student who does not have the required B average upon completing at least 15 semester hours of graduate credit toward degree requirements will be subject to dismissal from the graduate school.
An applicant for admission to the Master of Arts in Corporate and Public Communication program who does not meet the requirements for admission under the regular or provisional categories, especially mature adults with considerable work experience, may apply for and be admitted as non-degree candidates if approved by the department’s graduate coordinator. Students must maintain a “B” average on all courses attempted in the department to remain in the program.
Upon successful completion of nine or more credit hours of graduate core courses with a grade of “B” or better in each course, a non-degree student may apply for regular admission to the program. Completion of the GRE with a combined score of at least 800 is required for admission to the program. Non-degree students may take a maximum of 18 credit hours over no more than two years. No more than 15 hours taken as a non-degree student may be applied to degree status.
Applicants for graduate assistantships in communication should submit an application and three letters of recommendation to the Graduate Coordinator by July 15 at which date review of completed applications will commence for appointments for the following academic year. An application may be obtained by writing to the Graduate Coordinator.
Thesis Program
In addition to satisfying the requirements of the Graduate School, the candidate for the Master of Arts Degree in Communication must satisfy the following.
1.   Complete at least 33 approved semester hours beyond the bachelor’s degree        with a minimum overall 3.0 grade-point average. At least 24 hours of these        courses must be in communication. At least 24 hours of these courses must be at        the 500 level. All 400 level courses must be approved by the Graduate        Coordinator. A minimum of 24 semester hours must be taken in residence at the        University of South Alabama.
2.  Complete successfully a comprehensive written examination at least one        semester before graduation. The comprehensive examination may be attempted        no more than two times. A student who fails this examination must wait a        minimum of three months before repeating it. Failure of the examination on the        second attempt will result in dismissal from the program.
3.   Complete a thesis representing original research.
4.   Defend orally the thesis during the last semester of residency.
5.   Complete all requirements for the degree within seven calendar years from the date        of matriculation as a graduate student.
Non-Thesis Program
This program is available to students who do not wish to conduct research or to continue graduate study beyond the master’s degree. Students who select the non-thesis program will complete an approved project instead of a thesis. The student must defend orally the project during the last semester of residency. At least 24 hours of courses in the non-thesis program must be in Communication. All other requirements of the thesis program apply to the non-thesis program.
All candidates for the Master of Arts Degree in Communication must complete the following courses:
  CA 500 CA 501 CA 502 CA 503

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