Communication Studies (CST)
College of Liberal Studies
School of Arts and Communication
Department Chair: Linda Dickmeyer
4206 Centennial Hall; 608.785.8519
A major in the Communication Studies Program provides excellent knowledge foundation and general skills for many types of jobs in both the private and public sectors of the economy. The Department of Communication Studies provides nearly fifty courses in four curriculum areas: advocacy and communication criticism, broadcast and digital media, interpersonal communication, and organizational and professional communication. Each student who elects the 39 credit major in communication studies must select one of these areas as an emphasis in the program. Each of these curriculum areas is also available as a 24 credit minor. A minor in communication studies is valuable with any major.
The Department of Communication Studies faculty members help build skills not only in the student’s area of program emphasis, but across the communication studies field. Because of the department’s focus on academic training and professional skill building, communication studies graduates develop outstanding abilities in writing, speaking, organization, and critical thinking.
To declare a CST major, students must fulfill the following admission requirements:
- Completion of a minimum of 45 semester credits (transfer students must have completed a minimum of 24 of the 45 semester credits at UW-L).
- Successful completion ("C" or better) of CST 110 and either ENG 110 or ENG 112.
- Completion of CST 190 with grade of "B" or better. A student who does not receive a "B" or better in CST 190 must receive a "B" or better in CST 301 for admission to the major.
- Achieve a UW-L cumulative GPA of 2.70, and then maintain a UW-L cumulative GPA of 2.70 to remain in good standing in the major. Students whose UW-L cumulative GPA drops below 2.70 will have one probationary semester to raise the UW-L cumulative GPA back to a 2.70. Students who do not achieve a UW-L cumulative GPA of 2.70 after the probationary semester will be dropped from the major.
Students who have fulfilled these requirements must see the CST Department chair or their CST faculty advisor to obtain approval to declare the major. A current Advisement Report (AR) will document fulfillment of admission requirements. The approval form then must be submitted to the Office of the Dean of the College of Liberal Studies.
To appeal admission requirements, students must submit the following materials to the CST Department Chair to be considered for admission to the major:
- A copy of the student's current unofficial transcript; and
- A persuasive letter requesting waiver of the specific admission requirements not met that justifies admission to the major in spite of deficiencies in admission requirements.
Appeals will be evaluated by the CST Department's Executive Committee. Students who appeal should understand that appeals are rarely granted.
CST major and minor credits
CST majors may choose any minor offered by the CST Department that does not duplicate the emphasis they have selected for their CST major. Courses counted toward the 39-credit major, while they may fulfill requirements for that minor, may not be counted in the minor. An additional elective course or courses in the minor must be taken to complete the 24 credits required in that minor. Students who combine a CST major with a minor also offered by the CST Department must complete 60 credits of courses in CST programs.
General education writing emphasis
This department incorporates a significant amount of writing through the required courses instead of identifying particular courses as writing emphasis courses. Students who complete a major in this department will fulfill the general education writing emphasis requirement.
Jennifer Butler Modaff
Joseph Van Oss
- Communication studies major: advocacy and communication criticism emphasis - BA
- Communication studies major: advocacy and communication criticism emphasis - BS
- Communication studies major: broadcast and digital media emphasis - BA
- Communication studies major: broadcast and digital media emphasis - BS
- Communication studies major: interpersonal communication emphasis - BA
- Communication studies major: interpersonal communication emphasis - BS
- Communication studies major: organizational and professional communication emphasis - BA
- Communication studies major: organizational and professional communication emphasis - BS
+ next to a course number indicates a general education course
+CST 110 Cr.3
This course introduces students to major topic areas in communication while encouraging them to become more competent and culturally sensitive communicators. Students will develop speaking, relational and listening skills as they are exposed to the communication areas of interpersonal, group/teams and public contexts. This course will help students become more effective and ethical communicators in a highly diverse society. Offered Fall, Spring.
CST 190 Cr.3
Introduction to Communication Studies
An introduction to the professional study of communication, including detailed exploration of factors involved in the communication process, effects of media on the communication process, and the importance of the communication process in intrapersonal, interpersonal, small group, organizational, and intercultural contexts. Prerequisite: CST 110. Offered Annually.
CST 210 Cr.3
This course is designed to enhance students’ abilities in developing, delivering, and evaluating oral informative and persuasive presentations. In doing so, the focus of theoretical discussion and practical application will be on the use of audience analysis in adapting to presentational situations, source material in developing oral messages, effective organizational designs, oral rather than written language style, advanced presentational aids including media technology, enhanced vocal and physical presentational skills, and appropriate criteria for evaluation. Prerequisite: CST 110. Offered Fall.
CST 215 Cr.3
Influence, Advocacy and Social Responsibility
We use communication to influence one another: advocacy is persuasive communication. Persuasive communication is an essential agent of change in human culture, especially in democratic, capitalistic societies. This course reviews essential strategies of persuasive messages and engages participants in service learning opportunities to advocate for change using those strategies. It establishes basic principles of ethical persuasive communication and investigates the responsibilities of both senders and receivers to evaluate persuasive messages for effectiveness, adherence to ethical principles of persuasion, and aesthetic quality. Prerequisite: CST 110. Offered Fall.
CST 230 Cr.3
A study of communication in relatively unstructured situations, such as in conversation, on the job, in peer groups, in relationships, and in the family. Students participate in activities designed to enhance communicative awareness and skills in interpersonal contexts. Factors such as gender, culture, and ethnic origin are considered. Prerequisite: CST 110. Offered Annually.
CST 260 Cr.3
This course is an introduction to professional communication. The course focuses on developing communication skills and learning communication principles important to an organizational setting. Students will improve essential verbal and nonverbal communicative skills that are needed to succeed in their careers. While studying organizational processes, students will enhance their abilities to plan and deliver professional informative and persuasive messages. Students will also learn how to conduct effective training sessions and how to use current presentational software and technology. Prerequisite: CST 110. Offered Annually.
CST 270 Cr.3
An examination of broadcast communication principles and effective announcing techniques. Laboratory and broadcast experiences designed to cultivate announcing skills and to lead to the development of an effective on-air personality. Offered Spring - Odd Numbered Years.
+CST 271 Cr.3
Contemporary Media in Everyday Life
This course offers an opportunity to explore contemporary media and their economic, social, political, and cultural implications in everyday life. This course will increase awareness of the motivations of media coverage, media effects on social and cultural change as well as on audience attitudes, the importance of social and cultural issues created or sustained by the media, and the necessity of a critical attitude while consuming media messages. Offered Fall, Spring.
CST 273 Cr.1-3
Practical experiences in developing audio presentation and production skills as staff members of the student radio station, RAQ Racquet Radio, or WLSU-FM radio. Repeatable for credit - maximum three. This will be an arranged class. Pass/Fail grading. Offered Annually.
CST 274 Cr.3
Theory and practice of television including basic program types, equipment and staff organization, studio procedures, and production problems. Lect. 2, Studio 2. Offered Fall, Spring.
CST 275 Cr.1-3
Practical experience in developing skills in television programming as staff members of WMCM-TV. Repeatable for elective credit - maximum three. Pass/Fail grading. Offered Fall, Spring.
CST 301 Cr.3
Theories of Communication
A survey of theories used in the field of Communication Studies. Consideration is given to theories that explain communication behavior in interpersonal, group, public, media, intercultural, and gendered contexts. The role of theory in research is examined through the development of a theory driven review and synthesis of communication literature. Prerequisite: CST 190; 6 additional credits in communication studies (excluding CST 110). Offered Annually.
CST 310 Cr.3
An introductory course covering the concepts, formats and strategies of debating. Emphasis is on the development of personal skills of argumentation. Prerequisite: CST 110. Offered Occasionally.
CST 315 Cr.3
Communication criticism, a fundamental practice in communication studies, describes, explains and evaluates why messages succeed or fail in achieving their intended purposes. Participants learn to conduct systematic analysis of persuasive messages to describe their key elements: language, organization, content, persuasive communication strategies, visual images, and choice of medium. Analysis is use to explain why particular elements were used in adapting messages to intended audiences and specific cultural contexts of those messages. Participants apply various qualitative methods of communication criticism to significant cultural discourse, such as speeches, commercials, public service announcements, and Web pages to evaluate messages for effectiveness, ethical acceptability, cultural impact, and aesthetic value. Prerequisite: CST 190. Offered Spring.
CST 330 Cr.3
This course is designed to explore the various dimensions of nonverbal communication in human interaction. Students will learn and practice nonverbal communication skills (e.g., interviewing, deciphering), examine research on the functions of nonverbal communication (e.g., expressing emotions, sending relational messages), and explore how the different nonverbal cues (e.g., touch, eye behavior) affect human communication. Prerequisite: CST 190. Offered Occasionally.
CST 332 Cr.3
The primary objective of this course is to provide an overview of the study of cultures and their effects on communication. Cultural, socio-cultural, psychocultural and environmental influences will be explored in terms of how they affect the communication process. Communication behavior (both verbal and nonverbal) will be examined to determine its role in other cultures. Students will learn to communicate more competently with people from other cultures and ethnic groups. Prerequisite: CST 190 or CST 230 or TSL 300. Offered Occasionally.
CST 333 Cr.3
Lying and Deception in Human Interaction
An in-depth exploration of the pervasive communicative phenomenon of deception and lying. This course explores the varieties of deceptive communication and their causes and consequences in a wide range of contexts, including romantic relationships, cyberspace, criminal justice, advertising, mass media, and politics. Particular attention will be given to opportunities and pitfalls in identifying potentially deceptive behavior. Prerequisite: CST 190 or permission of instructor. Offered Occasionally.
CST 334 Cr.3
Explores the theory and practice of communication among gender identities. Focuses on understanding the similarities and differences of communicative behaviors (verbal, nonverbal, power, conflict and listening) among gender identities in various contexts such as intimate relationships, friendships, educational settings, the work place and media. Prerequisite: CST 230 or WGS 100. Offered Fall, Spring.
CST 336 Cr.3
Provides an investigation of how communication relates to all aspects of family life, including such areas as marriage types, power and intimacy in the marital relationship, changes in the marital roles, myths and metaphors of the family, and the transformation of the 'typical' American family. Prerequisite: CST 190 and CST 230. Offered Fall, Spring.
CST 337 Cr.3
Communication and Race
Human understanding of ethnicity and race is established, maintained, and changed by communication. Therefore this course uses a communication perspective to examine interpersonal and mediated messages about race. From the perspective of communication studies, ethnicity and race are continuously defined, interpreted, and acted out as we communicate with one another on a daily basis in all contexts. This course introduces students to communication research on ethnicity, race and other aspects of identity such as gender and class. This course also provides exposure to related research in other disciplines. Prerequisite: completion of at least 9 credits in communication studies courses excluding CST 110. Offered Occasionally.
CST 338 Cr.3
Sexuality and Romance in Media
This course examines the role of print and electronic media in constructing and/or reinforcing unrealistic mythic and stereotypic images and ideals of sex, love, and romance and the impact of these portrayals on men, women, and children. Multidisciplinary research and theory provide the basis for the focus on practical applications. Students will attempt to identify mass media myths and unrealistic portrayals. Prerequisite: CST 230 or WGS 100. Offered Occasionally.
CST 350 Cr.3
Analysis of traditional and contemporary theories of communication in the context of modern complex organizations. Emphasis is placed on how communication serves to create and recreate formal and informal organizational structures. Particular attention is paid to the theoretical approaches to organizational communication that can be used to describe, analyze, and offer solutions to organizational problems. Prerequisite: CST 190; CST 260. Offered Fall, Spring.
CST 351 Cr.3
Interviewing: Principles and Processes
This course is designed to enhance understanding of and participation in a range of interviews that occur in our society. Students will increase their proficiency by participating in interviews, both as interviewers and interviewees. Emphasis is placed on learning effective communication skills and practicing important communication principles inherent in the following forms of interviews: employment (including portfolio presentation), performance review, information gathering, persuasive, and probing. Students will also learn how to critically examine interview behaviors. Prerequisite: CST 190 or CST 230 or CST 260; declared communication studies major or minor. Offered Fall.
CST 354 Cr.3
This course provides students with basic knowledge and skills essential for communicating in the health and medical professions. Topics include the role of interpersonal, group, organizational, and intercultural communication in health care, ethical and legal aspects of health communication, and communication strategies for encouraging patient/client compliance and working with special needs patients. Prerequisite: CST 110. Offered Fall.
CST 355 Cr.3
Diversity and Organizational Communication
This course will explore how issues of diversity such as race, ethnicity, physical and mental ability, sexual orientation, gender, socioeconomic background, age, religion and veteran status impact communication in modern organizations. As organizational life becomes increasingly complex, it is vital to understand how diversity affects relationships at work with superiors, subordinates, coworkers, and the organization's customers or clients. Diversity will be treated not only as a potential site for communication challenges and misunderstandings, but also as an opportunity to enrich organizational culture, organizational decision making, and overall employee job satisfaction. Prerequisite: CST 190. Offered Occasionally.
CST 360 Cr.3
An introductory study of the field of public relations, dealing with the effect of public opinion on an organization and its actions, the various publics of an organization, and the channels of communication used in current public relations practices. Prerequisite: CST 190. Offered Occasionally.
CST 365 Cr.3
Communication in Teams
In this course, students will study group and team communication theories and processes by observing and participating in teams. As team members, students will apply communication theory to enhance their effectiveness as team members and leaders. Prerequisite: CST 110. Not open for credit to students who have completed or are enrolled in PSY 343 or SOC 334. Offered Annually.
CST 370 Cr.3
Broadcast Media Writing
A laboratory course in the preparation and presentation of news and continuity programs for the electronic media. Consideration of and practice in writing interviews, documentaries, newscasts, commercials, public service announcements, and dramatic programs. Planning and preparation of special audio and visual materials. Prerequisite: ENG 110 or ENG 112. Offered Fall.
CST 371 Cr.3
An introduction to the subject of making decisions about media. The selection and use of media to fulfill marketing objectives and strategy as well as audience studies to describe appeals of the various media to the public; readership and listenership. A discussion of studies to predict audience behavior. Offered Occasionally.
CST 372 Cr.3
Specialized work in news, public affairs, special events, programming, production, and operations on student radio station, RAQ Racquet Radio, or WLSU-FM. Students will work in the area of their choice, refining skills in practical daily radio station operation. Offered Occasionally.
CST 374 Cr.1-3
Specialized work in television, emphasizing experience for students in the roles of producer, writer, and executive producer for WMCM-TV. Students gain experience in producing, writing, and reporting news stories, newscasts and news features. They produce and write scripts for sports features, promotions, as well as interview and talk programs that are broadcast on WMCM-TV. In the laboratory environment, assignments are directed toward providing students with the abilities needed in producing/writing for programs in a typical broadcast facility. Ethical considerations are emphasized in the editorial decision-making process. Lect. 1-3, Studio 2-6. Offered Fall, Spring.
CST 376 Cr.3
Remote Video Operations
This course is an introduction to remote video production. It is designed to give the student a theoretical and practical background in on-location productions and basic computer editing techniques. Remote productions may consist of news packages, sports highlights, a mini-documentary, and on-location interviews. Offered Fall - Odd Numbered Years.
CST 378 Cr.3
Computer Mediated Communication
This course is an overview of computer-mediated communication (CMC) and new media technologies, exploring the characteristics of CMC and its technology together with its effects on the process and dynamics of human communication and society. The dynamics of CMC will be explored including its relationships to a variety of communication contexts, including interpersonal, organizational, small group, broadcasting, and public discourse. Students will engage in introductory hands-on Web production and CMC exercises and read critical essays about Internet culture and theories of CMC. Prerequisite: CST 190. Offered Annually.
CST 380 Cr.3
An in-depth exploration of the communicative phenomenon of leadership. Theories and research methods used by noted communication and leadership scholars will be discussed and critiqued. Topics covered may include notions of leadership and organizations as places of leadership. Additional topics will focus on leaders as communicators, creators and sustainers of organizational culture, decision makers, change agents, and facilitators. Prerequisite: CST 190. Offered Annually.
CST 391 Cr.1-3
Practical Applications in Communication Studies
Registration for CST 391 requires approval from a CST faculty member willing to be the instructor of record. Students must complete paperwork with the faculty member and ensure academic application to the experience. Provides opportunity for individual applied activities and projects that entail intensive use of developed communication skills and/or specialized knowledge based on communication coursework. Must be supervised by a CST faculty member. Repeatable for credit-maximum 3. Prerequisite: communication studies major or minor; completion of at least 9 credits of communication studies courses above CST 110. Consent of instructor. Pass/Fail grading. Offered Annually.
CST 392 Cr.1-3
Public Speaking Center Practicum
This course is designed to offer training and supervision for Public Speaking Center peer consultants. The course will include an overview of research and theory on communication centers, a review of public speaking best practices, and examination of strategies for facilitating consultations with various client populations. Based on readings, classroom application exercises, and discussions, peer consultants will develop skills in facilitating one-on-one consultations, providing constructive criticism, and guiding student-speakers through meaningful revision. Students who repeat the course will engage more deeply with the content and be expected to take on leadership roles. Prerequisite: CST 110. To enroll, students must submit an application and complete an interview. Selection is competitive. See FAQs on the Public Speaking Center website. Consent of department. Pass/Fail grading. Offered Fall, Spring.
CST 399 Cr.1-3
Independent Study in Communication Studies
Directed individual communication studies project under the supervision of a communication studies faculty member. May be a performance-oriented project or a research-based project to bring about a focused scholarly outcome. Project must include a final report as determined through consultation with supervising faculty. Project must be approved and supervised by a department faculty member and have prior consent of the executive committee of the department. Repeatable for credit - maximum 3. Prerequisite: communication studies major or minor; completion of at least 12 credits of communication studies courses above CST 110; junior standing. Consent of department. Offered Annually.
CST 410 Cr.3
Advocacy and Argumentation
Examines elements and strategies of argumentation. Focuses on evidence, reasoning, refutation, fallacies, strategies, and methods of argument analysis. Practice in individual and group argumentation, including parliamentary procedure. Prerequisite: junior standing. Offered Spring.
CST 412 Cr.3
Advocacy and Persuasion
Contemporary theory and research in persuasion. Includes focus on persuasive strategies, appeals, audience adaptation, and ethics across different communication contexts. Prerequisite: CST 190; junior standing. Offered Fall.
CST 413 Cr.3
Advocacy and Persuasive Campaigns
Contemporary theory and research in persuasion with a special focus on campaigns. Students will apply course material while organizing and implementing a persuasive campaign. This course examines the nature, role, and processes of communication campaigns and movements. Prerequisite: CST 190; junior standing. Offered Occasionally.
CST 415 Cr.3
Advanced Topics in Advocacy and Communication Criticism
Participants apply methods of communication criticism to significant examples of persuasive cultural discourse in order to identify and describe their persuasive strategies, explain why those strategies were used, and evaluate their effects, ethical acceptability, cultural impact and aesthetic value. Methods applied and types of persuasive cultural discourse analyzed vary depending on instructor’s and participants' interests. Participants conduct research projects using selected qualitative critical methods and write critical research reports about specific examples of the type of persuasive cultural discourse selected. Prerequisite: CST 190; junior standing. Offered Fall - Odd Numbered Years.
CST 419 Cr.3
Communication, Media and Identity
Mass media frequently represents and perpetuate stereotypes of social groups. When we are isolated from groups different from ourselves, we tend to define these groups by how they are represented in mass media. To some extent, we also define ourselves in relation to mass media representations of groups with which we identify. Communication among individuals and social groups is influenced by mass media’s representations of social groups. This course facilitates critical examination of social stereotypes perpetuated by mass media and investigation of the effects of these stereotypes on communication in various social contexts. Prerequisite: CST 190. Offered Occasionally.
CST 430 Cr.3
Advanced Topics in Interpersonal Communication
An in-depth exploration of interpersonal communication theories and applications in particular relational contexts such as family, friendships, intimate relationships, and work relationships. Theories and research methods used by noted interpersonal communication scholars will be discussed and critiqued. Topics covered may include attraction, relationship development and dissolution, relationship maintenance, dysfunctional relationships, intimacy, and friendship. Prerequisite: CST 190, CST 230, and at least one of the following 300 level courses: CST 330, CST 332, CST 333, CST 334, CST 336 or CST 338; junior standing. Offered Fall, Spring.
CST 450 Cr.1-6
Internship in Communication Studies
An academically relevant work experience focusing on career development through professional contexts. Students pursue practical applications of course work in government, public or social service, public relations, business, industry, or related areas. A written report assessing the internship experience in relation to the student’s academic preparation is required. Credit depends on the demands and complexity and the duration of the work that the student performs. Each student must work with an appropriate faculty supervisor in his/her selected emphasis area. Evaluation is a joint effort of the cooperating firm or group, the faculty supervisor, and the cooperative education internship liaison. Prior consent of an appropriate faculty supervisor, and prior departmental approval of the internship. Students and faculty supervisors are responsible for submitting internship proposals for departmental approval prior to registration. Contact the department for information about the approval and registration process. Repeatable for credit - maximum 6. Prerequisite: senior communication studies major; 24 completed credits in communication studies. Consent of department. Pass/Fail grading. Offered Annually.
CST 452 Cr.3
Contemporary Approaches to Organizational Communication
This course is an investigation of state-of-the art theoretical approaches to understanding organizational communication. Particular attention is paid to how changes in our metaphorical understanding of organizations transform the nature of both communicating in organizations and the organizing process. The impact of new technologies on organizational communication is also considered. Students will learn how to use multiple perspectives to enhance their understanding of organizational communication. Prerequisite: CST 350. Offered Annually.
CST 460 Cr.3
Plan/Implementing/Evaluation Public Relations Campaign
This course examines the nature, role and processes of public relations. Research, planning, and evaluation will be used to implement a public relations campaign. Teams of students will plan and implement a complete public relations campaign for an organization or company. Prerequisite: CST 360. Offered Occasionally.
CST 471 Cr.3
Broadcast and Digital Media Management
A study of the operation and management functions of the broadcast media. Special emphasis on the problematic situations confronted by managers of the various departments within the broadcast industry. Prerequisite: CST 190 or CST 275. Offered Spring.
CST 474 Cr.3
Advanced Video Production
The advanced theories and practices in video communications are studied. Students carry out advanced creative problems in video production and direction. The preparation, production, and evaluation of various program styles are examined. Lect. 2, Studio 2. Prerequisite: CST 274 or CST 374. Offered Spring - Even Numbered Years.
CST 480 Cr.3
Broadcast Media and Modern Society
This course is designed to explore the interrelationships which exist between the telecommunication media and the diverse facets of modern society; to examine the rights, responsibilities and characteristics of the media and the media practitioner, as well as the characteristics and responsibilities of the audience and of the society. Prerequisite: CST 271; junior standing. Offered Occasionally.
CST 491 Cr.3
Special Topics in Communication Studies
Study in a selected area of communication studies. Varying topics will be offered at intervals, with a specific title assigned to each. For current content and credit assignment, consult the instructor or department chair. Course prerequisites vary by topics. Repeatable for credit - maximum 9. Offered Occasionally.
CST 498 Cr.3
Research Methods in Communication
Examines research methods for answering communication research questions in all communication studies emphases. Investigates qualitative, quantitative, and critical approaches, as well as underlying assumptions of all communication research. Prerequisite: grade of "C" or better in CST 301; completion of at least 12 additional credits of communication studies courses; official acceptance to the communication studies major (no minors). Offered Fall, Spring.
CST 499 Cr.3
Senior Project in Communication Studies
Either an individual investigation of a specific research question resulting in a formal written research report and its oral presentation to the faculty, or an individual applied production project accompanied by a formal written record of the production process and its oral presentation to the faculty. In addition to the course instructor each student must work with an appropriate faculty mentor in his/her selected emphasis area. Prerequisite: grade of "C" or better in CST 498; completion of at least 24 credits of communication studies courses; official acceptance to the communication studies major (no minors). Offered Fall, Spring.