Core Courses Offered by the Department of Communication Studies

Committed to serving the liberal arts tradition of the UA Core Curriculum, the department offers courses designated as Humanities (HU) or Social and Behavioral Science (SB) for all students on campus. These courses, such as public speaking, critical decision making, interpersonal communication, and oral interpretation, not only foster the liberal arts tradition, but also exercise speaking and presentational abilities. In an open, face-to-face classroom environment, you learn to analyze and to critique the human communication practices of your classmates, while enhancing your own.

For those who want more challenging opportunities, the department supports a diversified program of co-curricular competitive speaking events. Those who take COM 123 Public Speaking are encouraged to compete for the Oscar Newton Outstanding Speaker Prize in the annual Speak-Off competition. Cash prizes are given to first, second, and third place contestants. In the Spring, finalists from the Speak-Off and other selected participants are eligible to compete for the $10,000 award in the Holle Excellence in Public Speaking tournament.


Critical Decision Making
Dr. Caroline Parsons

Public Speaking
Dr. Adam Brooks

Humanities (HU) Designated COM Courses

  • COM 100 Rhetoric & Society—the study of the impact of public discourse on the ideas and issues of culture and history.
  • COM 121 Honors Critical Decision Making—for Honors College students only, a course in thinking critically for the purpose of participating in the process of public decision making, focusing on how the forms of discussion, argumentation, and persuasion function in that process.
  • COM 122 Critical Decision Making—an introductory course in thinking critically and speaking credibly for the purpose of participating in the process of public decision making and for responsible civic engagement
  • COM 123 Public Speaking—the study of the basic principles of public speaking applied in practice, with emphasis on the compositional and presentational aspects of communication in formal speaking situations
  • COM 124 Honors Public Speaking—for Honors College students only, a course that emphasizes the connection between leadership development and public speaking, including theory and practice of basic principles of public speaking with a focus on mastery of speech composition and performance in formal speaking situations
  • COM 210 Oral Interpretation—a beginning course in the oral interpretation of literature, covering principles and techniques of analyzing and presenting poetry, prose, and dramatic literature orally

Social and Behavioral Sciences (SB) Designated COM Courses

  • COM 101 Principles of Human Communication—the study of how human beings coordinate social meaning and achieve communicative goals, focusing on identifying functions of human communication in everyday situations.
  • COM 219 Honors Interpersonal Communication–for Honors College students only, a course offering a focused investigation of interpersonal communication in the evolution in close relationships.
  • COM 220 Interpersonal Communication—the study of verbal and nonverbal communication in the evolution of human relationships.