Hiram College

preparing for the future

Communication majors undertake a robust curriculum that includes the completion of a final project designed to further develop their critical thinking, writing, speaking and problem-solving skills, uniquely preparing them for their careers or graduate school.

Goals of Communication Majors

  1. To appreciate a theory-based curriculum with roots in the Liberal Arts.
  2. To apply multiple theoretical perspectives and diverse intellectual underpinnings in the discipline to explain communication phenomena.
  3. To enhance student proficiency in both oral and written discourse with diverse others.
  4. To demonstrate systematic inquiry (the process of asking questions and systematically attempting to answer them, and understanding the limits of the conclusions reached).
  5. To engage in the analysis and practice of ethical communication as a function of enlightened and free choice.
  6. To demonstrate competency in human relational communication (the basis for faculty-faculty, faculty-student, and student-student relationships, in and out of the classroom as open, honest, and affirming).
  7. To engage in reflective construction and analysis of arguments and discourse intended to influence beliefs, attitudes, values, and practices.
  8. To engage in the analysis, interpretation, and critique of contemporary media.

Requirements for Majors

The Department of Communication offers a major requiring ten courses and one writing course. Core courses must be taken in sequence. Students must attain a cumulative grade-point average of 2.0 in courses for communication and have a C- or better in Communication 10100 and Communication 30000. The four core courses are:

  • 10100: Foundations of Public Communication
  • 30000: Human Communication Theory
  • 40100: Research Development
  • 48000: Senior Seminar

The senior sequence of the two 40000 level courses constitute the capstone sequence. This generally provides the environment for students to move to the level of researcher, a significant step in the production of human knowledge. Several students have had their original research published, and some have continued their research interests in graduate school.

The department offers courses in four areas of concentration:

  1. Intercultural Communication
  2. Mediated Communication
  3. Relational Communication
  4. Rhetorical Communication

Students must also choose a total of six elective courses from three areas of concentration in order to complete their major.

Writing Course

Choose one writing course, as designated above the First Year Seminar (FSEM) level (e.g., COMM 24000, 24600; WRIT 20500, 22100, 23100, 30400, 30500, 30600, etc.). If a communication course is selected as a writing requirement, it cannot also count as a communication elective.

Departmental Grade Point Average

The Communication Department calculates the departmental grade point average by considering all courses taken in the department that are used for the major, including the writing course.  Students must attain a cumulative grade-point average of 2.0 in courses for the communication major and have a C- or better in Communication 10100 and 30000. At the completion of the junior year, each student should perform a self-audit of requirements for completing the communication major with his or her adviser to see if the student has successfully met them all and can continue in the major.

Departmental Honors

If a student meets the criteria established by the College for departmental honors (please refer to that section in the catalog), then the additional requirement is participation in a selected “honors” discussion with other honor students and faculty to share scholarly perspectives on a socially significant issue, as determined by the faculty.

Apprenticeship in Communication

Students are also required to complete an Apprenticeship in Communication, which is an experience for practical application of their oral and written skills. This can be done on or off campus with or without academic credit. Many students choose to do internships or work in one of the many campus organizations that utilize their communication skills. The most traditional manner of fulfilling the practicum off campus is through either internships or field experiences.

On campus opportunities include working with The Advance, The Bark, Student Senate, KCPB Programming Board, Intercultural Forum, or campus jobs with the Alumni, Development, Career, or College Relations Offices. More information on these can be found on the On-Campus Opportunities page.

The Apprenticeship Program is required for all students who are majoring in Communication and is strongly encouraged for those who are minoring.

Sport Communication Media Internship/Practicum

This internship/practicum provides students with a hands-on practical experience in the area of Division III Athletics and Sports Media communication.  Students will be assigned to one or more Hiram College sports teams, and will be directly responsible in participating in the development and day-to-day updates of all social media links including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Students will be expected to attend all home competitions and selected away competitions. Students will be directly responsible for updating Blog Pages after each competition, sending appropriate Tweets  while competition is underway, taking photographs and uploading selected photographs to blog pages, updating the sport’s Facebook page, and creating 3-4 30-second YouTube videos helping to capture the flavor and culture of that particular sport team.

All expectations will be supervised and approved by the head coach of each sport.

Additional Options

  • 28000 Seminar *
  • 28100 Independent Study #
  • 29800 Internship Program: Field Experience #
  • 38000 Special Topics in Communication *
  • 48100 Independent Research #
  • 49800 Internship #
  • 62000 Radio Broadcast Techniques
  • 62100 Radio Station Management
  • 63000 Newspaper Techniques
  • 63100 Yearbook Techniques
  • 63200 Print Media Management

* These offerings can be in any of the tracks, so check with departmental faculty for confirmation of 28000 and 38000 course allocations.
# These offerings are not generally counted as part of the ten courses for completion of the major. Only under extenuating circumstances does the Department change this position.

Requirements for Minors

A minor in communication requires five courses, including Communication 10100 and 30000; three courses are selected from two different areas of concentration. These courses, chosen in consultation with a communication department faculty member, should represent a coherent study of communication relative and complementary to the student’s major.

For full descriptions, see the Course Catalog.