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Course Catalog

Communication and Theatre

Students in Communication and Theatre study the process by which messages are devised and disseminated. Attention is given to the various roles and stages in the communication process. The contexts of communication, including rhetoric, interpersonal communication, media, and theatre, are analyzed and distinguished. As a crossroads discipline, communication is studied from the humanities, artistic, and social science perspectives. The study of communication is built around a framework that allows for an understanding of theory, opportunity for criticism of messages and practice and research in the discipline. Students study a wide range of communication areas, including rhetoric, interpersonal communication, media and theatre. Communication students can apply their understanding of this vital process in a variety of fields, such as corporate communication, public relations, personnel, advertising, marketing, law, mass media, sales, public service and the performing arts. Most communication students participate in co-curricular activities, such as debate, theatre (DePauw Theatre) and student mass media (WGRE-FM radio and D3TV cable access television). Two majors and three minors are offered in Communication and Theatre.


Requirements for a major

Communication

Total courses required Nine
Core courses COMM 200
Other required courses

Students majoring in communication must take coursework in the three areas of the department (rhetoric and interpersonal communication, media studies and theatre).

To meet the theatre coursework requirement students must take one of the following: COMM 111, COMM 117, COMM 210, COMM 211, COMM 213, COMM 214, COMM 311, COMM 314, or COMM 315.

To meet the media studies coursework requirement students must take one of the following: COMM 233, COMM 235, COMM 237, or COMM 334.

To meet the rhetoric and interpersonal coursework requirement students must take one of the following: COMM 223, COMM 225, COMM 227, COMM 322, COMM 323, COMM 325, COMM 326, COMM 327 or COMM 328.

Substitution of a departmental topics course for one of these other required courses may be approved by the department chair.

Number 300 and 400 level courses Four
Senior requirement and capstone experience

The senior capstone experience in Communication and Theatre is where majors intentionally integrate, interpret, and create knowledge in their chosen area of focus through scholarly or artistic exploration and expression. This is both the challenge and the reward of their years spent in the intellectual life of the department and discipline. Capstone experiences also prepare students for the intellectual, ethical, interpersonal, and professional challenges that lie ahead after graduation, whether or not they go on to formal graduate study. These capstone experience options are described in detail below.

Most seniors will complete their capstone experience through a department Senior Seminar experience. In Communication and Theatre the Senior Seminar is the culmination of students' discipline-specific studies. The seminar challenges majors to integrate their learning in and understanding of the diverse sub-divisions of Communication and Theatre even as they may complete a very specialized and discrete thesis or artistic project. Seminar's ultimate goal is to challenge majors to produce a substantial scholarly or artistic work that reflects their learning in the major as supported by their broad liberal arts coursework.

Seniors who meet the stated academic eligibility requirements may apply for the opportunity to conduct a departmental or interdisciplinary independent senior capstone thesis or artistic project by contacting a department faculty member of their choice and completing the necessary application materials. Details of the requirements and proposal procedure and application forms are located on the Communication and Theatre Department website.

In preparation for these options, all students are required to take one of the following 300-level courses prior to enrolling in senior seminar: COMM 314 Theatrical Theory and Criticism, COMM 315 Topics in Theatre History and Criticism, COMM 322 Rhetorical Theory and Criticism, COMM 323 History of Public Discourse, COMM 326 Communication in Organizations, COMM 327 Communication and Cultural Identity, COMM 334 Media Criticism, COMM 335 Media Law, COMM 337 International Media, or COMM 350 Research Methods. Priority for placement in a fall seminar is determined in three ways: 1. Completion of all other required courses in the major; 2. Completion of at least two of the required 300 level courses with priority given to those students who've completed one of the required seminar preparation courses within the major; 3. The existing university registration sequence. Coursework completed in meeting the senior requirement can be applied toward meeting the 300-400 level course requirement.

Majors will fulfill this Senior Capstone requirement through the successful completion of a department Senior Seminar course or through an independent Senior Capstone Thesis or Artistic Project with a minimum grade of C- (1.67).

Recent changes in major Effective for Fall 2011, COMM 100, Foundations of Communication, was renumbered COMM 200. COMM 125, Interpersonal Communication, was renumbered COMM 225. COMM 100 and COMM 291, Communication Theory, will satisfy the core requirement for COMM 200. Many courses were added to those that satisfy the area requirements in the Communication major.The number of 300-400 level courses required was increased from 3 to 4.

Effective Fall 2013, the number of required 300 level or above courses to complete the major was increased from three to four. Provision was made for the opportunity to complete an Independent Senior Capstone Experience Thesis or Artistic Project. All majors are now required to take one of the specifically listed 300 level courses prior to registering for a Senior Seminar. The list of 300 level courses that count as one of the required courses majors must take prior to Senior Seminar has been increased. The minimum grade required for satisfactory completion of the Senior Seminar or an Independent Senior Capstone Experience Thesis or Artistic Project is now a C- (1.67).

Writing in the Major

The writing requirement for the majors in Communication and Theatre can be satisfied in the following courses offered in the major. All majors are required to take at least one of these courses.

  • COMM 213 Theatre History I
  • COMM 214 Theatre History II
  • COMM 225 Interpersonal Communication
  • COMM 227 Intercultural Communication
  • COMM 235 Electronic Journalism
  • COMM 237 Film and Culture
  • COMM 314 Theatrical Theory and Criticism
  • COMM 315 Topics in Theatre History and Criticism
  • COMM 322 Rhetorical Theory and Criticism
  • COMM 326 Organizational Communication
  • COMM 334 Media Criticism

Additionally, the following courses specifically include writing components designed as preparation for the kind of writing majors are expected to do in the senior capstone experience.

  • COMM 314 Theatrical Theory and Criticism
  • COMM 322 Rhetorical Theory and Criticism
  • COMM 334 Media Criticism
  • COMM 350 Research Methods

In each of these writing intensive courses in the major, students will participate in discussions about writing in the major and writing as a process. Students will also submit substantial written work for evaluation. These courses promote improvement in students' writing though a variety of methods including peer reviews, sequenced assignments, multiple drafts, and/or writing conferences. Students will be expected to revise written work in response to feedback received from peers and their instructor. The department strives to teach majors how to write as a media studies scholar, a rhetoric scholar, an interpersonal communication scholar, or a theatre scholar. Specific writing assignments will encourage students to develop their skills in summarizing, synthesis, analysis, criticism, and proper attribution of both primary and secondary sources.

Majors are required to pass at least one of the writing in the major courses with a grade of C (2.0) or above to fulfill the primary writing in the major requirement. Majors are also required to submit a substantial written project of original research or creative expression as part of their senior capstone experience to fulfill the remainder of the writing in the major requirement.

Theatre

Total courses required Nine
Core courses COMM 200, COMM 111 or 211, COMM 117, COMM 314, COMM 001 (0 credit)
Other required courses

One course in the rhetoric/interpersonal area from the following: COMM 223, COMM 225, COMM 227, COMM 322, COMM 323, COMM 325, COMM 326, COMM 327 or COMM 328.

One course in the media studies area: either COMM 233, COMM 235, COMM 237 or COMM 334.

One of the following two theatre history courses: COMM 213 or COMM 214

Two additional 300-level courses from the following: COMM 310, COMM 311, COMM 315, COMM 316, COMM 317, COMM 319 or a 300-level communication course or a 300-level course in a related department with permission of the department chair.

Number 300 and 400 level courses Four
Senior requirement and capstone experience

The senior capstone experience in Communication and Theatre is where majors intentionally integrate, interpret, and create knowledge in their chosen area of focus through scholarly or artistic exploration and expression. This is both the challenge and the reward of their years spent in the intellectual life of the department and discipline. Capstone experiences also prepare students for the intellectual, ethical, interpersonal, and professional challenges that lie ahead after graduation, whether or not they go on to formal graduate study. These capstone experience options are described in detail below.

Most seniors will complete their capstone experience through a department Senior Seminar experience. In Communication and Theatre the Senior Seminar is the culmination of students' discipline-specific studies. The seminar challenges majors to integrate their learning in and understanding of the diverse sub-divisions of Communication and Theatre even as they may complete a very specialized and discrete thesis or artistic project. Seminar's ultimate goal is to challenge majors to produce a substantial scholarly or artistic work that reflects their learning in the major as supported by their broad liberal arts coursework.

Seniors who meet the stated academic eligibility requirements may apply for the opportunity to conduct a departmental or interdisciplinary independent senior capstone thesis or artistic project by contacting a department faculty member of their choice and completing the necessary application materials. Details of the requirements and proposal procedure and application forms are located on the Communication and Theatre Department website.

In preparation for these options, all students are required to take a 300-level course designed to prepare students for senior seminar prior to enrolling in senior seminar. All Theatre majors are required to complete COMM 314 Theatrical Theory and Criticism as a requirement for the major, but a student may complete preparation for the seminar in any of the following courses: COMM 314 Theatrical Theory and Criticism, COMM 315 Topics in Theatre History and Criticism, COMM 322 Rhetorical Theory and Criticism, COMM 323 History of Public Discourse, COMM 326 Communication in Organizations, COMM 327 Communication and Cultural Identity, COMM 334 Media Criticism, COMM 335 Media Law, COMM 337 International Media, or COMM 350 Research Methods. Priority for placement in a fall seminar is determined in three ways: 1. Completion of all other required courses in the major; 2. Completion of at least two of the required 300 level courses with priority given to those students who've completed one of the required seminar preparation courses within the major; 3. The existing university registration sequence. Coursework completed in meeting the senior requirement can be applied toward meeting the 300-400 level course requirement.

Majors will fulfill this Senior Capstone requirement through the successful completion of a department Senior Seminar course or through an independent Senior Capstone Thesis or Artistic Project with a minimum grade of C- (1.67).

Recent changes in major Effective Fall 2011, COMM 100, Foundations of Communication, has been renumbered to COMM 200. COMM 100 and COMM 291, Communication Theory, will continue to apply to the core courses. The lists of course that can count toward various areas has been expanded. There is a new description of the senior capstone. The number of 300-400 level courses has been increased from 3 to 4.

Effective Fall 2013, the number of required 300 level or above courses to complete the major was increased from three to four. Provision was made for the opportunity to complete an Independent Senior Capstone Experience Thesis or Artistic Project. All majors are now required to take one of the specifically listed 300 level courses prior to registering for a Senior Seminar. The list of 300 level courses that count as one of the required courses majors must take prior to Senior Seminar has been increased. The minimum grade required for satisfactory completion of the Senior Seminar or an Independent Senior Capstone Experience Thesis or Artistic Project is now a C- (1.67).

Writing in the Major See Writing in the Major requirement for Communication.

Requirements for a minor

Media Studies

Total courses required Four
Core courses COMM 233
Other required courses Three courses selected from COMM 235, COMM 236, COMM 237, COMM 332, COMM 334, COMM 335, COMM 337.
Number 300 and 400 level courses One

Rhetoric and Interpersonal Communication

Total courses required Four
Core courses
Other required courses Four courses selected from COMM 123, COMM 223, COMM 225 (formerly COMM 125), COMM 227, COMM 322, COMM 323, COMM 325, COMM 326, COMM 327, COMM 328.
Number 300 and 400 level courses One

Theatre

Total courses required Four
Core courses COMM 117
Other required courses
  • COMM 111, COMM 210, or COMM 211
  • One course selected from COMM 213, COMM 214 , COMM 314, COMM 315
  • One course selected from COMM 310, COMM 311, COMM 314, COMM 316, COMM 317, COMM 319.
Number 300 and 400 level courses One