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UW Oshkosh Communication Studies
Phone: (920) 424-4427
Location: Arts & Communications
Center, Room S123 

Communication Studies Advising

As a current student at UW Oshkosh, the UARC (Undergraduate Advising Resource Center), located in Suite 202 of the Student Success Center, is the place where you will start out with a general advisor to help you plan your first two years of your prerequisite courses.  Once you are accepted into the communication studies major and have a minimum of 45 credits, a faculty adviser will be assigned to you.

The academic advisers in the Communication Studies Department are equipped to assist you in taking the courses in a timely manner needed for graduation and they will encourage you to choose electives that best suit your interests.  Your academic adviser will be a valuable resource, especially upon graduation, when a reference could mean the start of your desired career.

If you have been accepted into the major and are unsure of who your faculty advisor is, refer to the first page of your STAR Report, located on Titan Web.

Fall 2019 electives

The following electives will be offered for the fall 2019 semester.

COMM 318: Intercultural Communication

T-Th 8:00-9:30 a.m. – Dr. Kvam

This course focuses on the relationship between culture and communication, assuming that they influence one another in complex ways. Students will work to identify their own cultural knowledge and the knowledge of their interactants to inform learning about identity, immigration and migration, verbal communication, nonverbal communication, popular culture, and privilege. Students will study various approaches to theorizing and researching intercultural communication phenomena.


COMM 325: Nonverbal Communication

T-Th 1:20-2:50 p.m. – Dr. Kvam

This course explores the importance of nonverbal communication in creating shared meaning. Students will learn to apply theories of nonverbal communication to make sense of their everyday interactions.  Students will also gain skills in observing and interpreting naturally occurring nonverbal cues.  This course will focus on the embodied nature of nonverbal communication and ways that built environments may shape our interactions.


COMM 415: Organizational Rhetoric 

Interim 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 Noon – Dr. Considine

In this course. we will study organizational communication using a rhetorical approach.  We will begin with an investigation of the communication processes through which formal organizations influence popular attitudes and individual identities.  We will also study how people in particular organizations use language to “do” things such as manage organizational crises, institute organizational change, and create public relations and marketing campaigns.  Through a case study approach, students will learn to critique examples of organizational rhetoric and develop communication materials to address challenges and crises in organizational communication. 


COMM 418: Applied Project in Organizational Communication

M 1:50-2:50  W 1:50-4:00 p.m. – Dr. Brazee

Leaders from a wide range of industries and many educational researchers advocate for the importance of moving student learning into the ‘real’ world.  Action learning projects engage students in partnerships with clients to address real-world challenges through students’ concurrent learning and application of course content.  In this class, you will work in teams within a project management structure to complete an applied project focused on a complex, urgent problem faced by a local organization.  Class members will use our course content to achieve project goal(s) and reflect on experiences related to the core functions, processes, and conditions influencing their team performance and project progress.  NOTE: This course may serve as the foundation for the project(s) in COMM 414: Communication Training & Development during Spring 2020. (Students may sign up for COMM 418 and COMM 414 OR may choose to take only one of these courses.)


COMM 422: History of US Public Address 

M 3:00-6:00 p.m. – Dr. Palmeri

An analysis of influential speeches, delivered between 1640 and modern times.  Emphasis is placed on discovering the relationship between the speeches and the historical/rhetorical situations in which they were delivered.  At the end of the term, students compose and deliver their own ‘State of the American Union’ speech. 


COMM 427: Rhetorical Criticism 

TR 3:00-4:30 p.m. – Dr. Heider

This course focuses on the analysis and evaluation of public messages, including photography, speeches, artwork, newspaper commentaries, children’s books, songs, and advertisements.  Through the exploration of nine approaches to rhetorical criticism, students will hone their writing, argumentation, and critical thinking skills.  Students will also become more adept at analyzing persuasive messages.

COMM 428: The Rhetoric of Rock Music 

MWF 9:10-10:10 a.m. – Dr. Palmeri

The Rhetoric of Rock Music examines the history, cultural significance, and rhetorical features of rock music.  The course will require that we move from rock “fan” to rock “critics”.  For our purpose a “rock critic” is someone able to shed light on how rock music simultaneously mirrors and influences the society in which we live.  The rock music critic listens closely to the expressed message of a rhetorical act (in this case rock-and-roll) for the purpose of  trying to discover what is unexpressed.  If you like listening to music you will enjoy this course.

Spring 2020 electives

The following electives will be offered for the Spring 2020 semester.

COMM 304: Business & Professional Speaking

M 3:00-6:00 p.m. – Dr. Considine

This course will prepare you for many of the communication challenges you will face both in your job search and the early years of your career. We will talk about job interviews, salary negotiations, and preparing resumes. We will also discuss how to have “difficult conversations” at work – asking for a raise, negotiating maternity/paternity leave, managing workplace politics, dealing with difficult coworkers and encountering discrimination or harassment. You will get experience in workplace presentations typical to careers in the field of communication such as elevators pitches, sales presentations, and crisis briefings. You will also have the opportunity to network with professionals in the community both inside and outside of class.


Comm 338: Freedom of Speech in the US

MWF 10:20-11:20 – Dr. Palmeri

In the United States, freedom of speech is restricted in a variety of ways.  Government can legally place restrictions on communicators, the content of communication, and the medium of communication.  Additionally, some scholars believe that large corporations restrict free speech more than the government.  When speech restrictions are challenged in courts, a very narrow model of communication generally guides judges.  This course examines the history and current condition of the First Amendment and challenges students to think critically about the meaning of “free and responsible” communication. Because of the sheer amount of “controversial” communication in our country today, there has never been a better time to take this course!


COMM 386: Ethnography of Communication

TR 9:40-11:10 a.m. – Dr. Kvam

This course emphasizes the dual functionality of the ethnography of communication, approaching EOC as both a theory for explaining human communication and a method for generating and collecting situated cultural discourses. Students will read, discuss, and collectively analyze ethnographic accounts that theorize the uses and meanings of various communicative phenomena (terms for address, leave-taking practices, and “ways of speaking”), as well as explore and put into practice techniques for apprehending and analyzing communication phenomena (participant observation, interviewing, and collection of public documents).


Comm 414:  Communication Training & Development

M 1:50-2:40 & W 1:50-4:00 p.m. – Dr. Brazee

 Working with a local client organization, we will learn and apply a multi-step training development model to design, develop, and deliver a full training package that addresses a significant gap in their employee’s learning.  The course will focus on developing your individual training and development knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) while using a project management structure to analyze our client’s challenge and build training that achieves our project goals.  In addition to equipping students for a professional role in learning development, students will be better prepared for today’s work world that expects employees to manage much of their own professional development.  Comm 414 provides a ‘real-world’ learning laboratory that offers practical experience working in teams and a hands-on, applied learning experience that is highly prized by employers. 


COMM450:  Rhetoric of the U.S. Women’s Rights Movement 1848-1920

TR 1:20-2:50 p.m. – Dr. Heider

Did you know that 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of women being guaranteed the right to vote?  The 19th Amendment, ratified in August 1920, permanently protects this opportunity to cast a ballot. How did women gain the right to vote, the right to own property, the right to divorce, and the right to legal guardianship of their children?  Who opposed these rights and why? This course addresses these questions by exploring primary rhetorical texts (speeches, flyers, and suffrage newspapers) of the women’s rights movement from 1792 to 1920.  We will analyze the major arguments, appeals, and ideas of the movement and ask interpretive and evaluative questions. Specifically, we will critically assess the connections and distinctions between past and present (including current issues in the news); examine points of contention within the movement; and explore the ways in which the arguments and appeals can be understood through an intersectional framework.  Students will also have the opportunity to study Wisconsin women’s rights activism through archival work at the Polk Library.


COMM 455: Environmental Rhetoric

MWF 9:10-10:10 p.m. – Dr. Hinrichs

Environmental Rhetoric is an exploration into the ways our language use constitutes the environments which we inhabit and, in turn, how the ways we talk about the environments influence our interactions with them. The exploration will encourage us to examine how news coverage, public policy debates, and pop culture texts (including songs, films, and board games) invite us to understand and interact with the natural world


Projected course offerings
What to do if a class is full

What should you do if a class is closed?

Paired USP Courses:

  • Comm 111
    • Contact USP
  • Comm USP disciplinary courses (213, 219, 254, 280)
    • Contact USP

Unpaired Comm 111 courses:

  • During the academic year:
    • Check TitanWeb daily to see whether a seat opens up
    • Contact the Director of Public Speaking
  • During the summer months:
    • Check TitanWeb daily to see whether a seat opens up
    • Contact the Communication Studies Chair

Required and elective courses in the Communication Studies major:

  • Contact the course instructor
  • Check TitanWeb daily to see whether a seat opens up