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USA Undergraduate/Graduate Bulletin 2007-2008


Chair: James L. Aucoin (251) 380-2800
Professors: Aucoin, Wilson
Associate Professors: Mark, Rockwell, Ward
Assistant Professors: Anderson, DuPree Taylor, Glover, Moody, Sheffield
Senior Instructors: Dardeau
Instructors: Bush, Huling, Rigsby, Sparks
Department of Communication web site
The primary objectives of the Communication Department are: to understand and teach the functions, processes, and effects of communication; to attempt to influence communication environments in which we live in a contributory way; and to provide professional preparation for communication-oriented careers, including advertising, communication technology, journalism, public relations, and the mass media of digital cinema and television.
Given these goals, the Department attempts to meet individual performance and career needs with a flexible curriculum. Students select one of the 5 tracks offered and confer with their advisors to plan their courses of study. These focused areas of study are not a vocational education, but they will help to prepare students for several employment possibilities.
The 5 tracks, or concentrated areas of study, offered in Communication are: Advertising and Brand Communication, Journalism (Print Journalism and Broadcast Journalism), Communication Studies, Public Relations, and Digital Cinema and Television. Students pursuing a degree in Communication also must have a minor in another discipline.

All first-time freshmen must successfully complete CAS 100: First Year Experience as a degree requirement. Students must enroll during their first term at USA, except for summer-entry students who must enroll in the fall semester following entry.

Communication majors must complete the College of Arts and Sciences Public Speaking requirement (CA 110) and 42 semester hours in one of the department’s 5 tracks listed below.
At least 5 communication classes must be numbered 300 or higher and must be taken at USA. Only 3 hours of credit from CA 394 or CA 494 can be used to satisfy this requirement.
At least 72 hours in courses outside the Department of Communication are required, as well as all general education requirements required by the College of Arts and Sciences.
General Education Requirements for Communication are specified in the College of Arts and Sciences Section. Communication majors and minors may use CA 222, Rhetoric Culture and Society, in the Humanities and Fine Arts Section.
Minors in Communication must complete a total of 21 hours to include CA 110 (Public Speaking), CA 200 (Communication Theory), and 15 additional hours in communication including 9 upper division hours. Students may elect to focus on a communication track as listed below, but no course except CA 110 and CA 200 will be considered as required:
  • Advertising: CA 221, 300, 310, 321, 322
  • Broadcast Journalism
  • Broadcast News: CA 220, 250, 350, 450, 451
  • Documentary News: CA 220, 250, 350, 451, 452
  • Interpersonal Communication: CA 211, 275, 315, 330, 411
  • Media/Film Studies: CA 101, CA 222; choose 3 from CA 343, 344, 351, 352
  • Multimedia Story Telling: CA 220, 350, 370, 382, 482
  • Print Journalism: CA 220, 281, 370, 445; choose 1 from CA 385, 455, 472
  • Public Relations: CA 220, 286, 386, 484, 486
  • Digital Cinema/TV: CA 241, 244, 340, 440; choose 1 from CA 441, 343, 344,
  • Rhetoric: CA 210, 222, 422, 424; choose 1 from CA 310, 410, 425
Advertising & Brand Communication
This concentration focuses on all aspects of advertising in American society, including creative, media and research, as well as advertising's impact on audiences and institutions. Students in this track will be asked to choose a specialization of Account Planning & Management or Visual Communication. Students will be prepared to develop and implement advertising campaigns.
Required: CA 101, CA 221, CA 300, CA 310, CA 322, CA 445, CA 476, CA 478
Choose all classes from Group A or Group B :
A. Account Planning & Management: CA 321, CA 384, CA 470, CA 474
B. Visual Communication: CA 271, CA 360, CA 371, CA 471; In addition to communication courses, these students must take ARS 121, ARS 122, and ARS 123.
Choose 2: CA 241, CA 286, CA 340, CA 358, CA 383, CA 455, CA 496
Communication Studies
The communication studies concentration allows students to analyze, evaluate, and critique human communication practices in a variety of contexts such as the workplace, the family and the community. Students will develop skills that can be used in many fields or careers.
Required: CA 100, CA 200, CA 210, CA 211, CA 222, CA 230, CA 275, CA 445
Choose 5: CA 315, CA 330, CA 352, CA 410, CA 411, CA 422, CA 425, CA 430, CA 475
Digital Cinema and Television
This track focuses on the practical aspects of digital television and film production. Students will gain a broad theoretical understanding of media while participating in hands-on field and high definition studio production. Students will also gain an understanding of the historical, aesthetic, and management side of media production.
Required: CA 101, CA 240,, CA 241, CA 320, CA 340, CA 341, CA 356, CA 440, CA 445
Choose 1: CA 343, CA 344
Choose 4: CA 230, CA 244, CA 250, CA 260, CA 275, CA 288, CA 343, CA 344, CA 352, CA 357, CA 358, CA 360, CA 382, CA 441, (CA 343 (if not selected above), CA 344 (if not selected above), CA 452, CA 453, CA 455, CA 470, CA 482, CA 496
Backed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, journalism promises to provide citizens with useful information about public issues and be a watchdog on powerful institutions, including government and business. Students in the journalism track choose between print - newspapers, magazines and newsletters - and broadcast news, but also receive cross-training to provide them with as broad a range of skills as possible within the confines of an academic degree.
Required: CA 101, CA 220, CA 260, CA 350, CA 370, CA 382, CA 445, CA 455, CA 482
Print Journalism
Required: CA 281, CA 288, CA 385 or CA 387, CA 472
Choose 1: CA 244, CA 300, CA 481, CA 496
Broadcast Journalism
Required: CA 250, CA 450, CA 451, CA 452
Choose 1: CA 244, CA 288, CA 300, CA 496
Public Relations
Public relations involves creating and maintaining beneficial relationships between organizations and their audiences. The public relations track provides students an understanding of audience analysis, research methods, ethics, public relations theories and principles; public relations techniques and tactics; and strategic planning. Practitioners counsel organizations in fields such as corporations, non-profit, government, healthcare and media organizations.
Required: CA 101, CA 220, CA 221, CA 286, CA 300, CA 381, CA 386, CA 445, CA 470, CA 484, CA 486
Choose 3: CA 210, CA 244, CA 260, CA 310, CA 455, CA 496
The Master of Arts degree in Communication is a broad-based degree program that integrates theoretical and research components of mass communication and organizational and rhetorical communication. The program is designed to prepare recent graduates and experienced professionals for doctoral studies, professional advancement, and personal enrichment.
The department's graduate faculty combines applied knowledge with communication theory and works to engage students to think critically as they address communication practices and issues. Courses examine how communication creates, sustains, and changes personal lives, organizations, political and cultural institutions, and society.
The program curriculum consists of 34 credit hours, including a 10 hour core, elected courses from the communication and other university departments, and a final project or thesis.
All applications must receive approval from the Graduate Program Coordinator, the Director for Graduate Studies for the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Graduate Dean. Students are admitted each semester and must meet the following requirements:
Students must submit a satisfactory score on the general portion of the Graduate Record Examination or the Graduate Management Admissions Test. The scores required for regular admission are:
  • GRE - For exams taken after November 1, 2011, the required score is 297 or more combined points on the quantitative and verbal portions. For exams taken prior to November 1, 2011, the required score is 1,000 or more combined points on the quantitative and verbal portions.
  • GMAT - A combined score of 1000 or more when calculated as follows: 200 x undergraduate GPA + GMAT score.
  • Earned graduate degree - An earned graduate degree may substitute for graduate entry exam scores. Students must submit a written request along with evidence of the degree to the graduate coordinator for review.
    Undergraduate requirements
    Students must submit official copies of undergraduate transcripts indicating the following:
  • A minimum grade point average of 3.0.
  • A major in communication or 15 semester hours in communication. A bachelor's degree in a field related to communication or a master's degree earned in a field other than communication may be offered as a substitute for a major in communication. Students must submit written request for review to the graduate coordinator.
    International Students
  • International students must submit documentation of TOEFL test scores of at least 525.
  • Students who are required to take the English Language Proficiency Examination and whose scores suggest an English language deficiency must take the appropriate English as a Second Language courses. These courses are not counted as part of the 34-hour degree program.
    Students who do not meet the requirements for regular admission may apply for provisional admission if they meet the following standards.
    GRE/GMAT Scores
  • GRE - For exams taken after November 1, 2011, the required score is 286 or more combined points on the quantitative and verbal portions. For exams taken prior to November 1, 2011, the required score is 800 or more combined points on the quantitative and verbal portions.
  • GMAT - A combined score of 800 or better when calculated as follows: 200 x undergraduate GPA + GMAT score.
    Undergraduate requirements
    Students must submit official copies of undergraduate transcripts indicating the following:
  • A minimum grade point average of 2.5 on all undergraduate work or a 2.75 on the last 64 hours of undergraduate work. Students with a GPA below 2.5 may want to consider enrolling in undergraduate classes to increase their GPA average before applying to graduate school. Students with less than a 2.5 undergraduate GPA will not be admitted under any circumstances. USA course work completed after graduation is automatically averaged into the final GPA. The USA Office of Academic Records computes transfer credit averages and can advise students in determining when the minimum GPA has been met.
  • An undergraduate minor in communication or 15 semester hours in communication, or a related field.
    Provisional students will be eligible for regular standing after accruing at least nine 500-level semester hours (usually three courses) taken for graduate credit toward the degree requirements with at least a 3.0 GPA. Applications for regular status must be submitted prior to completion of 16 credit hours. Provisional students who do not have a 3.0 GPA after completing 16 hours of course work will be subject to dismissal from the program.
    Students may register for and complete up to 15 hours without formal entrance into the program.
    Students must complete a minimum of 34 semester hours of credit in approved 500-level courses. This includes at least three hours for thesis or project work. A minimum of 25 semester hours must be completed at the University of South Alabama. At least 25 semester hours must be taken in communication. All students are required to complete a thesis or a final project.
    Core Courses
    For students with an undergraduate degree in communication, the normal requirements consist of the following four courses.
  • CA 500, Introduction to Graduate Studies in Communication. Students must take CA 500 before or concurrently with their first 500-level classes, or be given permission by the graduate studies coordinator to delay enrollment in CA 500.
  • CA 501, Communication Research Methods (generally offered in the spring semester)
  • CA 502, Communication Theory (generally offered in the fall semester)
  • CA 503, Communication Research Methods II (generally offered in the spring semester)
    Although students are advised to take CA 501, 502, and 503 sequentially, they are not required to do so.
    Remaining Courses
  • With advisor approval, students may take 9 of the 34 required graduate hours outside of the communication department. Students should work closely with their advisors to develop a plan of study.
    Directed Studies - CA 594
    Directed study courses involve independent study of a communication topic. The purpose is to provide study in an area of specialization not covered by an existing course.
  • The student must submit a topic proposal to a graduate faculty member. Once the topic is approved, both the faculty member and the student must sign a contract describing student expectations and outcomes and grading criteria.
  • The student can register for between 1 and 3 credit hours in CA 594 courses with course requirements determined accordingly.
  • The student may take a maximum of 6 hours in directed study coursework.
    Grade Requirements
  • A minimum of a 3.0 GPA on all work attempted is required for graduation.
  • Courses in which a student receives a "D" or below will not be counted toward the degree program.
  • A maximum of two courses with a grade of "C" will be counted toward the degree program.
  • Students receiving three grades of "C" or below, regardless of the overall GPA, will be dismissed from the program.
  • A student who receives a failing grade in a course for graduate credit may be dismissed from the program.
    Time Limitations
  • All degree requirements must be completed within 7 calendar years.
  • Most students who take 9 hours per semester complete the degree within a two-year period.
  • The time required for degree completion depends on how many courses a student can take each semester and the ability of that student to complete the thesis or final project.
    Course Load
  • Two or three courses (6-10 credit hours) per semester constitute a full-time course load.

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    Date last changed: March 13, 2013 11:23 AM

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