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2023-2024 Undergraduate Bulletin

Undergraduate Program in

Professional Communication

College of Applied Studies


Faculty: Parker; Teaching Faculty I: Reed; Teaching Faculty I: Sellers; Visiting Faculty I: Lawrence

Students in the Professional Communication program at the Panama City campus receive a broad understanding of fundamental communication processes. The overall program combines courses that are theoretically based with those that are professionally oriented. Courses include interviewing, persuasion, communication research methods, principles of advertising, introduction to public relations, communication for organizing and a communication internship. Students in professional communication may pursue careers in information and media, as well as prepare for graduate study. Representative job titles relating to this major include information specialist, radio/TV executive, media manager, public opinion researcher, speech writer, online content manager, and many others.

The College of Applied Studies also offers programs of study leading to the terminal master's degree in Corporate and Public Communication. Consult the Graduate Bulletin or School Website for information regarding graduate programs.

Note: Students not formally admitted to the professional communication degree program are prohibited from enrolling in more than eighteen semester hours of coursework in professional communication. SPC 1017 and SPC 2608 do not count toward this 18 semester hour limit.

Admission Information

This is not a limited access program. Students transferring from another institution are strongly encouraged to earn an AA before matriculating at Florida State University and should apply for admission to the College of Applied Studies before transferring to Florida State University. Students who transfer must have an overall GPA of 2.0 or higher on all college coursework considered for admission. Students may also enter the professional communication degree program as first time in college (FTIC) students. For more information, contact Angela Sexton at or call (850) 770-2178.


Computer Skills Competency

All undergraduates at Florida State University must demonstrate basic computer skills competency prior to graduation. As necessary computer competency skills vary from discipline to discipline, each major determines the courses needed to satisfy this requirement. Undergraduate majors in professional communication satisfy this requirement by earning a grade of "C–" or higher in CGS 2060, CGS 2100, or COM 4470.

Oral Communication Competency

Students must demonstrate the ability to orally transmit ideas and information clearly. This requirement may be met through appropriate high school speech training or with an approved college-level course. COM 3110 (Communication for Business and the Professions), IDS 2491 (Communication Matters – Personal Responsibility in Public Speaking), SPC 2608 (Public Speaking), SPC 4620 (Strategic Speech Making), and SPC 4360 (Interviewing) will also satisfy this requirement.

Language Requirement

All students must meet the foreign language admission requirement. Students do not have an additional language requirement for the BS degree. The BA degree requires proficiency in a foreign language.

Required Minor

Professional Communication majors must fulfill minor requirements outside the Communication major. Students should check with the minor department for specific requirements. Minors must be approved by an advisor. A 15 hour interdepartmental minor is also possible, providing that the coursework is outside the Communication major and approved in advance.

Major Program of Studies in Professional Communication (36 Hours)

No grade below a "C–" will be accepted for any course in the major. Maintenance of a 2.0 cumulative GPA is required. The College of Applied Studies reserves the right to refuse admission or discontinue enrollment of any student at any time, if, in the judgment of the faculty, the student does not meet departmental or major standards.

Eight Core Courses (24 Hours):

ADV 3008 Principles of Advertising (3)

COM 3120 Communication for Organizing (3)

COM 3310 Communication Research Methods (3)

COM 4945r Communication Internship (3)

PUR 3000 Introduction to Public Relations (3)

PUR 3100 Writing for Public Relations (3)

SPC 4360 Interviewing (3)

SPC 4540 Persuasion (3)

Advanced courses (12 Hours):

Students select four courses from a list of approved courses.

If courses used to satisfy major requirements are used to meet the General Education requirements, no more than four semester hours of the General Education Requirements may also be counted towards the major requirements.

Major Tracks

Communicating in a Diverse World (15 hours) in the following courses:

One of the following:

MMC 2000 Introduction to Mass Media (3),

COM 3120 Communicating for Organizing (3)

One of the following:

SPC 4711 Gender and Communication (3)

COM 3432 Media and Representation (3)

Each of the following:

SPC 4710 Intercultural Communication (3)

COM 4xxx Global Communication (3)

COM 4603 Internet and Society (3)

*COM 4xxx (courses are being approved)

Digital Media Communication (12 hours) in the following courses:

COM 3521 Introduction to Digital Media Campaigns (3)

RTV 3001 Media Techniques (3)

COM 4470 Desktop Multimedia (3)

COM xxxx Introduction to Digital Communication Strategy and Planning (3)

*COM 4xxx (courses are being approved)

Combined Bachelor's/Master's Pathway

Students who are admitted into the combined bachelor's/master's pathway in professional communication may be permitted to dually count up to twelve credit hours of graduate communication coursework towards both the BS and the MS degrees. Interested students should consult their faculty advisor for more information about the combined pathway. More information about the professional communication BS/MS pathway can be found at

Requirements for a Minor in Professional Communication

Students interested in pursuing the Professional Communication minor should email staff at the College of Applied Studies to request that it be added to their official records. To obtain the minor, you must complete 12 hours of coursework chosen only from the following selections, receiving no lower than a grade of (C-) in any of them: ADV 3008, Principles in Advertising; COM 3120, Communication for Organizing; COM 4132, Communication and Stress Management*; COM 4431, Rhetoric of a Global Corporation*; SPC 3231, Contemporary Rhetorical Theory*; PUR 3000, Introduction to Public Relations; SPC 3513, Argumentation*; SPC 4360, Interviewing; SPC 4445, Group Dynamics & Leadership; SPC 4620, Strategic Speech Making.

*Noted selections are currently only offered online. At least six hours of the Professional Communication minor must be taken within the College of Applied Studies. Courses taken to meet the minor may not be applicable to any other requirement. For additional information, please visit:

Requirements for a Minor in Communicating in a Diverse World

Students interested in pursuing the Communicating in a Diverse World minor should email staff at the College of Applied Studies to request that it be added to their official records. To obtain the minor you must complete 15 hours of coursework chosen from the following selections, receiving no lower than a grade of (C-) in any of them.

One from the following: MMC 2000 Introduction to Mass Meida, COM 3120 Communicating for Organizing; one from the following: SPC 4711 Gender and Communication, Com 3432 Media and Representation; each of the following: SPC 4710 Intercultural Communication, COM 4xxx Global Communication, COM 4603 Internet and Society.

*COM 4xxx (course is being approved) Panama City campus only.

Requirements for a Minor in Digital Communication

Students interested in pursuing the Digital Communication minor should email staff at the College of Applied Studies to request that it be added to their official records. To obtain a minor you must complete 12 hours of coursework chosen from the following selections, receiving no lower than a grade of (C-) in any of them: COM 3521 Introduction to Digital Media Campaigns, RTV 3001 Media Techniques, COM 4470 Desktop Multimedia, COM xxxx Introduction to Digital Communication, Strategy and Planning.

*COM xxxx (course is being approved)

Honor Society

Lambda Pi Eta is the official Communication Studies honor society of the National Communication Association (NCA) and a member of the Association of College Honor Societies (ACHS). Lambda Pi Eta honor society recognizes the achievements of both undergraduate and graduate students, promotes scholarly activities, and rewards outstanding scholastic performance. The organization works to stimulate interest in the communication discipline. For more information, please contact Dr. Laurie Lawrence at

Definition of Prefixes



IDS—Interdisciplinary Studies

MMC—Mass Media Communication

RTV—Radio: Television

SPC—Speech Communication

Undergraduate Courses

ADV 3001. Creative Strategy I (3). This foundation course in advertising explores creativity in a workshop environment.

ADV 3008. Principles of Advertising (3). This course explores advertising and promotion as related to level of economic growth, cultural influences, and sociolegal environments.

ADV 4800. Creative Strategy II (3). Prerequisites: ADV 3001, ADV 3008, and ADV 4500. This course fosters creative and empathetic skills necessary in communicating via print and electronic media and enables students to utilize these skills in creating integrated advertising campaigns.

COM 3120. Communication for Organizing (3). This course focuses on communication and group problem solving in bureaucracies.

COM 3310. Communication Research Methods (3). This course is an introduction to communication research methods. It examines survey, experimental, observational, and content analysis methods. Philosophy of science, research design, measurement, sampling, data collection, analysis, interpretation, and reporting.

COM 3432. Media Representation (3). This course explores, observes, discusses, and understands the functions and effects of the ways in which global media represents marginalized peoples/communities. Students use this knowledge to theorize/construct possible futures wherein people have a more direct hand in media creation for the benefit of all.

COM 3521. Digital Media Campaigns (3). This course introduces important ethical issues in developing digital media campaigns as well as providing practical experience in writing, designing, and executing a digital media campaign strategy.

COM 4132. Communication and Stress Management (3). This course examines the causes of and remedies for stress in the workplace. The course provides practical education in controlling stress that emphasizes primarily organizational, intrapersonal, and interpersonal communication skills and utilizes primarily written channels. The course is reading and writing intensive.

COM 4431. Rhetoric of a Global Corporation (3). This course provides opportunities to observe ways in which religious and musical rhetoric are employed by a major U.S. corporation with a global target market. The course emphasizes observation research that focuses primarily on communication theory and methods. The course requires that students spend forty-five documented hours performing lab/field work research and/or library research in the symbols and messages of an appropriate corporation.

COM 4470. Desktop Multimedia (3). This course provides overview of operations and applications of software packages; principles of design and presentation for print-based as well as audio-visual productions.

COM 4603. Internet and Society (3). The purpose of this course is to explore, observe, discuss, and understand the complicated intersections between contemporary social problems and digitally mediated messages. Students use this knowledge to explore ways to utilize and construct mediated communication technology to increase inclusiveness and effectiveness.

COM 4905r. Directed Individual Study (1–3). (S/U grade only.) In this course, students select a topic of interest to pursue under supervision of a faculty member. It could be research/creative, pedagogy, service, or applied. Results in a final project, scope and type to be defined by student and faculty supervisor. May be repeated to a maximum of nine semester hours.

COM 4941r. Application of Instructional Methods (0–3). (S/U grade only.) This course provides experience in methods and strategies of teaching communication concepts within the University context. Individually designed to accommodate student's background and objectives. May be repeated to a maximum of three semester hours; duplicate registration not allowed.

COM 4945r. Communication Internship (1–12). (S/U grade only.) This course is a supervised internship. The credit is proportional to scope and significance of work and may not be applied to graduate degrees. The course is individually designed to accommodate student's background and objectives. This course may be repeated to a maximum of twelve (12) semester hours.

CRW 3753. Writing Florida (3). This course builds on the fundamental elements of fiction writing and helps students gain an overview of, and cultivate their own, aesthetically unique style that informs their fiction. Through workshops and revisions, students complete three written works set in Florida, either novel chapters or short stories.

IDS 2292. Communication and Dance (3). This course focuses on three separate emphasis areas: (1) the individual; (2) partnerships, and; (3) groups and social settings. The communication concepts learned through dance in this course are also applied to other social situations and settings.

IDS 2677. Female Friendship Alliances in Shakespeare (3). Prerequisite: ENC 1101. This course aims to address how the question of female friendship alliances affect the psychological well-being of women. More importantly, how is this presented in Shakespeare's plays? Students analyze relationships between friendship groups and the psychology of women in the plays of William Shakespeare through the lens of various psychologists, literary historians, and actors and directors of Shakespeare plays through class discussions, writing assignments and oral presentations.

MMC 4300. Diffusion of Innovations (3). This course is an analysis of the process of change, particularly from the standpoint of how communication is used and introduced, spread, and adoption of new ideas, behaviors, and products within a society.

PUR 3000. Introduction to Public Relations (3). This course introduces the student to the principles and practices of the public relations profession throughout all organizations using public relations.

PUR 3100. Writing for Public Relations (3). Pre- or corequisite: PUR 3000. This course is designed to develop professional-level writing skills for public relations.

SPC 3231. Contemporary Rhetorical Theory (3). This course examines rhetorical theorists of the 20th century, including Burke, Richards, Foucault, Habermas, Fisher, and Weaver.

SPC 3301. Interpersonal Communication (3). This course is a survey of recent literature on interpersonal communication including such topics as self-concept, emotional behavior, interpersonal conflict, and interpersonal attraction.

SPC 3425. Communication in Small Groups (3). This course in small groups includes both cognitive and experiential elements. Students study how small groups function as they create their own project groups and learn by doing.

SPC 3513. Argumentation (3). This course focuses on the principles of argumentation theory and the practical applications of these principles in different argumentative situations. Traditional as well as contemporary approaches to the study of argument are combined with the settings of argument to provide a practical experience for each student.

SPC 4360. Interviewing (3). This course is an analysis of the interview process in a variety of specific contexts and the development of communication skills used in interviewing.

SPC 4445. Group Dynamics and Leadership (3). Prerequisite: SPC 3425. This course is a review of concepts and research in group process and group leadership.

SPC 4620. Strategic Speech Making (3). This course is designed to enhance the speech making abilities of students interested in a career where these skills are essential. Students are trained in selecting and organizing ideas; conducing Internet and library research; adapting a message to a particular audience; speaking to main points; supporting ideas; and delivering an effective messaging in a presentation are addressed in this course. This course is offered exclusively at the FSU Panama City Campus.

SPC 4710. Interracial/Intercultural Communication (3). This course is an exploration of interracial and intercultural communication and the philosophies that underlie the concept.

For listings relating to graduate coursework, consult the Graduate Bulletin.