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Major Curriculum - Current

         Speech Communication explores the creation, transmission, analysis and impact of differing kinds of spoken messages as they occur among individuals, groups, organizations and cultures. Speech courses examine such areas as interpersonal and nonverbal communication, persuasion and argumentation, rhetorical criticism and public address, communication development and communication disorders. The concepts and skills provided by the major in speech are useful in a wide variety of occupations, including business, law, politics, teaching, religion and public relations that require an understanding of the dynamics of human communication and proficiency in oral expression.

         A Speech Communication graduate may go into advertising sales, speechwriting, politics, education, public affairs, law, government, fundraising for charities, and management—any place where communication is an integral part of how the organization functions. Businesses welcome speech majors because all businesses require people who are good communicators; in fact, many job descriptions include “good communication skills” as an important factor for new hires. New hires must be able to work with colleagues at the employment site and to interact with customers or potential clients and investors. Many of the speech courses are designed to foster the critical analytical skills, skills sought by employers because they help students determine what is valuable and what can be ignored in an information-rich society. The careers after school are limitless and include such work settings as colleges/universities, public schools, research laboratories, medical institutions, think tanks, private corporations, nonprofit agencies, state legislatures, and a variety of other governmental positions.

         Students may also choose to further their education by attending graduate school in a more specialized area of communication, such as rhetorical studies, communication disorders (see Frequently Asked Questions), interpersonal communication, strategic communication, organizational communication, health communication, etc. The undergraduate speech communication major helps prepare students for more rigorous and theoretical study at the graduate level.

 

General Requirements- Revised 2010

  • Students who select the Speech major must also choose a concentration, Public and Political Communication or Lifespan Communication. The requirements for each Speech concentration include coursework for the student’s major field of study (Concentration) as well as the student’s minor (Allied Field).
  • Students starting with the 2009-2010 Catalog must pass two Critical Thinking through Writing (CTW) courses.
  • Additional courses from departments/schools/institutes must be taken to complete a minimum of 120 semester hours, exclusive of 1000/2000 level physical education or military science courses.
  • A minimum of 39 semester hours in courses numbered 3000 or above must be completed in residence at Georgia State University with an average or “C” or better.
     

Bachelor of Arts – Speech Major

F. Courses appropriate to the major (18 credits)

These courses are required for all Speech students, regardless of concentration.

Required – (14 credits)
(Minimum grade of “C” required in each course)

• SPCH 1000 HUMAN COMMUNICATION
• SPCH 1500 PUBLIC SPEAKING
• SPCH 2650 INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION
• SPCH 2710 ARGUMENTATION
• LANG 1002 ELEMENTARY FOREIGN LANGUAGE
*1001 is a required prerequisite for 1002

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Options – (4 credits)

 

• Select two additional courses at the 1000/2000 level listed in Area
B (Institutional Options) of the core curriculum of the College of Arts
And Sciences. Courses can be drawn from the areas of Critical Thinking,
Perspectives on Comparative Culture or Scientific Perspectives on
Global Problems

   

G. Major Requirements (24 credits)
(A grade of “C” or better is required in all major courses)

Major Core – (9hrs)

   

• SPCH 3050 SPEECH COMM RESEARCH METHODS
• SPCH 4400 DEVELOPMENT OF COMMUNICATION
                      & LANGUAGE ACROSS THE LIFESPAN
• SPCH 4450 RHETORICAL THEORY AND CRITICISM

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Required CTW – (6 credits)

   

• SPCH 3250 PERSUASION
• SPCH 4800 COMMUNICATION & DIVERSITY

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Speech majors must choose a concentration: Public and Political Communication or
Lifespan Communication.

   

 

Public and Political Communication Concentration

Select three (9 credits)

   

• SPCH 3010 ADVANCED PUBLIC SPEAKING
• SPCH 3060 COMMUNICATION LAW & REGULATION
• SPCH 3510 PRINICPLES OF DEBATE
• SPCH 3690H HONORS READING
• SPCH 4460 TOPICS IN COMM THEORY AND RESEARCH
• SPCH 4480 POLITICAL CAMPAIGN COMMUNICATION
• SPCH 4485 PRESIDENTIAL RHETORIC
• SPCH 4500 VISUAL COMMUNICATION
• SPCH 4510 MEDIA AND POLITICS
• SPCH 4515 COMMUNICATION IDENTITIES
• SPCH 4520 AFRICAN AMERICAN RHETORIC
• SPCH 4530 VOICES OF AFRICAN AMERICAN FEMINISTS
• SPCH 4540 MEDIATION AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION
• SPCH 4600 PROTEST RHETORIC IN AMERICA
• SPCH 4610 THE RHETORIC OF AMERICAN ISSUES
• SPCH 4880H HONORS THESIS: WRITING
• SPCH 4890 SPECIAL PROJECT
• SPCH 4980 INTERNSHIP

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Lifespan Communication Concentration

Select three (9 credits)

   

• SPCH 3000 PHONETICS
• SPCH 3450 NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION
• SPCH 3690H HONORS READING
• SPCH 3750 INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION
• SPCH 4410 COMMUNICATION DISORDERS
• SPCH 4470 TOPICS IN INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION
                      THEORY AND RESEARCH
• SPCH 4475 COMMUNICATION AND AGING
• SPCH 4490 COMMUNICATION AND GENDER
• SPCH 4515 COMMUNICATION IDENTITIES
• SPCH 4540 MEDIATION AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION
• SPCH 4550 COMMUNICATION STYLES
• SPCH 4880H HONORS THESIS: WRITING
• SPCH 4890 SPECIAL PROJECT
• SPCH 4980 INTERNSHIP

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Frequently Asked Questions About the Speech Degree

1) What does a career in the field of Communication Disorders include?

There are 42 million Americans- one out of every six- with a communication disorder. Each one can be helped in some ways by a speech-language pathologist, audiologist, or speech, language and hearing scientist. Individuals working within the field of Communication Disorders possess the training necessary to assess and treat children and adults with disorders such as stuttering, delayed language development, aphasia, voice disorders, speech articulation problems, swallowing impairments and cognitive disorders. They also select and develop augmentative and alternative communication systems for those individuals with severe disabilities. A career in Communication Disorders offers a wide variety of work settings including hospitals, research laboratories, rehabilitation clinics, pediatric facilities, nursing homes, public schools, or even teaching at the college or university level. Others develop their own private practice facilities, often in collaboration with other health care professionals.

2) Does GSU have an undergraduate degree in Communication Disorders?

No, but GSU does have an undergraduate degree in Speech Communication within the College of Arts and Sciences. The undergraduate/professional degree is the first degree in a continuum that leads to the Master’s degree in Communication Disorders. Under the concentration, Communication Across the Lifespan, students can obtain preprofessional course work in order to prepare themselves for a graduate program in Communication Disorders.

3) What is an appropriate minor area of study for speech majors in Communication Disorders?

There are two good choices if you are interested in Communication Disorders: one is Psychology and the other is Interdisciplinary Studies. If you choose Psychology, specific courses are recommended: PSYC 3010, PSYC 3030, PSCY 4040, PSYC 4100 and one additional Psychology course of your choice. If you choose Interdisciplinary Studies as your minor, recommended courses are in the Exceptional Children department of the College of Education: EXC 4020, EXC 4320, EXC 4360, EXC 4480, EXC 4490. Note that the College of Education does not allow students to minor in EXC as a stand-alone so the Interdisciplinary Studies minor should also include PSYC courses.

4) Are there any specific courses I should take in my core course work?

Yes. The American Speech-Language –Hearing Association(ASHA) recommends that undergraduate preparation begins with courses in psychology, biology, engineering, chemistry, statistics, English, professional writing and the humanities. The following is a brief list of suggested core courses arranged by subject area:

Math and Natural Sciences (Area D of PACE form): Bio 1410, 1420, Phy 2030

Social Science (Area E of PACE form): Psy 1010, 2020, 2030, 2040

Electives (Area J of PACE form): Exc 4360, 4320, 2010, Psyc 1101

5) Should I do volunteer work?

Yes! Anything you can do in addition to specific program requirements in beneficial. Volunteering your time to an organization or business shows motivation and an interest in serving others in the community. Try to find positions where you can gain experience working with young children and aging adults. For starters, you can call your local Easter Seals chapter, hospital, nursing home, or pediatric facility, and inquire about the volunteer positions available to you as a student. Other possible options include churches, schools, and after-school programs. Meals-on-Wheels, hospice etc. Use your imagination and get involved!

6) What do I need to get into a graduate program for Communication Disorders?

It is important to keep in mind that entry into graduate school is quite competitive and space is limited. In order to improve your chances for admission, a grade point average of 3.5 or better and a score of at least 1000 (verbal and quantitative portions combined) on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) are recommended when applying for a graduate program at most colleges or universities in the nation.

7) Does GSU have a Master’s degree in Communication Disorders?

Yes. GSU offers a Master of Education degree in Communication Disorders. This program is one of the 226 programs nationally accredited by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). The Master’s program at GSU is designed to combine academic course work and practical experience in order to prepare students for a career as a Speech-Language Pathologist. There are approximately 15 spaces per year in the program at GSU with 100-200 applications seeking admission to the program. More information about the graduate program is online:
http://communication.gsu.edu/graduate_programs.html and in 662 One Park Place.