Courses

COM 200. Introduction to Communication (3 hours)
An introductory examination of the fields of study within the Communication discipline. This course focuses on themes of current interest and on fundamental research, inquiry, ethical standards, critical and creative thinking, and analytical skills. (Every semester)

COM 210. Public Speaking (3 hours)
A study of rhetorical theory with emphasis on the preparation and presentation of public speeches. This course enables the student to compose and defend public advocacies and to discuss and promote ethical standards in public address. (Every semester)

COM 220. Group Communication (3 hours)
A study of theoretical and practical issues arising from human communication within the context of the group. The student will examine the impact of power, leadership, and member participation as manifested in group decision-making, problem solving, and conflict management. (Every other year)

COM 230. Intercultural Communication (3 hours)
An exploration of cultural difference and the ways to build awareness and competence in intercultural exchanges. This course explores social problems such as racism and ethnocentrism and examines the ways individuals can find common ground with people from diverse cultural backgrounds. (Every other year)

COM 250. Interpersonal Communication (3 hours)
A study of the theories of interpersonal communication with emphasis on the application of core principles. Specifically, this course involves the identification of ways that communal systems of meanings shape our interactions and relations with others. (Every other year)

COM 290. Intercollegiate Debate (1 hour)
Prerequisite: consent of the instructor.
Academic credit for those who actively participate in competitive intercollegiate debate. May be repeated for up to 3 hours. (Every semester)

COM 315. Gender and Communication (3 hours)
(Same as WGS 315)
A study of gender in relation to the public sphere. The primary focus is on feminist approaches to rhetoric and rhetorical theory. Students will also examine how gender intersects with the study of human relationships. (Every other year)

COM 320. Classical Foundations of Rhetorical Theory (3 hours)
An introduction to classical approaches to the study of rhetoric. The course may be taught as a history of the conflict between rhetoric and philosophy, or as an examination of key figures in classical rhetorical theory including Protagoras, Gorgias, Aristotle, Isocrates, Cicero, and Quintilian. (Every other year)

COM 340. Organizational Communication (3 hours)
A study of organizational theory and its application to professional situations. The course entails a study of the ways corporations are involved in public decision-making processes, and an examination of organizations as systems of human interaction. (Every other year)

COM 360. Persuasion in Campaigns and Social Movements (3 hours)
This course examines the importance of persuasion in social and cultural interactions. The course will be contextualized in either the study of campaigns or social movements. The focus is on developing critical thinking skills in response to persuasive messages. (Every other year)

COM 370. Communication and Family Systems (3 hours)
An exploration of families as systems with emphasis placed on the how the kinship sphere is situated within the signification order. Primary focus will be on the family as a site where identity and a sense of belonging emerge from human relations. Students will also explore descent and lineage in the context of communal activities. (Every other year)

COM 380. Argumentation (3 hours)
A study of theories of argumentation and their application to contemporary public dilemmas. Focus is on the ability to create and defend a reasoned argument. Students will engage in public advocacy concerning contemporary public controversies. (Every other year)

COM 400. Communication and Culture (3 hours)
Prerequisite: COM 200 or permission of the instructor.
An examination of the significance of power and culture in the formation of communication patterns, in the performance of communication roles, in the representation of concepts, and in the interpretation of symbols and signs. The course focuses on how communication creates and builds culture, and then is in turn created by culture. (Every year)

COM 420. Discourse and Power (3 hours)
Prerequisite: COM 200 or permission of the instructor.
A study of the interconnections between discourse and power. The course will entail an examination of the ways discourse shapes ideology and how power relations are socially and politically constituted. (Every year)

COM 490. Special Topics in Communication (3 hours)
Prerequisite: junior or senior status or permission of the instructor.
A study of some significant topic in communication not covered in the regular department offerings. The specific topics will be chosen according to needs and interests. May be repeated with different projects/topics for a maximum of 9 hours credit. (Occasional)

COM 495. Directed Independent Study (1-3 hours)
Prerequisite: junior or senior status or permission of the instructor.
An advanced course in theory and research in communication. The student must submit a proposal for research during the semester prior to enrolling in the course. May be repeated with different projects/topics, but total credit may not exceed 6 hours. (Occasional) 


THEATRE
THR 115. Introduction to Theatre (3 hours)

A study of the nature of the art of theatre, its evolution, and its importance to the development of human relationships and culture. This course will include a brief survey of theatre history, an introduction to script analysis, and an exploration of each facet of theatre production, including acting, directing, and design. (Every semester)

THR 218. Beginning Acting (3 hours)
Basic experience in the fundamentals of acting for the stage and the camera. Emphasis will be given to movement, voice/diction, improvisations, scene analysis, and performance techniques. (Every year)

THR 235. Stagecraft (3 hours)
A survey of the materials, tools, and techniques used in the drafting, construction, and painting of scenery for the stage and screen. This is a lecture/laboratory class. (Every other year)

THR 292. Theatre Practicum (1 hour)
Prerequisite: Consent of the Instructor Academic credit for those who execute significant creative assignments in theatre productions. One hour credit for each semester of satisfactory participation. (Every semester) T

THR 302. Directing (3 hours)
A study of the principles and methods of direction for the stage and the camera. Special attention will be given to script analysis, movement, picturization, and the needs of the actor. Each student will direct a one-act play or scene for stage or television. (Every two years)

THR 318. Acting II (3 hours)
Prerequisite: THR 218
Extensive development of acting techniques for stage and film. Emphasis will be given to classical character development, dialect skills, acting for the camera, audition technique, and professional resume development. (Every year)

THR 326. A Survey of Theatre History I (3 hours)
A survey of theatre history from its primitive origins to 1750. (Every fourth year)

THR 327. A Survey of Theatre History II (3 hours)
A survey of theatre history from 1750 to the present, with units on Chinese, Japanese, and Indian Theatre. (Every fourth year)

THR 336. Lighting for Stage and Screen (3 hours)
The study of the physics and principles of lighting design for stage, television, and film. Emphasis will also be given to script analysis and interpretation into the medium of light. A lecture/laboratory class. (Every other year)

THR 337. Scene Design (3 hours)
A study of the principles of set design for stage and film. Students will analyze dramatic literature, research period style, and develop renderings, floor plans, and three-dimensional models for various plays. (Every other year)

THR 338. Costume Design (3 hours)
A study of the social and cultural milieu that influenced historical dress and its research application to designing costumes for theatre and film. Emphasis will also be placed on designing costume plates for a particular play, and on the development of skills necessary in costume construction, including drafting and draping patterns, cutting, and stitching, as well as fabric painting and dyeing. A lecture/laboratory class. (Every other year) T

THR 371. Beginning Playwriting (3 hours)
(Same as ENG 371)
The goal of this course is to introduce the student to the conventions and techniques of playwriting. Students will complete exercises leading to the creation of an original one-act play. (Every two years)

THR 490. Special Topics in Theatre (3 hours)
Prerequisite: Junior or Senior status or consent of the instructor.
A study of some significant topic in communication or theatre arts not covered in the regular department offerings. The specific topics will be chosen according to needs and interests. May be repeated with different topics for a maximum of nine hours credit. (Occasional)

THR 495. Directed Independent Study (1-6 hours)
Prerequisite: Junior or Senior Status or consent of the instructor.
An advanced course in theory and research in communication and/or theatre arts. The student must submit a proposal for research during the semester prior to enrolling in the course. May be repeated with different projects/topics, but total credit may not exceed 6 hours. (Occasional)
 

"Majoring in communication was one of the best decisions I made at Mercer.  A working knowledge of both personal and mass communication is invaluable in the academic community, the workplace, and in day-to-day social situations."
 
Jim Hysell
Junior, Communications major