Speech Communication

College of Humanities
Dean: Paul Sherwin

Department of Speech and Communication Studies
HUM 282
415-338-1597
E-mail: speech@sfsu.edu
Chair: Gerianne Merrigan

Faculty

Professors—Busby, Chaney, Chung, Folb, Jenkins, Medcalf, Merrigan, Tuman, Yep

Associate Professor—Chen

Assistant Professors—Isaacson, Koenig, Lovaas

Programs

B.A. in Speech Communication: Concentration in Individual Major in Communication Studies
B.A. in Speech Communication: Concentration in Intercultural Communication
B.A. in Speech Communication: Concentration in Organizational Communication
Minor in Speech Communication
M.A. in Speech Communication


Program Scope

Mission of the Department. The Department of Speech and Communication Studies is committed to the study of human communication in various contexts from multiple and interconnected perspectives in such a way as to contribute to a more humane world. Through communication humans form identities, connect with one another, examine values, enact cultures, and work collectively.

The department examines how people express themselves verbally and nonverbally, how people listen to others, and how symbols relate to human behavior. It acknowledges, appreciates, and integrates human diversity in its various forms. It studies human communication in culturally and socially diverse contexts. It does so by using a variety of methods and technologies to discover and share knowledge about communication and to analyze, interpret, and perform discourse. Areas of study include face-to-face interaction, group process, organizational communication, rhetoric, advocacy, intercultural communication, and performance of literature and oral traditions.

Students of speech communication can expect to develop skills essential for leadership, for career development, and for understanding and interpreting events. They learn to advocate and critically debate ideas in social and political settings, appreciate diverse communication styles, work productively in task-oriented groups, and engage in rewarding interpersonal relationships.

The department works to express, as accurately and clearly as it can, what it perceives, feels, and believes, encouraging students to do the same so that it may engage openly in genuine dialogue. It also encourages the practice of hearing and honoring a variety of voices and celebrating creative and humane approaches to solving complex human problems in our local and global communities.

Advising. Students must work with an adviser in designing their academic programs for the degree in Speech Communication. Students must consult with their adviser at the start of the program, and every student's application for graduation (undergraduate) must be signed by an adviser who has worked with that student and has approved the major program. Students may select an adviser or ask to be assigned to an adviser by contacting the department.

Special Programs. See advisers before selecting these programs.

Forensics: A competitive intercollegiate program in policy debate and individual speaking events such as oral interpretation, extemporaneous and persuasive speaking. Director: Whalen.

English Language Arts: Students who wish to teach at the secondary level (grades 7-12) may prepare for the Secondary Credential Program with a subject matter program in English Language Arts. A program that combines speech communication and English is available. Adviser: Chaney.

Career Outlook

Graduates in speech communication have an excellent track record entering their chosen career fields and attending graduate and professional schools. Speech communication graduates have secured positions as public relations managers, human resources trainers, employment recruiting specialists, marketing representatives, investigators of civil rights, broadcasters, news reporters, sales representatives, and counselors, among others. Advisers can assist students in planning concentrations that are attractive to graduate schools and to prospective employers.

The department's internship program has helped many students begin their careers. The program offers over 160 internship opportunities. Students are encouraged to seek advising from the department's internship coordinator—Isaacson.

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN SPEECH COMMUNICATION

Requirements for the Major

Students pursuing a B.A. in Speech Communication must complete a 44-unit program consisting of twenty units of core requirements and additional requirements within one of three concentrations. Core requirements include five core courses from five core areas: Communication Theory and Human Interaction, Symbol Systems, Rhetorical Theory and Criticism, Public Communication Skills, and Communication and Diversity.

A maximum of eight units outside of speech and communication studies may be counted toward the major, and these units must be approved by a major adviser.

A maximum of eight units in any combination of SPCH 685, 695, or 699 may be counted toward the major.

Courses used to fulfill Segment I, General Education requirements, cannot be used to fulfill major requirements. Upon the approval of an adviser, up to twelve units of other lower division units may be counted toward the major.

On-line course descriptions are available.

Core Area Requirements Units
Upon the recommendation of a major adviser and approval of the department chair, students may substitute a course in a core area to satisfy the respective core requirements.
Communication Theory and Human Interaction Area 4
SPCH 321 Communication Theory
Symbol Systems Area 4
SPCH 331 Verbal and Nonverbal Symbols
Rhetorical Theory and Criticism Area 4
SPCH 341 Rhetorical Theory
Public Communication Skills Area 4
SPCH 351 Public Speaking
Communication and Diversity Area 4
One course selected from:  
 SPCH 541 Intercultural Communication
 SPCH 542 Intracultural Communication
 SPCH 503 Gender and Communication
 SPCH 525 Sexual Identity and Communication
 SPCH 543 Dialogues Across Differences
Total for core 20

Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication: Concentration in Individual Major in Communication Studies

Program    Units
Core Area Requirements (see above) 20
Courses in speech and communication studies with a related and coherent focus or emphasis selected with the approval of a major adviser. One course must be a research methods course (SPCH 661, 662, or 663.) 24
Total for major 44

Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication: Concentration in Organizational Communication

Program Units
Core Area Requirements (see above) 20
SPCH 522 Communication Analysis in Organizations 4
SPCH 661 Communication Research Strategies 4
SPCH 695 Internship/Service Learning in Communication Studies 4
Elective courses related to organizational communication selected with approval of a major adviser (may include up to 8 units from allied departments) 12
Total for major 44

Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication: Concentration in Intercultural Communication

Program Units
Core Area Requirements (see above) 20
SPCH 541 Intercultural Communication 4
SPCH 542 Intracultural Communication 4
SPCH 661 Communication Research Strategies 4
Elective units related to intercultural communication with approval of a major adviser (may include up to 8 units from allied departments) 12
Total for major 44

MINOR IN SPEECH COMMUNICATION

Three courses (twelve units), each of which is from a different core area and eight units selected with approval of an adviser in speech and communication studies. Upon the recommendation of a minor adviser and approval of the department chair, students may substitute a course in a core area to satisfy the respective core requirements. Courses used to fulfill Segment I, General Education requirements, cannot be used to fulfill minor requirements. With consent of an adviser, up to eight units of other lower division units in speech communication may be counted toward the minor.

Program Units
Units selected from 3 of the following core areas: 12
Communication Theory and Human Interaction Area
SPCH 321 Communication Theory (4)
Symbol Systems Area
SPCH 331 Verbal and Nonverbal Symbols (4)
Rhetorical Theory and Criticism Area
SPCH 341 Rhetorical Theory (4)
Public Communication Skills Area
SPCH 351 Public Speaking (4)
Communication and Diversity Area
SPCH 541 Intercultural Communication (4)  
SPCH 542 Intracultural Communication (4)
SPCH 503 Gender and Communication (4)
SPCH 525 Sexual Identity and Communication (4)
SPCH 543 Dialogues Across Differences (4)
Additional units on advisement in speech communication 8
Total for minor 20

MASTER OF ARTS IN SPEECH COMMUNICATION

Admission to Program

The requirements for admission are an undergraduate major in Speech Communication and a 3.0 or better upper division grade point average. Applicants not meeting these criteria may be eligible for conditional admission. Conditions may vary from completing four to sixteen units of approved undergraduate courses in Speech Communication to earning a B or better in the initial three graduate courses, including Speech 700, Introduction to Graduate Study. No units used in fulfilling prerequisites for advancement to classified standing may be counted toward the satisfaction of course requirements in the graduate program. The Graduate Record Examination and two letters of reference are required for admission. Send GRE scores to the graduate coordinator in the department.

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Level One: students must take and pass the GET (Graduate Essay Test) prior to enrolling in the first semester of graduate work. Students who fail the GET examination will be directed into an appropriate writing skills course; passing the GET or the recommended course will satisfy this requirement. Level Two: satisfactory completion of master's thesis or written comprehensive examination or creative project.

On-line course descriptions are available. Upper division courses the department offers may be considered, upon approval of the graduate adviser, except public performance courses.

Core Requirements Units
SPCH 700 Introduction to Graduate Study 4
SPCH 771 Communication Research Strategies or 4
 SPCH 772  Field Research Methods
Units selected in graduate seminars in communication studies upon advisement. Seminars must be from SPCH 721-760, and/or SPCH 797 or SPCH 880 12
Electives on advisement 12
One of the following: 3
  SPCH 894 Creative Work Project  
  SPCH 896 Directed Readings in Speech Communication and
Written Comprehensive Examination
  SPCH 898 Master's Thesis
Minimum total 35

NOTE: No more than eight units may be from upper division courses regardless of department; no more than eight units, graduate or undergraduate, may be from an allied department; and no more than eight units may be in any combination of SPCH 785, SPCH 850-852, SPCH 855, or SPCH 899.

Master's Thesis or Creative Work Project. Each candidate who selects the option of a Master's Thesis or Creative Work Project must submit a written proposal for approval and complete the department's Description of Proposed Culminating Experience form. After the proposal is approved and a supervising committee is established, the Proposal for Culminating Experience Requirement form is signed and filed in the Graduate Division office. A final conference for approval of the completed thesis or creative work project is held with the candidate and his/her committee.

Master's Written Comprehensive Examination. Each candidate who selects the option of Master's Written Comprehensive Examination must establish a three member faculty committee and complete the department's Description of Proposed Culminating Experience form. Next, the Proposal for Culminating Experience Requirement form must be signed and filed in the Division of Graduate Studies. The candidate then enrolls in SPCH 896 and completes the examinations.



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