College of Arts and Humanities
* Graduate Faculty
Cooperating Graduate Faculty
Degrees Offered: BA in speech, MA in speech
The Academic Program
The Department of Speech (SP) has as its primary objectives the development of knowledge in and instruction concerning the process of speech communication. This involves three fundamental areas of emphasis. The first area is human message processing, which involves understanding the function and structure of the various codes, verbal and nonverbal, used to form messages in speech communication, as well as examining the encoding and decoding processes involved in speech communication. The second is relational communication, which focuses on factors that influence growth, maintenance, and termination of relationships. The third is social influence, dealing with the processing of beliefs, attitudes, and behavioral modification, including gaining compliance, conflict resolution, persuasive campaigns, and propaganda.
Speech is predominantly a discipline of systematic, purposeful thinking and communicating. Students obtain a liberal education of considerable breadth and depth in regard to speech communication theory. Furthermore, they are afforded ample opportunity to develop their communicative skills by applying theory in such diverse activities as interviewing, group discussion, organizational communication, intercultural communication, public speaking, interpersonal communication, debate, and performance of literature. Indeed, the basic philosophy of this department--and it is stressed in every course and co-curricular program offered--is that there is no surer preparation for professional life and participation in society than an education that enhances the ability of the individual to maintain lifelong learning and the skills to communicate effectively.
SP 201 and 302 should be taken no later than the semester after the major is declared. SP 151 and SP 200 do not count toward the 33-credit-hour minimum.
The Department of Speech offers an innovative MA program emphasizing the central processes and functions of human communication. To that end, course work, seminars, and student research develop a cross-situational understanding of theory and research in the three areas central to the discipline: message processing, relational communication, and social influence.
All applicants for the MA program in speech must supplement the application and transcripts required by the Graduate Division with three letters of recommendation (preferably from professors with whom the applicant has worked), a one-page statement of goals, and the GRE General Test scores. These supplementary items should be sent directly to the department.
Intended candidates for the MA should have a strong undergraduate preparation in speech or a closely allied discipline. Students who lack this preparation must make up deficiencies either before or during graduate study. In the latter case, the student will be admitted conditionally, pending removal of the deficiencies.
Further details on the program and the faculty, as well as any changes in course offerings, may be requested from the department.
For graduation, each candidate must present an acceptable thesis (applied research report for Plan B) and must pass a final oral examination based on the thesis for Plan A or on course work and the research report for Plan B.