The Interpersonal and Public Communication emphasis offers study in the areas of public address and rhetoric, interpersonal and intercultural communication, organizational communication and areas associated with human communication behavior including advertising, public relations and strategic communication.

University Requirements

General Education

The UMKC General Education Core is the university-wide curriculum that all undergraduate students will complete.  The 30-credit hour core curriculum includes three course types designated as Anchor, Discourse and Focus and is detailed in the General Education section of the catalog.

Constitution Course 

Every undergraduate student must take a course covering the United States Constitution and the Missouri State Constitution before graduation. Course options are included in the program requirements section below.

RooWriter Assessment

Candidates for all baccalaureate degrees must complete the online UMKC RooWriter Writing Assessment after they have passed Discourse 200 (or its equivalent) but before they have attained 90 credit hours. Incoming transfer students with more than 90 credit hours must complete the RooWriter by the end of their first semester of enrollment or within one semester after passing Discourse 200 (or its equivalent). Students who have not completed the RooWriter Writing Assessment within two semesters after passing Discourse 200 (or its equivalent) will be blocked from enrollment until they successfully complete the RooWriter. Additional information is available in the Undergraduate Academic Regulations and Information section of the catalog.

Exit Examinations

Information on exit examinations and/or major field exams is available in the Undergraduate Academic Regulations and Information section of the catalog.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from this program will:

  • Demonstrate effective oral, written, and visual communication
  • Conduct basic research through the identification, evaluation, application, and citation of appropriate scholarly sources.
  • Identify key interpersonal communication theories and concepts as they pertain to relationships and interactions with others from diverse backgrounds and across different settings.
  • Identify key rhetorical theories and concepts and how they relate to the design and evaluation of effective messages.
  • Explain how cultural diversity presents challenges and opportunities in interpersonal and public communication.

Program Requirements

Program Specific Recommendations for UMKC General Education Core Coursework

Anchor I 13
Anchor II 13
Anchor III 13
DISC 100Discourse I: Reasoning and Values (Speech and Writing)3
DISC 200Discourse II: Culture and Diversity (Writing and Speech)3
DISC 300Discourse III: Civic and Community Engagement (Speech and Writing)3
Focus A 13
Focus B (Satisfied in program requirements below)
Focus C (May be satisfied by Constitution course requirement below)
Focus Elective 13
'Total credits' in this section indicates the number of General Education Core credit hours that are not met by the degree specific requirements outlined below.
Total Credits24
1

See the UMKC General Education Core section of the catalog for available Anchor and Focus course options.

Constitution Course Requirement

Section 170.011.1 of the Missouri Revised Statutes, 2015, states that all candidates for a degree issued by a college or university in the state of Missouri must have “satisfactorily passed an examination on the provisions and principles of the Constitution of the United States and of the state of Missouri, and in American history and American institutions.” 

Courses at UMKC that satisfy this state requirement are:

Choose one of the following:3
The Supreme Court And The Criminal Process
U.S. History to 1877 (Focus C) 1
U.S. History Since 1877 (Focus C) 1
Constitutional History of the United States
Honors American Government (Focus C) 1
American Government (Focus C) 1
Total Credits3
1

 Course may satisfy both the UMKC General Education Core (Focus C) and Constitution requirements.

There are a few other ways this requirement can be satisfied for students transferring to UMKC:

  • Take an equivalent course from the list above at a regionally accredited institution.
  • Earn credit for one of the above courses through AP, IB, or CLEP.
  • Take a course that directly satisfies the Missouri Constitution Requirement at another Missouri institution.
  • Have a previous bachelors degree (or higher) from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Have an Associate of Arts degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Complete the 42 Hour Core at a Missouri institution and have it listed on the official transcript.

College of Arts & Sciences Degree Requirements

Students pursuing the bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees must complete a major. Students pursuing the bachelor of liberal arts degree must complete a minor. Additional details are available in the Student Services section of the catalog.

ALEKS Math Placement
Arts and Humanities Division of CAS 16
Science and Math Division of CAS6
Social and Behavioral Sciences Division of CAS6
Writing Intensive Course (300-level or above; Satisfied in program requirements below)
Foreign Language (3rd Semester Level)9
MATH 110College Algebra (or any 200-level or above Math/Stat course) 23
or MATH 116 Mathematics For Liberal Arts
or MATH 120 Precalculus
Laboratory Science Experience1
Total Credits31
1

ENGLISH 110, ENGLISH 225, COMM-ST 110, and foreign language courses at 211 or below do not fulfill this requirement.

2

This requirement may be fulfilled by courses from either the UMKC General Education Core or the College of Arts and Sciences Degree Requirements.

Major Requirements

In addition to the department's six hours of core courses (COMM-ST 110, COMM-ST 483), COMM-ST 308COMM-ST 341WI and COMM-ST 377  are required for this emphasis. Three hours of Interpersonal and 3 hours of Public Communication courses are required. Twelve hours of Interpersonal and Public electives complete the emphasis for a total of 33 credit hours.

Students must maintain a 2.0 GPA in their major courses.  Only major courses with a grade of C- or higher will be accepted for credit in the major, and counted toward the major GPA.  With prior permission, three hours of elective credit from another department may be accepted as Communication Studies elective credit. Transfer students may transfer a maximum of 15 hours from another institution, and must complete a minimum of 18 credit hours within the department. Students must successfully complete 18 credit hours toward the major with a C- or better in residence at UMKC, 12 of which must be upper division (300+).

Students must successfully complete the major requirements below with at least 18 credit hours taken in the department at UMKC with 12 of those hours at the 300-level or above.

Department's Core Courses
COMM-ST 110Fundamentals Of Effective Speaking And Listening3
COMM-ST 483Research Seminar In Communication Studies3
Required Courses
COMM-ST 308Introduction To The Study Of Human Communication3
COMM-ST 341WIRhetorical Theory And Criticism3
COMM-ST 377Interpersonal Communication3
or COMM-ST 377WI Interpersonal Communication
Interpersonal Communication
Select one of the following:3
Group Dynamics
Communication In Organizational Settings
Communication In Organizational Settings
Computer-Mediated Communication
Strategic Communication Research
Colloquium In Interpersonal Dynamics
Applications of Interpersonal Communication
Intercultural Communication
Public Communication
Select one of the following:3
Argumentation And Critical Thought
Advanced Public Speaking
Persuasion
History And Criticism Of American Public Address I
History and Criticism of American Public Address II
Principles Of Advertising
Interactive and Social Media Advertising
Principles Of Public Relations
Interpersonal and Public Electives
Select four of the following:12
Argumentation And Critical Thought
Advanced Public Speaking
Persuasion
Group Dynamics
Communication In Organizational Settings
Communication In Organizational Settings
Computer-Mediated Communication
Strategic Communication Research
Special Studies
History And Criticism Of American Public Address I
History and Criticism of American Public Address II
Colloquium In Interpersonal Dynamics
Applications of Interpersonal Communication
Intercultural Communication
Principles Of Advertising
Interactive and Social Media Advertising
Principles Of Public Relations
Communication Studies Activities
Special Problems In Communication Studies (restricted to 3 cr. hrs with any one instructor)
Total Credits33

General Electives

Students must take elective credit hours to meet the minimum credit hour requirement for their degree, including at least 36 credit hours of coursework at the 300-level or above. The minimum required by the university is 120 credit hours, of which at least 30 credit hours must be taken at UMKC, but some degree programs require more.

General Electives29

Minimum GPA: 2.0

Total Credit Hours: 120

Tools for Planning and Fulfilling Academic Requirements

UMKC's Major Maps are detailed, semester by semester plans that lead a student to complete all degree requirements within four years.  Plans include benchmarks and critical courses by term that assist a student’s evaluation of progress and major “fit”.  In order to ensure that the appropriate courses are taken, students are encouraged to consult with the undergraduate advisor for this major.

UMKC’s Degree Audit System provides an individual evaluation of all degree requirements (General Education Core, Degree Specific, Major Specific, etc.) for student’s officially recorded (Office of Registration and Records) and “what if” plans of study.  This evaluation is used to certify all graduation requirements.