College students working in a group.

College communication courses cover the theories, practices and fundamental questions about human communication, including written, oral and social practices. College-level communication, as a field of study, is interdisciplinary, incorporating the social sciences, humanities and fine arts into its coursework. Communication study is essential to careers in public relations, law, journalism, advertising and marketing, human resources and social work.

Characteristics of Communication Courses

Students who take beginning communication courses will often begin with a public speaking or debate course to learn the fundamentals of oral communication and debate, including research, reasoning and arguments. Oral presentations and classroom debates are usually mandatory assignments in such courses. Introductory courses may also include interpersonal communication, which involves oral and nonverbal communication in small groups, or written communication, which introduces students to the fundamentals of composition in a variety of formats, including speeches and news writing. As courses become more advanced, students learn more about the rhetorical tradition, communication issues related to race and gender, visual communication and health communication. Assignments in these courses generally include essays, presentations and class discussion.