Professor Mark McPhail, Chair
Professor: Rita Kirk; Assistant Professors: Maria Dixon, Owen Lynch, Daniel Schill; Senior Lecturer: Nina Flournoy; Lecturer: Christina Baily-Byers; Adjunct Lecturers: Tony Kroll, Cecilia Stubbs Norwood, Kelly Reddell.
The Corporate Communication and Public Affairs (CCPA) program is accredited through the American Communication Association. The division offers students a foundational understanding of the theories, methods and history of communication, its relationship to liberal education and its disciplinary and professional applications. Corporate Communication and Public Affairs educates academics and professionals skilled in research, critical thinking, writing and advocacy who apply intellectual rigor and integrity to communication theory and practice.
Students seeking an undergraduate degree in Corporate Communication and Public Affairs receive a broad background in the liberal arts, followed by a major curriculum that prepares them for graduate and professional studies and/or to work in agencies, corporations, nonprofit organizations, cultural and educational institutions, associations and government. The CCPA curriculum is designed to introduce students to the historical development of the communication field, educate students about the principles and theories behind organizational and public communication, develop requisite communication skills, raise awareness of the ethical responsibilities of professional communicators, and help them develop the communication and management capabilities required for success in a global environment. After developing a strong core of fundamental communication skills and knowledge, students learn how to apply those skills in organizational and public contexts. The CCPA program emphasizes critical thinking, problem solving, research and writing.
In addition to major coursework in the division, Corporate Communication and Public Affairs students must complete a minor. Determination of the minor should be considered carefully and should enhance and broaden the student’s learning experience at SMU beyond the major. In keeping with the recommendations of the American Communication Association, the Public Relations Society of America’s Task Force on Undergraduate Education, and the standards of the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, students should select minors that emphasize the liberal arts. No more than 36 percent of a student’s total hours of study (SMU and transfer credit hours) may be in any combination of communication courses including CCPA-designated coursework. CCPA students must work closely with their academic adviser to ensure compliance with these standards.
Students seeking to double major or minor in another communication-related field may need to complete more than the minimum 122 total hours required for graduation. In close consultation with their faculty adviser, students design a course of study to match their goals after graduation.
Students are encouraged to participate in service-learning opportunities and make important career connections through supervised internships with Dallas-area businesses.
Absence on the first day of class will result in administrative withdrawal from the course.
To find more information about the Corporate Communication and Public Affairs degree program, please visit www.meadows.smu.edu/ccpa.
In addition to those requirements of the University and of the Meadows School of the Arts, undergraduate students planning to major or minor in Corporate Communication and Public Affairs must complete: ENGL 1301 and 1302, one math course chosen from: STAT 1301, STAT 2301, STAT 2331, MATH 1303, MATH 1304, MATH 1309 or MATH 1337; and twelve hours of CCPA core coursework (CCPA 2308, CCPA 2310, CCPA 2327 and CCPA 3375). Students must earn a grade of C or better in each of these seven core courses before a major or minor may be declared. A minimum G.P.A. of 3.0 is required in these 21 hours of core coursework before a student will be accepted and classified a CCPA major or minor. A core course may not be repeated in order to meet requirements to declare CCPA as a major or minor.
Only the top 25 students will be admitted to the major each academic year, not more than five of which will be first year or transfer conditional pre-admit. Major selection will be based on 1) subset and core requirement standings, and 2) submission and review of a portfolio which includes a letter of application, assignments from the four core courses and an anticipated plan of study. Portfolio review will occur once a year at the end of the spring term. Portfolio development will be included in CCPA 3375.
Transfer hours for core course requirements may be considered on petition and approval of the faculty. Courses satisfying major requirements should be taken through the SMU program.
CCPA coursework may not be double-counted toward the requirements for another major or minor. Students must earn a grade of C or better for coursework toward their major or minor CCPA degree requirements. Students may not repeat CCPA coursework.
Students majoring in CCPA also must take 8 hours of a foreign language and an approved ethics course as part of their degree requirements.
Communication Honors Scholarships are awarded each year to outstanding students who intend to major in Corporate Communication and Public Affairs. The Douglas Bauer Incentive Scholarship is a competitive scholarship available to CCPA majors through an annual application process.
Students may apply for admission to the CCPA Honors track after completion of 45 hours with a 3.50 overall G.P.A. or better. To graduate “With Distinction,” students must take six hours of honors-designated CCPA courses and the CCPA 4375 Honors Thesis in Communication Theory course. Students accepted to the CCPA honors track must maintain a 3.50 or higher overall G.P.A. in all SMU coursework to graduate with the honors distinction.
The top 10 percent of each class is eligible for faculty nomination into Kappa Tau Alpha, the national communication honorary society.
(Note: No coursework may be double-counted for either a major or minor in CCPA.) Attendance is required on the first day of classes or a student may be dropped from the class.
General Education Curriculum: 41
Foreign Language: 8
Ethics Course Requirement: 3
Core Requirements: 12
CCPA 2308 Strategic Communication
CCPA 2310 Rhetoric, Community, and Public Deliberation
CCPA Course Requirements: 12
Core requirements must be completed before enrollment in any of the following:
Practicum - Choose Two (combination may not include both 4325 and 4395)
CCPA 4323 Forensics Workshop
CCPA 4324 Competitive Mock Trial
CCPA 4325 Organizational Internship* fourth-year standing and permission of adviser
CCPA 4326 Washington Term Internship
CCPA 4395 Strategic Communication Campaigns
Topics - Choose Two
CCPA 4375 Honors Thesis in Communication
CCPA 5301-4 Advanced Topics
CCPA Upper-Level Electives (choose four of the following, one of which must include CCPA 3321, CCPA 3341 or CCPA 4385): 12
CCPA 3300 Free Speech and the First Amendment
CCPA 3310 Crisis Management
CCPA 3321 Communication in Global Contexts
CCPA 3341 Ethnicity, Culture and Communication
CCPA 3345 Persuasion Theory and Practice
CCPA 3347 Political Communication
CCPA 3350 Integrated Marketing Communication
CCPA 3355 Introduction to Public Relations
CCPA 3360 Management Communication
CCPA 3365 Communication in Organizational Contexts
CCPA 3380 Communication in Civil Society Organizations
CCPA 3382 Strategic Communication: Presentations and Campaigns
CCPA 3385 Civil Society Advocacy and Campaigns
CCPA 3387 Philanthropy and Donor Communication
CCPA 4300 Seminar in Political Communication
CCPA 4327 Rational Discourse and Public Deliberation
CCPA 4328 Media Convergence
CCPA 4345 Rhetoric, Politics and the Mass Media
CCPA 4350 Public Opinion, the Press and Public Policy
CCPA 4375 Honors Thesis in Communication
CCPA 4385 Communication, Technology and Globalization
CCPA 4386 Financial Communication
CCPA 5305 Advanced Communication Field Research
CCPA XXXX Other approved CCPA course
Meadows Elective/Corequirement: 6
At least 3 of these hours must be in a non-Communications division.
Minor and Other Electives (minor to be determined with counsel of adviser): 28
TOTAL HOURS: 122
In order to minor in corporate communication and public affairs, students must meet all the requirements for declaring the major and also be evaluated by faculty. Students must be accepted into the program prior to enrollment in upper-division courses.
Core Requirements: 21
CCPA 2308 Strategic Communication
CCPA 2310 Rhetoric, Community and Public Deliberation
CCPA 2327 Communication Theory
CCPA 3375 Research
Upper Division Electives:
CCPA XXXX Upper-level CCPA elective
CCPA XXXX Upper-level CCPA elective
One approved course outside of the division
2308. Strategic Communication. This course introduces basic media writing skills used to produce materials commonly used by communication professionals to communicate messages to the mass media. Students develop research, interviewing, writing and speaking skills by writing and presenting news stories, feature stories and press releases. Prerequisite: C or better in CCPA 2310 and CCPA 2327.
2310. Rhetoric, Community and Public Deliberation. This course examines the role of?rhetoric and public deliberation in the production and maintenance of communities and the larger public sphere, and includes such topics as the formation and rhetoric of the Civil Rights movement, the structural factors impacting the modern public sphere, and
2327. Communication Theory. This course introduces the foundational concepts, theories and approaches to the study and practice of human communication. It includes an historical overview and contemporary applications of prominent communication theories.
3300. Free Speech and the First Amendment. This course examines the philosophy, cases and issues relevant to the First Amendment right to free expression, with a focus on issues relevant to internal security, obscenity, pornography, slander and the regulation of communication. Foundations of legal argumentation will also be discussed. Prerequisites: C or better in CCPA 2308, CCPA 2310, CCPA 2327 and CCPA 3375.
3310. Crisis Management. This course examines different strategies and tactics organizations use before, during and after a crisis to communicate with internal and external audiences. Theoretical models are applied to specific types of organizational crises. Special emphasis is placed on the prevention/mitigation of crises, ethical decision making and the importance of emerging communication technologies in an organization’s crisis response. Prerequisites: Major or minor standing, C or better in CCPA 2308, CCPA 2310, CCPA 2327 and CCPA 3375.
3321. Communication in Global Contexts. This course provides an international perspective to the study of corporate communication and public affairs. Emphasis on experiential study allows types of organizational crises. Special emphasis is placed on the role emerging communication technologies play in the organization’s crisis response. Prerequisites: C or better in CCPA 2308, CCPA 2310, CCPA 2327 and CCPA 3375.
3341. Ethnicity, Culture and Communication. This course explores the impact of culture on our understanding and practice of human communication in interpersonal, organizational and mass media contexts. Strong emphasis is placed on the role of globalization, gender, race and socio-economic dynamics as impediments and conduits of cross-cultural collaboration and interaction. Prerequisites: C or better in CCPA 2308, CCPA 2310, CCPA 2327 and CCPA 3375.
3345. Persuasion Theory and Practice. This course provides a survey of major theories that explain how to influence attitudes and behaviors through persuasion applications within a variety of contexts, including relationships, organizations, legal campaigns and the mass culture. Prerequisites: C or better in CCPA 2308, CCPA 2310, CCPA 2327 and CCPA 3375.
3347. Political Communication. This course examines political communication as it evolves throughout a political campaign, and includes such topics as political communication theory and research, communication strategies, the influence of the mass media, television advertising, candidate debates, news management, polling and the use of new technologies in political campaigns. Prerequisites: C or better in CCPA 2308, CCPA 2310, CCPA 2327 and CCPA 3375.
3350. Integrated Marketing Communication. This course explores the concept of planning that recognizes the value of coordinating the media mix within a communication campaign to create maximum clarity and impact. This course covers the ways that a firm or brand communicates with its publics. Prerequisites: C or better in CCPA 2308, CCPA 2310, CCPA 2327 and CCPA 3375.
3355. Introduction to Public Relations. This course introduces the basic theories, concepts and approaches to public relations. It includes a historical overview as well as discussions of the professional and ethical demands on practitioners. Prerequisites: C or better in CCPA 2308, CCPA 2310, CCPA 2327 and CCPA 3375.
3360. Management Communication. This course emphasizes the role that communication plays in recruiting and selecting project team members, motivating employees, and understanding how to make a project team productive. Prerequisites: C or better in CCPA 2308, CCPA 2310, CCPA 2327 and CCPA 3375.
3365. Communication in Organizational Contexts. This course explores the role of communication in key organizational processes in both corporate and nonprofit settings. Students will examine the multiple approaches to organizing and their implications for human communication. Prerequisites: C or better in CCPA 2308, CCPA 2310, CCPA 2327 and CCPA 3375.
3375. Research. This course teaches students how to conduct professional research. Students identify an organization or individual with an emerging communication need and then analyze secondary sources in order to create an original research project that addresses that need. Prerequisites: C or better in CCPA 2310 and CCPA 2327.
3380. Communication in Civil Society Organizations. This course explores the unique discursive context of not-for-profit organizations. Students examine the role of communication in the various stages of nonprofit organizational life including founding and incorporation, recruitment and retention of staff and volunteers, and external funding and philanthropic development. Prerequisites: C or better in CCPA 2308, CCPA 2310, CCPA 2327 and CCPA 3375.
3382. Strategic Communication: Presentations and Campaigns. This experiential course teaches students to strategize, develop, research and write in-depth articles, newsletters, speeches, news releases and position papers. Prerequisite: Major or minor standing.
3385. Civil Society Advocacy and Campaigns. This course, which must be taken in conjunction with an internship at an approved nonprofit organization, combines classroom exploration with real-world writing as students complete 150 hours in a service learning environment. Students identify the unique “publics” of the nonprofit and create materials directed at specific goals such as the media, donors, volunteers, client base, board, foundations and corporations.
3387. Philanthropy and Donor Communication. This course is designed to introduce the fundamentals of philanthropy in the organizational process of the non-profit organization. The course will review historical, economic and political forces that formed and continue to influence the development and funding of non-profit organizations. Additionally, building on Persuasion, Interpersonal and Organizational communication theory students will explore the unique communication of philanthropy, grant writing and donor relations. Prerequisites: Major or minor standing, CCPA 3365 and CCPA 3380.
4300. Seminar in Political Communication. This course is offered only as appropriate occasions arise. It provides advanced study of the role of communication within specific public affairs settings such as political summits, party conventions or other major venues. Instructor approval is required. Prerequisite: Major or minor standing.
4302, 4303, 4304. Washington Term Studies. This course offers students an opportunity to study and work in Washington, D.C., as part of American University’s Washington Semester. Instructor approval is required. Prerequisites: C or better in CCPA 2308, CCPA 2310, CCPA 2327 and CCPA 3375.
4305. Washington Term Directed Studies. This is an independent study with the goal of producing original research while students are enrolled in American University’s Washington Semester. Instructor approval is required. Prerequisites: C or better in CCPA 2308, CCPA 2310, CCPA 2327 and CCPA 3375.
4323. Forensics Workshop. This course explores the pedagogy of competitive forensics. Students will examine methods, theories and techniques of competitive debate and individual events, tournament administration, and professional responsibilities of the forensic educator, and gain practical experience in forensics and debate competition. Instructor approval is required. Prerequisite: Major or minor standing.
4324. Competitive Mock Trial. This course provides students
the opportunity to investigate and explore principles of legal advocacy within
a competitive environment. Students are trained to represent SMU as members
of the SMU Mock Trial Team before invitational, regional and national trial
competitions. Instructor approval is required.
Prerequisite: Major or minor standing.
4325. Internship. Students in approved positions gain career-related experience and establish professional contacts. At the conclusion of the internship, students prepare a report that allows for academic reflection on that experience. Offered as Pass/Fail only. Prerequisites: Major standing, 90 or more hours of coursework, 2.75 overall G.P.A., 3.00 G.P.A. in CCPA coursework and permission of faculty adviser. May be taken earlier with adviser approval.
4326. Washington Term Internship. This course is offered in conjunction with courses taken in Washington, D.C. This internship provides students with experience working in public affairs in the nation’s capital, supervised by a faculty member there. Prerequisites: C or better in CCPA 2308, CCPA 2310, CCPA 2327 and CCPA 3375.
4327. Rational Discourse and Public Deliberation. This course explores concepts characterizing rational discourse, with a concern for examining validity and fallacy. Students consider traditional and contemporary models for analyzing argument, including an examination of the philosophy of argument and a practical inquiry into the uses of debates on contemporary social issues. Prerequisite: Major or minor standing.
4328. Media Convergence. This course explores the intersection of mass communication technologies. Students examine the digital future of media and the impact of media convergence on business, politics and society. Prerequisite: Major or minor standing.
4345. Rhetoric, Politics and the Mass Media. This course examines the dynamic and interpersonal relationship between the news media and politics. The media’s influence on the political process, the relationship between reporters and public officials, the impact of media-based campaigns and the ethical impact of media manipulation by political strategists are examined. Prerequisite: Major or minor standing.
4350. Public Opinion, the Press and Public Policy. This course examines the interdependent relationships among media coverage, public opinion and public policy. Students consider the influence of press coverage on electoral and policy-making processes in which the public voice is presumed to impact democratic outcomes. Prerequisite: Major or minor standing.
4375. Honors Thesis in Communication. This course provides advanced students with the opportunity to do original research on a topic related to communication. Students learn how to write research questions, conduct a literature review, engage in qualitative or quantitative methodologies, and present findings. Prerequisite: Major or minor standing and honor standing.
4385. Communication, Technology and Globalization. This course examines how various communication technologies are used within a strategic communication context. Historical, ethical and legal issues surrounding the use of these technologies are addressed. Prerequisite: Major or minor standing.
4386. Financial Communication. This course familiarizes students with terms, principles and practices in financial communication as a component of integrated, strategic communication. Students examine techniques used in investor relations in addition to learning personal financial literacy and practices. Prerequisite: Major or minor standing.
4395. Strategic Communication Campaigns. This course demonstrates how strategic communication contributes to problem-solving in corporate and nonprofit settings. Students apply their skills toward practical challenges as they prepare and present complete plans for a corporate client. Prerequisites: Major standing and 90 or more hours of coursework.
5110, 5210, 5310. Directed Study. A directed study is a close collaboration between the professor and an advanced student who conducts a rigorous project that goes beyond the experience available in course offerings. The student must secure written permission from the instructor and return a completed form to the Corporate Communication and Public Affairs office before the start of the term. Prerequisites: Junior standing and permission of instructor. Major or minor standing.
5301, 5302, 5303, 5304, 5305. Advanced Topics. These courses encourage students to examine the role of communication within contemporary issues and social problems. Topics vary by instructor. Prerequisite: Major or minor standing.