Communication at Aquinas College

Communication Major with Theatre Emphasis (BA)

>Four-Year Plan for CN Major with Theatre Emphasis
>CN Major with Theatre Emphasis Checklist

Designed for students interested in both Communication and Theatre as they work toward a Bachelor of Arts degree, especially recommended for students seeking secondary education certification in speech. 

Thirty-eight (38) semester hours total.

Required Courses:

Thirty-two (32 semester hours):

  • CN101
  • CN205
  • CN206
  • CN285
  • CN307
  • TE130 (AT)
  • TE141 (AP)
  • TE242
  • TE244
  • TE251
  • TE253
  • TE341

Six semester hours of eletive chosen from:

  • CN185
  • CN186
  • CN207
  • CN208
  • CN300
  • CN301
  • CN302 (WI)
  • CN303
  • CN305
  • CN310
  • CN311
  • CN350
  • CN360
  • CN361
  • CN397
  • CN398
  • CN399
  • CN401
  • TE123
  • TE221
  • TE222
  • TE223
  • TE241
  • TE250
  • TE281
  • TE282
  • TE283
  • TE310
  • TE344
  • TE351
  • TE352
  • TE361
  • TE362
  • TE383
  • TE384
  • TE397
  • TE399

No more than six (6) semester hours may be taken from CN397, TE397, CN398, CN399, or TE399. TE253 and TE341 must be taken for a minimum of one (1) credit each. At least twelve (12) semester hours must be taken at Aquinas College.


  • CN101 Introduction to Communication (3) PGC

    Theory and methods of intrapersonal, interpersonal, small group, organizational, public, intercultural, and mass communication.

  • CN205 Public Speaking (3)

    Basic skills for effective informational, persuasive and special occasion public speaking including voice, movement, composition, organization, ethical implications and audience analysis. Prerequisite: CN101.

  • CN206 Interpersonal Communication (3)

    Principles underlying communication behavior, focusing on feedback, nonverbal communication, decision making, listening, communication barriers and breakdowns, persuasion, and conflict. Prerequisite: CN101.

  • CN285 Understanding Mass Media (3)

    Analysis of the dynamics of mass media and its influence on society; criticism of the rhetoric of mass media; techniques for consuming media messages. Prerequisite: CN101.

  • CN307 Small Group Communication (3)

    Principles and perspectives of communication in small groups including development, roles, norms, conflict, language and nonverbal communication; techniques of decision making and problem solving, information sharing and public presentations. Prerequisites: CN101, CN205, CN206.

  • TE130 Introduction to Theatre Design (3)

    Introduces the elements of design and interprets them theatrically: set, costume, and light design. Explores text interpretation and visual expression.

  • TE141 Acting I (3)

    Introduction to the technique of acting using theatre games, improvisation, text analysis, monologue and scene work, rehearsal etiquette and technique, and performance. Explores the release of tension and freeing the actor’s body and voice. Rehearsals outside of class are required. 

  • TE242 Script Analysis (3)

    Artistic approaches to analyzing and interpreting dramatic texts for the purposes of directors, actors and designers. Includes Aristotelian, structural, image-based, action-based and research-based modes of analysis.

  • TE244 Stage Directing I (3)

    Introduction to the art of directing focusing on composition, picturization, audition, staging, dramatic rhythm and pace, rehearsal technique and leadership qualities. The course culminates with student directed ten-minute plays. Rehearsals outside of class are required. Prerequisite: TE242 or consent of instructor. 

  • TE251 Stagecraft (3)

    Exploration of various technical aspects of theatrical production which may include scenery and property construction (metalwork, painting and rigging), lighting and sound, costuming, and make-up. Scene shop laboratory hours may be required. 

  • TE253 Technical Theatre Practicum (1)

    Participating in a Theatre Program mainstage production in stage management, lighting, sound, scenery, props, costuming, or make-up and completing the requirements set forth by the production’s technical director. Prerequisites: TE251 or consent of instructor.

  • TE341 Acting Theatre Practicum (1)

    Participating as an actor in a Theatre Program mainstage production and completing the requirements set forth by the production’s director. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor by audition. 

  • CN185 Introduction to Radio Production (3)

    Introduction to the radio industry and workings of a radio station.

  • CN186 AQ Sound Management Staff Practicum (1)

    Experience working for AQ Sound in one of the following staff positions: Station Manager, Programing Director, Music Director, News & Sports Director, Promotions Director, Technology Director, Treasurer, Secretary. Only available for Credit/No Credit. Prerequisites: CN185 or department chairperson approval.

  • CN207 Family Communication (3)

    Analysis of roles, power, space, and variables of cohesion and adaptability in familial systems, with interpersonal and personal subsystems.

  • CN208 Nonverbal Communication (3)

    Elements of nonverbal communication: body and gestures, paralanguage, facial and eye behavior, arrangement and use of space. Prerequisite: CN101.

  • CN300 Listening (3)

    Listening combines context theories dealing with various aspects of the listening process with skill application to encourage applied and theoretical competence. Prerequisite: CN101.

  • CN301 Intercultural Communication (3)

    Analysis of verbal and nonverbal language relativity and potential barriers and breakdowns in communication between individuals of differing cultures, subcultures, including not only national and ethnic differences, but also differences in age, sex, vocation, financial status, etc. Prerequisite: CN101.

  • CN302 Communication Ethics (3) WI

    Principles and perspectives of ethical speech communication are studied and applied to a variety of private and public communication situations. The impact of honest versus deceptive communication of the individual and society is evaluated. Prerequisite: CN101.

  • CN303 Principles of Persuasion (3)

    Theory and methods of changing, modifying, and reinforcing attitudes and behaviors through communication. Prerequisite: CN101.

  • CN305 Advanced Public Speaking (3)

    Advanced theory and skills for effective informative and persuasive public speaking including audience adaptation, research, composition, organization, support, voice and movement. Prerequisite: CN101, CN205.

  • CN310 Special Topics in Communication (3)

    Offered as timely issues concerning communication arise.

  • CN/WS311 Gender Communication (3)

    Principles and perspectives of the similarities and differences in men’s and women’s communication. Presents skills that men and women can use to communicate more effectively. Prerequisite: Sophomore

  • CN350 Crisis Management (3)

    A pragmatic and theoretical perspective on the role of communication before, during, and after an organizational crisis. Prerequisite: Sophomore

  • CN360: Conflict Resolution 1 (3)

    Introduces theoretical concepts related to interpersonal conflict, conflict styles, tactics, power, and relationships through conflict theory, research, observation and practice. Fulfills half the requirements (along with CN361 and 40 hours of observation) to become a State Court Administrative Office approved mediator and listed in court rosters in Michigan to mediate general civil cases (e.g. employment, contract, landlord/tenant, neighborhood disputes) as well as work for Michigan’s dispute resolution centers. Prerequisites: CN101, CN206.

  • CN361: Conflict Resolution 2 (3)

    Description dictated by the SCAO requirements (not unique to Michigan) for 40-hour mediator trainings, including substantive content, teaching formats and methods, satisfying the training requirements for court-approved mediators in Michigan and other states. Retention of syllabus and manual are needed for mediator approval. Course does not satisfy all requirements of the Michigan Court Rules for approval as mediators (MCR 2.411); additional requirements are discussed. Prerequisites: CN101, CN206, CN360.

  • CN397 Field Experience in Communication (Variable)

    Up to six (6) semester hours of internship or experience in a field directly related to communication. Only available for Credit/No Credit. Prerequisite: Department chairperson approval.

  • CN398 Readings in Communication (Variable)

    Individually negotiated program of readings on a selected topic established between instructor and student. Contracts filed with Registrar. Prerequisite: Department chairperson approval.

  • CN399 Independent Project (Variable)

    Individually negotiated project in a selected area related to communication established by contract between instructor and student. Contracts filed with Registrar. Prerequisite: Department chairperson approval.

  • CN401 Organizational Communication (3)

    Human communication in organizations, including groups and dyadic communication operating in the organizational structure. Prerequisites: CN101, CN206, Junior or instructor approval.

  • TE123 Introduction to Musical Theatre (3)

    Exploration of the elements of American musical theatre. History, relevance to the theatre movement, and the collaboration process of playwrights, composers, lyricists, directors, choreographers, conductors, actors, designers and technicians are introduced. 

  • TE221 Oral Interpretation (3)

    Artistic method of preparation and delivery of interpretive readings from prose, poetry, and drama focusing on literary analysis and editing, vocal and physical production technique, choral reading, and readers’ theatre.

  • TE223 Voice and Diction (2)

    Speech theory and technique designed to improve a stage actor’s vocal quality which may include breath, production, articulation and phonetics. Prerequisite: TE141 or consent of instructor. 

  • TE241 Acting II (3)

    Deeper exploration into the technique of acting using method and non-method approaches to monologue and scene study. A more specific focus on vocal and physical awareness, character work, bold acting choices and genre. Rehearsal outside of class is required. Prerequisite: TE141 or consent of instructor.

  • MCEN250/TE250 Musical Theater Workshop (2)

    Exploring the actor/singer/dancer by concentrating on acting the song, vocal production, dance, musical theatre auditions, and performance. Rehearsals outside of class are required. Prerequisite: TE141 and MCAP166 or consent of instructor. Can be repeated once as TE/MCEN350.

  • TE281 Ballet (2)

    Introduction to ballet including body position, terms and beginning sequences designed to increase strength and flexibility.

  • TE282 Modern Dance (2)

    Introduction to modern dance including free form techniques and exercises designed to increase strength and flexibility

  • TE283 Stage Movement (2)

    Theatrical movement techniques designed to break physical habits, release tension, explore physical character, increase strength and flexibility, begin aerobic activity and may introduce classical styles. Prerequisite: TE141 or consent of instructor. 

  • TE310 Special Topics in Theatre (variable)

    Offers focus on a specialized area in theatre when resources are available.

  • TE344 Stage Directing II (3)

    Deeper study in the art of directing focusing on concept, classical and stylized theatre, musical theatre, and other genres. The course culminates with student directed scenes. Successful completion of this course allows the student to propose and, if chosen, direct the annual student laboratory production (see TE444). Rehearsals outside of class are required. Prerequisites: TE244 or consent of instructor. 

  • TE351 Technical Theatre (3)

    Concentrative study on a rotating area of theatrical design or technical study, including set, costume, lighting or sound design, stage management, props design and construction, make-up design or technical direction. Scene shop hours may be required. May be repeated twice for credit. Prerequisite: TE251

  • EH/TE352 Script Writing (3)

    The writing of scripts for the stage and/or screen and the study of the elements of script writing. Prerequisite: EH210.

  • TE361 Theatre History I (3)

    Survey from Greek theatre to the closing of the theatres in Commonwealth England (1642). Designed to familiarize the student with various periods of theatre history, both the physical aspects and the genre of drama that evolved from each period. Readings of representative plays are required.

  • TE362 Theatre History II (3)

    A continuation of TE361; from Restoration England (1660) through contemporary. Readings of representative plays are required.

  • TE384 Children’s Theatre (3)

    Explores dramatic texts intended for child audiences. Introduction to performance techniques for YA audiences as well as to major contributors to the field of children’s theatre. Performances may be required. Prerequisite: TE141 or Consent of instructor

  • TE397 Theatre Internship (variable)

    Opportunity for students to gain credit for a non-academic theatre experience. Prerequisite: Consent of theatre director. 

  • TE399 Independent Project in Theatre (variable)

    Individually negotiated project in student’s area of interest established by contract with instructor. One semester hour is required for the theatre major designed to prepare students entering the theatre profession or graduate school. The project may focus on life in the theatre, portfolios, resumes, job search, audition material, agents, casting directors and the local and national theatre scene. Contracts are filed with the Registrar. Prerequisite: Consent of theatre director.