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. 

Major Requirements: Thirty-eight (38) semester hours.

  • At least twelve (12) semester hours must be taken at Aquinas College.
  • Students may take a total of six (6) semester hours from CN397, CN398, CN399, TE397 or TE399.
  • Only courses with a grade of C or better will count toward the major.
  • Students may take a course twice to obtain the requisite C grade.
  • All CN courses qualify for General Education Social Science: Group 1 and 2 Distribution.
  • Some TE courses may qualify as either AT (artistic theory) or AP (artistic practice).
CN101 Introduction to Communication 3.0
CN205 Public Speaking (CN101) 3.0
CN206 Interpersonal Communication (CN101) 3.0
CN285 Understanding Mass Media (CN101) 3.0
CN307 Small Group Communication (CN101, 205, 206) 3.0
TE130 Introduction to Theatre Design (AT) 3.0
TE141 Acting I (AP) 3.0
TE242 Script Analysis 3.0
TE244 Stage Directing I (TE242 or instructor consent) 3.0
TE251 Stagecraft (AP) 3.0
TE253 Technical Theatre Practicum (TE251 or instructor consent) 1.0
TE341 Acting Theatre Practicum (instructor approval by audition) 1.0
Six (6) semester hours from the following:
CN185 Introduction to Radio Production 3.0
CN186 AQ Sound Mng. Staff Practicum (CN185 or chairperson approval) 1.0
CN207 Family Communication 3.0
CN208 Nonverbal Communication (CN101) 3.0
CN/BS/PS212 Parliamentary Procedure 1.0
CN300 Listening (CN101) 3.0
CN301 Intercultural Communication (CN101) 3.0
CN302 Communication Ethics (CN101) (WI) 3.0
CN303 Principles of Persuasion (CN101) 3.0
CN305 Advanced Public Speaking (CN101, 205) 3.0
CN310 Special Topics in Communication var
CN/WS311 Gender Communication (sophomore status) 3.0
CN315 Comm. Lab Theory/Practice (CN101, 205, 305-concurrent) 3.0
CN316 Communication Lab Facilitation (CN101, 205, 305, 315) var
CN350 Crisis Management (sophomore status) 3.0
CN360 Conflict Resolution I (CN101, CN206) 3.0
CN361 Conflict Resolution II (CN101, CN206, CN360) 3.0
CN397 Field Experience in Communication var
CN398 Readings in Communication var
CN399 Independent Project in Communication var
CN401 Organizational Communication (CN101, 206, junior status) 3.0
CN406 Adv. Communication Theory (CN101, 205, 206, 285, 307) (SC) 4.0
CN498 Research Methods (CN101, 205, 206, 285, 305, 307, 406) (WI) 4.0
TE123 Introduction to Musical Theatre 3.0
TE223 Voice and Diction (TE141 or instructor consent) 2.0
TE241 Acting II (TE141 or instructor consent) 3.0
TE/MCEN250 Mus. Theatre Wkshp (TE141 or MCAP166 or inst. consent) 2.0
TE279 Tap Dance 2.0
TE281 Ballet 2.0
TE282 Modern Dance 2.0
TE283 Stage Movement (TE141 or instructor consent) 2.0
TE310 Special Topics in Theatre var
TE344 Stage Directing II (TE244 or instructor consent) 3.0
TE351 Technical Theatre (TE251) 3.0
TE352 Script Writing (EH210 or instructor consent) (WI) 3.0
TE361 Theatre History I (AT) 3.0
TE362 Theatre History II (AT) 3.0
TE384 Children's Theatre (TE141 or instructor consent) (A) 3.0
TE397 Theatre Internship var
TE399 Independent Project in Theatre var



  • CN101 Introduction to Communication (3) PGC

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • CN212/BS212/PS212 Parliamentary Procedure

    Designed to familiarize the student with fundamental practices in the process and procedures of rules of order as practiced in organizations and businesses.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • CN310 Special Topics in Communication (3)

    Offered as timely issues concerning communication arise.

  • CN315 Comm. Lab Theory & Practice (3) SS1/SS2

    Theory and practical application of the communication lab facilitation process. Designed to highlight the applied role of communication in the facilitation of client interaction, with an emphasis on, but not limited to: facilitation methods, facilitator-client relationship, lab functioning/climate, and constructive feedback design. Prerequisite to acting as a facilitator within the communication lab. Prerequisites: CN101, CN205, CN305* *CN305 may be enrolled in concurrently.

  • CN316 Communication Lab Facilitation (1-3) SS1/SS2

    Up to three (3) semester hours (enrollment may be repeated to obtain a total of three semester hours) of experience facilitating the communication lab. Facilitators will assist clients with honing communicative and public speaking related activities, including but not limited to: topic generation, organization, audience analysis, self-presentation, and verbal/nonverbal delivery across varying contexts. Only available for Credit/Fail. Instructor approval required. Prerequisites: CN101, CN205, CN305, CN315.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • CN406 Advanced Communication Theory (4) SC

    Survey of principal communication theories; an introduction to theory building. Must be taken at Aquinas College. Offered only in the fall semester. Offered only in the sixteen (16) week format. Prerequisites: CN101, CN205, CN206, CN285, CN307.

  • CN498 Research Methods (4) WI

    Quantitative and qualitative methods applied to communication; practicUm in research methods; presentation of the research project. Must be taken at Aquinas College. Offered only in the spring semester. Offered only in the 16-week format. Prerequisites: CN101, CN205, CN206, CN305, CN307, CN406.

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • 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

  • TE352/EH352 Script Writing (3)

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

  • 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.