At Florida Southern, after learning cutting-edge, dynamic communication methods, you will put those theories to practice through a guaranteed internship.

This versatile degree will develop your speaking and writing skills while providing the ideal preparation for careers that involve human relations related to Interpersonal & Organizational Communication.

Top Reasons to Choose FSC for Interpersonal and Organizational Communication

  • Our esteemed faculty are members of professional organizations and draw from their extensive research in communication.
  • Develop a distinct advantage through the opportunity of presenting at state and national conferences and sharing your research with a wider audience, as well as networking with industry leading communication professionals.
  • Access to a national championship communication speech team, which is mentored by our highly regarded, award winning faculty members.
  • After you complete your senior thesis, you will use it as part of your graduate or professional school admissions application.
  • You’ll work directly with your faculty members to find an internship that aligns with your career goals.
  • With an on campus television station, newspaper, and social media experience, you can put your theories to practice in a real-world, hands-on environment.

“Interpersonal Communication is more than just an academic field. It’s a series of life lessons that applies to all facets of your college experience.”
-Megan Getter,
Class of 2012

Engaged Learning in the Classroom

FSC faculty work one-on-one with their students outside of the classroom, advising them through their college experience, as well as mentoring them through the process of selecting a professional internship, Junior Journey, and other career related activities.

To ensure that you put theory into practice, classes consist of discussions, hands-on workshops, and small-group activities, which grant an opportunity to use your communication theories and techniques in a real-world scenario.

Course Information

Our Forensic Practicum course will hone your public-speaking skills. You’ll practice speech writing and delivery with assistance from a national championship forensic coach, as well as the forensic team. Then you’ll apply your skills by speaking on a variety of topics and competing in at least one speech tournament.

Our Special Topics in Speech Communication courses concentrate on topics such as rhetoric of the 1960s, rhetoric of the women’s movement, communication as performance, communicating addiction, and ethnography. In these courses, you’ll analyze concepts related to the course topic and present or perform original work created throughout the semester.

Get complete descriptions of all our communication courses  

Departmental Clubs & Organizations

Our communication organizations offer you the opportunity to work with other students and utilize the skills you’ve learned in the classroom.

Lambda Pi Eta, the national communication honor society, promotes leadership in the field of communication through volunteering in the community, and in leadership workshops offered on campus.

Along with active professional organizations such as the Florida Public Relations Association, the American Advertising Federation, and the National Broadcasting Society, you can join our forensic team, our competitive speech and debate program, and Pi Kappa Delta, the oldest honorary speech and debate organization in the nation.

Our students also gain valuable experience by working on The Southern (our newspaper), The Interlachen (our yearbook), or student-produced news and sports broadcasts.

Scholarships & Financial Aid

There are numerous sources for scholarships related to FSC’s different communications degrees. This is just a partial list of Web sites that offer information on scholarships related to advertising and public relations:

Start the Conversation
and Contact…

Dr. Cara Mackie
Assistant Professor of Communication

Special Features

The degree requires either a semester-long internship or senior thesis, which can be used as a writing sample for graduate applications.

If you want to pursue a graduate degree, you’ll work directly with faculty who will help you through each step in the graduate application process. Because our faculty constantly network with graduate schools, they’re able to advise you on graduate programs that would be the best fit for you and your goals.

Because our students present at state and national conferences, they’re exposed to other research in the field, have opportunities to present their work to a larger audience, and are further prepared for graduate school or professional experience.

We offer a study-abroad program in England that allows you to take courses in intercultural communication and examine cross-cultural communication, thus putting theory into practice.

Internship Opportunities

Each year, our majors gain invaluable experience and professional connections by interning with the nation’s leading organizations. These have included:

  • Allen & Co. Investments
  • Citizens Bank and Trust
  • City of Lakeland
  • Detroit Tigers
  • Florida Citrus Mutual
  • Girl Scouts
  • Good Shepherd Hospice
  • Hall Communications, Inc.
  • Institute of Spanish Communication, Inc.
  • Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Lakeland Economic Development Council
  • Lakeland Regional Medical Center
  • Lakeland Yacht and Country Club
  • Lion's Share Entertainment
  • Live Nation
  • PACE for Girls
  • Peabody Hotel Group
  • Philadelphia Phillies
  • Polk Community College
  • Polk County Public Schools
  • Polk Museum of Art
  • Publix Super Markets, Inc.
  • SPCA
  • Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center
  • The Lakeland Center
  • United Way of Central Florida
  • Universal Studios Orlando
  • Warner Southern College
  • WRG Universal
  • YMCA

Graduate & Professional Opportunities

A degree in Interpersonal Communication from FSC prepares you for further studies in graduate programs that emphasize Communication Arts, Communication Studies, Health Communication, International and Intercultural Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Legal Communication, Organizational Communication, Performance Studies, Political Communication, Public Address, Public Relations, and Rhetorical Criticism.

Our graduates are also prepared for professional degree programs such as law and theological studies and graduate programs such as anthropology, business, criminology, education, English, mass communication, philosophy, psychology, public administration, religion, social work, sociology, theater arts, urban studies, and women’s studies.


Program Requirements

Interpersonal and Organizational Communication Major Requirements

A. General Education Requirements 40 hours
B. Major Requirements 40 hours
COM/SPC 3900 Special Topics in Communication
COM/SPC 4550 Communication Research
COM/SPC 4999 Speech and Mass Communication Theory
SPC 1500 Fundamentals of Speech
SPC 2250 Interpersonal Communication
SPC 2260 Small Group Communication
SPC 3200 Persuasion
SPC 2270 Intercultural Communication
SPC 3210 Organization Communication

Four hour elective in BUS, COM, or SPC

One of the following:

COM 3955

Professional Preparation for Communication Careers and

COM/SPC 4960 or 4961

Communication Internship
SPC 4900 Senior Thesis
C. Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements 20 hours
D. Bachelor of Science Degree Requirements 12 hours
E. Electives 24-32 hours
F. Total 124 hours

Course Descriptions

Four hours. Theory and practice of public address; preparation and delivery of short speeches; development of critical thinking and listening. Gen Ed: EC-B

Two hours. Prerequisite: SPC 1500 or permission of the instructor. Directed participation in forensic activities including dramatic interpretation, public address, extemporaneous speaking, and debate. Participation in forensic tournaments off-campus constitutes a major element of the course. Two contact hours per week with instructor or coaching staff for research / rehearsal. Gen Ed: EC-B

Two hours. Prerequisite: SPC 1600. Directed participation in forensic activities including dramatic interpretation, public address, extemporaneous speaking, and debate. Participation in forensic tournaments off-campus constitutes a major element of the course. Two contact hours per week with instructor or coaching staff for research / rehearsal. Gen Ed: EC-B

Four hours. Prerequisite: SPC 1500. An in-depth study of public address through examination of popular speeches, preparing and presenting manuscript, memorized, impromptu, and extemporaneous speeches.

Four hours. A study of the dynamics of human communication in various settings. Course focus is on verbal and nonverbal messages, listening, conflict, and relationships. Group and partner discussions, oral presentations, and performances are important elements of class. Gen Ed: SW (Aw, Ap), EC-B

Four hours. The study of small group communication theory and practice in various situations. Course focus is on how small groups are used to solve problems, reach decisions, and make recommendations. Groups will work with campus and community groups to identify solutions and make recommendations to solve presented issues. Gen Ed: SW (Aw, Ap)

Four hours. This course explores the unique relationship between communication and culture. Students examine their own cultural view as they are exposed to a variety of cultural dynamics and mores in this increasingly global society. This course balances concepts and theories of intercultural communication with practical application. The goal of this course is to enhance the student’s effectiveness as a communicator. Gen Ed: MV, SW (Glb, Aw, An)

Four hours. Prerequisite: Successful completion of Effective Communication SLO A. An examination of the major theoretical perspectives and concepts related to persuasion. The course will familiarize students with major theories, areas of research, and ethical issues in the social scientific study and application of persuasion. Gen Ed: SW (Aw, An), EC-B

Four hours. Successful completion of Effective Communication SLO A. This course focuses on the principles of communication within a variety of organizational structures. Students will explore and discuss research on communication networks, how information is processed within systems, and the relationship between communication and organizational culture and climate. Gen Ed: SW (Aw, Ap), EC-B

Four hours. Prerequisites: SPC 1500 and SPC 2250 and successful completion of the Systematic and Creative Thinking: Quantitative SLO and successful completion of coursework that satisfies Effective Communication SLOs A and B. Focus on the technical elements of professional writing and research writing. Students will develop a research proposal, utilizing in-depth qualitative research methods.

Four hours. Prerequisites: SPC 1500 and COM 2500. Students develop industry-appropriate writing skills and techniques including creation of press releases, backgrounders, pitch letters, and other relevant media products. This course focuses on using audience analysis, demographics, and psychographics to tailor messages to specific audiences. Creation of a portfolio is required.

Four hours. Same as COM 3900. Prerequisites: Successful completion of coursework that satisfies Effective Communication SLOs A and B . Concentrated study of a special topic in communication, including health communication, rhetoric of the 1960s, rhetoric of the women’s movement, narrative inquiry, communication as performance, communicating addiction, or ethnography. May be repeated twice with different topics.

Four hours. Prerequisites: SPC 3450. May be taken up to two times with permission of the instructor as topics change. The Public Relations Strategy course is a special topics course focusing on discussion of strategies and tactics within a variety of public relations fields such as crisis management, political communication, international communication, grass-roots / advocacy public relations, and/or non-profit public relations. Students will conduct original campaign research, analyze the results, and devise a research-driven public relations campaign appropriate to the class focus.

Four hours. Prerequisites: COM/SPC 4550. Must be Senior standing and meet GPA requirements, which include a minimum GPA requirement of 3.0 cumulative and a minimum GPA requirement of 3.5 within the Communication Major. In this course students will develop, execute, create, and present an original research project.