Minors

The Department of C&M offers a selection of minors, all of which require at least 16 credit hours. Minors are highly recommended although not required for the completion of the Bachelor's degree. C&M majors cannot take C&M minors if it will duplicate core requirements.

Students may choose to take courses to form a minor in an area of interest or opt to complete a set of courses with a coherence based on subject, methodology, or other factors. Courses for the minor may not be taken as Pass/No Credit.

 

Chinese Language

Integrated with Chinese culture, students will learn all four types of language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing). After completing the Chinese Language minor, students will be able to communicate in Chinese at their targeted proficiency levels and think critically and creatively with global and multicultural awareness. The minor consists of 16 credits:

Prerequisites:

  • LANG 1410 - Chinese I
  • LANG 2410 - Chinese II

The three required courses are:

  • LANG 4420 - Chinese III
  • LANG 4430 - Chinese IV
  • LANG 4470 - Chinese V

Students must also choose one of these options:

  • Term of Study Abroad in a Chinese speaking institute; student obtains approval to transfer at least 4 credits toward minor.
  • Internship Abroad in a Chinese speaking region or regional internship involving substantial use of Chinese language.
  • Any 4000-level topics course on Chinese culture in COMM, STSH, or STSS
  • COMM 4620 - Language and Culture

Graphic Design

Study graphic design through the integration of theory and practice, in print and digital media. Use creative and critical thinking to solve visual communication problems and reach target audiences with words, symbols, and images.

Complete 16 credits from the following list.
At least 4 credits must be completed at the 4000 level.

  • COMM 2570 - Typography
  • COMM 2660 - Introduction to Graphic Design
  • COMM 4320 - Visual Poetics and Narrative
  • COMM 4460 - Visual Design: Theory and Application
  • COMM 4690 - Interface Design: Hypermedia Theory and Application
  • IHSS 1560 - Media and Society
  • COMM 4880 - Interactive Data Visualization
    OR
    COMM 2960 - Color Theory
    COMM 2960 - 2D Motion Graphics
    COMM 4960 - Brand Identity and Design 

Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)

The integration of computer systems and the internet into the working world and home life have highlighted the need for professionals who can design human-computer interactions that allow people to work intuitively and with less dependence on long, detailed instructions.

Rensselaer’s approach to human-computer interaction differs from other HCI combines coursework in human-computer interaction with theory in allied areas such as technical communication, human factors, information design, and cognitive science, to provide the education designers of such systems will need in the future. To complete this minor, students must 16 credits as described:

Required Courses:

  • COMM 2520 - Communication Theory and Practice
  • COMM 4420 - Foundations of HCI Usability

Choose at least one more course to complete the minor:

  • COMM 4460 - Visual Design: Theory and Application
  • COMM 4690 - Interface Design: Hypermedia Theory and Application

Interactive Media/Data Design

This minor covers communication, interaction, and information design theory and practice to prepare students for creating different forms of interactive, multimedia communication, and data representation.

Complete 16 credits from the following list.
At least 4 credits must be completed at the 4000 level.

  • COMM 2520 - Communication Theory and Practice
  • COMM 2660 - Introduction to Graphic Design
  • COMM 4420 - Foundations of HCI Usability
  • COMM 4470 - Information Design
  • COMM 4690 - Interface Design: Hypermedia Theory and Application
  • COMM 4780 - Interactive Narrative
  • COMM 4880 - Interactive Data Visualization
  • IHSS 1560 - Media and Society
  • WRIT 1110 - Writing in Context 

Literature & Creative Writing

The Literature and Creative Writing minor offers discussion-oriented courses across a range of literary genres and themes, with a choice of emphasis on either literature, creative writing, or both. Students will learn to read and write literary art critically and creatively, with clarity and imagination, and with sensitivity to multi-cultural expressions of diversity.

Complete 16 credits from the following list.
At least 4 credits must be completed at the 4000 level.

  • IHSS 19XX - Fiction from Film to Internet  OR  LITR 2110 - Introduction to Literature
  • COMM 2110 - Writing for the Screen
  • COMM 4320 - Visual Poetics and Narrative
  • COMM 4780 - Interactive Narrative
  • LITR 2150 - Modern and Contemporary Literature
  • LITR 4150 - Science and Fiction
  • LITR 4230 - Irish Literature
  • LITR 4770 - Women Writers
  • WRIT 1110 - Writing in Context
  • WRIT 2310 - Creative Writing: Poetry
  • WRIT 2320 - Creative Writing: Creative Non-Fiction
  • WRIT 2330 - Creative Writing: The Short Story

Media and Culture

This minor examines different forms of expression and their cultural contexts in a variety of media, including film, television, photography, and new media. Its components will enhance creative and critical thinking, communication practices, and awareness of cultural and individual identities.

Complete 16 credits from the following list.
At least one must be completed at the 4000-level.
Other courses can be approved on an individual basis by the curriculum coordinator.

  • COMM 2110 - Writing for the Screen
  • COMM 2410 - Perspectives on Photography
  • COMM 2440 - Documentary Film
  • COMM 2520 - Communication Theory and Practice
  • COMM 4530 - Reality TV and Post-Factual Media
  • COMM 4540 - Visual Culture
  • COMM 4550 - Religion in the Media
  • COMM 4580 - Advertising and Culture
  • IHSS 1560 - Media and Society

Professional Writing

The minor in Professional Writing enables students to experience how their interest in writing, editing, reading, and analysis can be applied to workplace communications. The coursework included in the minor offers students advanced instruction in writing and editing as well as guidance in adapting to new technologies, new modes of discourse, and new rhetorical situations. To complete this minor, students must take 16 credits from the following:

Required

  • COMM 2520 - Communication Theory and Practice

Choose one:

  • WRIT 1110 - Writing in Context  OR  WRIT 2110 - Strategic Writing

Choose two:

  • COMM 4470 - Information Design
  • COMM 4780 - Interactive Narrative
  • WRIT 2320 - Creative Writing: Creative Non-Fiction
  • WRIT 2340 - Speech Communication
  • WRIT 4170 - Writing for Promotion and Marketing   OR  WRIT 4550 - Proposing and Persuading

Strategic Communication

The minor in Strategic Communication is designed to train versatile, critical, and self-possessed communicators. Students who successfully complete this minor will demonstrate the ability to make focused, audience-appropriate arguments and communicate effectively across diverse rhetorical, sociocultural, and disciplinary contexts.

Complete 16 credits from the following list.
At least 4 credits must be completed at the 4000-level.

  • COMM 2520 - Communication Theory and Practice
  • COMM 4580 - Advertising and Culture
  • COMM 4620 - Language and Culture
  • WRIT 1110 - Writing in Context
  • WRIT 2110 - Strategic Writing
  • WRIT 2340 - Speech Communication
  • WRIT 4170 - Writing for Promotion and Marketing
  • WRIT 4380 - Writing and Response
  • WRIT 4410 - Research Writing
  • WRIT 4550 - Proposing and Persuading

Well-Being

How do people maintain a sense of well-being in their lives? Each person’s path to well-being in body and mind is unique—arising from an awareness of his or her needs, goals, and what each find fulfilling. The Well-being minor includes a wide variety of courses that explore the nature of what it is to be human and to orient oneself in the world, to have relationships, make decisions, be creative, and make discoveries. 16 credits are required for the minor in Well-being.

Choose One:

  • ARTS 1200 - Basic Drawing
  • IHSS 1110 - Nature/Society
  • IHSS 1140 - Minds and Machines
  • IHSS 1175 - Well-being: Cultivating Curiosity
  • IHSS 1180 - The Art of Listening
  • IHSS 1720 - Music and Nature

Choose at least 12 credits from the following (at least 4 credits at the 4000-level):

  • PSYC 4960 - Empathy and Emotion
  • ARTS 2310 - Rensselaer Concert Choir Credit Hours: 1
  • COGS 4610 - Stress and the Brain
  • COGS 4700 - Hormones, Brain, and Behavior
  • PHIL 4240 - Ethics
  • PSYC 1200 - General Psychology
  • PSYC 4430 - Psychology of Mindfulness
  • PSYC 4440 - Sensibilities
  • PSYC 4500 - Drugs, Society, and Behavior
  • PSYC 4610 - Stress and the Brain
  • PSYC 4700 - Hormones, Brain, and Behavior
  • PSYC 4730 - Positive Psychology
  • WRIT 2310 - Creative Writing: Poetry
  • WRIT 2320 - Creative Writing: Creative Non-Fiction
  • WRIT 2330 - Creative Writing: The Short Story

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