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University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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Degree Requirements

Toolbox Courses


The six core pathways available to Communication students suggest particular career paths that students may pursue. The suggested courses that make up each pathway are content courses in the Communication curriculum that are particularly relevant to developing skills and knowledge in that field and focus on applying communication in specific contexts.

Some courses in the curriculum, however, cross all pathways and provide skills and knowledge applicable to any area. They provide a broader view of the nature of communication and its functions. They are useful for students who are specializing in any of the pathways, students pursuing a career different from the suggested pathways, or those who want to go on to graduate school. These are the toolbox courses that are the equivalents of hammers, nails, screwdrivers, levels, lumber, steel, putty and paint in that they allow a solid foundation to be built for knowledge about communication and the effective application of communication in a variety of settings.

Toolbox courses are designed to help students develop skills such as:

  • Communicating with sensitivity across difference
  • Communicating with civility in situations of hostility and discord
  • Gathering and analyzing data to generate new knowledge
  • Analyzing messages to discover how they are constructed
  • Producing effective arguments
  • Understanding how messages work on audiences
  • Producing and resisting persuasive messages.
  • Communicating effectively in writing

When you take the Communication Department’s toolbox courses, you will learn how to think, analyze, assess, construct, deconstruct and write. In other words, you will be appealing to any potential employer or graduate school.

  • 1041 Interpersonal Communication
  • 4020 Feminist Perspectives on Communication
  • 4021 Perspectives on Rhetoric
  • 4022 Critical Analysis of Communication
  • 4031 Perspectives on Communication
  • 4221 Qualitative Research Methods
  • 4265 Gender and Communication
  • 4700 Writing Practicum