If students are to succeed in life, they must be able to write and speak effectively. Employers consistently rate good communication skills among the most desirable qualities of their employees. The Core Writing courses are designed to help students develop and refine these vital skills.

Reading makes a full person, writing an exact one, and conversation a ready one. Sir Francis Bacon, Multidisciplinary Scholar-Writer-Scientist-Statesmen

Core Writing courses cover all facets of effective communication: writing, speaking, reading, listening, researching, illustrating, and more. Recognizing connections in what we hear, what we read, and what we write is more important than ever in a fast-paced world where there is so much new to learn.

Ultimately, our goal is that each of the elements of this course will enable you to be a more articulate, fully-rounded person who is ready to participate in and contribute to the important conversations in your own life and in society as a whole.

Course Requirements+

Communication Arts 101 and Communication Arts 102 are taken consecutively during the freshman year. Students should check with their advisors about any advanced placement. Students must make at least a C- to pass the course and fulfill the Core requirement.

UCCA 101

In UCCA 101 students will complete three major writing assignments and present three speeches. Writing assignments include a first-person/explication essay, an informative essay, and a position paper. Students will engage in scholarly research and documentation. Speeches and presentations will be based on the written essays. Students will learn how to adapt a written document for oral presentations with various audiences and objectives.

UCCA 102

In UCCA 102, students will examine challenging common texts of diverse genres that focus on an academic theme chosen by the professor. Students will produce 16-20 pages of assessed formal writing (2-4 written assignments) and make two presentations of academic research, using technological resources. Themes and assignments will encourage student exploration in research and no prior knowledge will be required. Assignments will foster originality of thought, methodological awareness, & structural complexity; assignments will also develop replicable processes of research and communication in preparation for upper-level courses.


Focus is a community of students who take three courses in common: Communication Arts I, Cultural Perspectives I, and Foundations. All freshmen take these courses in their first semester at Samford; the difference is that students who enroll in Focus will take these three courses with the same group of students. Students won’t do more work in Focus, but they may find that their work means more.


Three key terms explain some of the advantages of enrolling in Focus:


  • Faculty who direct the courses work together to make curriculum interdisciplinary.
  • Faculty members have worked together to build courses that support one another and will work together on scheduling.
  • Students will be led by faculty members who are enthusiastic about Focus.


  • Student work closely with peers in small groups.
  • Students are engaged in service learning in Birmingham community.
  • Students will connect with faculty members.
  • Students will connect with one another through events outside of class.
  • Students will feel part of something important and will know they are missed when they are out of class.
  • Students will be engaged in group study sessions.


  • Focus will explore what it means to serve.
  • Students will explore issues of faith and vocation.


Communication Resource Center
University Library