Civil Discourse courses

Civil Discourse courses at Ohio State

Do you want to learn how to more easily engage with others across ideological differences? If so, consider enrolling in a course that focuses on these and related issues. 

Read the OAA News story

Fall 2023 courses

One-credit skills courses

At this polarized time for the nation, you might hope to be a constructive force when ideological differences arise between you and others or among your friends, student groups, families and community. As part of the Civil Discourse Project, Ohio State faculty have designed courses that teach you how to engage in difficult conversations while maintaining positive personal relationships and improving the functioning of potentially contentious groups. 

For undergraduate students

LAW 4015-10: Difficult Conversations in Polarized Times - Social Media and Conflict - WAITLIST ONLY
Seven weeks, first session of Fall semester (8/22/2023 - 10/9/2023)
Tuesdays, 5 – 6:50 p.m.
Drinko Hall 352
Instructor: TBD

"Taking LAW 4015 Difficult Conversations in Polarized Times was one of the best decisions I've made in undergrad. I was able to reevaluate how I've approached interpersonal conflicts and build a toolbox for problem solving in the future. It was a really rare opportunity to speak about disagreements and controversy in a comfortable, healthy environment. I loved it!" - Ayah Elsheikh, fourth-year philosophy, politics, and economics major

LAW 4015-20: Difficult Conversations in Polarized Times - NEW!
Seven weeks, second session of Fall semester (beginning 10/19/23)
Thursdays, 12 – 2 p.m.
Room: TBD
Instructor: TBD

For graduate students

LAW 7311-10: Social Media and Conflict
Seven weeks, first session of Fall semester (8/21/2023 - 10/9/2023)
Tuesdays, 5 – 6:50 p.m.
Drinko Hall 250
Instructor: Amy Schmitz
(Graduate students may be enrolled in the course by emailing

Two-credit courses
For both graduate-level students and undergraduate students

SOCWORK 5012: Social Work Approaches to Conflict Resolution
Full semester, Mondays 5:30 – 7:15 p.m.
Instructor: Geneva Sanford
(Students from outside the College of Social Work will be admitted via department permission by emailing

Three-credit classes
"Regardless of college major or career aspirations, the civility and reasoning skills stressed in this course are universally important in every aspect of human existence." - Luca Garofoli, undergraduate finance major in the Fisher College of Business


For undergraduate students
Courses offered in-person on Columbus campus:
  • ARTSSCI 2400/2400E: Conversations on Morality, Politics, and Society
  • BUSMHR 4244: Negotiations
  • BUSMHR 4236-10: Crucial Conversations
  • COMM 3404-20: Media Law and Ethics
  • ENGLISH 2276: Arts of Persuasion
  • PHILOS 3001: Economy, Polity, and Community
  • POLITSC 1100: Introduction to American Politics
  • PSYCH 3375: Stereotyping and Prejudice
  • PUBAFRS 2110: Introduction to Public Affairs
  • PUBAFRS 2120: Public Service and Civic Engagement
  • PUBAFRS 2170: Equity, Justice, and Public Service
Courses offered in-person on regional campuses:
  • ENGLISH 2176: Rhetorics of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender (OSU Newark)
  • ENGLISH 2276: Arts of Persuasion (OSU Mansfield)
  • ENGLISH 2276: Arts of Persuasion (OSU Newark)
  • PSYCH 3375 Stereotyping and Prejudice (OSU Marion)
  • PSYCH 3375 Stereotyping and Prejudice (OSU Newark)
Courses offered in hybrid format:
  • COMM 2367-10: Persuasive Communication (OSU Lima)
  • COMM 3404-10: Media Law and Ethics (OSU Columbus)
Courses offered online in asynchronous format:
  • COMM 2331: Strategic Communication Principles- WAITLIST (OSU Columbus)
  • COMM 2367-390: Persuasive COmmunication (OSU Columbus)
  • POLITSCI 1165: Introduction to Politics (OSU Newark)