Join the Team

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What do I need to do to join the team at Truman?

A: Send a short email to the Director of Forensics at coutzen@truman.edu or use the Contact tab above. Include in the email your full legal name, home address, phone number and preferred email. We aim to use these communication mechanisms to get to know you better during the summer and help you better prepare for your arrival in the fall. You will receive an email in the late spring or early summer asking you to indicate what your likely event preferences are (especially if your primary focus is individual events).

Q: Are there try-outs to join the team?

A: Yes. We prefer to call them “diagnostics,” as they are much more about assessment and placement and much less about selection.  We do not “cut” students from the program. While it is competitive, and competitive teams do make cuts, we believe cuts should be avoided when possible.

Tryouts for scholarships are a separate process. For more information vist our Scholarships Page.

Q: Is Forensics compatible with other campus activities?

A: Generally speaking, yes. We have had team members who were involved with student government, enrolled in multiple majors, members of numerous clubs and much, much more. However, some campus activities are generally not compatible due to scheduling conflicts. Though we have attempted on more than one occasion to involve a student competing in intercollegiate athletics, we’ve found it nearly impossible to coordinate practices, games and tournaments. Some theater and music students have been involved in forensics, but eventually the demand to be involved in plays, practices and concerts make tournament travel virtually impossible. However, we have generally found that students are able to manage these conflicts just fine with some advanced planning. Unless the conflicting activity is co-curricular (such as theater or band) we expect students to make forensics a priority.

Q: How do you handle absences from school?

A: Truman professors are very supportive of forensics and cooperative with student absences provided they are given ample notice and students work with the professors to keep up with their assignments. Every student receives a schedule of possible tournaments they might travel to at the beginning of the semester. They are asked to share this with their professors. Additional letters are issued two or three weeks before each tournament to remind the professors of the absence. Generally speaking, faculty allow absences for university-related activities such as athletics and forensics.

Q: Can you get academic credit for being on the team?

A: Yes. In fact, freshmen students are required to take COMM 272, a 3-credit course in speech, during their first semester on the team. After that they may take up to five additional credits in Communication Practicum (for a total of 8 credits). COMM 272 satisfied the University’s essential skills requirement for speech.

Q: Are any scholarships available for participation in forensics?

A: Yes! Visit our Scholarships Page  for more information.