Wayne State University

Courses offered in Communication

*For a full overview of the courses you'll need, visit the curriculum page for your program.

1010 (OC) Oral Communication: Basic Speech

No credit after former SPB 2000. No new students admitted after first week of classes. Students in Hybrid sections of COM 1010 meet face-to-face once a week and complete assignments online each week. Students are assigned a day on the first day of class. For example, if you register for a M/W class, you may be assigned to Monday's group or Wednesday's group. It is assumed when you register for the class that you are available to attend class on either of the two days the class is scheduled (M/W or T/Th). Students registering for the class after the first day of class must contact the instructor immediately to receive their assigned day.

Beginning course emphasizing fundamentals of speech preparation. Development of poise and confidence in speaking.

1500 Survey of Mass Communication

Required of film, journalism, public relations, and media arts and studies majors.

Introductory course in understanding communication theory and effects and the communication industry in the United States.

1600 Introduction to Audio-Television-Film Production

Introduction to production techniques and processes; hands-on use of image and sound recording and editing equipment; creation of dramatic and non-fiction studio and location-based projects.

1610 Fundamentals of New Media Production

Prereq: COM 1600.

Critical introduction to the emerging landscape of producing original digital content for information and communication technology. Students will develop a critical perspective and the skills needed to engage in new media culture.

2000 Introduction to Communication Studies

Introduction to the discipline of communication studies. Survey of theory, research, and practice.

2010 (VP) Introduction to Film

Examination of film techniques and basic methods of film analysis.

2020 (VP) History of Film

Critical study of the motion picture as a modern visual art; screening and analysis of representative fiction films to illustrate historical periods and genres.

2030 Journalistic Grammar and Style

Grammar use in journalism; Associated Press Style Book.

2100 News Reporting

Prereq: COM 1500 and COM 2030 with grades of C or above.

Basic news reporting: gathering the facts and writing them well. Journalism skills course.

2110 (CT) Argumentation and Debate

Prereq: COM 1010 or equiv.

Logical and legal foundation of the argumentation process; practical experience in analysis, reasoning, case-building, evaluation of evidence, refutation and cross-examination.

2160 (PL) Campaigns and Social Movements

Critical discussion of the social foundations and values underlying human persuasion. Analysis of persuasive strategies and techniques used in contemporary society: political campaigns, social movements, advertising and consumerism in the U.S.

2170 Persuasive Speaking

Prereq: COM 1010 or equiv.

Advanced public speaking; emphasis on persuasive speeches. Application of social psychology to audience analysis, to speech construction and presentation, and to critical analysis of persuasive public discourse.

2200 Interpersonal Communication

Introduction to theory and research on interpersonal communication; analysis of everyday communication situations.

2210 Media Writing and Storytelling

Prereq: completion of General Education Basic Composition requirement with grade of C or above.

Application of writing principles to various forms of copy; continuity, commercials, public service announcements, features, documentary, drama.

2230 (WI) Broadcast News Writing and Digital Editing

Prereq: COM 1500; must have access to an audio recorder.

Theory and practice in broadcast news-writing, reporting, performing and editing. Writing Intensive course for broadcasting sequence in Journalism major.

2240 Forensics Practicum

Prereq: COM 2110 and written consent of instructor.

Training and participation in debate and contest speaking.

2260 Digital Writing and Research Methods

This course prepares students to participate intelligently and critically in the production and consumption of digital media. The course emphasizes fundamental writing and research skills.

2280 Digital Photojournalism

Theory and practical application of photojournalism. Emphasis on journalistic visual storytelling, use of digital camera equipment, theory of photography, and presentation through social media. Students must provide a 35mm DSLR or mirrorless camera with manual capabilities.

2290 Fundamentals of New Media Communication

Interdisciplinary introduction to the study of new media by way of an investigation of both theories and applications of emerging forms of communication.

2310 Introduction to Web Design

Basic understanding of the methods and techniques of developing simple to moderately complex websites. Studies include hypertext, graphic style info, graphic file formats, digital imaging and interface issues.

3010 (WI) Media Analysis and Criticism

Prereq: COM 1500 with grade of C or above. Open only to department majors.

Formal properties and aesthetic considerations in media, especially film, television and interactive media.

3100 Public Affairs Reporting

Prereq: COM 2100 with grade of C or above.

Advanced news reporting, focusing on governmental stories.

3170 Fundamentals of Public Relations

Prereq: COM 1010 or COM 2170 or equiv. No undergraduate credit after COM 5160.

Historical background of the profession of public relations; communication variables in public relations; emphasis on presentational techniques, publicity preparation and development of special events.

3210 News Editing

Prereq: COM 2100 with grade of C or above.

Copy editing, headline writing, AP style, online and print news presentation, preparation for different news platforms. Journalism skills course.

3230 The African-American Film Experience

Historical and contemporary portrayals of African American people in narrative and documentary film. Emphasis on filmic approaches to race relations, cinematic elaboration of racial stereotypes, and legitimation functions of film.

3250 Introduction to Organizational Communication

Introduction to major theories and principles used to guide the effective practice of communication within organizations.

3300 (WI) Business and Professional Presentations

Prereq: ENG 3010 with grade of C or above; and COM 1010.

Review and practice of various oral communication forms used in modern organizations. Topics include persuasive speaking, informative speaking, speech writing, multi-media presentations and business and report writing.

3380 Editing and Field Production

Open only to film, media arts and studies or journalism majors. Prereq: COM 1600.

Theoretical, technical and creative storytelling processes of editing; development of technical competency in skills required for location production (camera, lighting, and sound).

3400 (WI) Theories of Communication

Exploration of the role of theory in describing, explaining and predicting human communication behavior in face-to-face and mediated contexts.

3990 Directed Study

Prereq: major in department with 16 credits in department completed; written consent of chairperson and advisor. Not open to journalism majors.

4100 (WI) Feature Writing

Prereq: COM 3100 with grade of C or above.

Advanced news reporting, focusing on feature writing.

4110 Studies of Legal Argument

Prereq: COM 2110.

Uses of legal argument in a variety of fields and contexts. Different methods of studying argument will be examined.

4140 Popular and Celebrity Culture

Prereq: COM 2000 or COM 3400.

Increasing significance of pop and celebrity culture in shaping cultural and political affairs. Modes of production and consumption of pop culture; understanding pop culture and its effects.

4150 Communication and conflict

Open to students with Junior standing or higher.

Examination of the dynamics and processes of conflict across contexts with a focus on communicative theories and practices. Focus on developing and applying assessment and management knowledge and skills to real-world situations.

4170 (WI) Public Relations Writing

Prereq: COM 2030 and COM 3170 with grade of C or above.

Writing for public relations purposes: backgrounders, fact sheets, press releases; brochures and newsletters.

4190 Rhetorical Criticism

Prereq: COM 2000 or COM 3400.

An introduction to various methods of rhetorical criticism through analysis of texts and artifacts in terms of persuasion and adaptation to audiences.

4200 Nonverbal Communication

Prereq: COM 2000 or COM 3400.

Channels and functions of nonverbal communication; contexts include: gender, culture, adult-infant interaction, therapy. Methods of study.

4210 Research Methods in Communication

Open only to upper division students. Prereq: COM 1500 or 2000.

Quantitative and qualitative research methods designed to advance knowledge about human communication across applied settings and diverse contexts.

4240 African Americans in Television

Historical overview of African Americans in radio and television with emphasis on three areas of study: news and documentary; entertainment and advertising; and ownership, employment and access.

4250 Reporting Race, Gender, and Culture

Prereq: COM 2100 and junior standing.

Issues of gender, culture and race in media coverage, with some content analysis. Preparation for students to handle this content with sensitivity and accuracy.

4300 Intercultural Communication

Prereq: COM 2000 or COM 3400.

Culture-general instruction in intercultural communication skills and theory.

4310 Audio Production

Prereq: COM 1600; and COM 2210 or COM 2230. Open only to department majors.

Theory and practice in sound production techniques and experimentation with creative audio production.

4410 Television Production

Open only to majors in department. Prereq: COM 1600; and COM 2210 or COM 2230.

Theory and practical application of techniques used in television production; use of graphic materials, design and staging concepts, lighting techniques and studio operation; the role of the television producer-director.

4680 WAYN Radio

Participation in WAYN on-line radio.

4990 Directed Study

Prereq: COM 2100; written consent of advisor, program director, and department chairperson. Open only to journalism majors.

Supervised individual research.

4996 Senior Honors Thesis

Prereq: admission to departmental honors program; senior standing; prior approval of thesis proposal and written consent of thesis advisor and chairperson.

Overview of theory and research in communication; closely supervised research project that results in a paper of approximately twenty pages.

5010 History of Communication Technologies

COM 1500 or graduate standing.

Traces the historical development of communication technologies, industry players and government policies, and assesses impact of the technologies in their historical context.

5020 Studies in Film History

Open only to department undergraduate and graduate majors. Prereq: COM 2010 or graduate standing.

Analysis of the development of a specific film genre, a director, or other historical aspect of the motion picture. Topics to be announced in Schedule of Classes.

5060 Documentary and Non-Fiction Film and Television

Open only to department undergraduate and graduate majors. Prereq: COM 2010 or COM 2450 or graduate standing.

Study of the non-fiction film made for a social, cultural, or political purpose; screening and analysis of selected films.

5080 History and Law of American Journalism

Prereq: junior or senior standing.

History of journalism and the structure of the industry in America, including all media; emphasis on development of law relating to communication and changing understanding of the First Amendment.

5120 Public Address

Prereq: COM 2000.

Landmark moments of public address. What constitutes public address; relevance of public address studies.

5130 Communication and Social Marketing

Prereq: COM 4210 or graduate standing.

Principles of social marketing; student-driven group project.

5140 Public Relations and Social Media

Offered for undergraduate credit only. Prereq: COM 3170.

Examines social media strategies and how they can be constructed, implemented and evaluated in the context of public relations planning.

5160 Public Relations Campaigns and Issues Management

Prereq: COM 3170 and COM 4170 with grade of C or above. Open only to undergraduates. Offered for undergraduate credit only.

Capstone course for public relations majors. Management functions of public campaigns: developing objectives, strategic planning, issues management, budgeting. Blends theoretical concepts with their professional and practical applications; emphasis on public relations planning and evaluation.

5190 Senior Seminar in Communication

Open to students with senior standing, declared undergraduate major in communication studies

Advanced study of theory and research in communication studies. Topics to be announced in schedule of classes.

5250 Professional Issues in News Media Management

Prereq: COM 2230 or COM 4100. Open only to senior students.

Capstone course for journalism majors; must elect in last 21 credits before graduation. Ethics and management structure and practices of media organizations. Individual research projects.

5270 Screenwriting

Open only to department undergraduate and graduate majors. Prereq: COM 2210 and junior standing or above. Majors in Film must co-register for zero credit course (COM 5993) in order to earn credit for general education Writing Intensive requirement.

Principles and techniques of writing for motion pictures. Analysis and study of professionally written scripts. Exercises in writing documentary and dramatic film scripts.

5280 New Media Practices

Principles and practices of new media and interactive communication. Integrative applications include social networking, wikis, blogs, podcasting, websites and file sharing. Research projects.

5300 Layout and Design

Prereq: COM 2100.

Practical skills course in publishing newsletters, magazines, newspapers and books; emphasis on new computer technology, desktop publishing; business aspects of publishing, including printing, promotion and marketing; skills in use of personal computer for publishing.

5310 Investigative Reporting

Prereq: COM 4410 or COM 5381.

Advanced reporting techniques involving use of Freedom of Information Act and computer-assisted data base searches; accessing public records.

5330 Rhetoric of Visual Culture

Prereq: COM 2000 or COM 3400. Offered for undergraduate credit only; exceptions require written consent of instructor.

Influence that vision and visual texts have in our culture. Critical examination of such texts, including photography, museums, monuments, the fashion industry, tattoos and body marking.

5350 Media Arts Production

No credit after COM 5380 or COM 5400. Prereq: graduate standing. Offered for graduate credit only.

Key components of production for electronic media (field, audio, and television production). Production techniques, aesthetic understanding, directing skills.

5380 Video Field Production and Editing

Prereq: COM 1600 or COM 5350; and COM 2210. Open only to undergraduate and graduate majors in department.

Theory and practical application of video location production and post-production techniques. Digital non-linear editing and post-production software as used in creative development of original content.

5381 TV News Reporting and Digital Editing

Prereq: COM 2230. Open only to majors in journalism and media arts and studies.

Theory and practical application of aesthetics and journalistic values of TV news and feature storytelling. Emphasis on planning, location video and sound protection, editing, interviewing, writing skills, on-camera presentation.

5384 Topics in Production Design and Theory

Prereq: COM 5380 or COM 4310 or COM 5350

Theory and practical application in the aesthetic and technical considerations of production design. Topics may include: cinematography/lighting, sound design/mixing, experimental film/video, performance production, documentary preproduction, film/video graphic design.

5390 Digital Animation

Prereq: COM 3380 or COM 5380.

Introduction to animation techniques, 2D to 2-1/2D to 3D; includes use of Adobe products such as After Effects. Discussion of alpha channels, masks, rotoscoping, layering, keyframe and behavioral-based animation.

5400 Techniques of Film and Video Production

Open only to department majors. Prereq: undergraduate COM 3380; graduate COM 5380.

Capstone course option for majors in Media Arts and Studies; should be taken in last 21 credits of program. Experience with the preparation, shooting and editing of video projects in film-style production.

5410 Producer's Workshop

Open only to department undergraduate and graduate majors. Prereq: COM 3380, or COM 3390, or COM 5380 or COM 5381 or AIN 3220.

Examination of the business, managerial, and creative considerations and process of producing media programming from conception through distribution.

5440 Film, Cinematography and Lighting

Prereq: COM 5400.

An immersion into the cinematic practices and applied theory of film and digital cinema including the art and technology of cinematography, lighting design, and non-linear post-production. Students will apply an understanding of exposure and color temperature control, workflow management, NLE systems and color grading to the creation of short cinematic works designed for their portfolios and for exhibition.

5460 Magazine Writing

Prereq: COM 4100.

Advanced feature writing: preparation of magazine features. Students focus on limited number of in-depth articles. Research, structure and writing techniques to produce publishable magazine-length articles.

5500 Journalism and New Media

Prereq: COM 2100.

Theory and practical application of publishing journalistic works via new media. Emphasis on best practices and techniques of using social media for news coverage.

5510 Societal Effects of New Technologies

Prereq: COM 1500.

Capstone course; must elect in last 21 credits prior to graduation. Discusses the societal impact of traditional mass media and the evolving interactive technologies of computers and mobile networks as well as emerging technologies such as robotics.

5600 Strategic Communication in Nonprofit and the Arts Organizations

Prereq: graduate standing and written consent of instructor.

An introduction to strategic communication theory and practice as it applies to non-profit organizations. Includes working with arts organizations to determine their public relations needs and developing a strategic communication campaign that addresses those objectives.

5610 Advanced TV Production

Prereq: COM 4410 or COM 5381.

5900 Senior Project in Communication Studies

Open only to majors in communication studies. Offered for undergraduate credit only.

Combination of lectures and workshops to assist students in carrying out a service learning or individual research project.

5993 (WI) Writing Intensive Course

Prereq: junior standing, written consent of instructor, satisfactory completion of the IC requirement. Offered for S and U grades only. No degree credit. Required for all Film Studies majors.

Disciplinary writing assignments under the direction of a faculty member. Must be selected in conjunction with a designated corequisite; see section listing in Schedule of Classes for corequisites available each term. Satisfies the University General Education Writing Intensive Course in the Major requirement.

6100 Speech Writing

Open only to graduate students.

Preparation and presentation of speech manuscripts. Emphasis on style of writing, use of supporting materials and factors of interest. Special problems of ghost-writing considered.

6140 Public Relations Theory

Open to graduate students only.

This course provides a foundational grounding in public relations theories and examines them in different communication contexts, including mediated, crisis, and international.

6190 Internship

Prereq: junior standing or above and at least 12 credits in COM courses; written consent of instructor.

On-the-job observations and work experience in business, service, social, governmental, and industrial organizations. Emphasis on journalism, public relations, and organizational communication.

6220 Dispute Resolution and Communication Technology

Conflict in online environments; development of Online Dispute Resolution (ODR). Hands-on work with state-of-the-art ODR technologies via several simulations.

6250 Organizational Communication

Open only to graduate students.

Theoretical review of the structure process and function of communication within and between organizations. Analysis of current and emerging issues in the theory and research of organizational communication.

6270 New Media Theory

Analysis of new media and interactive communication processes. Emphasis on critical theory and cultural studies in relation to interpersonal, group and organizational contexts. Research projects.

6280 Reporting on Diversity

Prereq: admission to M.A. program and written consent of instructor. Offered for graduate credit only.

Recognition and acceptance of differences in culture, ethnicity, gender, and alternative lifestyles; sensitivities in writing and publishing; for students intending careers in the media.

6350 Communication, Culture, and Conflict

Open only to graduate students.

Overview of communication theory and practice as it relates to issues of culture, conflict and dispute resolution.

6680 Directed Projects in Film and Media

Prereq: COM 5400; written consent of instructor.

Advanced individual projects.

7000 Introduction to M.A. Studies in Communication

Required during first term of M.A. study.

Fundamentals of scholarly research and writing at the graduate level.

7011 Intro: Professional Practices in Media

Prereq: graduate standing.

Bridge course for new MA students who do not have a professional background or undergraduate degree in journalism or public relations.

7110 Theory of Argument

Advanced studies in argumentation, including the structure of reasoning, the organization of arguments, strategies of argument, and the nature of proof.

7140 Public Relations Campaigns and Issues Management

Management functions of public relations campaigns: developing objectives, strategic planning, issues management, budgeting. Blends theoretical concepts with their professional and practical applications; emphasis on prominent critical rhetorical approaches to public relations planning and evaluations.

7155 Theories of Interpersonal Communication

Open only to graduate students.

Survey of theory and research on interpersonal interaction, with special emphasis on social perception, self-presentation, and the formation of relationships in interaction.

7160 Crisis Communication

Prereq: COM 6250.

Theoretical and case-study approach to communicative aspects of organizational crisis management. Topics include post-crisis response, crisis sensing, crisis planning.

7170 Health Communication

Theory and research in health communication; issues of patient-provider communication and health campaigns.

7220 Professional Issues in Applied Communication

Prereq: completion of all M.A. degree requirements or enrollment in last six credits. Open only to students in final semester of M.A. course work. Open to public relations/organizational communication majors only.

7250 Rhetorical Criticism

Principles of criticism as applied to public address; analysis of standards and methods of evaluation; readings in modern criticism of public address. Research project.

7260 Quantitative Research Methods in Communication

Methods of data collection and analysis in communication research, approaches to measurement, research design, and other quantitative methods of communication research.

7270 Advanced Screenwriting

Prereq: COM 5270.

Research and writing for creation of full-length dramatic or documentary film and television scripts.

7330 Advanced Layout and Design

Prereq: COM 5300 and COM 5500.

Advanced planning, development and production processes essential to creation of corporate publications; including brochures, newsletters, annual reports, marketing collateral materials, grant and proposal documents. Writing and strategic communication emphasis.

7360 Qualitative Research Methods in Communication

Prereq: graduate standing.

Theoretical bases of qualitative research in communication and the development of skills in conceptualizing/designing qualitative research projects in communication, gathering data, analyzing data (using online software), and writing qualitative research.

7365 Ethnographic Methods for Communication Research

Prereq: Graduate standing.

Design, implementation and evaluation of ethnographic and participant/observation research studies in communication.

7380 Advanced Media Editing

Prereq: written consent of instructor.

Principles of video and film editing; exercises and assignments covering pace, meaning, special effects; styles of editing related to genres; non-linear editing software programs.

7410 Communication Theory

Systematic analysis of major twentieth century theories of communication, with a discussion of their historical and philosophical foundations. Discussion and critical review of recent developments in communication theory.

7500 Seminar in Mass Media

Prereq: graduate standing.

Advanced topics in mass communication theory and research.

7530 Critical Mass Communication Theory

Foundational readings and concepts; theoretical perspectives of critical theory and cultural studies.

7580 Content Analysis

Theory and practice in quantitative techniques for analyzing texts.

7700 Mass Media and Political Communication

Mass media research methods for political communication studied and applied.

7810 Seminar in Communication Education

Philosophy and approaches to teaching communication on the college level. Topics include objectives, evaluation, motivation and teaching strategies.

7990 Directed Study: M.A

Prereq: written consent of advisor and director of graduate studies.

7991 Directed Study: Ph.D

Prereq: written consent of advisor and director of graduate studies. Open only to doctoral students.

Research in major field for advanced graduate students.

7999 Master's Essay Direction

Prereq: written consent of advisor and director of graduate studies.

8000 Introduction to Ph.D. Studies

Introduction to perspectives, approaches and methods of communication research. Required during first term of Ph.D. study in the Communication Department.

8999 Master's Thesis Research and Direction

Prereq: written consent of advisor and director of graduate courses.

9990 Pre-Doctoral Candidacy Research

Prereq: written consent of department and approval by Ph.D. Officer of the Graduate School. Offered for S and U grades only.

Research in preparation for doctoral dissertation.

9991 Doctoral Candidate Status I: Dissertation Research and Direction

Prereq: Ph.D. candidate in department and approval by the Ph.D Officer of the Graduate School. Required in academic-year semester following advancement to Ph.D. candidacy. Offered for S and U grades only.

9992 Doctoral Candidate Status II: Dissertation Research and Direction

Prereq: COM 9991 and approval by the Ph.D. Officer of the Graduate School. Required in academic-year semester following COM 9991. Offered for S and U grades only.

9993 Doctoral Candidate Status III: Dissertation Research and Direction

Prereq: COM 9992 and approval by the Ph.D. officer of the Graduate School. Required in academic-year semester following COM 9992. Offered for S and U grades only.

9994 Doctoral Candidate Status IV: Dissertation Research and Direction

Prereq: COM 9993 and approval of Ph.D. of the Graduate School. Required in academic-year semester following COM 9993. Offered for S and U grades only.

9995 Candidate Maintenance Status: Doctoral Dissertation Research and Direction

Prereq: approval by the Ph.D. Officer of the Graduate School; completion of 30 credits in COM 9991-9994. Offered for S and U grades only.