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 Oral Communication: Basic Speech

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

1500 Survey of Mass Communication

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

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.

1700 Media Literacy

Explores the goals and methods of various media industries, identify the influence media has on us, understand benefits and potential negative consequences of media, while identifying specific techniques for becoming media literate.

2000 Introduction to Communication Studies

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

2010 Introduction to Film

Examination of film techniques and basic methods of film analysis.

2020 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

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

2110 Argumentation and Debate

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

2160 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

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

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

2230 Broadcast News Writing and Digital Editing

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

2240 Forensics Practicum

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

Introduces students to the current methods and procedures utilized to effectively design and maintain web pages and websites using various CMS (content management system) platforms.

3010 Media Analysis and Criticism

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

3100 Public Affairs Reporting

Advanced news reporting, focusing on governmental stories.

3170 Fundamentals of Public Relations

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

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 Business and Professional Presentations

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

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

3400 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

4010 Special Topics in Journalism

Special areas of interest, such as sports writing, business writing, columns and editorials.

4041 Rhetoric and the Body

Humanistic analysis, research, and theory in how rhetoric of/about the human body intersects with broader social concerns (e.g., consumerism, gender, disease and health, and race).

4100 Feature Writing

Advanced news reporting, focusing on feature writing.

4110 Studies of Legal Argument

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

4140 Popular and Celebrity Culture

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

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 Public Relations Writing

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

4190 Rhetorical Criticism

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

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

4210 Research Methods in Communication

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

Issues of gender, culture and race in media coverage with emphasis on neutral writing and some content analysis. Preparation for students to report on this content with sensitivity and accuracy.

4300 Intercultural Communication

Culture-general instruction in intercultural communication skills and theory.

4310 Audio Production

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

4410 Television Production

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.

4560 Telecommunications Policy: A Political Economy Approach

Introduction to both the process of developing telecommunications policies and the impact of these policies with particular reference to the United States.

4680 WAYN Radio

Participation in WAYN on-line radio.

4990 Directed Study

Supervised individual research.

4996 Senior Honors Thesis

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

5020 Studies in Film History

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

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

5080 History of Journalism and Mass Media

A historical examination of the changing role of the media professional and forms of media and communication as they have developed in relation to particular social, political, economic, and technological conditions.

5120 Public Address

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

5130 Communication and Social Marketing

Principles of social marketing; student-driven group project.

5140 Public Relations and Social Media

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

5160 Public Relations Campaigns and Issues Management

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. Offered for undergraduate credit only.

5190 Senior Seminar in Communication

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

5200 Special Topics in Advanced Reporting

Special areas of interest, such as sports writing, business writing, columns and editorials.

5250 Professional Issues in Journalism and Mass Media

5270 Screenwriting

Principles and techniques of writing for motion pictures. Analysis and study of professionally written scripts. Exercises in writing dramatic and non-fiction screenplays. This course fulfills the Writing Intensive Requirement for the Film major.

5300 Layout and Design

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.

5330 Rhetoric of Visual Culture

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. Offered for undergraduate credit only.

5350 Media Arts Production

Key components of production for electronic media (field, audio, and television production). Production techniques, aesthetic understanding, directing skills. No credit after COM 5380 or COM 5400. Offered for graduate credit only.

5360 Gender and Communication

Analysis of gender communication issues within interpersonal, group, organizational, intercultural, public, and mass mediated contexts. Offered for undergraduate credit only.

5380 Video Field Production and Editing

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

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.

5390 Digital Animation

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

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

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

5420 Director's Workshop

Organization and execution of the film and video director's tasks through production of a major creative project.

5440 Film, Cinematography and Lighting

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

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

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

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.

5520 International Communications

Examination of the complex issues pertaining to international telecommunication, broadcasting and satellite systems within the broader political, economic and sociocultural contexts of globalization.

5540 Film Criticism and Theory

Introduction to the major classical and contemporary theoretical and critical approaches to the study of film and screen arts, inclusive of Third Cinema theory, in a globalized, multi-screen media environment.

5610 Advanced TV Production

Students work on producing live, recorded TV programs and work on a professional-style TV production crew. Positions include technical director, teleprompter operator, producers, audio, lighting, staging/set construction personnel, camera operators, editors.

5710 Law and Ethics in Journalism and Mass Media

Covers legal and ethical issues in Journalism and Mass Media. It is designed to help students in journalism, public relations, advertising, and other media professions understand the practical application of law and ethics in their working lives.

5900 Senior Project in Communication Studies

Combination of lectures and workshops to assist students in carrying out a service learning or individual research project. Offered for undergraduate credit only.

6050 New Media Practices

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

6100 Speech Writing

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

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

6190 Internship

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

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

Recognition and understanding of differences in culture, ethnicity, gender, and alternative lifestyles; sensitivities in writing and reporting; for students intending careers in the news media. Offered for graduate credit only.

6350 Communication, Culture, and Conflict

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

6390 Documentary Storytelling I

Research practices, production techniques and ethical considerations vital to documentary storytelling; camera, sound recording and digital workflow techniques employed in small-crew documentary production; interview and narrative construction techniques. Emphasis on the development of research, conceptualization, visualization, and preproduction skills required for documentary filmmaking. For graduate students, this is the first of a two-semester sequence in documentary filmmaking. Graduate students should plan to register for COM 7390 upon successful completion of this course.

6410 Allesee Master Class

The Allesee Master Class provides students the opportunity to work with leading artists, professionals, and/or scholars in the fields of film, media arts, or broadcast journalism develop and refine professional and creative skills in a production environment.

6530 Audience Measurement and Survey Techniques

Theory and application of quantitative and qualitative research techniques in surveying audiences for electronic media. Offered for graduate credit only.

6680 Directed Projects in Film and Media

Advanced individual projects.

7000 Introduction to MA Studies in Communication

Fundamentals of scholarly research and writing at the graduate level.

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.

7150 Micro-Level Organizational Communication

Communicative processes and behaviors that affect individuals in organizations; quality and quantity of workplace communication at dyadic and group levels.

7160 Crisis Communication

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

7170 Health and Risk Communication

Theory and research in health and risk communication. Role of communication in hindering and promoting health under situations of health risk such as disasters and other public health emergencies.

7200 Rhetoric of Visual Culture

Critical analysis of symbolic and performative dimensions of visual culture. Theoretical and material force of photography, architecture, landscape, museums, public memorials, and others.

7210 New Media and Strategic Communication

Fundamental theories and practical applications of social media, and its strategic use in public relations and professional communication.

7220 Professional Issues in Applied Communication

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

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

7360 Qualitative Research Methods in Communication

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

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

7380 Advanced Media Editing

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.

7420 Seminar in Directing

Provides the advanced media production student the opportunity to devote an entire semester to producing, directing, and editing a significant cinematic or interactive work. It focuses on creative approaches to cinematic visualization, character development, dramatic structure, scene construction, sound design and the direction of performances (actors, talent and production teams) in the crafting of compelling motion picture stories. Students work to establish their artistic voices as they create significant films or interactive digital media projects for professional exhibition and distribution. A completed script or detailed treatment is required prior to registration.

7500 Seminar in Mass Media

Advanced topics in mass communication theory and research.

7520 Theories of Media Effects

Survey of research and theory in mass communication effects on individuals and social systems. Processes of mass media influence; role of mass communications in society.

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: MA

7991 Directed Study: PhD

Research in major field for advanced graduate students.

7999 Master's Essay Direction

8000 Introduction to PhD Studies

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

8350 Advanced Study in Rhetorical Criticism

Study of important decisions in rhetorical criticism; two critical projects refined throughout the term in context of critical process, perspectives and approaches.

8999 Master's Thesis Research and Direction

9990 Pre-Doctoral Candidacy Research

Research in preparation for doctoral dissertation.

9991 Doctoral Candidate Status I: Dissertation Research and Direction

9992 Doctoral Candidate Status II: Dissertation Research and Direction

9993 Doctoral Candidate Status III: Dissertation Research and Direction

9994 Doctoral Candidate Status IV: Dissertation Research and Direction

9995 Candidate Maintenance Status: Doctoral Dissertation Research and Direction