Courses Offered in the Department of 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

    Foundational course in production principles, techniques, and processes and current industry practices. Through in-class exercises and out-of-class projects, students gain hands-on experience with camera, lighting, sound, and non-linear editing equipment and software in the creation of digital film, video, and audio content.

  • 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.

  • 2300 Intercultural Communication

    The purpose of this course is to engage students in an in-depth exploration of culture within and among different social groups, from a communicative perspective. Discussions and readings will include communication as an element of culture, key concepts and terms that ground our understandings of cross-cultural interactions, a history of the discipline and relevant theories and research in this area.

  • 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

    Through a focus on the analysis of media texts (from movies to memes and everything in between and beyond) students are introduced to the techniques and methods necessary for the comprehension and practice of media criticism. By thinking and writing critically, evaluation of media texts will draw from aspects of both reception and production practices; case studies will be made of a broad-based spectrum of styles, genres, and periods.

  • 3100 Public Affairs Reporting

    Advanced news reporting, focusing on governmental stories.

  • 3150 Science Communication

    Students will have have an opportunity to become familiar with the theory, research, and practice of science communication. They will develop an understanding of quantitative research methods in science and engage with the meaning of both science and scientific practice, so that they may critique and help shape broader public interpretation of socially relevant scientific topics (e.g., vaccines, evolution, climate change). Various channels to communicate science with diverse audiences will be examined and students are encouraged to examine how multiple media shape scientific understanding in different ways.

  • 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.

  • 3240 Queer Film and Media

    Queer voices have been an integral part of cinema since its inception in the late nineteenth century. Students in this course will study the intersections of queer lives with the industry and artistry of film and media. To do this, we will revisit film history with an eye for the queer experience, identify landmark works and key pioneers of queer cinema, consider how queer representations have shifted across decades, and analyze the integral themes and styles of queer media.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 4130 Communication Ethics

    Issues of responsible communication in a variety of contexts including public relations, organizational, and interpersonal communication.

  • 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.

  • 4270 Group Communication

    Theory, research, and practice in group processes and problem-solving in small groups within professional contexts.

  • 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.

  • 4500 Leadership Communication

    Theory and application of leadership processes in for-profit and nonprofit organizations.

  • 4560 Telecommunications Policy: A Political Economy Approach

    Introduction to government and corporate policies that govern telecommunication networks. Critical approaches to the study of emerging legal and policy issues pertaining to the dynamic and evolving communication networks and technologies, including surveillance practices and privacy issues.

  • 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.

  • 5010 History of Communication Technologies

    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

    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 history and contemporary global landscape documentary film, video and digital media. Through screenings, readings and discussions, the course explores approaches to the analysis of documentary form and content including cinematic modes, social impact, ethical considerations and the processes of production, financing and distribution.

  • 5070 Culture, Communication, and Media

    The purpose of this course is to engage students in an in-depth exploration of culture, communication, and media technologies and practices in everyday life. In essence, we will study how understandings of culture shape the world around us, even as it is shaped and mediated by everyday communication, often taken for granted. The course challenges students to rethink everyday representations of culture and social groups, unpack how power relations permeate cultural contexts, and identify alternative frames and openings through emerging media technologies.

  • 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 Special Topics in Communication Studies

    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

    Capstone course for journalism majors; must be taken in the last year of study. This course explores the issues and skill-set required to successfully enter the news media/media career field – either on staff or on your own. Media organizations and entrepreneurial opportunities are covered.

  • 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.

  • 5320 Health Communication

    Communication demands of health care and health promotion; current communication issues and problems in modern health care systems; identification of communication strategies for health care consumers and providers. Offered for undergraduate credit only.

  • 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 digital film/video location production and post-production techniques. 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.

  • 6090 Digital Screen Media

    Foundational techniques of creating transmedia content. Students explore basic interactivity, and gain experience designing and implementing sites for multimedia platforms.

  • 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.

  • 6180 Principles of Health Communication

    Graduate survey of theory, research and practice in communication; emphasis on collaborative patient-provider interactions and health campaigns. Offered for graduate credit only.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 7010 Special Topics

    Selected topics in communication to be announced in the Schedule of Classes.

  • 7040 Language and Power

    Ways in which language is used as a device of oppression and liberation.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 7172 Risk Communication: Disasters, Hazards, and the Media

    Introduces students to the role of mass media in communicating about disasters and hazards, public opinion and cultural understanding of risk as expressed through popular culture, individual and public policy response to risk messages, and some introduction to the ethical issues embedded in the concept of risk.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 7290 Contemporary Rhetorical Theory

    Exploratory analysis of a broad spectrum of recent works relevant to the art of discourse.

  • 7340 Interviewing

    Theory and research on interviewing across a range of contexts. Topics include: constructing questions and protocols, listening, role, self-presentation, social understanding. Contexts may include screening, counseling, legal, journalism and research.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 7610 Feminist Media Theory

    Overview and discussion of feminist theories, women studies theories, and gender studies theories and their intersections with and applications to theories in communication studies, journalism studies, and media studies.

  • 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.

  • 8140 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.

  • 8250 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.

  • 8340 Communication, Culture, and Conflict

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

  • 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