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.
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.
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.
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.
5050 Special Topics
Selected topics in communication to be announced in the Schedule of Classes. No more than six credits may be elected in this special topics course in any graduate degree program
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 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
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.
5310 Investigative Reporting
Advanced reporting techniques involving use of Freedom of Information Act and computer-assisted data base searches; accessing public records.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
7162 Risk Communication: Theoretical and Practical Approaches
Introduces students to the theoretical approaches to risk communication. In addition, students will be introduced to research methods that may be used to conduct evaluation research on the impact of mediated risk communication.
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.
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.
7290 Contemporary Rhetorical Theory
Exploratory analysis of a broad spectrum of recent works relevant to the art of discourse.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
8999 Master's Thesis Research and Direction
9990 Pre-Doctoral Candidacy Research
Research in preparation for doctoral dissertation.