Communication and Media Studies

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The Department of Communication and Media Studies represents one of the fastest-growing disciplines in higher education. It is founded on the belief that competent communication transforms individuals, organizations, and society. Competent communication involves forming and maintaining satisfactory relationships, having skill in a variety of communication behaviors and being able to adjust those behaviors for a variety of situations, showing empathy, and applying ethical guidelines for communication practice. Courses in the department reflect these concepts through the breadth of areas of expertise within the discipline.

Graduating majors are prepared for careers or advanced education in fields as diverse as advertising, entrepreneurship, public relations, broadcast journalism, law, ministry, human resources, higher education, and not-for-profit management.

After completing the requirements for a Communication and Media Studies major, students will be able to:

  • Describe the Communication Discipline and its central questions;
  • Employ Communication theories, perspectives, principles and concepts;
  • Engage in Communication Inquiry;
  • Create messages appropriate to the audience, purpose, and context;
  • Critically analyze messages.
Degree Type: Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Program Contact: Associate Professor Susan Dummer

 

Majors and Minors

Classes

COMM101 : Principles of Communication

Survey course designed to provide students with an introduction to human communication processes. Students will acquire a theoretical basis for understanding and evaluating specialized content areas within the discipline which include: (1) Interpersonal/Relational Communication, (2) Media Studies, (3) Corporate/Organizational Communication, and (4) Rhetorical Studies.

Credit Hour(s)

3

COMM115 : Professional Communication

Introduction to the rhetorical dimensions of public communication in the professional world including the use of technology to enhance multi-media presentations.

Credit Hour(s)

3

COMM215 : Introduction to Media Studies

This course covers the technical and social history of major media from the early days of radio through the rise of the internet and digital communication technologies. The course also introduces students to critical perspectives on the media and theoretical conceptions of what the media are and the role they play in society. Examines the historical and technical development of the mass media. This course serves as an introduction to basic theoretical examinations of media.

Credit Hour(s)

3

COMM263 : News Media Practicum

Supervised practical experience in news reporting, broadcasting, and possibly webcasting through the student radio station facilities. Requires two scheduled hours per week for every credit hour taken.

Credit Hour(s)

1 - 3

COMM264 : Sports Media Practicum

Supervised practical experience in sports reporting, broadcasting, and possibly webcasting through the student radio station facilities.

Credit Hour(s)

1 - 3

COMM265 : Communication Practicum

Supervised practical experience in media production, broadcasting, and possibly webcasting through the student radio station facilities.

Credit Hour(s)

1 - 3

COMM302 : Media Journalism

Principles and problems of news and feature writing for print media.

Credit Hour(s)

3

Prerequisites

COMM 101, 115, or 200.

COMM306 : Media Criticism

Provides an examination of critical theories and their application to a variety of media forms.

Credit Hour(s)

3

Prerequisites

COMM 215.

COMM310 : Persuasion and Propaganda

Examination of classical and contemporary theories of rhetoric (persuasion and propaganda) as they apply to speech, media, campaigns, social movements, and popular culture.

Credit Hour(s)

3

Prerequisites

COMM 101, 115 or 200.

COMM312 : Group Dynamics

Examination of the increasing importance of interpersonal communication in small group situations. Experiential group activities and research required for in-class and outside projects.

Credit Hour(s)

3

COMM315 : Advertising

Examination and analysis of principles and concepts of advertising with special emphasis on developing creative strategies for the marketing plan and advertising campaign.

Credit Hour(s)

3

Prerequisites

COMM 101, 115 or 200.

COMM320 : Communication Theory and Research Methods

This course examines the role of communication theories used to understand and assess communication in contemporary social environments. Specifically, this course examines current trends in communication research, along with various fundamental theories.

Credit Hour(s)

3

Prerequisites

COMM 101, 115 or 200.

COMM323 : Conflict Management

Examines the roles of communication in relational conflict. Addresses interpersonal theories that explain ineffective skills, personal dispositions, and strategies that affect dispute resolution.

Credit Hour(s)

3

COMM325 : Human Communication and Technology

This course explores the role of electronic and digital technologies in facilitating human communication. It addresses questions concerning how technology affects the way we communicate and how changes in communication and technology may alter our relationships with one another and the technology itself. Topics will include computer-mediated communication, text messaging, social networking, and virtual communities.

Credit Hour(s)

3

COMM329 : Gender and Communication

Examination of gender and gender stereotypes related to communication competency in four primary contexts: intimate relationships (e.g., friendships and family), the educational setting, the media, and the workplace.

Credit Hour(s)

3

COMM331 : Nonverbal Communication

Examines nonverbal communication codes, including their structures, usages, and interrelationships. Stresses student understanding, analysis, and application of nonverbal communication through lecture, discussion, and experiential activities.

Credit Hour(s)

3

COMM333 : Sports and Communication

This course examines the influence of communication on the experiences of sport. Students will examine the impact of media on sport consumption and the dynamics of communication with sport organizations. Cultural, organizational, and critical theoretical approaches will be applied to various contexts to explore contemporary issues in sport communication.

Credit Hour(s)

3

COMM335 : Media Theory

Study of a broad range of media theory which exposes students to primary theoretical texts.

Credit Hour(s)

3

Prerequisites

COMM 101 or 115, 200, and 215.

COMM345 : Emergent Media

This course explores media that are still developing, the use and roles of which are still being determined. Students will examine academic studies and practical industrial applications of emerging media, including social and mobile media, marketing techniques, content creation, and globalization.

Credit Hour(s)

3

Prerequisites

COMM 215.

COMM350 : Entrepreneurial Leadership

Attempts to identify the new characteristics and behaviors that benefit new ventures and also questions whether these characteristics benefit leaders in contexts other than startup organizations.

Credit Hour(s)

3

Prerequisites

COMM 101, 115, or 200.

COMM360 : Event Planning

Students will incorporate understanding and practical application of corporate events coordination concepts with basic Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) principles. Students will be able to understand and implement event coordination concepts from the pre-planning, planning, execution, and follow-up phases, as well as understand how IMC principles such as brand management, audience analysis, and public relations are imperative to execution of a corporate event.

Credit Hour(s)

3

COMM400 : Organizational Communications

Communication processes within an organization, such as socialization, performance control, decision- making, conflict management, diversity, and technology.

Credit Hour(s)

3

COMM413 : Leadership for Change

Overview of leadership theories and the examination of the communication processes involved in developing and sharing a vision, making and implementing decisions, and managing conflict.

Credit Hour(s)

3

Prerequisites

COMM 101, 115 or 200.

COMM415 : Public Relations

A campaign-based study of public relations literature and practices in business, industrial, educational, social, and governmental contexts.

Credit Hour(s)

3

Prerequisites

COMM 101, 115 or 200.

COMM418 : Intercultural Communication

Examination of the influence of culture as a primary variable on interpersonally-oriented communication outcomes in contexts ranging from macro- and microcultures of social and ethnic identification to countercultures, social classes, rural-urban settings, geographic regions, and gender differences in organizations and families.

Credit Hour(s)

3

COMM420 : Videography: The Documentary

An examination and analysis of principles and concepts of videography, including the planning, development, production, and post-production of short-video genres.

Credit Hour(s)

3

Prerequisites

COMM 215.

COMM425 : Seminar in Popular Culture

Popular culture has been described as a sphere in which audiences struggle over meaning and understanding of reality. This course explores the study of that struggle, examining the ways in which the media contribute to the construction of popular culture and help to define the ways in which we view the world.

Credit Hour(s)

3

COMM440 : Independent Study

Study of a limited subject within any communication area, proposed by the student and submitted in written form stating objectives, methodology, and time limit. Must be approved by a COMM faculty member who agrees to supervise the study and by the department chair prior to registration. Only three hours may be applied toward the major.

Credit Hour(s)

1 - 3

Prerequisites

COMM 320 and approved prospectus.

COMM444 : Crisis Communication

This course examines the role of communication before, during, and after crises. Both theoretical and practical applications of crisis communication will be studied. Students are expected to complete projects that intersect interpersonal, corporate, community, and mediated contexts.

Credit Hour(s)

3

COMM450 : Seminar in Communication and Media Studies

Integrative experiences and research on current topics of interest in communication theory and practices.

Credit Hour(s)

3

Prerequisites

27 hours of major completed, including all core courses, and application approved by department.

COMM460 : Internship

Fieldwork activity in a related communication field to apply classroom theory.

Credit Hour(s)

3 - 6

Prerequisites

15 hours of major completed and chair approval.

SAM315 : Sports Events and Operations Planning

The course is designed to provide sport administrators with the knowledge necessary for operating and planning sport facilities and events. The focus will be on organization and administration, including personnel and resource management, revenue resources, risk assessment, and event management, as well as facility design and maintenance. A variety of venues will be examined, to include indoor and outdoor stadiums, arenas, gymnasiums, athletic field complexes, and recreational centers.

Credit Hour(s)

3

SAM400 : Legal Issues in Sport

The course looks at the way sport is governed in our changing world on both the amateur and professional level. Organizational policies that regulate high school, intercollegiate, state, national, international amateur sport, and professional level sport will be examined. The legal concerns faced at these various levels will be addressed by focusing primarily on tort liability and risk management, contract, and constitutional law.

Credit Hour(s)

3

SAM450 : Senior Seminar

This capstone experience is intended to involve all aspects of the chosen course concentration in Sports Administration at the undergraduate level. The student has options through which this may be done. A successful capstone project will satisfy the following objectives: demonstrate theoretical and practical knowledge of sport administration through its application to real-life scenarios, demonstrate a competent knowledge of the organizational and managerial logistics of being involved in the sport industry, demonstrate competent knowledge in interpersonal and leadership skills, develop materials which will prove useful when seeking employment, and demonstrate individual creativity, initiative, and responsibility.

Credit Hour(s)

3