Undergraduate Bulletin

Fall 2021 Bulletin

COM: Communication

COM 106: Introduction to Mass Media

A survey of the historical evolution, content, and structural elements of mass media. This introduction to social science research approaches to the study of mass communication enables participants to understand mass media's political, economic, social, psychological influences on individuals and broader U.S. society. Students examine the effect and impacts of mass communication on contemporary society and consider how global media influence and are influenced by U.S. media. This course is offered as both JRN 106 and COM 106.

Prerequisite: Journalism Major or Minor or Communication Major or Minor

SBC:     SBS, USA

3 credits

COM 120: Fundamentals of Public Speaking

Focuses on the core principles underlying effective oral presentations and the development of effective presentations in public and professional settings. There is an emphasis on analyzing audiences, composing meaningful, coherent messages, conducting responsible research, developing effective arguments, and improving delivery skills to strengthen confidence and credibility. Students will develop skills that lay the foundation for success in future speaking endeavors in both professional and personal settings. This course will also focus on how to make critical judgments as an audience to public discourse. Upon completion of this course students will be more confident and effective speakers and listeners. This course is offered as both JRN 120 and COM 120.

SBC:     SPK

3 credits

COM 207: Media Writing

A hands-on approach to different forms of media writing online and in print. Careful examination of professional media writing enables students to understand informational and persuasive writing, evaluation, and judgement. Participants will understand the difference between journalistic writing and other forms of media writing and learn how media professionals construct different story forms based on ethical principles. This course is offered as both JRN 207 and COM 207.

Prerequisite: Journalism Major or Minor or Communication Major or Minor

3 credits

COM 208: History of Mass Communication

A survey of the history of mass communication in the American colonies and the United States. Students examine the ways in which mass communication has shaped, and has been shaped by, technological, economic, political, social, and cultural changes across the globe. Students will apply the skills and tools used by historians and journalists to understand the presence of the past in their lives and the critical role they play in the ongoing history of mass communication. This course is offered as both JRN 208 and COM 208.

Prerequisite: Journalism Major or Minor or Communication Major or Minor

SBC:     USA

3 credits

COM 305: Mass Communication Law & Ethics

Provides students with a model by which they can analyze, understand, and act upon the law and ethical considerations that journalists and mass media professionals and consumers face in the 21st century. The class will use case studies, the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics, the First Amendment Handbook from the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press, and current newsworthy stories to build an analytical model. This course is offered as both JRN 305 and COM 305.

Prerequisite: JRN Maj/Min or COM Maj/Min; and U3 or U4 status

3 credits

COM 306: Modes of Media Criticism

An introduction and overview of methods of criticism that guides participants to analyze contemporary forms of media and media culture. We systematically work through different types of critical media analysis, including textual, production, and audience-centered approaches. Participants learn to situate these methodological approaches within a critical and cultural studies framework. Each methodological approach is paired with a screening and readings that model the respective forms of criticism we are exploring in class. Through hands-on analysis of media (television, film, Internet, video games, advertising, etc.) and application of media/cultural studies theory, participants build the required skills to produce methodologically rigorous critical media analyses. This course is offered as both JRN 306 and COM 306.

Prerequisite: JRN Maj/Min or COM Maj/Min; and U3 or U4 status

3 credits

COM 307: Critical Media Theory

An introduction to critical theory as it relates specifically to media and mass communication. We will survey the most significant theoretical developments in media and cultural studies in a chronologically structured order, following the Frankfurt School through contemporary critical/cultural studies of the media to cover the diverse and important debate on the relationship between individuals, society, and the media we create and consume. Participants engage in thoughtful debate and undertake their own examination of a specific theory or body of theory. This course is offered as both JRN 307 and COM 307.

SBC:     HFA+

3 credits

COM 316: Mass Communication Research Methods

A systematic overview of key contemporary research methods in media and mass communication. Based in social science methods, participants pursue a deeper understanding quantitative and qualitative research methods and provides opportunities for application through individual and team-based research projects. Participants will build on and apply their existing understanding of media and mass communication to understand the principles behind well conducted research, including the design of research questions, a range of methodological approaches, development and application of these approaches, and standards related to research on human subjects.

SBC:     SBS+

3 credits

COM 317: Mass Communication Theory

An overview of historical and contemporary theories of mass communication, media, and culture with particular focus on social and behavioral theory. The course covers key empirical theoretical perspectives on mass communication processes. We examine the foundations of theoretical inquiry and explore applications of theory.

Prerequisite: JRN Maj/Min or COM Maj/Min; and U3 or U4 status

3 credits

COM 346: Race, Class, and Gender in Media

A critical examination of race, class, and gender in contemporary media. The class will explore traditional and social media to understand how identity and social configurations shape and are shaped by media. Participants will analyze how media industries and media representations relate to national and global diversity and explore theories that seek to explain media's role in representing race, class, and gender and how media influence our experience of diversity. Course participants will produce a collaboratively designed media project that comments on and challenges misrepresentations. This class will be offered as JRN 346 and COM 346

Prerequisite: JRN Maj/Min or COM Maj/Min; and U3 or U4 status

3 credits

COM 351: Team Collaboration

An applied experience that focuses on advanced interpersonal communication principles to enhance project- based, cross-disciplinary collaboration. There is an emphasis on co-creating shared meaning, developing trust through transparency, leveraging common ground to communicate complex concepts, reframing messages to overcome disagreements, and learning how to seamlessly lead and follow. Students will gain clarity on their own communication styles, and work together to create strategies for enhanced collaboration among team members who offer different expertise, perspectives, and experiences. Students will implement team science approaches in interdisciplinary projects to answer complex research questions, effectively collaborate with team members, assess their team’s performance, and produce high impact research outcomes to address the needs of the broader community.

Prerequisite: U3 or U4 status

SBC:     EXP+

3 credits

COM 365: Talking Science

Designed to help undergraduate students in the sciences communicate effectively and responsively with multiple audiences, from peers and professors to potential employers and the media. Rather than a bag of tricks and techniques, this course will push a shift in the students' understanding of communication: 1) audience-centered, 2) goal oriented, and 3) dynamic. Among the techniques we use are improvisational theatre exercises that will help you connect with an audience, pay close and dynamic attention to others, read non-verbal cues, and respond freely without self-consciousness. We also will strongly focus on storytelling as a medium through which this communication shift occurs. This course is offered as both JRN 365 and COM 365.

Prerequisite: U3 or U4 status

SBC:     SPK

3 credits

COM 399: Topics in Mass Communication

Selected topics in Mass Communication. Topics may include U.S., international contexts. This course enables participants to engage with timely and contemporary issues in mass communication and media. May be repeated as the topic changes.

3 credits

COM 415: Data Analysis and Storytelling

A skill-building exploration of communicating empirical data to different audiences using stories. Using existing data, students practice interpreting data and implementing storytelling tools to create clarity and meaning within goal-oriented, narratives about topics from climate change, to population health, and plant science. Through the Alda Method® for science communication, students learn to engage in clear and vivid communication that ensures data is communicated with integrity and accuracy, which leads to improved understanding by the public, media, patients, elected officials, and others outside of their own discipline. The Alda Method® supports experiential learning by integrating teaching strategies from improvisational theater, communication, journalism, public health, and other relevant fields. This course is offered as both JRN 415 and COM 415.

Prerequisite: JRN Maj/Min or COM Maj/Min; and U3 or U4 status

SBC:     SPK, STAS

3 credits

COM 436: Environmental Communication

An overview of the growing field of Environmental Communication. Over the past decades, an important body of scholarship has emerged in Environmental Communication that includes a number of edited books, dozens of peer-reviewed publications in a wide range of prestigious journals, a series of edited conference proceedings, and an international, peer-reviewed journal, Environmental Communication: A Journal of Nature and Culture. The course gives students an opportunity to participate in engaged research with a local community on an environmental or sustainability problem and link what they have learned through the course materials. with action.

Prerequisite: U3 or U4 status

3 credits

COM 487: Independent Study

Intensive study of a special topic undertaken with close faculty supervision. May be repeated with a different topic.

0-6 credits, S/U grading

COM 491: Mass Communication Senior Project

A required capstone course for all mass communication majors. Students produce a major project that combines a strong research base with creative elements. Each project will have written, visual, and/or interactive components and must include a public outreach component. Students may choose between (1) a creative multimedia project (e.g., short film, documentary, podcast, etc.) that centers on a mass communication topic that is research-based, or (2) an academic research paper that is an original analysis of a mass communication topic (e.g., gender portrayals in the media). Students attend a weekly seminar and work independently to create public-facing work that meets professional standards. They interact with members of the community and because the work is publicly available, students are exposed to the full range of community response. This course is offered as both JRN 491 and COM 491.

Prerequisite: JRN Maj/Min or COM Maj/Min; and U3 or U4 status

SBC:     EXP+, WRTD

3 credits

COM 494: Mass Communication Internship

Participation in local, state, and national public and private agencies and organizations. Students are required to submit written progress reports and a final written report on their experiences to the faculty sponsor and the department. May be repeated up to a limit of 12 credits. This course is offered as both JRN 494 and COM 494.

Prerequisite: U3 or U4 standing and permission of director of undergraduate studies

SBC:     EXP+

0-6 credits, S/U grading