COMMUNICATION COURSES



COMM 101. Introduction to Mass Communication (3; F/S)
Three hours per week. This course serves as an introduction to the communication program. The study of the processes, elements, media, uses, and impact of mass media. History, development, operation, and cultural effects of books, newspapers, magazines, motion pictures, radio, television, sound recording and related media.

COMM 201SI. Introduction to General Speech Communication (3; F/S)
Three hours per week. This course will concentrate on speech delivery techniques, organization patterns and content. Students will be required to demonstrate competency in the delivery of informational, special occasion, extemporaneous, and impromptu speeches. Speeches and other oral communication presentations will be delivered in class for evaluation. Students will be taught to develop and demonstrate skills in a variety of oral communication situations. Attention will be given to each student regarding styles of delivery and content of the message.

COMM 205. Introduction to Advertising (3; S)
Three hours per week. This course offers an overview of the field of advertising, including its history in the United States, advertising as a business, current career opportunities in the field, and past and current trends in both broadcasting and print media.

COMM 207WI. Newswriting (3; F/S)
Three hours per week. Prerequisite: ENGL103 or consent of instructor. COMM 101 is suggested as a co-requisite. Introduction to the process of preparing news copy for mass media. Emphasis on gathering information, writing leads, and organization for straight news and feature stories. Students submit stories to campus media.

COMM 209. History of American Media (3; S)
Three hours per week. Prerequisite: COMM 101 or consent of instructor. Covers the origin, growth, and development of the communication and entertainment media in the United States.

COMM 215. Public Relations Practices & Procedures (3; F)
Three hours per week. Prerequisite: COMM 101 and ENGL 103. Survey of principles, policies, and practice of public relations. Focus will be on planning, determining publics, creating messages, researching and understanding and managing public opinion. Students will participate in actual public relations projects.

COMM 217.  Introduction to Broadcast Journalism (3; F/S)
Three hours per week. The first course in the broadcast journalism sequence, this course offers hands on skills focusing on the fundamental of broadcast journalism. Topics include videography, digital non-linear editing, lighting and audio production. Course objectives include creating news packages for the student run Dolphin Channel broadcast. Students will work to demonstrate competency in lighting, composition, framing, microphone placement and recording. Special emphasis is placed on the basic skills identified by the broadcast television industry.

COMM 301. Effective Communication Strategies (3; F/S)
Three hours per week. Admission is by permission of instructor. An introduction to the principles of effective interpersonal communication explored in a multi-cultural, experiential context. Emphasis is on putting into practice theory and skills in perception, listening and verbal and nonverbal message construction. Also included is an exploration of power and conflict in communication and the development, maintenance, deterioration and repair of relationships.

COMM 302SI. Persuasive Speaking (3)
Three hours per week. Prerequisite: COMM 201SI. is course will require students to demonstrate competency in the structure and delivery of persuasive speeches. Students will be taught to develop and display skills in debate activities. Attention will be given to each student regarding the benefits of persuasive speaking. Assignments will include class discussion in addition to speeches. Students will deliver speeches in class and will be given constructive evaluation in order to become better communicators. Students will be taught speech delivery techniques, organizational patterns and content. COMM 301 prepares student who intend to pursue further studies in speech communication and serves as a prerequisite to COMM 322 Argumentation and Debate. 

COMM 307WI.  Advanced Reporting (3)
Three hours per week. Prerequisite: COMM 207WI. Human interest stories focusing on the arts, education, health, crime and the environment. Students develop both news-feature and magazine-length pieces to be submitted to local media outlets and for publication in Frontiers, a magazine developed by the class containing original features.

COMM 315WI. Public Relations & Advertising Writing (3; F)
Three hours per week. Prerequisite: COMM 207WI and COMM 215. Introduction to promotional, advertising, and public relations writing. Emphasis is on writing news releases, brochures, speeches, reports, proposals, memos, scripts and print and broadcast ad copy. Students will prepare promotional material for actual clients.

COMM 317.  Broadcast Journalism (3; S)
Three hours per week. Prerequisite: COMM 217. Students participating in this class work in the “news” class. Students function as part of a team producing a weekly newscast. Students write, report, shoot, edit, anchor and produce television news. Students in this class must have mastery of the basic skills taught in COMM 217. Throughout the semester students will have opportunities to explore news story ideas and cultivate leadership skills through the role of executive producer. Television roles are rotated to provide opportunity in a variety of roles. Students present their weekly work in the format of a student television broadcast. 

COMM 321. Copy Editing & Newspaper Design (3; F)
Three hours per week. Prerequisite: COMM 207WI and COMM 101. Editing and preparation of news for print media. Includes study and laboratory work in newspaper and magazines. Focus is on editing for audiences, evaluation of news, editing principles, photo uses and editing, typography and layout principles, news packaging, and ethical considerations.

COMM 322. Argumentation and Debate (3; F)
Three hours per week. Prerequisite: COMM 201SI or permission from the instructor. This course offers the opportunity to analyze a large variety of current issues, and includes the use of reasoning, the making of argument briefs, refutation, cross examination goals and techniques and persuasive rhetorical tools. This is a communication class and therefore students will use effective content, organization and delivery techniques as required.

COMM 331. Graphic and Publication Design (3; F)
Three hours per week. Prerequisite: COMM 321. The design and production of publications from the concept stage through to finished product. Includes newspapers, magazines, and various publications within public relations and advertising organizations. Emphasis is on effectively combining content with design. Topics include audience determination and appeal, design principles, use of photography and art, typesetting and typography, printing processes and budget considerations.

COMM 333WI. Broadcast Newswriting/Reporting (3; F)
Three hours per week. Prerequisite: COMM 207WI. Emphasis is on broadcast news reporting, writing, and interviewing. Study of broadcast considerations for story selection, length, and style. Lab exercises will focus on reporting and writing.

COMM 335WI. Advertising Copywriting (3; S)
Three hours per week. Prerequisite: COMM 205. An introduction to the field of advertising copywriting. Emphasis is on writing and creating advertisements including print, outdoor, radio and television advertising copy. This is a writing intensive course. Students will prepare a variety of projects including a complete advertising campaign for an actual client. 

COMM 365. Communication Theory (3; S)
Three hours per week. Prerequisite: COMM 101. An examination of the major theoretical perspectives in mass communication, from the agenda setting functions of the media to the ways audiences use and shape media messages. The course will cover major theories and their practitioners with special attention to media consumption and use, gender and race, and the inter-relationship between mass communication theory and cultural studies.

COMM 395. Communication Practicum (1; F/S)
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing, permission of the instructor and COMM 207WI. May be repeated for credit. Total hours for this or other practica, singly or in combination, may total no more than three credit hours. Students will work as reporters, photographers, editors, and advertising sales representatives on the staffs of the various media. Students will be assigned various jobs and be graded on their performance. Laboratory work on the Navigator, the weekly newspaper, and the Riparian, the yearbook.

COMM 401. Communicating to Diverse Publics (3)
Three hours per week. An introduction to intercultural communication, this course focuses on differences in interpersonal communication due to race, gender, age, ethnicity and sexual orientation. An experiential approach will be used in exploring and understanding these differences. Students will select a specific targeted public for an in-depth study that will include a student guide and the creation of a mini instructional workshop.

COMM 415. Public Relations Case Studies (3; S)
Three hours per week. Prerequisite: COMM 215. A case study approach to solving public relations problems. Course will examine issues involving organizational image, internal and external audiences, media relations and public affairs.

COMM 417. Advanced Broadcast Journalism (3)
Three hours per week. Prerequisite COMM 317 or permission of instructor. This advanced level course builds on the fundamental principles of broadcast journalism, story development, production, and news writing. Students work independently and in small groups utilizing digital non-linear equipment to develop, produce, shoot, and edit fully contained projects to air on the student television station, the Dolphin Channel. Students are encouraged to produce compelling documentary style videos utilizing broadcast journalism skills and creativity. 

COMM 445. Advertising Campaigns (3)
Three hours per week. Prerequisite: COMM 101 and COMM 205. This advanced level course in advertising explores effective advertising campaigns. Students will learn the principles of conducting campaigns, including research, setting objectives, writing strategies, and accomplishing goals. Students apply the principles of effective advertising to a campaign for an actual client.

COMM 450. Nonverbal Communication (3; F)
Three hours per week. The course will concentrate on nonverbal communication in human interaction. Students will be taught to observe and evaluate the nonverbal language that interacts with verbal communication. The objective is to become more sensitive to how people communicate by touch (haptics), space between people (proxemics), personal appearance, environmental settings, group dynamics, body movements (kinesics), vocal sounds (vocalics), smells (olfactions), time (chronemics) and other channels of nonverbal communication. The course is taught with discussions based on the professor’s and student’s oral presentations.

COMM 452. Special Topics in Communication (3)
Three hours per week. May be repeated for credit when the topic is different. Content will change, centering on a particular topic or theme, which will be announced each semester the course is offered.

COMM 455. Principles of Mass Media Law (3; S)
Three hours per week. Prerequisite: COMM 209 or consent of instructor. Course opens with a broad discussion of the American legal system, progresses to discussions of specific key cases and issues involving freedom of the press and regulation of broadcasting.

COMM 465. Communication Research (3; S)
Three hours per week. Prerequisites: COMM 101, COMM 205 and COMM 215. Students will be exposed to and will carry out different types of communication research, including content analysis, surveys, focus groups, and laboratory experiments.

COMM 475. Media Ethics (3; S)
Three hours per week. Prerequisite: Senior standing. An investigation of the conflicting responsibilities facing communications professionals. Using a case study approach, this course will focus on the craft of ethical decision-making within current media guidelines. Topics of discussion will include the historical roots of limitations on the media, changing social expectations for information dissemination, and editorial leadership. Cases involving conflicts of value in print, broadcasting, advertising and public relations will be analyzed.

COMM 485. Senior Communication Seminar (3; F)
Three hours per week. Prerequisite: Senior communication major. A culminating experience for senior communication majors, the seminar will focus on an in-depth study of current issues in media. Students will produce a research project in one of the three areas of specialization: news/editorial, broadcasting and public relations/advertising.

COMM 490. Communication Internship (var. 3-6)
Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing; must have a 2.5 cumulative GPA and a 3.0 GPA in their major. (GPA requirement may be waived in exceptional or extraordinary cases only.)

  • For internships in print journalism, public relations and advertising, students should have completed COMM 101, COMM 201SI, COMM 205, COMM 207WI and COMM 215.
  • For internships in broadcast journalism, students should have completed COMM 101, COMM 201SI, COMM 207WI and COMM 217. The course may be repeated. The student will work a minimum of three (3) hours per week for each hour of credit and earn a maximum of six (6) hours of credit. The student will register for no more than 15 total hours during the semester in which the internship is conducted, or nine (9) hours during the summer. This internship must be arranged through the coordinator of internships for the department and approved by the chair of the Department of Communication, the chair of the Division of Humanities, the Dean of the College of Arts and a supervising representative of organization providing the internship.