School of Communication Minors

A minor is a related set of academic courses consisting of no fewer than 15 credit hours. The School of Communication is home to four minors:

Minor in Communication

The communication minor offers students a foundation in human communication theories, research, and skills. Students select courses in mass media analysis, communication in professional and organizational contexts, communication skills, and critical reflection of and on communication in society.

Notes about this minor:

  • This minor is closed to students majoring in communication.
  • Posting of the minor on the student's academic transcript requires a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the minor.
Course
Required Course:
COMM-101
Human Communication
An introduction to the theoretical and conceptual underpinnings of oral, visual and written communication. Introduces basic communication models, the role of language in communication, symbols and symbol making, issues of audience analysis and the development of different modes of discourse. Also explores the history of communication and introduces students to basic principles and research in communication studies.
Electives
Choose four of the following:
COMM-142
Introduction to Technical Communication
This course introduces students to current best practices in written and visual technical communication including writing effective email, short and long technical reports and presentations, developing instructional material and learning the principles and practices of ethical technical communication. Course activities focus on engineering and scientific technical documents.
COMM-201
Public Speaking
The public speaking course is designed to equip the student with knowledge of the theories and principles necessary for formal public speaking. Informative and persuasive speeches are the focus with emphasis on organization, evidence, language use, strategy, delivery, and effective use of media aids. Public speaking is generally offered each semester.
COMM-202
Mass Communications
The history and development of U.S. media, theoretical aspects of mass communications, the composition of media audiences, law and regulation of mass communications and how the media affect and are affected by society are presented.
COMM-272
Reporting and Writing l
This course introduces students to the principles and practices of gathering, evaluating, investigating, and presenting information to general audiences. Rights and responsibilities of the press will be analyzed. Although special emphasis will be given to writing and reporting for print publications, other media will be addressed. Special attention will be given to the qualities of writing, especially organization, accuracy, completeness, brevity, and readability. Assignments must conform to Associated Press style.
COMM-302
Interpersonal Communication
Interpersonal communication provides analysis and application of the major theories of interpersonal communication in various situations. The course focuses on perception of self and others, language use, nonverbal communication, and symbolic interaction in the communication of shared meanings in face-to-face and mediated interpersonal relationships. There is a strong focus on both conflict management and intercultural interactions.
COMM-303
Small Group Communication
This course provides students with opportunities to engage in small group decision making and problem solving. Students will analyze and evaluate their own experiences and relate them to theories and research from the field of small group communication.
COMM-304
Intercultural Communication
Intercultural communication provides an examination of the role of culture in face-to-face interaction. Students may find a basic background in communication, anthropology, or psychology useful.
COMM-305
Persuasion
An in-depth study of the theories, practices, effects, and ethics of persuasion. Persuasion is defined as human communication designed to influence ones beliefs, values, attitudes, and actions. This course examines persuasion from a receiver-oriented perspective with interpersonal, small group, organizational, and mediated perspectives.
COMM-341
Visual Communication
This course is an introduction to the study of visual communication. The iconic and symbolic demonstration of visual images used in a variety of media is stressed. The major goal of the course is to examine visual messages as a form of intentional communication that seeks to inform, persuade, and entertain specific target audiences.
COMM-342
Communication Law and Ethics
This course examines major principles and trends in communication law. The course analyzes a broad range of issues related to the First Amendment, intellectual property, and media regulation. Special attention is paid to discussing the major ethical perspectives and issues surrounding contemporary communication behavior.
COMM-343
Technology-Mediated Communication
Technology-mediated communication (TMC) was originally defined as a form of electronic written communication. As networking tools advanced, TMC expanded to include new software developments, such as instant messenger and the Web. Today, the term technology-mediated communication is used to refer to a wide range of technologies that facilitate both human communication and the interactive sharing of information through computer networks. Through readings, discussions, and observations of online behavior, students will be introduced to TMC terms and theories to further develop their TMC communication and critical thinking skills.
COMM-344
Health Communication
An introduction to the subject of communication in health care delivery and in public health campaigns, with an emphasis on interpersonal, organizational, and mass communication approaches. Also covered is the interrelationship of health behavior and communication.
COMM-345
Ethics in Technical Communication
Ethics is the study of morals, of what is right and good, especially regarding specific moral choices. In a given situation, a system of ethics helps us answer the question: What should I do? Ethics in technical communication explores the ways in which ethical conduct is important in the communication of technical information, particularly among professional technical communicators; establishes principles, based on the history of ethical studies, for making ethical choices as technical communicators; and provides opportunities to apply ethical principles to case studies, in order to better understand the often problematical nature of ethical choices in technical-or any-communication.
COMM-503
Advanced Public Speaking
Further development of knowledge and skills learned in public speaking. This course emphasizes language, delivery, and speech organization, requiring stu-dents to develop and deliver speeches for various occasions, using a variety of delivery methods. Students will present out-of-the-classroom speeches as well as practice ghostwriting.
COMM-223
Digital Design In Communication
In an increasingly visual culture, and culture of online user-created content, non-designers are called upon in the professional realm to illustrate their ideas. Graduates entering the workforce will encounter situations where they will benefit from possessing a visual communication sensibility and vocabulary to communicate effectively with a broad range of audiences, including professional designers. Creative approaches to challenges, such as visual thinking, are also shown to improve students comprehension and problem-solving abilities. Digital Design in Communication is an opportunity for undergraduates to receive an introduction to principles of visual message design from a critical rhetorical perspective. They will also get the opportunity to apply these principles to a variety of visual products such as advertisements, logos, brochures, resumes, etc. A variety of computer software applications are available to support the research, writing, visualization, and design of messages.

Minor in Journalism

The journalism minor provides students with a foundation in the professional study and practice of journalism. Courses offer a broad perspective that includes historical, legal, and ethical issues of specific concern to journalism, as well as learning and practice writing in a journalistic style for delivery across multiple media platforms.

Notes about this minor:

  • This minor is closed to students majoring in journalism.
  • Posting of the minor on the student's academic transcript requires a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the minor.
  • Notations may appear in the curriculum chart below outlining pre-requisites, co-requisites, and other curriculum requirements (see footnotes).
Course
Required Courses
COMM-271
Introduction to Journalism
The course covers the impact/effect of journalism on American society, with an introduction to the history, freedom, technologies, ethics, and functions of the news media. Students will learn how to assess news value, develop news judgment, and analyze news stories.
Electives
Choose four of the following:*
COMM-261
History of Journalism
This course presents the history of American journalism from colonial times to the present, including the advance of press freedom under the First Amendment and how it has affected the development of American media. The influences of Europe, colonial politics in America, national expansion, urbanization, war, and technology are further developed. Journalisms relationship to politics, institutions and culture will be investigated. Newspaper, magazine, and broadcast industries will be examined for ideas that have changed American journalism.
COMM-263
Computer-Assisted Reporting
This course covers how to report on, illustrate, find and analyze records and databases, with emphasis on investigative reporting.
COMM-272
Reporting and Writing I
This course introduces students to the principles and practices of gathering, evaluating, investigating, and presenting information to general audiences. Rights and responsibilities of the press will be analyzed. Although special emphasis will be given to writing and reporting for print publications, other media will be addressed. Special attention will be given to the qualities of writing, especially organization, accuracy, completeness, brevity, and readability. Assignments must conform to Associated Press style.
COMM-273
Reporting and Writing II
Practicum in advanced techniques of news gathering, reporting, and writing, with an emphasis on reportorial principles and practices. This class expands upon the processes of gathering, evaluating, investigating, and presenting information to news media audiences previously introduced in newswriting.
COMM-274
News Editing
This course introduces students to the principles and practices of editing hard news and feature articles, including news judgment, story selection, headline writing, copy editing, and picture editing. The course emphasizes reader interest, readability, clarity, verification, and style, as well as legality, ethics, and propriety.
COMM-342
Communication Law and Ethics
This course examines major principles and trends in communication law. The course analyzes a broad range of issues related to the First Amendment, intellectual property, and media regulation. Special attention is paid to discussing the major ethical perspectives and issues surrounding contemporary communication behavior.
COMM-361
Reporting in Specialized Fields
An in-depth study, analysis, and practicum of a selected advanced and focused subject in professional journalism. Specific subject matter of the course varies according to faculty assigned and is published when the course is offered; students may enroll in this class no more than twice as long as the specific subject matter is different. Examples include education journalism, health journalism, business journalism, reporting public affairs, sports journalism, editorial (or opinion) writing, and reporting for alternative media.
COMM-362
Law and Ethics of the Press
This course examines major principles and trends in communication law. The course analyzes a broad range of issues related to the First Amendment, intellectual property, and media regulation. Special attention is paid to discussing the major ethical perspectives and issues surrounding contemporary communication behavior.
COMM-442
Professional Writing
Students develop writing, research, and interviewing skills necessary to the composition of articles for magazines, newsletters, and other similar publications. In addition students learn how to investigate the market for and sell their writing, and how to write query letters. Much of the course is conducted as a workshop, during which students appraise each other's work, and make suggestions for revision.
COMM-461
Multi-platform Journalism
The Internet is an important source of news information, rivaling print, radio, and television news. This course introduces students to the principles and practices of online news reporting, including writing for mainstream news sites, journalistic blogs (Web logs), share and discussion sites, and other evolving online news outlets. The course familiarizes students with the tools of the online reporter: for example, vetting sources on the Web, conducting e-mail interviews, and writing for Web pages. Also, students explore the cultural and ethical terrain unique to the wired environment.

* At least two courses must be at the 300 level or higher

Minor in Advertising and Public Relations

The advertising and public relations minor prepares students to analyze audiences, write advertising copy, prepare press releases, select media, and manage broad-scaled persuasive campaigns. Students are grounded in the basic theories of persuasive communication enabling them to create persuasive messages with a strong emphasis on ethical decision-making.

Notes about this minor:

  • This minor is closed to students majoring in advertising and public relations or communication.
  • Posting of the minor on the student's academic transcript requires a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the minor.
  • Notations may appear in the curriculum chart below outlining pre-requisites, co-requisites, and other curriculum requirements (see footnotes).
Course
Required Courses
COMM-211
Principles of Advertising‡
An introduction to principles and practices of advertising. Topics include advertising theories, ethics, regulation, consumer research, media planning, message strategy and campaign planning strategy.
COMM-212
Public Relations‡
An introduction to the practice of public relations (PR). Topics include history, research areas, laws, ethics, and social responsibilities as they relate to the theory and practice of PR.
Electives
Choose three of the following:*
COMM-202
Mass Communications
The history and development of U.S. media, theoretical aspects of mass communications, the composition of media audiences, law and regulation of mass communications and how the media affect and are affected by society are presented.
COMM-221
Public Relations Writing
This course covers a variety of forms of writing for public relations, including news releases, newsletters, backgrounders, public service announcements, magazine queries, interviews, coverage memos, media alerts, features, trade press releases, and public presentations. Students will write for a variety of media including print, broadcast, and the Web.
COMM-223
Digital Design in Communication
In an increasingly visual culture, and culture of online user-created content, non-designers are called upon in the professional realm to illustrate their ideas. Graduates entering the workforce will encounter situations where they will benefit from possessing a visual communication sensibility and vocabulary to communicate effectively with a broad range of audiences, including professional designers. Creative approaches to challenges, such as visual thinking, are also shown to improve students comprehension and problem-solving abilities. Digital Design in Communication is an opportunity for undergraduates to receive an introduction to principles of visual message design from a critical rhetorical perspective. They will also get the opportunity to apply these principles to a variety of visual products such as advertisements, logos, brochures, resumes, etc. A variety of computer software applications are available to support the research, writing, visualization, and design of messages.
COMM-303
Small Group Communication
This course provides students with opportunities to engage in small group decision making and problem solving. Students will analyze and evaluate their own experiences and relate them to theories and research from the field of small group communication.
COMM-305
Persuasion
An in-depth study of the theories, practices, effects, and ethics of persuasion. Persuasion is defined as human communication designed to influence ones beliefs, values, attitudes, and actions. This course examines persuasion from a receiver-oriented perspective with interpersonal, small group, organizational, and mediated perspectives.
COMM-321
Copywriting and Visualization
An opportunity for undergraduates to learn the verbal and visual skills utilized in the creation of advertising messages. To create an effective strategy for an advertising campaign, the advertising copywriter/art director team needs to combine linguistic and visual metaphors into a persuasive message. Students will develop creative advertising messages by researching and writing a creative brief and then implementing the plan by transforming concepts into actual advertising messages and campaigns.
COMM-322
Campaign Management and Planning†
This course introduces students to the managing and planning of advertising & public relations campaigns. It takes a team project approach thereby helping students learn how to work together in class as well as in a competitive agency. Service-learning will be used to expose students to community causes.
COMM-341
Visual Communication
This course is an introduction to the study of visual communication. The iconic and symbolic demonstration of visual images used in a variety of media is stressed. The major goal of the course is to examine visual messages as a form of intentional communication that seeks to inform, persuade, and entertain specific target audiences.
COMM-356
Critical Practice in Social Media
With the advent of virtual communities, smart mobs, and online social networks, questions about the meaning of human communication and how we construct our online and offline personal and professional identities need to be reevaluated. This course explores the relationship between social media and the construction of both individual and social identities as well as best practices for constructing the desired community or identity. Although the course is grounded in theory, it is equally committed to practice, and much of the class discussion and activity takes place in various online spaces. As a practicum, those who complete this course will know how to engage productively in practices such as tweeting, blogging, tagging, etc. and will develop an understanding of how these practices affect their construction of identity and community both personally and on behalf of an organization.

* At least two courses must be at the 300 level or higher

† This course has two pre-requisites: Principles of Advertising (COMM-211) and Public Relations (COMM-212).

‡ Students are required to take either required course, or they may choose one. If only one is taken, then students must take four courses from the electives list.

Minor in Health Communication

The health communication minor provides students with theoretical and applied knowledge about communication’s role in health care delivery, doctor-patient communication, health campaigns and public health, and other areas related to the dissemination of health information. This collaborative minor is designed for students interested in health care fields or health and risk communication.

Notes about this minor:

  • This minor is closed to students majoring in communication.
  • Posting of the minor on the student's academic transcript requires a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the minor.
Course
Required Course
COMM-344
Health Communication
An introduction to the subject of communication in health care delivery and in public health campaigns, with an emphasis on interpersonal, organizational, and mass communication approaches. Also covered is the interrelationship of health behavior and communication.
Choose one of the following:
COMM-305
Persuasion
An in-depth study of the theories, practices, effects, and ethics of persuasion. Persuasion is defined as human communication designed to influence ones beliefs, values, attitudes, and actions. This course examines persuasion from a receiver-oriented perspective with interpersonal, small group, organizational, and mediated perspectives.
COMM-322
(Health) Campaign Management and Planning
This course introduces students to the managing and planning of advertising & public relations campaigns. It takes a team project approach thereby helping students learn how to work together in class as well as in a competitive agency. Service-learning will be used to expose students to community causes.
Electives
Choose three of the following:
ANTH-325
Bodies and Culture
This course examines the body in culture, society, and history. The course material draws on comparative approaches to the cultural construction of bodies, and the impact of ethnic, gender, racial ideologies on body practices (i.e. surgical alteration, mutilation, beautification, surrogacy, erotica). We will critically investigate the global formation of normative discourses of the body (regarding sexuality, AIDS/illness, reproduction, fat/food) in medical science, consumer culture, and the mass media. The course will be discussion, writing, and project oriented, encouraging students to acquire a range of analytic skills through a combination of text interpretation and research.
COMM-212
Public Relations
An introduction to the practice of public relations (PR). Topics include history, research areas, laws, ethics, and social responsibilities as they relate to the theory and practice of PR.
COMM-221
Public Relations Writing
This course covers a variety of forms of writing for public relations, including news releases, newsletters, backgrounders, public service announcements, magazine queries, interviews, coverage memos, media alerts, features, trade press releases, and public presentations. Students will write for a variety of media including print, broadcast, and the Web.
COMM-223
Digital Design in Communication
In an increasingly visual culture, and culture of online user-created content, non-designers are called upon in the professional realm to illustrate their ideas. Graduates entering the workforce will encounter situations where they will benefit from possessing a visual communication sensibility and vocabulary to communicate effectively with a broad range of audiences, including professional designers. Creative approaches to challenges, such as visual thinking, are also shown to improve students comprehension and problem-solving abilities. Digital Design in Communication is an opportunity for undergraduates to receive an introduction to principles of visual message design from a critical rhetorical perspective. They will also get the opportunity to apply these principles to a variety of visual products such as advertisements, logos, brochures, resumes, etc. A variety of computer software applications are available to support the research, writing, visualization, and design of messages.
ECON-450
Health Care Economics
Examines the economics of health care, the organization of its delivery and financing, and analyzes access to care issues, the role of insurance, the regulation of hospitals, physicians, and the drug industry, the role of technology, and limits on health care spending.
ENGL-345
History of Madness
This course will study the changes in definitions, explanations, and depictions of madness as expressed in psychiatric texts, asylum records, novelists, cartoonists, artists, photographers, filmmakersand patient narratives. Certainly, madness has assumed many names and forms: the sacred disease, frenzy, hysteria, mania, melancholy, neurosis, dementia, praecox, schizophrenia, phobia, post-traumatic stress disorder. Those afflicted have been admired, pitied, mocked, hidden from public view, imprisoned, restrained, operated on, hospitalized, counseled, analyzed, and medicated. The brain, particularly the disordered brain, has long been a source of interest. This course explores the brain from the history of madness. The course takes a humanist, rhetorical, and historicist approach to the question of madness within changing social institutions and popular discourse.
MEDG-105
Health Awareness
This course explores the effects of wellness and disease prevention on the human lifecycle, lifestyles and overall health. Basic structure and function of selected human body systems are discussed and related to factors such as diet and nutrition, alcohol, drugs, smoking, stress and the environment in discussion of health promotion and disease prevention. Lecture and class discussion and student participation are used to explore health related issues.
MEDI-130
Computers in Medicine
This course begins with a historical perspective on computing in medicine. It reviews software and hardware from supercomputers to mobile devices, and surveys their use in medical practice, research, and education. Next it studies the nature of medical data, its collection, organization and use. This sets the stage for the major part of the course which studies important applications of computing to medicine, including Hospital Information Systems (HIS), medical imaging, surgery, telemedicine, and pharmacy.
MEDS-201
Language of Medicine
Language is a systematic means or method of communicating ideas, events, or feelings. It is a combination of words or symbols used to encode and decode information. Medicine has a language to communicate information regarding the human body, its functions, diseases, tests, and procedures. This course explores the language of medicine, the rules of language, language mechanics that apply how to create words, define terms, and identify abbreviations. In addition to learning the fundamentals, the student will gain experience in writing, using the language of medicine, as well as interpreting that language into everyday English.
NUTR-115
Contemporary Nutrition
PSYC-231
Death and Dying
This course examines the role of loss including death in our lives and the way we give and receive support during difficult times. It also looks at how society enfranchises some grievers and disenfranchises others. Included in this course is an examination of our options as consumers of funeral and burial services, grief counseling and other products and services which can either minimize or abate our grief. Central to the course is an examination of the ethical principles which apply to abortion, euthanasia and suicide and an examination of the ways in which the choices we make may be structured to express our core values. Finally, the course explores how The American way of Death differs from that of other societies and how we might incorporate the wisdom of other cultures into our own practices.
SOCI-245
Gender and Health
This course examines connections between gender and health that are both conceptual and empirical. Students will explore the causes of gender-based differences in health outcomes through case studies of sexual and reproductive rights, HIV/AIDS epidemics and violence. Students will also examine global gender and health trends. The course concludes with an examination of gender inequity in health care and policy implications of these inequities.

School of Communication Immersions

An immersion is a set of three related general education courses in a focused area linked by a theme or discipline. The School of Communication is home to three immersions:

Immersion in Communication

The communication immersion provides opportunities for the advanced study of selected areas of communication. Topics include an overview of the fields of persuasion, mass communications, public speaking, and small group communication. Students will understand and apply several modes of communication in academic, professional, and personal situations. 

Notes about this immersion:

  • This immersion is closed to students majoring in advertising and public relations and communication. 
  • Students are required to complete at least one course at the 300-level or above as part of the immersion. 

Course
Electives
Choose three of the following:
COMM-201
Public Speaking
The public speaking course is designed to equip the student with knowledge of the theories and principles necessary for formal public speaking. Informative and persuasive speeches are the focus with emphasis on organization, evidence, language use, strategy, delivery, and effective use of media aids. Public speaking is generally offered each semester.
COMM-202
Mass Communications
The history and development of U.S. media, theoretical aspects of mass communications, the composition of media audiences, law and regulation of mass communications and how the media affect and are affected by society are presented.
COMM-223
Digital Design in Communication
In an increasingly visual culture, and culture of online user-created content, non-designers are called upon in the professional realm to illustrate their ideas. Graduates entering the workforce will encounter situations where they will benefit from possessing a visual communication sensibility and vocabulary to communicate effectively with a broad range of audiences, including professional designers. Creative approaches to challenges, such as visual thinking, are also shown to improve students comprehension and problem-solving abilities. Digital Design in Communication is an opportunity for undergraduates to receive an introduction to principles of visual message design from a critical rhetorical perspective. They will also get the opportunity to apply these principles to a variety of visual products such as advertisements, logos, brochures, resumes, etc. A variety of computer software applications are available to support the research, writing, visualization, and design of messages.
COMM-302
Interpersonal Communication
Interpersonal communication provides analysis and application of the major theories of interpersonal communication in various situations. The course focuses on perception of self and others, language use, nonverbal communication, and symbolic interaction in the communication of shared meanings in face-to-face and mediated interpersonal relationships. There is a strong focus on both conflict management and intercultural interactions.
COMM-303
Small Group Communication
This course provides students with opportunities to engage in small group decision making and problem solving. Students will analyze and evaluate their own experiences and relate them to theories and research from the field of small group communication.
COMM-304
Intercultural Communication
Intercultural communication provides an examination of the role of culture in face-to-face interaction. Students may find a basic background in communication, anthropology, or psychology useful.
COMM-305
Persuasion
An in-depth study of the theories, practices, effects, and ethics of persuasion. Persuasion is defined as human communication designed to influence ones beliefs, values, attitudes, and actions. This course examines persuasion from a receiver-oriented perspective with interpersonal, small group, organizational, and mediated perspectives.
COMM-341
Visual Communication
This course is an introduction to the study of visual communication. The iconic and symbolic demonstration of visual images used in a variety of media is stressed. The major goal of the course is to examine visual messages as a form of intentional communication that seeks to inform, persuade, and entertain specific target audiences.
COMM-342
Communication Law and Ethics
This course examines major principles and trends in communication law. The course analyzes a broad range of issues related to the First Amendment, intellectual property, and media regulation. Special attention is paid to discussing the major ethical perspectives and issues surrounding contemporary communication behavior.
COMM-343
Technology-Mediated Communication
Technology-mediated communication (TMC) was originally defined as a form of electronic written communication. As networking tools advanced, TMC expanded to include new software developments, such as instant messenger and the Web. Today, the term technology-mediated communication is used to refer to a wide range of technologies that facilitate both human communication and the interactive sharing of information through computer networks. Through readings, discussions, and observations of online behavior, students will be introduced to TMC terms and theories to further develop their TMC communication and critical thinking skills.
COMM-344
Health Communication
An introduction to the subject of communication in health care delivery and in public health campaigns, with an emphasis on interpersonal, organizational, and mass communication approaches. Also covered is the interrelationship of health behavior and communication.
COMM-357
Communication, Gender, and Media
This course examines the relationship between gender and media communication with specific attention to how gender affects choices in mass media and social media practices. Students explore how gender, sexual orientation, sexuality and social roles, affect media coverage, portrayals, production and reception. They consider issues of authorship, spectatorship, (audience) and the ways in which various media content (film, television, print journalism, advertising, social media) enables, facilitates, and challenges these social constructions in society. The course covers communication theories and scholarship as it applies to gender and media, methods of media analysis, and topics of current interest.
COMM-503
Advanced Public Speaking
Further development of knowledge and skills learned in public speaking. This course emphasizes language, delivery, and speech organization, requiring stu-dents to develop and deliver speeches for various occasions, using a variety of delivery methods. Students will present out-of-the-classroom speeches as well as practice ghostwriting.

Immersion in Journalism

The journalism immersion provides opportunities for the advanced study of selected areas of journalism, including its history and relevant legal and ethical issues, and for education and practice in writing and editing skills required of journalists. 

Notes about this immersion:

  • This immersion is closed to students majoring in journalism. 
  • Students are required to complete at least one course at the 300-level or above as part of the immersion.

Course
Required course
COMM-271
Introduction to Journalism
The course covers the impact/effect of journalism on American society, with an introduction to the history, freedom, technologies, ethics, and functions of the news media. Students will learn how to assess news value, develop news judgment, and analyze news stories.
Electives
Choose two of the following:
COMM-261
History of Journalism
This course presents the history of American journalism from colonial times to the present, including the advance of press freedom under the First Amendment and how it has affected the development of American media. The influences of Europe, colonial politics in America, national expansion, urbanization, war, and technology are further developed. Journalisms relationship to politics, institutions and culture will be investigated. Newspaper, magazine, and broadcast industries will be examined for ideas that have changed American journalism.
COMM-263
Computer-Assisted Reporting
This course covers how to report on, illustrate, find and analyze records and databases, with emphasis on investigative reporting.
COMM-272
Reporting and Writing I
This course introduces students to the principles and practices of gathering, evaluating, investigating, and presenting information to general audiences. Rights and responsibilities of the press will be analyzed. Although special emphasis will be given to writing and reporting for print publications, other media will be addressed. Special attention will be given to the qualities of writing, especially organization, accuracy, completeness, brevity, and readability. Assignments must conform to Associated Press style.
COMM-273
Reporting and Writing II
Practicum in advanced techniques of news gathering, reporting, and writing, with an emphasis on reportorial principles and practices. This class expands upon the processes of gathering, evaluating, investigating, and presenting information to news media audiences previously introduced in newswriting.
COMM-274
News Editing
This course introduces students to the principles and practices of editing hard news and feature articles, including news judgment, story selection, headline writing, copy editing, and picture editing. The course emphasizes reader interest, readability, clarity, verification, and style, as well as legality, ethics, and propriety.
COMM-361
Reporting in Specialized Fields
An in-depth study, analysis, and practicum of a selected advanced and focused subject in professional journalism. Specific subject matter of the course varies according to faculty assigned and is published when the course is offered; students may enroll in this class no more than twice as long as the specific subject matter is different. Examples include education journalism, health journalism, business journalism, reporting public affairs, sports journalism, editorial (or opinion) writing, and reporting for alternative media.
COMM-362
Law and Ethics of the Press
This course examines major principles and trends in communication law. The course analyzes a broad range of issues related to the First Amendment, intellectual property, and media regulation. Special attention is paid to discussing the major ethical perspectives and issues surrounding contemporary communication behavior.
COMM-442
Professional Writing
Students develop writing, research, and interviewing skills necessary to the composition of articles for magazines, newsletters, and other similar publications. In addition students learn how to investigate the market for and sell their writing, and how to write query letters. Much of the course is conducted as a workshop, during which students appraise each other's work, and make suggestions for revision.
COMM-461
Multi-platform Journalism
The Internet is an important source of news information, rivaling print, radio, and television news. This course introduces students to the principles and practices of online news reporting, including writing for mainstream news sites, journalistic blogs (Web logs), share and discussion sites, and other evolving online news outlets. The course familiarizes students with the tools of the online reporter: for example, vetting sources on the Web, conducting e-mail interviews, and writing for Web pages. Also, students explore the cultural and ethical terrain unique to the wired environment.

Immersion in Advertising and Public Relations

The advertising and public relations immersion provides opportunities for the advanced study of selected areas central to the persuasive arts as they apply to advertising and public relations, as well as education and practice in the writing, speaking, and design skills required of these professions. 

Notes about this immersion:

  • This immersion is closed to students majoring in advertising and public relations or communication.
  • Students are required to complete at least one course at the 300-level or above as part of the immersion. 
Course
Required Course
Choose one of the following:
COMM-211
Principles of Advertising
An introduction to principles and practices of advertising. Topics include advertising theories, ethics, regulation, consumer research, media planning, message strategy and campaign planning strategy.
COMM-212
Public Relations
An introduction to the practice of public relations (PR). Topics include history, research areas, laws, ethics, and social responsibilities as they relate to the theory and practice of PR.
Electives
Choose two of the following:
COMM-202
Mass Communications
The history and development of U.S. media, theoretical aspects of mass communications, the composition of media audiences, law and regulation of mass communications and how the media affect and are affected by society are presented.
COMM-211
Principles of Advertising*
An introduction to principles and practices of advertising. Topics include advertising theories, ethics, regulation, consumer research, media planning, message strategy and campaign planning strategy.
COMM-212
Public Relations*
An introduction to the practice of public relations (PR). Topics include history, research areas, laws, ethics, and social responsibilities as they relate to the theory and practice of PR.
COMM-221
Public Relations Writing
This course covers a variety of forms of writing for public relations, including news releases, newsletters, backgrounders, public service announcements, magazine queries, interviews, coverage memos, media alerts, features, trade press releases, and public presentations. Students will write for a variety of media including print, broadcast, and the Web.
COMM-303
Small Group Communication
This course provides students with opportunities to engage in small group decision making and problem solving. Students will analyze and evaluate their own experiences and relate them to theories and research from the field of small group communication.
COMM-305
Persuasion
An in-depth study of the theories, practices, effects, and ethics of persuasion. Persuasion is defined as human communication designed to influence ones beliefs, values, attitudes, and actions. This course examines persuasion from a receiver-oriented perspective with interpersonal, small group, organizational, and mediated perspectives.
COMM-321
Copywriting and Visualization
An opportunity for undergraduates to learn the verbal and visual skills utilized in the creation of advertising messages. To create an effective strategy for an advertising campaign, the advertising copywriter/art director team needs to combine linguistic and visual metaphors into a persuasive message. Students will develop creative advertising messages by researching and writing a creative brief and then implementing the plan by transforming concepts into actual advertising messages and campaigns.
COMM-322
Campaign Management and Planning
This course introduces students to the managing and planning of advertising & public relations campaigns. It takes a team project approach thereby helping students learn how to work together in class as well as in a competitive agency. Service-learning will be used to expose students to community causes.
COMM-341
Visual Communication
This course is an introduction to the study of visual communication. The iconic and symbolic demonstration of visual images used in a variety of media is stressed. The major goal of the course is to examine visual messages as a form of intentional communication that seeks to inform, persuade, and entertain specific target audiences.
COMM-356
Critical Practice in Social Media
With the advent of virtual communities, smart mobs, and online social networks, questions about the meaning of human communication and how we construct our online and offline personal and professional identities need to be reevaluated. This course explores the relationship between social media and the construction of both individual and social identities as well as best practices for constructing the desired community or identity. Although the course is grounded in theory, it is equally committed to practice, and much of the class discussion and activity takes place in various online spaces. As a practicum, those who complete this course will know how to engage productively in practices such as tweeting, blogging, tagging, etc. and will develop an understanding of how these practices affect their construction of identity and community both personally and on behalf of an organization.

* Students must take COMM 305. Students must take either COMM-211 or Public Relations COMM-212. Students may take both 211 and 212.