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Undergraduate Programs

Required Communication Courses

COMM-271 Introduction to Journalism
COMM-272 Reporting & Writing I
COMM-273 Reporting & Writing II
COMM-261 History of Journalism
COMM-274 News Editing
COMM-263 Computer Assisted Reporting
COMM-301 Theories of Communication
COMM-361 Reporting in Specialized Fields
COMM-362 Law & Ethics of the Press
COMM-461 Multiplatform Journalism
COMM-561 Senior Project

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.  Class 3, Credit 3 (Fall) 

COMM-272 Reporting & 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. Class 3, Credit 3 (Fall)

COMM-273 Reporting & 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. (Prerequisite: Reporting & Writing I) Class 3, Credit 3 (Spring)

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. Journalism’s relationship to politics, institutions and culture will be investigated. Newspaper, magazine, and broadcast industries will be examined for ideas that have changed American journalism.   Class 3, Credit 3 (Spring)

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.  Class 3, Credits 3, (Semester Offered:  Fall)

COMM-263 Computer-Assisted Reporting
How to report on, illustrate, find and analyze records and databases, with emphasis on investigative reporting.    Class 3, Credit 3 (Spring)

COMM-301 Theories of Communication
An introduction to human communication theory, including a history of the field and major theories from the intrapersonal, language, interpersonal, small group, public, organizational, mass, visual, and computer-mediated communication contexts. Theories based both in the humanities and the social sciences are covered. Class 3, Credits 3 (Fall, Spring)

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, Reporting for Alternative Media.  Class 3, Credit 3 (Fall)

COMM-362 Law & 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. Class 3, Credit 3 (Spring)

COMM-461 Multiplatform 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. Class 3, Credit 3 (Fall)

COMM-561 Senior Project
Senior capstone course culminating in the production of a long-form piece of journalism, a Web site and a digital portfolio of select works.  The course brings together each participant’s work in journalism and the Professional Core. Class 3, Credit 3 (Spring)