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M.A. in Communication Course Descriptions

With the exception of the culminating capstone courses, COMM 700 and 701, all courses carrying graduate credit are numbered in the 600s and are open to students holding a baccalaureate degree and admitted to the graduate program.

Credit cannot be given for a course for which the student is not registered. Credit cannot be claimed more than once for the same course, with the exception of approved internship credit.

COMM 601: Introduction to Graduate Studies in Communication
COMM 604: Seminar in Communication Ethics
COMM 605:Organizational Change
COMM 606: Public Relations & Corporate Writing
COMM 607: Seminar in Organizational Communication
COMM 611: Management & Leadership
COMM 624: Marketing Management
COMM 630: Media & Technology Literacy
COMM 631: Integrated Marketing Communications Principles 
COMM 636: Integrated Marketing Communication
COMM 639: Strategic Issues Management
COMM 641: Account Management
COMM 645: Direct Marketing
COMM 649: Ethics in Media
COMM 650: Media Writing
COMM 651: Communication Consulting
COMM 659: Communication Law and Regulation
COMM 661: Entrepreneurial Communication
COMM 671: Seminar in Communication Issues
COMM 675: Independent Study in Communication
COMM 682: Social Media Strategy
COMM 683: Advanced Social Media Strategy
COMM 688: Grant Writing for Social Impact
COMM 690: Special Topics
COMM 697 & 698: Internship
COMM 700: Integrated Marketing Campaigns
COMM 701: Advanced Organizational Research


COMM 601: Introduction to Graduate Studies in Communication. 3 hours.

This course introduces students to the communication field through the integration of research, theory, and practice. Emphasis is placed on the development of writing, oral, and research skills critical to success in graduate-level communication study. This is an introductory course and should be taken early in the program.

COMM 604: Seminar in Communication Ethics. 3 hours.

This course provides an opportunity to explore the ethical dimensions of human communication with respect to interpersonal, public, and mass communication. It emphasizes normative ethics in communication studies with specific application to personal and professional venues.

COMM 605: Organizational Change. 3 hours.

This course focuses on the human dimension of organizational change. Though it uses the open- systems model to explore the affect of external and internal issues on an organization’s operation, it also emphasizes the importance of understanding organizational culture during times of change. Students will review and discuss case studies to apply theoretical frameworks introduced in the class.

COMM 606: Public Relations & Corporate Writing. 3 hours.

This course develops the skills necessary for orchestrating a conversation between an organization and its various stakeholders, both internal and external. Assignments will emphasize the importance of research and planning in the writing process. Topics include media relations, employee communication, as well as corporate publications including annual reports and strategic plans.

COMM 607: Seminar in Organizational Communication. 3 hours.

This course provides an overview of the major theoretical perspectives and concepts that enhance our understanding of organizational communication processes. Readings and case studies address such topics as communication networks, superior-subordinate relations, organizational culture and socialization experiences.

COMM 611: Management and Leadership. 3 hours.

This course offers an in-depth analysis of the critical concepts and practices of leadership, motivation, and decision-making. Emphasis is placed on the role of implementing the concepts studied, as well as the synergistic nature of the overall organizational leadership process.

COMM 624: Marketing Management. 3 hours.

Projects are used to build an understanding of marketing plan formulation and application.

COMM 630: Media & Technology Literacy. 3 hours.

This course explores media effects and media usage theories to understand the implications of new media in today’s society. Those theories provide the foundation for a practical introduction to the basics of Web and video production, an exploration of social- networking sites and the interconnectedness of today’s media.

COMM 631: Integrated Marketing Communications Principles. 3 hours.

Public relations, advertising, sales promotion, direct response, and other functional marketing communications areas are reviewed in this foundation integrated marketing communications course. The focus is on strategy and planning, with students concentrating on integrating targets, timing, and message strategies and looking at both U.S. and global marketing communications practices.

COMM 636: Integrated Marketing Communication. 3 hours.

This course uses both theory and case studies to analyze and evaluate IMC strategy and planning. Public relations, advertising, sales promotion, direct response and other functional marketing communications areas are reviewed. Service marketing, industrial marketing, consumer products, and nonprofit organizational examples provide the opportunity to analyze and critique the use of IMC strategies and practices.

COMM 639: Strategic Issues Management. 3 hours.

Examines the role of “strategic issues management” as a critical component of an organization’s public relations planning processes and practices. Readings will explore the challenges associated with institutional participation in public policy debates, the expectations for corporate responsibility, the complexities of public response to corporate messages and the strategies that can be emphasized for image restoration. An extensive use of case studies will allow students to shape institutional and special interest messages as well as participate in policy debates.

COMM 641: Account Management. 3 hours.

This course focuses on the role of planning and decision making within the marketing mix and integrated marketing communications. A case/readings approach is utilized in order to investigate many of the decision- making areas advertising/marketing communications media managers normally encounter.

COMM 645: Direct Marketing. 3 hours.

This is an examination of the concepts, strategies and applications involved in direct marketing including measurability, accountability, lists, data and the integration of direct marketing programs into total marketing efforts.

COMM 649: Ethics in Media. 3 hours.

Exploring ethical guidelines for professional behavior, this course surveys federal, state, and municipal laws governing freedom of speech and commerce in journalism, public relations and advertising. It covers the reasoning and precedents behind the laws and regulations that affect communication and media.

COMM 650: Media Writing. 3 hours.

Writing for print, broadcast, advertising and public relations with a special emphasis on the convergence of print with electronic publishing. Students learn the implications and potential of interactivity and cybertext.

COMM 651: Communication Consulting. 3 hours.

This course explores the history of management consulting and previews the various stages and effective processes involved in the consultant’s craft. Various consultant experiences are assessed and guest interviews are used to reveal professional networking skill sets with strong track records.

COMM 659: Communication Law and Regulation. 3 hours.

This course is an investigation of the legal context in which mass-mediated communication is embedded. Attention is given to libel, access, privacy, corporate and commercial speech and obscenity as defined by courts and regulatory agencies.

COMM 661: Entrepreneurial Communication. 3 hours.

This course examines the nexus of risk, opportunity and innovation metaphors, leadership behavior, and technology across numerous entrepreneurial experiences. Case studies provide extended application of how entrepreneurs sell and manage their work by way of communication praxes both in profit and social entrepreneurial venues.

COMM 671: Seminar in Communication Issues. 3 hours.

Variable topics. In-depth analysis of timely issues. To be offered from time to time, as announced.

COMM 675: Independent Study in Communication. 1-3 hours

Students may negotiate topic and requirements with a faculty member. This requires the approval of the student’s advisor and the program director.

COMM 682: Social Media Strategy. 3 hours.

This course provides an intensive hands-on experience through workshop and research silos of marketing, media management, information technology, entrepreneurship, and culture. It begins with a boot camp in several practical and well-used social media such as blogs, microblogs, networks, book-marking, wikis, and Web 3.0 content. Seated weekends will include full days in media usage, integration, and research, traditional and contemporary marketing campaigns with social media, cultural assessments of social media, and a review of the information architecture of various social media techniques. Students will gain knowledge in the unique environment of the social media realm including mashups, apps, games, viral behavior, podcasting, vlogging, streaming video sharing, variations on social bookmarking, cross pinging, SEO and page rank, social optimizing and more. The course provides students with specific, in-depth knowledge about the most used forms of social media, a review of the "cutting edge" of social media, as well as a vision for keeping up with this ever-evolving phenomenon. Students will understand Web 2.0 and look ahead to what Web 3.0 is already providing.

COMM 683: Advanced Social Media Strategy. 3 hours.

Students must have completed COMM 682 at least two years prior to enrolling in COMM 683. This course provides an intensive hands-on experience through workshop and research silos of marketing, media management, information technology, entrepreneurship, and culture. It begins with a boot camp in several practical and well-used social media such as blogs, microblogs, networks, book-marking, wikis, and Web 3.0 content. Seated weekends will include full days in media usage, integration, and research, traditional and contemporary marketing campaigns with social media, cultural assessments of social media, and a review of the information architecture of various social media techniques.

COMM 688: Grant Writing for Social Impact. 3 hours.

This course provides hands-on work related to numerous grant writing issues organizations face daily. Advanced Grant Writing offers an in- depth examination of contemporary grant research and construction praxis.

COMM 690: Special Topics. 3 hours

COMM 697 & 698: Internship. 3 hours each.

These courses are acceptable as professional electives courses. Requires the approval of the program director.

COMM 700: Integrated Marketing Campaigns. 3 hours.

This course is an actual problem-solving effort for a real-world client who articulates the campaign problems and assists in the evaluation of the final work. This is a capstone course and should be taken within the last nine hours of the curriculum.

COMM 701: Advanced Organizational Research. 3 hours.

This course is designed to extend student knowledge of organizational communication principles and concepts introduced in COMM 607. An in-depth examination of contemporary organizational issues and research methods serves as the foundation for conducting organizational research in applied settings. This is a capstone course and should be taken within the last nine hours of the curriculum.