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.

600 Level Courses
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 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 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 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.

Selected Topics are courses of an experimental nature that provide students a wide variety of study opportunities and experiences. Selected Topics offer both the department and the students the opportunity to explore areas of special interest in a structured classroom setting. Selected Topics courses will have variable titles and vary in credit from 1-3 semester hours. Selected Topic courses may not be taken as a Directed Study offering.

COMM 691: Research. 1-3 hours.

Graduate programs may offer special research or investigative projects beyond the regular catalog offering. Significant responsibility lies with the student to work independently to develop a proposal for study that must be approved by a faculty mentor and the appropriate program director. The faculty member will provide counsel through the study and will evaluate the student’s performance. Students must register for research (course number 691) to receive credit and are required to fill out a Permission to Register for Special Coursework form. No more than 3 hours of research are applicable toward a graduate degree. Each hour of research credit requires 12.5 hours of documented work. Research is available to degree-seeking students only.

COMM 697: Internship. 3 hours.

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

700 Level Courses
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.