M.A. in Communication Course Descriptions

With the exception of the culminating capstone courses, COMM 700, COMM 701 and COMM 702, 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.

COMM 601: Introduction to Graduate Studies in Communication
COMM 602: Introduction to Health 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 612: Electronic Health Record Application and Implementation
COMM 613: Healthcare Organizations & Provider/Patient Communication
COMM 614: Healthcare Data Infrastructure & Integration
COMM 615: Healthcare Laws & Regulations
COMM 616: Managing Healthcare Communication: Information Flows & Project Management
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 Certificate
COMM 688: Advanced Grant Writing Certificate
COMM 697 & 698: Internship
COMM 700: Integrated Marketing Campaigns
COMM 701: Advanced Organizational Research
COMM 702: Research in Nonprofit Communication


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 602: Introduction to Health Communication. 3 hours.
Additional Fee. This course is designed to introduce you to health communication theory, research, and practice. The primary course objective is to provide you with a solid framework for understanding health communication interactions across diverse contexts. Faculty will focus on the health communication processes as well as on the production of communication messages. By the end of the course, students will develop a practitioner’s deeper understanding of health communication as well as skill sets useful in professional careers across a wide spectrum of health
communication situations.

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 class focuses on the human dimension of organizational change. Though uses the open-systems model to explore the impact 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 612 Electronic Health Record Application and Implementation. 3 hours.
Additional Fee. Electronic Health Record Application and Implementation is concerned with the handling and management of information in the delivery of healthcare and the management of health and illness, and the use of technologies to do so. It is an expansive and multidisciplinary field that encompasses (1) the technical aspects of system design and implementation in healthcare contexts and (2) efforts to understand how and why such systems are used. This course examines the contemporary healthcare environment, stakeholders in that environment, and the current technologies employed to manage health information. We will examine the ways in which patients, caregivers, healthcare providers, and others “work” to manage health and illness, and the role that electronic health records applications play in their efforts.

COMM 613 Healthcare Organizations & Provider/ Patient Communication. 3 hours.
Additional Fee. The course provides background on the organizational features of the U.S. healthcare system as well as research into the structure and messaging between providers and patients. The aim of the course is to provide students with a comprehensive image of the context in which communication between patients and providers, healthcare consumers and organizations, and public healthcare messages are designed, circulated, and interpreted.

COMM 614 Healthcare Data Infrastructure& Integration. 3 hours.
Additional Fee. This course explores the concepts of healthcare infrastructure and data exchange across diverse systems and networks. Th e development, role and future of the National Health Information Network (NHIN) is examined as are other federal, state and national initiatives related to the sharing of healthcare data securely. The impact of information exchange on seamless delivery of patient care is explored.

COMM 615 Healthcare Laws & Regulations. 3 hours.
Additional Fee. This course covers a broad range of legal issues relevant to healthcare management. It is designed to introduce students to the regulatory complexity present in healthcare management. The course will introduce laws applicable to the healthcare industry such as antitrust,
contracts, corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and insurance law. It will also examine medical malpractice and patient care laws such as informed consent, advanced directives, and patient restraints.

COMM 616 Managing Healthcare Communication: Information Flows & Project Management. 3 hours.
Additional Fee. For the sake of healthcare communication management, this course is bifurcated into the assessment of information flows and project management. In the first half of the course, students explore methods and processes used to collect and measure information systematically for the purpose of program evaluation. Data flow from referral through discharge based on care setting (i.e. ambulatory, in-patient, clinic, home health, hospice, and long term care) will be analyzed. The course integrates several knowledge and skill areas including: research methods, proposal writing, budget planning, and program evaluation. In the second half of the course, students learn the necessary skills of project management, including the development of a project and leading teams of clerical, technical and professional specialists through workflow and work process redesign activities within a healthcare organization or system.

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. Th e 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 communication 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 employed 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 communication. A case/readings approach is utilized in order to investigate many of the decision-making areas advertising/marketing communication 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 aff ect 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.
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
Student may negotiate topic and requirements with a faculty member. Requires the approval of the student’s advisor and the program director.

COMM 682 Social Media Certificate. 3 hours.
Additional Fee. This course provides a two-week, 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. In addition to course credit toward a master’s degree, each student
who successfully completes the course will receive a Social Media Certifi cate, attesting to the acquisition of knowledge and skills addressed in the course.

COMM 688: Advanced Grant Writing Certificate. 3 hours
This course provides hands-on work related to numerous grant writing issues organizations face daily. Extending student knowledge of grant writing principles and concepts introduced in previous course experiences, Advanced Grant Writing offers an in-depth examination of contemporary grant research and construction praxis.

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. Focus is on the development of an integrated marketing communication campaign that is presented in both plan book and in oral business presentation. 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.

COMM 702: Research in Nonprofit Communication. 3 hours.
Matching theory and research methods with real-world praxis, the intensive Nonprofit Research course offers students the opportunity to examine important social issues. When possible, students will be lead by a tandem of faculty and external experts trained in Non-Profit Research. Deliverables will be community oriented.