Course Descriptions

Lower Division Core Courses

COMM 2020 Introduction to Communication Studies (3)

Survey of the role of communication in daily life; concepts and contexts therein. Emphasis on the acquisition of media literacy skills and critique, as may be applicable, for upper division work in the discipline. Prerequisite: COMM 1008.

Upper Division Required Courses

COMM 3000 Theories of Communication (3)

How theories are constructed. Survey of theoretical approaches to communication drawing on the social sciences and humanities. Prerequisite: COMM 274 or the equivalent for majors.

COMM 3010 Mass Media Law (3)

Designed to broaden the student’s understanding of laws that pertain to the mass media. Philosophical appreciation of the legal framework within which the mass media operates and pragmatic familiarity with the legal problems most often encountered by journalists and related professionals is anticipated. The course will examine the development of the law regarding the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and such related legal areas such as libel, obscenity, censorship, privacy, free press and fair trial, journalist’s privilege, the right of access to government information, access to the press, the doctrine of commercial speech (advertising), and copyright.

COMM 4908 Senior Seminar (3)

An advanced course in analysis and application of communication research methods. Specific topics will vary. Individual student research projects and reports. When possible, students contribute to ongoing faculty research. Students will submit a portfolio demonstrating skills and knowledge gained in the Communications major. Prerequisite: COMM 3000.

Upper Division Writing Course

COMM 3008 Technical and Report Writing (3)

Extensive practice in writing clearly and persuasively in technical and specialized forms such as reports of experiments, abstracts, business reports and proposals, letters, memoranda. Prerequisite: ENGL 1109 or the equivalent with a grade of “C” or better and upper division standing.  GWAR

Journalism Required Courses

COMM 2010 Issues and Practices in Journalism (3)

Study of the problems and techniques of journalism, including audiences and resources. Overview of history and development of print media. Examination of news sources, interviewing, reporting, writing, and ethics. Frequent exercises in news gathering and writing and preparing copy for publication.

COMM 3120 Convergence Journalism (3)

Study of contemporary journalism techniques and their influence on the audience they serve. Exercises in news gathering, newspaper writing and interviewing. Prerequisite: ENGL 1109 or the equivalent with a grade of “C-” or better and upper-division standing.

COMM 3130 Feature Writing (3)

Study of newspaper feature stories-their resources, their methods, and their appeal. Frequent exercises in the art of writing feature stories, with concentration on the human interest feature. Prerequisite: ENGL 1109 or the equivalent with a grade of “C-” or better and upper division standing.

COMM 3140 Public Affairs Reporting (3)

Detalied investigation of covering public affairs, including reporting on public and government agencies, reserching public records, and writing clear articles. Students will be trained in Data Literacy. Study of structure and function of state and local government, state open meeting and public records laws, structure of judicial and criminal justice systems. Students will adopt a local government agency, attend meetings, establish news sources within the agency, and write aricles about agency meetings and issues.

COMM 4160 News Production (3)

Production of a weekly digital and online laboratory newspaper, The Runner, to provide pratical experience in news writing and editing, proofreading, photography, advertising, multimedia reporting, page design, web publishing, advertising, marketing, and distribution. May be repeated twice for credit.