Communication

Degrees and Certificates

Classes

COMM 1310: Writing for the Media

Introduces students to the basic skills needed for a career in mass communication. No matter which field of communication they will enter, good writing must lie at the heart of their craft. Throughout the course, students learn standard conventions of the English language, including grammar, punctuation, spelling, diction, and paragraph construction to help them construct clear, simple messages for various audiences. They also discuss the nature of news, both print and broadcast, and the difference between news writing, public relations, marketing and propaganda. They cover research and interview techniques for both news and public relations, and learn how to write leads, craft copy, and edit.

COMM 1312: Pathways in Communication

This course introduces students to career pathways in Communication related fields – industry, media, research, academia, etc. Prominent guest lecturers from respective fields will share key insights with students and help to position them for career opportunities and success after college. Students will research various career pathways, create a personal development plan, and engage in a variety of external professional experiences with community and industry partners.

COMM 1331: Public Speaking

Study of the fundamental principles and practices of oral communication and rhetorical strategies; methods of selecting, organizing, evaluating and communicating information. Designed to give students an understanding of their own speaking and listening abilities and an opportunity to develop these abilities to make them more effective in various communication situations. Enrollment limited

COMM 2310: Communication and the Liberal Arts

This course examines the relationship between communication media and the classical tradition of the liberal arts. The different ways in which oral and written communication, auditory and visual forms of media, shape the epistemic organization of human culture and values are studied in their mutually constitutive relation to the philosophical, aesthetic, and theological foundations of liberal arts instruction in western society.

COMM 2330: Intro to Media Studies

This course introduces students to the discipline of media studies and the fundamentals of rhetoric, strategic communication, representation theory, history of media, genre studies, analysis, and other key themes that allow students to better understand the business, circulation, socio-cultural implications, rhetorical strategies, and humanistic considerations of media, communication, and representation. These foundational skills translate across media modes, genres, and platforms by empowering students to understand and gain a critical awareness of how media and communication impacts our lives, and how our subjective understandings, in turn, impact the processes of production.

COMM 2341: Newswriting and Reporting

Introduction to newswriting, news story style, structure and readability. The course also acquaints the student with techniques of interviewing and reporting routine stories, i.e., deaths, crimes, accidents, meetings and simple features.

COMM 2361: Introduction to the Mass Media

History, economics, public control, programming, social effects and future of telecommunications, primarily radio and television broadcasting and broadband cable communication systems. Citizens’ responsibilities in the development of telecommunication systems and services.

COMM 2362: Digital Audio Production

Introduction to audio production. Students learn to create digital audio media for commercial, artistic, and news purposes. The course includes laboratory experiences in programming, writing and performance.

COMM 2463: Television Production I

Theoretical background and practical application of television production. Bridges a variety of techniques applied to both commercial and educational fields. Studio practice in the producing and directing of programs for television.

COMM 3310: Media, Society, and Technology

This course explores the reciprocal relationship between digital media, society, and technology. Drawing from Marshall McLuhan's theories and the concept of media ecology, students examine how digital media shapes and is shaped by active audience engagement. Through theoretical readings, case studies, and discussions, topics such as identity formation, social relationships, and cultural production are explored. Students gain insights into the holistic nature of media ecosystems and develop a nuanced understanding of the dynamic inter play between digital media and society. The course focuses heavily on the socio-cultural, ethical, moral, and humanistic questions that arise with the advent of new technologies. Practical assignments allow for hands-on exploration of digital media phenomena, equipping students with critical thinking skills for navigating the ever evolving digital landscape.

COMM 3333: Nonverbal Communication

Analysis of vocal and nonverbal interaction variables, including gestures, posture, territory/space, paralanguage, facial expressions, eye behavior, environment, touch, clothing and time.

COMM 3342: News Editing

Functions, responsibilities and techniques of news editing, evaluation and processing of news. Headline writing, picture editing and page makeup. Prerequisite: COMM 2341.

COMM 3345: Public Relations I

Nature of public relations practices in business, education and government. Emphasis on public relations strategies, identifying target public, press relations, cost management and planning public relations programs. Prerequisite: at least sophomore standing and COMM 2341 (concurrent registration acceptable).

COMM 3346: Public Relations II

Practical application of public relations theories and strategies; students develop hypothetical persuasive campaigns of “professional” quality. Prerequisite: COMM 3345.

COMM 3350: Interpersonal Communication

Grounded in a Catholic humanist perspective, this course studies advanced concepts in the field of interpersonal communication, such as: the phenomenology and semiotics of interpersonal interaction, understanding, and meaning; the interpersonal development and maintenance of conceptions of selfhood; the sociocultural background of interpersonal action; the technologically mediated character of contemporary social interactions; and the ethics of dialogue and friendship.

COMM 3353: Journalism for the Media

Newswriting and reporting for the digital media, focusing on the development of a journalistic style applicable to the digital media news style writing. The course teaches students to integrate audio and visual aesthetics with writing, while including criticisms, criteria and measures of media effectiveness. Prerequisites: COMM 1310, 1331.

COMM 3354: Film & Society

This course looks at how American films of the 20th and 21st centuries have been a mirror to society. By viewing a selection of films from various decades, students will accumulate a portfolio of social/cultural issues set against the backdrop of American history. Students will study each film for its production/aesthetic values and they will analyze the "film inside the film" for its social themes. Prerequisites: COMM 2351

COMM 3355: Advanced Screenwriting

In this course students will simulate the creative writing process of professional TV and film writers. Working in a team, they will conceptualize and write a television series. All students will work on the pilot as a group. Each student will also be assigned an individual episode. Additionally, each student will write a film script. COMM 2352 or permission of department chair.

COMM 3363: Beginning Digital Media

Theoretical background and practical applications of digital media production for commercial, artistic and news related content, taught in a studio setting.

COMM 3364: Advanced Digital Media

Advanced Digital Media enhances student understanding of all the elements of digital media production (in the studio and in the field), such as camera placement and operations, camera color balancing, camera optics, light levels and the use of special filters, lighting techniques, including existing light and three-point lighting. Also included are elements of effective visual composition, an understanding postproduction, along with the ability to critique the strengths and weaknesses of digital media production. Prerequisites: COMM 3363

COMM 3367: Performing for the Media

This course provides students with the knowledge and skills needed in broadcast announcing. It emphasizes radio and television announcing skills such as voice quality, articulation, enunciation and pronunciation, including preparation for on-air and voice over positions. The focus is on performance skills used in voice over as well as on-camera work. Students learn the following: how to interpret copy, how to ad lib or speak impromptu, how to vary voice pitch and volume effectively, how to write a broadcast script, and how to be part of a television production or show.

COMM 3375: Editing for the Digital Media

Applied theory and technique in editing digital video. Students learn the process of non-linear digital video editing using appropriate professional software. The class covers the technical and aesthetic elements of editing for news, commercial and artistic purposes.

COMM 3376: Motion Graphics for Digital Media

The course focuses on editing systems and methods. It enables students to process image and video elements in media content, and organize such content for total effect and final delivery. Students apply a comprehensive set of critical and evaluative skills to make sound judgment calls and educated decisions for digital motion graphics.

COMM 3381: Social Impact of the Media

Study of the process and effects of mass communication, including audience characteristics, diffusion of innovations, political processes, media violence, social learning, children and television and social effects of emerging media technologies. Prerequisites: junior standing; 9 credit hours of English.

COMM 3382: Mass Communication Law

Analysis and examination of statutory laws, congressional legislation and federal rules and regulations governing the mass media in the United States. Focus on the First Amendment, libel and slander, privacy, copyright, free press/fair trial, obscenity, advertising, antitrust and monopoly, taxation and licensing. Prerequisite: junior standing, completion of 6 credit hours of communication.

COMM 3383: Intro to Media Management

This course will educate students on the practical aspects of media management; from training, recruiting and acknowledging both professionals and volunteers, to ethical fund-raising, development and measurement of success, along with detailed emphasis on aspects of the Catholic Church teachings on mass media as expressed in the Vatican II decree.

COMM 3464: Television Production II

Advanced work in television production, concentrating in electronic field videography and news– gathering techniques. Classroom lecture will be supplemented with extensive practical application. Prerequisite: COMM 2463 or its equivalent.

COMM 4191: Internship in Communication

Practicum or on–the–job experience under guidance of practicing specialists in the communication field. To be supervised individually by a department faculty member with the approval of the chair. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours.

COMM 4192: Directed Reading/Independent Study in Communication

Student research on a selected problem in the field pursued under the guidance of an assigned member of the faculty. Substantial research paper or audio/video production required. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours. Prerequisites: junior– or senior–level status; permission of faculty member

COMM 4291: Internship in Communication

Practicum or on–the–job experience under guidance of practicing specialists in the communication field. To be supervised individually by a department faculty member with the approval of the chair. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours.

COMM 4292: Directed Reading/Independent Study in Communication

Student research on a selected problem in the field pursued under the guidance of an assigned member of the faculty. Substantial research paper or audio/video production required. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours. Prerequisites: junior– or senior–level status; permission of faculty member

COMM 4350: Feature Writing

Techniques of nonfiction feature writing for newspapers and magazines. Students will gain practical experience in preparing query letters and manuscripts for publication. Prerequisite: COMM 2341 or permission of faculty member.

COMM 4354: Documentary Production

This course provides an intensive, hands-on experience in documentary media production, including logistics, research, planning, project-management, and delivery/exhibition. Working in teams, students conceptualize, develop, and implement a documentary film, video, or digital media project over the course of the semester. All students will receive training in core aspects of the documentary production process, but the course will culminate in a team project with students filling specific crew roles based on prior coursework and individual experience – research, producing, directing, cinematography, production sound, and editing.

COMM 4355: Film Practicum

In an advanced lab setting, seniors will build their portfolios by creating a number of projects ranging from fully developed scripts to short films, documentaries and TV episodes. Prerequisites: COMM 2351, 2352, 3363, 3364, 3375

COMM 4360: Digital Media Practicum

Students will build their digital media portfolios, in a lab setting, by creating a number of projects ranging from news stories and features to documentaries and short films.

COMM 4361: Project-Based Practicum in Communication

This is a project-based practicum course that focuses on design thinking, leadership/teamwork, and the real-world application of academic and professional skills. Students work in teams of 4-5 to execute an industry sponsored project with the guidance of a faculty mentor. The course consists of a series of structured class meetings, followed by a field practice period of approximately 9 weeks. During the fieldwork phase, students meet weekly to debrief in small groups with a faculty or industry advisor. Students maintain a weekly progress report, as well as an ongoing self-assessment of performance and lessons learned. The course culminates in a Leadership Project Review, which includes a written overview and an oral presentation on the overall project experience and learning outcomes.

COMM 4375: Media Ethics

A systematic, case–study approach to moral dilemmas encountered by media practitioners, including questions of truth, privacy, confidentiality and conflicts of interest. Prerequisites: junior standing or permission of faculty member; PHIL 2314.

COMM 4380: Propaganda & Mass Communication

The class gives students a deep understanding of what propaganda is, how it differs from persuasion and what role it has in societies, both past and present. Students gain insights of the historical and social contexts in which various types of propaganda have occurred from a mass communication and media filtered perspective. Students also analyze and research various topic-specific case studies in propaganda, both past and current. Emphasis is also placed on the role of film and documentary making in various propaganda campaigns.

COMM 4383: Communication Theory

Analysis of various theoretical models of communication, behavioral science theories and communication research paradigms. Topics include information theory, scientific method, balance and congruity theories, dissonance, perception, attitude change, group dynamics, persuasion, interpersonal communication and nonverbal communication. Prerequisites: completion of or current enrollment in COMM 1331, 2350, 2361.

COMM 4385: Small Group Interaction

Principles of current methods and theories of human interaction in group situations, both formal and informal. Emphasis on behavioral antecedents and consequences of messages and on processes of positive group interaction. Prerequisites: COMM 1331.

COMM 4391: Internship in Communication

Practicum or on–the–job experience under guidance of practicing specialists in the communication field. To be supervised individually by a department faculty member with the approval of the chair. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours.

COMM 4392: Directed Reading/Independent Study in Communication

Student research on a selected problem in the field pursued under the guidance of an assigned member of the faculty. Substantial research paper or audio/video production required. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours. Prerequisites: junior– or senior–level status; permission of faculty member

COMM 4399: Senior Thesis

Optional research–based written project in which the serious senior communication major, in consultation with the appropriate Communication Department faculty member, selects an issue or problem for scholarly study, chooses a faculty committee (consisting of at least two members of the Communication Department and one member outside the department), undertakes significant and substantial research and produces a major paper of publishable quality. This course may be repeated for up to a maximum of 6 credit hours. The chair of the Communication Department sits as a voting member on all senior thesis committees. Prerequisite: approval of the chair.

COMM 4491: Internship in Communication

Practicum or on–the–job experience under guidance of practicing specialists in the communication field. To be supervised individually by a department faculty member with the approval of the chair. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours.

COMM 4492: Directed Reading/Independent Study in Communication

Student research on a selected problem in the field pursued under the guidance of an assigned member of the faculty. Substantial research paper or audio/video production required. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours. Prerequisites: junior– or senior–level status; permission of faculty member

COMM 4591: Internship in Communication

Practicum or on–the–job experience under guidance of practicing specialists in the communication field. To be supervised individually by a department faculty member with the approval of the chair. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours.

COMM 4691: Internship in Communication

Practicum or on–the–job experience under guidance of practicing specialists in the communication field. To be supervised individually by a department faculty member with the approval of the chair. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours.

COMM 6310: Media, Technology, & Society

This course explores the reciprocal relationship between digital media, society, and technology. Drawing from Marshall McLuhan's theories and the concept of media ecology, students examine how digital media shapes and is shaped by active audience engagement. Through theoretical readings, case studies, and discussions, topics such as identity formation, social relationships, and cultural production are explored. Students gain insights into the holistic nature of media ecosystems and develop a nuanced understanding of the dynamic interplay between digital media and society. The course focuses heavily on the socio-cultural, ethical, moral, and humanistic questions that arise with the advent of new technologies. Practical assignments allow for hands-on exploration of digital media phenomena, equipping students with critical thinking skills for navigating the everevolving digital landscape.

COMM 6312: Media Theory and Criticism

This course introduces media criticism and theory, examining the ways in which media shapes our culture and society. Key theorists such as Marshall McLuhan, Stuart Hall, Bill Nichols, Vivian Sobchack, Jean Baudrillard, Michael Renov will be discussed, and students will develop skills in analyzing and critiquing media representations across different platforms. By examining filmic texts and other media artifacts as case studies, students learn to analyze various representational strategies and modes of mediation and manipulation through media. We also consider strategies for employing media theory as a structuring vehicle for applied production.

COMM 6316: Virtual Engagement

Students learn to create, produce, and lead high-quality virtual events, meetings, and live-streaming experiences. This includes social media content, YouTube podcasts, Insta/TikTok/FB reels, etc. Through Microsoft VIP content area lectures and applied demonstrations, students learn technical troubleshooting, audio/visual production strategies, production equipment, content management, and general engagement techniques for hosting effective virtual sessions.

COMM 6318: Documentary Production

This course provides an intensive, hands-on experience in documentary media production, including logistics, research, planning, project-management, and delivery/exhibition. Working in teams, students conceptualize, develop, and implement a documentary film, video, or digital media project over the course of the semester. All students will receive training in core aspects of the documentary production process, but the course will culminate in a team project with students filling specific crew roles based on prior coursework and individual experience – research, producing, directing, cinematography, production sound, and editing.

COMM 6322: Advanced Strategies in Content Creation and Streaming

This course focuses on advanced strategies for content creation and streaming. Students will explore techniques for producing high-quality audio and video content, as well as developing engaging social media and marketing strategies for reaching and building an audience. Through practical projects, students will gain skills and knowledge for creating successful and sustainable online content.

COMM 6324: Advanced Screenwriting and Narrative Storytelling

This course focuses on advanced screenwriting and narrative storytelling for digital media. Students learn to craft compelling stories for film, television, and web-based platforms using a range of techniques such as character development, dialogue, and pacing. Through practical assignments and projects, students develop and practice skills in creating effective narratives for a variety of contemporary formats. Students also develop a production concept to be executed in COMM 6508 Production II.

COMM 6326: Emergent Technology in Media

This course surveys the latest emergent technologies in media and communication. Students will examine cutting-edge technologies such as virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and blockchain, and their implications for media and communication. Through discussions and research projects, students will explore the potential and challenges of these technologies in shaping our media landscape.

COMM 6328: Visual Anthropology & Media Ecology

This course in visual anthropology takes a media ecology approach, examining how visual media shape culture. Drawing inspiration from Marshall McLuhan and other media theorists, the course explores the dynamic relationship between visual media and society. Additionally, the course highlights the contributions of a notable anthropologists and media theorists grounded in the Catholic intellectual tradition, including such scholars as Rene Girard (mimesis and the triangulation of desire through media), James Carey (media ethics, community, and ritual view of communication), Walter Ong (sensory inscription and the relationship between orality, literacy, and technology). Course readings provide a theoretical and historical context, while contemporary case studies, guest speakers, and class exercises offer insights into the intersection of visual culture, anthropology, communication, and Catholic philosophy.

COMM 6338: Representing Reality – Mediating Fact, Fiction, and Truth

Filmmaker Werner Herzog famously claims, "Facts create norms, but truth creates illumination." In this course, we explore the important functional distinction between facts, actuality, and truth in representation and human experience by examining documentary film, Reality TV, documentary-realism in fiction media, and other intersections of what Herzog refers to as “stylization, fabrication, and imagination.” We also survey the art and rhetoric of filmmaking by examining some of the most profound documentary films of the past and present, in order to analyze the strategic use of “reality” and “factuality” in media.

COMM 6340: Advanced Directing and Producing

This course provides students with the skills necessary to produce and direct a professional quality digital media project (e.g., film, podcast, commercial, advertising campaign, promotional video, etc.). Producing - learn and practice essential producing skills, including talent acquisition, project management, funding processes, and production logistics. Directing – focus on developing a guiding vision for the project, articulating that vision, and working with talent and cast/crew members to deliver a viable final product.

COMM 6344: Advanced Digital Editing

This course provides advanced techniques in digital media and video editing, and trains students in the art of narrative storytelling through content editing. Students are expected to gain proficiency in contemporary video editing software (Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, etc.), but this is an advanced production course, so the focus is on the art of content and story editing. The course culminates in a capstone editing project in collaboration with either a community partner/client or a student team enrolled in another advanced COMM production course (e.g., Project-Based Practicum, Virtual Engagement, Documentary Production, Fiction Production, etc.)

COMM 6346: Advanced Cinematography and Sound Production

The course introduces students to advanced techniques in cinematography and sound in film, video, and digital media, with an emphasis on controlling and constructing the cinematic experience. Students gain a foundational understanding of visual theory and aesthetic techniques – contrast/affinity, composition, hue/saturation, spatial depth, visual progression, etc. Focus topics include visual theory, cinematic lighting, camera, sound production/design, and production planning. The course culminates in a crew experience, where students conceptualize, plan, and produce a team-based digital media project. Students also learn the principles of sound recording, editing, and mixing, as well as the use of sound effects and music in various media productions. Through hands-on projects, students will develop practical skills and techniques for creating effective and engaging soundscapes.