Evans School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
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Course Descriptions

COM 200 – Participation – 1 hour
By student election, one hour’s elective credit per semester in publications, speech or broadcasting activities, up to a maximum of three hours credit within the major.

COM 200a. – Participation – No credit
This is a zero credit option for participation in publications, speech or broadcasting activities.

COM 203 -- Rhetoric and Public Address 3-0-3
Critical understanding and application of historical and theoretical foundations of contemporary public address, with practice in public speaking. Speech preparation emphasizes research, audience analysis, strategic development of ideas, organization and delivery.

COM 205 – Sports Communication 3-0-3
An introduction to and overview of the sports communication field, including media organizations, marketing and advertising firms, and teams and leagues. Topics covered include sports journalism; digital media, including social media; broadcast and publishing; team and league media relations; college sports information; and marketing, promotions and advertising.

COM 206 – Voice and Diction Improvement 3-0-3
Foundation course in the area of speech effectiveness; the speech mechanism with emphasis on vocal flexibility and articulation. Speech laboratory work included.

COM 220 -- Foundations of Mass Communication 3-0-3
Survey of the history and functions of media and their roles in a democratic society.

COM 228 -- Special Topics in Communication - 1 to 3 hours
Special topics in communication designed to accommodate material that is not otherwise available in the curriculum. May be repeated for a maximum of 3 hours credit.

COM 250 -- Reporting and Writing 2-2-3
Basic reporting and writing for multiple media platforms. Includes an introduction to journalism ethics. Laboratory included.

COM 253 – Photography 3-0-3
Introduction to photography. Emphasis on films, lighting, exposures, composition, basic digital-image handling and camera types and uses. Laboratory course. Materials fee. 

COM 270 -- Visual Rhetoric 3-0-3
Study of visual theory, visual literacy and how visual images are used to persuade. Students study and interpret audience-specific visual culture and communication, and the rhetoric of visual materials.

COM 302 -- Visual Media Criticism 3-0-3
Application of critical theory through the development of skills for evaluating television, film, photographic and digital media texts, with emphasis on visual media’s social, cultural and representational roles in society. PR: COM 270

COM 303 -- Editing 3-0-3
Selection, editing and preparation of written and visual materials for online publications, newspapers, magazines and related media. Also studied are the ethics of journalism. Laboratory included. PR: A grade of C- or better in COM 250.

COM 305 -- Multimedia Production 2-2-3
Development and demonstration analytical and critical thinking skills related to the interaction of digital media in visual communication designed for specific audiences. Laboratory included. Materials fee. PR: COM 270 and a grade of C- or better in COM 303.

COM 307 -- Commercial Photography and Production 3-0-3
Professional digital photography with an emphasis on creating solutions for portrait, industrial, advertising, and commercial illustration using advanced digital image techniques. Survey of business practices in professional photography, including ethical, legal, and copyright issues.
Students should have their own 35mm manually adjustable digital camera. Laboratory course. Materials fee. PR: COM 270.

COM 311 -- Sports Journalism 2-2-3
Reporting, researching, writing and producing sports coverage, including game or event coverage, feature stories, opinion pieces and multimedia packages. Laboratory included. PR: COM 250.

COM 312 -- Contemporary Persuasion 3-0-3
Examination and analysis of contemporary persuasion in various rhetorical contexts. Experience in creation, development and presentation of persuasive messages. PR: COM 203.

COM 314 – Oral Interpretation 3-0-3
Theory and practice of oral interpretation of literature. Reading recital by class members. 

COM 320 -- Programming and Distribution 3-0-3
Overview of the television, film, photography and digital industries, focusing on content development, programming strategies, audience analysis, management structure and distribution of content. PR: COM 220.

COM 323 – Advanced Reporting 3-0-3
Instruction and practice in a specialized area or field of journalism, with an emphasis on interviewing and primary research. Specialized fields include but are not limited to feature writing, public affairs reporting, sports journalism, investigative reporting, health and science journalism, and literary journalism. PR: COM 250.

COM 326 – Scriptwriting and Copywriting 3-0-3
Basic principles of dramatic scriptwriting for film, television and digital media and writing for photographic and visual copy.  

COM 329 – Digital Storytelling 3-0-3
Introduction to new media and strategies for effective communication through them. Students will analyze the technical and rhetorical possibilities of online environments, including interactivity, hyper-linking, spatial orientation and non-linear storytelling. Laboratory course. PR: COM 250.

COM 331 -- Economics of News 3-0-3
This course examines the forces that have established news media systems and contemporary business practice. Emphasis on market structure, conduct, performance, competition, responses to new technologies in news media markets and distribution models.

COM 353 – Visual Journalism 2-2-3
Use of photography to report and tell stories in the media. Topics include covering news with a camera, writing cutlines, doing photo essays, editing photography, manipulating digital images, and applying law and ethical codes. Students should have their own 35mm manually adjustable digital camera. Laboratory course. Materials fee. PR: COM 270.

COM 375 – Principles of Public Relations 3-0-3
Development of current status of public relations in business, government or other organizations, with emphasis on principles and techniques and their effectiveness. PR: COM 250 or MKT 301 or CI. 

COM 380 – Public Relations Writing 3-0-3
Strategies and techniques of public-relations writing, with emphasis given to preparation and dissemination of a variety of formats and media. PR: COM 250.

COM 385 – Public Relations Cases and Campaigns 3-0-3
Research and preparation of an integrated public-relations campaign, along with the study of the operation and objectives of effective public relations using a case-study approach. PR: COM 375. 

COM 390 – Public Relations Administration 3-0-3
Operation and objectives of public-relations programs; emphasis on relating the management’s functions of decision making; policy formation and evaluation to the communication process. PR: COM 375.

COM 405 – Applied Graphic Design 2-2-3
Study and application of the principles and elements of graphic design in the production of increasingly complex communication projects. Emphasis on conceptual problem-solving for visual communication environments and media production. Laboratory included. PR:  COM 305 or CI.

COM 415WI – Theories of Communication 3-0-3
Nature of the communication process with emphasis on mass media; coverage of a broad range of theories that attempt to explain contemporary communication phenomena. PR: JS or SS.

COM 416WI – Media Law 3-0-3
Constitutional and legislative foundations of freedom of speech and press, with special emphasis on the law of libel, privacy, censorship, access and broadcast regulation. CR or PR: COM 220 or CI. 

COM 417 – Methods of Audience Analysis 3-0-3
Techniques for conducting and interpreting audience analysis, with focus on demographic and psychographic methods used by communicators in a wide range of disciplines, including broadcasting, journalism, advertising and public relations.

COM 418 – Gender and Media 3-0-3
Portrayals of males and females in U.S. media, including television, print, advertising and film, with discussion of the impact of such representations on audiences, the social inequities historically found in media content, professions and institutions and the contributions of alternative and feminist media to the field of mass communication. 

COM 425 -- Narrative Video Production 2-2-3
A comprehensive introduction to the aesthetics, techniques and process of digital cinematography, nonlinear editing and visual compositing applied to narrative production. Laboratory included. Lab Fee. 

COM 428 – Topics in Communication - 1 to 3 hours
Concentrated advanced study in a special topic in communication. May be repeated for a maximum of three hours of credit.

COM 429 – Seminar 3-0-3
Special topics in communication. PR: CI.

COM 450 -- Senior Seminar in Ethics
Synthesis of communication research and theory with a special focus on media ethics using the tools of ethical reasoning and critical analysis. Issues of ethics and social responsibility confronting contemporary media will be addressed through readings, research and case studies. Students must successfully complete designated reading and writing assignments, major field examinations, either a major research or creative project, and a portfolio for departmental review. PR: SS.

COM 496 – Academic Internship - 3 to 12 hours
Problem-oriented experiences on specific academic projects relating to the individual student’s program of study, planned in consultation with the student’s advisor. Only three hours may be applied toward the major.

COM 498 – Directed Study – 1 to 3 hours
Research planned according to the needs of the individual student. PR: JS or SS and approval of school dean.

(Disclaimer—This is not the official catalog copy and should only be used for reference purposes.)

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