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Course Descriptions

Core Courses General Courses
 Digital Arts and Media Studies Concentration Strategic and Human Communication Concentration Visual Arts and Experimental Media

 

Core Courses
The following courses are required for all Communication majors:

For Freshmen and Sophomores:

COMM 110 INTRODUCTION TO HUMAN COMMUNICATION
This course provides an overview of the Strategic and Human Communication concentration. Topics include the history of the communication field, human communication theories, verbal and nonverbal communication, culture and communication, interpersonal and small group communication, and communication in organizations (3 credits). 

COMM 120 INTRODUCTION TO MEDIA STUDIES
This course provides an overview of the Digital Arts and Media Studies concentration. It focuses on mass mediated communication fields including newspapers and magazines, sound recording, radio, broadcast television, cable television, movies, advertising, and online media (3 credits).

COMM 210 PUBLIC SPEAKING
This course is designed to develop effective and responsible public speaking skills. The course will focus on researching, organizing, writing, and presenting various types of speeches including informational and persuasive (3 credits).

COMM 220 VISUAL COMMUNICATION AND DESIGN
Students learn to understand and apply type-image relationships, color, and form in digital design, including basic layouts. The course presents foundations and relevant concepts in visual literacy, symbolism, and aesthetics as applied to practical considerations, such as composition, motion and design (3 credits).

COMM 230 MEDIA WRITING (WE)*
This course is a study of the basic procedures and techniques of print news reporting, writing and editing as well as writing for the electronic news media, online sources, public relations, and advertising (3 credits).

COMM 375 INTERNSHIP I
Students participate in an off-campus training experience closely related to one of the areas of communication. Frequent meetings with an advisor plus a final project are required. Permission of Communication Department Internship Coordinator required. Junior or Senior Majors only (3 credits).

COMM 490 SEMINAR IN COMMUNICATION
Students will select a topic in one of the areas of concentration and develop it into a major paper including an original research study. Students will also present their findings in a formal oral presentation. Senior Majors Only (3 credits).

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Concentrations 
Five courses in one of the two concentrations are required for all Communication majors:

Digital Arts and Media Studies Concentration

COMM 300 TV STUDIO PRODUCTION
An introduction to the elements of multicamera television production techniques including camerawork, audio, instantaneous editing, graphics, on-camera appearance, scripts, and directing culminating in student produced talk shows (3 credits).

COMM 301 VIDEO FIELD PRODUCTION
This course introduces basic production techniques for non-studio nonfiction video production. The course will cover camerawork, audio recording, field lighting, shooting strategies, interviewing techniques, basic editing, nonfiction video aesthetics, preproduction planning (scripts and storyboards), and basic postproduction (editing, graphics, effects). 3 credits

COMM 302 VIDEO POST PRODUCTION AND EDITING
This course is an in-depth study of assembling footage in preparation of a final cut through the study of nonlinear editing, compositing techniques, titling, color correction, and visual effects (VFX). This includes close analyses of dialog, documentary, action, thriller, music video, motion graphic, broadcast design, branded content, and short film scenes (3 credits).

COMM 303 SOUND DESIGN
Students experience the sound design workflow from sampling and midi music creation, through synthesis, audio effects, and channel mixing, to mastering final mixes. The course covers audio post-production, film and video scoring, psychoacoustics, synthesis fundamentals, computer software, compression and digital audio formatting, and standard music notation (3 credits).

COMM 304 CINEMATICS & MOTION GRAPHICS
Motion graphics, visual effects (VFX), and interactive information (informatics) are redefining the territory of cinema and video. This course allows students to draw on communication strategies to create type and image animations, special effects, and video footage for informational, promotional, entertainment, creative, and experimental purposes (3 credits).

COMM 309 IMAGE DESIGN WITH PHOTOSHOP
Students explore conceptual and technical aspects of digital imaging, including image capture, color management, editing and correction, composition and layout, and several types of image composites. Master the basics of design with Photoshop, then construct seamless and complex images using masking and compositing techniques (3 credits).

COMM 310 FEATURE AND MAGAZINE WRITING (WE)*
Methods in design, topography, and editing in magazine production. Students also learn how to research, write, and market quality articles in magazine format (3 credits).

COMM 311 PRINT AND ONLINE NEWS WRITING (WE)*
Students learn to write and report complex, intellectually demanding material involving real and pressing problems that exist in society (3 credits).

COMM 312 RADIO AND TV NEWS WRITING (WE)*
This course focuses on electronic journalism and news writing for radio and television. Both hard and soft news writing and broadcast news editing are emphasized as well as an overview of the role of the electronic news media in American society (3 credits).

COMM 313 SPORTS WRITING (WE)*
This course is an introduction to sports journalism. A study of basic procedures and techniques of sports reporting, writing and editing for both print and the electronic media are emphasized (3 credits).

COMM 316 TV NEWS
This course is designed for students who are interested in pursuing careers as on-camera, television news anchors and reporters. Students write, report, and telecast weekly television news programs. An analysis of the current state of television news is also covered (3 credits).

COMM 330 COMMUNICATION AND THE LAW
This course covers legal issues and topics in media law including First Amendment, defamation, privacy, intellectual property, censorship, commercial speech, obscenity, broadcast and cable regulation, media ownership and evolving internet regulation (3 credits).

COMM 331 MEDIA CRITICISM (C)*
A critical analysis of the mass media, including major theories and research in the field. The course explores media institutions, content, and economic structure and also offers an in-depth investigation into media effects and influence on individuals, society, and culture (3 credits).

COMM 332 MEDIA PROGRAMMING AND MANAGEMENT
This course focuses on the programming and management of radio, television, and online media. Topics include program development process, program formats and genres, production processes, program scheduling and oversight, ratings systems and analysis, and advertising (3 credits).

COMM 333 NEW MEDIA AND SOCIETY (C)*
This course concerns the social, cultural, political, legal, and economic impacts of new media, including the development of digital media and the internet, theories of social change and technology, and the effects of digital media on journalism, entertainment, and social life (3 credits).

COMM 334 POLITICAL COMMUNICATION
This course examines, from a theoretical and practical standpoint, the planning , execution, and evaluation of communication strategies in modern political campaigns (3 credits).

COMM 346 INFORMATION ARTS (C)*
The course facilitates the survey of information arts on the web (net art) and the ubiquity and exponential growth of new web-based data sources and information visualization, exploring the boundaries between art and technoscientific expression. Patterns of technological innovation and artistic experimentation are reunited and fused as a new source of creativity (3 credits).

COMM 347 EXPERIMENTAL MEDIA
The abstract work of experimental media artists has focused on the qualities of color, texture, and form employed through multiple techniques, including computer animation, algorithmic manipulation, and many other hybrid convergences. Emphasis is placed on distributed and shared software applications through the open source initiative, and learning to develop small and experimental media in a variety of hybrid forms (3 credits).

COMM 380 FILM AS ART (WE)*
A study of the grammar of the motion picture including cinematography, editing, acting, sound, and director‘s style with a view to a better understanding of film as an art form (3 credits).

COMM 381 AMERICAN FILM
A survey of the development of American cinema from the silent period to the present exploring the interrelationship between film, the decade, the studio system, and reception theories (3 credits).

COMM 382 EXPERIMENTAL FILM
An in-depth analysis of selected major works of experimental filmmakers in America and an overview of their European counterparts from the silent period to the present (3 credits).

COMM 383 FILM CENSORSHIP AND THE FIRST AMENDMENT
An overview of the changing ethical and legal issues including court cases dealing with banned films in America (3 credits).

COMM 384 FILM CRITICISM
Various models of film criticism are studied and employed by students to provide a working knowledge of contemporary approaches to film analysis including political, feminist, genre, and psychoanalytic-semiotic criticism. Reading and writing of articles and viewing of representative films required (3 credits). 

COMM 385 INTERNATIONAL CINEMA
The course presents a survey of silent and sound films from Western and Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa with representative works reflecting the culture of the country, and directorial style (3 credits).

COMM 386 MAJOR FILMMAKERS
An analysis of the style, concepts, and narrative design of selected American and international directors (3 credits).

COMM 387 SCRIPTWRITING (WE)* 
Planning and writing concepts for a variety of formats including feature films and cooperative scripts and methods of optioning their sale (3 credits).

COMM 388 SURVEY OF EXPERIMENTAL MEDIA AND DIGITAL ARTS
An examination of shifts implicit in the inception and expansion of digital and electronic art since the 1960s, including dynamic data and visualization, interactivity, architectures of time, generative and evolutionary algorithms, digital video art, sound art and immersive virtual reality (VR) 3 credits.

COMM 401 ADVANCED TV STUDIO PRODUCTION
Practical discussion of techniques in television production. Practical experience is offered to improve lighting, use of special effects, and advanced graphics. Creativity is encouraged, utilizing the abilities acquired in Television Production (3 credits). 
Prerequisites: COMM 300 

COMM 402 ANIMATION
This is a basic course in animation, modeling, rendering, storyboarding, and compositing. Students will explore creating 3D models and environments, 3D animating and realistic character development, animation for motion graphics, synthetic lighting, camera movement, material and texture mapping, and rendering associated with a finished animation (3 credits).

COMM 403 INTERACTIVE DESIGN
In interactive media design, words meet images in complex media and interactive cyberspace environments. This course offers students the study and practice of interactive online programming and design. The scripting of navigation enables the interactive interface of linkages and transitions between clusters and elements of information on the Internet (3 credits).

COMM 440 DIGITAL MATTE PAINTING
Techniques required to create high quality digital illustrations or matte paintings, including the use of elements of photographs, textured 3D geometry, and freehand painting techniques for art, animation, cinema and video games. Students are encouraged to employ traditional painting tools and concepts and apply them in the digital world (3 credits).

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Strategic and Human Communication Concentration
COMM 240/THTR 100 ACTING I
A study of the basic principles and techniques of acting: concentration, relaxation, basic stage acting, improvisation, principles of characterization, and analysis of performance (3 credits).

COMM 309 IMAGE DESIGN WITH PHOTOSHOP
Students explore conceptual and technical aspects of digital imaging, including image capture, color management, editing and correction, composition and layout, and several types of image composites. Master the basics of design with Photoshop, then construct seamless and complex images using masking and compositing techniques (3 credits).
COMM 330 COMMUNICATION AND THE LAW
This course covers legal issues and topics in media law including First Amendment, defamation, privacy, intellectual property, censorship, commercial speech, obscenity, broadcast and cable regulation, media ownership and evolving internet regulation (3 credits).

COMM 333 NEW MEDIA AND SOCIETY (C)*
This course concerns the social, cultural, political, legal, and economic impacts of new media, including the development of digital media and the internet, theories of social change and technology, and the effects of digital media on journalism, entertainment, and social life (3 credits).

COMM 334 POLITICAL COMMUNICATION
This course examines, from a theoretical and practical standpoint, the planning , execution, and evaluation of communication strategies in modern political campaigns (3 credits).

COMM 341/THTR 200 ACTING II/DIRECTING
A lecture/laboratory course covering the principles and techniques of the director's art: fundamentals of staging, blocking, movement, business, tempo, script selection and analysis, casting, and rehearsal planning, plus a continuation of acting techniques (3 credits). 
Prerequisite: COMM 240 

COMM 342 SPEECH FOR RADIO AND TELEVISION
Practical training for media students in interviewing, reporting, and creative radio and television work. Use of radio and television studios (3 credits).

COMM 343 INTRODUCTION TO ADVERTISING
This course is designed to introduce students to the history of advertising in the U.S. and the development of brands. Students will learn fundamental strategies that advertisers use to capture consumer attention, create sales pitches, compete in the marketplace and adapt to the introduction of new technologies. Additional emphasis is given to ethical considerations as they relate to advertising and promotions (3 credits).

COMM 344 INTRODUCTION TO PUBLIC RELATIONS
This course is designed to introduce students to principles of public relations and the field. Students will learn about the development and maintenance of relationships between a variety of different kinds of organizations/clients and their publics. Class assignments are structured to encourage students to become better writers, speakers, designers, and strategic thinkers (3 credits).

COMM 345 STRATEGIC/PROMOTIONAL WRITING
Strategic/Promotional Writing is designed to complement other courses in public relations and strategic communication by providing opportunities for students to practice and be critiqued on their copy and design work for multiple kinds of PR, and professional business writing (e.g., news releases, business reports, business correspondence, project proposals, advertising copy). 3 credits

COMM 351 INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION (C)*
A study of the basic principles of intercultural communication and the impact of culture on one's perceptions, beliefs, meanings, and communication (3 credits).

COMM 353 INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION (C)*
This course examines major components in the field of interpersonal communication including communication competence, verbal and nonverbal communication, identity, relationships, and conflict management (3 credits).

COMM 355 ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION (C)*
This course is a theoretical exploration of communication processes in a variety of organizational contexts. The course explores how communication affects working relationships, leadership, and management styles (3 credits).

COMM 356 SMALL GROUP COMMUNICATION
Emphasis is on the dynamics and interaction of communication processes in small groups. Group development, problem solving, participant roles, and decision making are included (3 credits).

COMM 403 INTERACTIVE DESIGN
In interactive media design, words meet images in complex media and interactive cyberspace environments. This course offers students the study and practice of interactive online programming and design. The scripting of navigation enables the interactive interface of linkages and transitions between clusters and elements of information on the Internet (3 credits).

COMM 412/THTR 350 ACTING III/PERFORMANCE LAB
This course is a continuation of Acting I (COMM 240) and Acting II/Directing (COMM 341). The course is designed to introduce students to multiple-person scenes and the development of a variety of characters from Shakespeare, theatre of the absurd, tragedy, high comedy, and melodrama. There will be an end of the semester showcase of selected work (3 credits). 
Prerequisite: Permission of Instructor 

COMM 413 PUBLIC RELATIONS PROJECT MANAGEMENT
This course examines public relations through the integration of theory and practice in the planning, implementation and evaluation of an actual PR campaign and/or event. Emphasis is placed on the effective design of messages and their distribution among key publics/stakeholders. Course participants will interview for and be selected into a variety of management and team roles in a PR organization made-up of students in the class (3 credits). 
Prerequisite: COMM 344 

COMM 418 CREATIVE ADVERTISING STRATEGIES
This course uses a team-based approach in the development of an integrated marketing communications (IMC) campaign for a real world client. Course participants will work in teams and design integrated strategies to solve an advertising problem as agreed upon with their client. Toward the end of the semester, teams will pitch their ideas to the client for industry critique (3 credits). 
Prerequisite: COMM 343 

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General Courses

COMM 360, 460 INDEPENDENT STUDY
Independent research is designed for the student majoring in Communication with demonstrated proficiency to work independently on a project related to a specific area and approved in advance by the chairperson and project advisor. Frequent meetings with an advisor and either a research paper or a production project are required. COMM 360 for Independent Study I; COMM 460 for Independent Study II (1, 2, or 3 credits). 
Prerequisite: A minimum cumulative index of 3.00 or permission of the chair. 

COMM 370,470 TOPICS IN COMMUNICATION I, II, III, IV,V, VI
These courses are designed around specific topics in communication. Each topic is selected by the department and is in a specialized area of communication. The course is offered as demand warrants. See the chairperson for the topic prerequisites and other details. This course can be repeated under different topics (3 credits).

COMM 475 INTERNSHIP II
Students participate in an off-campus training experience closely related to one of the areas of communication. Frequent meetings with an advisor plus a final project are required. Permission of Communication Department Internship Coordinator required (3 credits).

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Visual Arts and Experimental Media
The following Communication courses are available for students working toward an interdisciplinary B.A. in Visual Arts and Experimental Media:
 
COMM 346 INFORMATION ARTS (C)*
The course facilitates the survey of information arts on the web (net art) and the ubiquity and exponential growth of new web-based data sources and information visualization, exploring the boundaries between art and technoscientific expression. Patterns of technological innovation and artistic experimentation are reunited and fused as a new source of creativity (3 credits).

COMM 347 EXPERIMENTAL MEDIA
The abstract work of experimental media artists has focused on the qualities of color, texture, and form employed through multiple techniques, including computer animation, algorithmic manipulation, and many other hybrid convergences. Emphasis is placed on distributed and shared software applications through the open source initiative, and learning to develop small and experimental media in a variety of hybrid forms (3 credits).

COMM 388 SURVEY OF EXPERIMENTAL MEDIA AND DIGITAL ARTS
An examination of shifts implicit in the inception and expansion of digital and electronic art since the 1960s, including dynamic data and visualization, interactivity, architectures of time, generative and evolutionary algorithms, digital video art, sound art and immersive virtual reality (VR) 3 credits.

COMM 440 DIGITAL MATTE PAINTING
Techniques required to create high quality digital illustrations or matte paintings, including the use of elements of photographs, textured 3D geometry, and freehand painting techniques for art, animation, cinema and video games. Students are encouraged to employ traditional painting tools and concepts and apply them in the digital world (3 credits).

COMM/ART 480 SENIOR INTERDISCIPLINARY ART STUDIO
The senior year capstone pulls together the accumulated knowledge and experiences acquired over three years in the major, and asks students to identify, organize, and combine major ideas, trends, skills, and themes, incorporating them into hybrid, intermedial projects and presentations of original work. Students build upon basic skill sets in materials, techniques, and technologies with the goal of moving beyond those and creating experimental interdisciplinary works of art (3 credits).


(C)* May be taken to meet Core Requirements 
(WE)* Writing Emphasis

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