Undergraduate Catalog 2020-2021 : Macricostas School of Arts & Sciences


COM 102 Orientation to the Communication & Media Arts Major 1 SH
Exposes Freshman Communication & Media Arts majors to areas that will help ease the transition from high school to college, in a discipline-specific way. A practical resource for students to become oriented to the Communication & Media Arts major. Students will become familiar with ideal study strategies, the fastest and most useful resources to be campus-successful, stylistic considerations for using research at a college-level, and retention strategies – all specific to Communication & Media Arts. Offered to incoming COM-declared Freshmen in Fall semester. Prerequisite: Communication &/or Media Arts Major. Competency: First Year Navigation and Information Literacy.

COM 110 Sight, Sound & Motion 3 SH
Sight Sound Motion is an introduction to the concepts and theories of applied media aesthetics. Students examine and analyze the effects of light, color, space, time, motion, sound, and visualization as these elements function in a finished product. Students are given the tools to identify, clarify, and interpret media content from TV, film, the Internet, steaming, and mobile devices. Every Semester. Competency: Critical Thinking.

COM 146 Basic Video Production 3 SH
The portable single camera system explored through both spontaneous and planned shooting with post-production use of editing, presentation and critical analysis. Every semester. Competency: Creative Process and Information Literacy.

COM 160 Public Speaking 3 SH
This course is an introduction to the concepts, theories, and skills of effective public communication.  It includes the consideration of successful public speaking techniques and strategies for selecting speech topics, argument construction, and delivery. Competency: Oral Communication.

COM 161 Decision Making in Groups 3 SH
A study of the principles and techniques of problem-solving through group activity. Emphasis on group discussion and parliamentary procedure. Every semester. Competency: Oral Communication.

COM 162 Interpersonal Communication 3 SH
Working from the assumption that the basis of a meaningful existence is the ability to engage in gratifying and ethical relationships with others, this class examines the complex nature of face-to-face interaction. Course lectures, readings, and discussions consider the nature of communication, reality, language, and nonverbal communication and relationships. Class activities focus on improving awareness and understanding of the communication of oneself and others; and providing the skills necessary to make conscious choices about how to present one’s self and interact with others. Every semester.

COM 163 Introduction to Communication Skills 3 SH
This course is a survey of the discipline of human communication. The areas covered include interpersonal, small group, public, mediated, intercultural, and organizational communication. Readings and discussions will consider the perspectives taken by communication researchers and well as the nature of the questions they ask in their efforts to understand our social world. The course also considers what skills are necessary to achieve ethical communicative competence in each of these areas. Competency: Oral Communication.

COM 190 Introduction to Mass Communication 3 SH
This course focuses on the impact of mass communication on culture. Topics include a survey of the development of modern communications technologies and media and some of the legal and social issues which emerged with and because of them.

COM 200 Language and Communication 3 SH
The role of language as central feature of the communication process will be explored by examining the development and the nature of language. Particular emphasis will be placed upon the analysis of language in interpersonal communication. Spring semester. Prerequisite: COM 160 or 161 or 162 or 163. Competency: Critical Thinking.

COM 203 Health Communication 3 SH
We will explore how communication creates and sustains or contradicts and changes concepts of health and provision of health care. Issues of health and health care will be explored in the following contexts: how health and illness shape personal identity; interpersonal communication between health care provider and patient; the consequences of serious illness on family communication; support groups; intercultural and international communication issues in providing and accessing health care; communication in health care organizations; the role of mass media and social media in health communication; and social marketing and evaluation of the health campaign. Alternate spring semesters. Prerequisite: COM 160 or 161 or 162 or 163. Competency: Critical Thinking and Health & Wellness.

COM 205 Communication Environments 3 SH
Students examine the ways in which the nature of communication in selected social and mass media environments structures interaction. Fall semester. Students are required to participate in course-related activities. Prerequisite: COM 160, 161, 162, or 163. Competency: Critical Thinking.

COM/ANT 208 Intercultural Communication 3 SH
See ANT/COM 208

COM 210 Nonverbal Communication 3 SH
Factors involved in nonverbal communication such as space, body language, vocal nuance and time, will be analyzed as they relate to the transmission of verbal messages and to the communication situation as a whole. Students will be expected to familiarize themselves with research findings in this area and to use this as a foundation for studying and improving their own communication behavior. Every semester. Prerequisite: COM 160 or 161 or 162 or 163. Competency: Critical Thinking and Intercultural.

COM/WS 211 Women, Language & Communication 3 SH
An exploration of the theories that account for variations, similarities and differences among female speakers and between female and male speakers. Emphasis is placed on women’s speech in a variety of contexts in both public and private settings. Alternate spring semesters. Prerequisite: COM 160 or 161 or 162 or 163.

COM 212 Effective Listening 3 SH
This course focuses on improving understanding of the listening process in both theory and practice. The primary emphasis is on listening in a variety of face-to-face contexts, but also includes consideration of the mass media. Fall semester. Prerequisite: COM 160 or COM 161 or COM 162 or COM 163.

COM 215 Family Communication 3 SH
This course examines communication as it functions in family systems. Students will focus on identifying patterns of communication, development of communication rules, information processing and research issues related to the field. Spring semester. Prerequisite: COM 160, COM 161, COM 162 or COM 163.

COM 219 Communication Ethics 3 SH
Explore and assess issues of responsibility and ethical standards in the field of communication, in both mediated and face-to-face contexts. Goals of this course include recognition of ethical issues; stimulation of the moral imagination; development of critical/analytical skills, a sense of moral obligation, the ability to consider and speak competently on ethical issues in the field, and to tolerate disagreement. Every semester. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. Competency: Critical Thinking.

COM 230 History of Mass Media 3 SH
Students will examine the origins, structure and functions of major forms of mass media such as print, the phonograph, radio, television, movies and computers. The interaction of media and culture will be stressed. Fall semester. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. Competency: Critical Thinking and Information Literacy.

COM 242 Script Writing 3 SH
Workshop in the process of developing written scripts for various media formats such as the documentary, the technical and instructional film and videotape, the teleplay and the screenplay. Alternate fall semesters. Prerequisite: COM 110 or COM 146, and a writing-intensive (“W”) course with a “B-” or higher.

COM 243 Broadcast Writing 3 SH
An exploration of the principles and practice of writing for radio and television. Students will prepare a variety of written materials for presentation in both media. Alternate spring semesters. Prerequisite: COM 146; a writing intensive (“W”) course with a “C” or higher.

COM 245 Meditation, Self-Awareness and Communication 1 SH
Through the practice of insight meditation students will learn how to calm the body and the mind in order to examine and understand the mind, awareness, and consciousness. Students will cultivate awareness of how this practice offers insight into the nature of the self and interaction with others.

COM 246 Intermediate Video Production 3 SH
Production of a studio television program utilizing photography, graphics, film and sound. Spring semester. Prerequisite: COM 146 with a “B-” or higher.

COM 247 Live News & Election Coverage 4 SH
This course is a challenging, comprehensive, hands-on news production class. We prepare and create original pre-recorded, edited news packages and live news content. Production includes working in the field, on location, and in a TV studio. Strict adherence to broadcasting deadlines must be met, attendance is mandatory, team work is necessary, and individual responsibility is a must. Lectures provide concepts and theories that inform students about news production work practices and techniques, interviewing, and necessary information regarding civics, government, and politics. Production work 2-4 hours/week beyond class is expected. May be used by Media Arts Production students as a major elective; students may repeat course as a free elective.  Prerequisite: COM 146 and instructor permission. Competency: Creative Process and Information Literacy.

COM 252 Media Performance Techniques 3 SH
Acting for film and television with an emphasis on interior and exterior production. Every two years. Prerequisite: THR 181.

COM 260W Thinking through Communication  3 SH
Readings, discussions and writing assignments focus on core questions that inform our understanding of communication. Moving from personal opinion towards well-reasoned and articulated, sourced-based argument, students will learn critical methods of inquiry, and build their observational, analytical, research, and writing skills. Prerequisite: “C” or better in WRT 101 or appropriate placement score in General Education Writing; sophomore standing; COM/Media Arts major in good standing (2.0 GPA);  one Communication class with a C or better.

COM 263 Persuasion and Propaganda in Media 3 SH
An analysis of the central themes and techniques of persuasion and propaganda used in the media of television, radio, theater and cinema; special consideration given to the appeals used, the devices of measurement and the role of media in society. Fall semester. Prerequisite: COM 190.

COM 264 Argumentation and Debate 3 SH
Consideration of theories, practices and experimental studies in argumentation and debate; delivery of various types of argumentative speeches and debates. Alternate spring semesters. Prerequisite: COM 160, COM 161 or COM 162.

COM 266 The Rhetoric of Contemporary Conflict 3 SH
A study of contemporary orators, issues and rhetorical circumstances in the United States. Emphasis on the emergence of the uniquely persuasive language and techniques of the spokespersons for contemporary extremist positions. Alternate spring semesters.

COM 267 Rhetoric of American Issues: 1830 to Present 3 SH
Selected American orators, their speeches and audience reaction to relevant social issues from 1830 to present. Alternate fall semesters.

COM 268 Public Communication 3 SH
This course provides an introduction to the basic concepts, theories and principles of persuasive communication. Students will explore the discovery and arrangement of ideas, discursive modes and styles, audience analysis, the use of evidence and reasoning to support claims, and consider some aspects of the ethics of communication. They will develop new critical thinking skills and enhance their ability to listen skillfully to public discourse.

COM 270 Fundamentals of Radio Broadcasting 3 SH
Theory and practice of radio broadcasting as exemplified in announcing, newscasting and commercials are studied in workshop atmosphere. Consideration is given to special requirements of voice and articulation. Station organization and FCC regulations are examined. Fall semester.

COM 271 Exploring the Film 3 SH
An introduction to the film as a communication medium, including historical, theoretical and critical approaches to the film experience, providing students opportunities to interact with film and, through a variety of transactions, develop their perceptions and critical awareness of the film experience. Representative films will be viewed and discussed. Students will be expected to do a series of papers examining how specific films communicate. Spring semester. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.

COM/PS 273 Politics in Film 3 SH
See PS/COM 273

COM 275 Radio Workshop 1–3 SH
A workshop on the application of technical and management skills to the operation of radio stations. Considerable attention will be paid to practical problems such as training personnel for air work, broadcast journalism, station promotion, programming and production. A minimum of three hours per week attendance at workshop meetings and three hours per week working at a radio station are required. Repeatable to six hours, three hours of which may be used as major elective credit in Communication Studies or Media Arts and additional credits to be applied for free electives.

COM 290 Communication Theory 3 SH
A consideration of the ways in which theories conceptualize human and mass communication. The course considers the historical development of the academic field of communication and assumptions embedded in theory. Special attention is paid to the questions and answers communication researchers generate. The focus is on the practical applications of theory in everyday life. Every semester.  Prerequisite: COM 160 or COM 161 or COM 162 or COM 163 and one other COM course.

COM 298 Faculty Developed Study 1–6 SH

COM 299 Student Developed Study 1–6 SH

COM 336 Postproduction 3 SH
This intensive course combines theoretical and practical editing procedures and techniques. The emphasis of this course is on media aesthetics, terminology, problem-solving, creative options, the process of organizing material, continuity and pacing, constant screenings or concepts discussed, lab sessions, and practical experience on editing systems. Alternate spring semesters. Prerequisite: COM 146.

COM 340 Sound for Media 3 SH
This course is a continuation of sound and audio production knowledge and skills learned in COM 146 Basic Video Production. Students will work with aesthetic, design, planning, creative, and technical aspects of audio production specifically for digital film and video. The course features lectures, critical analysis, and relevant hands-on experience through sound recording and editing. Course requires work 2-4 hours/week beyond class time. Prerequisite: COM 146.

COM 362 Organizational Communication 3 SH
A study of communication patterns in various organizational settings with an emphasis on the strategies of the exchange of information, ideas and feelings up, down and across organizational lines. Additional emphasis will be given to the development of communication skills for effective problem-solving within an organizational setting. Fall semester. Prerequisite: COM 160 or COM 161 or COM 162 or COM 163.

COM 371 Film and Video Art 3 SH
This course is a creative and critical examination of works produced by film, video, sound, and performance artists. In this production-based class, students will develop multiple works of experimental film and video art. The theories, methods, and techniques reviewed in class will depart from traditional formulas of media production. Participants should be prepared to step outside of the accepted conventions that guide our daily media experiences. A beginning to intermediate knowledge of non-linear video editing is necessary. Prerequisite: COM 146 and Junior standing.

COM/ENG 372 Film and Literature 3 SH
See ENG/COM 372

COM 390 Research Methods in Communication 3 SH
Designed for majors, the course focuses on the methods of conducting qualitative and quantitative research in communication. Students will learn to conduct qualitative research methodologies such as in-depth interviews and focus groups and analyze the discussions using content analysis. Students will learn to design surveys and apply and interpret bivariate statistics. Every semester. Prerequisite: COM major and Junior standing.

COM 391 Special Topics in Media Studies 3 SH
This course offers students the opportunity to study current communication issues in depth. Course may be repeated for credit as long as the course topic is different. Prerequisite: COM 110 or COM 190 and Junior standing.

COM 392 Special Topics in Relational Communication 3 SH
This course offers students the opportunity to study current communication issues in depth. Course may be repeated for credit as long as the course topic is different. Prerequisite: COM 162 and Junior standing.

COM 393 Special Topics in Rhetoric/Public Address 3 SH
This course offers students the opportunity to study current communication issues in depth. Course may be repeated for credit as long as the course topic is different. Prerequisite: Determined by course topic or permission of the instructor, Junior standing.

COM 394 Special Topics in Media Production 3 SH
This course offers students the opportunity to study current communication issues in depth. Course may be repeated for credit as long as the course topic is different. Prerequisite: COM 146 and Junior standing.

COM 408 Strategies of Persuasion 3 SH
Exposure and practice of interpersonal and public forms of persuasion. Covers contexts for strategies’ effectiveness, campaign design, and implementing interpersonal persuasion. Emphasis on practice, presentation, and evaluation of good/flawed persuasion techniques. Alternate fall semesters.  Prerequisite: COM 160, COM 161 or COM 163. Competency: Critical Thinking and Oral communication.

COM/PS 411 Politics and the Media 3 SH
See PS/COM 411. General Education: Social Sciences.

COM 446 Advanced Video Production 3 SH
Through critical analysis and practical experience students deal with the art of directing a video production. The class looks at and discusses the conceptualizations and techniques of established directors. Production assignments manipulate and create techniques of production. The course examines fiction and non-fiction narrative as well as objective versus subjective storytelling. The student is required to identify and describe established techniques and create a short production. The production utilizes the concepts and techniques developed during the semester. Alternate spring semesters. Prerequisite: C grade or better in COM 246 or COM 247; and COM 336.

COM 480 Media Criticism 3 SH
The critical exploration of mass media including entertainment media, news, and advertising from a variety of theoretical perspectives.  Emphasis is on the ways the media serves to shape social, cultural, and political meanings. Spring semester. Prerequisite: COM 110 or COM 190 and a passing grade in a writing-intensive (“W”) course.

COM 485 Preproduction for Senior Project 3 SH
This course builds upon skills and practice learned in basic and intermediate writing and production courses, to work on preproduction for a dramatic, documentary, or experimental senior digital film project. Students incorporate communication and media theory, research, and methods into a comprehensive, written Production Book that is essential preparation for producing a short film up to the principal photography stage. This course must be taken sequentially by Media Production majors before DIMA/COM4YY. Every fall semester. Prerequisite: A Writing Intensive Tier 2 course (W2 Competency), COM 242/243, 246, and 336. Minimum Grade of D- or Undergraduate level CTA 146 Minimum Grade of D- or Undergraduate level COM 146FY Minimum Grade of D-. Competency: Writing Intensive Tier 3.

COM 495 Senior Thesis 3 SH
Students will develop a final project with the help of a faculty adviser that demonstrates their expertise in communication or media. Emphasis will be placed on information acquisition, critical thinking and writing and presentational skills. Every semester. For Senior majors in good academic standing. Prerequisite: COM 290 and COM 390 with grade of  “C” or higher or permission of the instructor. Competency: Culminating Experience and Writing Intensive Tier 3.