COM111 Introduction to Mass Communication (3 crs.)
Studies the structure and functions of the mass media in the United States. Examines from both theoretical and practical viewpoints the nature of the communicator, the nature of the audience, and the nature of the mass communication experience.
COM112 Media Writing (3 crs.)
Introduces the variety of mass communication mediums students may encounter in their professional careers. Focuses on preparation and presentation of various mass communication formats. Examines message construction, framing and interpretation from the perspective of print and electronic media, public relations, and advertising. Study of grammar, spelling, and Associated Press news style also a focus. A proficiency exam will be given during the semester. Students must pass the proficiency test with a C or better to pass the course.
COM201 Principles of Public Relations (3 crs.)
Introductory course dealing with role and function of public relations in society. Emphasizes the application of theory and principles to the
practice of public relations.
COM224 Electronic Media Writing (3 crs.)
Opportunity to write for radio and television including news, commercials, public service announcements, editorials, and radio music
scripts. Keyboard skills required. Prerequisite COM 112.
COM241 Public Relations Writing (3 crs.)
Provides public relations majors with a variety of public relations writing experiences most likely to be encountered in business, government,
education, journalism, and community organizations and offers practical exercises in progressive sequence. Prerequisite: COM112.
COM245 Diversity and the Media (3 crs.)
Focuses on the diverse nature of mass media and the legal and ethical issues raised by race-, class- and gender-related representations of individuals and groups by the media. Course examines media’s influence on various populations within the United States as well as globally.
Develops students’ critical thinking skills in regard to message framing, message interpretation, and message presentation.
COM284 Electronic Media Basic Production (3 crs.)
Required Electronic Media Professional Emphasis course. Allows students to learn the key elements of the media production process,
as well as the proper use of media production tools and equipment. Provides knowledge and skills necessary to become part of a media
production team. Students will learn basic production skills necessary to successfully participate in upper-division production courses,
qualify for production-based internships, and assist in student media productions. Prerequisite for COM370, COM451, and COM452.
COM285 News Writing and Reporting (3 crs.)
Introduces concepts of gatekeeping and agenda-setting in the selection and processing of news and information. Explores different story
structures and the various forms of newswriting journalists use in their profession. Explores newswriting and reporting skills needed in
interviewing sources and covering speeches and meetings. Provides in- and out-of-class writing experiences. Keyboard skills required.
Prerequisite: COM 112.
COM290 Advertising Copywriting (3 crs.)
Emphasis on writing advertising copy and headlines. Also examines design and layout for print and electronic media. Prerequisite: COM112
COM293 Editing (3 crs.)
Devoted to the many responsibilities of the copy editor, including copy editing, head writing, and dummying pages. Prerequisite: COM285.
COM335 Media Advertising and Sales (3 crs.)
Examines sales function of advertising in commercial media including newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and the Internet. Theory
and practical application in media advertising, sales, and research are explored. Media competitive advantages and disadvantages as well as
sales techniques of each mass medium discussed.
COM345 Communication Law (3 crs.)
Familiarizes students with legal and self-imposed regulation of mass communications in the United States. Deals, at a minimum, with
libel, privacy, obscenity, free press/fair trial, contempt of court, copyright and legal and quasi-legal provisions, and agencies affecting advertising
and radio and television. Prerequisite: junior standing.
COM355 Practicum (3 crs.)
In this course, students will spend the semester working in one of the five student-run media groups on campus, which are operated through the Communication/Journalism Department: The Slate, SUTV, WSYC, the Cumberland yearbook, or SUPR/PRSSA. Practicum will provide a hands-on, assessed laboratory learning experience for students, affording them the opportunity to learn the inner workings of various media industries and their companion Internet entities.
COM360 Basic Digital Photographic Communication (3 crs.)
Introduces principles of photography and teaches basic competencies to produce black and white photographs. Students study history
of photography, the techniques of photographic composition, and the basic processes of producing camera images in the darkroom. Assignments designed to teach how creative visual communication is achieved through use of black and white photography. Emphasis on practical technique of processing and printing black and white negatives. Students expected to develop an understanding of the relationship of photography to their professional goals.
COM362 Photojournalism (3 crs.)
For students who have an understanding of basic photographic equipment and photographic techniques. Examines and explores use
of visual communication techniques in print media and websites. Covers history of photojournalism, technical aspects of photojournalism,
and modern visual communication production techniques in both traditional and digital formats. Assignments designed to teach how to produce and edit visual elements and combine them with text for both print and web-based publications. Prerequisite COM 360 or permission of instructor.
COM370 Television Studio Production (3 crs.)
Introduction to fundamentals of television production. Students obtain experience in the various roles of the television team including producer, director, floor manager, cameraman, etc., in correlated laboratory sessions. Prerequisite: COM284.
COM375 Public Affairs Reporting (3 crs.)
Provides instruction in methods of gathering and reporting in the mass media information about government and politics, law enforcement
agencies and the courts, labor, business and finance, and agriculture. Prerequisite: COM285.
COM381 Promotional Publication Design (3 crs.)
Offers writers and designers study in print and web-based communication with primary emphasis on desktop publishing (Macintosh)
and web-based publishing (DreamWeaver and other web software). Examines practical application of basic contemporary design to printed
and web-based materials such as newsletters, booklets, pamphlets, and advertising messages.
COM384 Electronic Media Producing and Performance (3 crs.)
Develops skills in both production and on-air performance for electronic media, and develops understanding of how each area affects
the other. Students will develop news judgment in selecting information to place before an audience, further develop writing skills introduced
in Electronic Media Writing, learn production formatting and style, learn the specialized professional language of television production,
understand and apply legal and ethical obligations and limits of a television producer. Students will produce a live television programduring the course. Prerequisite: COM224 and COM284.
COM395, 396 Internship I and II (1-3 crs.)
Internship of three credit hours can be earned for service in an approved field. Qualifications include junior or senior class standing;
2.5 or higher QPA overall and 3.0 in the major; completion of at least five courses in the major, including courses necessary for successful
work in the internship position; completion of a written analysis of the experience as prescribed by the faculty supervisor; approval of the
communication/journalism faculty. Applications must be processed in advance through the Department of Communication/Journalism.
Prerequisite: junior standing and departmental permission.
COM410 Women and the Media (3 crs.)
Introduces overview of the many and varied contributions of women in mass media. Through slide lectures, documentary videos, and student
research presentations, students explore the lives and work of women media professionals, explore some of the notable historical obstacles to women in this once male-dominated field: sexist attitudes, stereotypes, lack of women in management, and conflicts between job and family. Also examines the ethnic diversity of women in this important professional field. Will explore how women’s style and vision differs from their male counterparts. Prerequisite: basic coursework in communication/journalism, including a media writing course or permission of instructor.
COM424 Electronic Media Producing and Performance (3 crs.)
This course serves as the culminating experience for students in the Electronic Media emphasis and includes a professional project. Develops skills in both production and on-air performance for electronic media, and develops understanding of how each area affects the other. Students will develop news judgment in selecting information to place before an audience, a further develop writing skills introduced in Electronic Media Writing, learn production formatting and style, learn the specialized professional language of television production, understand and apply legal and ethical obligations and limits of a television producer. Students will produce a live television program during the course.
COM425 Feature Writing (3 crs.)
Deals with specialized writing for newspapers and magazines and offers instruction and practice in developing ideas for articles, using
research methods, and writing for mass audiences. Keyboarding skills required. Prerequisite: Basic coursework in communication/journalism,
including a media writing course or permission of instructor.
COM432 Public Relations Research and Campaigns (3 crs.)
Explores the theory and philosophy of promotion as it pertains to public relations. Examines basic quantitative and qualitative research
methods (survey, content analysis, focus group, etc.) that can be used effectively to design a campaign plan. Explores the various components
of a public relations campaign plan, which students will draw upon to produce a public relations campaign for a corporation or non-profit organization. Prerequisite: basic coursework in communication/ journalism, Including a media writing course or permission of instructor.
COM445 Senior Capstone: Professionalism and Ethics (3 crs.)
Required of all graduating seniors, this is the capstone experience for all professional emphases offered by the department. Focuses on
developing students’ understanding of the ethical and professional parameters of their specific career plans or focus. Students explore case
studies as well as current ethical and professional issues facing mass media in America. Students will study the nature of professionalism,
develop an understanding of professional expectations in each career field, and produce a professional employment portfolio. Prerequisite:
COM451 Electronic Field Production (3 crs.)
Designed to develop and train visual essayists — single-camera videographers who link pictures, words, and sound to create electronic
stories. Creates, develops, and polishes skills and techniques needed to produce video documentaries, corporate videos, and live event productions.
Skills and techniques include telling the visual story without words; writing and shooting long-form TV stories, interviews and features; learning visual grammar; perfecting video editing; and developing on-camera performance abilities. Prerequisites: COM224 and COM284, or permission of instructor.
COM452 Electronic News Gathering (3 crs.)
Focus is preparation for careers as professional electronic journalists. emphasizes development of news judgment, journalistic responsibilities,
and journalistic ethics. Students work in classroom and television environments to acquire and improve reporting, writing, and technical
skills needed to succeed in the electronic newsroom. Introduces the culture of the broadcast news environment, including meeting deadlines and working in a team environment both in the field and in the newsroom. Prerequisites: COM 224 and COM 284, or permission of instructor.
COM460 Case Studies in Public Relations (3 crs.)
Reviews current public relations principles and practices as related to business, governments, institutions, and associations. Examines the
application of PR principles and practices in the management of contemporary public issues and problems. Prerequisite: Basic coursework in communication/journalism, including a media writing course or permission of instructor.
COM470 Advanced Digital Photographic Communication (3 crs.)
Introduces principles of digital photography and teaches basic competencies to apply standard photo concepts to the realm of digital imaging. Includes history of digital photography, techniques of composition, and basic processes of producing digital photographs from electronic and traditional camera images. Emphasis on practical technique with electronic equipment (cameras, scanners, photo CDs, and other methods of image acquisition) and the manipulation of images through applications like Adobe Photoshop. Students are expected to develop an understanding of the relationship of digital photography to their professional goals. Prerequisite: COM360 or permission of the instructor.
COM476 Magazine Design (3 crs.)
Provides opportunity to examine, discuss, and create periodical publications (magazines) in a variety of specialized formats. Develops skills
in understanding and creating periodical publications by focusing on writing and design. Examines a variety of magazines to provide an
understanding of content, typography, design, layout, and production. Students learn to create promotional materials necessary to develop audience for periodical publication. Students write and edit several stories for their own publication, which is final course project. Students produce a 32-page magazine as this final project. Graduate students conduct market research analysis and a strategic promotional plan in addition to standard coursework. Prerequisite: basic coursework in communication/journalism, including a media writing course or permission of instructor.
COM478 Digital Journalism (3 crs.)
Focus on the changing nature of technology and its use in news organizations to gather, analyze, synthesize, and disseminate information. Focuses on developing, researching, and writing specialized stories for newspaper and magazine websites. Students learn to approach stories as packages, developing story ideas that can be presented in written, audio, and video formats. Focuses on writing and editing, written narrative, and capturing and editing digital audio and digital video segments, developing accompanying links, and designing a story package to be presented in print and on a website. Prerequisite: basic coursework in communication/journalism, including a media writing course or permission of instructor.
COM481 Interactive Media Design (3 crs.)
Study in interactive communication with primary emphasis on web design and content; course focuses on practical application of contemporary
interactive web design software to create online materials and messages. Different evaluation criteria applied to graduate/undergraduate students.
COM482 Internet Communication (3 crs.)
Introductory course with fundamental knowledge concerning the construction, use, and importance of world wide web media for the
communications industries. Students construct an actual website concentrating on the usability of web pages and websites while applying skills gained in class to work with real world clients. Prerequisite: basic coursework in communication/journalism, including a media writing course or permission of instructor.
COM484 Electronic Media Programming and Management (3 crs.)
Provides students with insights into the programming and management of: local TV and radio stations; local cable TV systems; national TV, radio, and cable TV networks; national DBS, DTH, and wireless cable services; and international Internet program providers. Emphasis on issues involving program creation and development, program scheduling, program distribution, audience evaluation of programs, and the management of station/system/network personnel. Prerequisite: basic coursework in communication/journalism, including a media writing course or permission of instructor.
COM490, 491, 492 Selected Topics in Communication/Journalism (1-3 crs.)
Opportunity to offer courses in areas of departmental major interest not covered by the regular courses. Prerequisite: basic coursework in
communication/journalism, including a media writing course or permission of instructor.
COM500 Communication Theory (3 crs.)
Analyzes communication theory as it relates to media and audiences and studies the effects of communications on the attitudes and actions of society.
COM505 Public Relations Foundations (3 crs.)
This course zeroes in on two elements of PR that have come to the fore in the last few years: an emphasis on the international PR and loin PR tactics, particularly social media. The other two elements of the course have, and will continue to be, the concern of PR professionals: ethics and research.
COM510 Communication Studies Professional Seminar (3 crs.)
Designed to be a forum for the systematic analysis of the communications profession. It will guide students through the process of developing and implementing strategies for intelligent and effective media engagement with audiences, any company's or corporation's primary obligation.
COM511 Modes of Film Communication (3 crs.)
Reviews the theory, history, and criticisms of films; analyzes the content and roles of various modes of film such as documentary, exposition, etc.; provides writing opportunities for the film medium.
COM516 Photographic Communication (3 crs.)
Surveys the history of photography; studies the theory of photography including light, exposure, optics, photographic chemistry, color and composition, and provides background in using photography as a communication tool.
COM526 Emerging Mass Media Technologies (3 crs.)
Reviews and analyzes the role of developing and future telecommunications media technologies and their implication for today's media and society.
COM527 Digital Storytelling (3 crs.)
Professionals with an understanding of writing to the digital content consumer are high in demand. The course aims to prepare students to produce content for digital formats such as web and mobile platforms. Students will spend time researching and collecting information on a specific topic and produce a digital narrative that will entice consumers to explore the message.
COM530 Law and the Media (3 crs.)
In-depth study of the law that affects media. Focuses on the reasoning behind regulation, the impact of the laws, and the need for changes in current regulatory schemes. Legal research skills and methods are stressed.
COM536 World Broadcasting Systems (3 crs.)
Comparative study of international broadcasting program policies, economic systems, control, and organization. The use of broadcasting in international affairs as an instrument of propaganda, culture, and information dissemination. Monitoring of overseas broadcasts, and discussions with representatives of domestic and foreign broadcast agencies.
COM544 Advanced Communication Problems (3 crs.)
Students identify a communication problem related to their professional project or to their thesis. Students then suggest possible solutions and produce or procure the materials needed to implement the solution chosen. Prerequisite: COM500.
COM561 Press and Public Affairs (3 crs.)
Investigates the relationship between print and electronic mass communication systems and local, state, and national governments, including regulatory agencies and barriers to the free flow of information. Considers the roles and functions of the press in reporting public affairs in the light of topical issues.
COM570 Fund Raising and Association Public Relations (3 crs.)
Introduction to the fundamentals of raising funds for education, religious, health, and social welfare organizations. Study includes a review of the conventional techniques used in reaching traditional funding sources. Association organization, membership development, and volunteer support round out the course.
COM594 Selected Topics (1-3 crs.)
COM600 Introduction to Mass Communication Research (3 crs.)
Surveys major trends in mass communication research, including sociological and psychological perspectives, which have built our knowledge about how communication systems work. Through the examination of classic studies in the mass communication field, the student is introduced to a variety of research settings and techniques including readability, persuasion, content analysis, interviewing, questionnaire design and sampling. Prerequisite: COM500.
COM603 Professional Project in Mass Communications (3 crs.)
Students design a project of professional and intellectual interest that contributes both to their knowledge and to the field of communication/journalism. Prerequisites: COM500, 544, 561, 600. (This is an individualized instruction course open only to students who are working with an adviser on the professional project option.)
COM609 Internship I (1-3 crs.)
COM610 Internship II (1-3 crs.)
COM612 Thesis I (3 crs.)
Prerequisite: Prior approval of department chair.
COM613 Thesis II (3 crs.)
Prerequisite: Prior approval of department chair.