College of Arts and Sciences

Communication Studies

Course Descriptions

COM 200 Communication Theory & Practice (3 credits)
This introduction to communication and digital media studies focuses on various ways people employ language, image, and more cinematic means for communicative purposes. Through a series of hands-on projects students learn to research and analyze contemporary issues and trends in the field of communications, with an emphasis on digital media. In doing so, students examine how communication technologies are impacting the relationship between media audiences, producers, and content.

COM 201 Ethics in Communications (3 credits)
This course explores ethical issues in the field of communications. Themes include: privacy, civic media, citizen journalism, copyright, intellectual property, cyber bullying, net neutrality, social networking, global ethics, and digital divides. Students develop skills in applied ethical decision making, democratic dialogue, and civic participation through a range of projects in both online and community settings.

COM 371 Civic Media (3 credits)
This course engages students in questions about media, technology, sociality, and society. Students examine both theoretical and experiential foundations in order to understand the relationship between mediated communication and human communities. Those who complete this course will gain hands on experience engaging audiences and developing communities through various social media platforms.
COM 200 and COM 201 are prerequisites for this course.

COM 372 Web Design & Development
This course explores the principles and best practices for creating web content, ranging from introductory work in HTML to design prototypes and web typography. Students will work with several types of web content (text, image, audio, video) and consider how that content is best used in the composition of usable, accessible, and attractive web sites. Students will also learn about the structure/history of the web, typical design workflows, and potential careers in web work.

COM 373 The Art of Presentation (3 credits)
This course prepares students to deliver presentations in a wide range of professional contexts. The course emphasizes effective strategies for presentation design, audience engagement, and multimedia presentations.

COM 471 Visual Rhetorics (3 credits)
This course examines the visual as a mode of complex communication intricately related to social and cultural influences. Students will investigate methods of perception and visual interpretation in order to understand multiple ways in which the image communicates meaning. Students will consider a range of visual practices in order to create projects such as photo-essays, films, visual blogs, comics, and new media art.

COM 472 Digital Storytelling (3 credits)
Students in this course will critique and create a variety of digital stories through multiple lenses. Possible topics include 1) the lens of craft (narrative paths, spectatorship, structure); 2) the lens of convergence (transmedia storytelling, immersion, and storytelling via games); and 3) the lens of social change (first-person narratives, documentaries, and social justice), 4) the lens of aesthetics (style, time, and space).
COM 200 and COM 201 are prerequisites for this course.

COM 473 Special Topics in Digital Rhetorics (3 credits)
This special topics course will explore a specialized area at the intersection of technology and rhetoric.

COM 491 (3 credits)
An internship in the field of Communications affords students the opportunity to obtain practical, career-related experience while still in school. Students may independently locate an internship or use the services of the Career Development Center. Students are expected to work 10-12 hours a week for the 15-week semester (150-180 hours total). For more information or to register for COM 491, contact a Communication Studies faculty member.