Communication and Media Studies Spring 2022 Courses

Below is a list of upper level courses available to students in the Spring 2022 semester. 

COM 442 Non-Profit Communications with the Beautiful Social Research Collaborative 

Not-for-profit and community-based organizations rely on strategic digital communication to create positive social change. Students will gain in-depth knowledge of communication theories and practices while conducting research projects with local organizations through the Beautiful Social Research Collaborative. Those who complete this course will know how to apply a variety of social media theories and practices to help organizations achieve their communication goals. Students in the course will actively participate as a member of a project team to complete projects with clients in the Greater Philadelphia area and, from time to time, beyond. Local travel is required.

Registration for this class is by Instructor Approval. Please fill out an application here.

*Writing Intensive

COM 460 Health Communication Advocacy 

This course will address the topic of health as it is enacted and defined within the discipline of communication studies. This course systematically explores and elaborates key concepts, principles, and underlying theories pertinent to public health communication campaigns and advocacy practices. Specifically, this course will provide students with conceptual and applied knowledge about communication interactions and its effects on health care, health practitioners, and patients. Topics include but are not limited to patient-provider interaction, social and cultural issues of health, mass media representations of health and healthy behaviors, and communication within health organizations.

COM 473 Mindful Communication

In this experiential course, we combine the study of communication theory with mindfulness training. Mindfulness is about paying attention on purpose to what's happening in the present moment –without judgment. We will explore a range of research topics related to mindful communication, including attention, presence, deep listening, perspective taking, relational awareness, communication goals, conversational dynamics, and emotional intelligence. We will also examine real-world examples of mindful (and mindless) communication in relationships, school, public, and social media. With these skills, we can increase our ability to communicate effectively in each unique situation we encounter and modify unproductive communication habits.

COM 473 Race, Identity & Communications

An introduction to various approaches for understanding the dynamics of cultural competence in communications. Students will explore the variety of cultural shifts made visible through interaction with communications media, identity, race and changing demographics. The course aims to foster critical thinking about how cultural competence shapes and influences our understanding of the world and behaviors in the communications workplace. Introductory concepts to cultural competency will be introduced through discussions and case studies in emotional intelligence, equity, and best practices for imagery, language and narratives in media.

COM 473 Social Media Influencers

In a social media environment nearly saturated by advertising and marketing, the word “influencer” is both overused and under-investigated. This course aims to add both contextual depth and practical knowledge to your current experience related to social media influencers by interrogating their existence as media professionals, conduits of commerce and cultural exemplars of authenticity and the good life. We begin with some readings that predate the social media era to understand the cultural, technological, and socio-economic origins of this phenomenon. Next, through more contemporary readings and a guest speaker, we’ll learn how bloggers, marketers, advertisers, and social media companies made their ideas about an online “influencer economy” to reality, reorganizing media and cultural industries in the process. Finally, we’ll turn to Instagram influencers, in particular, the multibillion-dollar industry rooted in the display of aspirational-but-authentic lifestyles, in order to develop a critical understanding of social media influencers’ increasingly significant role as mediators of culture and commerce.

COM 480 Senior Capstone  (replacement for COM 472)

This required course provides department majors an opportunity to propose, plan, create and present a project to demonstrate what they have learned during their time at the university. The course focuses on an individual, semester-long creative and/or research project. The project scope and logistics will be negotiated between the student and instructor. The project is designed to serve as a transition from undergraduate to professional work and/or graduate school. The course includes a public presentation at the end of the semester.  *This course is restricted to Seniors

COM Integrative Learning Course (ILC) Requirements 

  • ARH 103 Art of Africa/African Diaspora; ARH 106 Latin American Art & Architecture
  • LIN 200 Introduction to Linguistics
  • MTF 191 Introduction to Film
  • PHL 262 Freedom, Citizenship, Culture
  • POL 117 Intro to Political Thought; POL 305 Politics, Ideology, & Film
  • SOC 206 Theories of Crime; SOC 207 Juvenile Justice; SOC 208 Sociology of Gender; SOC 335 Classes & Power in US
  • THE 372 Technology Ethics