Communication Studies


COM 101: Introduction to Public Speaking

This course is designed to teach students how to write and deliver public speeches effectively. Students prepare a number of short talks for presentation in class. Emphasis is placed on audience analysis, research and the speech-writing process as well as delivery.

COM 204: Media Criticism

Students learn to analyze and critique contemporary genres of media, look critically at mass media institutions and how these institutions influence media content, and consider what kinds of larger implications the mass media have on our lives and culture.

COM 220: History of U.S. Mass Media

This course considers the development of U.S. mass media, with particular reference to significant influences of the 19th and 20th centuries. Students examine a variety of media (newspapers, magazines, advertising, telegraph, motion pictures, radio, television and the internet) within the broad social contexts within which they were developed and operated.

COM 228: Video Production I

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the art of video production. Students learn to use digital video cameras and digital editing software. Through screenings and discussions, students develop an understanding of processes and practices in contemporary video production and produce work in a variety of genres, from commercial and experimental to documentary.

COM 236: Documentary Film

This course examines the history and development of both American and international documentary films and video. The course examines the major characteristics, techniques and styles of documentaries and the relationships among the camera’s recording, editing decisions and the transformative impact on both the filmmakers and audience.

COM 240: American Film

This historical survey of films made in the U.S., from the silent period to the present, focuses on various film genres — westerns, comedies, musicals, gangsters, film noir and horror — as well as on such concepts as the auteur theory, the star system and the golden years of the Hollywood studio system. The technical, aesthetic and cultural aspects of the media are examined as well as various theoretical approaches to film study.

COM 303: Writing about Sports

This is an advanced writing course in sports journalism which utilizes print, broadcast and digital formats. The components include game analysis, commentary, editorials, Op-Ed pieces, blog writing, quantitative research skills, public relations and investigative journalism.

COM 312: Writing About the Arts

Writing about the Arts focuses on the features aspect of print, broadcast and digital journalism, including interest or point-of-view stories, reviews, analyses and columns about the arts: works of art, artist profiles, recorded and live performances, broadcast and cable programming literature, claymation, anime, theater, photography, internet art and blog art reviews.

COM 328: Video Production II

Building on knowledge and techniques learned in Video Production I, students expand and enhance their understanding of video production. The course introduces students to advanced lighting and editing techniques. Creativity and personal expression are encouraged as students write, direct and produce their own projects.

COM 358: Race, Class, Gender and Media

This course considers relationships among popular culture, mass media and identity: gender, race, class and sexuality. Students learn reading strategies, analytical tools and theoretical models for better understanding the role communication media play in our identities.