Communication Courses

Com 502 Communication Theory and Practice (3)

Exploration of the interrelationship between theory and practice, employing either a general theory of communication or a theory located in one of the three departmental areas of concentration.

Com 503 Message Design and Social Influence (3)

Survey of theory and research on persuasion and critical analysis of persuasive messages aimed at individuals, groups, or large publics. Students will develop analytic and critical writing skills and research techniques needed for graduate study in communication

Com 517 Institute in Communication (1-3)

A variety of special courses are offered under the institute. Topics may vary from semester to semester.

Com 520 Theories and Research in Political Communication (3)

Survey of key theories and research findings in the field of political communication covering concepts such as political image, issues, agenda setting, language, debates, socialization, and advertising.

Com 525 Communication Research Methods (3)

Methods of gathering data and analyzing information common to most communication studies, including political polling and surveys, content analysis, interviewing, measurement, and elementary data analysis.

Com 551 Theories and Research in Public Organizational Communication (3)

Major research and theories in organizational communication including topics such as organizational structures and processes, communication network analysis, design decision making and control systems, and organizational development, with emphasis on public sector organizations.

Com 552 Advanced Studies in Organizational Communication and Research (3)

This course introduces the student to a wider range of perspectives than encountered in the introductory course, including the rhetorical, semiotic, and ideological dimensions of organizing.  During this class, the students will be introduced to different topics that are representative of the current research in organizational communication such as democracy in organizations, decision making processes, and the role of texts and conversations in organizations.

Com 555 Organizations and Society (3)

Examination of theoretical and research literature on the interaction between organizations and other individuals and groups in the society at large. In addition to traditional studies of technological, market, and sociopolitical environments, the course will examine relevant topics such as social responsibility and responsiveness, corporate wrongdoing, issues management, corporate political activity, whistleblowing, and organizational ethics.

Com 557 Communication Audits within Organizations (3)

The study of why, where, and how communication audits within organizations are conducted. Details the methodologies for conducting audits, characteristic data, and their utility for the organization. Students examine case studies, and conduct an audit in a local business or government organization.

Com 559 Communication Networks (3)

Introduction to the major conceptual and methodological issues in the study of communication networks. Gives students experience with the primary analytic tools available to network researchers, and guides students in the conceptualization, conduct, and analysis of an actual communication network study.

Com 560 (Hpm 561) Health Communication (3)

Students explore the role of communication in the delivery and receipt of health care, especially with respect to physician-patient encounters, organizations in the health care system, and the design and execution of health care campaigns.

Com 562 Communication in Health Care Organizations (3)

The course explores the relationships between communication and a range of cultural, social, economic, ethical, and technological factors that influence health care organizations, the delivery and receipt of health care, and the health care institutional system.

Com 575 Interpersonal Interaction (3)

Examines language and nonverbal practices adopted by individuals interacting in personal relationships and professional settings. Examines participants' struggles, and shows how those are consequential for the direction of the interaction, and for the participants' identities and relationships.

Com 577 Culture and Communication (3)

An examination of interactional and ritual practices that differentiate cultural groups, and the way cultural identities and customs manifest themselves in interactional practices.

Com 580 Qualitative Research Methods (3)

The course introduces various methods used in qualitative research. It will address the historical and theoretical foundations of qualitative research methods, ethical issues in qualitative research, and survey a variety of qualitative methodologies.

Com 585 Conversation Analysis (3)

Examines published research in Conversation Analysis and audio and video recordings of interpersonal interaction. Develops a systematic approach to observing and analyzing interaction and discourse practices in everyday activities. Students record, transcribe, and analyze interactions.

Com 587 (Inf 787) Field Research Methods (3)

This course is about data collection and analysis techniques in conducting ethnographic (fieldwork) research in institutional settings.  Topics of discussion will include how to collect observational, interview, and documentary data and how to create analytical reports based upon these data. This course will include observation and writing exercises that will give students some practical experience in doing fieldwork-based research.  In the context of these exercises, we will discuss important methodological issues about writing fieldnotes, coding fieldnotes, and constructing analytical narratives out of coded data.  This course will be offered to graduate students at the master's and doctoral levels.  Doctoral students taking this course will have one or more additional assignments, including writing or revising a proposal for an ethnographic study.  Prerequisites:  Pad 704 or Inf 710 are required of doctoral students registering for Inf 787.

Com 600 Understanding Data in Strategic Communication (3)

This course is designed to provide a broad examination of data in strategic communication within a social science framework. Throughout this course, you will be introduced to data analytic techniques that are appropriate for addressing a variety of key questions in strategic communication. Using a variety of software, students will learn how to effectively retrieve, manage, visualize, analyze, and interpret data, which are high-demanded skills in almost every industry using data to guide their decision-making processes.

Com 619 (Hpm 619) Communication and Public Health (3)

This course is designed to provide an overview of a variety of areas related to communication and public health. The course will review health behavior theories and introduce theories concerning health communication, and provide introductions to topics including interpersonal and organizational health communication, risk communication, media campaigns, and media effects on health. The course will also look at advertising and health, as well as explore the ways that new media (such as the internet) impact health. Cultural differences and ethical issues with respect to communication and health will be covered throughout the semester. Students will develop writing, presentation, and research skills, and will develop science and media literacy skills. Students will learn about developing media campaigns and designing research studies, with a focus on content analysis, through course assignments. 

Com 620 Communicating Globally (3)

Cultural values in different nations, and how those values influence management decisions and organizational practices. Culturally sensitive leadership, effective intercultural communication in organizational contexts, leading cultural change in organizations.

Com 625 Mass Media Effects in Political Communication (3)

Examination of selected topics in mass communication and political communication theory and research relating to the effects of mass media particularly regarding political processes, institutions, and publics.

Com 626 Campaign Communication (3)

Analysis of campaign goals and sub-goals, campaign structures and organizations, and the needs for public communication at each stage of the campaign. Prerequisites: 12 credits in communication including Com 520 or 523.

Com 628 New Media and Engagement (3)

New media technologies and strategies for building and sustaining engagement with websites or other media applications in commercial, social, cultural, political, government, workplace, and health related contexts.

Com 635 Topics in Political Communication (3)

Selected topics in political communication, such as public information issues and practices, the rhetoric of political institutions, voter decision-making. May be repeated for a total of six credits with changes in topic. Prerequisites: 12 credits in communication including Com 520 or Com 523.

Com 640 Risk & Crisis Communication in the Public Interest (3)

The purpose of this course is to provide students with theoretical and applied tools from which to carry out and critically assess risk and crisis communication practice. The course addresses constructions of risk and crisis, risk perception, messaging strategies, visual communication, ethics, inequality, communication campaigns, and the politics of crisis. The organizational contexts are primarily those of public/governmental, non-governmental, and grassroots organizations and the topical foci include issues of environmental, health, security, social, and technological risk/crisis. Students will carry out both academic tasks, such as critique and assessment) as well as a variety of applied projects.

Com 650 Communication, Community and Health (3)

Evidence of renewed interest in the study of how the places we live in impact our health can be found across many disciplines, ranging from sociology and public health to geography and economics. This course emphasizes the contributions of communication to this line of research. Communication is an important social process through which neighborhood health effects manifest, but also a mechanism through which individuals, families, and community-based organizations and institutions can make the neighborhoods they live in and serve healthier places. In this class, you will be introduced to the burgeoning multidisciplinary literature around neighborhoods and health as well as the salient theoretical, methodological, and policy debates. You will also be encouraged to discuss how you, as communication researchers and professionals, can contribute to the development of community-based solutions to a variety of public health challenges. 

Com 651 Organizational Culture (3)

Study of both academic and popular treatments of the topic of organizational culture. The course emphasizes the central role of interaction in the development, maintenance, and decay of organizational cultures; it emphasizes the use of cultural artifacts, such as organizational stories, contexts. Prerequisites: 15 credits in communication including Com 551 or Com 557 and either Com 553 or Com 555.

Com 652 Interaction in Institutional Contexts (3)

This course focuses on how people organize their activities through talk and how organizations shape the ways people communicate. The course introduces conversation analytic approaches to researching different kinds of institutional settings.

Com 653 Teamwork (3)

Study of the role of human interaction in the coordination and cooperation in work groups, with special attention to cross-functional teams, social technical teams and self-management teams, their theory and practice. Prerequisites: 15 credits in communication including Com 551 or Com 557 and either Com 553 or Com 555.

Com 655 Communication, Work and Organization Life (3)

This course examines how individuals negotiate their relationships with organizations – primarily as employees of organizations, but also as consumers of services offered by organizations. Topics include organizational controls, employee identification and resistance, and the management of work and personal-life interrelationships, including the impact of new information and communication technologies. Organizations are considered as sources of identity, sites for entertainment and socializing, sites for enacting spirituality and religion, sources of social relationships and support, and substitutes for different aspects of family (e.g., mentor-parents; co-worker spouses). Relationships of external stakeholders to organizations are also considered, focusing on consumers of health care services. In this context, external organizational communication by healthcare organizations, individual encounters with healthcare systems, and the impact of health information technology will be addressed.

Com 657 Leadership Communication (3)

Leadership in organizations, and the critical role of communication in the process of moving organizational members towards shared organizational goals. Topics include the history of leadership studies, leadership vision, leading learning organizations, and shaping values and culture through effective communication.

Com 659 Topics in Organizational Communication (3)

Selected topics in organizational communication such as the relationship between interpersonal and organizational communication, ethics and organizations, telecommunication processes. May be repeated for a total of six credits with change in topic. Prerequisites: 15 credits in communication including Com 551 or Com 557 and either Com 553 or Com 555.

Com 660 Digital and Social Media in Strategic Communication (3)

Theoretical, conceptual, and managerial understandings of strategic communication in digital and social media platforms, with a specific interest in content creation and promotion. Areas examined include marketing communication, advertising, and public relations in online platforms. Applied communication tactics in digital media marketing and other contexts.

Com 664 Corporate Communication: Theory and Practice (3)

Corporate communication as a strategic area of management and as an academic field of study. Topics include the function of corporate communication, building strong identity and managing corporate image using corporate advertising and public relations, communication strategies to deal with shareholders and other important constituencies, developing internal communication programs, and responding to corporate crises.

Com 670 (Hpm 569) Health Literacy: Patients, Organizations, and Societies (3)

In a society where the health system has grown increasingly complex and difficult to navigate, and where people may have instant access to information from multiple sources, health literacy has become a major issue. It impacts individuals’ communication with their health providers, communication among health and human service providers that serve diverse ethnic populations, but also the development of public health and health communication campaigns and interventions targeted towards increasingly diverse communities. This course is designed to introduce students to the concept of health literacy, the significance of health literacy as a determinant of health outcomes, the measures developed to assess health literacy, and the multiple factors that shape health literacy.

Com 675 Topics in Interpersonal Interaction (3)

Advanced research and theory on interpersonal interaction. Topic may vary by semester. MA students may repeat course twice with a change of topic for a maximum of 9 credits; doctoral students may repeat course with change of topic as often as advised. Prerequisites: 6 credits in Communication.

Com 677 Topics in Culture and Communication (3)

Advanced research and theory on cultural aspects of interaction and discourse practices. Topic may vary by semester. MA students may repeat course once with change of topic for a maximum of 6 credits; doctoral students may repeat course with change of topic as often as advised. Prerequisites: 6 credits in Communication.

Com 693 Studies in Specialized Areas (1-3)

Supervised readings to give students mastery over the literature in the area of a student’s comprehensive examination. A list of supervised readings is developed by advisor and student for each individual student. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits.

Com 696 Independent Study in Communication (2-3)

Guided research on topics in communication. May be repeated for up to six credits, with no more than three credits from the same instructor.

Com 697A ,B Guided Research Project (3,3)

Students work with a faculty advisor on an academic research project on a topic of interest to the student and faculty member, related to student's elected track in the program.  Final projects should contain a statement of research questions, proposed method for addressing the questions, data collection and analysis or other analytic activity, and project discussion.  Students are expected to complete the guided research project in two semesters.  In the first semester (COM 697A), students will identify relevant research literature and formulate a plan for carrying out the project.  In the second semester (COM 697B), students will conduct the research and write the research report.  Students who pursue this option generally anticipate the possibility or likelihood of further study at the doctoral level. Prerequisite: Completion of at least 18 credits, including program core courses and substantive area core courses. 

Com 698 Research Seminar/Practicum in Communication (6-9)

Supervised applications of communication theory in agencies of business and government. Cannot be taken until student has completed at least 24 graduate credits in communication. Requires a written final report and seminar attendance. Prerequisite: By advisement only.

Com 699 Master's Thesis (3-9)

Research leading to an acceptable master's thesis in communication. Requires a final oral examination with members of the thesis committee. Prerequisite: Consent of advisor.

Com 899 Doctoral Dissertation (1)

Required of all candidates completing the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Communication.  Load graded.  Appropriate for doctoral students engaged in research and writing of the dissertation.  Prerequisites:  Completion of all course work toward the doctoral degree in communication and admission to doctoral candidacy.