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Communication Graduate Program
Teresa Bergman, Ph.D
Graduate Director and Advisor for the Communication Department

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Graduate Courses

(These course descriptions are from the 2010-2011 Graduate Catalog.)

COMM 214.       Argumentation and Advocacy  (4)
This course introduces students to the theory and practice of argumentation, which is a method of decision-making emphasizing reason giving evidence. The course includes instruction in debating, research, and critical writing, as well as advanced topics in the study of public deliberation. Prerequisites: three of the following 4 courses, COMM 027, 031, 043, or 050, with a GPA of 2.5 or better, or permission of the instructor.

COMM 216.       Rhetorical Theory and Criticism            (4)
This course strives to help students derive insight into how symbolic processes affect human awareness, beliefs, values, and actions. The course treats criticism and analysis as methods of inquiry into the nature, character, and effects of human communication. It addresses various methods of rhetorical criticism in terms of their central units of analysis and typical intellectual concerns. Prerequisite: COMM 160 or permission of the instructor.

COMM 237.       PR Case Studies and Problems (4)
Advanced course in public relations. The course will engage students in case study research and application of public relations principles. Written and oral presentations; adherence to professional standards of excellence. Prerequisite: COMM 135.

COMM 239.       Theory of Mass Communication           (4)
An overview of major theories and research in mass communication. Application of theories that explain and predict communication effects of political campaigns, advertising, entertainment, and information. Theoretical areas to be covered include socialization, information, diffusion, advertising, persuasion, and uses and gratification's research. The state, function, and form of theory in mass communication will be discussed. Prerequisite: COMM 160 or permission of the instructor.

COMM 245.       Human Communication Theory           (4)
A study of contemporary understandings of human interaction. Beginning with epistemological issues as a framework, the course examines theory building, foundation theories of our discipline, and contextual theories.

COMM 247.       Nonverbal Communication       (4)
The course examines major dimensions of non-verbal behavior exhibited by human beings in social interactional contexts. Special emphasis is given to such areas as human proxemics, kinesics, vocalics, haptics, and artifactual codes. Prerequisite: COMM 043 or permission of the instructor.

COMM 249.       Introduction to Organizational Communication            (4)
This course takes both a theoretical and an applied approach in introducing the student to the role of communication in various aspects of organizational functioning, such as motivation, leadership, decision-making, conflict management, message management, etc. Prerequisite: COMM 027, 043 or per- mission of the instructor.

COMM 252.       Public Relations Administration            (4)
Theoretically grounded, the course focuses on how public relations managers can effect change. Communication strategies for effective leadership and motivation of public relations professionals are emphasized. The course will enhance critical skills of management for the understanding of public relations research, action/planning, communication and evaluation. Prerequisites: COMM 135 and 137.

COMM 255.       Persuasion       (4)
This course is a survey of social psychological and communication approaches to social influence. Both past and contemporary theorizing will be explored, and the methods of empirical research will be discussed. Prerequisite: COMM 027 or permission of the instructor.

COMM 260.       Communication Research Methods     (4)
A study of research methods appropriate for examining communication-related problems. Topics for the course include historical-critical methods, descriptive methods, experimental methods, statistical models for data analysis and research reporting and writing. Prerequisites: COMM 027, 031, 043, a GPA of 2.5 or better, or permission of the instructor.

COMM 261.       Critical and Qualitative Research Methods        (4)
This course provides a graduate-level introduction to qualitative methods used in communication studies. Topics covered provide an overview of rhetorical analysis, critical and cultural studies, ethnography, and case studies in public relations. The course emphasizes the connection between the theoretical foundations of qualitative inquiry and their application to communicative interactions. Applications include the writing of criticism, field work in ethnography, and case studies.

COMM 262.       Quantitative Research Methods           (4)
This course develops expertise in undertaking quantitative research at the graduate level. The seminar focuses on various quantitative methods, including content analysis, survey research, experimental design, and scale construction, as well as statistical techniques for analyzing quantitative data.

COMM 271.       Graduate Seminar: Rhetorical Thought            (4)
This course provides a graduate level introduction into the theory and practice of rhetorical criticism. The course focuses on the role of the critic and six modes of criticism, which are as follows: generic criticism, cluster, narrative criticism, narrative criticism, ideological criticism, metaphoric criticism, and fantasy theme criticism.

COMM 272.       Graduate Seminar: Interpersonal Communication       (4)
This course provides the student who has achieved a general understanding of interpersonal communication issues the opportunity to choose and explore a particular area of special interest. The first phase of the course will focus on discussion of several theories of interpersonal behavior. Beginning approximately the fourth week of class, each student will bring in and present two or more abstracts of published articles related to the interest area. The last session(s) will provide the opportunity for students to share their conclusions with the others. Each student will complete a paper that presents a research proposal in the area of interest. The term paper is due the last scheduled day of classes.

COMM 273.       Graduate Seminar: Mass Communication        (4)
The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to mass communication theory and scholarship from three different scholarly perspectives: the social science or traditional paradigm, the critical theory paradigm, and the ethnographic paradigm. Students will not only be exposed to the literature in each of these areas but also be asked to conduct small scale studies from two of the three paradigms. Because the class is a seminar, student presentations and discussion will the major activity during class time.

COMM 275.       Graduate Seminar: in Public Relations  (4)
The Graduate Seminar in Public Relations is designed through in-depth study and research to formalize understanding of Public Relations: theory and practice, functions in organizations and role in society. You will study concepts and theories related to public relations role in social systems. A "mock" APR will test knowledge at the end of the semester with both a written and an oral examination.

COMM 276.       Communication in Learning Settings   (4)
This graduate seminar is designed to develop knowledge of current communication education research and effective communication strategies for teaching undergraduate courses in communication.

COMM 277.       Media Relations            (4)
This course is to discuss and debate media relations principles and practice.

COMM 278.       Political Communication           (4)
This course is designed to provide a grounding in rhetorical approaches to persuasion in a political context, to acquaint students with the range of political ideologies, and to examine the theoretical and pragmatic opportunities and obstacles to advocacy in the current mediated content of national, regional, or local politics.

COMM 287. Graduate Internship (2 or 4)

COMM 289. Graduate Practicum (2 or 4)

COMM 291. Independent Graduate Study (2-4)

COMM 293. Special Topics (2-4)

COMM 297. Graduate Research (1-4)

COMM 299. Thesis