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Curriculum

The Communication major provides students with a blend of theory- and practice-oriented courses in journalism, digital media, and strategic communication. Students learn how to write and listen effectively for diverse audiences, use various technologies, develop strong presentation skills, understand the role of communication in various settings, identify theories and models of communication, and are conversant in mass media concepts and practices. The communication major prepares students for a wide variety of internships and careers in fields such as journalism, television and radio production, public relations, advertising, and law.

Learning Outcomes

A successful communication studies graduate is expected to:

  1. Demonstrate the ability to create, design, and edit effective messages for diverse audiences using a variety of media
  2. Articulate relevant professional standards in communication
  3. Identify, analyze, and articulate significant theories and models of communication
  4. Develop professional habits and skills through a variety of real world experiences in practicums and internships.

Curriculum Requirements

At least 18 credits in the major must be at the 3000/4000 level.

General Education Requirements (30 credits)

Students are required to complete 30 credit hours as part of the General Education Program.

Communication Major Requirements (56 credits)

COMM 1100A - Communication Practicum (1 credit)

In this hands-on course, students learn, develop, and apply the skills necessary to function in a professional media setting. Students will gain practical experience related to the field of media by working in the Office of Student Media, under the supervision of a communication studies faculty member. Students will be able to work in fields such as newspaper, television, radio, web, public relations, and event planning.

COMM 1100B - Communication Practicum (1 credit)

In this hands-on course, students learn, develop, and apply the skills necessary to function in a professional media setting. Students will gain practical experience related to the field of media by working in the Office of Student Media, under the supervision of a communication studies faculty member. Students will be able to work in fields such as newspaper, television, radio, web, public relations, and event planning. 

COMM 2100 - Mass Media (3 credits)

An examination of the impact of technology on the way we receive and process information and images, the basic legal and economic structure of the mass media, historical precedents and events of mass media, the new cultural forms that have emerged from mass media, and the nature and implications of developing media technologies. Prerequisite: COMP 1500 or COMP 1500H. 

COMM 2300 - Intercultural Communication (3 credits)

The purpose of this course is to develop an understanding of communication across cultural boundaries and the role of diversity in interpersonal, public, and mass communication. Students will study communication differences across cultures and the importance of being rhetorically sensitive when communicating with diverse audiences. Prerequisite: COMP 1500 or COMP 1500H. 

COMM 2900 - Research Methods in Communication (3 credits)

This course teaches the student to understand and interpret research applications, methods and results, and practice basic research writing skills. Students will become familiar with qualitative and quantitative research methods commonly required in communication studies. Prerequisites: One COMM course at or above the 2000 level, or one SPCH course; and COMP 2000 or COMP 2020 or COMP 2000H. 

COMM 3110 - Communication Theory (3 credits)

This course focuses on different theories of communication at the levels of interpersonal, public, and mass communication. Students will learn numerous perspectives on the role and value of human interaction from fundamental communication theories and models to contemporary theoretical approaches for understanding the connection between human communication and human behavior. Prerequisites: One COMM course at or above the 2000 level and COMP 2000 or COMP 2020 or COMP 2000H.

COMM 3500 - Media Regulation (3 credits)

A survey of media policy and regulation emphasizing issues of libel, free speech, privacy, confidentiality of information and sources, as they pertain to mass media, advertising, and public relations. Prerequisites: One COMM course at or above the 2000 level and COMP 2000 or COMP 2020 or COMP 2000H.

COMM 3600 - Persuasion (3 credits)

Students will learn theories and strategies relevant to the study of public persuasion and social influence. Topics will focus on the role of persuasion in public address, advertising, business, politics, government, and social movements. Students will study the tools and techniques used to understand audiences for the purposes of marketing communication messages. Prerequisites: One COMM course at or above the 2000 level and COMP 2000 or COMP 2020 or COMP 2000H. 

COMM 4950 - Internship in Communication (3 credits)

A 10-20 hour per week field or work experience for 16 weeks (or more) in the student’s major area of study. Consult academic department for specific details and requirements. Prerequisites: COMM 1100A, COMM 1100B, cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher, completion of 60 or more credit hours and permission of department chair. 

HUMN 3010 - Communication Traditions (3 credits)

This course addresses the role of argument and communication in public discourse. Students will become intelligent consumers of public discourse through learning the traditions of the art of communication from ancient times through the present. Students will study compelling speakers and speeches from rhetorical and philosophical viewpoints. Prerequisite: COMP 2000, 2010, or 2020 or COMP 2000H. 

SPCH 1010 - Public Speaking OR SPCH 1010H - Public Speaking Honors (3 credits)

SPCH 1010 - Public Speaking (3 credits)

Training and practice in the fundamentals of public speaking, including audience analysis, topic development, research, organization, language use, and delivery. 

SPCH 1010H - Public Speaking Honors (3 credits)

Training and practice in the fundamentals of public speaking, including audience analysis, topic development, research, organization, language use, and delivery. Honors students only. 

SPCH 2000 - Fundamentals of Human Communication (3 credits)

This course surveys major concepts, theories, and research in the study of human communication. The course assists students in developing knowledge and skills in the development of their own communication competence. The course covers basic human communication processes in the contexts of interpersonal, group/team, and public communication. Prerequisite: COMP 1500 or COMP 1500H.

Concentrations (24 credits)

Select one of the following concentrations:

Select 24 credits from the following courses (9 credits must be at the 3000/4000 level):

ARTS 2410 - Graphic Design I (3 credits)

This course provides an introduction to graphic design. The computer is introduced as a graphic design problem-solving tool. Students will use current industry-standard software and technology to create designs based on graphic design principles. Through various assignments, students will become familiar with the operation of the personal computer while exploring the visual language of text, image and digital design. The course will familiarize students with basic aesthetic, technical, historical and conceptual issues as they relate to design.

ARTS 2450 - Graphic Design II (3 credits)

This course will focus on the understanding of the design process and developing effective graphic design concepts for a variety of formats, with an emphasis on form, content, and principles of design and layout composition. Students will further their knowledge of industry-standard computer software as applied to various formats of visual communication. Prerequisite: ARTS 2410. 

COMM 2500 - Introduction to Video Editing (3 credits)

This course provides students hands-on opportunities to learn the art and craft of digital video editing through the use of various software programs.

COMM 2800 - Introduction to Field Video Production (3 credits)

This course offers an introduction to electronic field production equipment and techniques for various types of microphones, cameras, and editing equipment, including portable field camera set-up, operation, transportation, and maintenance video editing, lighting, scripting, media aesthetics, and logistics. Students will learn how to produce top-quality audio and video footage using shoot preparation, direction, and production techniques. Students will develop both their creative and technical skills by engaging in a combination of production exercises, projects, readings, and critiques. 

COMM 3700 - Documentary Filmmaking (3 credits)

This course is designed to provide students with a framework for understanding the production of various documentary styles. Students will engage in readings, screenings, analysis, discussion and field production/editing. This course guides students through the pre-production, production and post-production processes. Media production skills will be developed through orientation to and working with various types of equipment. Prerequisites: COMP 1500 or COMP 1500H and COMM 2800.

COMM 3710 - Audio/Radio Production (3 credits)

This course introduces audio as a communication medium. Students learn audio production, including the principles of sound, announcing, scriptwriting, microphone technique, board operation, storytelling, program production, leadership, and organization. Prerequisite: COMM 2800 or COMM 2500.

COMM 3720 - Advanced Video Editing (3 credits)

This course provides advanced training and practice in video editing. Students utilize appropriate software to create professional projects that utilize animation, color correction, and compositing techniques. Prerequisite: COMM 2500. 

COMM 3800 - Advanced Field Video Production (3 credits)

This course offers instruction in advanced electronic field production techniques, including scripting, lighting, portable field audio and video recording equipment operation, directing, and video editing. Students will master advanced creative, production, and aesthetic skills through a combination of readings, production exercises, individual and ensemble projects, and portfolio development. As television is a labor-intensive medium, students should expect to spend considerable time outside of class to complete the assignments. Prerequisite: COMM 2800. 

COMM 3900 - Web, Mobile, and Interactive Design for Communication (3 credits)

Students learn the historical background of the web’s evolution, basic design guidelines for creating effective visual presentations, and essential design and building techniques for creating web sites and mobile applications. Using this foundational knowledge, students plan, design, and develop a website. Prerequisite: ARTS 2410. 

COMM 4900 - Special Topics in Communication (3 credits)

This course offers a cross-sectional view of the media through a focus on a particular medium, theme, or genre. Specific focus to be announced. May be repeated once for credit, if content changes and with written consent of division director. Prerequisites: One COMM course at or above the 2000 level, or one SPCH course; and COMP 2000 or COMP 2020 or COMP 2000H. 

Select 24 credits from the following courses (9 credits must be at the 3000/4000 level):

COMM 2010 - Introduction to Print Journalism (3 credits)

This course centers on instruction in the forms, methods, and styles of news and information writing for print publications. Emphasis will be placed on journalistic research methods, style conventions, and journalistic ethics. Prerequisite: COMP 2000 or 2020 or COMP 2000H. 

COMM 2200 - Introduction to Broadcast Journalism (3 credits)

Training in the elements of broadcast reporting with emphasis on the modern electronic news story. Students will learn the elements of broadcast news, the style and structure of broadcast news writing, and the technology of radio production. Prerequisite: COMP 1500 or COMP 1500H. 

COMM 2800 - Introduction to Field Video Production (3 credits)

This course offers an introduction to electronic field production equipment and techniques for various types of microphones, cameras, and editing equipment, including portable field camera set-up, operation, transportation, and maintenance video editing, lighting, scripting, media aesthetics, and logistics. Students will learn how to produce top-quality audio and video footage using shoot preparation, direction, and production techniques. Students will develop both their creative and technical skills by engaging in a combination of production exercises, projects, readings, and critiques. 

COMM 3300 - Multimedia Writing (3 credits)

Due to the convergence of media, this course will survey the different formats and styles used in multimedia writing. Students will learn to tailor messages to their intended audiences and produce effective writing across various mediums, including print, radio, television, and the web. It will familiarize students with the ever-changing media environment and help students acquire the skills necessary to communicate effectively across multiple mediums. The course will also discuss how students can prepare to transition from the classroom to a multimedia career. Prerequisites: COMP 2000 or 2020 or COMP 2000H; and COMM 2010 or COMM 2200.

COMM 3800 - Advanced Field Video Production (3 credits)

This course offers instruction in advanced electronic field production techniques, including scripting, lighting, portable field audio and video recording equipment operation, directing, and video editing. Students will master advanced creative, production, and aesthetic skills through a combination of readings, production exercises, individual and ensemble projects, and portfolio development. As television is a labor-intensive medium, students should expect to spend considerable time outside of class to complete the assignments. Prerequisite: COMM 2800. 

COMM 3820 - Sports Reporting and Writing (3 credits)

This writing-intensive course prepares students to cover, report, and write sports stories that include game coverage, columns, features, and news. Students complete the course with an expanded writing portfolio. Prerequisite: COMM 2010.

COMM 4100 - Feature Writing (3 credits)

In this workshop-based class, students produce newspaper, magazine, and/or online feature stories for The Current and other markets. Types of stories may include personality profiles, travel, how-to, participatory, etc. Students complete the course with an expanded writing portfolio. Prerequisite: COMM 2010.

COMM 4400 - Copy Editing (3 credits)

Students sharpen their journalistic skills as they learn about traditional and contemporary editorial roles and engage in the editing process. Because the news is fluid, students in this class learn to adapt to change and make informed decisions within the realm of solid journalistic standards. Prerequisites: COMP 2000 or COMP 2000H and COMM 3820 or COMM 4100.

COMM 4900 - Special Topics in Communication (3 credits)

This course offers a cross-sectional view of the media through a focus on a particular medium, theme, or genre. Specific focus to be announced. May be repeated once for credit, if content changes and with written consent of division director. Prerequisites: One COMM course at or above the 2000 level, or one SPCH course; and COMP 2000 or COMP 2020 or COMP 2000H. 

Select 24 credits from the following courses (9 credits must be at the 3000/4000 level):

COMM 2040 - Public Relations Writing (3 credits)

This course focuses on the process of writing in the practice of public relations, including research and composition of the following types of documents/publications: annual reports, news releases, brochures, communication audits, direct mail campaigns, newsletters, PSAs, and organization profiles. Prerequisite: COMP 2000 or COMP 2000H or COMP 2020. 

COMM 2400 - Principles of Advertising (3 credits)

This course examines the efficacy of advertising in modern society. It provides students with a fundamental understanding from which to interpret, understand, and create advertising. The course also provides a foundation for further study of advertising. Prerequisite: COMP 1500 or COMP 1500H. 

COMM 3200 - Principles of Public Relations (3 credits)

This course focuses on the nature, role, and scope of public relations on national and international levels. Topics introduced are organizational behavior and the ways in which it is shaped, public relations ethics, public relations practice in private and public arenas, emphasizing management and public relations strategy. Prerequisites: COMM 2040 and COMP 2000 or COMP 2010 or COMP 2020 or COMP 2000H.

COMM 3310 - Organizational Communication (3 credits)

This course examines the interrelationships of communicative behavior and attitudes with organizational policies, structures, and outcomes, and it uses case studies to teach theoretical principles. Prerequisite: COMM 2040 or COMM 2400. 

COMM 3400 - Strategic Visual Communication (3 credits)

Students gain insight into how visual components contribute to effective strategic communication by investigating the roles visuals play in reaching audiences and building organizational identity. Students learn about the communication functions served by visual components: images, color choices, and graphic design. Prerequisite: COMM 2400 or COMM 3200. 

COMM 4020 - Media Planning (3 credits)

This course provides an introduction to strategic media planning, the process used to place messages in media in order to reach specific audiences. It combines concepts and skills as it engages critical thinking in the process of media planning for advertising, public relations, and health and political communication campaigns. Prerequisite: COMM 2400 or COMM 3200.

COMM 4200 - Public Relations Campaigns (3 credits)

This course is designed to familiarize students with public relations agencies, their structures and how they function as counseling and consulting services for many types of organizations. The preparation of problem-solving campaigns, programs and projects will be emphasized. Students will implement the four-step public relations process in the form of group and individual proposals. Students will utilize skills in critical thinking, writing, reading, research and new technologies. Prerequisite: COMM 3200. 

COMM 4300 - Social Media Theory and Practice (3 credits)

This course will serve as both a primer for the context and forms of social media as well as an introduction to the various skills necessary to navigate social media effectively and collaboratively. Not simply a course designed for one specific technology or medium, the goal will be to learn how the digital world operates and is assessed, so that students attain the knowledge, critical thinking ability, and practical skills necessary to meet the personal, professional, and civic challenges posed by social media in an ever-changing landscape. Prerequisite: COMP 2000 or 2020 or COMP 2000H; and one COMM course.

COMM 4900 - Special Topics in Communication (3 credits)

This course offers a cross-sectional view of the media through a focus on a particular medium, theme, or genre. Specific focus to be announced. May be repeated once for credit, if content changes and with written consent of division director. Prerequisites: One COMM course at or above the 2000 level, or one SPCH course; and COMP 2000 or COMP 2020 or COMP 2000H. 

SPCH 3120 - Speech Communication for the Professions (3 credits)

Emphasis on public communication skills required of the person in business and/or professional settings. Topics include business interviews, public speaking, presentation aids, listening, team communication, and cultural diversity in the workplace.

The Bachelor of Arts degree requires at least 24 credits of coursework from the following disciplines: ARTS, DANC, FILM, HIST, HUMN, LITR, MUSC, PHIL, and THEA, as well as an intermediate degree of competency in a foreign language (generally, a minimum of 6 credits or another demonstration of competency).

The academic program and curriculum requirements listed on this page are from the NSU Undergraduate Student Catalog. Students are bound by policies and curricula published in the catalog in effect the semester they enter the university, unless an agreement is made with appropriate NSU administration officials allowing them to abide by policies published in a later catalog.

View sample 4-Year Academic Plan

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