COMM Course Listing

Military Communication and Writing (COMM 200, 3 Credits)
(Fulfills the general education requirement in communications.) A study of business communication management in a military context. The objective is to develop appropriate and effective communication products for military audiences and within military environments through the application of accepted business communication practices. Topics include communication theories; research methods; organization of information; formats; writing and editing strategies; and techniques for guiding subordinate communication, conducting interviews, and managing meetings. Assignments may include making speech presentations; instructing a class; conducting interviews; managing meetings; and writing and editing reports, letters, e-mails, proposals, and personnel evaluations.

Media and Society (COMM 202, 3 Credits)
(Fulfills the general education requirement in communications but is not a writing course.) Prerequisite: WRTG 112, WRTG 101, or WRTG 101S. An overview of the complex components and relationships involved in today's media. The goal is to understand the technical, political, economic, cultural, and organizational influences on mediated messages. Topics include visual rhetoric, legal and ethical issues, social media, the transactional model, advertising, security, and privacy concerns.

Understanding Visual Communication (COMM 207, 3 Credits)
A study of the creation and interpretation of visual language. The aim is to understand how images are used to effectively communicate ideas in a variety of channels, including news, advertising, and public relations. Topics include aesthetics, principles of composition, color systems, content awareness, and historical and cultural perspectives. Emphasis is on critical thinking and analysis of images from both theoretical and practical perspectives.

Communication Theory (COMM 300, 3 Credits)
(Fulfills the general education requirement in communications but is not a writing course.) Prerequisite: WRTG 112 or WRTG 101. An introduction to communication theory. The objective is to apply communication theory and evaluate communication situations. The basic theories of human communication, mass communication, and new media and technology are explored. Focus is on the relationships among communication theory, research, and practice. Topics include intra- and interpersonal communication, public communication, mass media, and contemporary issues associated with mediated communication.

Mass Communication and Media Studies (COMM 302, 3 Credits)
(Formerly COMM 379A. Fulfills the general education requirement in communications but is not a writing course.) Prerequisite: WRTG 101 or WRTG 101S. A survey of mass communication designed to enhance media literacy. The goal is to interpret, evaluate, and produce media messages. Topics include media industries and the impact of the media, as well as regulation, policy, and ethical issues. Emphasis is on critical thinking and analysis of vital aspects of pervasive elements of popular culture, such as news, advertising, children's entertainment, and a free press. Students may receive credit for only one of the following courses: COMM 302 or COMM 379A.

Writing for Managers (COMM 390, 3 Credits)
(Formerly WRTG 490. Fulfills the general education requirement in communications.) Prerequisite: WRTG 101 or WRTG 101S. A practicum in the kinds of communication skills that managers need for the workplace. The goal is to develop persuasive managerial communication for organizational decision making and action. Students may receive credit for only one of the following courses: COMM 390, HUMN 390, WRTG 390, or WRTG 490.

Mass Media Law (COMM 400, 3 Credits)
(No previous study of law required. Fulfills the general education requirement in communications but is not a writing course.) Prerequisite: WRTG 112 or WRTG 101. Recommended: WRTG 391, WRTG 393, or WRTG 394. An examination of important legal issues that affect mass media and communications professionals. The objective is to analyze mass media law, its evolution, and its relationship with society, culture, and politics. Topics include copyright, intellectual property, fair use, defamation, privacy, freedom of information, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press, as well as issues raised by the growth of the Internet. Discussion also covers ethics in mass media, digital technologies, and the creation of media content. Students may receive credit for only one of the following courses: COMM 400 or JOUR 400.

Special Topics in Communication (COMM 459, 1 - 3 Credits)
An exploration of special topics in communication. The objective is to attain specialized knowledge and skills in a particular area of communication, journalism, speech, or professional writing. Focus is on demonstrating new knowledge through an extended applied project. May be repeated to a maximum of 6 credits when topics differ.

Research Methods in Communication Studies (COMM 480, 3 Credits)
Prerequisites: COMM 300, COMM 302, and an upper-level writing course. A review of qualitative and quantitative research methods in communication studies. The objective is to define and explain research methods, concepts, and tools; apply research design, data collection, analysis, and reporting skills; and critically evaluate research in terms of rigor, relevance, and explanatory value. Practice is provided in finding, consuming, and analyzing research studies. Discussion covers the steps of the research process: articulating a question, developing a methodology, conducting a study, and reporting on findings.

Workplace Learning in Communication Studies (COMM 486A, 3 Credits)
Prerequisites: 9 credits in the discipline and prior program approval (requirements detailed online at www.umuc.edu/wkpl). The integration of discipline-specific knowledge with new experiences in the work environment. Tasks include completing a series of academic assignments that parallel work experiences.

Workplace Learning in Communication Studies (COMM 486B, 6 Credits)
Prerequisites: 9 credits in the discipline and prior program approval (requirements detailed online at www.umuc.edu/wkpl). The integration of discipline-specific knowledge with new experiences in the work environment. Tasks include completing a series of academic assignments that parallel work experiences.

Grant and Proposal Writing (COMM 492, 3 Credits)
(Fulfills the general education requirement in communications.) Prerequisite: WRTG 393, WRTG 394, COMM 393, or COMM 394. An advanced study of technical writing, focusing on composing competitive proposals in response to Requests for Proposal (RFPs) and other funding solicitations from the federal government and community and private sources. The aim is to apply skills needed in the proposal development process; assess an RFP to determine evaluation and competitive criteria; and synthesize the required elements into a successful proposal. Discussion covers stages of the proposal-development process, including researching the funding agency for its mission, target populations, and problems of interest; assessing the RFP to determine evaluation criteria; and assembling the required elements of a successful proposal. Assignments include writing a grant request and working in teams to prepare a competitive business proposal. Students may receive credit for only one of the following courses: COMM 492, ENGL 489C, or WRTG 494.

Senior Seminar in Communication Studies (COMM 495, 3 Credits)
(Intended as a final, capstone course to be taken in a student's last 15 credits.) Prerequisites: COMM 300 and either WRTG 391, WRTG 393, or WRTG 394. A project-based capstone study of communication. The aim is to integrate knowledge gained through previous coursework and experience and build on that conceptual foundation through integrative analysis, practical application, and critical thinking. Tasks include assembling and analyzing a portfolio and completing a final project (such as a research-based report and presentation, feasibility study, feature article, or career strategic plan) that requires conducting research and exploring ethical issues.

Academic Writing for Graduate Students (COMM 600, 3 Credits)
The development of the writing and critical-thinking skills needed for effective academic writing. Skills addressed include applying accurate grammar and punctuation; using critical thinking to summarize and evaluate texts; developing well-organized, well-supported, and clear arguments; integrating sources into writing and formatting academic papers using APA guidelines; and revising writing to produce a clear, concise style appropriate to audience, context, and purpose.