Communication Studies (COM)

College of Arts and Humanities

How to Read Course Descriptions

COM 100. Internship in Computerized Communication. 1-3 Credits.

Internship for high school seniors to engage in a structural and supervised learning experience in computerized communication.
Repeatable for Credit.

COM 112. Communication Media Practicum. 1-3 Credits.

This course provides students with an opportunity to gain knowledge and skill as they do work at WCU media outlets.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.
Repeatable for Credit.

COM 200. Communication Careers Planning I. 1 Credit.

This course is designed to introduce the first of a two-phase, career-planning process. Self-assessment and exploration is provided through assigned readings, mini-lectures, reflective exercises, and small group activities.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 201. Fundamentals of Communication Technology. 3 Credits.

Examination of the use of computers and other technologies to create, organize, store, visualize, and present messages.

COM 202. Writing for Broadcast and Public Relations. 3 Credits.

Students are required to analyze, evaluate, and produce scripts for a variety of mass media formats. The course will focus on writing for radio and TV and will also emphasize public relations writing within those media. The primary course objective is to develop effective writing, critical analysis, and communication skills. COM 202 is designed to help you improve your research and writing skills for each of these media and is geared toward students with a genuine interest in a media career.
Typically offered in Fall.

COM 203. The Philadelphia Media Experience. 3 Credits.

This course introduces students to the history of media professions in the Philadelphia area, exposes them to media opportunities and helps them to improve the skill set needed to obtain jobs in emerging media organizations.

COM 204. Interpersonal Communication. 3 Credits.

One-on-one communication to give the student a fundamental understanding of the processes and experiences of the most basic type of human communication.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 212. Mass Communication. 3 Credits.

A survey course designed to identify, analyze, and evaluate the pragmatic, persuasive, creative, and technical dimensions of mass media.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 216. Small Group Communication. 3 Credits.

Introduction to and practice in the structured small group. Emphasis on preparation for, analysis of, and participation in problem-solving oriented groups. COM 216 may no longer be used to fulfill a general education COM requirement.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 217. Introduction to Video Production. 3 Credits.

This course explores the basic television production process. Topics covered include theories of production process, camera operation, lighting, audio recording, editing, visual effects, design, and production staff, as well as the application of these processes to actual production situations.
Typically offered in Fall.

COM 219. Communication Theory. 3 Credits.

A study of human communication that includes a historical view of the field, examinations of definitions of communication, analyses of the nature of theory and the process of theorizing, assessment of perspectives of communication, and construction of models of communication.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.

COM 224. Communication Research. 3 Credits.

An examination of the nature of inquiry and research in communication. Emphasis on understanding and appreciating the strengths and weaknesses of various methods of research in communication.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.

COM 250. Intercultural Communication. 3 Credits.

A study of factors that contribute to communication breakdowns between diverse cultures and between fragmented segments within the same society.
Gen Ed Attribute: Diversity Requirement.
Distance education offering may be available.

COM 275. Media in Ireland. 3 Credits.

This course introduces students to the past, present and future of media in Ireland by examining the culture, history, law and economic conditions of the nation. It includes visits to the major historic sites and media centers in Dublin.
Typically offered in Summer.

COM 276. Media in London. 3 Credits.

This course explores the past, present and future of British media. Students will study England from a variety of perspectives (cultural, economic, legal, technological) as a way of understanding the evolution of British media, including both print and broadcast. Course includes three weeks in London visiting various media institutions.
Typically offered in Summer.

COM 292. Living in the Digital Age. 3 Credits.

New technologies result in immediate and far reaching changes in our communications systems and in our communication practices. They even effect how we define ourselves. This course examines a broad array of issues from Artificial Intelligence to the WWW.

COM 295. Communication and Disability. 3 Credits.

This course explores how individuals communicate through and about disability. Topics covered include the place of perceptions, identity, language, non verbal behavior, and assistive technology in interpersonal communicative interactions among and about individuals with disabilities in family, friendship, and professional relationships.
Gen Ed Attribute: American Sign Language Culture Cluster, Foreign Language Culture Cluster.
Typically offered in Fall.

COM 304. Organizational Communication. 3 Credits.

An in-depth analysis of the dynamic process of communication as it occurs in organizational networks.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 304 requires prerequisites of SPK 208 and COM 216 and COM 219 and COM 224.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 307. Nonverbal Communication. 3 Credits.

A study of the verbal and sensory messages we are constantly receiving. Body language and the uses of space, time, touch, objects, and color inherent in the sensory messages we receive.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 307 requires prerequisites of SPK 208 and COM 219 and COM 224.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 309. Advanced Public Speaking. 3 Credits.

Designing personal strategies, adapting delivery to large audiences, developing oral use of language, and speaking to live or simulated community groups.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 309 requires prerequisites of SPK 208 and COM 219 and COM 224.
Typically offered in Fall.

COM 311. Communication Professions in Sports. 3 Credits.

Course focuses on the communications businesses related to sports in America, including marketing, public relations, journalism, emerging media, etc. Includes sections on media history, communication ethics, race relations, and gender issues in sports media. Guest speakers from major media and local professional teams provide insight into communications-related professions in sports.

COM 317. Advanced Video Production. 3 Credits.

This course explores advanced television production processes. Topics covered include proposal and budget writing, visualization and storyboarding, composing and staging shots and the advanced use of editing tools in pre-production, production, and post-production.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 317 requires prerequisites of COM 217, COM 219 , COM 224 and SPK 208.
Typically offered in Spring.

COM 318. Forensics. 3 Credits.

Study in the philosophy and practice of forensics. Initiating, developing, and administrating a forensic program. Coaching and judging debate and individual events.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 318 requires prerequisites of SPK 208 and COM 219 and COM 224.

COM 320. Communication on Television and Radio. 3 Credits.

For the student who, by career or circumstance, will be required to be on radio and television. The focus of the course will be on three major areas: interviewer/interviewee techniques; acting for television, including working in commercials; and news reporting, including studio and remote locations.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 320 requires prerequisites of SPK 208 and COM 219 and COM 224 and THA 103.
Typically offered in Fall.

COM 325. Strategic Social Media. 3 Credits.

This course explores the historical landscape, best marketing practices and mobilization through social media in the twenty first century. Topics covered include media literacy, personal identity, community, globalization and the convergence culture.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 325 requires prerequisite of COM 219, COM 224 and SPK 208.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 340. Political Communication. 3 Credits.

This course examines the functions and effects of political messages in policymaking and in campaigns. Particular attention is paid to the flow of messages between politicians, the media, and the electorate.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 340 requires prerequisites of COM 219, COM 224, and SPK 208.
Typically offered in Fall.

COM 345. Communication and Gender. 3 Credits.

This course explores communication between and about females and males. Topics covered include interpersonal interaction between men and women in romantic, friendship, family, work, and professional relationships as well as societal assumptions and popular culture messages about communication and gender.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 345 requires prerequisites of COM 219, COM 224, and SPK 208.

COM 355. Introduction to Public Relations. 3 Credits.

An introduction to the role of the public relations practitioner in the formation of public opinion. Communications theory will be combined with specific techniques for working with the press, producing printed material, and conducting special events.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 355 requires prerequisites of SPK 208 and COM 219 and COM 224.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 360. African American Culture and Communication. 3 Credits.

This course will examine communication practices from an African American cultural perspective.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 360 requires prerequisites of COM 219, COM 224, and SPK 208.
Typically offered in Fall.

COM 399. Directed Studies in Communication Studies. 1-6 Credits.

Research, creative projects, reports, and readings in communication studies. Students must apply to advisers one semester in advance of registration. Open to juniors and seniors only.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 399 requires prerequisites of SPK 208 and COM 219 and COM 224 and approval of department chairperson.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.
Repeatable for Credit.

COM 400. Internship in Communication Studies. 3-15 Credits.

This course provides a structured and supervised work experience in communication. Credits earned are based on amount of time spent on the job. Students must apply to the department internship coordinator and receive approval to be admitted.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 400 requires prerequisites of SPK 208 and COM 219 and COM 224.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.
Repeatable for Credit.

COM 403. Persuasion. 3 Credits.

Current theories of attitude and attitude change. Practice in speaking to modify behavior through appeals to the drives and motives of the listener.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 403 requires prerequisites of SPK 208 and COM 219 and COM 224.

COM 404. Rhetorical Theory and Criticism. 3 Credits.

Offers an overview of rhetorical theory from classical to contemporary times. Theory is needed to analyze and assess a variety of texts such as advertisement and specials.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 404 requires prerequisites of COM 219, COM 224, and SPK 208.
Gen Ed Attribute: Writing Emphasis.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 405. Argumentation & Debate. 3 Credits.

Functions and principles of argumentation and debate, including analysis, evidence, reasoning, and refutation. Class debates on vital issues.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 405 requires prerequisites of SPK 208 and COM 219 and COM 224.
Gen Ed Attribute: Writing Emphasis.
Typically offered in Spring.

COM 410. Conflict Resolutions. 3 Credits.

This course explores the means of resolving conflict through argument, negotiation, mediation, and arbitration.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 410 requires prerequisites of SPK 208 and COM 219 and COM 224.
Typically offered in Fall.

COM 415. Language, Thought & Behavior. 3 Credits.

This course is designed to help students understand the way language functions in the communication process. To accomplish this purpose, various language systems will be examined and one will be selected for in-depth analysis.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 415 requires prerequisites of SPK 208 and COM 219 and COM 224.
Gen Ed Attribute: Writing Emphasis.
Typically offered in Summer.

COM 440. Friendship Communication. 3 Credits.

This course explores communication in friendship relationships. Topics covered include a dialectical perspective of creating and maintaining meaning between friends in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, as well as how friendship communication is affected by gender, culture, school, work, romance, and family.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 440 requires prerequisites of COM 204, COM 219, COM 224 and SPK 208.
Gen Ed Attribute: Writing Emphasis.
Typically offered in Fall.

COM 445. Family Communication. 3 Credits.

This course explores communication in family relationships. Topics covered include interpersonal interaction between family members, societal influences on the family as a whole, and the place of family narratives in these communicative behaviors.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 445 requires prerequisites of COM 204, COM 219, COM 224, and SPK 208.
Gen Ed Attribute: Writing Emphasis.
Typically offered in Spring.

COM 450. Health Communication. 3 Credits.

This course explores communication in health care settings. Topics covered include the changing perceptions of medical encounters, the language of illness and health, the roles of patients and caregivers, and health communication in historical, cultural, organizational, technological and mediated contexts.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 450 requires prerequisites of COM 219, COM 224, and SPK 208.
Typically offered in Spring.

COM 455. Public Relations Management. 3 Credits.

This course explores the strategic planning and implementation of public relation programs. Topics include the application of management theory to real public relations cases to solve communication problems as well as identifying the values of audiences, and working with the media to develop and distribute messages.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 455 requires prerequisites of COM 212, COM 219, COM 224, COM 355, and SPK 208.

COM 460. Communication and Advertising. 3 Credits.

This course explores the relationship between communication and advertising. Topics covered include the interconnection among advertising, media, and a range of publics, as well as the process and history of advertising, message strategies, media planning, and campaign evaluation, ethical and regulatory issues.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 460 requires prerequisites of COM 212, COM 219, COM 224, and SPK 208.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 470. Intercultural Communication Training. 3 Credits.

This course explores intercultural communication training in organizations. Topics covered include the effects of cultural differences on communication within and between organizations, training strategies for managing cultural differences in communication, and the relationship between intercultural communication training and the power structures in organizations.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 470 requires prerequisites of COM 219, COM 224, and SPK 208.
Typically offered in Spring.

COM 480. Communication and Leadership. 3 Credits.

This course explores the relationship between leadership and communication. Topics covered include the definition of the leadership challenge, the major approaches to leadership training, and the study of leadership as a metaphor for self-development.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 480 requires prerequisites of COM 219, COM 224, and SPK 208.

COM 490. Capstone: Communication Theory. 3 Credits.

This senior level seminar explores leading communication theories at an advanced level. Students will be expected to read, synthesize and apply original communication research related to key theories across the communication studies field.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 490 requires prerequisites of COM 219, COM 224, SPK 208 and any two COM 300 or 400 level courses other than COM 400.

COM 491. Capstone: Rhetoric & Public Communication. 3 Credits.

This senior level seminar explores leading theories of rhetoric and social influence at an advanced level. Students will be expected to read, synthesize and apply original communications research related to theories in these particular areas of emphasis in the communication studies field.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 491 requires prerequisites of COM 219, COM 224, SPK 208, and any two of the following courses: COM 309, COM 340, COM 403, COM 404, COM 405, or COM 480.

COM 492. Capstone: Intercultural & Interpersonal Communication. 3 Credits.

This senior level seminar explores leading theories of intercultural and interpersonal communication at an advanced level. Students will be expected to read, synthesize and apply original communication research related to theories in these particular areas of emphasis in the communication studies field.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 492 requires prerequisites of COM 204, COM 219, COM 224, SPK 208, and any two of the following courses: COM 307, COM 360, COM 410, COM 440, COM 445, COM 470, or COM 480.

COM 493. Capstone: Media & Public Relations. 3 Credits.

This senior level seminar explores leading media and public relations theories ay an advanced level. Students will be expected to read, synthesize and apply original communications research related to theories in these particular areas in the communications studies field.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 493 requires prerequisites of COM 212, COM 219, COM 224, SPK 208 and any two of the following courses: COM 317, COM 320, COM 325, COM 355, COM 455, or COM 460.

COM 499. Communication Seminar. 3 Credits.

Intensive examination of a selected area of study in the field of communication studies. Topics will be announced in advance.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 499 requires prerequisites of SPK 208 and COM 219 and COM 224.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.
Repeatable for Credit.