Communication

Courses

COM 500 Reading & Research in Communication 3.0 Credits

This course introduces students to basic research concepts and methodologies used in social science research as they are applied to communication research. Through different readings, students will learn to analyze, understand and evaluate scholarly research in communication studies. Lastly, students will learn to communicate scope, method and result of the existing body of research to the professional community.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

COM 516 Campaigns for Health and Environment 3.0 Credits

This reading and writing intensive, seminar-style course explores theories and practical aspects of environmental information campaigns and community-based social marketing campaigns. The theories and frameworks presented in this course apply to health issues as well as environmental issues. This course has a strong applied component.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

COM 518 Communicating Health and Risk in a ‘Fake News’ World 3.0 Credits

People need to be able to understand health risks in order to make basic life decisions. Whether the issue is climate change, vaccines, toxins, etc., we need to be informed to take appropriate action. Studies show that most people learn about science and health from the media. We know that the general public score low in science literacy. The cloud of “fake news” and propaganda obstructs understanding and informed decision making. For those of us who are charged with communicating about these topics to the general public, knowing how to sift through these various agendas and present clear information can be a challenge. In this course, we will start with health and risk communication theories, use case studies to look at the process of scientific obfuscation, and discuss approaches to effective communication.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

COM 520 Science Writing 3.0 Credits

An intensive workshop course in communicating scientific information to the public, including reading and discussion of science journalism. Focus is placed on how to translate and reinterpret technical and scientific information for a general readership.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

COM 525 Document Design and Usability 3.0 Credits

Examines research and theory on the design of documents. Introduces research methodologies appropriate for the evaluation of scientific and technical communications. Examines research in document design and usability, testing and other strategies for collecting, analyzing and presenting data.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

COM 533 Modern Desktop Publishing 3.0 Credits

Using accessible modern software programs and a personal computer, desktop publishing facilitates the creation of professional-quality promotional materials by non-designers. Emphasis is on applying copywriting techniques and theoretical design principles of color, typography and composition to create audience-specific business cards, posters, advertisements, and brochures. These are essential skills for those entering into the fields of event planning, public relations, nonprofit communication and social media management.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

COM 535 Digital Publishing 3.0 Credits

This course provides students with applied and theoretical knowledge of the current state of digital publishing by examining the technical disruption to, and the current state of, the book and magazine publishing industries. Students then become digital publishers themselves by choosing a niche topic aimed at a target audience and learning how to write and optimize long-form content and integrate images to create and publish a professional, branded and visually appealing blog or website using an accessible and free blogging platform. Students will consider issues of credibility, SEO, promotion, monetization and web usability. The ethical issues of digital publishing, such as influencer/sponsored content and sources for copyright free photo/image use are explored.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

COM 536 Strategic Social Media Communication 3.0 Credits

Students learn research-based best practices for developing strategic social media programs and campaigns, then assess how influential brands and organizations are or are not using them for platforms, content, authentic engagement, crisis response and influencer marketing. Students will produce a campaign and content calendar for an organization of their choosing and prepare for and earn an industry-recognized, real-life social media certification through this course.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

COM 538 Copy Editing 3.0 Credits

Every aspect of communication, whether public relations, social media, technical or scientific writing, needs to be copy edited before it is released to the public. Copy editing does not just examine spelling and punctuation, but also takes into account the flow and length of the text. Copy editors are also routinely asked to write compelling headlines and accompanying captions for photographs and graphics. In this class, students will look at the mechanics of proper writing, delve deeply into AP style, and will learn to be critical readers who ask questions about the purpose and content of written communication. Students will learn best practices for copy editing different texts.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

COM 541 Foundations of Public Relations 3.0 Credits

This foundations course is designed for students who are new to public relations. This course introduces students to the basic theories, strategies, tactics and skills that form the foundation of public relations practice. Students will learn about public relations as a professional field, and the importance of public relations as a strategic tool to interact with internal and external audiences. This course will cover tactics such as corporate social responsibility and reputation management, and will provide students with basic skills related to media relations, public relations research and PR writing.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

COM 542 Public Relations Writing 3.0 Credits

This course teaches students the preparation of advanced public relations materials such as public service announcements, press statements, backgrounders, brochures, facts sheets, features, opinion pieces and other related communication materials. It will consider the preparation of materials for different outlet (e.g. writing for print/websites as opposed to writing for radio and TV). This course also provides a brief introduction to speech writing. This is a workshop oriented class with a focus on persuasive writing. To enroll in this class you must first earn a grade of "B" or better in COM 541 Foundations of Public Relations or get permission from the MS COM advisor to waive this requirement.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: COM 541 [Min Grade: B]

COM 543 Public Relations Planning 3.0 Credits

This graduate level course will enable students to put into practice the theoretical knowledge, research skills, interpersonal and group skills, writing skills, and creative problem solving abilities developed throughout their public relations studies. This course will help students approach public relations strategically so they will be able to apply public relations techniques and theories to the creation, execution and management of public relations plans and campaigns. To enroll in this class you must first earn a grade of "B" or better in COM 541 Foundations of Public Relations or get permission from the MS COM advisor to waive this requirement.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: COM 541 [Min Grade: B]

COM 544 Media Relations in a Digital Age 3.0 Credits

While traditional media outlets may be shrinking their newsrooms and their staff, and there is an increasing PR emphasis on social media strategy and influencer marketing, the value of earned media is still very much present. There are millions of digital news sites, all looking to break the story of the day or tell the best feature. With less full-time journalists and more freelancers, it has become increasingly difficult for brands and companies to get their voice into the media. Those that succeed are ones with good media relations strategies. This course will focus on media relations strategy and how brands can consistently win earned media. In doing so, it highlights strategies for getting the attention of journalists, freelancers and prominent bloggers.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: COM 561 [Min Grade: B]

COM 545 Crisis Communication 3.0 Credits

This course provides students with an understanding of the frameworks and practical tools necessary to successfully manage a variety of crisis situations from a communications standpoint. Following the crisis management process (prevention, preparation, response, and revision), students will learn the theories, principles, and best practices associated with crisis communication and management. Using real-world case studies, crisis communication theories and ethics, and role-playing activities, students will develop the ability to think strategically, make recommendations to address crisis-related challenges, and develop proactive crisis communication plans to assist organizations during challenging times.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: COM 541 [Min Grade: B]

COM 551 Creative Content Production 3.0 Credits

This course explores content creation for digital media, including websites, social media, newsletters, video and blogs through both theory and execution. Learn topics and concepts that are essential for those in or entering into the fields of marketing, advertising, communications and social media management: content development; audience engagement; brand identity and archetypes; concepts in digital design; visual storytelling through social media and strategic methods in marketing content. Students will also learn how to glean relevant information from data and information and create visually stimulating and engaging infographics and slide decks.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

COM 561 Fundamentals of Journalism & Newswriting 3.0 Credits

This is an introductory course which introduces students to the fundamentals of journalism, various forms of newswriting and, in this context, explores and applies mass media effects theory. Students will learn to distinguish news and opinion pieces, and will get a basic understanding of the media and journalism industry, the role and impact of advertising and PR, and the implications of media law and ethics. Students will also learn to write clear and accurate stories, including concise leads and informative yet attention-grabbing headlines. In this context, students will be introduced to basic concepts of editing and journalistic style, including AP conventions.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

COM 562 International Negotiations 3.0 Credits

This course examines theoretical and practical elements of international negotiations. Students are taken into the work of diplomats, policymakers, and corporate leaders negotiating agreements and are guided through psychological, sociological, and political dimensions of the talks process. By the end of this course students will be able to analyze negotiations scientifically and professionally.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

COM 563 Event Planning 3.0 Credits

This course will provide the student with the theoretical and practical fundamentals in understanding the complexities of producing special events across different industries. Students will learn to research, design, plan, coordinate and evaluate special events, including virtual events attended remotely.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

COM 570 Technical, Science and Health Editing 3.0 Credits

Covers techniques of formal editing, including project and copy editing. Requires students to read, discuss and edit numerous types of documents from professional, government and industry sources.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

COM 574 Organizational Communication in Project Management 3.0 Credits

Organizational communication is relevant for all types of sectors and institutions be it governmental, healthcare, for-profit or not-for-profit. In this context, project management is a required skill to accomplish team goals. Whether you are the leader of the team or a contributor - effective organizational communication is the number one skill needed by all team members. In this course, we will explore how to properly communicate with leaders, team members, stakeholders and more while exploring best practices for various types of project communication - including daily briefings, email updates, demos, executive summaries and more.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

COM 575 Grant Writing 3.0 Credits

Students develop the skills needed to write an effective grant proposal. Topics include idea development, analyzing a team's capabilities to complete a project, developing a clear plan of attack, locating funding sources, honing research skills, and effectively using graphic elements in proposal design.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

COM 576 Nonprofit Communications 3.0 Credits

All nonprofit organizations must develop and maintain effective communication strategies in order to survive in a competitive economy. Nonprofits have unique needs and limitations in their longterm goals and short-term operations that relate to communication. This course introduces students to the ways nonprofits communicate with both their constituents and their benefactors and the ways researchers have examined these practices. Students will explore these two perspectives on nonprofit communication through a combination of scholarly readings, dialogues with local representatives in the nonprofit sector, and direct contact and work for a local nonprofit organization (as coordinated by the Drexel Center for the Support of Nonprofit Communication).

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

COM 577 Communication for Civic Engagement 3.0 Credits

Extremist rhetoric and divisive politics seem to go hand-in-hand in today’s public deliberations. The media so often pair the word rhetoric itself with the pejorative adjectives mere, empty, and deceptive, that anything rhetorical becomes vilified. This course draws from the ancient accounts of rhetoric and the contemporary studies on rhetoric to rehabilitate it as a way to inform our efforts towards a more civil public discourse. This course also will host guest speakers from local civic and political organizations who engage in rhetorical practices in the service of civic engagement, which includes the discourse both of people who exercise political power and of citizens who debate over public policies and cultural identity.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

COM 578 Focus Groups 3.0 Credits

This qualitative research methods course will discuss the use of focus groups to collect data for social science inquiry from both an academic and a consumer research perspective. We will take an in-depth look at how to plan, implement, and analyze data collected through a focus group process, including: purposes and uses of focus group interviews, human subjects research considerations, participant recruitment, sampling, question design, facilitation techniques, recording options, transcription, analysis, and reporting of data.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

COM 586 Strategic International Communication 3.0 Credits

The course will explain the significance of strategic international communication in the contemporary globalized and digitized world. Mostly we communicate with the representatives of different nations on the basis of preconceived images of them. Those images are formed by objective forces as well as by active image shapers/manipulators. To a large extent, nations are brands and the images of those brands are strategically shaped by different agents – private and political interests, as well as state and business actors. Students will explore this process of strategic international image formation through the historical context, theoretical concepts, and economic and structural aspects of strategic international communication.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

COM 600 Graduate Seminar in Communication 3.0 Credits

This is an upper-level graduate seminar in various topics in Communication, including but not limited to Public Relations, Journalism, and Non-profit Communication. Students will undertake an in-depth examination of critical texts or themes in Communication. The course is intended for graduate students in the MS Communication program and can be repeated for credit with a different topic. This course is open to all students at the graduate-level.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Can be repeated 4 times for 15 credits

COM 610 Theories of Communication and Persuasion 3.0 Credits

This course examines theories and models of communication and persuasion. It thereby focuses on theories underlying persuasive communication and issues informing the discipline, drawing readings from the field of communication and related disciplines.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

COM 613 Ethics for Professional Communication 3.0 Credits

Professional communicators confront conflicting interests throughout their time at work. Their professional aspirations and their duties to their employer inevitably affect their efforts to make ethical decisions. This course is about ethical decisions in professional communication settings, which include: journalism, public relations and advertising, science and health communication, and digital and social media. Through the analysis of case studies and the examination of ethical frameworks this course will explore ethical issues in such topics as: Ethics of social media usage in crisis situations; Ethical behaviors among social media influencers, etc.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

COM 614 Social Media Concepts that Matter 3.0 Credits

Social media is volatile. This course examines the concepts that reflect “logics” through which the current media ecosystems work. This course, drawing on theoretical concepts, discusses how these fundamental logics play out or “matter” differently for media producers and users, consumers, readers, or audiences, and a potential tension between constituents that are involved in the media production and consumption. These logics are encapsulated in theory-based broad platform-specific affordances mapped onto practices in which users and media organizations operate in social media. Media organizational practices in their social and technical contexts are juxtaposed to the user or audience practices, that are currently mediated through automated and algorithmic means prevalent in social media.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

COM 615 Media Environments in a Digital World 3.0 Credits

This course examines theories of media environments and the application of those theories to our experiences living in a densely mediated world. We will examine media as media ecologists, focusing on how human thought and action are shaped through interactions with our media environments. We will define media in the broadest possible definition, including but not limited to communication, technology, literacy, the arts, and education.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

COM 651 Media and Communication Policy in a Digitized World 3.0 Credits

Understanding the foundations of the policies, laws and regulations that govern media and communication has become a necessity in the everyday lives of consumers and citizens and crucial knowledge for communication professionals. Issues like ‘Net neutrality’, ‘breaking up big tech’, ‘algorithmic privacy breaches’ and ‘trust in (public) media’ reflect the increasingly complex communications patterns and industries. This course offers an overview of media and communication policy, law and regulation from a critical perspective. We interrogate the regulatory and judicial systems that administer and interpret media policies, and the public policy apparatus those relationships create. Drawing on academic research and case studies, we assess American media law and policy in light of ‘the public interest’.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

COM 660 Investigative Journalism 3.0 Credits

An intensive hands-on course in researching and writing investigative news stories. Students will select and cover beats and submit a series of in-depth articles on deadline.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: COM 561 [Min Grade: B]

COM 670 Medical Writing 3.0 Credits

Students learn about the major branches of medical writing and editing, for both medical and pharmaceutical contexts. The course includes the following topics: writing for professional, commercial and popular audiences, preparing FDA submissions, reading and researching medical literature, using medical statistics, interviewing subjects and writing ethically.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

COM 673 Medical Journalism 3.0 Credits

This course teaches students how to research and write articles geared to the medical field for the mass media and public relations, and to evaluate the scientific merit of medical research relative to the pressures on scientists, doctors, researchers, companies and universities to garner media attention.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: COM 561 [Min Grade: B]

COM 698 Managing Communication Professional Identities in a Digital Age 3.0 Credits

In this course, students will explore the research literature regarding the professional identities of communication professionals in a digital age. Students will learn how to manage one’s professional identity and reputation across various digital platforms and social media. They will then apply this body of research to create a digital portfolio that highlights their professional expertise and communication skills with work samples they have produced during their time in the program as well as in their own areas of professional experience. This digital portfolio will demonstrate students’ aptitude, performance, and compatibility to succeed in their target career.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

COM I599 Independent Study in COM 0.0-12.0 Credits

Self-directed within the area of study requiring intermittent consultation with a designated instructor.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Can be repeated multiple times for credit

COM I699 Independent Study in COM 0.0-12.0 Credits

Self-directed within the area of study requiring intermittent consultation with a designated instructor.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Can be repeated multiple times for credit

COM T580 Special Topics in Communication 0.0-9.0 Credits

Topics decided upon by faculty will vary within the area of study.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Can be repeated multiple times for credit

COM T680 Special Topics in Communication 0.0-6.0 Credits

Topics decided upon by faculty will vary within the area of study.

College/Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Repeat Status: Can be repeated multiple times for credit

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