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Communication and Media » B.A. in Communication and Media Back to AUK Homepage
Admission to the Program  
Degree Requirements  
Student Learning Outcomes  
Course Descriptions and Syllabi  
4-year Plan  

Course Descriptions and Syllabi
COMM 101 Introduction to Mass Communication (3)
Examines the issues and concepts involved in the initial study of the mass media, (i.e., television, radio, newspapers, magazines and interactive outlets) and how they impact the individual and society.
COMM 110 Introduction to Digital Media Design (3)
Introduces students to principles of design in digital media. Emphasis is placed on how to use relevant software, including Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. [Cross-listed with GDES 110]
COMM 111 Images in Media (3)
The power of images in media is examined through milestones including those in photography, film, video, and interactive media.
COMM 201 Principles of Journalism (3)
This course introduces students to the tenets of what makes news culture and how the modern journalist is shaped. Students will be introduced to various theoretical and practical matters that impact the journalist and affect the news media and the audience from professional standards and techniques for informing mass audiences; paradigms of reliability, confirmation, completeness in reportorial writing for news media. Prerequisite: COMM 101.
COMM 205 Writing for Mass Media (3)
Explores basic writing principles and techniques for influencing mass audiences. Exposes students to intensive practice in writing for various groups, including political, civic, and business organizations. Prerequisite: ENGL 101.
COMM 208 Film Production I (3)
Introduces students to basics of cinematic storytelling through narrative genres and documentaries. Examines the basics of script-writing, directing, cinematography, and editing. Develops skills in all areas of the craft, and explores both the creative and the technical aspects of production. Includes a short project. Familiarizes students with the nature of filmmaking through lectures and working experiments with traditional narrative filmmaking, documentary, and new media. [Cross-listed with GDES 208]
COMM 210 Research Methods in Communication (3)
Introduces students to social science research methods within a mass communication context. It emphasizes the scientific method and surveys basic concepts of theoretical and empirical research. Covers a variety of methodologies, elementary statistics and criteria for adequate research. Prerequisite: COMM 101.
COMM 222 Global Media and Spaces of Identity (3)[S]
This course examines the dynamic global transformations in print and visual media in a broad international and comparative context. While global media has the power to create a unified "global village"; in reality, this does not happen, and different local responses occur. This course will illuminate these opposing tendencies and also carry out empirical studies of how, even though media products like films and soap operas are impacted by global (read Western) influences, still they retain their own distinctly local flavor. The course will also examine the impact of global media on questions of national identity and culture. [Cross-listed with SBSA 222]
COMM 225 Theories of Communication (3)
A basic theory course for communications and media studies. Introduces prevailing communication theories, including agenda setting, uses and gratification, and diffusion constructs. Prerequisite: ENGL 101 and COMM 101.
COMM 230 Principles of Advertising (3)
Provides students with an analysis of commercial advertising from a global perspective with attention to communication theory. Students will examine the structure of advertising messages, how they are adapted to specific audiences, and the social settings in which they occur. Issues of Internet advertising and e-commerce will be explored. Prerequisite: COMM 101.
COMM 240 Principles of Public Relations (3)
Surveys the fundamentals and techniques involved in public relations operations, including the history, philosophy and ethics of the practice and functions of management, planning, research and communication. It explores the theoretical and practical applications of public relations in contemporary society. Prerequisite: COMM 101.
COMM 249 Images of Women in Media (3)[S]
In examining links between gender, media and modernity, this course offers examples of media representations of women's identity. Students will not simply analyze media representations of women, but learn to contextualize and critically examine them within a broader framework of the characteristics of contemporary culture in specific regions. This course will 'cross borders' of disciplines, methods and approaches, and intervene into current debates in the fields of cultural anthropology, media and cultural studies, global-local, Eurocentrism, and multiculturalism. [Cross-listed with SBSA 249]
COMM 265 South Asian Film: A Global Perspective (3)[S]
The Indian film industry is the largest in the world, of which Hindi films is its most popular component. This course uses popular Hindi films as anthropological texts through which we consider broader questions about the anthropology of representations in examining roles and representations of feminity and masculinity, tradition and modernity, the importance of family and family values, the Indian diaspora, and the Hindi film phenomenon as it develops in the age of globalization. In this course, we treat "visual representation as an aspect of material culture and practice of social scientists, as well as culture researched by social scientists." [Cross-listed with SBSA 265]
COMM 309 Film Production II (3)
The course emphasizes the artistic film movement, the role of the American cinema, and its mark on the world. Explores the old and the new Hollywood and the relationships between aesthetics and expenses. Students will explore the Preproduction, the Production, and the Postproduction phases of filmmaking. Sophomore standing or permission of instructor. Prerequisite: COMM 208 or GDES 208.
COMM 310 Broadcast Journalism (3)
Introduces students to the principles of broadcast journalism as it occurs in radio and TV. The course includes discussions of technical, ethical, and legal issues affecting broadcast news, as well as lab/studio practice in writing, editing, producing, and reporting broadcast stories. Sophomore standing or permission of instructor. Prerequisite: COMM 201.
COMM 312 News Reporting and Editing (3)
Explores and practices the skills of a working journalist. Students will build on what is being taught in COMM 201 and apply that knowledge to this class. Emphasis will be on the reporting, writing, and the editing of features, hard news stories, broadcast copy, and writing for the Web. There will also be a focus on practical and professional-based skills such as reporting beats and newsroom procedures. Sophomore standing or permission of instructor. Prerequisite: COMM 201 or COMM 205.
COMM 313 Documentary Production (3)
Introduces students to the concepts of creating a documentary. Emphasis on the practice of documentary production through creation of short or/and semester long productions. Interviewing, shooting, lighting, framing, and various narrative techniques are explored. Prerequisite: COMM 201 or COMM 208.
COMM 320 Mass Media Law (3)
Examines the law as it affects the mass media. Discusses such areas as libel, privacy, public records, criminal pretrial publicity, freedom of information, and obscenity. Sophomore standing or permission of instructor. Prerequisite: COMM 101.
COMM 325 Mass Communication and Society (3)
Provides students with an overview of the effect of media on culture and society. The course explores how media reflect and mold culture. It examines the role the media play in creating the global village. It also examines how the audience uses and is used by various media outlets and how that use affects the perception of various cultures. Sophomore standing or permission of instructor. Prerequisite: COMM 101.
COMM 328 Media and Democratization (3)
Media's role in processes of democratization in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Current debates and initiatives to make mass media systems more democratic. Sophomore standing or permission of instructor. Prerequisite: COMM 101.
COMM 332 Writing/Editing Opinion Edit (3)
Principles of writing editorials and opinion columns; policies and practices of opinion writing in mass media; reviews; analysis of editorials, Op-Ed, and other commentary. Sophomore standing or permission of instructor. Prerequisite: COMM 201.
COMM 333 Writing Speeches and Delivery (3)
The preparation and delivery of speeches and presentations, from research and writing to practical delivery. Sophomore standing or permission of instructor. Prerequisite: ENGL 108.
COMM 338 Copywriting for Advertising (3)
Explores issues, strategies, theories, and practices in writing and editing advertising messages. Teaches the technical aspects of advertising: writing advertising copy and designing effective layouts. Students use their software design skills. Sophomore standing or permission of instructor. Prerequisite: COMM 230.
COMM 350 Organizational Communication and Leadership (3)
Teaches students the role of communication in creating a productive organizational environment in terms of interpersonal and group behavior. Reviews the theory and practice of team building, conflict resolution and problem solving and explores how communication and organizational cultures relate to each other. Sophomore standing or permission of instructor. Prerequisite: COMM 101 or MGMT 201. [Cross-listed with MGMT 350]
COMM 360 Public Relations Writing (3)
Introduces the student to the essentials of how to prepare and present written material for use in the practice of public relations. It teaches the student the techniques needed for creating effective written communication at a standard generally expected of persons entering into the practice of public relations. Sophomore standing or permission of instructor. Prerequisite: COMM 240.
COMM 366 Popular Culture in South Asia: Film (3)[S]
In this course, popular culture is examined- ranging from calendar art, romance fiction, magazines, photographs, music, food, fashion, films and television - as an important resource for anthropological insights into contemporary social issues and processes. Issues such as continuity and transformation of tradition, the impact of imperialism, and the 'Indianization' of English are increasingly seen as areas of debate and research. Notions of hybridity, diversity, and globalization are addressed. [Cross-listed with SBSA 366]
COMM 369 Short Course (1-3)
Topic varies by semester. Classes are taught by a guest lecturer or lecturers. Can be repeated for credit with a different topic. Permission of instructor.
COMM 370 Political Communication (3)
Political communication is fundamental to the political sphere. This course will introduce students to established routines in current contemporary political communication and election campaigns. Case studies from the US, UK, and other countries will be examined in institutional and cultural contexts that influence the processes of political communication. Junior standing. Prerequisite: COMM 101.
COMM 375 Rhetorics of Cultural Dissonance (3)
This course examines the ways in which language creates, reflects, and transforms cultural identity and beliefs and, consequently, our understanding of local and global relations of power. Through analysis of the various expressive contexts from which ideas about identity and culture emerge; students will develop a greater understanding of the origins and contemporary manifestations of conflict between and within "East" and "West" and "North" and "South." Sophomore standing or permission of instructor. Prerequisite: ENGL 102. [Cross-listed with ENGL 375]
COMM 380 Media Translation (3)
The course teaches the various theories and practical skills and techniques of translating, subtitling and dubbing media materials, particularly television programs. The course involves education and training based on TV materials related to Media, Economics, Politics, Law, Business, Literature, Culture, Medicine and Science. Sophomore standing. [Cross-listed with TRAN 380]
COMM 388 Independent Study (1-3)
Can be repeated for credit with a different topic. Permission of instructor.
COMM 389 Special Topics (3)
Can be repeated for credit with a different topic. Permission of instructor.
COMM 402 PR Campaigns (3)
Capstone for public relations students. Class functions as a full-service public relations firm. The aim is to have students embark on a semester-long corporate communications project using all the relevant skills gained in other COMM and similar courses. Emphasis is given to advanced public relations writing skills aimed at creating, implementing, and machining positive corporate public image. Junior standing or permission of instructor. Prerequisite: COMM 240.
COMM 405 International Mass Communication (3)
Examines world mass media systems: what they are like; how they operate; what impact they have on people; what policies are and could be used by the various countries to develop or regulate them; and how they are influenced by a country's political, economic, social and cultural make-up. Junior standing. Prerequisite: COMM 101.
COMM 410 New Media and Society (3)
The rise and diffusion of new media had a profound impact on society. The course explains the complex relationship between new media and social change and looks at how communication theory is impacted by the changing media environment. Junior standing or permission of instructor. Prerequisite: COMM 101.
COMM 420 Editing and Editorial Policies (3)
Fundamental principles and practices of editing, copy editing, wire editing, deadline writing, and editorial judgment; editorial policy; introduction to newspaper design and layout. Junior standing or permission of instructor. Prerequisite: COMM 320 or COMM 312.
COMM 422 Writing/Edit Feature Articles (3)
Practices advanced writing and editing of feature stories. Instruction will also be given on developing stories through research, interviewing, and writing, followed by marketing and publication of stories. Junior standing or permission of instructor. Prerequisite: COMM 312.
COMM 425 International Case Studies in Public Relations (3)
Exposes students to major issues in public relations, with a focus on the characteristics of successful cases in PR. The class lays the theoretical foundation for comparative analysis of public relations practice around the world and then examines national and regional examples. Junior standing.
COMM 427 Media and Arab Society (3)
A survey of the histories, roles, and institutions of media in Arab countries from printing to electronic media, from major publishing firms and publications to satellites and satellite broadcasters, including the Internet and publications in that medium. Junior standing. Prerequisite: COMM 101.
COMM 430 Oral History (3) [S]
A seminar that critically examines current issues via the method of oral history. Additionally, this seminar will enable students to apply methods of research and analysis from various university programs as they prepare for and analyze interviews. The course will involve participation in at least two oral history projects over the course of the semester. Prerequisite: COMM 101 or any HIST or AMST 100- or 200-level course. [Cross-listed with HIST 430]
COMM 455 Advertising Media Planning (3)
Examines media planning, buying, and sales as performed by advertising agencies, clients, and media. Students learn how to evaluate and select advertising media for various market situations. Examines target audience, media characteristics and data sources. Junior standing or permission of instructor. Prerequisite: COMM 230.
COMM 460 Advertising Campaigns (3)
Capstone for Advertising students. Class functions as a full-service advertising agency. Using all the relevant skills gained in other COMM and similar courses, students collaborate on a semester-long project that includes the conception, research, development, and execution of real-life advertising campaigns. Special emphasis is given to advanced copywriting, as well as to layout and production concerns for print, broadcast, and new media. Junior standing or permission of instructor. Prerequisite: COMM 230.
COMM 470 Internship in Communication (1-3)
Students gain practical experience in the field. A weekly log accounting for activities required. Three credits are equivalent to 120 hours of internship. This is a pass/fail course. Junior standing and permission of instructor.
COMM 480 Seminar in Communication (3)
Junior standing and permission of instructor.


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