Communications Course Descriptions
Prerequisite to all upper-division (3000- or 4000-level) Communications (COMM) courses without stated prerequisites: COMM 1040, COMM 2200, THTR 1020.
COMM 1040 Introduction to Mass Communication (3).
A survey of the mass media and their impact on the ideas, attitudes, and impressions of society.
1050 Technologies and Techniques of Digital Media (2) Students are introduced to foundational techniques and technologies, including field-specific computer software, digital file and asset management, Web content and publishing platforms, basic audio and video equipment controls and operation. Students gain practical experience participating in journalism, audio, and video productions.
COMM 1060 Fundamentals of Media Writing (1) Introduction to print and broadcast news writing with emphasis on style and structure. Prerequisite: ENG 1010 and 1020 In our 4-year paradigm, we have this course in the same semester as ENGL 1020.
Fundamentals of Communication
Introduction to the various types of speech communication, including interpersonal, small group, and non-verbal communication process.
COMM 2200 Public Speaking (3).
Principles of speech composition and delivery with emphasis on preparing and presenting the various forms of oral communication. *This course satisfies the University general education core oral communication requirement
COMM 2202 Honors Public Speaking (3).
Honors section of COMM 2200. Enrollment limited to students in University Honors Program.
COMM 2300 Business and Professional Speech Communication (3).
Designed specifically for the student with neither a major nor a minor in the field of speech. Emphasis is placed on the following speech situations: business interviews, conferences, reports, and similar types of business communications.
COMM 2400 Newswriting (3).
Introduction to reporting techniques, with emphasis on news writing. Prerequisite: COMM 1040.
COMM 2500 Electronic Media Writing (3).
A study of the techniques and methods used in writing radio and television scripts. Students are required to write a number of scripts for various types of programs. Prerequisite: COMM 1040.
2510 Lettering and Layout (3). Technique of letter indication, finished lettering, letter design, typography and film lettering, usage, and adaptation of lettering skills to practical problems. Prerequisite: COMM 2640 or permission of instructor. Same as ART 2510
COMM 2600 Process and Effects of the Media (3).
Study of the electronic media's development, economics, regulation, social impact, digital technology, industry practices in print, online, radio, television, cable, satellite, nonbroadcast communication systems, and new media. Prerequisite: COMM 1040.
COMM 2620 Basic Media Performance (3).
A course covering all types of non-dramatic broadcast performance, with practical application in a laboratory situation.
COMM 2640 Digital Media Production (3).
An introductory course dealing with the basic principles of directing and producing radio and television programs. Practical application in a laboratory situation. Prerequisite: COMM 1040, COMM 1050.
COMM 3000 Media Careers (2). An introductory course exploring “the real world” of mass communications through a combination of guest speakers and field trips. The class visits stations, production facilities, and publications, and hears a variety of working mass communication professionals.
COMM 3100 Communication Theory (3). A critical survey of social science based communication theories; an examination of the nature, processes and functions of communication theory in a variety of contexts. Prerequisite: COMM 2100 Introduction to Speech Communication.
COMM 3110 Graphic Design (3) A problem-solving approach to visual communication, with a special concern for word and image. The course emphasizes the understanding of design principles, theories, and skills with a focus on the social and cultural dimensions of communication. Prerequisite: COMM 2510 Same as ART 3110
COMM 3120 Graphics Production (3) Technology and skills necessary to the designer/commercial artist. Course includes printed technology preparation of finished art suitable for reproduction. Prerequisite: COMM 2520 Same as ART 3120
COMM 3130 Screenwriting (3) Screenwriting is a course focused on developing skills to write a narrative film screenplay. This includes learning screenplay format, story structure, storytelling techniques, character development and plot. The course requires reading and analyzing scripts, giving script feedback through writing a script coverage, as well as writing original and adapted screenplays. Scripts from this course will be used for potential COMM 4510 Senior Seminar Production courses or COMM 4150 Field Video courses for production projects. Prerequisite: COMM 2500 Electronic Media Writing.
COMM 3140 Visual Storytelling (3) Visual Storytelling is an intermediate level course focusing on narrative and documentary storytelling skills. Emphasis is on Cinematography, Lighting, and Audio. This course contains several hands on projects for practicum and lectures that stress film language theory. Prerequisite: COMM 2640 Digital Media Production.
COMM 3150 Communication Research Methods (3). This course introduces students to the research methods scholars and communication professionals use to study the human communication process. Major course topics include the philosophy of scientific research, fundamental considerations in the design of quantitative and qualitative studies (measurement & sampling), methods for gathering qualitative and quantitative data (focus group interviews, experiments, surveys & content analyses) and basic methods for analyzing quantitative and qualitative data. Prerequisite: COMM 2100 Introduction to Speech Communication.
COMM 3160 Integrated Marketing Communications (3).
This course is designed to provide an overview of integrated marketing communications. It will cover the additional use of emerging media, as well as database techniques to establish competitive advantage. Prerequisite: COMM 1040 Introduction to Mass Communication.
COMM 3200 Argumentation and Debate (3).
Principles and practices of argumentation, analysis of propositions and evidence, brief-making, and preparation and delivery of forensics, as well as participation in classroom discussions. Techniques governing roundtable, forum, and panel discussions are studied.
COMM 3220 Advanced Public Speaking (3).
Study of standards of criticism and techniques involved in effective public address. Prerequisite: COMM 2200.
COMM 3240 Audio Production (3).
A course which provides the student with experience in audio production techniques, with emphasis on creative use of audio and audio documentary production. Aspects of news and public affairs production are covered in conjunction with production assignments at the campus radio station. Prerequisite: COMM 2640.
COMM 3260 Computer-Mediated Communication (3). Survey of various genres of human communication facilitated by or mediated through information technology. Examines the interpersonal, ethical, social-cultural implications of these developments with special focus on digital divide, class, identity politics, privacy, and censorship.
COMM 3300 Print/On-line News Reporting 1 (3) Introduction to online and convergence news writing with emphasis on style and structure for print and multimedia products. Prerequisite: COMM 2400
COMM 3330 Gender Communication (3). Examines the influence of gender plays on a number of communication contexts such as romantic relationship, family communication, workplace relationships, and media representation.
COMM 3340 Health Communication (3). Introduction to theory, research, and principles of communication in healthcare industries, public policy, and individual care with special attention to cultural, ethnic, and gender factors.
COMM 3370 Media & Culture (3). This course introduces and explores cultural approaches to media studies, with a focus on major theories and critical analysis of media and popular culture. Topics include: cultural theory; aesthetics and taste; representation and ideology; consumer culture; media, culture and identity.
COMM 3400 Radio News Reporting (3) Course in writing, editing, announcing and producing radio news reports. Producing, anchoring and reporting for the student radio newscasts on WTST is required. Prerequisite: COMM 2400, 2640
3440 Video Studio Production (3) In-depth discussion and experience in the techniques of video/television multicamera studio production, including studio directing of program types such as demonstrations, talk shows, and news. Course includes extensive in-studio practice. Prerequisite: COMM 2640.
COMM 3520 Communication Law and Ethics (3).
Analysis of law and regulation in terms of the social, political, and economic interests they are designed to protect and in terms of their impact on the communication industry. The First Amendment, rights of privacy, and communication ethics are considered. Prerequisite: COMM 2600 or permission of instructor.
COMM 3540 Oral Interpretation (3).
Understanding of and appreciation for literature through the oral re-creation or performance of poetry, prose, and drama.
COMM 3560 Forensics Practicum (3).
Practical experience through active class participation in individual events and performance activities. May be taken twice for a total of six credit hours. Prerequisite: COMM 2200
COMM 3580 Readers
’ Theatre (3).
Group interpretation performances of compiled scripts from the genres of poetic, prose, and dramatic literature. Choral speaking, chamber theatre, group interpretation, and interpreter’s theatre are emphasized. Prerequisite: COMM 3540.
COMM 3610 Basic Audio (Recording) Studio (3). Practical experience in the recording studio and the study of basics, including rudimentary physics of sound, function of basic equipment, principles of microphone placement, and mixing down. Prerequisite: COMM 2640 Same as MUSC 3610
COMM 3620 Advanced Media Performance (3) The course is designed to enhance the performance talents of those who wish to become news anchors, reporters, sportscasters, interview or talk show hosts and more. Convincing, capable "on-air" communication utilizing WTST campus radio and the television studio is the aim of the course. The student will accomplish this goal via performance projects and evaluation. Prerequisite: COMM 2620
COMM 3800 TV News Reporting (3).
Preparation and production of news and documentaries for television. Broadcast newswriting style, use of audio, video, and graphics, and newscast production are among the topics covered. Prerequisites: COMM 2400 and COMM 2640, or permission of instructor.
COMM 3910 Communication Laboratory (1).
A practicum course involving work at the campus media outlets. Students undertake a variety of media responsibilities under the supervision of the media manager. Students may choose from the following sections: 01-Radio; 02-Radio News; 03-TV News; 04 TV Program Production; 05 The Meter; 06 TSU NewsNetwork.com, 07 Advertising Practicum. Prerequisite: COMM 1050, COMM 2640 or permission of instructor. May be taken three times for credit.
COMM 3950 Internship (3).
Internship program between TSU and local media, communications, and theatre agencies, in which students undertake various duties. Specific internships available change from semester to semester. Open to students in all areas of the Department. May be taken once for credit within the 42 hour major requirement, may be taken for additional credit if only above the 120 hours needed to graduate. Prerequisites: introductory courses in area related to internship (COMM 2600 and COMM 2640 for electronic media, COMM 2400 for journalism, and two junior-senior-level courses in the area of internship for students in other areas of the Department) and permission of instructor. Students must have place of intern employment approved by instructor or department head.
COMM 4050 News Editing (3).
Editing copy, writing headlines, designing newspaper layout. Prerequisite: COMM 2400.
COMM 4060 Investigative Reporting (3).
Special problems and assignments in in-depth investigative reporting. Prerequisite: Choose one of the following: COMM 3300, 3400 or 3800.
COMM 4080 Sports Journalism (3). The aim of this course is to develop skills in writing, editing, reporting, announcing, and interviewing in the production of multimedia sports reports, sports talk and play-by-play/color commentary. In this course students will learn to gather, edit and report information at the various campus media. A professional resume disk will result from coursework.
COMM 4100 Editorial Writing (3).
Critical analysis of structure and content of newspaper editorials. Course also includes practice in writing editorials and columns.
COMM 4120 Adv. Graphic Design (3) Primarily planned to coordinate graphics projects. Prerequisite: COMM 3120 or 3110 Same as ART 4120
4150 Video Field Production (3) Building on skills learned in prior production classes, this course provides students with theory and intensive experience in single-camera, on-location video production and editing. Students work in teams to complete at least three major production projects, including pre-production, production, and post-production phases. Finished projects are expected to be of portfolio quality. Prerequisite: COMM 2640
COMM 4210 Small Group Communication (3).
Communication in small groups, emphasizing principles, practices, and patterns in practical situations.
COMM 4220 Persuasion (3).
Psychology of attitude formation and change, including theories of persuasion and principles of persuasive communication. Prerequisite: COMM 2200.
COMM 4245 Health Communication Campaigns (3) Focuses on the step by step design, implementation, evaluation, and critique of health communication programs designed to change behavior. Students create actual mini-campaigns and use the simulation SCOPE to develop these hypothetical campaigns. Prerequisites: COMM 3340 Health Communication
COMM 4300 Interpersonal Communication (3).
Basic psychological factors and their relation to the various types of communicative processes, with emphasis on interpersonal relationships.
COMM 4230 Organizational Communication (3). The study of the communication process within organizational settings. Examines the role of communication in establishing and maintaining organizational climates, systems, cultures. Other issues include power dynamics, ethics, and conflict management in organizations. Prerequisite: COMM 2200 Public Speaking or COMM 2100 Introduction to Speech Communication
Leadership Communication (3). This course introduces the communication concepts that are central to effective leadership. Additionally, this course focuses on developing a strengths-based approach to leadership and learning to use various communication styles to become a more effective leader.
Crisis Communication (3). This course provides students with a fundamental understanding of crisis management, risk communication, media relations, and public-opinion research techniques in multiple contexts. Students will work as team to develop and implement a communication plan to address a crisis.
COMM 4320 Intercultural Communication (3).
Understanding dimensions of communication that apply across cultural boundaries. Emphasis is placed on both theoretical and practical awareness of communication in and between cultures.
African American Rhetoric
A study of selected speeches of contemporary black leaders who have contributed to and made an impact on American life. The speeches are analyzed according to the principles of rhetoric, based on Aristotelian standards. Prerequisite: COMM 2200.
COMM 4345 Race, Power & Communication (3). This course provides a close examination of how race and ethnic as a social category is constructed and enacted through day-to-day communication behaviors. Includes how race and race relations are portrayed and imagined in popular discourse.
COMM 4350 Radio-TV News II (3) Advanced course in writing, editing, announcing and producing radio and television news reports. Producing, anchoring and reporting for the student television and radio newscasts is required. Students also analyze the job market and produce a resume disk for employment. Prerequisites: COMM 3400, 3800
COMM 4360 Print-Online News II (3) An advanced course that focuses on news writing with emphasis on style and structure for print and multimedia products. The course also provides training in using the appropriate computer and editing equipment to successfully post graphics, photos, and other information to web publishing templates. Prerequisite: COMM 3300.
COMM 4365 African American Family Communication (3). This course is an examination of African American family communication from a holistic perspective incorporating the impact of the historical, sociological, psychological, and religious viewpoints on family structure and functioning and the role of communication in addressing issues within the family.
COMM 4370 African American Relational Communication (3). This course provides an examination of interpersonal communication within African American romantic relationships from a holistic perspective. Additionally, the historical, sociological, and psychological factors that affect individual behaviors and communication choices within these relationships including gender socialization from Africa to America will be examined.
COMM 4380 Media Leadership & Entrepreneurship (3).
A course covering legal, social, programming, and economic aspects of radio and television management. Guest lectures by local station managers and department heads are an important feature of the course. Prerequisite: COMM 2600 or permission of instructor.
COMM 4400 Programming (3).
A consideration of television and radio programming in terms of content, social impact, and artistic merit. News, documentaries, public affairs, talk shows, light entertainment, serious drama, and advertisements, as well as program schedules as a whole, are analyzed. Prerequisite: COMM 2600 or permission of instructor.
COMM 4415 Feature Writing (3).
Instruction and practice in writing feature articles. Prerequisite: COMM 2400 or permission of instructor. This course is designed to provide a comprehensive look at message strategy and its role in the integrated marketing communications process. It will focus on the theoretical basis of creativity in print advertising, broadcast advertising, Internet and interactive marketing and direct marketing. Prerequisite: COMM 1040 Introduction to Mass Communication.
COMM 4480 Principles of Public Relations (3).
History, development, scope, and role of public relations in society. Course covers the processes and practices of public relations, emphasizing the use of mass communications in the field. Prerequisites: COMM 1040, COMM 2400.
COMM 4500 Senior Project (3).
Completion of individual research or project through application of the research methodology process. Required of all Departmental majors. Mass Communication majors must take either COMM 4500 or 4510
4510 Senior Seminar: Multimedia (News Capstone) or Production capstone (3) Advanced course combining previously taught skills in print, radio and television journalism into the emerging area of multi-media/on-line journalism (news) or its senior-level equivalent in production. Students are expected to produce portfolio quality work. Prerequisites: (News) Choose one of the following: COMM 3300, 3400 or 3800. Production prerequisites: See advisor.
COMM 4530 Reviewing and Criticism (3).
Instruction and practice in reviewing entertainment and the arts. Emphasis on film criticism and one or more or the following: theatre, literature, music, dance, art. Prerequisite: COMM 2400. *Course not regularly offered, see advisor for options.
COMM 4550 Audio/Video Post Production (3) Provides students with intensive experience in the craft and art of audio and video post production at an advanced level. Topics include audio sweetening and post-production effects. Theoretical and practical consideration of communication and artistic issues. Intensive hands-on laboratory and practical experience. Prerequisite: COMM 4150.
COMM 4580 Advanced Public Relations (3).
Practical exercises in public relations, stressing campaigns, schedules, budgets, and media strategies. Prerequisite: COMM 4480.
COMM 4600 Special Topics (3).
Scope of subject matter to be determined by instructor. May be taken twice for up to six hours of credit if different topic. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.
COMM 4610 Advanced Audio Studio (3) Continuation of studio experience, with emphasis on advanced mixing recording sound. Students acquire skills in addressing recording problems and in evaluating results of recording and mixing efforts. Prerequisite: COMM 3610 Same as MUSC 4610
COMM 4615 Audio for Video (3) Examines the theories, technology, practices, and art used in the creation of custom music and sound effects and incorporation into modern film and video media in a postproduction setting. Course is taught in a lecture/lab format. Prerequisite: COMM 4610 Same as MUSC 4615
COMM 4800 Independent Study (3).
Individual study and research under faculty guidance. May be taken twice for up to six hours of credit.
Prerequisite to all upper-division (3000- or 4000-level) Theatre courses without stated prerequisites: THTR 1110 and THTR 1020.
THTR 1010 Introduction to Drama (3).
Elements of theory and practical experience in the drama, through study of representative plays and dramatic theory, as well as a study of theatre operations, from working backstage to observing and critiquing plays, to theatrical field trips. This course may be taken to remove high school deficiency in the visual and performing arts. If it is used for this purpose, it does not yield degree credit.
THTR 1020 Appreciation of Drama (3).
Introduction to dramatic principles though the study of major periods and representative plays from the Greek period to the present. Course may be used toward satisfying University humanities requirement.
THTR 1021 Honors Appreciation of Drama (2).
Honors section of THTR 1020. Enrollment limited to students in University Honors Program. Course may be used toward satisfying University humanities requirement.
THTR 1110 Stagecraft (3). Introduction to theatre technology utilizing lecture and lab. Topics include set construction, lighting, sound, and makeup. Students will participate in the construction of the Department’s theatrical productions. Lecture/Laboratory experience.
THTR 1630 Voice for the Actor (3): A comprehensive study of the practical application of vocal technique for stage acting. Offers instruction and practice designed to aid the actor in achieving optimum vocal performance through exploration of vocal techniques and proper breathing, projection, resonance, articulation, and characterization. Basic dialects and textural performance techniques are introduced.
THTR 2030 Costume and Makeup (3): Principles and theories of costume design and techniques of makeup for theatrical productions are explored. Develop skills of script analysis, sketching, fabric study and rendering for conceptualization and communication of design ideas. Practical execution of stage makeup for theater, film and TV. Students are required to purchase supplies. Prerequisite: THTR 1110.
THTR 2050 Production Practicum (1): Students will be assigned a crew position for one of the department’s theatre productions. This can include marketing, box office/audience development, lights, sound, costumes/ makeup or scenery. Theatre majors must take three semesters of Production Practicum, THTR 2050, 3050, 4050, in sequence. Prerequisite: THTR 1110.
THTR 2060 Stage Lighting and Sound (3). Introduction to theory and practice in stage lighting and sound. Students study the methods and techniques of lighting and sound production and design used in the theatre. Tools and techniques of lighting and audio production are used in laboratory recording and mixdown. Prerequisites: THTR 1110, 2050.
THTR 2400 Elementary Acting (3).
Study and practice in the fundamentals of acting technique based on play and character analysis. The importance of voice, posture, gesture, and movement in theatrical expressiveness are emphasized, using speeches and short scenes from the world’s best dramas.
THTR 2430 Stage Movement and Dance (3): Use of the body and bodily movement for characterization and general stage movements. Exercises, dance, and improvisations are emphasized in examining body dynamics for contemporary and classical acting and movement styles.
THTR 2720 Stage Management (3): This course will be divided into the segments of pre-production, rehearsal period, tech/running, and maintenance of a production. The emphasis will be on management practices for theatre in all types of venues including Actors Equity. There will be an element of the practical, day-to-day "nuts and bolts" in the stage management process. Prerequisite: THTR 1110, 2050.
THTR 3050 Production Practicum (1): Students will be assigned crew positions for one of the department’s theatre productions. This can include marketing, box office/audience development, lights, sound, costumes/ makeup or scenery. Theatre majors must take three semesters of Production Practicum, THTR 2050, 3050, 4050, in sequence. Prerequisite: THTR 1110, 2050.
THTR 3000 Play Production (3).
Study of the major components in producing a play: directing, acting, scenery and lighting, sound, costuming and make up, selecting a play, casting, theatre business, and stage management. Emphasis is also placed on the collaborative and managerial skills necessary for artistic production.
THTR 3030 Directing (3).
Analyzing scripts and directing one-act plays, with attention to casting, blocking, and rehearsal styles through practicum. Prerequisites: THTR 2400 and 3000.
THTR 3040 Playwriting (3).
Theory and practice of writing one-act plays for the stage. Prerequisite: THTR 3520.
THTR 3200 Dramatic Theory and Criticism A survey of the major critical theories that inform world theatrical tradition from Aristotle to Boal. The course furnishes the student with the basic tools of criticism to study drama both as literature and as stage performance. Selected plays will be studied for their thematic, structural and aesthetic components. Prerequisite: THTR 1020.
THTR 3410 Children
’s Theatre I (3).
Development of more sensitive characterizations and increased awareness of such demands of a drama as structure, pace, mood, and tension. The same process may be used as a teaching tool in other areas, such as the language arts program in elementary and secondary schools. The course is taught in a laboratory situation. *Course not regularly offered, see advisor for options.
THTR 3420 Children
’s Theatre II (3).
Fundamental principles of crew and committee work for a children’s play, taught by the student’s actual participation in some phase of the productions, such as cast member, crew member, or committee member. Cast members may include people from the third grade through graduate level. *Course not regularly offered, see advisor for options.
THTR 3520 Modern Drama (3).
Extensive study of world-famous plays from 1880”s to the present day. Readings and reports.
THTR 3550 Musical Theater (3): This course is designed to give students an overview of the major aspects of musical theatre through a combination of seminar and workshop formats. The course emphasizes an understanding of musical theatre through a survey of the history of the American musical, genres, performance and production requirements, techniques, and opportunities. Prerequisites: THTR 2400 (for THTR students) and MUSC 1401 (for MUSC students); or consent of instructor.
THTR 3720 Acting for the Camera (3): Instruction and practice in the basics of acting adjustments for both TV and film style productions. Content consists of actor/director relationship, the relationship between performer and camera, casting, blocking for the camera, and scene analysis. Prerequisite: THTR 2400 or consent of instructor.
THTR 3730 Intermediate Acting (3): Concentration of in-depth study of skills introduced in Elementary Acting. Continuation of character development with emphasis on scene study. Prerequisite: THTR 2400 or consent of instructor.
THTR 4000 Drafting for the Theater and Scene Design (3). Theory and principles of scenic design and drafting for stage are the focus. Conceptualization and communication of design ideas are explored through renderings, ground plans and elevations via drafting with computer and by hand. Students are required to purchase supplies. Prerequisite: THTR 1110, 2050, 2060, 3050.
THTR 4010 Theatre History I (3): An examination of theatre’s historical moments along with the theories and terminology applicable to discussions on theatre from the Egyptians to the Restoration Period. Prerequisite: THTR 1020.
THTR 4020 Stage Lighting and Sound (3).
Advanced sound and lighting practicum in major productions and laboratory productions. Prerequisites: THTR 1110; THTR 1020.
THTR 4010 Theatre History I (3): An examination of theatre’s historical moments along with the theories and terminology applicable to discussions on theatre from the Restoration through the present. Prerequisite: THTR 1020.
THTR 4040 Advanced Stagecraft (3). Advanced techniques of the technical process of theatre operation before, during and after a production. It will address construction, lighting, sound, rigging and running of a production. Prerequisites: THTR 1110, 2050, 3050.
THTR 4050 Production Practicum (1): Students will be assigned a crew position for one of the department’s theatre productions. This can include marketing, box office/audience development, lights, sound, costumes/ makeup or scenic. Theatre majors must take three semesters of Production Practicum, THTR 2050, 3050, 4050, in sequence. Prerequisite: THTR 1110, 2050, 3050.
THTR 4200 Advanced Acting (3): Provides training in the performance of character roles from various dramatic periods and genres from classical to modern and contemporary. Special attention is paid to the philosophical and social context of each period or school as well as the particular vocalization, movement, characterization and staging demands of each style. Prerequisites: THTR 2400 and THTR 3730 or consent of instructor.
THTR 4900 Performance Seminar (3).
Selected topics in acting, directing, and design as they relate to performance. Course involves class discussions, papers, out-of-class work, and research. Students work as a group and/or on individual topics and projects. A final project is the end product for the class. Prerequisites: Any two of THTR 2400, 3000, 3030. Required of students with a concentration in Theatre.