Communication Studies

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Classes

Please note that not all courses are offered every semester. This listing is not considered authoritative. Please visit Access.SMU for authoritative course offerings including meeting times, professor, and more.

View the Communication Studies section of the SMU Meadows Course Catalog.

Communication Studies covers a wide range of subjects, including Communication Theory, Free Speech and the First Amendment, Crisis Management, Financial Communication and much more.

Undergraduate Classes

COMM 2300 (3). PUBLIC SPEAKING IN CONTEXT.
Introduces the theory and practice of public speaking. Students learn important rhetorical principals for studying an audience and a situation to create and perform an effective public presentation. They also learn important abilities for public presentation regarding evidence, nonverbal communication, visual aids, and more. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the B.A. in communication studies, B.A. in public relations and strategic communication, or minor in law and legal reasoning program.

COMM 2301 (3). SPECIAL TOPICS: COMMUNICATION, INTERNATIONAL STUDIES ABROAD.
Specific topics for study abroad must be approved by the Division of Communication Studies chair.

COMM 2302 (3). SPECIAL TOPICS: COMMUNICATION, INTERNATIONAL STUDIES ABROAD.
Specific topics for study abroad must be approved by the Division of Communication Studies chair.

COMM 2303 (3). SPECIAL TOPICS: COMMUNICATION, INTERNATIONAL STUDIES ABROAD.
Specific topics for study abroad must be approved by the Division of Communication Studies chair.

COMM 2308 (3). INTRODUCTION TO NEWSWRITING FOR PUBLIC RELATIONS.
Introduces basic media writing, research, and interviewing skills, as well as AP style for news, features, and press releases. Reserved for students who have not earned credit for DISC 1313. Prerequisites: C or better in COMM 2310 (or 3300) and 2327; eligibility to enroll in the B.A. in communication studies, B.A. in public relations and strategic communication, or minor in communication studies program.

COMM 2310 (3). RHETORIC, COMMUNITY, AND PUBLIC DELIBERATION.
Examines the role of rhetoric and public deliberation in the production and maintenance of communities and the larger public sphere. Topics include the formation and rhetoric of the civil rights movement, the structural factors impacting the modern public sphere, and the skills necessary to be an informed citizen. Prerequisite: DISC 1312.

COMM 2327 (3). COMMUNICATION THEORY.
Introduces the foundational concepts, theories, and approaches to the study and practice of human communication. Includes a historical overview and discussions of contemporary ethical questions. Prerequisite: DISC 1312.

COMM 2328 (3). COMMUNICATION ETHICS.
Through readings, case studies, and the application of philosophical approaches to ethics, students examine the ethical challenges of strategic communication, explore the historic development of the field, and develop their own personal code of ethics to guide them through the ethical dilemmas they will encounter in the working world.

COMM 2375 (3). COMMUNICATION RESEARCH AND METRICS.
Students learn how to conduct professional research utilizing primary and secondary data, statistics, and analytics. Prerequisites: C or better in COMM 2310 (or 3300) and 2327; eligibility to enroll in the B.A. in communication studies, B.A. in public relations and strategic communication, or minor in communication studies program.

COMM 3101 (1). SMU PRE-LAW SCHOLARS SEMINAR.
Introduces various legal topics, including an overview of legal subjects and careers in law. Provides information relating to the Dedman School of Law admissions process. Restricted to SMU Pre-Law Scholars who have completed their first two full-time academic terms.

COMM 3300 (3). FREE SPEECH AND THE FIRST AMENDMENT.
Examines the philosophy, cases, and issues relevant to the First Amendment right to free expression, with a focus on 486 Meadows School of the Arts internal security, obscenity, pornography, slander, and the regulation of communication. Also, the foundations of legal argumentation.

COMM 3302 (3). ETHNOVIOLENCE: INTERDISCIPLINARY PERSPECTIVES.
An introduction to ethnoviolence (violence or the threat of violence based on one’s race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexual orientation) from a comparative, global, and critical framework that synthesizes sociology, colonial studies, and communications, as well as ethnic, religious, historical, and gender studies.

COMM 3310 (3). CRISIS MANAGEMENT.
Examines different strategies and tactics organizations use after a crisis to respond to internal and external audiences. Applies theoretical models (apologia, attribution theory, organizational identification theory, etc.) to specific types of organizational crises. Special emphasis is placed on the role emerging communication technologies play in the organization’s crisis response. Prerequisites: C or better in COMM 2310 (or 3300), 2327, 2375, and 3355; enrollment in the B.A. in communication studies, B.A. in public relations and strategic communication, or minor in communications studies program.

COMM 3321 (3). COMMUNICATION IN GLOBAL CONTEXTS.
Provides an international perspective to the study of corporate communication and public affairs. Emphasis on experiential study allows exposure to professional practitioners in both political and corporate arenas. Students explore opportunities and challenges involved in working in corporate communication in an international forum. Prerequisites: C or better in COMM 2308 (or 3355 or DISC 1313), 2310 (or 3300), 2327, and 2375.

COMM 3327 (3). ARGUMENTATION AND ADVOCACY.
Explores concepts characterizing rational discourse with a concern for examining validity and fallacy. Students consider traditional and contemporary models for analyzing argument, including an examination of the philosophy of argument and practical inquiry into the uses of debates on contemporary social issues. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the B.A. in communication studies, minor in communication studies, or minor in law and legal reasoning program.

COMM 3335 (3). DIGITAL COMMUNICATION.
The course is grounded in practice, and students are required to participate in social networks, forums, blogs, wikis, microblogs, and virtual worlds. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the B.A. in communication studies, B.A. in public relations and strategic communication, or minor in communications studies program.

COMM 3341 (3). ETHNICITY, CULTURE, AND GENDER: INTRODUCTION TO CRITICAL STUDIES IN COMMUNICATION.
Explores the impact of culture on the understanding and practice of human communication in interpersonal, organizational, and mass media contexts. Strong emphasis is placed on the role of globalization, race, and socioeconomic dynamics as impediments and conduits of cross-cultural collaboration and interaction. Prerequisites: C or better in COMM 2308 (or DISC 1313), 2310, 2327, and 2375.

COMM 3342 (3). RACE AND IDENTITY CONSTRUCTION IN GLOBAL CONTEXTS.
Explores what impact communication practices in organizational, interpersonal, and mass media contexts have on the construction of ethnicity, gender, and sexuality in U.S. and post-Colonial settings.

COMM 3345 (3). PERSUASION THEORY AND PRACTICE.
Surveys major theories that explain how to influence attitudes and behaviors. Applications to persuasion within a variety of contexts, including relationships, organizations, legal campaigns, and the mass culture. Prerequisites: C or better in COMM 2308 (or DISC 1313), 2310, 2327, and 2375.

COMM 3347 (3). POLITICAL COMMUNICATION.
Examines political communication as it evolves throughout a political campaign. Topics include political communication theory and research, communication strategies, the influence of the mass media, television advertising, candidate debates, news management, polling, and the use of new technologies in political campaigns. Prerequisites: C or better in COMM 2308 (or DISC 1313), 2310, 2327, and 2375; enrollment in the B.A. in communication studies or minor in communications studies program.

COMM 3350 (3). INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATION.
Explores the concept of planning that recognizes the value of coordinating the media mix within a communication campaign to create maximum clarity and impact. Covers the ways that a firm or brand communicates with its publics. Prerequisites: C or better in COMM 2308 (or DISC 1313), 2310 (or 3355), 2327, and 2375; enrollment in the B.A. in communication studies, B.A. in public relations and strategic communication, or minor in communications studies program.

COMM 3355 (3). PRINCIPLES OF PUBLIC RELATIONS.
Introduces the basic theories, concepts, and approaches to public relations. Includes a historical overview as well as discussions of the professional and ethical demands on practitioners. Prerequisites: C or better in COMM 2310 (or 3300) and 2327; eligibility to enroll in the B.A. in communication studies, B.A. in public relations and strategic communication, minor in communication studies, minor in arts entrepreneurship, or minor in arts management program.

COMM 3360 (3). BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT COMMUNICATION.
Emphasizes the role that communication plays in recruiting and selecting project team members, motivating employees, and making a project team productive. Prerequisites:C or better in COMM 2308 (or DISC 1313), 2310, 2327, and 2375.

COMM 3365 (3). ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION.
Explores the role of communication in key organizational processes in corporate and nonprofit settings. Students examine the multiple approaches to organizing and their implications for human communication. Prerequisites: C or better in

COMM 2308 (or DISC 1313), 2310, 2327, and 2375;
enrollment in the B.A. in communication studies, minor in communications studies, or minor in arts management program.

COMM 3380 (3). PRINCIPLES OF NONPROFIT COMMUNICATION.
Explores the unique discursive context of not-for-profit organizations. Students examine the role of communication in the various stages of nonprofit organizational life, including founding and incorporation, recruitment and retention of staff volunteers, and external funding and philanthropic development. Prerequisites: C or better in COMM 2308 (or DISC 1313), 2310, 2327, and 2375; enrollment in the B.A. in communication studies, minor in communications studies, or minor in arts management program.

COMM 3382 (3). ADVANCED WRITING FOR PUBLIC RELATIONS.
Provides experience in researching, strategizing, developing, and writing a variety of public relations materials for an array of audiences and objectives. Prerequisites: C or better in COMM 2308 (or DISC 1313), 2327, 3300, and 3355; enrollment in the B.A. in public relations and strategic communication program.

COMM 3387 (3). ADVANCED NONPROFIT COMMUNICATION: DONOR AND PHILANTHROPIC COMMUNICATION.
This experiential course teaches students to strategize, develop, research, and write in-depth articles, newsletters, speeches, press releases, andposition papers. Prerequisites: C or better in COMM 2308 (or DISC 1313), 2310, 2327, 2375, 3365, and 3380.

COMM 3390 (3). EMPLOYEE COMMUNICATION.
Introduces the theories, ethics, and methods of creating and measuring communication to employees and work groups. Topics include employee campaigns, communication with unionized work groups, and use of social media for employee and leadership interaction and collaboration. Students explore how employee discourse can shape perceptions of organizational culture and trust, employee retention and satisfaction, and external branding. Prerequisites: C or better in COMM 2308 (or DISC 1313), 2310, 2327, and 2375.

COMM 3393 (3). RHETORIC, POLITICS, AND MASS MEDIA.
Examines the dynamic and interpersonal relationship between the news media and politics: the media's influence on the political process, the relationship between reporters and public officials, the impact of mediabased campaigns, and the ethical impact of media manipulation by political strategists. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the B.A. in communication studies or minor in communication studies program.

COMM 3395 (3). PUBLIC OPINION, THE PRESS, AND PUBLIC POLICY.
Examines the interdependent relationships among media coverage, public opinion, and public policy. Students consider the influence of press coverage on electoral and policymaking processes in which public voice is presumed to affect democratic outcomes. Prerequisite:Enrollment in the B.A. in communication studies or minor in communication studies program.

COMM 4025 (0). ORGANIZATIONAL INTERNSHIP.
Students in approved positions gain career-related experience and establish professional contacts. Offered as pass/fail only. Prerequisites: 90 or more hours of coursework, 2.750 overall GPA, 3.000 GPA in COMM coursework, permission of faculty adviser, and enrollment in the B.A. in communication studies or B.A. in public relations and strategic communication program.

COMM 4125 (1). PUBLIC RELATIONS IN LOCAL CONTEXT.
Provides experience working with public relations professionals part time during the fall or spring terms. Offered as pass/fail only. Prerequisites: 90 or more hours of coursework, 2.750 overall GPA, 3.000 GPA in COMM coursework, permission of faculty adviser, enrollment in the B.A. in public relations and strategic communication program, and completion of COMM 3382 (or its equivalent for double majors in advertising or journalism).

COMM 4130 (1). PROFESSIONAL SEMINAR.
Prepares a student to meet the expectations and demands of working as a strategic communications professional in various organizational contexts, including corporate, agency, nonprofit, government, and public affairs. Topics addressed by instructors and industry professionals include ethics, issues in professional development, interviewing and résumé construction, and power and politics for the new employee. Prerequisites: C or better in COMM 2308 (or DISC 1313), 2327, 2375, 3300, 3355; junior standing; enrollment in the B.A. in public relations and strategic communication program.

COMM 4225 (2). PUBLIC RELATIONS IN LOCAL CONTEXT.
Provides 100 hours of experience working with public relations professionals. P/F only. Prerequisites: 90 or more hours of coursework, 2.750 overall GPA, 3.000 GPA in COMM coursework, permission of faculty adviser, and enrollment in the B.A. in public relations and strategic communication program.

COMM 4300 (3). SEMINAR IN POLITICAL COMMUNICATION.
Offered only as appropriate occasions arise. Provides advanced study of the role of communication within specific public affairs settings, e.g., political summits, party conventions, or other major venues. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the B.A. in communication studies or minor in communication studies program.

COMM 4302 (3). WASHINGTON TERM STUDIES.
Offers an opportunity to study and work in Washington, D.C., as part of American University’s Washington semester. Prerequisites: C or better in COMM 2308 (or DISC 1313), 2310, 2327, 2375; junior standing.

COMM 4303 (3). WASHINGTON TERM STUDIES.
Offers an opportunity to study and work in Washington, D.C., as part of American University’s Washington semester. Prerequisites: C or better in COMM 2308 (or DISC 1313), 2310, 2327, 2375; junior standing.

COMM 4304 (3). WASHINGTON TERM STUDIES.
Offers an opportunity to study and work in Washington, D.C., as part of American University’s Washington semester. Prerequisites: C or better in COMM 2308 (or DISC 1313), 2310, 2327, 2375; junior standing.

COMM 4305 (3). WASHINGTON TERM DIRECTED STUDIES.
An independent study with the goal of producing original research while students are enrolled in American University’s Washington semester. Prerequisites: C or better in COMM 2308 (or DISC 1313), 2310, 2327, 2375; junior standing.

COMM 4310 (3). HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY OF FREE SPEECH.
Examines the philosophical debates on the existence, extent, and effect of free speech on society, including the rights of the individual versus the rights of the collective body politic.

COMM 4320 (3). PUBLIC RELATIONS IN LOCAL CONTEXT.
Provides 150 hours of experience working with public relations professionals. P/F only. Prerequisites: 90 or more hours of coursework, 2.750 overall GPA, 3.000 GPA in COMM coursework, permission of faculty adviser, enrollment in the B.A. in public relations and strategic communication program, and completion of COMM 3382 (or its equivalent for double majors in advertising or journalism).

COMM 4323 (3). FORENSICS WORKSHOP.
Explores the pedagogy of competitive forensics. Students examine methods, theories, and techniques of competitive debate and individual events, tournament administration, and professional responsibilities of the forensic educator, and gain practical experience in forensics and debate competition. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the B.A. in communication studies, minor in communication studies, or minor in law and legal reasoning program. Instructor approval required.

COMM 4324 (3). COMPETITIVE MOCK TRIAL.
Provides the opportunity to investigate and explore principles of legal advocacy within a competitive environment. Trains students to represent SMU as members of the SMU Mock Trial Team before invitational, regional, and national trial competitions. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the B.A. in communication studies, minor in communication studies, or minor in law and legal reasoning program.

COMM 4325 (3). PUBLIC RELATIONS IN LOCAL CONTEXT.
Students in approved positions gain 150 hours of career-related experience and establish professional contacts. Prerequisites: 90 or more hours of coursework, 2.750 overall GPA, 3.000 GPA in COMM coursework, permission of faculty adviser, enrollment in the B.A. in public relations and strategic communication program, and completion of COMM 3382 (or its equivalent for double majors in advertising or journalism).

COMM 4326 (3). WASHINGTON TERM INTERNSHIP.
Offered in conjunction with courses taken in Washington, D.C. Provides experience working in public affairs in the nation’s capital, supervised by a faculty member there. Prerequisites: 90 or more hours of coursework, 2.750 overall GPA, 3.000 GPA in COMM coursework, permission of faculty adviser, and enrollment in the B.A. in communication studies program.

COMM 4335 (3). DIGITAL ENGAGEMENT.
Experience in writing for various digital communication tools, statistical measurement, and search engine optimization techniques that provide return on investment to organization management. Prerequisite: C or better in COMM 3335.

COMM 4338 (3). CREATIVE PRODUCTION FOR COMMUNICATORS.
Introduces basic principles of graphic design and production in tandem with the use of industry standard hardware and software programs, including the Adobe Creative Suite. Focuses on public relations applications. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the B.A. in communication studies, B.A. in public relations and strategic communication, or minor in communication studies.

COMM 4340 (3). PUBLIC RELATIONS MANAGEMENT.
Provides business literacy, financial and accounting basics, and case study analysis that enables professionals to implement communication strategies that advance business objectives. Prerequisites: C or better in COMM 2327, 2375, 3300, 3355; enrollment in the B.A. in public relations and strategic communication program.

COMM 4375 (3). HONORS THESIS IN COMMUNICATION.
Provides advanced students with the opportunity to do original research on a topic related to communication. Students learn how to write research questions, conduct a literature review, engage in qualitative or quantitative methodologies, and present findings. Prerequisites: Honors standing; enrollment in the B.A. in communication studies or B.A. in public relations and strategic communication program.

COMM 4385 (3). COMMUNICATION, TECHNOLOGY, AND GLOBALIZATION.
Examines how various communication technologies are used within a strategic communication context, and addresses historical, ethical, and legal issues surrounding the use of these technologies. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the B.A. in communication studies, B.A. in public relations and strategic communication, or minor in communication studies program.

COMM 4386 (3). FINANCIAL COMMUNICATION.
Familiarizes students with terms, principles, theories, and practices in financial communications. Examines techniques used in investor relations and considers the legal and ethical responsibilities. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the B.A. in communication studies, B.A. in public relations and strategic communication, or minor in communication studies program.

COMM 4390 (3). GLOBALIZATION, ECONOMICS, AND COMMUNICATION.
The globalization of economic and communicative activity entails a new type of organizing structure as well as an understanding of self and one’s connection (interdependence) to the global marketplace. Examines the rise of globalization and the social, political, and economic activity that has significance for every individual and community across the globe.

COMM 4392 (3). MUSTANG CONSULTING I: INTRODUCTION TO COMMUNICATION CONSULTING.
Provides a hands-on opportunity to learn and implement the theories and skills necessary to engage in the task of communication consulting. Unlike other models of consulting, the art of communication consultation emphasizes the centrality of organizational communication as a means of assisting clients in addressing their organizational concerns and opportunities. Covers applying communication theory and research to the practice of communication consultation; distinguishing the difference between academic research and communication consulting; and proposing, planning, and implementing a consulting project. Instructor consent only.

COMM 4393 (3). MUSTANG CONSULTING II: CAPSTONE.
This advanced communication consulting course provides the opportunity for students to manage their own communication consulting clients under the supervision of the faculty principal. Students are responsible for all client contact, presentations, and resolutions and are required to implement an entire strategic communication solution on behalf of the client, from planning through evaluation. Instructor consent only.

COMM 4395 (3). BOULEVARD CONSULTING PRACTICUM.
In this capstone course, students work in teams, conduct original research, and develop and present a comprehensive public relations campaign for an actual client. Prerequisites: C or better in 2308 (or DISC 1313), 2327, 490 Meadows School of the Arts 2375, 3300, 3355, 3382; senior standing; enrollment in the B.A. in public relations and strategic communication program.

COMM 4397 (3). FASHION MEDIA PUBLIC RELATIONS.
Focuses on application of public relations principles and practices standard to the fashion industry. Covers public relations planning, development of written materials, and demonstration of effective business communication strategies. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the B.A. in public relations and strategic communication, B.A. in fashion media, or minor in fashion media program.

COMM 5110 (1). DIRECTED STUDY.
A close collaboration between the professor and an advanced student who conducts a rigorous project that goes beyond the experience available in course offerings. The student must secure written permission from the instructor and return a completed directed studies form to the Division of Communication Studies before the drop/add date in the term during which the study is to be undertaken. Prerequisites: Junior standing; permission of instructor and division chair; and enrollment in the B.A. in communication studies, B.A. in public relations and strategic communication, or minor in communication studies program.

COMM 5210 (2). DIRECTED STUDY.
A close collaboration between the professor and an advanced student who conducts a rigorous project that goes beyond the experience available in course offerings. The student must secure written permission from the instructor and return a completed directed studies form to the Division of Communication Studies before the drop/add date in the term during which the study is to be undertaken. Prerequisites: Junior standing; permission of instructor and division chair; and enrollment in the B.A. in communication studies, B.A. in public relations and strategic communication, or minor in communication studies program.

COMM 5301 (3). TOPICS IN COMMUNICATIONS.
Encourages students to examine the role of communication within contemporary issues and social problems. Topics vary by instructor. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the B.A. in communication studies, B.A. in public relations and strategic communication, or minor in communication studies program.

COMM 5302 (3). TOPICS IN COMMUNICATIONS.
Encourages students to examine the role of communication within contemporary issues and social problems. Topics vary by instructor. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the B.A. in communication studies, B.A. in public relations and strategic communication, or minor in communication studies program.

COMM 5303 (3). TOPICS IN COMMUNICATIONS.
Encourages students to examine the role of communication within contemporary issues and social problems. Topics vary by instructor. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the B.A. in communication studies, B.A. in public relations and strategic communication, or minor in communication studies program.

COMM 5304 (3). TOPICS IN COMMUNICATIONS.
Encourages students to examine the role of communication within contemporary issues and social problems. Topics vary by instructor. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the B.A. in communication studies, B.A. in public relations and strategic communication, or minor in communication studies program.

COMM 5305 (3). TOPICS IN COMMUNICATION.
Encourages students to examine the role of communication within contemporary issues and social problems. Topics vary by instructor. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the B.A. in communication studies, B.A. in public relations and strategic communication, or minor in communication studies program.

COMM 5310 (3). DIRECTED STUDY.
A close collaboration between the professor and an advanced student who conducts a rigorous project that goes beyond the experience available in course offerings. The student must secure written permission from the instructor and return a completed directed studies form to the Division of Communication Studies before the drop/add date in the term during which the study is to be undertaken. Prerequisites: Junior standing; permission of instructor and division chair; and enrollment in the B.A. in communication studies, B.A. in public relations and strategic communication, or minor in communication studies program.

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