Course Schedule

The courses below are those offered for the term. (To view the course description, class dates & times, touch on accordion tab by the title.)

  • Washington DC Center

    480.600.51 - Research & Writing Methods

    $3563

    Susan Allen

    Wednesday 5:15 - 7:40; 1/28 - 4/29

    Communication professionals take on diverse and multiple roles within and across organizations, but they share one role in common as strategic problem solvers. This course will teach you how to find, read, interpret, evaluate, and apply scientific research studies to solve practical problems encountered by communication practitioners. Topics covered include how to effectively use library resources to find research that can be of strategic value; how different research methods, including focus groups, case studies, surveys, and experiments are used in communication research; how to evaluate the quality of research reports; how to interpret qualitative and quantitative findings, including statistics; and how to distill the information found in research reports down to what is most relevant and usable. In addition to learning how to become a competent and critical research consumer, you will also be exposed to current research across different areas of the communication discipline.

    480.604.51 - Media Effects

    $3563

    Anya Karavanov

    Thursday 5:15 - 7:40; 1/29 - 4/30

    This course surveys major theories and perspectives on how mass media can influence individuals, organizations and society, with a focus on content areas that have the most strategic relevance for public relations practice. The course covers readings on the role media plays in shaping what issues people attend to, how they think about those issues and potential outcomes; how public relations practitioners attempt to use media strategically to meet their objectives; and the implications that current media systems, technologies, and practices have for their media relations efforts. Prerequisite: Research and Writing Methods

    480.606.51 - Persuasion

    $3563

    Jennifer Anne Bishop

    Wednesday 7:45 - 10:10; 1/28 - 4/29

    This course addresses two questions of vital importance to communication professionals: what aspects of a message make it persuasive (or not), and what attributes of individual people and audiences make them susceptible or resistant to influence. The course examines all varieties of messaging, from individuals communicating one-on-one, to messages communicated via mass media. We study topics such as how the expertise, trustworthiness, and likeability of a spokesperson can enhance or weaken a message’s persuasiveness, and how people’s social groups can affect their willingness to believe. The course draws on both theory and empirical evidence to provide students with a well-rounded understanding of influence and persuasive strategies in today’s world. Prerequisite: Research and Writing Methods

    480.631.51 - Effective Web Design and Strategy

    $3563

    Kristopher Schroeder

    Tuesday 5:15 - 7:40; 1/27 - 4/28

    Having a website in the 21st century is a no-brainer, but developing a website that really works is no small task. This class prepares students to analyze the critical communication considerations that drive the strategy of successful websites, and provides them with the knowledge and vocabulary to structure, define and lead the development of sophisticated and effective web-based communications platforms. From audience definition and content strategy, through usability testing, information architecture, technologies, design and search engine optimization, students will learn how to define, design, and deploy smart sites that succeed—communicate—across divergent audiences, brands and businesses.

    480.638.51 - Utilizing Images: Media Literacy In Practice

    $3563

    Elizabeth Patton

    Wednesday 7:45 - 10:10; 1/28 - 4/29

    This course will teach you how to critically evaluate media, create effective visual communication by identifying key elements of a visual message, and apply relevant theory as it relates to visual message design. This course provides an overview of the approaches and strategies communication practitioners use to incorporate media literacy in their practices. This course will address the following questions: What is media literacy and how does it relate to visual communication? How can visual media be used effectively to promote strategic messages or positive change? How can we critically evaluate the quality of visual messages and create effective and ethical visual communication?

    Technology fee: $150

    480.658.51 - Public Relations Writing

    $3563

    Carmine Spellane

    Tuesday 5:15 - 7:40; 1/27 - 4/28

    The primary goal of this course is for students to develop the professional-level persuasive writing skills expected of the best PR practitioners. Students are given weekly writing assignments outside of class and write on deadline during many class periods. The course covers various forms of public relations writing including press releases, op-ed essays, crisis communications and internal communications. Written work is judged using 10 tenets of good writing: organization, persuasion, clarity, focus, flow, tone, proper usage, timeliness, accuracy and relevance.

    480.665.51 - Speech Writing

    $3563

    -STAFF-

    Tuesday 7:45 - 10:10; 1/27 - 4/28

    Speech writing is one of the most important but least instructed skills for Washington professionals. Through hands-on practice, students learn to write speeches for diverse clients, occasions and contexts including corporate and political speeches, keynote addresses, Congressional testimony, as well as informal remarks such as eulogies and toasts and how to coach speakers for more effective delivery. The course integrates speech writing with public relations skills in areas such as campaign messaging, investor relations and crisis management.

    480.682.51 - Health Psychology & Behavior Change

    $3563

    -STAFF-

    Tuesday 5:15 - 7:40; 1/27 - 4/28

    This course provides an overview of health psychology: the scientific study of behaviors and cognitive processes related to health states. It addresses the mind/body connection, the influence of social and physical environments on our health, cognitive processing of health information, health belief models, and the link between personality traits and health. Understanding the interactions between these biological, psychological, and social influences on individuals’ health states is a key element in developing effective health communication and intervention programs. Students approach all course topics from both theory-driven and applied perspectives.

  • Online Courses

    480.600.81 - Research & Writing Methods

    $3563

    Elizabeth Patton

    Online 1/26 - 5/2

    Communication professionals take on diverse and multiple roles within and across organizations, but they share one role in common as strategic problem solvers. This course will teach you how to find, read, interpret, evaluate, and apply scientific research studies to solve practical problems encountered by communication practitioners. Topics covered include how to effectively use library resources to find research that can be of strategic value; how different research methods, including focus groups, case studies, surveys, and experiments are used in communication research; how to evaluate the quality of research reports; how to interpret qualitative and quantitative findings, including statistics; and how to distill the information found in research reports down to what is most relevant and usable. In addition to learning how to become a competent and critical research consumer, you will also be exposed to current research across different areas of the communication discipline.

    Technology fee: $150

    480.600.82 - Research & Writing Methods

    $3563

    Maria Siano

    Online 1/26 - 5/2

    Communication professionals take on diverse and multiple roles within and across organizations, but they share one role in common as strategic problem solvers. This course will teach you how to find, read, interpret, evaluate, and apply scientific research studies to solve practical problems encountered by communication practitioners. Topics covered include how to effectively use library resources to find research that can be of strategic value; how different research methods, including focus groups, case studies, surveys, and experiments are used in communication research; how to evaluate the quality of research reports; how to interpret qualitative and quantitative findings, including statistics; and how to distill the information found in research reports down to what is most relevant and usable. In addition to learning how to become a competent and critical research consumer, you will also be exposed to current research across different areas of the communication discipline.

    Technology fee: $150

    480.600.83 - Research & Writing Methods

    $3563

    Anna Armstrong

    Online 1/26 - 5/2

    Communication professionals take on diverse and multiple roles within and across organizations, but they share one role in common as strategic problem solvers. This course will teach you how to find, read, interpret, evaluate, and apply scientific research studies to solve practical problems encountered by communication practitioners. Topics covered include how to effectively use library resources to find research that can be of strategic value; how different research methods, including focus groups, case studies, surveys, and experiments are used in communication research; how to evaluate the quality of research reports; how to interpret qualitative and quantitative findings, including statistics; and how to distill the information found in research reports down to what is most relevant and usable. In addition to learning how to become a competent and critical research consumer, you will also be exposed to current research across different areas of the communication discipline.

    Technology fee: $150

    480.601.81 - Introduction to the Digital Age

    $3563

    Chan Le Thai

    Online 1/26 - 5/2

    The digital age is changing how communication professionals communicate with public groups and how people access, understand, and process information. As a result, digital tools are an increasingly important part of the modern communicator’s tool kit. This course examines empirical research that will help communication professionals in the digital age. Topics include creating usable and credible websites and effective internet advertising. The course also examines blogs, social networking, and digital journalism. The digital age is explored through primary research across a range of subjects including public relations, political communication and health communication. Prerequisite: Research and Writing Methods

    Technology fee: $150

    480.602.81 - Changing Behavior through Communication

    $3563

    Kimberly Henderson

    Online 1/26 - 5/2

    The goal of many communication initiatives is to encourage some type of behavior change. Communication professionals who understand how people change their behavior can create more successful campaigns. This course surveys major theories used to predict when and under what circumstances individuals are most likely to change their behavior. Behavior change includes a variety of actions, such as voting for a candidate, purchasing a product, joining a social networking group, or adopting a new health habit. Individual-level, interpersonal level, and community-level models of change are covered. By becoming familiar with specific theories and the empirical support for those theories, students learn how to use social science based models to guide their communication strategies effectively. Prerequisite: Research and Writing Methods

    Technology fee: $150

    480.603.81 - Communication in Practice

    $3563

    Susan Allen
    Maria Siano

    Online 1/26 - 5/2

    Communication is a fast-changing field that requires practitioners to keep current with trends in technology, audience segmentation, needs of stakeholders, message techniques, evaluation methods, and much more. Equally important, practitioners must master new ways of branding themselves in a competitive job environment. This course covers up-to-date perspectives in communication practice so that students gain a concrete understanding of the practice environment. The content includes strategic management, presentation styles, ethics, branding, campaigns, evaluation, cultural diversity, client tactics, and professional networking. Experts in practice will lecture and lead class activities. Students will create deliverables throughout the semester that will form a personal brand portfolio designed to showcase their talents and skills in communication. This course is designed for students who are provisional or have obtained advisor approval.

    Technology fee: $150

    480.604.81 - Media Effects

    $3563

    Heather Epkins

    Online 1/26 - 5/2

    This course surveys major theories and perspectives on how mass media can influence individuals, organizations and society, with a focus on content areas that have the most strategic relevance for public relations practice. The course covers readings on the role media plays in shaping what issues people attend to, how they think about those issues and potential outcomes; how public relations practitioners attempt to use media strategically to meet their objectives; and the implications that current media systems, technologies, and practices have for their media relations efforts. Prerequisite: Research and Writing Methods

    480.606.81 - Persuasion

    $3563

    -STAFF-

    Online 1/26 - 5/2

    This course addresses two questions of vital importance to communication professionals: what aspects of a message make it persuasive (or not), and what attributes of individual people and audiences make them susceptible or resistant to influence. The course examines all varieties of messaging, from individuals communicating one-on-one, to messages communicated via mass media. We study topics such as how the expertise, trustworthiness, and likeability of a spokesperson can enhance or weaken a message’s persuasiveness, and how people’s social groups can affect their willingness to believe. The course draws on both theory and empirical evidence to provide students with a well-rounded understanding of influence and persuasive strategies in today’s world. Prerequisite: Research and Writing Methods

    Technology fee: $150

    480.608.81 - Applied Quantitative Research

    $3563

    Mary Miscally

    Online 1/26 - 5/2

    This hands-on course guides students through the various types of quantitative research they may need to perform on the job, such as, analyzing an audience, testing a message, doing a media audit, or demonstrating the effectiveness of a department. Students learn how to develop and design good survey questions, experiments, and content analyses, and how to run basic statistics on their data including the following: chi-square, t-test, ANOVA, and correlation. Students also learn how to write up and present the results of their research. Students should take this course prior to the semester in which they begin their theses. Prerequisite: Research and Writing Methods.

    Technology fee: $150

    480.609.81 - Applied Qualitative Research

    $3563

    Mary Miscally

    Online 1/26 - 5/2

    Communication professionals use qualitative methods to craft messages that resonate with audiences. This hands-on class exposes students to qualitative research methods that can be used on the job to guide communication efforts more strategically. Students learn how to design and conduct studies to gain insight into audience perceptions on a variety of issues. Specific techniques covered include in-depth interviews, focus groups, and rhetorical analysis. Through applied activities, students learn how to collect, analyze, and present qualitative research data. Students should take this course prior to the semester in which they begin their theses. Prerequisite: Research and Writing Methods.

    Technology fee: $150

    480.635.81 - Communication.org:Not-for-Profits in the Digital Age

    $3563

    Shonali Burke

    Online 1/26 - 5/2

    Students examine the primary reasons non-profit organizations exist, and the unique communication challenges they face in reaching their audiences and motivating their desired behaviors. They will examine leading trends in 21st century communication, and assess how non-profit communicators can capitalize on these trends for the benefit of their organizations. Finally, they will devise practical solutions to one or more of a non-profit “client’s” challenges, using one or more of a wide variety of communication tools offered in the current media landscape.

    Technology fee: $150

    480.637.81 - Using Social and Digital Media

    $3563

    You Jin Hur

    Online 1/26 - 5/2

    In this class students learn about 12 useful social media tools, including blogging, Twitter, social networking, podcasting, online video and Digg. More importantly, students apply what they learn by developing a social media plan for a company or organization that they choose. They will be the student’s “Client.” Each week, students learn how to use a different social media tool to engage in conversations that help to tell their client’s story. Students also learn the theories behind why social and digital media is fundamentally changing the way that customers, advocates and engaged consumers are interacting with brands. By the end of semester, students will be able to not just answer, but inspire, the inevitable questions being raised in every organization today: Why should we care about social media? How is it changing the way individuals and organizations communicate? Where should we begin? Note: Prior to fall 2009 this course was taught under the title Introduction to the Digital Age. Students who took that course may not register for this class as the content is the same.

    Technology fee: $150

    480.645.81 - Health Literacy, Language and Culture

    $3563

    Sabrina Kurtz-Rossi

    Online 1/26 - 5/2

    This course offers a skills-oriented approach to addressing literacy, language and culture within a health care context. Understanding the relationship between literacy, language and culture will benefit those in heath communication, as well as professionals in areas such as public and media relations, digital communication, political communication, and corporate and non-profit communication. Students will explore how low literacy and poor health literacy affect quality and outcomes at the individual and systems level and consider the integration of health literacy, cultural competency and language assistance strategies to reduce disparities in health and well being. Overall, this 13-week course aims to improve the cultural and health literacy competency of professionals and the systems in which they work.

    Technology fee: $150

    480.659.81 - Crisis Communication

    $3563

    Nancy Mayes

    Online 1/26 - 5/2

    This course provides students with a fundamental understanding of crisis management, risk communication, media relations, and public-opinion research techniques in multiple contexts. It introduces students to crisis management principles, strategies, tactics and communication methods. Course participants work as a team to develop a crisis management plan for analysis and discussion. Successful students are able to transfer to the workplace the knowledge and skills developed in this course. Students learn to predict, manage, and control real-world controversies that they may confront as they pursue their careers. Moreover, students are able to manage effectively, participate in, and control volatile situations involving the news media.

    Technology fee: $150

    480.661.81 - International Public Relations and Public Diplomacy

    $3563

    Joan Mower

    Online 1/26 - 5/2

    In today’s global world, reaching international audiences is a key function of U.S. government-funded public diplomacy programs, corporate public relations, and non-governmental organizations involved in relief and development. Through readings, lectures, discussions and exercises, this course examines the differences between domestic and international media environments. Students develop communication skills needed to deliver messages and craft outreach strategies and programs for non-American audiences. Special attention is paid to communicating with audiences in Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia, including Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. Topics include a historical overview of international public relations and public diplomacy, opportunities and challenges for today’s public diplomacy practitioner, using research to understand international audiences, writing effectively for international audiences, health and development communication, and communication in international conflict resolution. Students emerge with skills to work overseas in the fast-growing areas of public diplomacy and international public relations.

    Technology fee: $150

    480.663.81 - Integrated Marketing Communication

    $3563

    Liane Jacobs

    Online 1/26 - 5/2

    Integrated marketing communication breaks down the traditional advertising, public relations and marketing silos by challenging practitioners to apply the optimum mix of media and message to motivate the target audience to act. The rise of the internet and now Web 2.0 support the need to embrace integrated marketing communication as a comprehensive approach to reach target audiences. In this course students learn to evaluate audience demographics and apply the appropriate communication channels and messages based upon the audiences’ needs and the business realities of marketing campaigns. During the semester, students develop a tool kit of steps to follow to attain marketing success. Through simulation exercises, case study analysis and self-directed reading, students develop a results-oriented and measurable marketing campaign proposal.

    Technology fee: $150

    480.670.81 - Law for Communication Professionals

    $3563

    Andrew Schwartzman

    Online 1/26 - 5/2

    Communication professionals encounter the law in many ways. They need to know what they can put on a website, what they can say about private citizens and public figures, what they have to say in political commercials, and what claims they can make about products they advertise. This course explores the laws communication professionals need to know about to do their job effectively. Students will learn how to evaluate slander, libel and defamation issues. Copyright, trademark and privacy law will be addressed, including the “fair use” right to excerpt materials on and off the Internet. First Amendment issues to be covered include regulation of advertising and other government regulation of speech, as well as its impact on the rights of parents and children. Campaign finance issues will also be considered, including “equal time”, independent expenditures and candidates’ speech rights. The course also covers issues raised by broadband deployment, including spectrum management and “open internet” issues.

    Technology fee: $150

    480.672.81 - Polling for Strategic Communication

    $3563

    -STAFF-

    Online 1/26 - 5/2

    Polling is more than a snapshot of who is winning and who is losing. Effective analysis is important for any campaign whether one’s object is to elect a candidate for office, position a company or product or advance an issue. This class concentrates on teaching students the best practices for designing, writing and conducting polls, and how to use the results to formulate a successful communication strategy. Students critique existing opinion surveys and learn how to read and interpret polls, including those used in political and health campaigns and by corporations and other issue organizations.

    Technology fee: $150

    480.687.81 - Intercultural Communication

    $3563

    Lisa Fall

    Online 1/26 - 5/2

    This course examines the meaning and importance of intercultural communication as it applies to individuals, groups, organizations and nations. Students examine the meaning of “culture” and how “culture” can affect personal, national and international understanding and communication, beliefs and behaviors. The course examines the difficulties and dangers that can result from cultural misunderstanding. In a modern world with diverse communication methods, there is an ever-increasing need for intercultural understanding and communication. The course investigates the various ways in which cultures differ and the necessity of understanding and respecting other cultures. The course assists communication professionals to be more effective with external communication campaigns in other countries and internal communication within a diverse workplace. The course emphasizes clear and logical spoken and written expression to enhance individual ability to interact effectively with people of different cultures.

    Technology fee: $150

    480.801.81 - Independent Study

    $3563

    Mary Miscally

    Online 1/26 - 5/2

    This course is designed to guide students though the thesis process. It is the last course students take in finishing their masters’ degrees. Students select a topic for original research and conduct and write up their research in the course of the class. Students are encouraged to select a topic that will be useful in the workplace and that can be part of their professional portfolio. Graduation is subject to approval of the thesis by the thesis committee and completion of a successful defense. Students are encouraged to enter the class with a clear idea of what they would like to research. All core courses must be completed before starting Thesis.

    This course is Thesis. Technology fee: $150

    480.802.81 - Independent Study

    $3563

    Susan Allen

    Online 1/26 - 5/2

    This course is Practicum. Technology fee: $150