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.)

State-specific Information for Online Programs

Note: We currently are not accepting applications to the online MA in Communication from students who reside in Kansas. In addition, students currently cannot conduct internships in Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, or Oregon. For more information, please contact an admissions representative. Students should be aware of additional state-specific information for online programs.

  • Washington DC Center

    480.600.51 - Research & Writing Methods

    $3741

    Susan Allen

    Wednesday 5:15 - 7:40; 5/13 - 8/5

    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.

    480.622.51 - Branding by Motion Picture

    $3741

    Stephen Menick

    Monday 7:45 - 10:10; 5/11 - 8/15

    Branding by Motion Picture is a course for those who want to use the motion picture medium to promote brands. It’s a writing course, not a production course, on the art of expressing a brand in linear form—as a 30-second commercial for television and the Web or a longer branding video for the Web. When we say the Web we mean Web 2.0, which came about in the early 2000s and made it possible to share motion picture—in this case, digital video—with other users. The advent of Web 2.0 meant then—and still means—that almost anyone can the Web to brand by motion picture. Production costs have tumbled—another benefit of galloping technology. But you do need the understanding and the tools that have traditionally belonged to a small cadre of creatives in advertising agencies. Branding by Motion Picture shares one thing the creatives know that the rest of us don’t. They know that when you’re talking motion picture, you’re not reaching out to consumers—you’re reaching out to audiences. And audiences, despite their demographic and psychographic differences, all want to be entertained. People want to be told a good story. In a sense, nothing has changed since the Cro-Magnon campfire. We study branding videos and commercials for what they can teach us about brands, brand dynamics, audience needs and watchability. Most of all, we look at good storytelling. If the brand is the wool and the movie the yarn, the job of spinning the brand into a good yarn is not always straightforward or even logical. We search for method in the creative madness. There are no textbooks, only videos we watch, read about in the advertising press, and dissect. Students are invited to share interesting and provocative examples of work they find on the Web—including commercials. Branding by Motion Picture is a practical course. We give students the experience of “doing the creative”—developing brands and writing scripts to promote them. Written assignments take the form of creative briefs and or

    480.662.51 - Opinion Writing

    $3741

    Eric Rosenberg

    Tuesday 7:45 - 10:10; 5/12 - 8/4

    The world of Washington revolves around opinion, and access to the nation’s editorial and op-ed pages is key to making sure your opinions (or those of your employer) are successfully shared with the policy makers and opinion leaders who shape public policy. Opinion pieces carry far more impact than news; consequently, the editorial and op-ed pages are much more difficult markets to crack than the news pages. The editorial and op-ed pages have their own writing style and standards of news judgment; once a writer knows them, though, opinion writing is some of the most rewarding journalism, personally and professionally. Students in this class learn to understand the anatomy of good editorial writing; how to write for opinion sections of newspapers, magazines, and other news outlets; how to pitch op-ed and opinion pieces; and how to sell ideas to editorial boards.

    480.671.51 - Government Relations and Lobbying

    $3741

    Jane Alonso

    Thursday 5:15 - 7:40; 5/14 - 8/6

    This course introduces students to the practical applications of federal lobbying and governmental relations. Through discussion, reading, guest lectures and actual site visits, students gain valuable applied knowledge in the communication tactics of this influential business. The course is designed to teach the students a “how to” approach, with specific focus on successfully communicating with governmental officials, designing lobbying campaigns and reviewing the foundations of governmental representation. This class conducts a detailed study of the structure of our government, ethical standards, influence methods, cultural appreciation, and the specific communication skills necessary for all advocacy professionals. The class explores various political and applied principals that are needed in practicing governmental representation. The course also gives students a practical understanding and unusual knowledge of the art of lobbying.

  • Online Courses

    480.600.81 - Research & Writing Methods

    $3741

    Elizabeth Patton

    Online 5/11 - 8/15

    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

    $3741

    Elizabeth Patton

    Online 5/11 - 8/15

    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

    $3741

    Chan Le Thai

    Online 5/11 - 8/15

    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

    480.601.82 - Introduction to the Digital Age

    $3741

    Chan Le Thai

    Online 5/11 - 8/15

    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

    $3741

    Anna Armstrong

    Online 5/11 - 8/15

    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

    $3741

    Maria Siano

    Online 5/11 - 8/15

    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

    $3741

    Megan Fromm

    Online 5/11 - 8/15

    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

    Technology fee: $150

    480.604.82 - Media Effects

    $3741

    Megan Fromm

    Online 5/11 - 8/15

    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

    Technology Fee: $150

    480.605.81 - Organizational Communication

    $3741

    Veronica Marshall

    Online 5/11 - 8/15

    This course explores the complexities and strategies of internal and external communication in public, private, and non-profit organizations. As a leadership tool, communication serves a political, informational, symbolic and influential function. Organizational theory and research are core components of this course. Specifically, this course equips students to critique and develop the fundamentals of: vision and mission statements, strategic plans, white papers, annual reports, crisis communication, and marketing and promotional communication.

    Technology fee: $150

    480.606.81 - Persuasion

    $3741

    Jennifer Anne Bishop

    Online 5/11 - 8/15

    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

    480.609.81 - Applied Qualitative Research

    $3741

    Mary Miscally

    Online 5/11 - 8/15

    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, qualitative content analyses, and case studies. 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 research for Thesis or Practicum. Prerequisite: Research and Writing Methods.

    Technology fee: $150

    480.629.81 - Public Relations in the Age of Digital Influence

    $3741

    Tracey Schroeder

    Online 5/11 - 8/15

    Marketing and communication are changing. The levers that we have pulled for years to sell products and services, change behaviors, and advocate for causes no longer work the way they did. As trust in media and marketing plummets, trust in our peers, friends, family, and colleagues rises. Today we recognize new influencers in the people sitting next to us. Now, creating a conversation is just as important as driving media, forming partnerships and crafting messages. Call it influencer marketing or brand stewardship in the network age. It’s all public relations. This class covers how to create comprehensive digital-influence strategies and ultimately how to be an effective public relations professional in this new digital age.

    Technology fee: $150

    480.629.82 - Public Relations in the Age of Digital Influence

    $3741

    Sandra Moore

    Online 5/11 - 8/15

    Marketing and communication are changing. The levers that we have pulled for years to sell products and services, change behaviors, and advocate for causes no longer work the way they did. As trust in media and marketing plummets, trust in our peers, friends, family, and colleagues rises. Today we recognize new influencers in the people sitting next to us. Now, creating a conversation is just as important as driving media, forming partnerships and crafting messages. Call it influencer marketing or brand stewardship in the network age. It’s all public relations. This class covers how to create comprehensive digital-influence strategies and ultimately how to be an effective public relations professional in this new digital age.

    Technology Fee: $150

    480.630.81 - Multimedia Authoring

    $3741

    Gabriel Walsh

    Online 5/11 - 8/15

    This course is an introduction to techniques for reading, writing, analyzing, producing and publishing integrated forms of digital multimedia. Students will be assigned projects that explore the aesthetic, technological and communications concerns inherent in new media production for the online medium. The course emphasizes the understanding of key paradigms of the multimedia experience, including: integration, interactivity, hypermedia, and immersion essential to the construction of narrative forms specific to digital media. Production techniques and design strategies will be introduced for incorporating text, imagery, sound, and video into Web 2.0 applications such as blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. Readings will explore key issues in contemporary media and communications impacted by new and emerging digital technologies. The objective of the course is for students to learn the practical and critical skills necessary to achieve digital fluency for their professional work in the field of communication. This course was formerly called Essential Skills in Digital Media Literacy.

    Technology fee: $150

    480.630.82 - Multimedia Authoring

    $3741

    Gabriel Walsh

    Online 5/11 - 8/15

    This course is an introduction to techniques for reading, writing, analyzing, producing and publishing integrated forms of digital multimedia. Students will be assigned projects that explore the aesthetic, technological and communications concerns inherent in new media production for the online medium. The course emphasizes the understanding of key paradigms of the multimedia experience, including: integration, interactivity, hypermedia, and immersion essential to the construction of narrative forms specific to digital media. Production techniques and design strategies will be introduced for incorporating text, imagery, sound, and video into Web 2.0 applications such as blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. Readings will explore key issues in contemporary media and communications impacted by new and emerging digital technologies. The objective of the course is for students to learn the practical and critical skills necessary to achieve digital fluency for their professional work in the field of communication. This course was formerly called Essential Skills in Digital Media Literacy.

    Technology Fee: $150

    480.632.81 - Digital Political Strategy

    $3741

    Alan Rosenblatt

    Online 5/11 - 8/15

    No president will ever be elected again without an internet strategy. Mobile phones and Facebook are being used to organize mass protests. Thanks to YouTube, two Senators lost elections, and bloggers took down former CBS anchor Dan Rather and former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott. Clearly, the world of political and issue campaigns has changed in the digital age. In this course students explore new strategies possible in a networked world and learn what it takes to be a digital political strategist.

    Technology fee: $150

    480.643.81 - Branding and Advertising

    $3741

    Andrea Rojchin

    Online 5/11 - 8/15

    Branding and advertising are major components of any business or non-profit organization. Showcasing products and services in creative ways increases visibility and improves sales. This course teaches students how to develop brands, create concepts and develop advertising campaigns. Students also learn practical tips including how to organize a creative department, write a creative brief, create budgets and time-lines, research and purchase visual imagery, and how to determine appropriate media for particular branding and advertising campaigns.

    Technology fee: $150

    480.643.82 - Branding and Advertising

    $3741

    Andrea Rojchin

    Online 5/11 - 8/15

    Branding and advertising are major components of any business or non-profit organization. Showcasing products and services in creative ways increases visibility and improves sales. This course teaches students how to develop brands, create concepts and develop advertising campaigns. Students also learn practical tips including how to organize a creative department, write a creative brief, create budgets and time-lines, research and purchase visual imagery, and how to determine appropriate media for particular branding and advertising campaigns.

    Technology Fee: $150

    480.653.81 - Communicating for Social Change

    $3741

    Sharyn Sutton

    Online 5/11 - 8/15

    How do professionals in the nonprofit/government/issue-oriented world determine what messages will help their cause? Students in this skills-based course will work in teams to take on an issue and learn to make a difference. Students will learn a step-by-step process (Audience-based Communication) that many find so useful they immediately apply it to their professional settings or practicums and long after. This process shows how to determine the best role for communication and target the right audience segment. It also teaches how to determine what audience behavior change is needed to make a difference. Unlike for-profits campaigns typically focused on sales, it is often unclear what we actually need the audience to do to create social change. Students will learn how to motivate the audience, to create “social brands” that break through the clutter and to reach the audience when they can act. Examples are based on real world experiences and address some of the challenges involved in working in the nonprofit space.

    Technology fee: $150

    480.657.81 - Introduction to Public Relations

    $3741

    Lisa Fall

    Online 5/11 - 8/15

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists public relations as one of the fastest growing professions in the United States. This introductory course, designed for career changers and those new to public relations, details the ideas, skills, and principles that underlie the public relations craft. Students in this class study the role and contributions of public relations practitioners in contemporary society, learn about potential legal and ethical aspects of the practice of public relations, study the communication process and how persuasion is used with various audiences, and learn how to develop a strategic communication plan to achieve specific goals and objectives. The class will also introduce students to specialized practice areas within the public relations field such as business and industry, government, nonprofit and associations, and health care.

    Technology fee: $150

    480.686.81 - Behavior Change and Education through Entertainment

    $3741

    Kimberly Henderson

    Online 5/11 - 8/15

    This course explores the various ways communication professionals can use entertainment to educate people and encourage them to adopt and enjoy improved life styles. Throughout history, stories, drama, poetry, music, dance, and other entertainment formats have been used to enlighten and educate both adults and children. In today’s society, the channels of communication are ever increasing. This course investigates ways in which education can be subtly but effectively worked into both new and time-honored genres of entertainment to foster positive behavior change.

    Technology fee: $150

    480.801.81 - Independent Study

    $3741

    Jill Underhill

    Online 5/11 - 8/15

    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

    480.801.82 - Independent Study

    $3741

    Mary Miscally

    Online 5/1 - 8/15

    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.

    Technology Fee: $150

    480.802.81 - Independent Study

    $3741

    Debra Davenport

    Online 5/11 - 8/15

    This course is Practicum. Technology fee: $150