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

    Alexandra Merceron

    Monday 7:45 - 10:10; 9/8 - 12/1

    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.

    480.606.51 - Persuasion

    $3563

    Elizabeth Patton

    Wednesday 7:45 - 10:10; 9/3 - 12/3

    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

    480.624.51 - Press Secretary:Theory & Practice

    $3563

    Melissa Schwartz

    Wednesday 7:45 - 10:10; 9/3 - 12/3

    This class uses current events and interactive discussions to focus on the skills required to be an effective press secretary and communications advisor. It examines the roles, duties and responsibilities of press secretaries in a variety of settings: on Capitol Hill, in federal agencies, the White House, industry associations, non-profits, advocacy organizations, and political campaigns. The course includes engaging guest lectures that share insight from journalists, press secretaries, and communications professionals in the field about effective techniques and lessons learned. Students engage in real-time exercises that deal with typical situations that a press secretary faces in the course of a day, and participate in discussions on the complex environments in which a press secretary works. By the end of the course, students will be able to draft and distribute materials such as media strategy memos, press releases, talking points, and to plan a press conference.

    480.634.51 - Journalism & Publishing in the Digital Age

    $3563

    Mary Kane

    Monday 5:15 - 7:40; 9/8 - 12/1

    Publishing and journalism were once separate domains, but the internet and new media have radically changed that. The rise of so-called civic journalism and the ease of “publishing to the ‘net” raise pressing questions such as who is a journalist, and what does it mean nowadays to “publish” something. Is print dead? Is Google making us stupid? Will the iPad save publishing? Through lectures, readings, discussions and individual projects, this research seminar will attempt to answer such questions. We’ll also examine recent or ongoing controversies such as Wikileaks and the Google book project. We’ll explore the impact of new media (e.g. citizen journalism, social networking sites, online video, and mobile technologies) on both the publishing industry and the practice of journalism, and what the new media environment implies for communications professionals.

    480.636.51 - Web Writing and Content Strategy

    $3563

    Marjorie Agin

    Thursday 7:45 - 10:10; 9/4 - 12/4

    You have 3.5 seconds to capture a web visitor’s attention. How do you make sure your website entices them to stick around and learn more? This course examines how compelling web content is essential to engaging visitors and driving their behavior. We’ll explore writing styles appropriate for B2B and B2C websites and blogs, and work with a variety of content formats, such as videos, infographics, contests, polls, and more. Using the website as the hub for content, we’ll cover techniques for driving web visitors to your site with inbound and outbound content marketing strategies. We’ll discuss the intersection of search engine optimization, social media and content marketing and the importance of an integrated approach to content creation and distribution. Lectures and exercises draw on real-world examples from a variety of industries. By the end of the semester, students will be able to create and execute a comprehensive content marketing program.

    480.642.51 - Corporate Social Responsibility Campaigns

    $3563

    Beth Ruoff

    Tuesday 5:15 - 7:40; 9/9 - 12/2

    The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) movement is a world-wide phenomenon, and corporations, trade associations and nonprofits are being asked to step up and be accountable. Public relations and communication professionals need to develop the skills to prepare strategic communication plans that reflect their organization's commitment to CSR in order to protect and enhance their employer's reputation in the marketplace. This course examines the global CSR movement, explores the communication challenges it presents and offers practical suggestions and tactics to respond to this trend. The class features in-class activities, outside research and guest speakers from NGOs, communication firms, and major corporations with practical advice on meeting this challenge in the global marketplace.

    480.660.51 - Media Relations

    $3563

    Sandra Moore

    Tuesday 5:15 - 7:40; 9/9 - 12/2

    Media outreach is a critical piece of any strategic communication effort. This course prepares students to build, implement, and measure earned media programs that achieve policy, business and philanthropic objectives. Class lectures, guest speakers, readings and assignments give students an understanding of the priorities and expectations of various types of contemporary media, and how to successfully engage them through research-based strategies and tactics designed to reach key audiences.

    480.888.51 - Thesis Continuation

    $500

    Mary Miscally

    Students not finishing the thesis during the term in which they enroll in the Thesis course must enroll in Thesis Continuation in every ensuing semester (including summer) until they complete their degrees. It is not possible to take a semester off or a leave of absence while working on the thesis.

  • Online Courses

    480.600.81 - Research & Writing Methods

    $3563

    Elizabeth Patton

    Online 9/3 - 12/6

    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

    Anna Armstrong

    Online 9/3 - 12/6

    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

    Chan Le Thai

    Online 9/3 - 12/6

    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 9/3 - 12/6

    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 9/3 - 12/6

    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

    Online 9/3 - 12/6

    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

    480.603.82 - Communication in Practice

    $3563

    Susan Allen

    Online 9/3 - 12/6

    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

    Alexandra Merceron

    Online 9/3 - 12/6

    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

    $3563

    Jennifer Todd

    Online 9/3 - 12/6

    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

    480.606.81 - Persuasion

    $3563

    Jennifer Anne Bishop

    Online 9/3 - 12/6

    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

    480.632.81 - Digital Political Strategy

    $3563

    Alan Rosenblatt

    Online 9/3 - 12/6

    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

    480.637.81 - Using Social and Digital Media

    $3563

    You Jin Hur

    Online 9/3 - 12/6

    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

    480.637.82 - Using Social and Digital Media

    $3563

    You Jin Hur

    Online 9/3 - 12/6

    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

    480.654.81 - Strategic Communication Program Management

    $3563

    Benjamin Lozare

    Online 9/3 - 12/6

    This course covers strategic leadership and communication program development, management and evaluation. It emphasizes basic communication research, strategic communication objectives and message design, selection of media, development of materials, management of teams and impact evaluation. Crisis and issues management as well as the use of new communication technologies are also covered. The course focuses on a step-by-step design of a communication program using the highly acclaimed SCOPE (Strategic Communication Planning and Evaluation) Web learning and planning software. Students develop two strategic communication programs, one as individual work and another as part of a team. Lectures and discussions utilize case studies to illustrate key points and desired learning. This course combines reality-based and conceptual approaches to provide students with the intellectual tools needed to assume senior management or outside counsel roles in developing and implementing fully integrated communication programs.

    Technology fee: $150

    480.654.82 - Strategic Communication Program Management

    $3563

    Benjamin Lozare

    Online 9/3 - 12/6

    This course covers strategic leadership and communication program development, management and evaluation. It emphasizes basic communication research, strategic communication objectives and message design, selection of media, development of materials, management of teams and impact evaluation. Crisis and issues management as well as the use of new communication technologies are also covered. The course focuses on a step-by-step design of a communication program using the highly acclaimed SCOPE (Strategic Communication Planning and Evaluation) Web learning and planning software. Students develop two strategic communication programs, one as individual work and another as part of a team. Lectures and discussions utilize case studies to illustrate key points and desired learning. This course combines reality-based and conceptual approaches to provide students with the intellectual tools needed to assume senior management or outside counsel roles in developing and implementing fully integrated communication programs.

    Technology fee: $150

    480.668.81 - Understanding Markets and Audiences

    $3563

    Sharyn Sutton

    Online 9/3 - 12/6

    This course demonstrates the important role market research—and the use of existing data to better understand audience and environment—plays in the overall campaign process. This course will focus on the integral steps that facilitate target audience definition and how to extract a keen understanding of this audience and its interactions within its environment to develop effective campaign strategy. The course’s structure and various assignments will often mimic a client/consultant relationship to ensure a real-world experience. To that end, the instructors will play the role of “client” in many instances, asking students to articulate how an assignment or deliverable contributes to the overall goals of the campaign.

    Technology fee: $150

    480.669.81 - Emergency & Risk Communication

    $3563

    Keith Robertory

    Online 9/3 - 12/6

    Emergency and risk communication are an emerging set of practices that convey credible, accurate and real-time information about adverse events and the degree of risk they pose. In a post-Katrina, post-9/11 environment, communication professionals must be familiar with best practices in emergency and risk communication to effectively work with government, industry, the media, and the general public during crises and longer-term threats involving health, safety, security, and the environment. In this course, students become familiar with the core principles of emergency and risk communications and risk perception and have an opportunity to apply strategic communication approaches to real-world risk scenarios. Students learn to apply strategic communication approaches used in emergency preparedness, environmental health, food security, national security and financial security.

    Technology fee: $150

    480.675.81 - Public Policy Management & Advocacy

    $3563

    Wendy Feliz

    Online 9/3 - 12/6

    Washington D.C. is home to thousands of organizations attempting to influence public policy. Associations, foundations, think tanks and private lobbying firms are all competing for the attention of policymakers and the public. These groups invariably need competent communicators who can help them cut through jargon, crystallize their messages and strategically communicate with the key audiences imperative to advancing their policy goals. This course introduces students to the deliberate process organizations undertake to speak out on issues and exert influence over the policies that have the potential to impact them and the way they do business. The class will cover how organizations conduct advocacy efforts and how communication is used as a tool to advance policy change. Students will gain a practical understanding of how policy groups and communications professionals operate in the field.

    Technology fee: $150

    480.681.81 - Communication Evaluation

    $3563

    Mary Miscally

    Online 9/3 - 12/6

    This course will prepare communication researchers to gather evidence that guides the planning, implementation, and refinement of communication campaigns. Throughout the semester, students will practice using evaluation to inform the various stages of a communication effort based on real world conditions. They will draw from behavior theory; and formative (including pretesting), process, and summative evaluation. They also will learn how to ensure the protection of the rights of human research participants.

    Technology fee: $150

    480.686.81 - Behavior Change and Education through Entertainment

    $3563

    Kimberly Henderson

    Online 9/3 - 12/6

    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

    $3563

    Mary Miscally

    Online 9/3 - 12/6

    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

    480.801.82 - Independent Study

    $3563

    Mary Miscally

    Online 9/3 - 12/13

    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.

    Tecnology fee: $150

    480.802.81 - Independent Study

    $3563

    Susan Allen

    Online 9/3 - 12/6

    Technology fee: $150