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: Students should be aware of additional state-specific information for online programs. For more information, please contact an admissions representative.

  • Washington DC Center

    480.604.51 - Theory of Mass Communication Practices

    $4007

    Jennifer Bishop

    Tuesday 7:45 - 10:15; 5/16 - 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

    480.660.51 - Media Relations

    $4007

    Shawn Ghuman

    Wednesday 5:15 - 7:45; 5/10 - 8/9

    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.

  • Online Courses

    480.600.81 - Research & Writing Methods

    $4007

    James Lyle

    Online 5/10 - 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 Fees: $175.00

    480.600.82 - Research & Writing Methods

    $4007

    Alexandra Merceron

    Online 5/10 - 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 Fees: $175.00

    480.601.81 - Introduction to the Digital Age

    $4007

    Mark Story

    Online 5/10 - 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 Fees: $175.00

    480.601.82 - Introduction to the Digital Age

    $4007

    Kristin Hocevar

    Online 6/28 - 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

    480.602.81 - Changing Behavior through Communication

    $4007

    Kristin Hocevar

    Online 5/10 - 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

    480.603.81 - Communication in Practice

    $4007

    Megan Fromm

    Online 5/10 - 8/15

    (This course is reserved only for those students who are admitted to the program with Provisional status. If you are a degree candidate, or are not a Communication student, you can not take this course.) 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 showcase their personal brand, talents, and skills in communication.

    Technology Fees: $175.00

    480.604.81 - Theory of Mass Communication Practices

    $4007

    Megan Tucker

    Online 5/10 - 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 Fees: $175.00

    480.605.81 - Organizational Communication

    $4007

    Stella-Monica Mpande

    Online 5/10 - 8/15

    This course explores the complexities and strategies of internal and external communications in public, private, and non-profit organizations. As a leadership tool, communications serves a political, informational, symbolic and influential function. Topics covered include a competency-based approach of organizational communication, the interplay between internal and external communications, communicating effectiveness through problem-solving, decision-making, managing conflict and mitigating crises, organizational change management, addressing workforce diversity issues and others. Students gain exposure to various dimensions of organizational communication from different industry leaders and field experts and gain first-hand experience in critiquing, crafting and developing communication strategies, tactics and tools, as communication professionals and leaders in the workplace.

    Technology Fees: $175.00

    480.606.81 - Persuasion

    $4007

    Stella-Monica Mpande

    Online 5/10 - 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 Fees: $175.00

    480.609.81 - Applied Qualitative Research

    $4007

    Jennifer Todd

    Online 5/10 - 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. Prerequisite: 480.600 Research and Writing Methods.

    Technology Fees: $175.00

    480.622.81 - Branding by Motion Picture

    $4007

    Stephen Menick

    Online 5/10 - 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. We study commercials and branding videos for what they can tell us about brands, audience desires and watchability. Students also choose and develop brands and write scripts in the commercial and branding video formats. Branding by Motion Picture gives students the understanding and the tools that have traditionally belonged to a small cadre of creatives in advertising agencies.

    Technology Fees: $175.00

    480.632.81 - Digital Political Strategy

    $4007

    Alan Rosenblatt

    Online 5/10 - 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 Fees: $175.00

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

    $4007

    Shonali Burke

    Online 5/10 - 8/15

    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 Fees: $175.00

    480.638.81 - Utilizing Images: Media Literacy In Practice

    $4007

    Taylor Hahn

    Online 5/10 - 8/15

    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 Fees: $175.00

    480.643.81 - Branding and Advertising

    $4007

    Dennis Goris

    Online 5/10 - 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 Fees: $175.00

    480.646.81 - Managerial Communication

    $4007

    Nancy Mayes

    Online 5/10 - 8/15

    Writer and historian James Humes said, “The art of communication is the language of leadership.” It is that simple comment that forms the foundation of this course. Here students explore the role of communication with stakeholders including subordinates, superiors, internal and external customers, suppliers and the community. Students examine effective communication in hiring and promoting, in conflict, in community interaction and in the internal communication of an organization. The class is built around three precepts or questions: With whom does one communicate, what does one communicate and how does one communicate effectively?

    Technology Fees: $175.00

    480.653.81 - Communicating for Social Change

    $4007

    LaKesha Anderson

    Online 5/10 - 8/15

    How do professionals in the nonprofit/government/issue- oriented world determine what communication strategies will help their cause? Students will be introduced to various critical theoretical frameworks and sets of conditions that describe how social challenges occur. Students in this skills-based course will individually identify a social change challenge, target specific audiences and develop various communication strategies and tactics that will advocate for, and guide their desired social change. Examples are based on global real-world experiences and address some of the challenges involved in working in the nonprofit space.

    Technology Fees: $175.00

    480.654.81 - Strategic Communication Program Management

    $4007

    Benjamin Lozare

    Online 5/10 - 8/15

    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 Fees: $175.00

    480.675.81 - Public Policy Management & Advocacy

    $4007

    Sean Luechtefeld

    Online 5/10 - 8/15

    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 Fees: $175.00

    480.686.81 - Behavior Change and Education through Entertainment

    $4007

    Kimberly Henderson

    Online 5/10 - 6/27

    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 Fees: $175.00

    480.888.81 - Thesis Continuation

    $500

    Taylor Hahn

    Online 5/10 - 8/15

    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.