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 currently cannot conduct internships in Massachusetts or North Carolina. For more information, please contact an admissions representative. Students should be aware of additional state-specific information for online programs.

  • Washington DC Center

    480.602.51 - Changing Behavior through Communication

    $3853

    Jennifer Anne Bishop

    Wednesday 6:00 - 9:00; 6/1 - 8/17

    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

    480.622.51 - Branding by Motion Picture

    $3853

    Stephen Menick

    Thursday 6:00 - 9:00; 6/2 - 8/18

    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.

    480.665.51 - Speech Writing

    $3853

    Eric Schnure

    Tuesday 6:00 - 9:00; 5/31 - 8/16

    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.

  • Online Courses

    480.600.81 - Research & Writing Methods

    $3853

    LaKesha Anderson

    Online 5/31 - 8/22

    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: $175.00

    480.600.82 - Research & Writing Methods

    $3853

    Chan Le Thai

    Online 5/31 - 8/22

    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: $175.00

    480.601.81 - Introduction to the Digital Age

    $3853

    Kristin Hocevar

    Online 5/11 - 7/5

    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: $175.00

    480.601.82 - Introduction to the Digital Age

    $3853

    Chan Le Thai

    Online 5/31 - 8/22

    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: $175.00

    480.603.81 - Communication in Practice

    $3853

    Megan Fromm

    Online 5/31 - 8/22

    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: $175.00

    480.604.81 - Theory of Mass Communication Practices

    $3853

    Kristin Hocevar

    Online 5/31 - 8/22

    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: $175.00

    480.606.81 - Persuasion

    $3853

    Alexander Markov

    Online 5/31 - 8/22

    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: $175.00

    480.609.81 - Applied Qualitative Research

    $3853

    Jennifer Todd

    Online 5/31 - 8/22

    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: $175.00

    480.629.81 - Public Relations in the Age of Digital Influence

    $3853

    You Jin Hur

    Online 5/31 - 8/22

    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: $175.00

    480.630.81 - Multimedia Authoring

    $3853

    Gabriel Walsh

    Online 5/31 - 8/22

    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: $175.00

    480.632.81 - Digital Political Strategy

    $3853

    Alan Rosenblatt

    Online 5/31 - 8/22

    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: $175.00

    480.643.81 - Branding and Advertising

    $3853

    Dennis Goris

    Online 5/31 - 8/22

    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: $175.00

    480.646.81 - Managerial Communication

    $3853

    Nancy Mayes

    Online 5/31 - 8/22

    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 Fee: $175.00

    480.646.82 - Managerial Communication

    $3853

    Nancy Mayes

    Online 5/31 - 8/22

    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 fee: $175.00

    480.653.81 - Communicating for Social Change

    $3853

    Stella-Monica Mpande

    Online 5/31 - 8/22

    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: $175.00

    480.659.81 - Crisis Communication

    $3853

    Jennifer Todd

    Online 5/11 - 7/5

    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: $175.00

    480.660.81 - Media Relations

    $3853

    Stella-Monica Mpande

    Online 5/31 - 8/22

    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.

    Technology Fee: $175.00

    480.661.81 - International Public Relations and Public Diplomacy

    $3853

    Joan Mower

    Online 5/31 - 8/22

    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: $175.00

    480.670.81 - Law for Communication Professionals

    $3853

    Scott Schmidt

    Online 5/31 - 8/22

    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: $175.00

    480.686.81 - Behavior Change and Education through Entertainment

    $3853

    Kimberly Henderson

    Online 5/11 - 7/5

    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: $175.00

    480.801.81 - Independent Study

    $3853

    LaKesha Anderson

    Online 5/31 - 8/22

    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: $175.00

    480.804.81 - Practicum

    $3853

    Debra Brittain Davenport

    Online 5/31 - 8/22

    Strategic-planning students complete the Practicum course during their last semester in the MA in Communication program. This optional core course offers a culminating experience that helps students integrate new or enhanced capabilities into a significant evidence-based project relevant to their profession. Each student can identify an organization or individual in need of support for a communication-related project and how to fulfill that need. In addition, the student must prepare (a) a proposal that outlines objectives, scope of work, any deliverables, timeline, and method for evaluating achievement of objectives; and (b) any final deliverables. The student must complete the Practicum course in one semester.

    Technology Fee: $175.00

    480.888.81 - Thesis Continuation

    $3853

    Kisha Coa

    Online 5/11 - 8/16

    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.