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.

  • Online Courses

    480.600.81 - Research & Writing Methods

    Patricia Hernandez

    Online 5/27 - 8/18

    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: $200.00

    480.600.82 - Research & Writing Methods

    James Lyle

    Online 5/27 - 8/18

    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: $200.00

    480.601.81 - Introduction to the Digital Age

    Thomas McCloskey

    Online 5/27 - 8/18

    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: $200.00

    480.601.82 - Introduction to the Digital Age

    Thomas McCloskey

    Online 5/27 - 8/18

    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: $200.00

    480.601.83 - Introduction to the Digital Age

    Thomas McCloskey

    Online 5/27 - 8/18

    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: $200.00

    480.602.81 - Changing Behavior through Communication

    Kristen Willett

    Online 5/27 - 8/18

    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: $200.00

    480.602.82 - Changing Behavior through Communication

    Kristen Willett

    Online 5/27 - 8/18

    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: $200.00

    480.603.81 - Communication in Practice

    Danielle Leek

    Online 5/27 - 8/18

    (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 Fee: $200.00

    480.604.81 - Theory of Mass Communication Practices

    Sean Luechtefeld

    Online 5/27 - 8/18

    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: $200.00

    480.605.81 - Organizational Communication

    Megan Tucker

    Online 5/27 - 8/18

    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 Fee: $200.00

    480.606.81 - Persuasion

    Jo Ellen Barnhart

    Online 5/27 - 8/18

    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: $200.00

    480.633.81 - Interactive Marketing and Advertising

    You Jin Hur

    Online 5/27 - 8/18

    Understanding the ever-changing world of digital marketing is no longer optional - it is critical. This course is based on real world case studies from known brands that demonstrate best practices for owned, earned and paid digital communications strategies. Students will learn how to define target audiences, establish KPI’s (key performance indicators), measure results and learn how to optimize user experience. We will also gauge the importance of strong and relevant content and choosing the right digital channels. Students will understand how to apply social media, e-mail marketing, SMS, digital advertising, organic search engine optimization, mobile and native apps and others. We will introduce emerging technologies and trends and how they influence digital marketing and advertising practices.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    480.633.82 - Interactive Marketing and Advertising

    You Jin Hur

    Online 5/27 - 8/18

    Understanding the ever-changing world of digital marketing is no longer optional - it is critical. This course is based on real world case studies from known brands that demonstrate best practices for owned, earned and paid digital communications strategies. Students will learn how to define target audiences, establish KPI’s (key performance indicators), measure results and learn how to optimize user experience. We will also gauge the importance of strong and relevant content and choosing the right digital channels. Students will understand how to apply social media, e-mail marketing, SMS, digital advertising, organic search engine optimization, mobile and native apps and others. We will introduce emerging technologies and trends and how they influence digital marketing and advertising practices.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

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

    Shonali Burke

    Online 5/27 - 8/18

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

    Technology Fee: $200.00

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

    Shonali Burke

    Online 5/27 - 8/18

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

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    480.638.81 - Utilizing Images: Media Literacy In Practice

    Taylor Hahn

    Online 5/27 - 8/18

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

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    480.638.82 - Utilizing Images: Media Literacy In Practice

    Taylor Hahn

    Online 5/27 - 8/18

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

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    480.654.81 - Strategic Communication Program Management

    Debra Davenport

    Online 5/27 - 8/18

    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: $200.00

    480.657.81 - Introduction to Public Relations

    Patricia Hernandez

    Online 5/27 - 8/18

    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: $200.00

    480.659.81 - Risk and Crisis Communication

    LaKesha Anderson

    Online 5/27 - 8/18

    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: $200.00

    480.660.81 - Media Relations

    Julian Teixeira

    Online 5/27 - 8/18

    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: $200.00

    480.665.81 - Speech Writing

    Mary Walker

    Online 5/27 - 8/18

    Speech writing is one of the most important but least instructed skills for communications professionals. Through hands-on practice, students learn to write speeches for diverse audiences and contexts. Throughout the course, students will curate a speaker's narrative and public persona to develop a portfolio of work. The portfolio encompasses speeches for ceremonial occasions, public policy speeches and the keynote address. The course also incorporates practical considerations such as the speech writer's role in analyzing speaking situations and audiences, and collaborative drafting processes typical of large organizations.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    480.686.81 - Behavior Change and Education through Entertainment

    Megan Tucker

    Online 5/27 - 8/18

    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: $200.00

    480.806.81 - Practicum: Independent Study

    Debra Davenport

    Online 5/27 - 8/18

    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: $200.00

    480.888.81 - Thesis Continuation

    Kristen Willett
    Megan Tucker

    Online 5/27 - 8/18

    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.

    Technology Fee: $200.00