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Online MA Course Descriptions

MA in Communication Course Descriptions

COM 501 Communication Research

This course introduces you to three approaches to conducting research on communication topics – post-positivist, interpretive and critical. It is not intended to provide expertise in any one area of research methods, but rather to provide an overview of the various methodological approaches employed in the field of communication. Readings and other materials are designed to assist you in understanding and critiquing a range of methods.

COM 504 Communication Theories
Theories provide a way to understand, predict, and explain communication processes. In this course, readings and other materials are designed to assist you in understanding and critiquing how theory is used to explain communication phenomena. Through these materials, you will be introduced to three primary theoretical traditions within the communication discipline – post-positivist, interpretive and critical. 

COM 540 Conducting Research in Communication
This course is designed to help you develop the skills necessary to conduct communication research in the workplace. It will draw on the material you were introduced in COM 501 and 504 as well as the content courses you have taken. The course is organized around students’ interests and engagement with graduate level communication material, ideas, themes, theories and questions. Readings and other materials are chosen to help you develop the writing, analytic and methodological skills required to develop a project proposal. You may develop a proposal for your capstone project or a project that you would like to conduct in the future

COM 550 Capstone
This course serves as the culminating experience of the Master of Arts in Communication. The capstone course allows each student to develop a project that answers a question or solves a problem tailored to their interests, needs, and goals. Readings and other materials are designed to assist students in completing their specific capstone projects. Final products will be developed individually based on consultation with faculty. 

COM 598 Communication and Conflict Transformation
This course focuses on the theory and practice of conflict. Course readings, including both academic and research-based applied texts, address principles of conflict and negotiation. You will be required to engage in a variety of applied conflict activities and reflect on your experiences and the relevance of theory to your experiences. This class also provides participants with the opportunity to analyze how understanding conflict processes can transform lives. 

COM 598 Training and Development
This course engages students in the process of creating and delivering training framed within communication theory and processes. The key elements covered include: needs analysis, curriculum design, training development, delivery, and evaluation. To support a successful end-product, course work will include assessment of training trends, support from theory, and effective application.     

COM 598 Communication in Global Contexts
Globalization is a profound influence on contemporary societies, including facilitating greater opportunities for communication across regional and international borders.

This course will help you develop critical understanding of the role of media and communication technology in the changing infrastructures, networks and boundaries of an increasingly globalized world. You will examine historical and contemporary communication practices that foster global development, migrations and inequalities. You will also investigate critical issues in intercultural and international communication through selected case studies. Upon completion of the course, you will have an enhanced understanding of the formation and maintenance of transnational identity, community and authority to advance civic engagement, sustainability and social justice. 

COM 598 Communication in the Workplace
This course is designed to advance students' understanding of the role of communication in workplace interactions and professional achievement. Students will be introduced to and discuss key scholarly perspectives, which will enable them to (a) better grasp the changing nature of modern work, (b) analyze their own work experiences, and (c) improve their adaptability at work through applying their knowledge of communicative interactions. Key topics include technology implementation, knowledge management, virtual work, workplace diversity, leadership, social capital, and organizational identification and socialization.                               

COM 598 Communication and Gender
In this course, you will investigate the role that gender and identity play in communication and the life of an organization. The course will provide students with a theoretical overview of the topics as well as opportunities for personal reflection and discussion. At the conclusion of the course, students will have acquired practical skills necessary to recognize some of the barriers to effective communication and a variety of tools and strategies with which to manage interactions within organizations.                

COM 598 Social Influence and Persuasion 
This class examines major social science theories and research in the area of social influence and persuasion. This class introduces key variables that lead to attitude and behavior change, discusses how these variables are related to one another from multiple theoretical perspectives, and applies these concepts, theories, and research to a variety of communication contexts.                             

COM 598 Crisis Management and Communication
The purpose of this course is to develop theoretical and practical knowledge of issues related to organizational crises and the role that communication can play in preventing, creating, mitigating, or compounding a crisis event. Learners will investigate strategic communication practices throughout the three stages of an organizational crisis: pre-crisis, crisis, and post crisis. In each stage of the crisis model, specific topics will address lessons learned from past events and applicable recommendations that learners can apply in their own organizations.     

COM 598 Theory and Practice of Negotiating
The course focuses on the theory and practice of negotiating as well as how theory and practice influence one another. Course readings, including both academic and research-based applied texts, address principles of effective negotiating and the impact of emotion, sex, and culture, among other topics, on practice. Students are required to engage in a variety of applied negotiation activities and to reflect on their experiences and the relevance of theory to their experiences in written assignments and class discussion boards.