Course Descriptions | Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • Communication Arts Classes

    COM 121

    INTRODUCTION TO MASS MEDIA is designed to help students understand the critical process of mass communication in modern life. A survey is presented of the history, functions, and responsibilities of newspapers, radio, television, and interactive media. (Social Science Core)
    3 credit hours

    COM 122

    MEDIA AND SOCIETY investigates issues related to the economic, technological, political, and social determinants of the character and content of mass communications and their effect on society. 
    3 credit hours

    COM 123

    CATHOLIC WORLDVIEW OF MEDIA challenges students to think critically about traditional and modern media. Students analyze TV, film, video games, graphic novels/comics, apps, and other media using a Catholic media framework grounded in Scripture and the magisterial documents. This course seeks to address the Church’s call to engage media as channels to communicate truth, goodness, and beauty, to proclaim the media component of the Catholic heart, and contribute to the greater whole of Catholic thought and formation. It is also founded on the richness of the Franciscan themes of the incarnation (physicality and creation–awe, beauty, wonder–as pointing to the Creator), personal and communal (development of the whole human person created in the image and likeness of God), transformative (inspires toward the true, good, and beautiful), and engagement of the heart (simplicity at a profound level; God as ultimate fulfillment of our desires; Jesus Christ revealing man to himself (Gaudium et Spes 22)). (Social Science Core)
    3 credit hours

    COM 221

    CHURCH AND THE MEDIA examines both religious and mainstream media and their relationship to the Catholic Church. This course studies the role of the media in the world and in the Church; the Catholic Church’s teachings and pastoral guidelines for both communicators and consumers of the media; and the Church’s use of media in evangelization, education, and pastoral communication. 
    3 credit hours

    COM 222

    CRITICAL TV VIEWING surveys contemporary methods of critical analysis of television. Using a model of criticism based on Aristotle’s Rhetoric, four general areas are examined: programming genres, cultural significance of content, social viewing habits, and visual literacy. This course helps the individual develop “active viewing skills” that can be used by media producers, critics, or consumers. 
    Cross-listed with FLM 222 
    3 credit hours

    COM 223

    NEWS GATHERING focuses on the collecting of information for news stories. Content includes evaluating and using interviews, surveys, government and other documents, participant observation, field experiments, and the Internet as means of gathering information. 
    3 credit hours

    COM 242

    RADIO/TELEVISION PERFORMANCE focuses on the development of performance skills for the electronic media. Students explore various broadcast and non-broadcast performance situations (radio and television commercials, news, interviews), analyze the techniques used, and then practice those techniques. Class work includes studio performance assignments with regular evaluations. Lab fee. 
    3 credit hours

    COM 243

    BROADCAST AND ELECTRONIC MEDIA explores the function and structure of radio, television, and digital communication technologies in the United States. The course includes individual and group projects designed to introduce students to digital production and distribution processes. 
    3 credit hours

    COM 254

    RADIO/TELEVISION SCRIPTWRITING provides practical scriptwriting experience for radio and television. The process of developing scripts for a variety of broadcast applications is presented. It also covers format rules for a variety of genres including public affairs, drama, and commercials. 
    3 credit hours

    COM 261

    NEWS REPORTING provides instruction and practice in writing basic news stories using proper language skills and news judgment. The course addresses news values, elements of a news story, and duties and responsibilities of a journalist. Students receive practice in writing various types of news stories. Lab fee. 
    3 credit hours

    COM 263

    PUBLIC AFFAIRS REPORTING trains students to research and write about the social, political, and economic subjects that constitute public affairs. In this advanced news reporting course, students write stories about local issues and events. 
    Prerequisite: COM 261 or permission of instructor
    3 credit hours

    COM 281

    GRAPHIC DESIGN Does the old saying “a picture speaks a thousand words” hold true? How often do you encounter images in your day? How prevalent are visual presentations in media today? How do you interpret what you see? How do others? This course addresses these and other related design issues. The premise is that visual messages have great power to communicate, inform, educate, and persuade both individuals and culture. Through hands-on exercises, research, group critiques, and discourses, students learn industry-standard graphic design applications while creating a capstone project that serves as a foundation to a personal employment portfolio.
    Prerequisite: COM Majors or permission of instructor
    3 credit hours

    COM 321

    PUBLIC RELATIONS is an introduction to public relations as a profession of applied communications. The course analyzes public relations in its place, purpose, processes, tools, and the many publics to which it applies. Print and electronic releases, features, and graphic design are all considered. 
    3 credit hours

    COM 322

    ADVERTISING covers basic principles of the advertising field from various viewpoints: methods, management, and media. Research, planning, and the creative aspects of advertising are examined through class lectures, discussions, and small group and individual projects. 
    3 credit hours

    COM 325

    CINEMA STUDIES traces the historical development of the modern cinema. This survey course focuses on significant directors, movements, influences, films, and terminology. Special attention is paid to the tension between film as art and/or commerce. The course will help students identify important moral and philosophical issues raised by serious as well as entertainment films. It will also help students develop an appreciation of the artistry involved in film production. This course includes weekly screenings of significant films. 2 credits lecture; 1 credit lab
    Cross-listed with FLM 325 
    3 credit hours

    COM 326

    GLOBAL MEDIA examines globalization’s impact on the means of communication found in countries around the world. Special emphasis is placed on European and Asian communication systems. This course addresses international regulations, technology, and issues. The effects of communication in developing countries and international religious broadcasting are also examined. 
    3 credit hours

    COM 327

    INTERNET COMMUNICATION AND WEB DESIGN It is an understatement to say that the Internet is commonplace in our age and culture. Yet, what precisely is Internet communication? How do we communicate with others through the medium and tools of the Internet? How important is web design in Internet communication? What constitutes web design? Students examine these and other related questions in this practical, hands-on course by critically thinking through, discussing, and creating media projects that communicate online.
    Prerequisite: COM 281 or permission of the instructor
    3 credit hours

    COM 328

    FILM ANALYSIS AND THEORY surveys the major theories and tools utilized in the analysis of narrative, experimental, and documentary cinema, including formal analysis, semiotics, phenomenology, genre studies and related approaches. Includes screenings of significant films and application of analytical techniques.
    Cross-listed with FLM 328 
    3 credit hours

    COM 329

    CINEMA OF INDIA covers the historical development of the world’s largest film industry from 1896 to the present, focusing on significant directors, movements, films, terminology, and the influence of socio-cultural factors. The course highlights the tension between popular (musical) and artistic (non-musical) film. It also assists students in developing a deeper understanding of non-western modes of cinematic storytelling and culture. Includes weekly screenings. All lectures, readings, and discussions are in English. 2 credits lecture; 1 credit lab 
    Cross-listed with FLM 329 
    3 credit hours

    COM 331

    MYSTERIES IN FILM compares and contrasts filmic and literary versions of major mystery stories written by various authors, focusing on how they approach a popular fiction genre from various perspectives. Representative works, critical analysis and biographical information will all be included in the course. Other mystery genre short stories and films will be compared and contrasted. 2 credits lecture; 1 credit lab 
    Cross-listed with FLM 331 
    3 credit hours

    COM 341

    RADIO AND AUDIO PRODUCTION I* trains students in the skills of radio and audio production and recording. Writing and producing radio programs, news features, dramas, and digital commercials are carried out through group and individual projects. Lab fee. 
    3 credit hours

    COM 342

    TELEVISION PRODUCTION I* introduces studio and remote video production techniques. Cameras, audio and visual equipment, directing, scriptwriting, and graphics are also included. Work is completed through group and individual projects. Lab fee.
    3 credit hours

    COM 343

    VIDEO EDITING focuses on the theory and processes of digital video editing for broadcast, professional, and multimedia productions. Both aesthetic and technical principles are applied through small group and individual projects. Lab fee. 
    3 credit hours

    COM 345

    INDEPENDENT DIGITAL FILMMAKING focuses on the skills needed to create short independent digital films, including budgeting, scripting, location scouting, rehearsing, lighting, filming, editing, scoring, mixing, and marketing. Students will explore the relationship between cinema, culture, and society by producing a short film that makes an important statement about our world today. Students will also explore opportunities to market their films via digital technologies, contests, and the like. 
    Cross-listed with FLM 345 
    3 credit hours

    COM 346

    PODCASTING AND SOCIAL MEDIA PRODUCTION introduces students to effective design and production of audio and video content for social media consumers. Course discussions and hands-on projects include audio and video podcasting, on-demand streaming media, and media production for mobile devices. The course provides students with the perspective and introductory skills needed to produce effective audio and video content for a range of social media applications and user environments. 
    No prerequisites 
    3 credit hours

    COM 352

    RADIO/TELEVISION NEWS* explores techniques of writing, reporting, and editing news for radio and television; rewriting wire copy; shooting; and editing. Students are also introduced to ENG (Electronic News Gathering). Individual and small group projects are included. Lab fee. 
    3 credit hours

    COM 353

    TELEVISION NEWS focuses on the role of television news and techniques used in reporting and production. This course first examines the political, economic, and professional factors used to determine the content of local and network news programs. Students then produce, report, and edit television news stories on location and work as teams to plan, produce, and participate in full-length television news programs. Lab fee. 
    Prerequisite: COM 352 or permission of the instructor 
    3 credit hours

    COM 362

    EDITORIAL WRITING instructs students in the theory and practice of writing editorials and columns about issues facing society. The course emphasizes the important function of a free press in a democracy. Works of prominent newspaper columnists and editorial writers are also studied. 
    3 credit hours

    COM 365

    PUBLICATION DESIGN* covers the theories and practice of graphic design, typography and page layout using electronic publishing techniques. Although newspaper design is emphasized, the skills acquired in this course can be adapted for the production of newsletters, magazines, and other forms of publication. Lab fee. 
    3 credit hours

    COM 366

    DESKTOP PUBLISHING provides instruction in the production of camera-ready graphic material on a computer. It introduces students to elementary graphic design, basic typography, and various computer resources. The course also serves as an introduction to using the layout, drawing, and image-manipulation software used by newspapers, magazines, and other publications created on computers. Lab fee. 
    3 credit hours

    COM 367

    REVIEW AND CRITICISM WRITING is designed to teach students to write well-researched articles about American popular culture. In this course, students apply media analysis techniques to produce opinion essays of publishable quality. To this end, students also read and assess the work of noteworthy journalists. 
    3 credit hours

    COM 368

    FEATURE WRITING instructs students to create literary feature stories suitable for publication in newspapers and magazines. Students also will analyze a magazine and write a query letter in an attempt to publish their work. 
    3 credit hours

    COM 369

    NEWS EDITING* concentrates on the principles and practice of copy editing, newspaper style, headline writing, cutline writing, and coaching writers. 
    3 credit hours

    COM 370

    JOURNALISM CONVERGENCE is a course designed to introduce the student to a variety of technologies and skills needed to be a journalist of the future. Current industry practices call upon journalists to gather information, write stories and prepare/edit stories for print, online and Page 41broadcast media. This course is designed to provide students with the perspective and introductory skills of a backpack journalist, one who gathers and produces news for a variety of media. 
    3 credit hours

    COM 381

    WRITING FOR INTERACTIVE MEDIA How does one write non-sequentially to accommodate user-selected pathways in interactive media such as websites, video games, and multimedia productions? How does one create immersive, compelling, and emotional content for storylines that may change depending on which button a user clicks on? This course has students designing an interactive media project that involves multi-path elements and structures. 
    3 credit hours

    COM 384

    DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY AND FINE ART introduces students to the elements used by digital photographers, multimedia designers, compositors, and digital matte artists. Class/studio time comprises a combination of lectures, discussions, demonstrations, presentations, critiques, and hands-on use of multimedia hardware and software. 
    3 credit hours

    COM 400

    INTERNSHIP is a work-experience opportunity with the purpose of expanding education by applying accumulated knowledge in communication arts—journalism, radio/television, multi-media. The availability of internships is limited to upper-level students, normally juniors and seniors with a 2.5 quality point average. Students are approved individually by the academic department. A contract can be obtained from the Career Services Office in Starvaggi Hall. Internships count as general electives.
    Prerequisites: Communications Major senior standing and permission of the department chair; COM 121, 122, 243 or 261 and 3 more upper level elective (equivalent to a minor). Internships must be preapproved.

    COM 422

    MEDIA ETHICS is an overview of how media personnel make difficult decisions when confronted with ethical dilemmas. The course examines case studies of ethical situations in the context of classical philosophers as well as contemporary media practitioners. 
    3 credit hours

    COM 423

    MASS MEDIA LAW focuses on laws and regulations that affect media personnel in the performance of their everyday duties. This course addresses how the law, interpretations of the law, and court rulings have changed over the years. Topics covered include the First Amendment, libel, privacy, Freedom of Information Act, free press vs. fair trial, obscenity, copyright, and regulation of broadcast and electronic media. 
    3 credit hours

    COM 432

    PRACTICUM provides practical experience in producing a major publication, audio, or video project from pre-production planning through final broadcast or production. Individual and group activities are included. Lab fee. 
    3 credit hours

    COM 434

    SENIOR THESIS consists of independent research on a selected topic or problem in mass communications approved by the student’s advisor. 
    Prerequisite: Senior standing 
    1 credit hour

    COM 441

    TELEVISION PRODUCTION II* emphasizes and utilizes advanced single and multiple-camera production and editing techniques. The course includes individual and small-group projects. Lab fee.
    Prerequisite: COM 342
    3 credit hours

    COM 442

    DIGITAL MULTITRACK AUDIO PRODUCTION II emphasizes advanced techniques of digital audio production and effects, including audio post-production for video, MIDI production, live recording and reinforcement, high definition musical multitrack recording, looping, stereo and surround-sound mixing, and CD/DVD mastering. Small group and individual projects are included. Lab fee.
    Prerequisite: COM 341
    3 credit hours

    COM 443

    TELECOMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT* is an overview of the electronic media from a managerial perspective. Media covered include broadcast radio/TV, cable TV, private/corporate television, and new technologies. The course includes organization, planning, budgeting, marketing, influence of technology, and outside factors. 
    3 credit hours

    COM 444

    ADVANCED DIGITAL MEDIA PRODUCTION provides practical experience in producing a major digital project from pre-production planning through post production. It is designed for students seeking to review, apply, and refine production skills at an advanced level. Individual and group activities are included. Lab fee. 
    Cross-listed with FLM 444
    3 credit hours

    COM 463

    PUBLICATION MANAGEMENT* looks at the print media as a business from a managerial point of view. This course considers the impact of organizational, budgeting, marketing, and technological influences. 
    3 credit hours

    COM 464

    NEWSPAPER PRODUCTION* is an advanced course integrating skills learned in other journalism courses, simulating actual work on a newspaper, and providing a variety of reportorial experiences. Lab fee.
    Prerequisites: COM 261, 365, and 369
    3 credit hours

    COM 482

    DESIGNING INTERACTIVE MEDIA AND VIDEO GAME PRODUCTION An overview of the field, this course provides the “big picture” to multimedia students. Principles of interactive and video game development are introduced along with design documents and project proposals. Technical discussions about media technologies complement current principles covering visual design, formats, audio, video, and animation. Students create multimedia and video game graphics and an interactive project as a means of integrating course concepts. 
    Prerequisite: COM 281 or permission of the instructor
    3 credit hours

    COM 484

    DIGITAL COMPOSITING AND SPECIAL EFFECTS The processes and considerations for creating animated interactive multimedia are covered in this course. Students utilize industry-standard applications as they explore post-production techniques, visual effects, compression, convergence, and cross-platform formatting. 
    Cross-listed with FLM 484
    Prerequisite: COM 243 or FLM/COM 344 and COM 281, or permission of the instructor
    3 credit hours

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