UST Course Descriptions
Program:
Level:



COMM 1310 - Writing for the Media
Communication
Introduces students to the basic skills needed for a career in mass communication. No matter which field of communication they will enter, good writing must lie at the heart of their craft. Throughout the course, students learn standard conventions of the English language, including grammar, punctuation, spelling, diction, and paragraph construction to help them construct clear, simple messages for various audiences. They also discuss the nature of news, both print and broadcast, and the difference between news writing, public relations, marketing and propaganda. They cover research and interview techniques for both news and public relations, and learn how to write leads, craft copy, and edit.


COMM 1331 - Public Speaking
Communication
Study of the fundamental principles and practices of oral communication and rhetorical strategies; methods of selecting, organizing, evaluating and communicating information. Designed to give students an understanding of their own speaking and listening abilities and an opportunity to develop these abilities to make them more effective in various communication situations. Enrollment limited


COMM 1350 - Foundations of Relationship-Centered Care
Communication
Study of the fundamental principles of interpersonal communication with emphasis on communication as a tool for building relationships. Students will have the opportunity to understand and practice communication skills related to working in teams--assessment of non-verbal communication, active listening and conflict resolution.


COMM 2332 - Persuasion and Argumentation
Communication
Study of the process of persuasion, the nature of argumentation, influence, methods and proof. Includes both theory and practice.


COMM 2341 - Newswriting and Reporting
Communication
Introduction to newswriting, news story style, structure and readability. The course also acquaints the student with techniques of interviewing and reporting routine stories, i.e., deaths, crimes, accidents, meetings and simple features.


COMM 2350 - Interpersonal Communication
Communication
Theory, research and practice associated with dyadic interaction. Concepts include disclosure, attraction, relational control, power and inclusion.


COMM 2351 - Understanding Film
Communication
Introductory study of all the aesthetic and technical components of film-making.


COMM 2352 - Intro to Screenwriting
Communication
In this course students learn the script writing conventions for different media, programs and uses. Each write's creative process is unique, but they all follow the process of pitch, outline, draft and revision, with feedback from peers. Students will begin to develop a screenplay through this process that will set them on a path to writing a feature film or TV episode. Prerequisites: COMM 2351


COMM 2361 - Introduction to the Mass Media
Communication
History, economics, public control, programming, social effects and future of telecommunications, primarily radio and television broadcasting and broadband cable communication systems. Citizens’ responsibilities in the development of telecommunication systems and services.


COMM 2362 - Digital Audio Production
Communication
Introduction to audio production. Students learn to create digital audio media for commercial, artistic, and news purposes. The course includes laboratory experiences in programming, writing and performance.


COMM 3333 - Nonverbal Communication
Communication
Analysis of vocal and nonverbal interaction variables, including gestures, posture, territory/space, paralanguage, facial expressions, eye behavior, environment, touch, clothing and time.


COMM 3342 - News Editing
Communication
Functions, responsibilities and techniques of news editing, evaluation and processing of news. Headline writing, picture editing and page makeup. Prerequisite: COMM 2341.


COMM 3344 - Advertising Methods
Communication



COMM 3345 - Public Relations I
Communication
Nature of public relations practices in business, education and government. Emphasis on public relations strategies, identifying target public, press relations, cost management and planning public relations programs. Prerequisite: at least sophomore standing and COMM 2341 (concurrent registration acceptable).


COMM 3346 - Public Relations II
Communication
Practical application of public relations theories and strategies; students develop hypothetical persuasive campaigns of “professional” quality. Prerequisite: COMM 3345.


COMM 3347 - Covering the Criminal Justice System
Communication
This course is designed to teach aspiring media professionals how to navigate the criminal justice system. The class will include both theoretical and practical elements. Students will get the opportunity to follow cases in the courtroom setting and learn how to report professionally and ethically. Prerequisites: COMM 1310, 1331, 2341, 3382.


COMM 3352 - Documentary Film
Communication



COMM 3353 - Journalism for the Media
Communication
Newswriting and reporting for the digital media, focusing on the development of a journalistic style applicable to the digital media news style writing. The course teaches students to integrate audio and visual aesthetics with writing, while including criticisms, criteria and measures of media effectiveness. Prerequisites: COMM 1310, 1331.


COMM 3354 - Film & Society
Communication
This course looks at how American films of the 20th and 21st centuries have been a mirror to society. By viewing a selection of films from various decades, students will accumulate a portfolio of social/cultural issues set against the backdrop of American history. Students will study each film for its production/aesthetic values and they will analyze the "film inside the film" for its social themes. Prerequisites: COMM 2351


COMM 3355 - Advanced Screenwriting
Communication
In this course students will simulate the creative writing process of professional TV and film writers. Working in a team, they will conceptualize and write a television series. All students will work on the pilot as a group. Each student will also be assigned an individual episode. Additionally, each student will write a film script. COMM 2352 or permission of department chair.


COMM 3356 - Italian Cinema
Communication
Students will be viewing a number of Italian films that have been recognized for their significant contributions to the art of film making chronologically, starting in the 1920's and moving forward to present times. During this process, they will understand the social and historical framework for these films. The course will devote time to the great Italian directors who made such films possible. Finally, it will teach the students a variety of film techniques to help them develop a more sophisticated cinematic eye. Prerequisites: COMM 2351


COMM 3357 - American Film History
Communication
A study of the history and development of the motion picture from 1895 until the present. The class focuses primarily on American film history while also acknowledging significant contributions made by European inventors and film-makers.


COMM 3363 - Beginning Digital Media
Communication
Theoretical background and practical applications of digital media production for commercial, artistic and news related content, taught in a studio setting.


COMM 3364 - Advanced Digital Media
Communication
Advanced Digital Media enhances student understanding of all the elements of digital media production (in the studio and in the field), such as camera placement and operations, camera color balancing, camera optics, light levels and the use of special filters, lighting techniques, including existing light and three-point lighting. Also included are elements of effective visual composition, an understanding postproduction, along with the ability to critique the strengths and weaknesses of digital media production. Prerequisites: COMM 3363


COMM 3367 - Performing for the Media
Communication
This course provides students with the knowledge and skills needed in broadcast announcing. It emphasizes radio and television announcing skills such as voice quality, articulation, enunciation and pronunciation, including preparation for on-air and voice over positions. The focus is on performance skills used in voice over as well as on-camera work. Students learn the following: how to interpret copy, how to ad lib or speak impromptu, how to vary voice pitch and volume effectively, how to write a broadcast script, and how to be part of a television production or show.


COMM 3370 - Rhetorical Dimensions of the Media
Communication
An analysis of major contributions to rhetorical theory. Study will include criticism, criteria, and measures of effectiveness in the mass media. Prerequisites: COMM 1331 and 9 credit hours of English


COMM 3375 - Editing for the Digital Media
Communication
Applied theory and technique in editing digital video. Students learn the process of non-linear digital video editing using appropriate professional software. The class covers the technical and aesthetic elements of editing for news, commercial and artistic purposes.


COMM 3376 - Motion Graphics for Digital Media
Communication
The course focuses on editing systems and methods. It enables students to process image and video elements in media content, and organize such content for total effect and final delivery. Students apply a comprehensive set of critical and evaluative skills to make sound judgment calls and educated decisions for digital motion graphics.


COMM 3380 - From Pitch to Screen: The Film-making Business
Communication
In this course, students will learn every aspect of the business of film making, including both creative (pitching, developing a story) and business components (all aspect of producing). By the end of the semester, they will create a short film and a business proposal to pitch it.


COMM 3381 - Social Impact of the Media
Communication
Study of the process and effects of mass communication, including audience characteristics, diffusion of innovations, political processes, media violence, social learning, children and television and social effects of emerging media technologies. Prerequisites: junior standing; 9 credit hours of English.


COMM 3382 - Mass Communication Law
Communication
Analysis and examination of statutory laws, congressional legislation and federal rules and regulations governing the mass media in the United States. Focus on the First Amendment, libel and slander, privacy, copyright, free press/fair trial, obscenity, advertising, antitrust and monopoly, taxation and licensing. Prerequisite: junior standing, completion of 6 credit hours of communication.


COMM 3383 - Intro to Media Management
Communication
This course will educate students on the practical aspects of media management; from training, recruiting and acknowledging both professionals and volunteers, to ethical fund-raising, development and measurement of success, along with detailed emphasis on aspects of the Catholic Church teachings on mass media as expressed in the Vatican II decree.


COMM 3464 - Television Production II
Communication
Advanced work in television production, concentrating in electronic field videography and news– gathering techniques. Classroom lecture will be supplemented with extensive practical application. Prerequisite: COMM 2463 or its equivalent.


COMM 4191 - Internship in Communication
Communication
Practicum or on–the–job experience under guidance of practicing specialists in the communication field. To be supervised individually by a department faculty member with the approval of the chair. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours.


COMM 4192 - Directed Reading/Independent Study in Communication
Communication
Student research on a selected problem in the field pursued under the guidance of an assigned member of the faculty. Substantial research paper or audio/video production required. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours. Prerequisites: junior– or senior–level status; permission of faculty member


COMM 4193 - Special Topics in Communication
Communication
Upper–division treatment of selected topics of mutual interest to the faculty member and students.


COMM 4291 - Internship in Communication
Communication
Practicum or on–the–job experience under guidance of practicing specialists in the communication field. To be supervised individually by a department faculty member with the approval of the chair. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours.


COMM 4292 - Directed Reading/Independent Study in Communication
Communication
Student research on a selected problem in the field pursued under the guidance of an assigned member of the faculty. Substantial research paper or audio/video production required. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours. Prerequisites: junior– or senior–level status; permission of faculty member


COMM 4293 - Special Topics in Communication
Communication
Upper–division treatment of selected topics of mutual interest to the faculty member and students.


COMM 4340 - Investigative Journalism: The Innocence Project
Communication
This course is a joint project between the Communication Department and the University of Houston Law Center’s Innocence Network. Students will learn investigative journalism techniques such as interviewing witnesses, searching public records, reviewing case files, plus sorting and weighing evidence. Course participants will serve the ends of social justice by striving to uncover and write about unjust convictions. Prerequisites: at least junior standing;12 hours of English.


COMM 4342 - Convergence Journalism Practicum
Communication
Students will produce stills, motion and sound projects to create content for The Celt Independent. Prerequisites: COMM 1310, 2341, 3382


COMM 4350 - Feature Writing
Communication
Techniques of nonfiction feature writing for newspapers and magazines. Students will gain practical experience in preparing query letters and manuscripts for publication. Prerequisite: COMM 2341 or permission of faculty member.


COMM 4352 - Media Law, Ethics & Film
Communication
The class looks at how certain American films of the 20th and 21st century have focused on media law issues impacting journalists, media professionals and the public. Students will study each film for its "form" (aesthetic value) and will analyze the "film inside the film" for its media law content. Prerequisites: COMM 2351


COMM 4355 - Film Practicum
Communication
In an advanced lab setting, seniors will build their portfolios by creating a number of projects ranging from fully developed scripts to short films, documentaries and TV episodes. Prerequisites: COMM 2351, 2352, 3363, 3364, 3375


COMM 4360 - Digital Media Practicum
Communication
Students will build their digital media portfolios, in a lab setting, by creating a number of projects ranging from news stories and features to documentaries and short films.


COMM 4375 - Media Ethics
Communication
A systematic, case–study approach to moral dilemmas encountered by media practitioners, including questions of truth, privacy, confidentiality and conflicts of interest. Prerequisites: junior standing or permission of faculty member; PHIL 2314.


COMM 4380 - Propaganda & Mass Communication
Communication
The class gives students a deep understanding of what propaganda is, how it differs from persuasion and what role it has in societies, both past and present. Students gain insights of the historical and social contexts in which various types of propaganda have occurred from a mass communication and media filtered perspective. Students also analyze and research various topic-specific case studies in propaganda, both past and current. Emphasis is also placed on the role of film and documentary making in various propaganda campaigns.


COMM 4383 - Communication Theory
Communication
Analysis of various theoretical models of communication, behavioral science theories and communication research paradigms. Topics include information theory, scientific method, balance and congruity theories, dissonance, perception, attitude change, group dynamics, persuasion, interpersonal communication and nonverbal communication. Prerequisites: completion of or current enrollment in COMM 1331, 2350, 2361.


COMM 4385 - Small Group Interaction
Communication
Principles of current methods and theories of human interaction in group situations, both formal and informal. Emphasis on behavioral antecedents and consequences of messages and on processes of positive group interaction. Prerequisites: COMM 1331.


COMM 4391 - Internship in Communication
Communication
Practicum or on–the–job experience under guidance of practicing specialists in the communication field. To be supervised individually by a department faculty member with the approval of the chair. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours.


COMM 4392 - Directed Reading/Independent Study in Communication
Communication
Student research on a selected problem in the field pursued under the guidance of an assigned member of the faculty. Substantial research paper or audio/video production required. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours. Prerequisites: junior– or senior–level status; permission of faculty member


COMM 4393 - Special Topics in Communication
Communication
Upper–division treatment of selected topics of mutual interest to the faculty member and students.


COMM 4399 - Senior Thesis
Communication
Optional research–based written project in which the serious senior communication major, in consultation with the appropriate Communication Department faculty member, selects an issue or problem for scholarly study, chooses a faculty committee (consisting of at least two members of the Communication Department and one member outside the department), undertakes significant and substantial research and produces a major paper of publishable quality. This course may be repeated for up to a maximum of 6 credit hours. The chair of the Communication Department sits as a voting member on all senior thesis committees. Prerequisite: approval of the chair.


COMM 4491 - Internship in Communication
Communication
Practicum or on–the–job experience under guidance of practicing specialists in the communication field. To be supervised individually by a department faculty member with the approval of the chair. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours.


COMM 4492 - Directed Reading/Independent Study in Communication
Communication
Student research on a selected problem in the field pursued under the guidance of an assigned member of the faculty. Substantial research paper or audio/video production required. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours. Prerequisites: junior– or senior–level status; permission of faculty member


COMM 4493 - Special Topics in Communication
Communication
Upper–division treatment of selected topics of mutual interest to the faculty member and students.


COMM 4591 - Internship in Communication
Communication
Practicum or on–the–job experience under guidance of practicing specialists in the communication field. To be supervised individually by a department faculty member with the approval of the chair. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours.


COMM 4691 - Internship in Communication
Communication
Practicum or on–the–job experience under guidance of practicing specialists in the communication field. To be supervised individually by a department faculty member with the approval of the chair. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours.




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