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Online MA in Communication Curriculum

The online MA in communication program requires 36 credit hours of coursework.

COMM 601 Communication Fluency – 3 hrs.
This introductory course exposes students to communication as a discipline and begins the process of improving each student's communication literacy through an understanding of the paradigms of knowledge from a communication perspective as well as essential communication theory. Students will identify and articulate a communication problem, strategy or initiative to be analyzed and evaluated, aggregate and apply credible research, and compose and support arguments using a theoretical framework. In addition, students will begin to create and evaluate content on a digital platform related to a specific initiative and audience.

COMM 610 The Social Creation of Organizing – 3 hrs.
This course demonstrates the ways social interaction shapes and is shaped by organizing processes. Students will study how communication becomes the means by which we come to make sense of organizational life and develop strategies, structures and practices for coordinating action and meeting goals. Coursework explores how contemporary organizations transform individuals participating in society by examining essential topics such as identity construction, motives, motivation, effectiveness, socialization, leadership and career.

COMM 613 Constructing Messages and Audiences – 3 hrs.
In this course, students explore the ways by which we construct and disseminate messages to a variety of audiences for a variety of purposes. Coursework covers effective tools for creating messages that advance goals, and build and engage community. Students will explore how best to analyze audiences, craft messages, design information, choose among communication media, shape user experience and evaluate success. Special attention is given to digital technology, including how to best consume, filter, create and critically analyze messages. Students also explore the implications of evolving communication channels on society, especially with regard to opportunities for conversation, engagement, advocacy and experimentation.

COMM 616 Communicating Mindfully – 3 hrs.
This course examines communication ethics in individual, organizational and societal contexts. Students will learn theoretical and practical applications of communicating mindfully in a society where interactions and messages are complex, shifting and often mediated. Coursework emphasizes an understanding of how critical self-awareness and emotional intelligence contribute to communicating consciously and productively. Dialogue, narrative, reflection and identification are explored as tools for ethical communication in a rapidly changing world.

COMM 624 Communication and Culture in a Networked Society – 3 hrs.
Coursework explores how digital connectivity in a networked society has changed and transformed culture. In particular, students investigate how networking (such as blogging, podcasting, etc.) affects traditional conceptions of knowledge and information creation, production, transmission and censorship. In addition, this course focuses on how traditional conceptions of organizational boundaries and influence, civic engagement, and organizational participation are evolving.

COMM 629 Leadership, Empowerment, and the Management of Meaning – 3 hrs.
This course surveys the essential relationship between leadership and communication. Examining leadership from a communication perspective, students focus on leadership as meaning management; namely how to create, frame and communicate one's own "realities" to others. Students also study the skills of meaning making as it pertains to creating, using, interpreting and critically evaluating moments of leadership in "everyday" acts of communication.

COMM 638 Strategic Communication for Global Audiences – 3 hrs.
Students explore various strategic communication issues and challenges with a diverse, global audience. Globalization requires new thinking habits and strategies to best craft targeted, integrated messages to a particular audience, whether it be global, national or local. This course investigates strategies for successful audience analysis, community development and dialogue, image and branding, innovation, marketing, public relations, and risk and crisis management for global and multinational audiences.

COMM 655 The Mediated Self and Changing Relationships – 3 hrs.
This class investigates how specific digital and mediated platforms affect our understanding of essential interpersonal constructs such as relationship development and engagement, image management, the tensions of work-life balance and the challenges and opportunities of creating private and public identities in a mediated landscape. Students will study issues of identity by addressing how we compose our multiple and sometimes conflicting digital and media selves and how the presentation of our "work" self affects conceptions of our "private" self.

COMM 658 Creativity and Networks – 3 hrs.
This course explores both traditional and cutting-edge approaches to innovation. Contemporary organizations are realizing the potential of new ways of thinking, such as right-brain approaches to organizing and open innovation using digital and mediated tools. By building an authentic, collaborative relationship among a community, organizations can tap into the creative potential of the crowd. This course investigates how shifting communication practices have shaped knowledge, networks and innovation. Students also explore how creativity and innovation can be fostered through curiosity, play, passion, connection, dialogue, experience, storytelling and failure.

COMM 664 Organizational Identity and Brand – 3 hrs.
This course explores the ways organizations today craft and communicate an authentic brand identity. As the marketplace has changed, organizations have had to find ways to differentiate to stay competitive. Connecting with stakeholders through a clear and consistent identity that aligns with organizational values and mission can increase profits as well as customer and employee loyalty. This course highlights the most effective ways to craft brand identity through authentic, strategic messages and visual presentation disseminated through both traditional and mediated platforms. Students will also investigate how social networks have changed efforts to craft organizational identity and brand, as well as the ways employees' personal identities are ultimately interdependent with organizational identity.

COMM 680 Expanding Communication Boundaries – 3 hrs.
This course kicks off a year-long process during which students reflect and integrate program learning into an articulated specialty area. First, students will create a digital portfolio that showcases course projects and articulates key learning and personal and professional goals. In addition, in a comprehensive exam, students will demonstrate competency and confidence in composing specific arguments related to a communication topic that solves a specific problem or meets a specific need. Finally, students will begin to integrate learning with personal interests and passions by creating a proposal for an original communication inquiry project that expands existing communication boundaries. The project will be completed in COMM 681.

COMM 681 Launching Passion into Practice – 3 hrs.
(Prerequisite: Successful completion of Comm 680 with a B or higher and approval of a final project proposal)
In this course, students complete the communication inquiry project proposed and approved in COMM 680. Students will continue to harness their curiosity, program learning, and passion to create an original project related to a specific communication topic. Students will aggregate theoretical, research, and digital and media literacy with new ways of thinking to develop an innovative project that showcases their mastery of a particular area of communication.

Explore the Master of Arts in Communication curriculum further. Request more information or call us at 866-313-2356 to speak with an admissions advisor.