Media and Communication Studies

All Majors & Minors

Courses

  • MCS-001-008. Journalism Practicum

    A learning experience in which students assume primary responsibility for editorial positions related to the publication of the print and online versions of The Grizzly. Prerequisites: MCS-207 or permission of the instructor. Graded S/U. One semester hour.

    MCS-009-016. Media Practicum

    A learning experience in which students assume primary responsibility for an applied media project. Student project proposals must be approved by the instructor. Prerequisites: any of the following - MCS-209, 210, 212, 220 or 225 or permission of the instructor. Graded S/U. One semester hour.

    MCS-100. Topics in Media and Communication Studies

    This course is an introductory seminar exploring theories, principles, and/or practices in the field of media and communication studies. Topics will vary. Enrollment is limited to freshmen and sophomores or permission of instructor. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (May be designated SS or H, D, G or A, depending on topic)

    MCS-201. Public Speaking: Speech and Criticism in a Democratic Society

    Students construct, deliver, and critique speeches about significant public issues of the day. The course includes an introduction to rhetorical theory and criticism, as well as an introduction to the fundamentals of speech preparation and presentation. Four hours per week. Four semester hours.

    MCS-205. Media and Society

    This course explores the role and influence of media in shaping social norms, political decision making, and individual beliefs and practices. In addition to a consideration of historical developments, the course engages contemporary issues such as corporate conglomeration, globalization, media convergence, digital culture, audiences as producers and receivers, and consumer culture. Three hours per week. Four hours per week (SS).

    MCS-207. Print Journalism

    This course introduces students to the principles of print journalism, including: information gathering, writing, editing and presentation of news under deadline. Students also explore issues related to libel, visual literacy, and changing audience demographics through the critical analysis, interpretation, and evaluation of various media outlets. Three hours per week. Four semester hours.

    MCS-208. Online Journalism

    This course introduces students to the conventions of newswriting and publishing in new media platforms.Prerequisite: MCS-207 or permission of instructor. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (SS)

    MCS/ART-209. Documentary Photography

    This course introduces students to the concepts of visual documentation, social documentary style, photojournalism and ethics in photography as well as an historical perspective on the works of visual social documentarians. Students are required to conduct field work collecting digital still images to create visual narratives on a range of issues. Students enrolled in this course will need access to a digital camera to complete assignments. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (A)

    MCS-210. Television Studio Production

    An overview of the principles and techniques of studio television production. Emphasis is placed on translation of ideas into a visual format, program conceptualization, preproduction planning, script writing, critical analysis of the visual image, group work and peer review of programs. Program content will focus on non-fiction formats including broadcast journalism, public affairs and public service programming. Three hours of lecture and two hours of lab per week.

    MCS-212. Single Camera Production

    An overview of the principles and techniques of single camera, electronic field production. Emphasis is placed on non-fiction program conceptualization, pre-production planning, single-camera script development and post-production techniques including linear and non-linear editing, and audio mixing. Prerequisites: MCS-210 or permission if instructor. Three hours of lecture and two hours of lab per week. Four semester hours.

    MCS-220. Introduction to New Media

    This course explores relationships between social change and emerging media while offering students a chance to create their own digital media projects. Students will learn how to construct and analyze digital media and interactive web-based content. Projects may include the production of podcasts, websites, idea maps, blogs, and other new media forms. Four hours per week. Four semester hours.

    MCS-225. Digital Filmmaking

    Introduces students to all stages of digital video production. Students will learn how to conceptualize, write, and develop a script, design a storyboard and visual treatment, and shoot and edit a digital short film. There will also be weekly readings, viewings, and discussions focused on the history and language of film. Three hours of lecture and two hours of lab per week. Four semester hours.

    MCS-254. Writing for the Media

    This course introduces students to specialized forms of media writing, including: literary journalism, press releases, editorial and opinion writing, broadcast scripts and advertising copy basics. Students will adapt their writing for a variety of media formats and will recognize the differences in writing styles required by each medium. Students who took MCS 290 Special Topics- Journalism Genres may not take MCS-254. Three hours per week. Four semester hours.

    MCS/IDS-256. Decoding Science

    This course teaches students the art of critically reading primary research articles and translating them into news articles, policy papers and advocacy pieces for non-science audiences. Three hours per week. Four semester hours.

    MCS-275. Topics in Media Production

    This course will focus on specific media production areas not covered in other applied courses in the MCS department. Three hours per week Four semester hours. (May be designated A. depending on topic)

    MCS-292W. Communication Theory and Research 

    An exploration of the concepts and models of communication common to a wide range of communication contexts. Students are introduced to theories, research methods, and writing conventions common to media, rhetoric and interpersonal communication. Three hours per week. Four semester hours.

    MCS-298. Readings in Media and Communication Studies

    Individual student-initiated study within the field on a selected topic culminating in the preparation of a critical bibliography of the works read, or other final product as determined by the faculty member supervising the readings. Prerequisites: MCS-292W, major or minor in media and communication studies, a written project proposal, and permission of a department faculty member to serve as adviser. This course is limited to second and third year majors or minors who want to explore an area of research with the expectation of continuing that research in an upper division independent study. One semester hour.

    MCS-307. Conflict and Communication

    Taking a communication perspective, this course examines the nature of conflict in American society and offers alternatives to unilateral power based strategies of conflict resolution. Students are introduced to theories about the nature and kinds of conflict, as well as differing models for managing conflicts. They learn to map and analyze real life conflict situations in interpersonal, inter-group, and organization contexts and work with skills and models for conflict resolution. Three hours per week Four semester hours. (SS.)

    MCS-315. Media Ethics

    This course addresses ethical issues across media platforms in news, entertainment, public relations and advertising. Students think through ethical challenges such as the use of anonymous sources in journalism, editing images in advertising and crisis management. Students will conduct case study analyses of ethical dilemmas in the media. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (H)

    MCS-318. Facebook Nation

    This class focuses on the dynamics between Facebook and culture (U.S. and global), asking 3 questions:  1) How are new communication technologies revolutionary?  2) How are they continuities of traditional media in terms of content, audiences, advertising, and corporate ownership?  3) Do cultural changes determine advancements in communication technologies or do changes in communication technologies determine cultural changes? Students will critically examine the relationship between techno-cultural theory and Facebook use, demonstrating mastery of these concepts in research, writing, class discussions, and presentations. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (SS)

    MCS/GWMS-319. Sex, Race and Comedy

    Students will learn to critically analyze the subversive power of comedy in exploring issues of race, gender, sexual orientation and class in American media. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (SS, D)

    MCS-321. Into the Matrix

    This course explores the cultural myths about race, gender and technology found in science fiction television and film and what they say about our past and our future. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (H)

    MCS-326. Critical Analyses in Popular Culture

    An intensive examination of media texts from a variety of critical perspectives, including (but not limited to): auteur, genre, feminist and cultural criticism. Topics will vary. Four hours per week.

    MCS-327. Remix Culture

    From musical mash-ups to video parodies, disputes about authorship, remixes, and copyright have become increasingly prominent in our digital media landscape. This course takes a humanistic approach to explore questions about originality and derivation in art and cultural production and the place of copyright and intellectual property in laying the groundwork for creative culture. We will examine ideas about and legal approaches to authorship and intellectual property from historical and philosophical perspectives; we will also look closely at contemporary controversies regarding piracy, file-sharing, culture jamming, sample-based art, and equally controversial efforts on the part of policymakers and corporations to limit or curtail these practices. We will not only discuss remix and the digital tools that are enabling a profusion of new expressive forms, but students will use some of these very tools to create media projects that analyze and comment upon contemporary debates. Three hours per week.

    MCS-330. Freedom of Expression

    This course examines the theoretical and historical underpinnings of how we think about freedom of expression and its importance to societies organized around the idea of democracy. The course will contrast two intellectual approaches to the role of expression in Western society: the classical liberal and the romantic. We will explore the historical development of these ideas, analyze how they were applied in landmark cases, as well as challenge ourselves to apply these systems of logic to contemporary speech controversies. We will conclude by considering how new media technologies are shaped and challenged by the ideals and practices of free expression. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (H.)

    MCS/BE-331. Critical Analysis of Organizational Communication

    This course focuses on the study of talk in and about organizations, including an examination of communication theories of management, organizational codependency, organizational culture, power, and emotional labor. Students will be expected to conduct field research on an organization using a variety of methods. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (SS.)

    MCS-340. Gender, Ethnicity and Communication 

    This course explores theories and research on gender, ethnicity and communication, with a particular focus on African American culture. Students will use two research methods to study the relationship between gender, ethnicity and communication: a discourse analysis and an autoethnography. The reading, writing, and discussions in the course will encourage students to cultivate more reflective communicative practice. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (D, SS)

    MCS-348. Global Media

    An examination of media within the global community. National media systems are analyzed within the context of the cultural, political and economic environments in which they developed and now operate. Technological advances in communication systems will be explored as the forces behind the recent growth of a global media system. Students will examine the role of transnational media ownership, globalization of culture especially in non-western nations and the vital role of new media technology in the rise of international terrorist organizations. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (SS, G)

    MCS-350. Intercultural Communication

    An examination of face-to-face communication between people of different cultural backgrounds. Case studies are analyzed to identify differences in expectations, practices, and interpretations. Topics include cross-cultural comparisons of conversational style, power relations, language, and perception in educational, organizational, and social settings. This course may be a particular interest to students preparing to study abroad as well as those planning to work in international business, education, and politics. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (D, G)

    MCS-355. Technology and Culture

    This class focuses on the dynamics between new communication technologies and culture and asks 3 questions: How are new communication technologies revolutionary? How are they continuities of traditional media in terms of content, audiences, advertising, and corporate ownership? Do cultural changes determine advancements in communication technologies or do changes in communication technologies determine cultural changes? Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (SS.)

    MCS-358. Persuasion: Critical studies in Advertising and Propaganda 

    Every day, each of us is the targets of countless media messages meant to persuade us and change our behavior.  This course explores the workings of media persuasion with a special focus on advertising, political campaigning, and propaganda.  We will examine the modern historical development of these forms and explore critical theories attempting to understand their social significance, while building skills for analyzing and decoding advertising and propaganda messages in various guises. Three hours per week.Four semester hours. (H)

    MCS-360. News Analysis

    A critical exploration of news culture. Students work with quantitative and qualitative methodologies to explore issues related (but not limited) to race, gender, class, and nationality in the production and consumption of American news. Three hours per week. 

    MCS-363. Audience Analysis

    A qualitative and quantitative examination of the “audience” construct in historical and new media contexts. Three hours per week

    MCS-366. Digital Democracy

    This class explores uses of new communication technology in political and social organizing, with particular attention to subgroups within the US population and how issues of race, class, and gender interact with the opportunities and constraints of our digital democracy. The class emphasizes the theoretical and historical role of democracy in US society, and more specifically, of the role of media in fostering and/or inhibiting democratic participation. Three hours per week.

    MCS-375. Special Topics in Media and Communication Studies

    This course will focus on a specific topic at an advanced theoretical or critical level within media and communication studies not covered in the other courses in the curriculum. Prerequisite: MCS-205 and four additional credit hours in MCS, or permission of the instructor. Three hours per week. 

    MCS-381. Internship

    An off-campus work experience under the supervision of a faculty adviser and an on-site supervisor. Includes periodic meetings with the faculty adviser and completion of an approved research project. Open to juniors and seniors. The term during which the internship work is performed will be noted by one of the following letters, to be added immediately after the internship course number: A (fall), B (winter), C (spring), or D (summer). Internships undertaken abroad will be so indicated by the letter I. The intern must complete a minimum of 120 hours of work. Graded S/U. Prerequisites: major or minor in MCS, three courses completed in the department, and approval of a faculty internship adviser.  Three semester hours. (I.)

    MCS-382. Internship

    An off-campus work experience under the supervision of a faculty adviser and an on-site supervisor. Includes periodic meetings with the faculty adviser and completion of an approved research project. Open to juniors and seniors. The term during which the internship work is performed will be noted by one of the following letters, to be added immediately after the internship course number: A (fall), B (winter), C (spring), or D (summer). Internships undertaken abroad will be so indicated by the letter I. The intern must complete a minimum of 160 hours of work. Graded S/U. Prerequisites: major or minor in MCS, three courses completed in the department, and approval of a faculty internship adviser.  Four semester hours. (I.)

    MCS-391. Research in Media and Communication Studies

    Independent research under the supervision of a faculty adviser. A final product and an oral presentation to the department on a specific topic in media and communication studies is required. Prerequisites: eight credits of course work (MCS-300-375) in media and communication studies, demonstrated competence in the specific area of a study, a written project proposal, and permission of a department faculty member who will serve as project adviser. Offered in the fall semester. Four semester hours (I.)

    MCS-392. Research in Media and Communication Studies

    Content, prerequisites, and requirements are the same as MCS-391. Offered in spring semester. Four semester hours. (I.)

    MCS-411. Projects in Media and Communication Studies

    Advanced individual work in media production. Prerequisites: eight credits of course work in media and communication studies between MCS 207-290, demonstrated competence in the specific area of production, a written project proposal, and permission of a department faculty member who will serve as project adviser. Four semester hours. (I.)

    MCS-412. Projects in Media and Communication Studies

    Content, prerequisites, and requirements are the same as MCS-411.  Four semester hours (I.)

    MCS-460W. Seminar in Communication Criticism

    Students study the theories and practices of media criticism, applying them to historical or contemporary texts, such as popular music, films, news reportage, and fictional television. Students engage in research and writing and make an oral presentation of their findings. Prerequisites: MCS-201, MCS-205, MCS-292W, and one 300 level course between 300 and 375. Senior standing or permission of instructor. Three hours per week. Four semester hours.

    MCS-462W. Seminar in Communication and Culture

    Students work with ethnographic methods as a means to explore the communicative patterns and processes of groups, organizations, and institutions. Students will conduct fieldwork, analyze data, and write a research paper as well as make an oral presentation of their findings. Prerequisites: MCS 201, MCS-205, MCS-292W, and one 300 level course between 300 and 375. Senior standing or permission of instructor. Three hours per week. Four semester hours.

    MCS-464W. Seminar in Media Analysis

    Using quantitative and qualitative research methods, students analyze messages embedded in the entertainment, persuasive and information media. Focus is on the content and effects of television, film, recordings, and the internet. Students complete a research paper and make an oral presentation of their findings. Prerequisites: MCS-201, MCS-205, MCS-292W, and one 300 level course between 300 and 375. Senior standing or permission of instructor. Three hours per week. Four semester hours.

    MCS-491. Research/Independent Work

    This course is open to candidates for departmental honors with the permission of the instructor and the departmental chair. Prerequisites: MCS-201, MCS-205, MCS 292W, and one 300 level course between 300 and 375.  Four semester hours. (I.)

    MCS-492W. Research/Independent Work

    A continuation of MCS-491. Prerequisite: MCS-491. Four semester hours. (I.)