Graduate Courses

Spring 2019 Courses


COMM 501
Proseminar in Mass Communications


The course will review and discuss the major concepts, issues and approaches involved with studying media from a critical-cultural perspective. Topics covered include the Frankfurt School, political economy, cultural studies, feminism and representation, globalization, consumer culture, medium theory and digital culture. Issues and trends of COMM as a field will also be reviewed.

COMM 511
Mass Communication Research Methods II


This course is designed to introduce students to the wide range of qualitative social science methodologies that fuel academic inquiry in the field of mass communications. We will evaluate the broad theoretical paradigms on which qualitative research is based. Through readings, students will become familiar with the design and conduct of qualitative research. The course will provide students with a solid grasp of several methodologies, including focus groups, structured interviews, and ethnographic approaches. Students also will be introduced to some ways to effectively analyze qualitative data. Finally, students will design a qualitative research project and run a pilot study.

COMM 516
Introduction to Data Analysis in Communications


This  introductory course in quantitative data analysis is designed to provide students with a broad examination  of fundamental assumptions, procedures, and interpretations of statistical analyses commonly employed in Communications and related disciplines. The course does not assume any prior coursework in statistics, but some familiarity with basic social science methods is helpful. Consequently, this course is often taken by students the semester following their completion of Comm 506 or other, related methodology courses. Comm 516 takes a hands-on and applied approach, with the goal of empowering students to both understand statistical analyses frequently reported in journals, as well as to analyze their own data and present it scholarly formats. The course is conducted in a computer lab, where students will be given many opportunities to practice the topics covered in each meeting. Topics include descriptive statistics, analysis of variance-based models, regression, and exploratory factor analysis.

COMM 597
The Cultural Foundations of Communication


This course will examine the relation between forms of communication and the ways of understanding the world that these forms of technology afford. From the age of cuneiform and hieroglyphs chiseled on stone, to the era of the printing press and the linotype, and ending with our contemporary age of silicone microprocessors and touchscreens, we will trace the development of communication technology over time. Each new form of technology changed the ways that information was transmitted, exchanged  and organized, shifting the ways that cultures understood themselves and constructed common meaning about the world.

COMM 597

Thursdays 11:15-2:15 pm/3 Carnegie
The goal of this course is to provide students with the theoretical foundation necessary to understand and study health-related media effects. Because the field of health-related media effects is highly interdisciplinary, in addition to media- focused perspectives this course will also include the application of principles from other fields such as social psychology, public health, and informatics. While this course will largely focus on persuasive health messaging contexts, it will also touch on the effects of health news coverage, health information seeking, and computer-mediated health communication.

COMM 597

This graduate course introduces you to selected theories and concepts used in the latest social media research. It will guide you in applying the theories to exploring the social media impact on social, political and economic  interactions, in particular, the social processes in online communities. Users' technology use, psychological well-being, and civic participation will also be investigated. The goal is to familiarize you with the latest social media research, practical and theoretical implications of such research, and identify areas that deem further
empirical research. Part of our class time is devoted to brainstorming innovative and creative ideas concerning social media use, such as ideas for new apps and entrepreneur opportunities.