Graduate Programs

Graduate Courses, Spring 2019


COMM 501
Proseminar in Mass Communications

Mondays, 2:30-5:30 pm, 003 Carnegie
Dr. Matt McAllister
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

Qualitative Research Methods
Tuesdays/Thursdays 9:05-10:20 am, 003 Carnegie
Dr. Patrick Plaisance
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
Data Analysis
Tuesdays, 3:05-6:05 pm, 008 Carnegie
Dr. Mary Beth Oliver
This introductory course in quantitative data analysis is designed to provide students with broad examination 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 in 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 517
Psychological Aspects of Communication Technology
Fridays, 10:10 am-1:10 pm, 024 Carnegie
Dr. S. Shyam Sundar
Do you feel lost without an internet connection? Are you addicted to your mobile phone? Do you behave socially toward your computer? Do you feel self-conscious when posting on social media? More generally, do you think interactive media shape the way we think, act and react? If so, consider enrolling in COMM 517, “Psychological Aspects of Communication Technology.” This graduate seminar will provide an extensive overview of foundational theory and empirical research on human- computer interaction (HCI) and computer-mediated communication (CMC), drawing from a broad array of disciplines including communication, psychology, consumer behavior, and human-computer studies. Topics to be covered include social scientific research on: 1) social responses to communication technologies, 2) the uses and effects of unique technological features, 3) the nature and dynamics of mediated interpersonal and group interaction, 4) how issues of source, self, and privacy are altered by computer-based media, and 5) the broad socio-psychological consequences of Internet use, among other topics. The instructor is the former editor-in-chief of JCMC, the premier journal for computer-mediated communication in the fields of Communication and Information Science. He also edited the first ever Handbook of the Psychology of Communication Technology (Wiley, 2015).

COMM 597 

Feminist Media Studies (cross-listed with WGSS)
Thursdays, 2:30-5:30 pm, 003 Carnegie
Dr. Michelle Rodino-Colocino
This seminar will explore key intellectual and political problems that inspire work in feminist media studies. Course readings will be inter/trans/disciplinary so that students may gain a sense of the field of feminist media studies, its influences (historical, disciplinary, institutional and political), and its possibilities. Readings and student projects may relate media studies with: feminist histories; transnational feminism; feminist political organizing and activism; queer studies; feminist approaches to masculinity, race, ethnicity, labor and production, health, social media, violence, rape, and sexual harassment; relationships between feminist scholarship and other critical studies of culture, gender, sexuality, audience and reception studies, science and technology studies, geography, rhetoric, art, politics, economics, sociology, literature, history, art history, filmmaking and film studies. This class may "count" toward your Women's, Sexuality, and Gender Studies major or minor, with your adviser's permission.

COMM 597

Peace and Social Change Communication (cross-listed with CIED)
Wednesdays, 2:30-5:30 pm, 003 Carnegie
Dr. Yael Warshel
This course introduces students to measures for assessing and evaluating the impact of communication campaign interventions for social change. Particular focus will be placed on assessment and evaluation of peace communication interventions that seek to resolve intergroup ethnopolitical conflicts by changing individual- and group-level behaviors. Students will learn skills necessary for making sense of contradictory research findings, developing their own research designs, and making policy recommendations. Course draws on other applied or strategic communication subdisciplines of political and health communication, as well as communication for social change, intergroup communication, peace education, and school violence prevention, nationalism, development, and peace and conflict studies. By way of skill building, the course takes a critical and comparative turn. It blends applied methodologies with critical and cultural, and comparative international ones, to uniquely consider not just media effects, but media impacts on political conflict. It therein bridges empirical analyses of attitude, belief, and behavioral changes and their outcomes, critically, with real-world structural change. NOTE: Students averse to quantitative approaches who will require some modicum of quantitative methods in their future (whether or not they yet know it) will find this course perfect for equipping them with a bare minimum needed to succeed as a qualitative researcher in applied or strategic communication research areas. The course is designed with such concerns in mind. That being said and while prior statistics or psychology courses are not required, naturally, they will be beneficial