COMM 500 Communication Processes in Health 3 Credits
Interpersonal and nonverbal communication are the two areas of general communication studies
that health communication draws from most heavily. These concepts affect relationships in
healthcare, the ability to understand and process medical information, the efficacy of messages in
relation to nonverbal indicators, and how bad news, another major concept in health
communication, is received. This class will provide a comprehensive understanding of these
concepts, how they are utilized in the field of health communication, and the ways in which the
two areas intersect, all in the broader context of understanding health communication as a discipline.
COMM 501 Medical Concepts and Health Writing 3 Credits
Improving the way that health is communicated requires the ability to understand health
information at the initial – and often complex – level. In particular, health communication aims
to provide information to underserved populations, who may suffer from lack of education and
poor health literacy. This class will provide students with a basic understanding of medical
terminology and the ability to comprehend and explain scientific literature. Students will develop
the skills needed to translate medical information for a wide range of audiences. Students will
also be required to apply these concepts through the creation of multiple types of health writing
COMM 503 Corporate/Persuasive Discourse 3 Credits
Imparts advanced knowledge of crisis management, including theory, techniques and applications. Students will gain competency in a number of areas including: changing opinion and behavior, crisis management principles, strategies, tactics and communication methods. Students will work in teams to develop the knowledge and skills to manage the messages surrounding crisis-related issues found in organizations.
COMM 504 Strategic Business Writing 3 Credits
Provides students with the tools to think and write strategically. Students will gain competency in a number of areas including: identifying challenges and communicating to different workplace audiences; developing content for daily, routine and specific workplace requirements; focusing on strategic, outcomes-based writing; and cultivating interpersonal relationships for successful communication. These skills are particularly important for those in or aspiring to managerial/senior staff roles.
COMM 505 Health Communication Theory 3 Credits
Health communication is driven by a set of principles that guide the conceptualization, design,
and implementation of new health guidelines and interventions. The ultimate goal of health
communication is to increase health and satisfaction by encouraging healthier behaviors, medical
compliance, and more efficient communication of medical information. This class is designed to
give an overview of the major fields of study in health communication through examination of
the major theoretical perspectives therein. Topics include the different areas of study in which
health communication theories are based, how theory is used to support the initial design of
research studies and interventions, and the situations in which the use of more than one
theoretical approach is warranted.
COMM 507 Business Presentation Strategies 3 Credits
Develops the ability to create purposeful presentations with targeted messages relating to audience needs. Students will gain competency in a number of areas including: messaging, writing for the visual media, using current visual presentation tools, delivering an impactful presentation and taking advantage of social media channels. They will develop the knowledge and skills to influence and inspire internal and external constituencies, a key part of communication practitioners’ jobs, especially those in managerial/senior staff roles.
COMM 510 Theory and Practice of Negotiations 3 Credits
This course provides students with the theory and skills required to be effective
negotiators. Students will learn how to prepare for and participate in negotiations by
applying various strategies and tactics. This course will be evenly split between
theoretical lecture/discussion and practical application / skill development, including in-
COMM 525 Visual Communication 3 Credits
This course introduces students to the theory and practice of visual communication design. Students will learn how to critique, design, and edit visual communications with specific audiences in mind. Topics include the elements and principles of design, color theory, visual perception theories, typography, symbols, brand identity, logos, propaganda, and information design in both current and historical contexts. Readings and viewings of relevant films are a required component of the course. Assignments will afford students opportunities to apply current visual communication software to produce visual communications for various professional environments, but command of such software is neither required nor expected.
COMM 531 Legal/Ethical Issues for Professional Communication 3 Credits
Provides students with the knowledge to understand and apply ethical guidelines and current laws and regulations relative to workplace communication, as well as the legal limits impacting professional communications. This knowledge is particularly important for those in or aspiring to managerial/senior staff roles.
COMM 545 Information Gathering & Analysis 3 Credits
Develops the knowledge and skills to use various research methods and analysis techniques to provide critical information for, and assist with, business decisions. It will cover developing research tools, gathering and verifying information, analyzing, and reporting results. These skills are particularly important for those in or aspiring to managerial/senior staff roles.
COMM 551 Cultural Conceptions of Health and Illness 3 Credits
Culture affects every relationship dynamic, the way nonverbal communication is interpreted,
how audiences are selected for health campaigns, the ability and willingness to use technology,
and the way bad news is broken to individuals and families. In health communication, culture
comprises both the general conceptions of what culture is – the characteristics of a particular
social, ethnic, or age group – as well as other factors.
This class will examine the specific variables of culture in this setting, how the variables are both
unique and interconnected, and the wide-reaching impact culture has in health. The first half of
the course explores the variables that culture includes. The latter part of the course takes these
variables and demonstrates the roles they play in real-world health communication settings.
COMM 552 Communication in a Multicultural Workplace 1.5 Credits
Instructs in the use of diversity and cultural communication principles and strategies to effectively manage a culturally diverse workforce. This course will help organizational leaders understand how gender, ethnic, religious, and other differences affect the workplace, and how to effectively harness those differences towards maintaining a workplace that promotes good employee relations, and ultimately, good productivity for the organization.
COMM 553 Communication in a Global Market 1.5 Credits
Examines communication between and among businesses in a global context. The course presents communication as an essential pivot around which revolve the social and institutional relationships within and among nations. Hence, exploring global communication structures and tendencies is an important means to understanding social, cultural, economic and political impositions on global business. The emerging role of technologies of communication, such as social media, will be a particular focus of this course.
COMM 554 Effective Group Communication 1.5 Credits
Encompasses the study of individual and group behavior in the workplace. Emphasis is placed on individual behavior and group dynamics, application of current group theories, effective group communication, and effective leadership/followership skills. A comprehensive review of these processes, as well as others, will allow students to examine their role in groups as well as teams.
COMM 555 Communication and Organizational Culture 1.5 Credits
Examines communication and culture in organized settings. Emphasis is placed on managing organizational culture, communication and the relationship between organizational performance and organizational culture. A review of research and analysis as it relates to organizations will allow students to apply what they have learned about organizational culture to real life situations.
COMM 556 Special Topics in Communicatio 3 Credits
COMM 557 Special Topics in Communicatio 3 Credits
COMM 558 Health Communication Campaigns 3 Credits
Campaigns are the primary tool used in health communication to disseminate messages and
effect change. Campaigns can provide information on a specific issue or to a specific
community, encourage preventative health behaviors, demonstrate behaviors (such as performing
self-skin exams for skin cancer or the proper way to follow medication instructions), put forward
suggestions for a healthy lifestyle, raise awareness, or offer support. At times, multiple messages
may be present in one campaign. This class will examine the different types of health campaigns
and the impact a health communication campaign can have. Students will learn how to analyze a
health campaign through its full cycle. The class will also serve as a foundation for the capstone
class of the Master’s in Health Communication program.
COMM 559 Communicating Crises in Health 3 Credits
In the health setting, multiple events can be considered a crisis: the outbreak of a disease,
contamination of food, a natural disaster, and more. The response to a crisis can have a
significant, long-lasting impact on the organization’s reputation. The development of a crisis
plan, which sets forth guidelines for an organization’s response to a crisis and involves multiple
steps, can be completed before any events occur and can significantly affect the way an
organization handles a crisis. This class explores the types of crises that occur in health
communication, the factors involved in a crisis, the development of a crisis plan, and the effects
of a crisis on an organization.
COMM 560 Communication Issues for Leaders 3 Credits
Focuses on analysis of contemporary issues that highlight the necessity of effective communication for those in a leadership position. Through analysis and discussion of historical and current challenges faced by organizations, students will learn to recognize how effective leaders apply successful communication strategies. Case studies will also explore the effect that poor communication choices have had on organizations. Emphasis will be placed on discussion, research, and presentation.
COMM 563 Digital Media Communication 3 Credits
Looks at the digital technologies that make up the new world of digital convergence. The course will examine the effects of digital media convergence on social life, ethics, industry, and local and global communities through a variety of theories and paradigms. This course will also help students develop necessary digital media production skills and use them critically to solve media development problems.
COMM 564 Communication and Diversity in the Workplace 3 Credits
The culture of work, like society, is multicultural. More than ever, today’s organizational leaders, including CEOs, managers and supervisors, must understand how to use diversity and cultural communication principles and strategies to effectively nurture and promote a culturally diverse workforce. This course helps organizational leaders understand how gender, ethnic, religious, and other social and cultural differences affect the workplace, and how to effectively harness those differences towards maintaining a workplace that promotes good employee relationship, and ultimately, good productivity for the organization.
COMM 565 Rel Comm: Interpersl, Group, Intercultr 3 Credits
Introduces students to seminal and contemporary research in the area of relational communication. Broken down into three modules, the curriculum will be divided among the topics of Interpersonal Communication, Group Communication, and Intercultural Communication. In the first, emphasis will be placed upon theories of human communication, verbal and nonverbal communication, gender, and conflict. The second module will explore various elements of group communication, including leadership and followership, roles, status, power and problem solving and decision making. The third module will introduce students to the study of intercultural communication, with its focus on the relationship between culture and communication.
COMM 590 Independent Research and Study 3 Credits
Independent Research and Study allows students in good academic standing to investigate topics of interest under faculty supervision.
COMM 599 Capstone in Business Communication 3 Credits
Provides students with the opportunity to explore, research and discuss practical and theoretical topics in business communication. This capstone course gives students an opportunity to apply skills and knowledge they have learned throughout the Master of Arts in Business Communication curriculum. Under faculty supervision, students will complete a major project using a variety of research methods.
COMM 600 Capstone: Implementing a Health Communication Campaign 3 Credits
The ability to implement, evaluate, revise and successfully launch a campaign is a critical skill
for all individuals who work in health communication. Campaigns are the primary tool used by
health communicators to initiate change in a community, although their implementation will not
always be a fluid, one-step process. This class will require students to select a local health
campaign and evaluate the campaign from start to finish. Students will complete the Master’s
program in Health Communication with a complete proposal for a health communication
campaign and the skills needed to analyze an existing campaign from beginning to end.
COMM 690 Research and Creative Expressi 1-4 Credits