The field of public relations is one of the fastest-growing and most rewarding professions in today's information-based global economy. As Public Relations majors at Rider University, students learn how organizations and individuals proactively manage communication challenges and opportunities in real world contexts. Expert professors, as well as professionals in the field, help students sharpen their skills through hands-on assignments and class lead discussions using case studies and current trends. Throughout the program, students explore the importance of cultivating and maintaining productive relationships with clients, the media and opinion leaders. In the capstone course, students work with local corporate or nonprofit clients to learn all facets of planning and executing a public relations campaign.
Outside the classroom, Rider's Public Relations majors are encouraged to gain experience by working as interns in a variety of fields including fashion, sports, healthcare, government or a number of other exciting industries. In addition, students have the opportunity to join the nationally recognized Rider chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America.
The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) is the foremost organization for students interested in public relations and communication. The organization seeks to advance the public relations profession by nurturing generations of future professionals. As a chartered chapter of the national organization, Rider University's Public Relations Major meets rigorous academic standards for public relations education, and subscribes to the highest ethical principles and diversity in the profession.
At the local level, the Rider University Chapter offers opportunities to meet leaders in the field through agency tours, guest speakers, workshops, professional mentoring, and trips to regional and national conferences. The Rider Chapter also provides opportunities to build your public relations portfolio through the chapter’s activities including social media, event planning, and public relations consulting activities. Dr. Nancy Wiencek is the Chapter advisor.
For more information, please visit the Rider University Chapter of PRSSA on Instagram.
Core classes in the Public Relations major include public relations, publication design, feature writing, advanced speech, public relations writing and strategy, communication research methods, and cases and campaigns in public relations.
To round out the major, students also choose at least one other class to build their skills in areas such as social media, podcasting, intercultural communication, event planning, web design, photography, marketing, advertising, or grant writing and fundraising. In addition, students also choose at least one class to explore a career focus through classes focused on organizational communication, health communication, politics and law, sports communication, international communication, arts marketing or an internship.
- B.A. in Public Relations
Nancy Wiencek, PhD
Department of Communication, Journalism and Media
School of Communication, Media and Performing Arts
Program website: Public Relations
Associated Department: Department of Communication, Media and Performing Arts
Public Relations Major Requirements
|CAS General Education Curriculum|
|Departmental Core (21 Credits)||21|
|Communication, Culture and Media|
|Writing for the Media|
|Fundamentals of Video Production|
|Digital Media: Theory and Practice|
|Public Relations Major Requirements (27 Credits)||27|
|Advanced Speech Communication|
|Digital Publication Design|
|Public Relations Writing and Strategy|
|Communication Research Methods|
|Cases & Campaigns in Public Relations|
Choose one skills-based course from the following:
|Introduction to Social Media|
|Introduction to Web Design|
|Issues in Event Planning|
|Advanced Publication Design and Presentation|
|Grant Proposals, Fundraising and Development|
Choose one career-focused course from the following:
|Intro to Health Communication|
|Rhetoric for Politics and Law|
|Commun/Marketing in Arts|
|Internship in Communication|
Students may not carry a double major within the department. Communication, Journalism and Media majors may declare only one minor in the department. No more than two courses may be used to meet the requirements for both a major and a minor in the department.
If a student receives a grade lower than "C" in a course required in a major or minor in the department, the student must repeat the course. Credit will only be awarded once for a course that is repeatable. The student must also repeat the course before enrolling in any course which it is a prerequisite.
Students in the 4+1 MABC program may take COMM 503 to count towards the Skills-Based part of the curriculum.
Public Relations Minor
|COM 107||Writing for the Media||3|
|COM 203||Introduction to Social Media||3|
|COM 240||Public Relations||3|
|COM 341||Public Relations Writing and Strategy||3|
|COM 348||Communication Research Methods||3|
|COM 440||Cases & Campaigns in Public Relations||3|
1 Note: Communication, Journalism and Media majors may declare only one minor in the department. No more than two courses may be used to meet the requirements for both a major and a minor in the department. (Exception: If a student elects the Event Planning and Production minor, then three courses may be used to meet the requirements for both the major and that minor in the department.)
Academic Plan of Study
The following educational plan is provided as a sample only. Rider students who do not declare a major during their freshman year; who are in a Continuing Education Program; who change their major; or those who transfer to Rider may follow a different plan to ensure a timely graduation. Each student, with guidance from his or her academic advisor, will develop a personalized educational plan.
|CMP 120||Seminar in Writing and Rhetoric||3|
|MTH 102||Finite Mathematics||3|
|HIS 150||World History to 1500||3|
|COM 105||Communication, Culture and Media||3|
|Semester Credit Hours||15|
|CMP 125||Seminar in Writing and Research||3|
|HIS 151||World History Since 1500||3|
|COM 104||Speech Communication||3|
|COM 107||Writing for the Media||3|
|Semester Credit Hours||15|
|COM 131||Fundamentals of Video Production||3|
|COM 240||Public Relations||3|
|Aesthetic Perspectives: Fine Arts||3|
|Semester Credit Hours||15|
|COM 264||Digital Media: Theory and Practice||3|
|COM 212||Digital Publication Design||3|
|Aesthetic Perspectives: Literature||3|
|Semester Credit Hours||15|
|COM 204||Advanced Speech Communication||3|
|COM 348||Communication Research Methods||3|
|Public Relations Elective, Skills-Based Course||3|
|Elective Course Credits||6|
|Semester Credit Hours||15|
|COM 316||Feature Writing||3|
|COM 301||Communication Law||3|
|Public Relations Elective, Career-Based Course||3|
|Elective Course Credits||6|
|Semester Credit Hours||15|
|COM 341||Public Relations Writing and Strategy||3|
|COM 302||Communication Ethics||3|
|Elective Course Credits||9|
|Semester Credit Hours||15|
|COM 440||Cases & Campaigns in Public Relations||3|
|Elective Course Credits||12|
|Semester Credit Hours||15|
|Total Credit Hours for Graduation||120|
For course placement information visit https://www.rider.edu/offices-services/new-student-orientation/placement-testing-information
Please note that elective credits may be used to complete requirements in a second major or minor.
Courses and Descriptions
COM 102 Introduction to News Writing 3 Credits
Introduces students to routines of journalism, including reporting, writing and preparing content for print and web. Incorporates contemporary practices in multimedia journalism, including digital audio, video and photos, into traditional skills, with an emphasis on accuracy, clarity and professional style and voice. Class exercises are completed in a laboratory newsroom.
COM 103 Introduction to Communication Studies: Theory & Practice 3 Credits
Provides a foundation for the study of communication across the discipline. Open to freshmen only, it is designed to assist the first year student majoring in communication or journalism to gain a broad understanding of the scope and breadth of the field. Fundamental communication theories, principles, concepts, terms, and issues are introduced.
COM 104 Speech Communication 3 Credits
Examines basic communication principles and strategies of public speaking. Various genres of oral communication are studied, with an emphasis on extemporaneous and impromptu forms of delivery. Students research, prepare, and deliver speeches that are then used as the focal point for the discussion of effective speaking and listening. A number of speeches are videotaped. Students who received credit for COM 104S may not take this course. This course counts towards the fulfillment of the Essential Competencies element of the CLAS general education curriculum.
COM 104S Intro to Speech Communication 1 Credits
As part of the EOP program, this course is designed to improve the speaking and language skills of new college students. Through directed practice, students have the opportunity to develop poise and confidence in oral communication, as well as competence in analyzing and synthesizing messages. Emphasis is placed on development, organization, and delivery of speeches. To receive credit, a grade of "C" or higher must be earned. Students who receive credit for COM 104S may not take COM 104.
COM 105 Communication, Culture and Media 3 Credits
Provides a detailed investigation and analysis into the nature, history, scope, adequacy, and limitations of mass communication and examines the reciprocal influence of the media on culture and society. This course counts towards the fulfillment of the Disciplinary Perspectives element of the CLAS general education curriculum.
COM 106 Writing for the Communication Professions 3 Credits
Provides students with written communication writing strategies and tools. Applies theory and practice in communication to targeted audiences. Emphasizes the critical role writing plays in the communication workplace and provides an opportunity to evaluate and respond to real-life writing samples and situations.
COM 107 Writing for the Media 3 Credits
Introduces students to interviewing and persuasive writing techniques for print and electronic public relations and advertising formats. Teaches techniques for creating effective digital audio-visual aids and working with digital audio and video.
COM 110 Digital Survival Skills: Media Literacy and Critical Thinking 3 Credits
This course is designed to help students critically engage with the digital media they encounter in their daily lives and build savvy skills to navigate this endless online world of information and proliferating disinformation. The course examines the digital communication, information, entertainment -- and even surveillance – that surrounds us all. Critical engagement includes understanding theories used to study the power of these media and practical techniques to assess the accuracy of digital content.
COM 131 Fundamentals of Video Production 3 Credits
Introduces students to basic video production theories, techniques, and applications. Students will gain competency in a number of video production areas including: production planning, camera operations, lighting, sound, and digital non-linear editing. Individual and group production exercises will involve planning and executing video productions in both studio and non-studio settings. This class is designed to prepare students from any major to effectively create, produce, shoot, and edit basic video production assignments including public service announcements, video news releases, educational/instructional videos, and marketing/promotional spots.
COM 150 Introduction to Critical Media 3 Credits
In this course, media is understood as any communication outlet or tool used to deliver information or data to a large number of people. This includes various components of the mass media communications industry, such as print media, publishing, news media, photography, popular culture artifacts (such as movies and film), broadcasting, advertising, billboards, etc. As such, this course teaches students how to think critically about the power and influence of mass media in their daily lives and the lives of others. The course is designed to teach students how to analyze mass mediated messages through a variety of theoretical and analytical frameworks through the lens of hegemonic discourse and power dynamics. These perspectives and approaches include, but are not limited to: Marxist, queer, psychoanalytical, rhetorical and feminist perspectives. Emphasis will be placed on the ways the media produce and reproduce societal norms, expectations and taken-for-granted beliefs. This course will provide insights into our understanding of the relationship between media and one’s attitudes, values and beliefs.
COM 201 Communication Theory 3 Credits
Explores selected theories, models, and research methods in human communication, the dynamics of the communication process in various settings, and the role of communication in human interaction.
COM 202 Color Theory 3 Credits
Introduces the fundamentals of Color Theory by studying the scientific principles of the color wheel, the logic of color structure, as well as the emotive principles of color, color harmony, qualities, and combinations. This course will help students sharpen and train to recognize, describe, define, replicate, and identify color in everyday experience, especially in visual communication design.
COM 203 Introduction to Social Media 3 Credits
Introduces the tools and techniques of social media as an effective means of communication in a variety of organizational settings. Students will practice with a variety of social media platforms, explore the roles and responsibilities of a social media manager, discuss the importance of establishing social media policies, and learn how to develop a social media strategy as well as how to measure its effectiveness through social media analytics. In addition, students will discuss important issues such as how to handle an online crisis, and the legal and ethical implications of digital communication.
COM 204 Advanced Speech Communication 3 Credits
Provides students with the opportunity to further their study and practice of various types of speech communication. Moving beyond an introductory perspective, this course focuses on the development of critical, analytical, and pragmatic aspects of speech. The focus is divided between the discussion of theoretical models and a demonstrated competence of that material.
COM 205 Persuasion 3 Credits
Analyzes the motivations that lead individuals and audiences to beliefs and actions and the techniques of achieving objectives through persuasion. Attention, interest, empathy, ethos, fear, and techniques of speakers, and those who use persuasion professionally are studied.
COM 207 Social Media and Social Change 3 Credits
Introduces students to Web/ social media tools and information distribution networks that have enabled people to mobilize new types of collective action, inform publics and advocate positions. Community production and sharing of knowledge (Wikipedia), culture (YouTube, Flickr, the blogosphere), and political organizing (colorofchange.org) are current manifestations of social changes that are continuing to bloom in the 21st century. In this course, Rider University students will become literate in active Web and social media participation with a focus on engaging with current social, political and cultural issues.
COM 210 News Reporting and Writing 3 Credits
Develops skills in hard-news reporting. Employs off-campus reporting assignments to refine information-gathering techniques such as interviewing, observation, and use of government documents and other contextual materials. Includes reporting and writing about police news, state and local government, the criminal justice system, science, business, and sports.
Prerequisite(s): COM 102.
COM 211 Copy Editing 3 Credits
Teaches all phases of copy editing for news and public relations: marking of copy, online editing, fact checking, building and shaping news and feature stories, applying mechanical style, building an ear for graceful English, and safeguarding against legal and ethical problems. Provides comprehensive review of grammar, spelling and punctuation, along with intensive practice in writing headlines and captions and editing wire copy.
Prerequisite(s): COM 102.
COM 212 Digital Publication Design 3 Credits
Students will explore the relationships between theory and practice, tradition and innovation, history and ever changing technological and aesthetic trends in publication design. Students will learn to use graphic image and typography as design elements in print media, such as newspaper and newsletter, as well as online media, such as e-magazine and e-book. Students will also learn the interactivity design for online publications. The course directs students to apply these concepts and skills to the production of published materials with digital publishing systems.
COM 213 Typography 3 Credits
Introduces students to the basics of typographic techniques and design aesthetics and provides an overview of the basic fundamentals of type design as they apply to graphics, advertising, the arts, and other areas of visual communication. The course focuses on how typography can be used as a communicative device as well as a graphic, compositional, and expressive element.
COM 220 Voice and Articulation 3 Credits
Increases the student’s knowledge of the vocal elements of oral communication and improves use of voice and articulation. Introduces anatomy and physiology for enhanced vocal production. Analyzes volume, rate, pitch, quality, phrasing, stress, and inflection. Presents the International Phonetic Alphabet as a means of developing correct articulation and pronunciation. Uses classroom exercises and tape recording for feedback and learning.
COM 221 Speaking for Broadcast and Digital Media 3 Credits
Introduces the principles and techniques of speaking in traditional and digital media through the preparation and presentation of copy for live television and radio as well as recorded video and audio for the web. Students will apply the principles and techniques to a number of contexts including television and radio news, music and sports announcing, interviewing and talk programs, as well as public service announcements.
COM 232 Podcasting I 3 Credits
Podcasting I will offer students an innovative reading, research, discussion and creative lab experience. Using fictional storytelling, broadcast journalism and talk show formats, students will learn the basics of producing an original, creative podcast. They will gain insight on how to communicate and successfully market a podcast towards a mass audience. Students would also receive a basic overview of podcasting, so they can continue work to podcast on their own after taking Podcasting I.
COM 233 Writing for Broadcast 3 Credits
Introduces diverse and highly structured writing styles and formats used in writing for broadcast. With focus on effective and creative writing using broadcast style, students will be exposed to the fundamentals of writing dramatic and non-dramatic material for radio and television including station IDs and liners, public service announcements and commercials, news and public affairs programs, and short dramatic and documentary scripts. Through lectures, case discussions, in-class assignments, and critiques, emphasis will be on the practical application of basic rules and conventions common to broadcast writing from copy preparation to on-air delivery.
COM 234 Audio Production 3 Credits
Provides a laboratory study of audio production techniques, and performance. Introduces the fundamental properties of sound as applied in modern audio production at radio and television stations, sound studios, and production houses. Students conduct lab exercises in editing, mixing, and digital recording using ProTools. Students perform a variety of genres including news, commercials, dramas, and promos.
COM 237 Rhetoric in the Digital Age 3 Credits
Focuses on the critical examination of the major public discourses in digital media. Students will learn classical and modern rhetorical theory such as Aristotle's Rhetoric, power, publics and counterpublics, and argumentation. Students will apply these theoretical aspects to critically engage digital texts such as memes, emojis, hashtags, trolls, blogs/reviews, and video game narratives.
COM 239 Script Writing for Comic Books 3 Credits
The medium of comics presents a fascinating vehicle to communicate through a sequence of text and images. Comic books, graphic novels and other forms of the genre (web comics, comic strips, etc.) hold a significant place in modern society, history and culture. This course is designed to orient students towards writing comic book scripts. Focus will be placed on students creating and writing their own stories. Students will learn basic concepts around scripting for sequential art, story research, the relationship between text and image, comic panel theory, working within page-length restrictions and various scripting formats. Beyond learning how to write a comic book, students will explore topics such as: the different types of script formats, plot points, writing sound effects, story structure and outlining. No artistic experience needed.
COM 240 Public Relations 3 Credits
Introduces current theories and practices of public relations, with emphasis on facilitating two-way communication with various publics. Explores approaches to public relations problems by critically analyzing case studies and applying theories and techniques to realistic situations.
COM 247 Covering the Sports Betting Industry 3 Credits
This course will introduce students to the world of covering the sports betting landscape via traditional sports media. Emphasis will be placed on learning the jargon of sports betting, learning how to break down financial reports from both states and gambling operators, how to cover legislative action on the subject. In short: Covering the world of sports betting is quickly becoming akin to covering the world of financial markets, and students wishing to pursue a career in sports media will have to know how to navigate this world going forward.
COM 251 Interpersonal Communication 3 Credits
Focuses on the study of various communication concepts and theories and the development of interpersonal skills and sensitivities. More specifically, students will participate in lectures, exercises, and projects while exploring the role and function of relationships in their professional, social, and personal lives.
COM 252 Intercultural Communication 3 Credits
Develops intercultural communication competence through an awareness and understanding of diverse cultures and their impact on communication. It will introduce students to those general factors that influence communication with people from diverse cultures both internationally and within the United States, and offer a blend of skill development, communication theory, and hands-on application.
COM 253 Organizational Communication 3 Credits
Focuses on the ongoing communication processes in organizations. This course examines how and why organizations develop policies and procedures that both encourage and yet constrain creativity and autonomy in employees. It also introduces various management skills to balance the dynamic in organizations. Finally, the course introduces students to various communication technologies that enable communication processes in organizations. Students will also have opportunities to participate in creating organizational dynamics through role-playing exercises, case studies, and other kinds of experiential learning.
COM 254 Intro to Health Communication 3 Credits
Health communication has been shown to have a positive impact on a number of facets of the medical visit, including patient outcomes, patient satisfaction, and job performance and satisfaction. This course will provide students with tools to implement health communication practices in a healthcare setting in order to improve these areas. In addition, health communication is particularly useful in cross-cultural situations, both in regard to the patient-provider relationship, when the ethnicities of the two parties may be different, and when cultural beliefs may impact a patient’s medical wishes. Part of the tools for implementing health communication into the practice setting includes an understanding of the role that culture can play in healthcare and the development of strategies to provide optimal medical care while also respecting cultural intricacies.
COM 261 Introduction to Web Design 3 Credits
Introduces students to digital graphics, text, audio and video for Web design using Adobe Creative Suite. Students will learn the basics of audio, video, graphic, and interactive software along with theories of design and perception that underlie effective presentation of digital messages.
COM 262 Graphic Imaging for Digital Media 3 Credits
Teaches students techniques for image development, and image preparation for various multimedia applications. Emphasis is placed on color calibration and palette issues, image manipulation, advanced image selection techniques, transparency and masking, multimedia authoring file formats, and dynamic image design. Students will be expected to participate in critiques of professional designs in order to learn to critically evaluate their work and their fellow students’ work.
Prerequisite(s): COM 261 or permission of instructor.
COM 263 History and Principles of Graphic Design 3 Credits
Covers the history and principles of graphic design from analog art through the digital revolution. The elements and principles of design will be used to study stylistic progressions, artistic techniques, design innovations, and mechanical inventions.
Material will be presented through a combination of illustrated lectures and discussions.
COM 264 Digital Media: Theory and Practice 3 Credits
Introduces the ways that the merging of media industries and the intersection and integration of various media platforms and technologies impact our lives. While the primary focus will be on digital and mobile technologies and practices, the course will also cover the convergence of digital technologies in a wide range of media areas, including journalism, social media, television and entertainment. The course will offer students broad conceptual frameworks for thinking about how the emergence and evolution of digital as well as mobile communication technologies have changed the communication and journalism industries and how they are reshaping content. In addition, the course is intended to allow students to use different digital communication technologies.
COM 265 3D Graphic Animation 3 Credits
Provides students with an introduction to the basics of 3D graphic animation techniques including modeling, texturing, rendering, visual effects and animation. Through various projects the students will learn: to model characters, sets and props, how to apply textures and color to their models, and how to bring their creations to life using various animation techniques. In addition to the technical aspects of creating successful animation, the students will also learn the aesthetics of animation in regard to cinematography, art direction, lighting, character creation, prop creation, and set creation, dramatization and narrative.
COM 270 Sports Multimedia Reporting 3 Credits
COM 270 Sports Multimedia Reporting. Develops skills in hard-news sports reporting, game coverage, and the production of introductory multimedia and social media sports content. Employs out-of-the-classroom reporting assignments to refine information gathering techniques such as interviewing, observation, and use of documents and other contextual materials. Includes reporting and writing on sports games, teams, players, coaches, athletic issues/controversies, and the business of sports.
Prerequisite(s): COM 102. Introduction to News Writing.
COM 280 Issues in Event Planning 3 Credits
Offers students education in event planning, production, and supervision for varied professional applications. Emphasis will be placed on planning, budgeting, and organizing small and large events for educational, institutional, non-profit, and professional groups. Students will participate in the entire process of event planning, with specific experiences in applying communication theory to actual projects.
COM 290 Professional/Strategic Speech 3 Credits
Provides students with practical information necessary for effective communication in various business and professional settings. Covers communication processes, principles, and models in the modern organization. Class assignments are given with emphasis on developing a knowledge and practical understanding of informative, persuasive, and impromptu presentations. Limited to students enrolled in the College of Business Administration.
COM 292 Content for Social Media 3 Credits
Focuses on creating social media content that will inform, entertain, and engage audiences within a variety of organizational and business contexts. Students will learn about message planning for specific platforms and creative ways to use digital content to support public relations, branding, customer, and media relations.
COM 301 Communication Law 3 Credits
Critically examines the legal limits and privileges affecting freedom of expression, especially in publishing, advertising, film, telecasting, and cyberspace. Places particular emphasis on the historical and philosophical foundations of the freedoms and limitations of communication in the United States.
COM 302 Communication Ethics 3 Credits
Analyzes internal and external pressures on the communication professional including economic, cultural, social, and political pressures, assesses the philosophical and practical basis for responding to such pressures, evaluates contemporary media responses to these pressures, identifies those that are of laudable quality and why, and provides guidance as to how individuals and organizations can think and react ethically. Issues addressed include censorship, confidentiality, conflicts of interests, minority and ethnic groups, privacy, sensationalism, and self-criticism.
COM 304 Rhetoric for Politics and Law 3 Credits
Introduces the theory and strategy of crafting persuasive messages and cultivating relationships with the media in the context of judicial, deliberative, and epideictic genres of rhetoric. In addition, students will learn how to plan and coordinate media briefings and how to prepare and participate in a media interview.
COM 312 Special Topics in Journalistic Writing 3 Credits
Provides students with the opportunity to explore specialized topics in journalistic reporting and writing. Each course will focus on a specific area in the broad field of journalism. Examples include business reporting, health reporting, and sports reporting.
COM 314 Development & Communication of Nonprofit Organizations in Sport 3 Credits
This course introduces students to developing a nonprofit organization in the sports industry. Emphasis will be placed on communicating goals to the public, budgeting, managing, and fundraising in order to build a successful nonprofit sport organization. Throughout the semester, students will learn necessary steps to create their own nonprofit 501(c)(3) while developing plans for their own organization. This work will culminate with a presentation of a detailed plan and report to a committee of sports/nonprofit professionals who will foster ways to actually help launch the entity.
COM 315 Computer Assisted Reporting 3 Credits
Develops advanced reporting techniques for researching and writing in-depth news stories and investigative articles. Uses state-of-the-art computer-assisted reporting methods including finding and mining data bases on the Internet, creating spreadsheets to analyze data, and employing data base manager software to sort and summarize information in government documents and other specialized resources. Focuses on conceptualizing of story ideas, planning major projects, gathering information by means of data bases, participant-observation, interviews, and analysis of public documents. Emphasizes organizing large quantities of material and presenting it in a meaningful context, including with information graphics.
Prerequisite(s): COM 210 or permission of instructor.
COM 316 Feature Writing 3 Credits
Focuses on problems and requirements of newspaper, magazine, public relations, and free-lance nonfiction writing. Students write features designed for acceptance in print, broadcast and digital media and learn marketing techniques.
COM 318 Gender and Communication 3 Credits
Focuses on interactive relationships between gender and communication in contemporary American society. It connects theory and research with practice to explore multiple ways communication in families, schools, media, and society in general creates and perpetuates gender roles. It is designed to heighten students’ awareness of how we enact socially created gender differences in public and private settings and how this affects success, satisfaction, and self-esteem.
Note: This course is crosslisted as GND 318. Students may not get credit for both COM 318 and GND 318.
COM 321 Stand Up Comedy 3 Credits
Explores the theory, history, and practice of stand up and comedy writing as a contemporary rhetorical practice. Students will learn the various mechanics of joke construction, the nature of comedic narratives, and how humor can be used to engage in personal, social, cultural, and political commentary through the analysis of comedic performances. The class will also feature workshops in which students create and refine their comedic performances and personae. The class will culminate with students performing their material in front of an audience.
COM 322 Argumentation and Advocacy 3 Credits
Investigates the theory and practice of speech communication that seeks to persuade by inferential argumentation. Concentrates on theories, practices, and research in argumentation and debate, blended with speaking experience in analyzing and advocating controversial topics.
COM 323 Oral Interpretation of Literature 3 Credits
Provides an orientation to the field of oral performance. Students select literary texts, adapt the material to the audience and prepare it for presentation. Emphasizes the development of voice, articulation, and kinesic behavior. Presentations to the class are critiqued.
COM 324 Political Rhetoric and Democratic Culture 3 Credits
Explores how political rhetoric has shaped the democratic culture of the United States. Students will focus on the role political rhetoric plays in the struggle to contest and redefine the meaning of the Declaration of Independence’s promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In so doing this course attempts to develop an appreciation for the ways in which the challenges to extant laws and traditions—and in particular the language choices and modes of argument used in those challenges—have expanded the meanings of democracy.
COM 325 Rhetoric of American Labor 3 Credits
This course examines speeches, tracts, lyrics, newspapers, posters, poems, and films of the labor movement in America. The course also examines the historical context of the labor movement to better understand and appreciate the public discourse of labor. The course explores how rhetoric has been used to give force to ideas and lead to actions, how we develop a sense of how the values and norms of our society were reflected and shaped, and we understand how that history influences our collective perception in the present. Special attention is paid to the nature and locus of power, the interplay of conflict and confrontation, and the speaker's attempt to maintain or change the allocation of that power.
COM 326 Social Media Analytics 3 Credits
Examines how social media analytics are used to improve and inform an organization’s decision-making process to develop, manage, and evaluate the success of an organization’s social media strategy. Students will learn how to use analytics tools, and analyze and use data to plan and evaluate the effectiveness of social media campaigns.
Prerequisite(s): COM 203.
COM 327 Career Development in the Sports Marketplace 3 Credits
This course provides a survey and analysis of various professional opportunities for those looking to pursue a career in athletics and sports. The exploration and career development is a continuation of prior sports media and communication courses with an emphasis on developing techniques and strategies for entering a very competitive marketplace. Students will engage in detailed market analysis for changing trends while developing a network of contacts through assignments based on interviews with professionals. Beyond learning about these professions, student assignments will be centered on enhancing relevant skills needed to obtain employment in the areas of athletics and sports.
Prereq(s): COM 270, COM 347, and MKT 280.
COM 330 Documenting Cultures Through Travel 3 Credits
Offers students, through travel and study, a unique opportunity to gain firsthand experience of a foreign culture and to learn how to record and document their experiences using multiple media, including print, audio, video, photography and/or the Web. While traveling, students will be required to attend lecture/discussion sessions, site tours, and other planned activities. This experience will be preceded and/or followed by additional academic work to be conducted on campus. Study topics may include aspects of the historical, social, economic, political and aesthetic cultural components appropriate to the location(s) to be visited. The travel component of the course will be scheduled to avoid conflict with normal semester offerings. No foreign language skills are required.
COM 331 Television News Production 3 Credits
In this course, students will learn to write, shoot, edit and produce video news for television, the Internet and social media. Students will be introduced to the necessary video and digital production techniques, software and technologies for producing and reporting both individual news packages and entire news programs. Through this class, students will sharpen their news judgement and learn the roles and responsibilities of television news reporters and producers.
Prerequisite(s): COM 131 or COM 230.
COM 332 Topics in Advanced Podcasting and Radio 3 Credits
Develops advanced podcasting and radio techniques, allowing students to focus closely on researching, recording, script writing, producing and distributing podcast and/or radio content in specialized genres. Students produce complex, long-form audio features suitable either for terrestrial broadcast and online/mobile podcasts. Topics may include journalism and news; narrative storytelling; sports; politics; business; and the arts. Since topics will vary by semester and instructor, this course may be repeated once.
COM 337 Music Production for Mass Media 3 Credits
Offers students education in audio production techniques for music and other advanced audio material. Building on theory and practice introduced in the prerequisite, the class will instruct students in the theory behind acoustics and electronics as well as the digital tools and media. Those theoretical studies will be put to practice through exercises in recording music, making selections from music libraries, multi-track recording, arranging, editing, mixing and mastering. Students will begin to develop both an engineer’s attention to audio detail and a musician’s sense of artistry. Putting these skills to use, the students will produce complete musical works of varying musical styles, working both individually and in teams.
Prerequisite(s): COM 234.
COM 338 Writing for Broadcast II 3 Credits
Building on COM 233 Writing for Broadcast, this course provides a hands-on approach to more sophisticated reporting and interviewing techniques and writing formats used in long-form radio and television programs. This course will expose students to the following broadcast script writing areas: features, documentaries and reality programs. It will also cover writing for interview/talk show programs, music, comedy and variety programs. Students will also be exposed to writing for corporate, educational and children’s programming. Students will have hands-on experiences writing, producing and editing news pieces and webcasts for student and area media outlets and web sites.
COM 341 Public Relations Writing and Strategy 3 Credits
Applies communication theory to writing and editorial processes and production techniques to create public relations materials; includes press releases, industrial publications, social media, trade publications, brochures, newsletters, stockholder reports, and multimedia platforms.
COM 347 Sports Communication 3 Credits
Critically examines the symbiotic relationship between the mass media and professional sports franchises and major college athletic programs. This course deals with the workings and processes behind executing the proper techniques of sports information and media relations, as well as an analysis of the culture of sports in modern society. Students will develop a practical focus on sports information and promotion, including the role of the sports information director and events promoter, with emphasis on advanced concepts of public relations, publicity and marketing.
Prerequisite(s): COM 240 or permission of instructor.
COM 348 Communication Research Methods 3 Credits
Introduces students to the research methods used to study communication problems and processes. Students will learn how researchers plan and design research studies, explore the methodological considerations of both qualitative and quantitative methods, and have an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in conducting research on communication-related issues.
Prerequisite(s): COM 105; junior or senior standing.
COM 350 Team & Group Communication 3 Credits
Examines the communication process as it relates to the small group. Theoretical constructs including motivation, group climate, attraction, leadership, decision making, problem solving and roles are analyzed. Utilizes group experience to study and evaluate the dynamics and effectiveness of interpersonal systems.
COM 352 Chinese and American Intercultural Communication 3 Credits
Instructs students about Chinese culture and communication. Culture impacts communication practices and styles in significant and subtle ways. Through readings, lectures, discussions, and first-hand interactions with Chinese international students, the students of this course will gain both conceptual and practical understanding of major communication differences between the two cultures, and become a more skilled intercultural communicator.
COM 353 Nonverbal Communication 3 Credits
Investigates studies in and theories of nonverbal communication. Lectures and experiential activities explore the effect of status, culture, and gender upon kinesics, physical characteristics, proxemics, tactile communication, paralanguages, artifacts, and environmental factors.
COM 355 Social Justice and Journalism 3 Credits
The best of American journalism is rooted in exploring issues of social justice and shining a spotlight on abuse. In this course, students will learn about the role journalism has played to expose social injustice in America by exploring powerful investigations by the mass media and also press organizations employing and representing non-white and marginalized groups. Students will examine both historical and contemporary journalism examples. The course also will include critical assessment of journalism’s failings, including an exploration of the discrimination and disenfranchisement historically perpetuated by media.
COM 360 Advanced Publication Design and Presentation 3 Credits
Builds on elementary knowledge of graphic design to teach the principles of advanced layout, and computer graphics. Introduces students to industry standard drawing software and builds on their knowledge of layout software gained in the prerequisite course. Provides an understanding of the use of logos, infographics and magazine layout, and of the theoretical bases of color for print production.
Prerequisite(s): COM 212.
COM 361 Photography 3 Credits
Using digital SLR cameras, introduces students to professional methods of shooting varied subjects while applying a range of compositions and styles. Using Photoshop, students edit images for publication in print and on the Internet. Hands-on coursework is grounded in theory, history, aesthetics, and ethics. Some cameras are available for loan from the University.
COM 363 Converging Digital Media 3 Credits
Examines 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.
COM 364 Web Design II 3 Credits
Equips students with the theories and practical techniques required to produce effective digital text, graphics, and animations for the Web. Discusses theories behind the use of these media in terms of effective communication and interaction. Introduces students to different computer platforms and requirements for cross-platform media.
Prerequisite(s): COM 261 or permission of instructor.
COM 365 Graphic Animation 3 Credits
Offers students education in graphic animation theories, animation development techniques, and animation preparation for various multimedia applications. Emphasis is placed on the design principles in animated communication and animation techniques. The course covers the integration of static images in animation, graphic animation techniques, animation compression, animation rendering, input/output file formats, and animation delivery. The primary software for this course is Adobe Photoshop and MacMedia Flash. Students will be expected to participate in critiques of professional animation designs in order to learn to evaluate critically their own work and their fellow students’ work.
Prerequisite(s): COM 262 or permission of instructor.
COM 366 Project Management in Graphic Design 3 Credits
Explores the creative process of graphic design while developing an understanding of the methods employed in problem solving in the industry standard design software packages. Students learn how to create a hierarchy of information through the ordering of elements into a comprehensive visual unity. They consider the relationship between content and page size, proportion, grid and margins. Students learn about typography as a design element and how it works with other visual elements in design. In order to develop an understanding of the project-planning process for either printer or Web projects, students will develop and present a series of projects that will build on one another to develop their “visual voice.” Students will be evaluated on their ability to apply course material to the projects to create professional-quality work; their ability to apply exchange ideas and accept and apply constructive criticism; and on their participation in class discussions, critiques and presentations.
COM 367 3D Graphic Animation II 3 Credits
Continue to learn the techniques of 3D computer animation including modeling, texturing, rendering, visual effects and animation. In addition to the technical aspects of creating successful 3D animation the students will also learn the aesthetics of animation in regard to cinematography, art direction, lighting, character creation, prop creation, and set creation.
Prerequisite(s): COM 265.
COM 370 Sports Television and Field Production 3 Credits
Provides an in-depth study of advanced techniques in sports field production for television. Individual and group field production assignments will involve planning and executing single camera production in a sports setting. Previously developed video production skills will be refined, and students will gain increased competency and sophistication in all areas of sports field production including: production planning, camera operations, lighting, sound, and digital non-linear editing. Designed to prepare students to effectively function in the industry as a member of a professional field production team. In field situations, students create, produce, shoot, and edit sports content.
Prerequisite(s): COM 131.
COM 371 Sports Feature Writing 3 Credits
Focuses on developing reporting and writing skills for newspaper, magazine, public relations, and free-lance nonfiction sports writing. Students will study published examples of outstanding sports feature writing, and write their own sports feature articles with social media and multimedia components. Instead of traditional game coverage, this course focuses on covering sports personalities, issues and themes.
COM 380 Broadcast News Practicum 3 Credits
Provides a workshop dedicated to the planning and creation of professional caliber broadcast news content for the campus television network and beyond. This course will provide an opportunity for students to develop writing, graphic, audio, video design and production skills in an experiential setting. Students will create materials to be used by the Rider University Network and for broadcast, cable and Internet distribution. Students can be involved in any and all phases of creating content from project conception through implementation. Students will gain valuable experience with, a greater appreciation for, and increased competency in creating professional media content. This class will also prepare students to more effectively function in the communication industry as an effective member of a professional production team. Since topics will vary by semester and instructor, this course may be repeated once.
Prerequisite(s): Permission of instructor.
COM 390 Communication and Society 3 Credits
Examines in a topical manner the influence of communication upon significant issues and movements affecting people and society. Investigates interpersonal and mass media factors as they relate to a major issue such as changing sex roles, radicalism, racism, evangelism, election campaigns, and technology. May be taken more than once with different emphasis.
COM 391 Communication Criticism 3 Credits
Investigates and analyzes various methods of communication criticism and their applications to the understanding and evaluation of public and media discourses. Introduces theories and perspectives to assist in the analysis of those discourses. Methods include Aristotelean, Burkean, and ideological criticism.
COM 393 International Communication 3 Credits
Examines mass media systems and their influence on international communication. Emphasizes media systems of major political powers such as Russia, China, the European community, the United States, and geo-political centers such as Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America. Using a seminar format, the course explores how a nation’s mass media reflect its socio-political environment and national values. Focuses on the international images constructed by the mass media.
COM 399 The Co-Operative Experience 3-12 Credits
This course provides a significant work experience to support the professional development of the student and complement theoretical and classroom learning. Students will be assessed based on measures as defined in a placement contract mutually agreed upon by the sponsoring faulty member, the organization representative of the placement site, and the student. Approximately 360 hours of work will be required as students work typically four days per week over at least eight weeks. The proposed placement contract requires departmental approval and the approval of the appropriate office of the dean. It is expected that the Co-op program consume the student’s academic load for the semester. Final placement will be determined by the organization where the student will work. Rider University does not guarantee that every student applying for a co-op will earn a co-op placement. Contact the appropriate department for additional information. Prerequisite(s): junior standing and 2.75 GPA at the time of registration; Pass/fail.
COM 400 Senior Seminar Communication 3 Credits
Provides students with the opportunity to explore critical issues in communication and journalism in a dynamic and engaging context. Students conceptualize problems, develop hypotheses, review literature, design appropriate techniques of inquiry, conduct their research, and present their findings orally to the seminar and in writing to the instructor. Senior journalism and communication majors only.
COM 415 In-Depth Reporting 3 Credits
Utilizes advanced tools and techniques of contemporary in-depth reporting for print and multimedia. Covering multifaceted stories, students will learn how to do balanced multi-sourced field reporting and writing using primary and secondary sources including human sources, electronic documents and databases, both online and offline. Emphasis will be placed on writing stories that answer not only who, what, when and where questions but also the why, the how and the “so what?” questions. Students will also be exposed to some of the best investigative work of journalists past and present as models for analysis and discussion.
Prerequisite(s): COM 210.
COM 426 Social Media Capstone 3 Credits
A client-based social media campaign will be developed from conception to evaluation based on research and digital media strategies. Focus will be on engagement with audiences, managing social media, and evaluation using social media metrics. Permission of instructor required.
COM 431 Advanced Television News Production 3 Credits
This course will focus on writing, reporting and producing a video news magazine program. Students will research, write, shoot, edit and report feature stories that will be included in a bi-weekly news magazine program that students will produce. Emphasis will be placed on meeting deadlines and developing the professional skills required of reporters creating visual stories for television, the Internet and Social Media. During the course, students will learn to sharpen their video production, writing and leadership skills, as well as their news judgment in creating and reporting digital content.
COM 432 Radio Station Operations Capstone 3 Credits
Students will practice the advanced study of the internal workings of a radio station and the podcasting and radio industry through hands-on work at 107.7 FM The Bronc, participating in multiple facets of the operation, including: programming, on-air broadcast, podcasting, audio software editing, event planning, public relations, business of media and advertising. Seniors only. Permission of instructor required.
COM 434 Advanced Structure of Sound in Podcasting and Radio 3 Credits
Provides in-depth study of advanced techniques in audio recording and radio programming and production. Individual and group production of short and long-form radio projects including: promotional spots, features, music programming, and news. Students will be involved in all phases of programming and production for radio including: project conception, development, management, and implementation. Selected student projects will air on the student radio station, 107.7 The Bronc.
Prerequisite(s): COM 234.
COM 440 Cases & Campaigns in Public Relations 3 Credits
Critically analyzes public relations case problems in industry, labor, education, government, social welfare, and trade associations. Emphasizes problem solving through the use of communication theories, public relations techniques, creative thinking, and the development of professional goals and standards. Employs realistic simulation exercises and actual case studies to develop and critique students’ ability to demonstrate this knowledge in professional situations.
Prerequisite(s): COM 341 or permission of instructor.
COM 452 Seminar in Communication Studies 3 Credits
Offers an in-depth investigation of relational communication. Students explore the many complexities involved in human interaction and interpersonal dynamics. Social and psychological implications of various communicative relationships ranging from cross-gender communication to dysfunctional family systems to intercultural interactions are included.
COM 460 Web Design III 3 Credits
Builds on previous courses to refine students’ understanding of theories and procedures of digital media development. Further develops Web site creation and project management theories. Students develop advanced Web creation techniques, including responsible site production.
Prerequisite(s): COM 364.
COM 462 Advanced Graphic Design and Portfolio 3 Credits
Explores the processes of graphic design by creating independent and creative solutions to a series of design problems. Students expand their proficiency in all aspects of the design process, including creative brainstorming, conceptualizing, critical thinking and presentation. Students take a design project to both print and digital formats using Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Students develop and present a balanced portfolio as the culmination of their experience in the course.
COM 470 Live Sports Reporting Capstone 3 Credits
Focuses on student production of live, professional-level sports media content. Students will combine reporting, writing, social media and multimedia from live sporting events. Live-coverage will include Rider University teams and regional or professional sporting events. The course is open to senior Sports Media Majors, or with the permission of the instructor.
COM 490 Independent Study: Research and Creative Expression 1-4 Credits
Independent Research and Study allows juniors and seniors in good academic standing to investigate topics of interest under faculty supervision. Projects must be approved by the faculty member, department chairperson, and academic dean no later than the third week of the semester in which the project is to be conducted. Only one project can be scheduled in a semester, and for no more than four semester hours; up to 12 semester hours of independent research and study may be counted toward graduation. Note that individual departments may have additional restrictions.
COM 491 Internship in Communication 1-4 Credits
Places qualified students in a professional area related directly to their communication training. Students may intern in a communication position with a corporation, small business, media outlet, public relations agency, non-profit organization, political party, sports organization, or other similar organizations. A minimum of 50 hours of internship per credit is required. Written reports, a final project, and supervisor evaluations are used to analyze and evaluate the experience. For students majoring in the Department of Communication and Journalism only, primarily juniors and seniors. No more than two internships are permitted for each student; exceptions may be made. The deadline for registration is the first Friday of the semester.
Prerequisite(s): 3.2 GPA and permission of instructor.