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Nido R. Qubein School of Communication
Communication Major
Major Information
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Course Descriptions

Click here to see a list of courses by semester offered.

COM 1110     Human Communication
This course presents fundamental communication theories as applied in various public speaking, interpersonal and small group communication contexts and provides both a theoretical foundation and a practical framework for future studies in the Communication area. Four credits.

COM 1111     Mediated Communication Systems
Introduction to the digital technologies employed by the media industries to record, store, edit and deliver information to audiences. This course provides an introduction to audio, video, and graphic software packages. Students begin a digital portfolio. Four credits.

COM 2001     Video Production I
As an introductory-level video production class, COM 2001 centers on basic techniques of studio and field productions. Students will cover pre-production, production, and post-production skills through hands-on exercises. The class will particularly emphasize basic directing, editing, shooting, audio, and lighting techniques. These skills will prepare students for successful completion of COM 2011 and other upper-level video classes. Four credits.

COM 2011     Video Production II
Students build upon basic production skills developed in Video I through both field and studio based assignments. Emphasis is placed on developing non-fiction storytelling skills and understanding the importance of story structure in the creation of broadcast programs. Students produce, write, shoot, and edit field assignments. These field assignments are used as part of broadcast programming produced and crewed by the students. Four credits. Prerequisite: COM 2001.

COM 2204     Media and Popular Culture Studies
This course assists students in developing an understanding and appreciation for mediated popular culture in its social and theoretical contexts. Students engage in a variety of critical and rhetorical theories – narrativity, feminisms, neo-Marxism, visual pleasure, media logic, parasocial relationship, cultivation analysis, and social learning theory – as a means to understand the extent to which media and popular culture inform and construct our lives. Heavy emphasis is given to our theoretic analysis in both oral and written expression. Four credits. Prerequisite: ENG 1102 or ENG 1103.

COM 2221     Audio Production I
A study of the principles and techniques of audio production.  Practice in creating original programs. Four credits. Lab time required.

COM 2222     Games and Society
Focuses on the cultural impact of games by examining the history of games and contemporary issues including the relationship between games and violence, representation of race, gender, and sexuality, and the serious games movement. Students are required to attend a series of movie screenings and discussion sessions outside of class. Four credits.

COM 2225     Foundations of Strategic Communication
This course introduces students to the field of strategic communication and draws on traditional areas such as public relations and advertising, as well as some of the emerging internet-based communication technologies. Strategic communication consists of those communication tactics and strategies that are intended to help an organization or client accomplish its mission and goals.  Four credits.

COM 2231     Writing for Film and the Electronic Media
The class centers on writing scripts for film and electronic media, with an emphasis on the creative process and the ways they are influenced by the technical demands of the electronic media.  Students will exercise their writing skills through workshops and assignments, and critically evaluate scripts. Four credits. Prerequisite: ENG 1102 or ENG 1103.

COM 2234     Movies and Methods
This course is designed to give students an overview of the development of motion pictures from a historical, critical, and technological perspective.  In addition to surveying the history of motion pictures, the student will learn the rudiments of film analysis and the critical terminology necessary for an introductory-level understanding of film.  Four credits. Prerequisite: ENG 1102 or ENG 1103.

COM 2235     Public Relations Techniques
This course introduces students to the role public relations plays in helping nonprofit organizations achieve their goals. Emphasis is placed on the execution of various public relations tactics commonly used by nonprofit organizations. Four credits. For non-communication majors/minors only.

COM 2241     Electronic Media History and Development
This class is a survey of the radio and television industries, with an emphasis on their formation, growth, and change.  The course examines the historical development of broadcasting, as well as its political, social, and economic impact.  The class also examines broadcasting principles, tools, and skills. Four credits. Prerequisite: ENG 1102 or ENG 1103.

COM 2243     Convergent Journalism I
Convergent Journalism I is an introductory writing course in the field of journalism designed to introduce students to the basic principles and techniques of news writing and reporting in a converged media society. Students will learn the necessary writing skills for various media; journalistic skills as well as ethics in journalism. Four credits. Prerequisite: ENG 1102 or ENG 1103.

COM 2252     Theory and Design of Games
Introduction to critical/cultural studies approaches to game studies, including rhetorical, ludological, and cybernetic criticism. The contributions of literature, film, and theatre to the study of games are also examined.  Students will also gain extensive experience with and be exposed to close readings of canonical games. A research paper engaging the theory or criticism of games is required. Four credits.

COM 2261     Radio Practicum
Practical application of theory from Communication courses in work for the campus radio station. Two credits. Pass/Fail. Course may be repeated once.

COM 2262     Video Practicum
Practical application of theory from Communication courses in work for University and department video production projects. Two credits. Pass/Fail. Course may be repeated once.

COM 2263     Newspaper Practicum
Practical application of theory from Communication courses in work for the campus newspaper. Two credits. Pass/Fail. Course may be repeated once.

COM 2264     Black-American Voices: Stories & Sounds
This course enjoys the magnificent wealth of African-American literature, spoken word, personal narratives, and music. Starting with voices from the days of slavery and moving up through the contemporary hip-hop and neo-soul music, students will explore the history, culture, and politics of the African-American experience. Four credits. Prerequisite: ENG 1102 or ENG 1103.

COM 2265     Practicum in Publicity Methods
This course introduces students to the use of basic publicity methods, e.g., news releases, public service announcement, media alerts, forms of social media, etc. through the development of such tactics for on-campus clients and local non-profit organizations. Two credits. Pass/Fail. Course may be repeated once.

COM 2267/IDS 2255            Survey Research Center Practicum
An interdisciplinary introduction to survey research methodology that provides students with hands-on experience conducting phone-based surveys as an interviewer in High Point University’s Survey Research Center. Students will receive training in research ethics and interviewing skills, as well as obtain experience designing, collecting, and analyzing surveys. Options: Two credits or one credit. Can be repeated for one credit, up to 3 semesters.

COM 2272     Games Industries and Organizations
Overview of games-related professions in public, private, and non-profit sectors as well as intersections between game industry and other creative industries. IP, digital distribution, proprietary software and middleware, and organizational practices of various industry leaders are discussed.  Relationships between the game industry and regulatory agencies are surveyed. Four credits. Course fee required.

COM /WGS/SOC 2274        Women, Gender, and Culture
This course is an interdisciplinary survey of the historical and contemporary practices and perspectives of women’s studies in America, exploring the range of voices from our foresisters of past decades to young females today. We will question systems of oppression, differences, and hierarchies; look at the interactions of sexuality and power; examine the social construction of gender; explore the performative aspect of gender; delve into women’s connection to both high and popular culture; and analyze the ways in which our society inscribes gender on our physical bodies. Attention will also be given to various situations of women outside of the United States. This course also serves as the core requirement for the Women’s and Gender Studies minor. Four credits.

COM 2282     Players, Gamers, and Game Cultures
Introduces students to player-centered studies of games. Typologies of players and the distinction between player and gamer are introduced.  The culture, socialization, and values of traditional and virtual gaming communities are examined. Students will attend some class sessions in the persistent world of a massively multiplayer online game and complete an in-depth study of a community of players. Four credits. Prerequisite: ENG 1102 or ENG 1103.

COM 2283     Multimedia Storytelling
Introduction to multimedia skills and applying them to produce more effective Web-based stories. Skills include photography; audio and video slideshows; audio and video editing. Four credits. Prerequisite: COM 2243.

COM 2285     Practicum in Corporate Events Planning
This course introduces students to the use of events as a communication tactic through which for-profit and nonprofit organizations can develop and maintain relationships with key stakeholder groups. Students will have the opportunity to either plan and execute an event for an organization or play a significant role at an event. Two credits. Pass/Fail. Course may be repeated once.

COM 2881, 3881, 4881         Special Topics
Variable credit. May be repeated.

COM 3302     Narrative and Interactive Fiction
Examines the role of story in the theory, design, and scripting of games. Students will craft game narratives using commercial game editing software and scripting language. Four credits. Prerequisite: COM 2252.

COM 3311     Narrative Production
This class builds on the technical and creative video production techniques taught in COM 2011.  Students further explore, and develop a deeper understanding of, each stage of video production, with particular emphasis on lighting, sound, camera techniques, and editing.  To this end, students will exercise their skills through a variety of hands-on field productions, editing assignments, and a critical essay.  Students are expected to have a basic working knowledge of video production upon entering the class. Four credits. Prerequisite: COM 2011.

COM 3312     Principles and Practices of Interactivity
Examines forms of interactivity in games and other media. Typologies of interaction and rhetorics of interactive media. Students will gain first-hands experience using, manipulating, and modifying various games and interactive media. Four credits. Prerequisite: COM 2252.

COM 3313     Feature Writing
Feature Writing is an in-depth study of journalistic storytelling for print and online media as well as freelance markets. Special emphasis is given on utilizing observational skills as well as narrative, description, anecdotes and compositional techniques to tell a story. The course incorporates the use of video, audio and images to create multimedia stories. Four credits. Prerequisites: ENG 1102/1103 and COM 2243.

COM 3314     Visual Rhetoric and Design
An analysis of the ways that visual images shape our understanding and relationships with an emphasis on the study and application of various components of text production: invention, style, audience, technology, design, aesthetics, and media convergence. Four credits. Prerequisites: COM 1111.

COM 3315     Strategic Message Development for Public Relations
This course introduces students to the development of messages communicated through various public relations discourse forms such as fact sheets, news releases, public service announcements, video news releases, brochures, newsletters, e-newsletters, and contemporary forms of social media. Four credits. Prerequisites: COM 1110, 1111, and 2225.

COM 3321     Audio Production II
This class builds on the basic audio production skills covered in COM 2221: Audio Production I.  In addition to continuing to exercise storytelling and recording skills, COM 3321 focuses on the scientific principles of sound, and on how to use multi-track audio recording and mixing equipment to produce solid audio productions. Four credits. Prerequisite: COM 2221.

COM 3322     Character and User-Interface Design
Students will gain knowledge of the representational and interactive implications of character design. The relationship between character, story, and gameplay are examined.  Historical and contemporary user input devices and UI are surveyed. Students will design compelling characters for a variety of game types and modify (mod) user interfaces. Four credits. Prerequisite: COM 2252.

COM 3323     Copy Editing
Introduction to the skills and techniques required for story publication. Practical work will focus on editing various forms of news stories and practicing writing headlines. Four credits. Prerequisite: COM 2243.

COM 3324     Myth and Media
This course examines stories that have emerged as types of popular myth in film, television, and other media. Myth is defined here as stories that hold a prominent place in the culture and that illuminate elements of a culture’s values, hopes and fears. These include adaptations of classic fairy tales such as Cinderella, as well as persistent variations on other themes such as “the American dream,” “rags to riches,” superheroes, and “humble orphan” stories. Four credits. Prerequisite: COM 2204 or permission of instructor.

COM 3325     Strategic Message Development for Advertising
An introduction to the principles and practices of developing advertising messages designed to support the marketing of a specific product or service. In the lab students will prepare advertising copy in various formats for print, out-of-home, broadcast, direct, point of purchase and Web-based media. Four credits. Prerequisites: COM 1110, 1111, and 2225.

COM 3331     Video Journalism I
This class builds on the technical and creative video production techniques taught in COM 2011 with a specific focus on broadcast news.  Students further explore, and develop a deeper understanding of, each stage of video production, including lighting, sound, camera techniques, editing, and storytelling.  To this end, students will exercise their skills through hands-on field productions and editing assignments related to the production skills in the broadcast journalism industry.  Students are expected to have a basic working knowledge of video production upon entering the class. Four credits. Prerequisite: COM 2011 or 2243.

COM 3335     Message Development in Health Communication
This writing-intensive course provides an overview of theory and research concerning the role of communication campaigns in health promotion efforts. Examples of health communication campaigns in the United States and in other parts of the world are used to illustrate the theoretical rationale behind effective message development in health campaigns. Students will learn the writing and graphic design skills to develop various health communication messages. Four credits. Prerequisite: COM 1111.

COM 3341     Sports Production
This class builds on the technical and creative video production techniques taught in COM 2011 with a specific focus on sports production.  Students further explore, and develop a deeper understanding of, each stage of video production, including lighting, sound, camera techniques, editing, and storytelling.  To this end, students will exercise their skills through hands-on field productions and editing assignments related to the sports broadcasting industry.  Students will also compose a critical essay related to sports broadcasting.  Students are expected to have a basic working knowledge of video production upon entering the class. Four credits. Prerequisite: COM 2011.

COM 3342     Theory and Criticism of Games
This course introduces students to critical approaches to the study of games.  Game genres and the concept of fun are examined in depth.  Emphasis is placed on understanding games as texts mediating social, cultural and individual relationships. Four credits. Prerequisite: ENG 1102 or ENG 1103.

COM 3343     Convergent Journalism II
Building on skills acquired in COM 2243, this class focuses on the techniques of news gathering, interviewing, reporting and journalistic writing in a convergent media environment. Professionalism is emphasized; Students should think of themselves as reporters and the instructor as their editor. Four credits. Prerequisite: COM 2243.

COM 3344     Media Representations: Race, Class, Gender
This course is a critical and theoretical study of the assumptions and representations of mainstream media – advertising, music, film, television, comics and animation – through the lenses of gender, race, ethnicity, whiteness, sexuality, age, and ability, considering media content as well as media production and audience receptions. Four credits. Prerequisite: COM 2204 or permission of instructor.

COM 3345     Social Media
This course examines the use of existing and emerging social media platforms and how they are changing the ways in which individuals and organizations communicate and build relationships. Students will engage the course content through selected readings, reflective essays, case studies and analyses of social media issues and platforms. Four credits. Prerequisites: Junior Standing and COM 1111 or consent of instructor.

COM 3352     Game Development
Overview of the game development process from conception to the publisher. The shift from author to team-based development and the roles and responsibilities of team members is stressed.  Students will collaborate on the design and preliminary work-up of a game and pitch their projects to a publisher.  Four credits. Prerequisite: COM 2252.

COM 3354     History of Documentary Film
This course explores the history of documentary film and examines documentaries’ role in both reflecting and shaping the history of our time. In essays and class discussions, students will examine how and why documentary filmmakers make their films, how documentaries fit into their historical moment, and how filmmakers use conventions and artistry as tools of persuasion. Four credits. Prerequisite: ENG 1103/1103.

COM 3361     Motion Graphics
This course focuses on the theory and practice of motion graphic design. Students will learn to create effective, efficient, and dynamic motion graphics for use in motion pictures, broadcast media and the web. Class time will be divided between screenings, discussions, exercises and lab time. Students should expect to spend additional time in the lab each week outside of the scheduled class time. Four credits. Prerequisite: COM 1111 or ART 2050.

COM 3362     Puzzle, Obstacle, and Level Design
Introduces principles and practices involved in creating compelling interactive experiences.   Students will craft a series of puzzles and scenarios for non-digital games and design multiple levels for a digital game using commercial game modifying software and scripting language. Four credits. Prerequisite: COM 2252.

COM 3363     Opinion Writing
In-depth study of and practice in critical and editorial writing. Special emphasis on newspaper and electronic media editorials, opinion columns and reviews. This course aims to help students think critically and write persuasive arguments. Four credits. Prerequisite: COM 2243.

COM 3364     Television: Texts and Contexts
This course is designed to provide an understanding of television from its historical roots to its role in a “converged” media environment. In addition to studying industry practices (including programming and ratings), students will examine a variety of television texts, including advertisements. Students will learn about the formal and structural qualities of different television genres and will employ a number of theories to analyze television’s role in society. This class will revisit ideas and theories introduced in COM 2204 Media and Popular Culture, further investigating the many ways in which media influence our lives and shape our culture. Four credits. Prerequisite: COM 2204.

COM 3365     Case Studies in Strategic Communication
This course examines cases in public relations, advertising, and integrated marketing communication, and the communication theories that underlie these cases. Students will also have an opportunity to explore specific career options in strategic communication and participate in a crisis communication simulation. Four credits. Prerequisites: COM 1110 and 2225.

COM 3373     Investigative Reporting
This course explores how to conduct investigative and in-depth reporting. Course teaches students how to go beyond the day-to-day newsroom journalism to bring context and meaning to stories. Emphasis on improving a journalist’s credibility and accuracy through the use of documents and databases; effective interviewing, and fieldwork. Four credits. Prerequisite: COM 2243.

COM/GBS 3374        Global Media Representation of Women
This course examines theoretical as well as key issues on global media representations of women. Topics include the nature of media and how it creates and challenges stereotypes, as well as its exclusionary representation. We will examine women’s portrayals in media forms that include: television, print and online media, music videos, advertisements, videogames, etc. We will also examine the work of women in the industry. Four credits. Prerequisites: ENG 1102/1103, WGS/COM/SOC 2274.

COM 3375     Communication Campaign Analysis and Design
This course focuses on the analysis of existing campaign tactics and the development of campaign materials for public relations, advertising, and health communication campaigns. We will examine the ways communication campaigns are designed, implemented, and evaluated, describing the critical role of communication research throughout the campaign process. The course cuts across multiple levels of communication, different communication channels, and the use of diverse communication media and technologies. Four credits. Prerequisite: COM 2225.

COM 3383     Sports Reporting
Techniques of researching and writing the sports story. Emphasis on issues of race and gender; hero worship and sportsmanship, and an ethical examination of what sports journalists do and why they do it. Four credits. Prerequisite: COM 2243.

COM 3384     Hip Hop Culture
A theoretical exploration of the social impact and cultural contributions of hip hop. Emphasis is given to its intersection with race, gender, sexuality, nationality, economics, and politics as well as its rhetorical roots. Four credits. Prerequisite: ENG 1102 or ENG 1103.

COM 3385     Applied Research in Strategic Communication
This course introduces students to research methods commonly used to better understand clients, audiences, messages and the media. Research methods include the use of secondary sources, media research services, observational methods, in-depth interviews, focus groups, survey research, etc. Four credits. Prerequisites: COM 1110, 1111, 2225.

COM 3390     Communication Law and Ethics
Study of law as applied to the mass media with particular emphasis on freedom of information, libel, privacy, contempt and copyright regulations. Includes detailed examination of ethical dilemmas in the media industries and various codes and procedures adopted to address these problems. Four credits. Prerequisites: ENG 1102 or ENG 1103, and Junior Standing.

COM 4412     Digital Game Prototyping
Students learn to make prototypes for digital games using non-digital and digital methods.  The process of game testing and the role of prototyping in the game development process are examined.  Students will learn to use Action Script to create animation and interaction for digital game prototypes using the Macromedia Flash Player.  Four credits. Prerequisite: COM 2252.

COM 4414     Advertising & Ideologies: Consumer Culture
This course considers the ways in which advertising – both form and content – not only reflects but also constructs our values, belief systems, and behaviors. Emphasis is given to unpacking the notion of cultural ideologies and the ways in which these ideologies operate within advertising and our consumer culture. Four credits. Prerequisite: COM 2204, Senior Standing, or permission of instructor.

COM 4424     Gender Speak
This course explores the intersection of gender, communication, and culture, giving emphasis to the role language has in the construction and reproduction of gender performance, gender identities, and the stereotypes and biases of how men and women speak. We will explore classic research in the field of gendered language, examining language used by both men and women in a variety of speech situations and genres, both in the public and private sphere. We will also explore recent research, particularly as it intersects with mass media and popular culture. Four credits. Prerequisite: COM 2204, WGS/COM/SOC 2274, Senior Standing, or permission of instructor.

COM 4443     Government & Public Affairs Reporting
Concentrated analysis and reporting in special fields, including coverage of government, public policy issues as well as business, labor, arts and sciences. Four credits. Prerequisite: COM 2243.

COM 4444     Independent Study
Individual study and research under the guidance of a member of the department. One to four credits each semester.

COM 4451     Senior Production Experience
This course allows students to further their knowledge and experience in video production by producing longer-form or serial projects.  Students work independently under the supervision and guidance of the instructor.  These independent projects must be approved by the instructor, and are designed to help students increase their skills in manners not covered in the other production classes. Four credits. Prerequisites: COM 2011, and permission of instructor.

COM 4492     Collaborative Game Design and Development
Capstone experience in the Game and Interactive Media Design sequence.   In teams, students will work across and outside of typical production roles in order to design, prototype, and iterate a digital game. Four credits. Prerequisites: Senior standing, COM 3352.

COM 4810-4815        Student Internship
Students will participate in internships related to their sequence and have a 2.3 overall GPA, a 2.5 GPA in communication courses, and a minimum of 16 credits in communication to include an introductory course in the student’s sequence and an advanced level course.  Four credits. Prerequisites: Junior Standing, COM 1110 and COM 1111.

COM 4996     Strategic Communication Theories, Practices, and Ethics
Open only to students accepted into the Communication graduate program. Three credits. Prerequisite: Permission of Graduate coordinator, or permission of instructor.

COM 4997     Persuasion and Media Effects
Open only to students accepted into the Communication graduate program. Three credits. Prerequisite: Permission of Graduate coordinator, or permission of instructor.

COM 4998     Research Methods
Open only to students accepted into the Communication graduate program. Three credits. Prerequisite: Permission of Graduate coordinator, or permission of instructor.

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