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Course Listing

Many courses will be offered in the hybrid format which combines distance education and classroom instruction.

COM 8001 Qualitative Research Methods

Qualitative approaches to communication research: phenomenology, ethnography, rhetorical criticism, and semiotic analy­sis. Emphasis on the performative turn in ethnography and alternative forms of ethnographic writing. Primary work con­sists of semester-long original study. With Departmental permission, this course can substitute for Senior Project.

COM 8002 Quantitative Research Methods

Fundamentals of quantitative communi­cation research. After reviewing the phi­losophy and practice of scholarly inquiry, students engage in research design and execution, thematic and sta­tistical inference, and the presentation of research results. With Departmental per­mission, this course can substitute for Senior Project.

COM 8003 Internship in Communication

Internships at area businesses and orga­nizations supervised by a faculty mem­ber. Graduate Students may only take this course once.

COM 8004 Communication Directed Study

Individual research project in an advanced area of communication, conducted under the guidance of a faculty member.

COM 8005 Communication Special Topics

Contemporary topics in communication. Taught on an occasional basis to reflect critical and changing debates and inquiries in the discipline.

COM 8006 Thesis Direction I

Independent capstone research experience under the direction of a graduate faculty advisor. Satisfactory completion requires a successful defense of a completed research prospectus.

COM 8007 Thesis Direction II

Independent capstone research experience under the direction of a graduate faculty advisor. Satisfactory completion requires a successful defense of a completed research project.

COM 8008 Orientation to Graduate Study

Orients new students to graduate study in communication. (1 cr.)

COM 8009 Personal Promotion in Communication

Provides useful information and compet­itive advantages in many areas of self-promotion in communication. (1 cr.)

COM 8010 Becoming an Academic

Prepares Master’s students interested in academic professions. This course focuses on developing a better under­standing of preparing and presenting research to academic audiences. (1 cr.)

COM 8011 Health Promotion Messages

Guides students through process of planning and strategy development; developing and pretesting concepts, messages, and materials; implementing program, assessing effectiveness and making refinements.  (1 cr.)

COM 8012 Storytelling: Communication, Culture, Craft

Learn to create, shape, adapt and embody narratives for various contexts, audiences, and purposes—both personal and professional.

COM 8100 The Communication Perspective

Grounds students in communication the­ory orienting them to theoretical and eth­ical issues involved in strategic dis­course. Tracing historical and contemporary issues in the development of communication study, the course examines meaning-making and its consequences in various contexts.

COM 8101 Performance Studies

Examines performance across contexts: public to interpersonal, verbal to nonverbal, stage to everyday life. Uses performance, rhetorical, and cultural studies theory to experience the strategic nature of performance in aesthetic, political, interpersonal, organizational, and cultural contexts. Emphasizes both analyzing and creating performance.

COM 8102 Persuasion & Advocacy

Using the principles of persuasion from classical and contemporary rhetorical theory and criticism, students engage message analysis and construction; audience/situational analysis; and strategic oratory.

COM 8200 Teambuilding & Small Group

Theories of effective group communica­tion; group development, cohesion, con­flict management and diversity; strate­gies for building and maintaining teams, enacting leadership, constraints and opportunities for teams and leaders, organizational outcomes, and effective project management.

COM 8201 Health Communication

Examines interpersonal, organizational and mediated communication in various health domains. It includes a review of relevant health communication theory and methods to inform such areas as doctor/patient relations, public health campaigns and communications about health in organizing and organizations.  

COM 8203 Organizational Research & Consulting

Prepares students to understand and ana­lyze organizations as researchers; pre­pares them to conduct consulting inter­ventions in organizations as communication consultants.

COM 8204 Conflict & Negotiation

The role of communication in the development and management of con­flict and negotiation; types of conflict, resolution strategies and power relation­ships. Applications may include intercultural/international con­flict, conflict in organizations and conflicts between and among stakeholders.

COM 8205 Intercultural Communication

Historical and contemporary study of intercultural communication in interper­sonal, organizational, and mass mediated contexts. Topics: cultural identity, ethno­centrism, culture and language, culture and the body, intercultural conflict, inter­cultural communication competence, and cultural adaptation.

COM 8206 Diversity & Organizing

Explores the relational, axiological and cultural implications of communication practices in the negotiation of difference and social identity as central to the organizing process.

COM 8207 Organizational Communication

Centrality of communication to organiz­ing and practices of organizational life. Theoretical and historical perspectives on org. com. Topics: organizational structure and culture, communication networks,  decision-making, socialization, training, consulting, and workplace democracy.

COM 8208 Public Communication Campaigns

Local, national and interna­tional campaigns, research target audi­ences, conduct formative research for message development, and design and evaluate multi-media message strategies. May be taught from a health/risk com­munication, political communication, or public communication perspective.

COM 8209 International Public Relations

Explores public relations theory, research, and practice in an international context. Explores public relations issues and practices in Asia, Europe, Latin America, and Africa. Students will develop a body of knowledge to help as future communication scholars or professionals. 

COM 8210 Leadership Communication

Study of effective leadership. Examines communication environment and organizational politics. Participant model of leadership; group/team observa­tion and participation.

COM 8211 Communication & Identity

Examines the communicative negotiation of identity in different contexts. It explores areas such as gender, race, sexuality and class.

COM 8212 Communication & Advocacy

This course acquaints students with ways of critically assessing the use of communication for social, economic, and/or cultural transformation. Course will incorporate perspectives from at least one of the following areas: rhetoric, critical/cultural studies, communication campaigns, organizational communication or media studies.

COM 8300 Public Relations Writing

Areas covered include journalistic style of writing, targeting audiences, practice in fundamentals and media relations techniques.  Students will create portfolio writing samples, e.g. industry standard news releases, pitch letters and features, Q&A documents, crisis statements and position papers.

COM 8301 Strategic Public Relations

Foundation, history and evolution of pub­lic relations, including media, manage­ment, and client relations, writing, research, ethical counsel and crisis com­munication. Students form “agency” groups to solve a client’s public relations challenges and present plan to leading public relations professionals.

COM 8302 Advertising

Research process in advertising, cre­ative platform, development and execu­tion, media planning and buying, evalu­ating, advertising effectiveness, new and non-traditional advertising, internet and web-based advertising, client man­agement, and advertising in a socially conscious marketplace.

COM 8303 Mass Media Industries

Surveys media industries – newspaper, film/home video, broadcast television, cable television and the internet – focus­ing on how consumer demand, technology and government policies interact to affect industry behavior. Examines audiences as products of mass media industries.

COM 8304 Journalism

This course covers principles of journalism through theoretical, methodological, critical, and practical lenses. Areas of study include history, ethics, production, consumption, impact on individuals and society, content, and industry structure, all with an emphasis on the current and future state of journalism in the new media environment.

COM 8305 Media Literacy

Students examine the reciprocal relationship between culture and technology in understanding media. Students examine the socio-cultural, ontological, economic, historical, and philosophical perspectives relevant for understanding media as technologies.  Through historical and contemporary examples, students explore media technologies' social significance.

COM 8306 Media Production

Provides an overview of the video production experience for those who want to include media produc­tion in business, advocacy, research and education.

COM 8307 Visual Communication and Culture

Theoretical and methodological introduc­tion to the study of images as commu­nicative and cultural phenomena. Theories of the image; implications for visual communication and culture; analysis and production of images in a variety of media and contexts.

COM 8308 Theories & Effects of Mass Communication

Social scientific investigation of media effects and history of mass research. Globalization of mass media, direction and impact of new forms of communica­tion, emerging media technologies and media convergence.

COM 8309 Public Opinion

Influences of strategic communication on attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors of mes­sage recipients. Definitional, ethical and methodological issues; rhetorical and social scientific approaches to opinion and attitude change; application to adver­tising, public relations, politics, and health communication.

COM 8310 New Media

Examines communication technology from the multiple perspectives of tech­nology, markets and policy.

COM 8313 Communication Directed Study

Individual research project in an advanced area of communication, conducted under the guidance of a faculty member. (1 cr.)

COM 8314 Photoshop

Introduce students to Adobe Photoshop software. Learn how to use Photoshop to alter existing images, to create new material, such as banners or logos. (1 cr.)

COM 8315 Video Shooting Lab

Designed to give students who already have a basic understanding of video shooting a chance to explore issues of lighting, framing, lens choice, white bal­ance, and shutter speed. (1 cr.)

COM 8316 Audio Production

Introduce students to the tech­nology and related issues in the produc­tion of audio-only work. Combined theo­ry and production lab devoted to developing critical and theoretical skills around sound and focusing on technolo­gy and software. (1 cr.)

COM 8317 Basic Web Design

Aesthetics of making quality web sites through HTML coding and Adobe Dreamweaver software. Conformity with W3C standards and website architecture. (1 cr.)

COM 8318 Developing Crisis Materials

Essential strategies and tools needed by professional communicators. Proven techniques for crisis statements, talking points for media interviews, briefs for management and legal counsel, and message vehicles for the post-crisis environment. Agency teams formed to manage crises through developed materi­als. (1 cr.)

COM 8319 Cultural Studies

Introduces students to interdisciplinary area of Cultural Studies. Explores Cultural Studies' intellectual influences, emergence in the post-war era, and proliferation thereafter, with particular attention to its relevance for the study of communication.

COM 8320 Digital Media Design

This course is designed to provide a broad-based overview of the Media Arts & Design industry, focusing on the research, strategies and methods that go into designing and preparing media for consumption via a variety of delivery methods (including traditional mass media, online, and mobile devices). Students will gain a theoretical understanding of and practical experience with: digital photography & videography, web design & development, and multimedia production.

COM 8321 Critical Studies in Advertising

Students examine the reciprocal relationship between culture and commerce in understanding advertising. Students examine the socio-cultural, ontological, economic, historical, and philosophical perspectives relevant for understanding advertising as cultural expression.  Through historical and contemporary examples, students explore the social significance of advertising practices and products.

COM 8322 Audience Analysis

Introduction to the study, measurement and analysis of media audiences. This course explores theories of audience behavior, methods for sampling and measuring audiences, and both classic and emerging metrics for capturing user behavior. The course will also explore the ethics of measurement, the audience measurement industry and practical applications for media professionals.

COM 8401 Special Topics in Qualitative Research

Concentrated workshop in a specific area of qualitative research. (1 cr.)

COM 8402 Special Topics in Quantitative Research

Concentrated workshop in a specific area of quantitative research. (1 cr.)

COM 8403 Special Topics in Applied Organizational Communication

Concentrated workshop in a specific area of applied organizational communication. Possible topics include:  facilitating participation in organizations, leading diversity and social change, multicultural leadership for training teams and conflict mediation processes. (1 cr.)

COM 8404 Special Topics in Media Production

Concentrated workshop in a specific area of media production. (1 cr.)

COM 9080 Thesis Continuation

Continuation of supervised research for student writing a Master’s thesis.

Graduate Program

Dr. Amy Way
Associate Professor
Director of Graduate Studies
Villanova University - Garey Hall



Our mission is summarized in the University motto: Veritas, Unitas, Caritas. An Augustinian institution, Villanova University values dynamic and diverse community members committed to learning, scholarship and service, and who can contribute to the University’s ongoing conversation regarding ethics, community, and social justice.