Course Descriptions

Below is a full list of La Salle University undergraduate communication program course descriptions. Please contact us to learn more or schedule a visit.

Core Courses
Communication Management Courses
Journalism Courses
Mass Media Courses
Public Relations Courses
Senior Courses
Internship Course

Core Courses

INTRODUCTION TO MASS MEDIA (COM 101) 3 credits

This course is an introduction to the mass media and its impact on society. Study of the media will include an investigation of newspapers, magazines, radio, television, film, and emerging technologies. The course will trace the historical, technological, and social developments of the media. Particular emphasis will be placed on the influence of the media on content as well as internal and external efforts at regulation.

INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION (COM 102) 3 credits

This course is designed to create an awareness of the role of communication in our interpersonal and group interactions. Students will be introduced to basic concepts and theories associated with interpersonal communication and how those concepts and theories might apply in everyday communication practices. The concepts discussed in this class can empower you to better understand who you are, develop more meaningful personal and professional relationships, manage conflicts more effectively, and communicate effectively with individuals from other cultural groups.

PRESENTATION SKILLS (COM 150) 3 credits

The course provides practical experience preparing, delivering, and evaluating oral presentations. Students are challenged to think critically and to speak effectively about a variety of topics. Assignments include informative, persuasive, special occasion, and group speeches. Additionally, students participate in impromptu speaking exercises, critique videotaped speeches, and write speech analysis papers. These presentations require research and preparation.

COMMUNICATION THEORY AND RESEARCH (COM 205) 3 credits

This course introduces students to interpersonal communication, mass communication, and persuasion theories. The nature of—and differences between—social scientific and humanistic theories will be discussed. A focus will be the research methods used to develop and/or test communication theories. The course is geared toward sophomore students with limited exposure to communication coursework. Prerequisites: COM 101, 102

Communication Management Courses

GROUP AND TEAM COMMUNICATION (COM 215) 3 credits

U.S. organizations are requiring group work, including virtual teamwork, more than ever before. In addition, Americans are choosing to join service, social, and self-help groups at an unprecedented rate. To enhance effective membership in any of these groups, this course weds theory of small group interaction with practice through participation in groups. Specific topics include: the nature of groups, the link between communication and group composition, the aims of groups, the influence processes in groups, group decision making, and properties of group interaction.

PERSUASION, POWER, AND INFLUENCE (COM 312) 3 credits

This course examines theories and techniques associated with persuasion, ranging from those centered on interpersonal settings to those featured in mass-mediated campaigns. Assignments will focus on both oral and written persuasion with the goal of enhancing the student’s abilities as both consumer and practitioner.

ADVANCED INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION (COM 315) 3 credits

In this course, students will recognize, develop, and refine their interpersonal communication competence. Using advanced interpersonal communication theory, students will learn how best to achieve self-presentation, relationship, and instrumental goals. Prerequisite: COM 102

COMMUNICATION RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS (COM 316) 3 credits

This course introduces students to the strategic process of collecting and analyzing information in professional settings. The practical focus of course assignments will be on using research to solve problems. Students will be introduced to situation analysis, designing and implementing surveys, interviewing, focus groups, and content analysis.

ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION (COM 317) 3 credits

In addition to providing an introduction to contemporary research and theory about the communication in organizations, this course also focuses on contemporary issues in order to better understand the practices that contribute to organizational success and failure. Topics include: leadership communication, interviewing and the job search, organizational culture, and the impacts of globalization and technology.

ADVANCED PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL PRESENTATIONS (COM 319) 3 credits

This course focuses on the practical application of theory and research in public, team, and interpersonal presentations. Students will prepare, deliver, and critique presentations for a variety of professional communication situations. Audiences will consist of people within organizations (e.g., supervisors, coworkers), as well as outside of organizations (e.g., clients, community leaders, members of funding organizations). Emphasis will be placed on appropriate and effective information gathering, organizational strategies, audience analysis, and verbal and nonverbal communication.

WRITING FOR BUSINESS (ENG 303) 3 credits

By providing instruction in planning and executing effective business writing, this course helps students learn to write the documents required of them as professionals: letters, resumes, memos, proposals, abstracts, and reports.

COMMUNICATION MANAGEMENT CAPSTONE (COM 415) 3 credits

Students will integrate the knowledge and skills they have acquired in their previous coursework in order to demonstrate their ability to solve real-world interpersonal, group, and organizational problems. The culmination of the course will be an individual project that requires an in-depth analysis of a communication issue of interest to the student, with a particular focus on social issues. Prerequisite: COM 315

Journalism Courses

FUNDAMENTALS OF JOURNALISM (COM 206) 3 credits

This is a beginning journalism course that introduces students to basic news reporting and writing techniques across multiple platforms, including print, broadcast, and online. Although the emphasis will be on news reporting, students will get introduced to feature writing as well.

VIDEO FIELD PRODUCTION (COM 208) 3 credits

This course introduces students to the fundamental theories and practices of audio and video production. Students will learn how the preproduction, production, and postproduction stages apply to media. The emphasis is on storytelling, the importance of audience research and planning, scheduling, and selecting and employing proper resources. Students will experience the process using fundamental production techniques of audio and video through hands-on projects.

BROADCAST JOURNALISM (COM 302) 3 credits

The focus of this course is on reporting for TV and radio broadcast with an emphasis on hard news but including some feature stories. Prerequisite: COM 208

IN-DEPTH REPORTING (COM 306) 3 credits

This is an advanced journalism course that provides students with multiple opportunities to report and write news and feature stories through print, broadcast, and online platforms, while emphasizing reporting techniques used to produce in-depth journalism. Prerequisite: COM 206

COMMUNICATION LAW (COM 308) 3 credits

The course is designed to review the history, development, and interpretation of the First Amendment in the U.S. by our court system and its impact on journalists, mass communicators, and citizens. Prerequisite: COM 101

ONLINE JOURNALISM (COM 356) 3 credits

This course teaches core technical and journalistic skills for journalistic storytelling on the Web. Each student will create his or her own Web log and fill it with original reporting of community-based stories told using words, still photos, video, and audio. The reporting will be accurate, fair, and compelling.

PUBLIC RELATIONS WRITING (COM 357) 3 credits

Writing is one of the top-rated skills for public relations professionals, and this course introduces students to the principles of planning and pre-writing as the basis for successful writing efforts. Students will learn how to produce a variety of pieces for print and electronic media, including press releases, backgrounders, brochures, newsletter articles, and public service announcements, as well as other tools designed to engage an organization’s key stakeholders.

COMMUNITY JOURNALISM—CAPSTONE (COM 406) 3 credits

Community journalism comprises a wide range of practices designed to give news organizations greater insight into the communities they cover. In this service-learning course, students will use the reporting, editing, production, and design skills developed throughout the track to create non-fiction stories about Philadelphia community issues. They will learn to produce their work in print, broadcast, and/or Web-based format. Prerequisites: COM 206, COM 306, and COM 356

Note: Students in the Journalism track are required to also complete a minor or a concentration (at least four courses) in one of the following areas: American Studies, Business, Digital Arts and Multimedia Design, Education, English, Environmental Science, Forensic Studies, Health Science, Health Care Administration, History, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Political Science, Religion, or Sociology. These courses may be counted towards the University core.

Mass Media Courses

VIDEO FIELD PRODUCTION (COM 208) 3 credits

This course introduces students to the fundamental theories and practices of audio and video production. Students will learn how the preproduction, production, and postproduction stages apply to media. The emphasis is on storytelling, the importance of audience research and planning, scheduling, and selecting and employing proper resources. Students will experience the process using fundamental production techniques of audio and video through hands-on projects.

INTRODUCTION TO FILM STUDIES (COM 204) 3 credits

This is a survey course that serves to introduce film both as an industry and an art form. The subject matter includes film techniques, styles, traditions, and genres; the rudiments of cinematography, editing, sound, script structure, acting, and directing; and the business and economics of film production, distribution, and exhibition. The course will also focus on critical evaluations of the work of a diverse but representative group of outstanding films and filmmakers.

MEDIA IN AMERICA (COM 301) 3 credits

With media mergers, converging technology, and 24-hour instant access, media reach has expanded immensely, making the world a smaller, more connected place. This course explores how the media industry has grown and changed through an exploration of the development, economics, regulation, and impact of mass media. Students will analyze how the media operate and conduct business in our fast-paced environment.

Choice of either COM 302 or COM 303:

BROADCAST JOURNALISM (COM 302) 3 credits

The focus of this course is on reporting for TV and radio broadcast with an emphasis on hard news but including some feature stories. Prerequisite: COM 208

Or

SCRIPTWRITING (COM 303) 3 credits

This course serves as an introduction to and application of scriptwriting techniques in formats appropriate for radio, television, and film.

COMMUNICATION LAW (COM 308) 3 credits

The course is designed to review the history, development, and interpretation of the First Amendment in the U.S. by our court system and its impact upon journalists, mass communicators, and citizens. Prerequisite: COM 101

MEDIA RESEARCH (COM 348) 3 credits

This course introduces students to research methods used by media professionals, with particular emphasis placed on the Nielsen and Arbitron ratings reports. The course covers principles of collecting and interpreting audience data with application to programming, promotion, and sales.

TV STUDIO PRODUCTION (COM 358) 3 credits

This course teaches students how video productions are produced within a television studio environment. Students will develop and strengthen production skills through hands-on projects in both field and studio production. Students will work together to produce a regular program for air in the second part of the semester. Prerequisite: COM 208

MEDIA PRODUCTION PRACTICUM (COM 408) 3 credits

The capstone builds upon previous skills: concept needs analysis, budget, writing, shooting, editing, law, and promotion, while integrating research and criticism to determine media effects. Students will produce a media project for a specific client that pulls together all aspects of the production process. Prerequisites: COM 208 and COM 358

Public Relations Courses

PRINCIPLES OF PUBLIC RELATIONS (COM 207) 3 credits

Public relations has been called ”the unseen power“ that influences culture, business, politics, and society. This class introduces students to the wide-ranging field of public relations, the role it plays in managing organizational relationships of all kinds, and the skills required to succeed in one of the fastest-growing communication professions.

FUNDAMENTALS OF JOURNALISM (COM 206) 3 credits

This is a beginning journalism course that introduces students to basic news reporting and writing techniques across multiple platforms, including print, broadcast, and online. Although the emphasis will be on news reporting, students will get introduced to feature writing as well.

PERSUASION, POWER, AND INFLUENCE (COM 312) 3 credits

This course examines theories and techniques associated with persuasion, ranging from those centered on interpersonal settings to those featured in mass-mediated campaigns. Assignments will focus on both oral and written persuasion with the goal of enhancing the student’s abilities as both consumer and practitioner.

STRATEGIC ANALYSIS (COM 316) 3 credits

This course introduces students to the strategic process of collecting and analyzing information in professional settings. The practical focus of course assignments will be on using research to solve problems. Students will be introduced to situation analysis, designing and implementing surveys, interviewing, focus groups, and content analysis.

ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION (COM 317) 3 credits

In addition to providing an introduction to contemporary research and theory about the communication in organizations, this course also focuses on contemporary issues in order to better understand the practices that contribute to organizational success and failure. Topics include: leadership communication, interviewing and the job search, organizational culture, and the impacts of globalization and technology.

PUBLIC RELATIONS WRITING (COM 357) 3 credits

Writing is one of the top-rated skills for public relations professionals, and this course introduces students to the principles of planning and pre-writing as the basis for successful writing efforts. Students will learn how to produce a variety of pieces for print and electronic media, including press releases, backgrounders, brochures, newsletter articles, and public service announcements, as well as other tools designed to engage an organization’s key stakeholders.

PUBLIC RELATIONS CASES AND CAMPAIGNS (COM 387) 3 credits

Public relations practitioners face a daunting range of choices when trying to manage key relationships. This course is designed to help students approach public relations strategically and to apply public relations techniques and theories to communication programs and campaigns. The course will also explore current trends in PR practice and how they influence planning.

PUBLIC RELATIONS MANAGEMENT (COM 407) 3 credits

This course is the capstone of the public relations track, a service-learning class in which students apply their knowledge and skills through collaborations with area community organizations. Prerequisites: COM 207, 316, and 387

Senior Courses

COMMUNICATION ETHICS (COM 400) 2 credits

This course provides students with an overview of ethical standards relevant to social behavior and an in-depth study of contemporary ethical issues facing communicators. Concepts of truth, confidentiality, conflict of interest, social justice, and other issues will be studied from the perspective of several sub-disciplines of communication. Note: COM 400 is taken the same semester as COM 401. Co- requisites/Prerequisites: COM 401; COM 406, 407, 408, or 415; senior standing

COMMUNICATION PORTFOLIO (COM 401) 1 credit

The portfolio assists students with synthesizing and applying what they have learned in communication courses to the task of bridging from undergraduate studies to post-graduation. Students will build a portfolio that can be used to demonstrate knowledge and skills. Note: COM 401 is taken the same semester as COM 400. Co-requisites/Prerequisites: COM 400; COM 406, 407, 408, or 415; senior standing

Internship Course

INTERNSHIP (COM 461-463)

Students may intern in communication industries. Working approximately 15 to 20 hours a week under professional supervision, students learn how to apply their education to the everyday demands of professional positions. The course requires meetings with the faculty supervisor, reflection papers, and interaction and evaluation by the site supervisors. Prerequisites: junior or senior standing, 2.75 GPA, and recommendation of the Chair.

  • Students must be able to work at an internship site 150 hours over the course of the semester (about 15 hours per week). Note that some internship sites may require more weekly hours.
  • Internship sites must be approved by the Internship Coordinator.

Students with a GPA higher than 2.6 but lower than 2.75 may consult with the internship coordinator about permission to intern.

 
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