Major in Communication & Theatre!

Communication

The Communication Program at PLU believes a solid foundation of communication theory is crucial to adapt to constantly changing media. The program focuses on developing marketable skills and knowledge domains; necessities of professional communicators. Communication offers major concentrations in:

  • Communication Studies
  • Conflict & Peacebuilding
  • Media, Mass Communication & Journalism
  • Strategic Communication

For curriculum information for the above degrees please click here. For general advising and academic pathway click here.

Course Listing

COMA 101 : Introduction to Communication

Introduces the study of human communication. Students will learn and apply a wide array of analytical theory and techniques across diverse human experiences from interpersonal to public communication and mass communication contexts to become more aware and effective communicators. (4)

COMA 120 : Introduction to Media Studies - AR

This course combines the study of visual media theories and analysis with the processes of actual media production. Initially, the class examines contemporary and classical genres of creative media, such as television, narrative and non-narrative film, advertising, PR, marketing and promotional campaigns to explore meanings, values and the ways in which media have become major parts of human existence, experience and expression globally. Reflecting ongoing developments in media, the course also provides an overview of the languages of creative media, exploring topics such as: fundamentals of scriptwriting, cinematography, editing, the soundtrack, directors, and the numerous and varied tasks involved with production, all culminating in student-generated creative works. (4)

COMA 190 : FYEP190: Inquiry Seminar

A four-credit seminar to introduce students to the methods and topics of study within a particular academic discipline or field. Students practice the academic skills that are at the center of the General Education Program. (4)

COMA 211 : Debate

This course introduces the practice of academic and political debate. It introduces principles and theories of argument. Students will have opportunities for in-class and public debates. May be repeated up to 2 semester hours. (0 to 2)

COMA 212 : Public Speaking

Introduces the basic techniques of public speaking. Students complete several speeches and learn the basic skills of speechmaking, including topic selections, research, organization, audience analysis, and delivery. (4)

COMA 215 : Writing in Communication Careers

Introduces students to the fundamental standards and expectations in communication writing. Includes styles and formats routinely used in both academic and professional communication writing and research. Also includes writing for multiple audiences. Reviews basic grammar, sentence and paragraph structures. This course will conclude with an EXIT EXAM (grammar/syntax/clarity) that must be passed to proceed to any major/concentration in the department. (4)

COMA 226 : MediaLab

Students engage in all aspects of multimedia productions for various student media outlets. Professional standards of production and ethics will be used to evaluate all productions. May be repeated up to 2 semester hours. (0 to 2)

COMA 229 : Student Media

This course offers students who participate in student media outlets vast opportunities to rigorously reflect on their collective and individual projects. Each student will develop her/his own list of student media products and design deadlines and outcomes for her/his work. Students will routinely discuss the ethical and production issues involved in student media productions. Any student participating in student media is welcome to take this course. May be repeated up to 2 semester hours. (0 to 2)

COMA 287 : Special Topics in Communication

To provide undergraduate students with new, one-time, and developing courses not yet available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as ST: followed by the specific title designated by the academic unit. (1 to 4)

COMA 288 : Special Topics in Communication

To provide undergraduate students with new, one-time, and developing courses not yet available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as ST: followed by the specific title designated by the academic unit. (1 to 4)

COMA 289 : Special Topics in Communication

To provide undergraduate students with new, one-time, and developing courses not yet available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as ST: followed by the specific title designated by the academic unit. (1 to 4)

COMA 301 : Media and Cultural Criticism

This course examines the role of media in producing systems of meanings and artifacts that shape popular culture and ideology. Students learn to use critical perspectives as lenses for studying texts of popular culture and for writing cultural criticism for popular and specialized audiences. (4)

COMA 303 : Gender and Communication - A

This course examines the relationship between gender and communication in human interaction and media representations. Comparison and contrast of male and female communication styles, language usage and speech practices. Role of media in shaping gender ideals and possibilities. Prerequisites: COMA 101 or consent of instructor. (4)

COMA 304 : Intercultural Communication - C

Studies the nature of communication among people of diverse cultures. The course examines contemporary theory and research and examines a variety of cultural variables including: cultural backgrounds, perception, social organization, language, and nonverbal aspects of messages. Prerequisites: COMA 101 or consent of instructor. (4)

COMA 305 : Argumentation and Advocacy

Studies how people use reason giving in social decision-making. Analysis of genres, forms, and techniques of arguers. Focus is on methods of creating, understanding, and criticizing arguments. (4)

COMA 306 : Persuasion

The study of persuasion as a means of personal and social influence through rhetoric. Examines both rhetorical and social scientific traditions of study, ethical and social implications of contemporary persuasion in political, commercial, and other contexts. Opportunity for original research projects. Prerequisites: COMA 101, 120, or consent of instructor. (4)

COMA 340 : Conflict and Communication

Studies the role of communication in the development and management of human and global conflict. Research and theories of prominent conflict and peace scholars along with significant case studies are used to analyze and understand sources of conflict and methods for building peace. Prerequisite: COMA 101 or consent of instructor. (4)

COMA 342 : Communication Inquiry

An investigation of research methods critical to professional and academic communication. Key methods and constructs include informational interviewing, database search, survey and focus group design and administration, and basic data analysis. Prerequisite: COMA 215 or consent of instructor. (4)

COMA 343 : Media Writing

Introduces students to various professional methods of writing across multimedia platforms. Students will engage in research, organization and presentation of non-fiction multimedia stories. In addition, students will learn to evaluate various multimedia products. Prerequisite: COMA 215 or consent of instructor. (4)

COMA 344 : Multimedia Production

Course incorporates contemporary methods, styles and formats used in production and editing for multimedia products. Students will oversee development and design of non-fiction multimedia presentations while adhering to professional standards of media structure. Prerequisite: COMA 101, 215 or consent of instructor. (4)

COMA 361 : Strategic Communication

Introduces the theories, methods, and practice of public relations. Emphasizes technical and analytical skills. Prerequisites: COMA 101, 212, 215, or consent of instructor. (4)

COMA 387 : Topics in Communication

Special topics in communication s intended for unique opportunities to explore communication issues, methods, and viewpoints outside the normal curriculum. (1 to 4)

COMA 388 : Topics in Communication

Special topics in communication is intended for unique opportunities to explore communication issues, methods, and viewpoints outside the normal curriculum. (1 to 4)

COMA 389 : Topics in Communication

Special topics in communication is intended for unique opportunities to explore communication issues, methods, and viewpoints outside the normal curriculum (1 to 4)

COMA 393 : Communication Study Away

Exploration of communication systems and environments beyond the university in international cultural contexts. (1 to 4)

COMA 401 : Contemporary Issues in Media and Visual Culture

Examines the central role of visual representation in contemporary culture and the ways in which we use, understand and are used by images. Emphasis on photography, film, television, new media, and commemorative art and architecture in the realms of advertising, politics, news, public advocacy and popular culture. Students will conduct research projects that analyze elements of visual culture. Prerequisites: COMA 101, 212, 215, or consent of instruction. (4)

COMA 411 : Advanced Debate

This course is the advanced practice of academic and political debate. It builds on principles and theories of argument. Students will have opportunities for in-class and public debates. May be repeated up to 6 semester hours. Prerequisites: COMA 211, 212, or consent of instructor. (0 to 2)

COMA 421 : Media, Ethics & the Law

Focuses on the principles of communication law and its application to various communication practices. Examines court cases, federal and state statutes, and First Amendment theories. Prerequisites: COMA 101, 120, 212, 215, or consent of instructor. (4)

COMA 426 : Advanced MediaLab

Students engage in all aspects of multimedia productions for various student media outlets. Professional standards of production and ethics will be used to evaluate all productions. May be repeated for up to 6 semester hours. (0 to 2)

COMA 429 : Advanced Student Media

This course offers students who participate in student media outlets vast opportunities to rigorously reflect on their collective and individual projects. Each student will develop her/his own list of student media products and design deadlines and outcomes for her/his work. Students will routinely discuss the ethical and production issues involved in student media productions. Any student participating in student media is welcome to take this course. May be repeated for up to 6 semester hours. (0 to 2)

COMA 461 : Advertising, PR + Campaigns

Examination of issues such as campaign planning, issue management, crisis communication, global public relations, grassroots mobilization, message strategy, and design. Integrates theoretical foundations and ethics. Focus on measurement and evaluation techniques. Prerequisite: COMA 361. (4)

COMA 487 : Topics in Communication

Special topics in communication is intended for unique opportunities to explore communication issues, methods, and viewpoints outside the normal curriculum. (1 to 4)

COMA 488 : Topics in Communication

Special topics in communication is intended for unique opportunities to explore communication issues, methods, and viewpoints outside the normal curriculum. (1 to 4)

COMA 489 : Topics in Communication

Special topics in communication is intended for unique opportunities to explore communication issues, methods, and viewpoints outside the normal curriculum. (1 to 4)

COMA 499 : Capstone - SR

The capstone focuses on integrating student-learning objectives with student experience through development and presentation of portfolio or projects. Students will make a public presentation of their capstone. (4)

COMA 591 : Independent Study

To provide individual graduate students graduate-level study not available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as IS: followed by the specific title designated by the student. (1 to 4)

Theatre

The Theatre Program prides itself in its intimate and challenging curriculum. The program strives to train students in all aspects of theatre art – from acting and directing to technical theatre and design. Theatre offers major concentrations in:

  • BA or BFA Acting & Directing
  • BA or BFA Stage Design & Technology

For general advising and curriculum information for the above degrees please click here.

THEA 160 : Introduction to Theatre - AR

A survey of the general nature of dramatic presentation; including elements of dramatic structure, types of drama, and the contributions of the actor, director, designer, technician, and audience. (4)

THEA 200 : Theatre Rehearsal and Performance

Students perform, design, or work backstage on a specific production. (0)

THEA 215 : Voice and Movement - AR

Exploration of the actor's voice and body as vital tools for dramatic expression. (4)

THEA 225 : Theatre Practicum

Students apply classroom theory to practical application through performing, designing and/or working backstage or in production shops in faculty-directed productions. Repeatable for a maximum of 4 semester hours. (1)

THEA 250 : Acting I - Fundamentals - AR

An introductory course to acting in which students perform scenes and monologues and learn about scene selection, memorization, imagination, character, and presentation. (4)

THEA 252 : Fundamentals of Scenic Design - AR

An introduction to the process used by scenic designers to create a physical environment for the stage. (4)

THEA 254 : Fundamentals of Lighting Design - AR

An introductory examination of the controllable properties of light and their application to the functions of theatrical lighting. (4)

THEA 255 : Theatrical Production - AR

Basic theory and procedure of all backstage elements in the theatre, costumes, scenery, props, lights, and makeup. (4)

THEA 260 : Stagecraft

A combination of lecture and hands on experience in the execution of scenic designs for the stage including safety procedures, construction techniques and materials, theatrical rigging, welding, and organizational planning of theatrical production. Prerequisite: THEA 255. (2)

THEA 275 : Scenic Painting

Color theory and techniques used for painting scenery in theatrical applications. (2)

THEA 279 : Hand Drafting

Hand drafting techniques to create light plots or scenic draftings for theatrical applications. (2)

THEA 280 : Computer-Aided Drafting

The use of computers and software to create light plots or scenic draftings for theatrical applications. (2)

THEA 285 : Costume Crafts and Construction

Costume production techniques, including sewing, use of equipment, knowledge of available materials, dyeing, and 3-D. (4)

THEA 287 : Special Topics in Theatre

To provide undergraduate students with new, one-time, and developing courses not yet available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as ST: followed by the specific title designated by the academic unit. (1 to 4)

THEA 290 : Stage Management

The study and practice of stage management with an emphasis on functions of the stage manager in the theatrical production process. (2)

THEA 299 : The Profession of Theatre

An introduction of the various elements necessary to prepare for a life in the theatre, including portfolio and audition materials, agents and unions, graduate schools and the profession. (2)

THEA 300 : Improvisation

Long and/or short form improvisation techniques in addition to a variety of exercises exploring terminology, character work and elements of comedy. (2)

THEA 330 : Script Analysis

Discussion of the major theories of drama and apply those literary and dramatic elements of plays and the analysis of selected drama from a variety of historical periods. (4)

THEA 345 : Playwriting

Techniques for writing one-act plays and analysis of dramatic structure and elements. (4)

THEA 346 : The Audition

Techniques for choosing and preparing effective monologues, cold and prepared readings, head shots and résumés, and interview skills. (2)

THEA 347 : The Vocal Audition

Techniques for choosing and preparing effective audition songs, cuttings, and interview skills related to musical theatre. (2)

THEA 350 : Acting II - Scene Study

An intermediate course in which students gain practical experience through performance of monologues and scenes from modern and contemporary theatre. Prerequisite: THEA 250 or consent of instructor. (4)

THEA 351 : Stage Makeup

Basic techniques in theatrical makeup application including corrective, aging, three-dimensional, and special effects. (4)

THEA 355 : Lighting Design

An examination of the controllable properties of light and their application to the functions of theatrical lighting. Students will express ideas through research, critical analysis, presentation, and practical lab exercises. Prerequisite: THEA 254. (4)

THEA 360 : Theatre History - AR

A survey of the history of theatre and an examination of theatre as an institution that reflects historical moments and participates in the forming of social values and ideas. (4)

THEA 362 : Musical Theatre History - AR

A survey of the history of musical theatre and an examination of musical theatre as an institution that reflects historical moments and participates in the forming of social values and ideas. (4)

THEA 365 : Theatre History II - AR

This course surveys the history of theatre from the end of the 18th century through the present day. Students will examine theatre as an institution that both reflects historical moments and participates in the forming of social values and ideas. (4)

THEA 380 : Directing I

The process of analyzing and making choices about scripts, casting, revealing the focus of scenes, and constructing the mood, rhythm, pace and main idea of productions. Prerequisite: THEA 250. (4)

THEA 385 : Musical Theatre Performance: Golden Age

An exploration of singing musical theatre from America's Golden Age in a studio setting. (4)

THEA 386 : Musical Theatre Performance: Modern

An exploration of singing musical theatre from America's modern era in a studio setting. (4)

THEA 387 : Topics in Theatre

This course will be offered as needed, and it will allow the faculty and guest artists to explore areas of expertise and interest that are not normally taught as part of the curriculum. Concentrated study of a major theatrical period, movement, author, theme, genre, performance style, culture, or technology. (2 to 4)

THEA 390 : Visual History: Period Costume and Décor - AR

A survey of the architecture, interiors, clothing, culture, and aesthetic of the western world through exposure to art, historical documents, and popular perspectives. (4)

THEA 425 : Theatre Practicum

Students apply advanced classroom theory to advanced practical application through performing, designing, working backstage and/or in production shops in faculty-directed productions. Repeatable for a maximum of 4 semester hours. (1)

THEA 450 : Acting III - Styles

Analyzing and performing differing styles of acting representing various time periods and genres. Prerequisites: THEA 250 and THEA 350, or consent of instructor. (4)

THEA 453 : Costume Design - AR

Development of artistic and technical abilities in the field of costume design incorporating history, patterns, and renderings. (4)

THEA 455 : Scenic Design

Explores the process used by scenic designers to create a physical environment for the stage through analyzing a theatrical text, formulating and expressing an approach through research, and executing their ideas through models and simple drafting. Prerequisite: THEA 252. (4)

THEA 480 : Directing II

Builds on techniques learned in Directing I to develop stage productions. This includes interpreting text, analyzing premise, developing visual concepts, translating words and concepts into actions, and the process of communication between actors and designers. Prerequisite: THEA 380. (4)

THEA 485 : Theatre Management

The study of issues related to managing a theatre company and producing plays. (2)

THEA 491 : Independent Studies

Investigations or research in area of special interest not covered by regular courses; open to qualified junior or senior students. Requires pre-registration approved by a departmental sponsor. (1 to 4)

THEA 495 : Internship in Theatre

Internship or cooperative education experiences in the theatre. (1 to 4)

THEA 499 : Capstone - SR

Preparation of portfolios and project work that reflects both academic and practical knowledge gained through the study of theatre. (2)

Minors

Additionally, Communication and Theatre knowledge can be supportive and crucial to major areas of study. The department offers minors concentrations in:

  • Communication
  • Theatre
  • Dance Performance
  • Specialized Business Minor in Marketing for Communication and Theatre Majors