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 & Civic Engagement
  • Film & Media Studies
  • 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 class provides an overview of how gender and communication relate in social and cultural contexts. Focusing on contemporary American culture, we will explore how communication enables and constrains performances of gender and sexuality in everyday life. The course explores vocabulary, media, institutions, and the body. 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 321 : The Book in Society

A critical study of the history of book culture and the role of books in modern society. Cross-listed with PPAP 301, ENGL 311. (4)

COMA 322 : Publishing Procedures

A workshop introduction to the world of book publishing, involving students in decisions about what to publish and how to produce it. Cross-listed with PPAP 302, ENGL 312. (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)

Minors

The department offers minors concentrations in:

  • Communication
  • Specialized Business Minor in Marketing for Communication Majors