Department of Communication Studies


Filter the courses by subject area

  • CC100 - Fundamentals of Speech Communication (4 Credits)
    Introduces basic concepts, theories, and principles of oral communication applied to speaking situations. Develops competence in oral communication through performance and critical analysis of student skills in a variety of speaking formats. Audience analysis, content discovery, communication strategies, arrangement of ideas, use of evidence and reasoning to support claims, language and style, voice and other delivery skills and ethical considerations are covered.
  • CC150 - Radio Programming & Operations (4 Credits)
    An in-depth exploration into the art and science of programming terrestrial, internet, and satellite radio entities, in both the commercial and public sectors. This course focuses on the evolution of broadcasting an audio product for entertainment and informational purposes. It examines the effects of cultural, governmental, technological, and market forces on the radio industry as a whole as well as on individual radio stations throughout North America.
    Instructor: Jack Casey
  • CC160 - Interpersonal Communication Skills (4 Credits)
    Introduces the practices and principles of interpersonal communication. Focuses on perception, creative/critical listening, nonverbal communication, emotions, power, and self-disclosure. Issues of ethics, technology, and culture are woven throughout class content and discussions. Stages of relationships are explored as well as the influence of communication within and between those stages. Numerous applications to a variety of situations, including those in the family, workplace, and romantic context are undertaken as students draw from their own experiences.
    Instructor: Richard West
  • CC201 - Evolution of Expression (4 Credits)
    Covers the development of human communication from orality to literacy to "electracy," or electronic orality, as a foundation for the exploration of issues and problems in contemporary culture concerning effective participation in society. Students learn how such development continues to revolutionize human consciousness, communication, and culture. They consider central concepts of voice and expression in forms ranging from embodied speech to dialogue to new media and technologies.
  • CC203 - Intercultural Communication (4 Credits)
    Analyzes readings in intercultural communication focusing on verbal and nonverbal customs of various cultures as information from both cultural and language perspectives. Each semester focuses on specific topics or cultures. Background in other cultures is helpful but not essential.
  • CC220 - Public Discourse in U.S. (4 Credits)
    Examines how Americans in the United States talk about important public issues including race, class, work, and foreigners. Applies theories of discourse to case studies of political communication.
    Instructor: Michael Weiler
  • CC221 - Global Political Communication (4 Credits)
    Provides students with a critical understanding of the role of communication in national politics in non-Western contexts as well as the increasingly important role of mediated communication in contemporary international relations and public diplomacy.
  • CC262 - Professional Communication (4 Credits)
    Study and practice of rhetorical argument, proof, ethics, style, and delivery in performance and analysis of speeches. Projects include use of professional communication situations and video/audio aids and new technology to enhance rhetorical effectiveness in message preparation, development, and delivery.
    Instructor: Ted Hollingworth
  • CC263 - Argument and Advocacy (4 Credits)
    Studies the art of advocacy. Students develop logical, organizational, and research skills that debate and other forms of oral and written advocacy require. They participate in debates about current political and legal controversies and learn how critical thinking skills are used as tools both for advocates and audiences.
  • CC264 - Oral Presentation of Literature (4 Credits)
    Oral performance of literature (poetry, prose, and drama) is used as the art of understanding and communicating a text's meaning to an audience. Explores the aesthetic dimensions of literature and its performance. Students develop critical skills interpreting texts and evaluating performed literature.
  • CC265 - Professional Voice and Speech (4 Credits)
    Trains voice to develop wide range of controls in pitch, volume, and quality to meet voice and speech needs of journalism, public speaking, and interpretation. International students are encouraged to enroll if interested in accent reduction.
  • CC266 - Conflict and Negotiation (4 Credits)
    Studies conflict theory and principles and practices of dispute resolution. Includes everyday conflict, negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and alternative dispute resolution systems. Emphasizes interpersonal skills development.
    Instructors: Israela Adah Brill-Cass, Robert Kubacki
  • CC280 - Communication Theory (4 Credits)
    Investigates classical and contemporary theories of political communication with an emphasis on utility of theory in mass- and multi-mediated communication contexts. Discusses application of theory to these domains, including examination of how conceptions of the citizen, democracy, aesthetics, morality, and culture are established and maintained vis-a-vis different modes of communication.
  • CC303 - Politics, Advocacy, and Public Opinion (4 Credits)
    Studies the research process from problem definition to survey design, sampling, data analysis, and interpretation of results. Students develop skills in reading and interpreting social scientific research and conducting forms of research pertinent to public and political communication needs.
    Instructor: Spencer Kimball
  • CC304 - Communicative Informatics (4 Credits)
    Studies social-shaping communication technologies. Explores central role of communication in creating and sustaining social communities online and examines web-based technology and use by people in building social networks and organizational structures. Analyzes optimal use of information technology to create social presence and cohesion in multiple contexts. Individual and/or team projects explore human communication and intersection of information technologies.
  • CC305 - Communication Research Methods (4 Credits)
    Teaches the use of social scientific methods of empirical research to investigate communication phenomena. Students learn how to become critical consumers of research and how to conduct empirical communication research. This course fuses basic research principles with theory and practice.
    Instructor: Richard West
  • CC310 - Campaign Management (4 Credits)
    Focuses primarily on electoral campaigns with attention to persuasive campaigns in general. Includes political advertising.
    Instructor: Spencer Kimball
  • CC330 - Management and Communication (4 Credits)
    Introduces fundamental principles of management in profit, nonprofit, and government settings. Special emphasis is placed on humanistic and systems approaches, communication skills and theory, and national and global trends. Sample topics include planning, organizing, staffing, decision making, and leading. Case method is applied.
    Instructor: Ted Hollingworth
  • CC344 - Rhetoric of Social Movements (4 Credits)
    Critically examines prominent rhetorical texts and events that shaped political processes and relationships. Applies insights to contemporary contexts and issues.
    Instructor: Michael Weiler
  • CC345 - Public Affairs Matrix: Media, Politics, and Advocacy (4 Credits)
    Advanced study of interplay of media, politics, policy, and advocacy. Through historical and contemporary case studies and research, students examine a variety of constituencies affecting politics and public policy and the role the media play in political, public policy, and advocacy debates. Propaganda is defined and its role in affecting public opinion is discussed. Studies the relationship between communicator, media, and key constituencies with a focus on ethical, effective use of public affairs.
  • CC350 - Media Broadcast Vocal Presentation (4 Credits)
    Course is designed to complement CC 265, Professional Voice and Speech by focusing on voice training for broadcast media specifically, including microphone technique and practice and understanding of audio and video technology.
  • CC356 - Crisis Communication (4 Credits)
    Details the importance of managing communication in crisis situations. Topics include definitions, types, classifications, phases, planning, publics, contingency events, time estimating, crisis teams, control centers, working with media, training, and follow-through. Crisis scenarios cover profit, nonprofit, and government organizations at the local, regional, national, and/or global level. Case examples are employed.
    Instructor: Vincent Raynauld
  • CC357 - Leadership (4 Credits)
    Analyzes theory and practice of effective ethical leadership in contemporary political and organizational settings; theories for organizing and motivating people; cross-cultural applications; and issues of diversity and communication skills for leadership.
    Instructor: Alexis Fox
  • CC360 - Politics and Emerging Communication Technologies (4 Credits)
    Modern politics is heavily shaped by communication technologies that have influenced political audiences by framing the presentation of political debates. This class focuses on how a move from broadcast media to narrowcasting media such as cable television and the Internet affect political communication. Political messages and strategies must consider the reaches of old and new media. Traditional media are passive one-way communication from a message creator to an audience. In new media, interactivity between message creators and audiences is normative, especially in social media. How do these shifts in media change political power relationships? How do the changes in media influence political communication strategies?
  • CC361 - Public Diplomacy & Grass Roots Activism (4 Credits)
    Public diplomacy is a new paradigm in the field of international relations and the practice of diplomacy. This course is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to understand the promise and constraints of public diplomacy in theory as well as practice.
  • CC372 - Topic in Communication Studies (4 Credits)
    Topics announced prior to each term in the areas of Communication Studies.
  • CC415 - Mediation, Facilitation, and Dialogue (4 Credits)
    Considers theory and practice of various forms of third-party-guided dispute resolution. Students learn to mediate conflicts, facilitate discussions, and promote dialogue among parties in conflict. Emphasis is on developing skills in leading groups.
  • CC471 - Topics in Leadership, Politics (4 Credits)
    Special topics in political communication. May be repeated for credit if topics differ.
    Instructor: Owen Eagan
  • CC472 - Topics in Comm Studies (4 Credits)
    Special topics in communication studies. May be repeated for credit if topics differ.
    Instructor: Grayson Kimball
  • CC475 - Capstone in Leadership, Politics, and Social Advocacy (4 Credits)
    Advanced theory, research, and practice in political communication. Students develop and enhance portfolios of political communication materials, including development of two communication campaigns.
  • CC476 - Capstone in Communication Studies (4 Credits)
    Advanced theory, research, and practice in communication studies. As a key feature of the course, students complete a senior thesis or project.
    Instructor: Spencer Kimball
  • CC608 - Public Affairs (4 Credits)
    Students gain the knowledge and skills necessary to identify, analyze, and communicate with internal and external stakeholder groups for the purpose of persuasion. Rhetorical strategies are developed for ethical, effective issue advocacy campaigns and campaigns to build identity, and enhance and protect reputation of individuals and organizations. New media developments, diverse and global stakeholder groups, and the 24/7 media environment will be addressed. Students design and produce at least one original communication campaign for a client in the private or public sector.
  • CC609 - Political Communication (4 Credits)
    Political Communication explores fundamental theories, such as agenda setting, framing, and branding. The balancing of ethical implications confronting many political communication situations is discussed through case studies. Practical communication strategy is evaluated, looking at how the media works in general, including the news (hard and soft), entertainment programs, and advertising, in order to shape political perceptions, change attitudes, and effect behavior. Students are introduced to the latest in grassroots activism and mobilization efforts, including mobile and online communication techniques, to better shape civic life, elections, and policy decisions.
    Instructor: Vincent Raynauld
  • CC610 - Conversational Communication for International Professions (2 Credits)
    Students develop oral communication skills that will support their areas of professional development with an emphasis on critical thinking as expressed through dialogue.
  • CC611 - Group Dynamics for International Professionals (2 Credits)
    Students learn group theory that leads to direct application of the use of groups for problem solving, with discussion centering on the intersection between theory and practice and the relevancy of group behavior to professional experience.
  • CC612 - ELL Academic Writing (2 Credits)
    Focuses on developing academic writing skills: grammar, paragraph structure, paraphrasing, and using appropriate citation styles and research sources.
    Instructor: Jeremy Heflin
  • CC613 - ELL Academic Speaking (2 Credits)
    Focuses on improving speaking skills: fluency, pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, and use of idioms.
    Instructor: Jeremy Heflin
  • CC626 - Crisis Communication (4 Credits)
    Students learn about the development of organizational and marketing communication strategies in crisis situations. Using case studies and fieldwork, students focus on the importance of internal communication and media relations during a crisis. Students also investigate preventive strategies that organizations should employ to avoid crises.
    Instructor: Owen Eagan
  • CC643 - Global Communication (4 Credits)
    Focuses on the management of communication with stakeholders in a world defined by globalization. Case studies, role-play workshops, and ethnographic inquiry are employed to enhance and update the student's knowledge and awareness of best-practices in contemporary business negotiations and transactions, public diplomacy initiatives, and cross-sector partnerships. Examples from small business to multinationals and from local nonprofits to global NGOs are used.
    Instructor: Mohamed Khalil
  • CC645 - Public Opinion Research and Practice (4 Credits)
    Students engage in applied research in communication management. Students develop skills in assessing and formulating problems; designing research; gathering, synthesizing, analyzing, and interpreting data; and applying the results to comprehensive communication strategies. Students learn to apply the most appropriate quantitative and qualitative research methods to particular research problems in an effort to effectively address stakeholder audiences, oversee information management systems, and cultivate and manage intellectual capital. Students gain experience in surveys, polling, focus groups, interviews, communication audits, and learn how to optimize research conducted through the Internet-based research.
  • CC648 - Public Relations (4 Credits)
    Addresses in-depth the development of stakeholder relations and communication in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Topics covered include corporate relations, reputation management grassroots organizing, public policy and the media, political communication, social advocacy campaigns, and public diplomacy. Case studies of communication campaigns at the local, state, regional, national, and international levels are used. Students produce and present at least one communication campaign to affect behavior in diverse stakeholder groups.
    Instructor: Ted Hollingworth
  • CC652 - Emerging Communication Technologies (4 Credits)
    Surveys the political and social trends of the effects and uses of web-based communication, especially social media, and the shaping and reshaping of institutions. Students develop knowledge and skills in assessing and developing communication strategies for how to best reach multiple stakeholders and audiences with an emphasis on online communication. Through readings, exercises, and projects such as social media audits, students engage in strategic communication planning to best develop every aspect of an institution's communication management - from the narrowest internal communcation to the broadest public communication campaigns.
    Instructor: Linda Gallant
  • CC692 - Capstone Course in Communication Management (4 Credits)
    Students synthesize prior coursework and new learnings to address an important need in public or organizational life. Calling upon competencies in strategic communication planning and design, students produce and present a final professional-level project as the culmination of their course of study. Readings, case studies, and in-class activities support continued inquiry into the most current theoretical dimensions of the discipline.
    Instructor: Phillip Glenn
  • CC695 - Seminar Topics in Comm Mgmt (4 Credits)
    Students have the opportunity to enroll in special topics courses that are offered by the Department of Communication Studies when contemporary ideas or new research findings in a chosen area of program study emerge in the field of communication. This course number represents a new course offering that, if successful, will become a permanent course in the course roster.
  • WDC306 - Phil of Law, Sup Ct & US Const (4 Credits)
    In his opening statement before the hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on his nomination to become the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, John Roberts asserted that ‚ “judges are like umpires.” This claim is at once elegantly simple and subtly complex. Yet, to some commentators, it stands at odds with what many consider to be the current conservative shift of the Court. This course will examine the working of the Court through historical, political and philosophical lenses. In the first half of the course, we will examine a number of positions about the nature of “law.” We will consider views that hold law variously to be a set of commands, rules, principles and the like. In this context, we will contrast the views of judicial interpretation set forth by Justices Antonin Scalia and Stephen Breyer. In the second half of the course, we will explore some of the more contested topics currently facing the Court that push the Court toward the ideological fray of partisan politics. Throughout we will read and discuss historical and contemporary landmark cases. We will focus particular attention in this course on questions of legal reasoning and how judges ought to decide cases. We will read, analyze and debate a variety of kinds of texts, including classics from the history of philosophy and legal theory and Supreme Court decisions from particular cases. This course is ideal not only for students interested in law school, but also for anyone interested in the political and philosophical issues surrounding the Supreme Court in contemporary politics.
  • WDC307 - Scandalous Wshngtn: Uncovering (4 Credits)
    The nation’s capital is almost as famous for its scandals as it is for its politics. Using some of Washington’s most notorious public scandals, this course examines over 200 years of the city’s rich and colorful history. We’ll explore sites around the city where major events occurred, including Lafayette Square, Georgetown, and U Street. Insiders and long-time residents will serve as resources for uncovering the truth behind the headlines that shook Washington. By analyzing the origins and contexts of scandals involving murder, slavery, espionage and riots, we’ll reveal the intriguing life and culture unique to Washington. **All meals, tours, and activities are extra costs and the sole responsibility of the students.
  • WDC315 - Rising China and US Relations (4 Credits)
    This course will explore the contemporary political and economic relationship between China and the United States with particular emphasis on how the rise of these two powers in the 20th and 21st centuries has changed the dynamics of their bilateral relations. Although this relationship has been labeled the most important bilateral relationship for the Obama administration and a springboard for its Asian pivot, China’s reaction to the ‘Asian Pivot’ increasingly has been suspicious. The students will explore how the Obama administration’s interactions and goals for its relationship with China operate not in a historical vacuum, but within a complicated spectrum of decades of contacts and impressions that motivate both sides. The course focus will be on the expansion of China and the United States’ global influence in Asia and beyond and especially explore the interdependence and frictions during the last 20 years. Students will gain an understanding of how cultural factors have impacted Sino-American relations and continue to influence the present multi-faceted relationship. The intersection of U.S.-Chinese modern history, politics, ideology, and trade will be topics of analysis. The role of globalization will be examined to better understand the 21st century economic and business agendas that guide and irritate the key bilateral players. As part of the experiential pedagogical approach, students should expect to be interactive in the class, including case study presentations and team role-playing. Guest speakers and an off-site field trip are included in the course. Course readings and a research paper are required. No previous Chinese history or economics course is necessary, but a background and interest in international relations or international economics are useful.
  • WDC320 - Media and the Movies (4 Credits)
    Heroes or villains? Popular movies provide varying images of journalists, from the crusading pair of reporters who brought down President Nixon in "All the President's Men" to the fictional reporter in "Absence of Malice" who was used by a frustrated prosecutor unable to solve a murder case. This course will use the cinema to explore the role of journalists and their rights and responsibilities. We will examine the use of confidential sources, libel, conflicts of interests and other ethical issues, and the way movies help shape the public's image of the media.
  • WDC350 - Nonprofit Ldrshp and Mgmnt (4 Credits)
    The nonprofit sector is the third-largest workforce in the U.S., after retail trade and manufacturing. The rapid proliferation of nonprofits and the approaching retirement of baby boomers are creating abundant career opportunities in nonprofits, from large hospitals and universities to arts organizations, environmental groups and community-based human service agencies. In this course, students gain an overview of the history, size, scope, and functions of the nonprofit sector; explore key issues such as government-nonprofit relations and board governance; and learn to prepare grant proposals and other documents. The course includes case studies, field trips and guest speakers from some of the most successful organizations in Washington.