Chatham University

Communications Curriculum

Communication is a degree targeted to new opportunities in a media-savvy world. Students in the major take a common set of core courses that prepares them for careers in an industry where convergence in print, broadcast, and online media is growing. Students then choose one of three concentrations: journalism, public relations and Graphic Design.

In addition to required course work, students must complete an internship and a tutorial presenting the results of an extensive concentration appropriate project.

Program Requirements

+ Major Requirements

Major Requirements

Human Communication:

COM101 Foundations Of Human Communication

A survey of the discipline of communication studies with emphasis on multiple theoretical, and methodological issues relevant to the systematic inquiry and pursuit of knowledge about human communication. This course explores the basic history, assumption, principles, processes, variables, methods, and specialization of human communication as an academic field of study.

3
COM141 Media Literacy

This course introduces students to the Macintosh computer interface and related media practices. Students explore digital foundations, media related histories, theoretical frameworks and critical examination of production elements as they discover how computers are radically changing the way image makers create and present their work. Cross-listed as ART141 and FDT141. Additional Fee(s): Course Computing fee.

3
COM151 Introduction to Reporting

This course covers the fundamentals of reporting and includes identifying different types of news sources, properly quoting interviewees, and orientation to basic media ethics, differentiating between opinion and analysis, confirming facts in the course of reporting, and finally writing skills.

3
COM106 Media and Society

The effects of mass communication on individuals and society, particularly as they relate to values and ethics, are examined. The course emphasizes the history and structure of the mass media.

3
COM209 Intercultural Communication: Values and Ethics

Course will provide the student with an appreciation of the complexities involved in the development of beliefs, attitudes and behaviors that reflect cultural values. This course will provide an understanding of the specific forces which shape perceptions, feelings and behaviors of various cultural groups. These forces include soically constructed categories such as race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, socio-economic status, and religion. These will be explored in a variety of contexts, language, family structures and the handling of conflict of laws and ethics(cultural relativism) will be examined.

3
COM251 News Writing and Editing

This production based course introduces students to reporting, structuring and writing print news stories. Students are assigned to cover weekly events and topics in the Pittsburgh area, thus gaining a sense of how news judgment and media ethics are applied to actual reporting assignments.

3
COM234 Persuasion

This course explores rhetorical and experimental studies of persuasion. It introduces the student to research in the field and critically examines some of the techniques developed in "selling" products, politics, and culture. It also examines the ethical considerations relevant to these techniques.

3
COM260 Practical Public Relations

Students learn the theories, processes, and techniques involved in planning and implementing programs designed to influence public opinion and behavior through socially responsible performance and mutually satisfactory communication. The course emphasizes research, design, production, and writing public relations media, including news releases, features, pamphlets, brochures, financial statements, management reports, scripts, scenarios, and publicity. Students will analyze case histories presented by professional practitioners; appraise success and failure factors; and explore new concepts and developing trends.

3
COM360 Advanced Public Relations

Application of principles and methods to intensive analysis of public relations problems, decision making, programming, and evaluation in simulated staff and agency organization. The course emphasizes the principles and practices of public relations as a basic component in the promotion and marketing of goods and services; regulatory considerations; and consumerism. The following topics may be covered, depending on student interest: public relations in entertainment, including films, broadcasting, music, expositions, amusement parks, resorts, and arenas; developing, managing, and evaluating campaigns designed to reach niche audiences segmented by culture, lifestyle, and other factors; and sports information and promotion, including lectures, media assignments, role-playing, and presentations by sports professionals. Prerequisite(s): COM 260

3
COM355 Organizational Communication

Organizational Communication will focus on five theoretical approaches to the study of communication in organizations. Those approaches are: classical, human relations/human resources, systems, cultural, and critical, with most time spent on the final theoretical perspective. Additionally, the course will examine how communication affects the gendered nature of the workplace.

3
COM400 Media Ethics and Law Responsibility

Study of current and past battles over the limits of free expression; moral and ethical issues and dilemmas and conflicts of interest; public perceptions of the press; and the interdependence of the media, economics, politics, sports, and entertainment. Media as instruments of social and esthetic change will be discussed, along with press law and goverment controls, and the portrayal of people of color, gender issues, sexual diversity issues, and community issues.

3
COM393 Internship

3
COM498 Tutorial: Communication

4
COM499 Tutorial: Communication

4

Required Courses for all Concentrations:

COM141 Media Literacy

This course introduces students to the Macintosh computer interface and related media practices. Students explore digital foundations, media related histories, theoretical frameworks and critical examination of production elements as they discover how computers are radically changing the way image makers create and present their work. Cross-listed as ART141 and FDT141. Additional Fee(s): Course Computing fee.

3
COM106 Media and Society

The effects of mass communication on individuals and society, particularly as they relate to values and ethics, are examined. The course emphasizes the history and structure of the mass media.

3
COM209 Intercultural Communication: Values and Ethics

Course will provide the student with an appreciation of the complexities involved in the development of beliefs, attitudes and behaviors that reflect cultural values. This course will provide an understanding of the specific forces which shape perceptions, feelings and behaviors of various cultural groups. These forces include soically constructed categories such as race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, socio-economic status, and religion. These will be explored in a variety of contexts, language, family structures and the handling of conflict of laws and ethics(cultural relativism) will be examined.

3
COM234 Persuasion

This course explores rhetorical and experimental studies of persuasion. It introduces the student to research in the field and critically examines some of the techniques developed in "selling" products, politics, and culture. It also examines the ethical considerations relevant to these techniques.

3
COM400 Media Ethics and Law Responsibility

Study of current and past battles over the limits of free expression; moral and ethical issues and dilemmas and conflicts of interest; public perceptions of the press; and the interdependence of the media, economics, politics, sports, and entertainment. Media as instruments of social and esthetic change will be discussed, along with press law and goverment controls, and the portrayal of people of color, gender issues, sexual diversity issues, and community issues.

3
INTCOM303 Internship - Professional Communication

3
COM498 Tutorial: Communication

4
COM499 Tutorial: Communication

4

Journalism Concentration:

COM251 News Writing and Editing

This production based course introduces students to reporting, structuring and writing print news stories. Students are assigned to cover weekly events and topics in the Pittsburgh area, thus gaining a sense of how news judgment and media ethics are applied to actual reporting assignments.

3
COM351 Advanced News Writing and Editing

This course emphasizes the "how to" of interviewing, researching, writing, and placing professional quality articles for a full range of magazines and newspapers, including women’s, sports, ethnic, local, and national publications. Analyses of the skills and background needed to report on the various topics. The following topics may be covered, depending on student interest: science, medicine, and environment writing; sports news and feature coverage, including social and economic factors influencing sports in America; business, including economics and finance; entertainment and arts, including television, film, theatre, music, graphic arts, architecture, and design; and government, covering local, state, and federal goverment. Students also concentrate on Reporting Pittsburgh, where they will focus on Pittsburgh and be required to do intensive field work in the neighborhoods, ethnic communities, and local institutions such as City Council, hospitals, police departments, and social work agencies. Prerequisite(s): COM 251

3
COM374 Photography V - Documentary and Photojournalism

This course will focus on photojournalistic practice and/or a focused exploration of a specific issue in the news. Students will analyze news topics from a practical, ethical, and visual perspective, to produce images that tell stories for newspapers, magazines, books and the Internet. Students will also be introduced to a wide range of approaches and styles of documentary photography with an emphasis on meaning and point of view. Cross-listed with ART374. Additional Fee(s): Applied laboratory fee.

3
COM261 Web Design I: Code + Aesthetics

This introductory course in web design and net art production addresses formal design, aesthetic, conceptual and theoretical methods for the creative production and dissemination of student projects via a global network. Technical focus is on authoring nonlinear documents using software and basic web programming languages. Students conceptualize projects around a variety of topics including: online social networks, memory and database theory, cultural interfaces, the screen and the body, and collective media. Cross-listed as FDT261. Prerequisite: ART/FDT141 or permission of the instructor. Additional Fee(s): Course Computing Fee.

3
COM250 Introduction to Digital Video Production

3
COM353 Print Design

This course combines technical training in digital imaging with exercises in creative print-media based design and critical thinking. Students learn conceptual and technical differences between analog and digital imaging and work with a range of digital tools, including QuarkXpress, AdobeInDesign, and Photoshop. Conceptual and content discourses will be developed through contemporary issues and the design of relevant documents. Cross-listed as ART 353. Prerequisite(s): ART 141. Additional Fee(s): Applied art fee.

3

Public Relations Concentration:

COM260 Practical Public Relations

Students learn the theories, processes, and techniques involved in planning and implementing programs designed to influence public opinion and behavior through socially responsible performance and mutually satisfactory communication. The course emphasizes research, design, production, and writing public relations media, including news releases, features, pamphlets, brochures, financial statements, management reports, scripts, scenarios, and publicity. Students will analyze case histories presented by professional practitioners; appraise success and failure factors; and explore new concepts and developing trends.

3
COM360 Advanced Public Relations

Application of principles and methods to intensive analysis of public relations problems, decision making, programming, and evaluation in simulated staff and agency organization. The course emphasizes the principles and practices of public relations as a basic component in the promotion and marketing of goods and services; regulatory considerations; and consumerism. The following topics may be covered, depending on student interest: public relations in entertainment, including films, broadcasting, music, expositions, amusement parks, resorts, and arenas; developing, managing, and evaluating campaigns designed to reach niche audiences segmented by culture, lifestyle, and other factors; and sports information and promotion, including lectures, media assignments, role-playing, and presentations by sports professionals. Prerequisite(s): COM 260

3
COM374 Photography V - Documentary and Photojournalism

This course will focus on photojournalistic practice and/or a focused exploration of a specific issue in the news. Students will analyze news topics from a practical, ethical, and visual perspective, to produce images that tell stories for newspapers, magazines, books and the Internet. Students will also be introduced to a wide range of approaches and styles of documentary photography with an emphasis on meaning and point of view. Cross-listed with ART374. Additional Fee(s): Applied laboratory fee.

3
COM261 Web Design I: Code + Aesthetics

This introductory course in web design and net art production addresses formal design, aesthetic, conceptual and theoretical methods for the creative production and dissemination of student projects via a global network. Technical focus is on authoring nonlinear documents using software and basic web programming languages. Students conceptualize projects around a variety of topics including: online social networks, memory and database theory, cultural interfaces, the screen and the body, and collective media. Cross-listed as FDT261. Prerequisite: ART/FDT141 or permission of the instructor. Additional Fee(s): Course Computing Fee.

3
COM250 Introduction to Digital Video Production

3
COM353 Print Design

This course combines technical training in digital imaging with exercises in creative print-media based design and critical thinking. Students learn conceptual and technical differences between analog and digital imaging and work with a range of digital tools, including QuarkXpress, AdobeInDesign, and Photoshop. Conceptual and content discourses will be developed through contemporary issues and the design of relevant documents. Cross-listed as ART 353. Prerequisite(s): ART 141. Additional Fee(s): Applied art fee.

3

Graphic Design Concentration:

COM321 Typography Design Studio

This class is an introduction to the concrete and conceptual aspects of typography as a visual medium. The first half of the semester will deal with the technique requirements of typography (micro typography). The second half will deal with abstract compositional uses for typography (macro typography), integrating hand skills and computer as way to render type. Historical and current forms of alphabetic communications will be explored, along with the relationship to contemporary image-based communication.

3
COM245 Design Praxis

This course introduces the concepts of visual perception. Theories on the 'way we see', how information is interpreted through light and how it includes physiology and cognitive perception. This course also explores the relevance of symbols and archetypes in broadening ones perceptual skills. The aim of this course is broaden and deepen student's visual and verbal skills in critical thinking, the creative process and problem solving.

3
COM353 Print Design

This course combines technical training in digital imaging with exercises in creative print-media based design and critical thinking. Students learn conceptual and technical differences between analog and digital imaging and work with a range of digital tools, including QuarkXpress, AdobeInDesign, and Photoshop. Conceptual and content discourses will be developed through contemporary issues and the design of relevant documents. Cross-listed as ART 353. Prerequisite(s): ART 141. Additional Fee(s): Applied art fee.

3
COM152 Photography II - Introduction to Digital Photography

This course introduces students to the basic aesthetic grammar of digital photography and provides a historical and critical context for looking at and making photographs. Students will use their own digital cameras with manually adjustable focus, exposure manipulation, photo finishing techniques and printing processes. They will also learn the fundamentals of digital capture and will utilize Adobe Bridge and Lightroom software for file processing, management, and output.Cross-listed as ART 152.Additional Fee(s): Applied art fee.

3
COM261 Web Design I: Code + Aesthetics

This introductory course in web design and net art production addresses formal design, aesthetic, conceptual and theoretical methods for the creative production and dissemination of student projects via a global network. Technical focus is on authoring nonlinear documents using software and basic web programming languages. Students conceptualize projects around a variety of topics including: online social networks, memory and database theory, cultural interfaces, the screen and the body, and collective media. Cross-listed as FDT261. Prerequisite: ART/FDT141 or permission of the instructor. Additional Fee(s): Course Computing Fee.

3
COM250 Introduction to Digital Video Production

3

+ Communication Minors

Journalism Minor Requirements:

COM141 Media Literacy

This course introduces students to the Macintosh computer interface and related media practices. Students explore digital foundations, media related histories, theoretical frameworks and critical examination of production elements as they discover how computers are radically changing the way image makers create and present their work. Cross-listed as ART141 and FDT141. Additional Fee(s): Course Computing fee.

3
COM106 Media and Society

The effects of mass communication on individuals and society, particularly as they relate to values and ethics, are examined. The course emphasizes the history and structure of the mass media.

3
COM251 News Writing and Editing

This production based course introduces students to reporting, structuring and writing print news stories. Students are assigned to cover weekly events and topics in the Pittsburgh area, thus gaining a sense of how news judgment and media ethics are applied to actual reporting assignments.

3
COM351 Advanced News Writing and Editing

This course emphasizes the "how to" of interviewing, researching, writing, and placing professional quality articles for a full range of magazines and newspapers, including women’s, sports, ethnic, local, and national publications. Analyses of the skills and background needed to report on the various topics. The following topics may be covered, depending on student interest: science, medicine, and environment writing; sports news and feature coverage, including social and economic factors influencing sports in America; business, including economics and finance; entertainment and arts, including television, film, theatre, music, graphic arts, architecture, and design; and government, covering local, state, and federal goverment. Students also concentrate on Reporting Pittsburgh, where they will focus on Pittsburgh and be required to do intensive field work in the neighborhoods, ethnic communities, and local institutions such as City Council, hospitals, police departments, and social work agencies. Prerequisite(s): COM 251

3
COM374 Photography V - Documentary and Photojournalism

This course will focus on photojournalistic practice and/or a focused exploration of a specific issue in the news. Students will analyze news topics from a practical, ethical, and visual perspective, to produce images that tell stories for newspapers, magazines, books and the Internet. Students will also be introduced to a wide range of approaches and styles of documentary photography with an emphasis on meaning and point of view. Cross-listed with ART374. Additional Fee(s): Applied laboratory fee.

3

Public Relations Minor:

COM141 Media Literacy

This course introduces students to the Macintosh computer interface and related media practices. Students explore digital foundations, media related histories, theoretical frameworks and critical examination of production elements as they discover how computers are radically changing the way image makers create and present their work. Cross-listed as ART141 and FDT141. Additional Fee(s): Course Computing fee.

3
COM106 Media and Society

The effects of mass communication on individuals and society, particularly as they relate to values and ethics, are examined. The course emphasizes the history and structure of the mass media.

3
COM209 Intercultural Communication: Values and Ethics

Course will provide the student with an appreciation of the complexities involved in the development of beliefs, attitudes and behaviors that reflect cultural values. This course will provide an understanding of the specific forces which shape perceptions, feelings and behaviors of various cultural groups. These forces include soically constructed categories such as race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, socio-economic status, and religion. These will be explored in a variety of contexts, language, family structures and the handling of conflict of laws and ethics(cultural relativism) will be examined.

3
COM234 Persuasion

This course explores rhetorical and experimental studies of persuasion. It introduces the student to research in the field and critically examines some of the techniques developed in "selling" products, politics, and culture. It also examines the ethical considerations relevant to these techniques.

3
COM260 Practical Public Relations

Students learn the theories, processes, and techniques involved in planning and implementing programs designed to influence public opinion and behavior through socially responsible performance and mutually satisfactory communication. The course emphasizes research, design, production, and writing public relations media, including news releases, features, pamphlets, brochures, financial statements, management reports, scripts, scenarios, and publicity. Students will analyze case histories presented by professional practitioners; appraise success and failure factors; and explore new concepts and developing trends.

3
COM360 Advanced Public Relations

Application of principles and methods to intensive analysis of public relations problems, decision making, programming, and evaluation in simulated staff and agency organization. The course emphasizes the principles and practices of public relations as a basic component in the promotion and marketing of goods and services; regulatory considerations; and consumerism. The following topics may be covered, depending on student interest: public relations in entertainment, including films, broadcasting, music, expositions, amusement parks, resorts, and arenas; developing, managing, and evaluating campaigns designed to reach niche audiences segmented by culture, lifestyle, and other factors; and sports information and promotion, including lectures, media assignments, role-playing, and presentations by sports professionals. Prerequisite(s): COM 260

3

Graphic Design Minor:

COM141 Media Literacy

This course introduces students to the Macintosh computer interface and related media practices. Students explore digital foundations, media related histories, theoretical frameworks and critical examination of production elements as they discover how computers are radically changing the way image makers create and present their work. Cross-listed as ART141 and FDT141. Additional Fee(s): Course Computing fee.

3
COM152 Photography II - Introduction to Digital Photography

This course introduces students to the basic aesthetic grammar of digital photography and provides a historical and critical context for looking at and making photographs. Students will use their own digital cameras with manually adjustable focus, exposure manipulation, photo finishing techniques and printing processes. They will also learn the fundamentals of digital capture and will utilize Adobe Bridge and Lightroom software for file processing, management, and output.Cross-listed as ART 152.Additional Fee(s): Applied art fee.

3
COM321 Typography Design Studio

This class is an introduction to the concrete and conceptual aspects of typography as a visual medium. The first half of the semester will deal with the technique requirements of typography (micro typography). The second half will deal with abstract compositional uses for typography (macro typography), integrating hand skills and computer as way to render type. Historical and current forms of alphabetic communications will be explored, along with the relationship to contemporary image-based communication.

3
COM245 Design Praxis

This course introduces the concepts of visual perception. Theories on the 'way we see', how information is interpreted through light and how it includes physiology and cognitive perception. This course also explores the relevance of symbols and archetypes in broadening ones perceptual skills. The aim of this course is broaden and deepen student's visual and verbal skills in critical thinking, the creative process and problem solving.

3
COM353 Print Design

This course combines technical training in digital imaging with exercises in creative print-media based design and critical thinking. Students learn conceptual and technical differences between analog and digital imaging and work with a range of digital tools, including QuarkXpress, AdobeInDesign, and Photoshop. Conceptual and content discourses will be developed through contemporary issues and the design of relevant documents. Cross-listed as ART 353. Prerequisite(s): ART 141. Additional Fee(s): Applied art fee.

3