NDMU Course Catalog : http://catalog.ndm.edu/ccg

Communication Arts

Women's College

Four-Year Plan
Course Descriptions

Joseph Faura, MFA
Debra Minick Franklin, Ph.D.
Joseph C. Schaub, Ph.D., Chair

The communication arts department of the School of Arts and Sciences offers a major and minor in communication arts to students in the Women's College. The program provides an intensive study of communication between and among persons, via the mass media and in cyberspace. The department mission is to enable students to be knowledgeable creators and astute consumers of messages within our increasingly complex, technological society. The core curriculum aims to develop the student's talents in communicating effectively in print, in visuals, in speech and with diverse types of media. By offering the student additional choices through a series of electives, the program also encourages the student to design a specialty within the communication fields, such as advertising, video and digital media, public relations, journalism or corporate communication. Through internships, practicums and advanced courses, the student learns in more depth about the theory and practices of the specific communication area of the student's interest.

Department facilities include a color video studio with computer-based nonlinear editing, a campus video cable network, ENG equipment for video field work and the campus radio studio. Classes meet frequently in the campus Macintosh laboratory for sessions on writing, digital publishing, digital design work and multimedia presentations.

Early internships during the sophomore and junior years may be taken to explore various career areas in which students may be interested. All communication arts majors must complete an advanced practicum with an approved organization as part of their senior year experience.

Graduates in communication arts have been employed in settings as varied as C-SPAN, Animal Planet, SmartCEO magazine, Baltimore Magazine, the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, and The Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. They serve as advertising media planners, Webmasters, media relations experts, television producers, newspaper editors and sports information directors. An active Advisory Board of department graduates assists the faculty in preparing the students for careers. The department sponsored the first student chapter of the Association for Women in Communications in the state of Maryland.

The general education requirement in fine arts may be fulfilled by any of the following courses: COM-325, COM-330 or COM-351. The general education proficiency in oral communication may be fulfilled by COM-106 or COM-206. COM-106 is designed specifically for non-communication arts majors; communication arts majors and minors must complete COM-206. The general education requirement in gender studies may be met by completing COM-330, COM-382 or the honors course COM-329. COM-329 also fulfills the requirement in history. The general education requirement in cross-cultural studies may be met by completing COM-303. Communication arts majors and minors must complete all courses for the major/minor (including departmental electives) with a grade of C or higher.

Back to top

Program of Study

Required Courses for a Major in Communication Arts (Credits)

COM-101 Introduction to Media Writing (3)
COM-131 Mass Media and Society (3)
COM-200 Digital Skills Workshop (1)
COM-201 Interpersonal and Team Communication (3)
COM-206 Speaking in Professional Settings (fulfills general education requirement for majors) (3)
COM-210 Social Media (3)
COM-256 Popular Culture (3)
COM-310 Media Literacy (3)
COM-313 Digital Media Skills (3)
COM-314 Reporting and Writing News (3)
COM-356 Communication Research Methods (3)
COM-441 Mass Communication Law (3)
COM-461 Communication Arts Practicum (4)

Students also take three additional courses of their choice to prepare for specific careers in communication. Students interested in digital production are strongly encouraged to enroll in DMA-201 Time-Based Media.

Back to top

Minor in Communication Arts

COM-101 Introduction to Media Writing (3)
COM-131 Mass Media and Society (3)
COM-201 Interpersonal and Team Communication (3)
Plus three communication arts electives of the student's choice, two of which must be at the 300- or 400-level (9)

N.B. majors and minors must complete COM-206 Speaking in Professional Settings with a grade of C or higher to fulfill the communication proficiency requirement in general education.

Back to top

Four-Year Plan

A sample program of study for the communication arts major follows. Students should select courses with the assistance of a faculty advisor. The plan is intended as a guide only. Many variations are possible.

See course descriptions for a list of required courses and description of course and program options.

Fall Spring 
First year      
COM-131 Mass Media and Society 3 COM-101 Introduction to Media Writing 3
Foreign Language 3 COM-256 Popular Culture 3
Natural Science 4 Mathematics 3
ENG-101 College Writing 3 RST-201 Introduction to Biblical Studies 3
NDMU-100 First Year Seminar 3 History or Social Science 3
[16 credits]   Physical Education 1
    [16 credits]  
Second year      
COM-201 Interpersonal and Team Communication 3 COM-206 Speaking in Professional Settings 3
COM-210 Social Media 3 COM elective 3
PHL-201 Introduction to Philosophy 3 History or Social Science 3
English Literature 3 PHL or RST 300/400 level 3
General Education/Course in minor 3 General Education/Course in minor 3
[15 credits]   [15 credits]  
Third year      
COM-314 Reporting and Writing News 3 COM-356 Communication Research Methods 3
COM elective 3 COM-310 Media Literacy 3
Course in minor 3 COM-313 Digital Media Skills 3
Gender Studies/Cross Cultural 3 Gender Studies/Cross Cultural 3
PHL or RST 300/400 level 3 Ethics/Values Requirement 3
[15 credits]   [15 credits]  
Fourth year      
COM-441 Mass Communication Law 3 COM-461 Practicum 4
COM elective 3 General Education/minor/Electives 9-11
General Education/Course in minor 6 [13-15 credits]  
Internship 3    
[15 credits]      

Back to top


COM-101 Introduction to Media Writing

Explores the various types of writing and rhetorical approaches used in crafting messages for the mass media. Provides experience in writing for journalistic, broadcasting, public relations and advertising needs, with diagnostic attention given to the individual student's writing skills. Writing requirements of the Web and digital media are previewed. Intensive laboratory work assists the student in improvement of skills. Offered in Women's College only. Prerequisite: ENG-101 or permission of department. [3 credits]

COM-106 Fundamentals of Oral Communication

Cultivates oral communication skill for non-majors, with emphasis on improving speaking and listening skills. Analyzes factors affecting oral communication with self, in dyads, small groups, the public arena, organizations, mass media, and among members of differing cultural backgrounds. Practical experience in delivering speeches and briefings. Fulfills the general education requirement in oral communication. [3 credits]

COM-131 Mass Media and Society

Studies the role of newspapers, magazines, radio, television, motion pictures and the "new media" in contemporary life and their impact on sociological and cultural patterns. The goal of the course is to develop the students'critical perspective through reflective review of media messages and analysis of current media systems. [3 credits]

COM-201 Interpersonal and Team Communication

Examines concepts, principles and skills central to interpersonal communication processes. Develops understanding of verbal and nonverbal dimensions of human interaction from both experiential and competency-based approaches. Consideration given to group dynamics. Students write reflective journals and participate in a number of workshop experiences. [3 credits]

COM-206 Speaking in Professional Settings Speaking in Professional Settings

Explores the art of public communication and persuasion, content and delivery, through composition and delivery of a variety of speeches. Particular attention is given to the xpectations of the workplace. Recommended in first year or second year. Fulfills the general education requirement in oral communication. [3 credits]

COM-256 Popular Culture

Explores contemporary American culture through an examination of the creation and propagation of iconic images, myths, stereotypes and shared beliefs within a mass-mediated context. Extensive discussion and analysis of media and media artifacts. [3 credits]

COM-313 Digital Media Skills

Provides hands-on experience in the use of digital and social media in professional contexts in the communication fields. Students will complete a number of projects applicable to professional situations that will enhance the job-search portfolio. [3 credits]

COM-329 Honors: Women in Mass Communication History

Engages students in an historical-critical study of the role of women in the communication fields of broadcasting, journalism, public relations and advertising. Surveys their contributions as practitioners and the challenges they have met as part of the professional media culture. Opportunities to meet women working in the media and to participate in an oral history project. Fulfills general education requirement in history and gender studies. [3 credits]

COM-375 Event Planning

Provides an overview of the necessary preparations for planning a major event. Course work includes a survey of the types of events, venue selection, catering, marketing and promotions, networking, budgeting, execution and evaluation of events. [3 credits]

COM-403 Organizational Communication

Studies communication systems, structure, problems and solutions within complex organizations, such as business corporations, governmental agencies, hospitals and schools. Students develop practical plans to improve communication within organizations. [3 credits]

COM-430 Strategic Communication

Serves as the capstone course for the corporate communications program; requires students to apply their knowledge from the program's core subjects in the analysis of communication, technology, and business problems reflected in case studies of specific organizations. [3 credits]

COM-461 Communication Arts Practicum

Provides opportunities to work in pre-professional settings in communication positions with an approved organization. Prepares the student for a career in the communication field of her choice as a culminating experience. The student must enroll for the spring semester of her senior year. Prerequisite: senior standing. [4 credits]

DMA-253 Graphic Design, Theory and Practice

Offers an introduction to the theories and practices of graphic design. Provides a historical analysis of visual communication with emphasis on the development of the profession of graphic design and the relationship of commerce and technology to the history of graphic design. Formerly ART-253. [3 credits]

DMA-351  Graphic Design II

Advances computerized graphic design skills with an emphasis on Adobe InDesign. Students learn software-specific skills needed for full color graphic arts and pre-press production. Clear and precise visual communication, problem solving and presentation are stressed. Focus on portfolio development. Formerly ART-351. Prerequisite: DMA-102. [ 3 credits ]

DMA-461 Digital Media Practicum

Structures a professional-level internship that places students in an entry-level position at a high-tech company in the Greater Baltimore area. Students will work under close supervision of faculty and the agency sponsor with the intention of gaining in-depth experience in the field. [3 credits]