M.A. in Communication and Public Relations


Level I
CU-500 Introduction to the New Media Society 3
CU-501 Communication Research 3
CU-506 Marketing Communication and Branding 3
CU-504 Public Relations 3
CU-508 Management and Organizational Behavior 3
Level II
CU-510 Advanced Communication Law, Ethics and Policy 3
CU-512 Social Networking and New Media 3
CU-646 Crisis Communication 3
CU-526 Capstone Project: Seminar 6
Electives (Choose one)
CU-515 Interpersonal Communication 3
CU-590 Internship I 3
Total Credits 33


CU500. Introduction to the New Media Society. 3 Credits

This course will provide a foundation to understanding the communication process at various levels of interaction. In addition to covering general theories that have practical applications, it will guide students in analyzing and evaluating strategies to achieve personal and professional goals at the intrapersonal, interpersonal, group, organization and socio/cultural levels. Because many, if not most, communication interactions these days involve some form of electronic and/or digital technology, this course will also explore the current mass media environment and how to be media literate within it.

CU501. Communication Research. 3 Credits

This course teaches the concepts of market research, and exposes students to the process of finding, analyzing and using information to make strategic marketing and communication decisions. The course will teach two distinct communication research methods: a) Quantitative (polling, online research, surveys), and b) Qualitative (focus groups, in-depth interviewing, ethnography, observational). Students will give presentations of their research findings and marketing recommendation in class reports.

CU504. Public Relations. 3 Credits

Public Relations is used to shape the opinions of target audiences. This course involves research and theory in the following PR disciplines: organizational and interpersonal communications, as well as and media studies. Students will learn the psychological and sociological processes that drive group behavior, and how those studies are used in the relationship between organizations and the public in which they seek to communicate and persuade. Students will become familiar with the differences between in-house and agency Public Relations, and how the two groups interact.

CU506. Marketing Communication/Branding. 3 Credits

Branding has become a critical key in a fiercely competitive marketplace. This course explores the link between brand equity and business performance. Students will explore how the realities of a changing media landscape are forcing companies to rethink traditional brand-building practices. Marketing concepts and the principles of analysis will be explained. Other topics will include market segmentation, value proposition, and targeting. Students will engage in critical thinking, case analyses, market research, and present strategic analyses that persuade a business decision maker to invest in their brands.

CU508. Management and Organizational Behavior. 3 Credits

This course examines how people behave in organizations. Students learn coaching tools, techniques, models and how to become instruments of individual and group growth and development. The course draws upon many disciplines, including psychology, organizational theory, counseling, group process, leadership theory, along with theories such as organizational assessment, powerbases, strategic management, and conflict management. Students are expected to develop competence in management and master concepts and methods for analyzing and predicting individual, group and organizational behavior.

CU510. Advanced Communication Law, Ethics, and Policy. 3 Credits

This course examines how courts, legislatures, and regulatory agencies react to constant change in communication technologies—ranging from television and to telecommunications to the Internet. We will focus on specific technological advances to explore the way legal, economic, social, and technological forces shape and are harnessed by legal systems. The course will draw on leading communications law cases and FCC and FTC actions.

CU512. Social Networking and New Media. 3 Credits

This course is part class and part workshop, covering social networking and other trends that are producing complex and subtle changes in business communications. Topics include blogging, YouTube, Second Life and various social networking sites and their emerging role for private businesses, their products, and markets. Attention is paid to current trends in convergence, creativity, collaboration and community as modern media replaces earlier forms of communication and attracts more active—and interactive—audiences. The goal of the course is for students to familiarize themselves with various social networking theories, perspectives, sites, tools, and strategies, and to critique, consult on and create social networking plans.

CU526. Capstone Project/Seminar: 6 Credits, 2 Trimesters

This final course provides a forum for students to demonstrate their mastery of the principles and best practices of professional communication studies. Students identify an organization or issue facing a challenge and act as an independent communications consultant for that organization. The recommended communications strategy is presented in the form of a final written proposal and an oral presentation and defense in front of a review board of faculty and the student’s program advisor.

CU646. Crisis Communication. 3 Credits

The need for effective crisis communication is a valuable asset for an organization, especially now in a 24-hour news cycle and with multiple social media outlets. The focus of the course is to identify, define, and prepare students to proactively and effectively respond to crisis situations.

CU515. Interpersonal Communication: Elective, 3 Credits

The course reviews existing and emerging theoretical perspectives relevant to the context of interpersonal communication. Emphasis is on theories of message production and reception, identity management, relationship development, and related processes. Methods of investigation unique to the study of interpersonal interaction are also addressed. Students have the option of taking this course as an elective instead of CU590 Internship 1.

CU590. Internship 1 or Interpersonal Communication, or MBA elective. 3 Credits

The course integrates students’ advanced study in a specialty area of communication and public relations with a job experience in the field. Students who are already established in a career, however, also have the option of taking an elective course in the MBA program or the Interpersonal Communication course instead of an internship.