MEDC - Media Communications


Effective 1 June 2024 through 31 May 2025

Please see the Graduate Catalog Archives for PDF versions of past catalogs.

Course Descriptions

MEDC 5000 Media Communications (3)

Students examine communications theory and its application to mass media. The course introduces students to the graduate program and describes program expectations as well as introduces research methodologies used throughout the program and discusses academic preparation for MEDC 6000 Seminar in Media Communications. Therefore, students must take this course even if they have academic and/or professional experience in media communications. Prerequisite: Students should have an educational background or professional experience in media communications, or they must enroll in 6 credit hours of additional preparatory undergraduate course work, as determined by an academic advisor.

MEDC 5010 Introduction to Graduate Studies: Advanced Thinking and Writing (3)

This course is an introduction to graduate studies that provides students with knowledge and skills in three important ways to maximize academic success as a graduate student. The course will focus on critical thinking and advanced analysis skills, basic information on academic research and library searches, and advanced writing. The course will also offer a brief introduction to effective online learning.

MEDC 5200 Directed Studies in Media Communications (3-6)

Under faculty supervision, students examine an area of specialty not currently offered in the media communications curriculum. The student and instructor develop a written course proposal. Requires approval of the chair of the Communications and Journalism Department. Course may be repeated for credit if content differs, not to exceed 6 credit hours. Prerequisite: MEDC 5000.

MEDC 5290 Issues in Media Communications (3-6)

Current and significant issues in media communications are examined. The course focuses on existing theories and practices, with emphasis given to new and emerging topics in the field. Course may be repeated for credit if content differs, not to exceed 6 credit hours. Prerequisite: MEDC 5000.

MEDC 5300 Strategic Communications (3)

This course is taught from a top-management perspective regarding the strategic role of communications, and the communications manager, in achieving the company mission and measurable bottom-line results. It introduces students to an integrated approach to managing all communications functions, including all direct and indirect communications requirements for both internal and external audiences and intermediaries, such as customers, suppliers, distributors, employees, shareholders, competitors, politicians, analysts, journalists and lobbyists. It encompasses the functional areas of marketing communications, organizational communications, media relations, investor relations, government relations and corporate branding. 

MEDC 5310 Media and Culture (3)

This course examines the mass media as it reflects and influences the attitudes, values, behaviors, myths, and preoccupations that define a given culture. The course considers the functions of mass media in society and the effect on the individual.

MEDC 5350 Media Organization and Regulations (3)

The student examines the legal structure of the media communications industry. The course focuses on the formation, rationale, and implications of policies that form the basis of media law and regulation. Prerequisite: MEDC 5000.

MEDC 5360 International Communications (3)

This course focuses on the history, issues, and future of international communications. The class considers individual media systems, including different understandings of the role of the media, freedom of press and information in different areas of the world; parity between distribution of news and the shaping of the public mind; international stereotyping; and international propaganda. The course also examines the relationship between national and global media systems and the role of international communications in the development of the new world order. 

MEDC 5390 Practicum (3)

Students undertake, with the supervision of a qualified professional, an approved internship in a media-related setting. The course includes work and academic experience. The work experience involves professional media duties. The academic experience involves written assignments and attendance at seminars. The outline of duties and evaluative methods are established by the student and the internship mentor and approved by the mentor prior to initiation of the program. Prerequisites: Completion of at least 21 credit hours in the MA in media communications program, including MEDC 5000; meeting program criteria; and permission of the internship director and the department chair. Note: Internships should be directly relevant to students’ course of studies and majors.

MEDC 5400 Media Production Management (3)

The student applies theories of how communications campaigns work in a real-world environment. Students will critically examine all aspects of the strategic campaign planning process, including research, budgeting, planning, writing and evaluation. The course focuses on how corporate communications, such as public relations, internal communications, advertising and marketing all work together to achieve organizational objectives. Prerequisite: MEDC 5000.

MEDC 5460 Media Research (3)

This course introduces students to the major research methodologies, communication theories, and topics of study within media research. Theories, models, and methods are applied toward the development of research projects. Students discuss and examine qualitative and quantitative methods of media research employed by various aspects of the media. Prerequisites: MEDC 5000, MEDC 5310 strongly recommended.

MEDC 5500 Professional Seminars (1-3)

Students may supplement the core and elective courses in media communications with professional seminars designed to examine contemporary issues in this field. Course may be repeated for credit if content differs. Graduate students may apply a maximum of 3 credit hours of these seminars as electives to meet the credit-hour requirements for graduation. This course may not be completed by directed study. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. Undergraduate seniors require approval from their academic advisor.

MEDC 5550 Topics in Media Communications (3-6)

This course offers a variety of topics to address emerging theories, practices, and applications in the field of communications. Topics are timely and of interest to professionals currently working in or pursuing media-related careers. Classes may focus on such topics as campaign strategy and political power; video and media literacy; ethical issues in the media; applications for podcasting and blogs; creating cultural change through organizational communications; etc. May be repeated once for credit if content differs and is appropriate for student's course of study, not to exceed 6 credits. Prerequisites: May vary by topic.

MEDC 5600 Introduction to Interactive Communications (3)

A practical, up-to-date introduction to the documentation process required to plan and initiate interactive multimedia projects. This course offers a comprehensive approach to planning interactive media projects within an ever-changing multi-device environment. Through hands-on exercises, students will become familiar with the key processes and decision points required to fully document aspects of strategy, research, planning and implementation for digital projects. 

MEDC 6000 Seminar in Media Communications (3)

In this course, students create a capstone research project. Students are expected to synthesize and integrate the learning experiences acquired in the curriculum and to evaluate current media communications research topics relative to a particular area of interest. Students should seek to add to the body of media communications knowledge with all capstone research projects. Papers used in previous courses cannot be resubmitted or repackaged in order to meet the requirements of this course. However, it is acceptable to continue researching ideas which students may have pursued during their degree program, building on them to complete the large, comprehensive paper required in this capstone course. Students are encouraged to have their capstone research project topics approved prior to the start of class. Prerequisite: Completion of all other graduate courses in program. This should be the last course taken before graduation. Any exceptions must be approved prior to registration by submitting a program option request to be signed by the department chair.

MEDC 6250 Thesis Project in Media Communications (3-6)

The student synthesizes and integrates the learning experiences from all previous media communications courses and researches a specific topic to complete a thesis project relevant to the student's media communications major. The student must submit a written project proposal. Prerequisites: Completion of all other graduate courses and approval of written project proposal by the chair of the Communications and Journalism Department. The written project proposal must follow current thesis guidelines and include appropriate graduate thesis forms.