MEDC - Media Communications

Volume 1: 2022.2023

Effective 1 June 2022 through 31 May 2023

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 director of Graduate Studies and the dean of the School of Communications. 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. Prerequisite: MEDC 5000.

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. Prerequisite: MEDC 5000.

MEDC 5345 Writing for Media Communications: Journalism (3)

Writing for journalism is intended to give the student an understanding of the various genres of journalistic expression, including the hard-news story, feature story, and investigative story, as well as interpretive and explanatory journalism. Additionally, students are introduced to the trends of journalistic writing, from yellow and tabloid journalism to muckraking and the new civic journalism. Students can expect a number of writing/reporting assignments in this course. Prerequisite: MEDC 5000.

MEDC 5346 Writing for Media Communications: Interactive Scriptwriting (3)

Development of the script in adherence to the planning vehicle requires a thorough understanding of the primary and secondary tasks of the interactive environment. This script must provide full detail for execution of the planning vehicle. Scripting for computer-based training, point of information, point of sale, and other deployments are discussed in this course. Prerequisites: MEDC 5000, MEDC 5600 and NPRO 5100.

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. Prerequisite: MEDC 5000.

MEDC 5370 International Media Literacy (3)

This course focuses on the global implications and applications of the discipline of media literacy. First, the course examines points of conceptual consensus that exist within the global media literacy community. In addition, the course compares the media literacy principles, concepts, and approaches that are characteristic of different cultures. Students conduct media literacy analysis of media presentations as a way to learn about cultural attitudes, values, behaviors, preoccupations, and myths. Moreover, students consider whether media literacy approaches commonly employed in other countries might provide fresh insight into the media presentations of one's own country of origin. Finally, the class looks at ways in which media literacy analysis signals change in both media and cultural landscapes. Prerequisite: MEDC 5310.

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 5401 Media Production Management: Interactive (3)

This course prepares students to manage the variety of disciplines involved in the development and production of interactive media. Students learn to manage projects from the concept and script, video, audio, and screen design to programming and testing. Budgeting, invoicing, scheduling, flowcharting, treatment, presentation, and delivery platforms are examined. Prerequisites: MEDC 5000, MEDC 5600 and NPRO 5000.

MEDC 5430 Media Communications Technology (3)

The student explores new technologies in mass communications and the choices that these technologies present in the area of media communications. Course content focuses on the impact of computer technology, artificial intelligence, and wireless technology on business and government and the increasing reliance on the management and communication of information. Future applications, active media technology, E-commerce and Web services, and Web-based social networks are also considered. 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 5480 Comparative Approaches to Media Literacy (3)

This course focuses on qualitative approaches to the study of media literacy, including nonverbal, mythic, Socratic, ideological, autobiographical, and production elements. Students will consider various aspects of the field of media literacy including international approaches/developments in the field; media literacy sectors (education, production, public policy, community) and assessment strategies. Students assume responsibility for a major project or paper. Prerequisites: MEDC 5000 and MEDC 5310.

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 5631 Interactive Media Applied to the Internet (3)

Students review concepts of interactive digital media and the methodologies used to deliver interactive media over the internet. This course introduces students to web-based distribution languages such as HTML, XML, JavaScript, and ASP, as well as the authoring tools that assist in creating content for the web. Students are required to design content that incorporates internet technologies and a minimal amount of HTML coding, which is introduced during the class. Prerequisites: MEDC 5000 and MEDC 5600.

MEDC 5710 Writing for Latino Media Outlets (3)

This course is a basic journalism course that teaches writing aimed at websites, apps, social media, and newspapers, and various other communications platforms that connect with and inform the Latino community. This course teaches the basics of journalistic writing and how journalistic forms are important to community building. This course may include some bilingual assignments.

MEDC 5715 Analyzing the Latino Media Market (3)

This course will give students insights into the fastest growing demographic group in the United States, the Latino market. In this course, students will use analytical methods to understand the Latino community and to see how marketing firms and advertisers interact with this important demographic group. This course will help illuminate how various marketing firms are pursuing the Latino market and are succeeding and sometimes failing. The course will delve into the important intercultural aspects necessary to understand how the media interact with the Latino community. And the course will dissect how various Latino media outlets also interact with the community and act as liaisons between marketers and Latinos. Prerequisite: MEDC 5000.

MEDC 5720 Latin American Issues and Media Production (3)

This course will teach intermediate to advanced journalism techniques, with students learning how to write and produce short-form radio stories. Students will also have the opportunity to have their stories and material broadcast on both Webster University's internet radio station The Galaxy Radio and as part of program content in the "Latin Pulse" radio series produced at Webster University. This course will focus on teaching stronger writing, interviewing, editing, and programming techniques. All of the content for this course will include subject matter important to Latino communities and to those tracking news in Latin America. Prerequisites: MEDC 5000 and MEDC 5710.

MEDC 5725 Media and Communications in Latin America (3)

This course examines the emerging power dynamic between the media in Latin America and the political and economic structures of the region. This course will provide a blend of communication analysis, history, and politics. This course is for students who want to immerse themselves in the analysis of media in this region. The course will examine the structure, role and challenges for the media. Students will be expected to discuss, analyze, make presentations, and write with depth on these topics. Prerequisites: MEDC 5000 and MEDC 5360.

MEDC 5981 Integrated Studies in Media Literacy (3)

An in-depth study in the field of media literacy, students examine a variety of approaches to the discipline, as well as consider issues related to the field of media literacy. Students assume responsibility for a major project or paper. Prerequisites: MEDC 5000, MEDC 5310 and MEDC 5480.

MEDC 5985 Media Literacy Fieldwork (3)

This course provides students with the opportunity to apply media literacy principles through fieldwork at one of a number of sites including schools, retirement centers, parent-teacher organizations, and businesses. Under the direction of the instructor, students assume responsibility for program initiation, development, implementation, and evaluation. May be repeated once for credit, not to exceed 6 credit hours. Prerequisites: MEDC 5000, MEDC 5310, MEDC 5480 and permission of instructor.

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 and the dean of the School of Communications. The written project proposal must follow current thesis guidelines and include appropriate graduate thesis forms.