MA in Communication Arts

The Department of Communication Arts offers graduate studies leading to the M.A. degree in Communication Arts. The program is designed to stimulate creativity, and provide in-depth understanding of the most recent advances and applications in the areas related to mass media and communication. Great emphasis is placed on encouraging the graduate student to use modern analytical testing and media research. Upon successful completion of requirements, students are asked to complete a research-oriented thesis.

 

 
 
TOTAL REQUIRED CREDITS FOR GRADUATION (39 credits)
CORE REQUIREMENTS (18 credits)
CODE DESCRIPTION PREREQUISITE CR.
COM 510 Advanced Topics in Media Communications NONE
3
COM 515 Communication and Society NONE
3
COM 520 Mass Communication Theory Research COM 515
3
COM 530 Media Effects and Audience Analysis COM 520
3
COM 540 Media Team Management COM 530
3
COM 545 Executive Leadership in Communication COM 520
3
ADVERTISING EMPHASIS (12 credits)
CODE DESCRIPTION PREREQUISITE CR.
ADV 560 Design in New Media COM 515
3
ADV 575 Business Story Telling & Brand Development COM 545
3
ADV 580 Advanced Art Direction ADV 560
3
ADV 590 Integrated Advertising Campaigns ADV 560
3
JOURNALISM EMPHASIS (12 credits)
CODE DESCRIPTION PREREQUISITE CR.
JOR 560 Multimedia Reporting COM 515
3
JOR 575 Social Media & Online Community Engagement COM 515
3
JOR 580 Research & Investigative Skills Development JOR 560
3
JOR 590 Entrepreneurial Journalism in the Digital Age JOR 575
3
PUBLIC RELATIONS EMPHASIS (12 credits)
CODE DESCRIPTION PREREQUISITE CR.
PRL 560 Public Relations in the Digital Age COM 515
3
PRL 575 Events Marketing & Production COM 515
3
PRL 580 Negotiation & Deal Making PRL 560
3
PRL 590 Reputation Management Strategies PRL 560
3
RADIO AND TELEVISION EMPHASIS (12 credits)
CODE DESCRIPTION PREREQUISITE CR.
RTV 560 Filmmaking Concepts & Practices COM 520
3
RTV 575 Experimental & Documentary Filmmaking RTV 560
3
RTV 580 Entertainment Law COM 515
3
RTV 590 Business of TV RTV 560
3
TECHNICAL ELECTIVES (6 credits)
CODE DESCRIPTION PREREQUISITE CR.
COM 550 Communications and Development COM 515
3
COM 555 Studies in Intercultural Communication COM 515
3
COM 560 Media Enterprises & Development COM 520
3
COM 565 Communication Strategy & Planning COM 530
3
COM 570 Communication & Government COM 515
3
COM 575 Visual Communication Theory COM 515
3
COM 580 Ethical Issues for Communication COM 515
3
COM 585 Product & Artist Management COM 515
3
COM 588 Creative Writing for New Media RTV 560
3
COM 590 Seminar on New Media COM 515
3
COM 592 Innovative Public Relations & Resources PRL 560
3
COM 593 Advanced Directing RTV 560
3
COM 594 News Broadcasting in the Digital Age COM 530
3
COM 595 Digital Communication COM 545
3
COM 596 Transmedia Storytelling COM 588
3
COM 597 Entertainment Business Finance COM 545
3
GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS (3 credits)
CODE DESCRIPTION PREREQUISITE CR.
COM 598 Research Project Advisor's approval
3
COM 599 Research Thesis Advisor's approval
3
Course Descriptions
COM 510
Advanced Topics in Media Communications
In this course, students create a capstone research project, in which they are expected to synthesize and integrate the learning experiences they have acquired from the set curriculum, and to evaluate current media communications research topics relative to a particular area of interest. Students should seek to add to this body of media communications knowledge. 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 end up with a well-documented and comprehensive paper. Students are encouraged to have their capstone research project topics approved prior to enrolling in this class.
Prerequisite: NONE
COM 515
Communication and Society
The course is a survey of the history, structure, dynamics, technological innovation and functions of contemporary mass media, with a focus on the ethics, problems, criticism and societal implications of the media.
Prerequisite: NONE
COM 520
Mass Communication Theory Research
In this course, students examine diverse midrange theories in mass communication, including media dependency, the two-step-flow, information theory, cultivation, uses and gratifications, agenda setting, social learning, in addition to the mass media effects. It also examines the historical, economic, political contexts in which quantitative and qualitative research emerges. It includes introduction to current quantitative and qualitative techniques, mass communication measurement techniques, research design and implementation, survey, content analysis, and applied statistical analysis, in addition to phenomenology, semiology, and ethnographic research methodology in the fieldwork.
Prerequisite: COM 515
COM 530
Media Effects and Audience Analysis
This course surveys major theories about mass media, focusing on those theories that have empirical support. The course covers readings on how media affect what people think about, how people underestimate the effect of media on themselves, and how media affect what people see as the causes and solutions to social problems. The course also explores violence on television, the media›s role in dividing and uniting society, and the influence of commercialization on news production. Other topics include diffusion of innovations, cultivation theory, and the hostile media effect.
Prerequisite: COM 520
COM 540
Media Team Management
The objective of the Media Team Management course is twofold: learning the principles of project management, including the creation of a project management plan, correct ordering tasks, in addition to understanding and considering all factors that contribute to a successful project. The second objective requires students to explore the various factors of team management and create a productive team; these factors include matching project’s objectives to team members’ skills, motivating the team to accomplish project goals, empowering team members to take ownership of a project’s success, and providing mentorship to aid the team to succeed
Prerequisite: COM 530
COM 545
Executive Leadership in Communication
This course examines the qualities necessary to be an executive leader in today’s Communication and Media Business field. Various industries are examined to ensure an understanding of a given industry’s leadership style and traits. Students explore effective decision-making processes, power and influence, means to monitor and lead organizational change, and how to invest in and manage relationships to achieve business goals.
Prerequisite: COM 520
ADV 560
Design in New Media
Provides knowledge and practice for effective graphic design for all media. Develops a foundation in design principles and software skills including Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign. Students create projects demonstrating how graphic design is used to engage an audience and enhance comprehension of all forms of mass communication from traditional print to new media
Prerequisite: COM 515
ADV 575
Business Story Telling & Brand Development
This course covers the two main aspects of building a strong presence in the business and consumer market: storytelling and brand development. In this course, students learn how to implement brand development strategies that help companies become icons within their industry. Students also learn how to use storytelling principles to strengthen a business and deliver a superior customer experience. Finally, students develop their own personal brand identity and create tools for real-world business use.
Prerequisite: COM 545
ADV 580
Advanced Art Direction
This course allows students to create art direction projects based on individual professional goals. Students will develop advertising concepts that relate to the creative strategies, marketing platforms, and psychology specific to the communication objectives of the client, and the type of media used. Students will work with print, outdoor, and television media.
Prerequisite: ADV 560
ADV 590
Integrated Advertising Campaigns
Function as a full service advertising agency, encompassing all the disciplines studied during the student›s tenure at Newhouse. Students work with clients and execute a complete campaign, from strategy to creative executions and a media plan. 
Prerequisite: ADV 560
JOR 560
Multimedia Reporting
Students learn how to access, transfer and process electronic information, and how to gain ownership of a story by presenting that information in a visual, useful, and factual way. Students become proficient in conceiving stories and packages that will work well on the web; practice on-camera presentation for Web and multimedia stories; and, learn how to organize raw material into a news-oriented narrative. The course provides instruction in visual storytelling and story advancement and evolution, with guidance as to hardware and software that journalists must know for multimedia reporting.
Prerequisite: COM 515
JOR 575
Social Media & Online Community Engagement
This course is an examination of how information is shared outside professional journalism, how journalists can interact with communities, and the ways in which social technology shapes cultures, governments, and communications. Students learn theoretical and practical approaches to understanding, designing, building, and using virtual communities, and how user-generated content within these communities expands the definition of news. The course also helps journalists understand how to leverage social media to find story ideas, engage audiences, and promote their work.
Prerequisite: COM 515
JOR 580
Research & Investigative Skills Development
Publishing and journalism were once separate domains, but the Internet and new media have changed that. The rise of so-called civic journalism and the ease of "publishing to the 'net" have raised pressing questions such as who is a journalist, and what does it mean nowadays to "publish" something. Through lectures, readings, discussions, and individual projects, this research seminar will attempt to answer such questions. Students will also examine recent or ongoing controversies such as WikiLeaks and the Google book project. They will explore the impact of new media (e.g. citizen journalism, social networking sites, online video and mobile technologies) on both the publishing industry and the practice of journalism, and what the new media environment implies for communications professionals.
Prerequisite: JOR 560
JOR 590
Entrepreneurial Journalism in the Digital Age
Most courses in the MPS Journalism program focus on the development of great content. This course focuses on the distribution and monetization of content. We will examine the core business concepts of the evolving media landscape to help students understand how to develop and evaluate entrepreneurial pursuits in journalism. Along the way, we will provide students with an ability to steer their careers toward opportunities with legitimate business potential. Case studies, readings, media surveillance and guest lectures will help students take an entrepreneurial view of their careers, with particular emphasis on how to build audience, distribute content and monetize with smart business models. Journalists who understand these issues will be better positioned to make informed career decisions and to discern opportunities in a range of media-related industries - whether they choose to pursue an entrepreneurial venture or not. The coursework involves abroad examination of issues affecting media careers, as well as specific focus on a subject area of the student’s choosing. Students will learn - through reading, analysis and experimentation – how to drive their own success or to maximize their opportunities within a larger media company. 
Prerequisite: JOR 575
PRL 560
Public Relations in the Digital Age
In the Public Relations in a Digital World course, students will examine the dramatic impact of the Internet and a 24/7 media environment on the public relations process. Students will examine how the Internet and digital media have influenced not only the development of the PR profession, but how PR is planned, distributed, and controlled. Students will explore the role of PR across various departments within an organization and how a public relations team responds to a range of circumstances and priorities. By examining how PR is used to address a variety of strategic communication requirements and organizational goals, students will leave the course with a strong foundation that will be enable them to further explore these initiatives within a dynamic business environment.
Prerequisite: COM 515
PRL 575
Events Marketing & Production
Today’s public relations professionals often create thematic events to generate buzz, build excitement, and stir interest in their professional community. From press conferences to flash mobs, digital media plays a critical role in ensuring that events are well publicized and organized. In this course, students will explore the role of public and digital events that support PR efforts, and how these events generate awareness of their clients and/or company. Students will examine how PR is used to support and enhance events such as trade shows, product launches, and press conferences. Students will also consider the role of meet-ups, digital presentations, mobile apps, and other initiatives that enhance the effect of both digital and real-world interactions.
Prerequisite: COM 515
PRL 580
Negotiation & Deal Making
Negotiation and deal-making are essential business skills that enable entertainment business professionals to develop companies, establish a strong business presence, and enhance product development. Students explore the skills needed to become a strong negotiator and deal-maker, through instruction in topics like deal-structuring skills, self-awareness and negotiation skill development, tools and concepts for negotiation preparation, development of deal memos and contracts, negotiation and deal-making role-playing, and critiquing the role-playing scenarios.
Prerequisite: PRL 560
PRL 590
Reputation Management Strategies
This course provides students with a fundamental understanding of crisis management, risk communication, media relations, and public-opinion research techniques within multiple contexts. It introduces students to crisis management principles, strategies, tactics, and communication methods. Course participants work as a team to develop a crisis management plan for analysis and discussion. Students learn to predict, manage, and control real-world controversies that they may confront as they pursue their careers. Moreover, students are able to manage effectively, participate in, and control volatile situations involving the news media. Successful students are able transfer to the workplace the knowledge and skills developed in this course.
Prerequisite: PRL 560
RTV 560
Filmmaking Concepts & Practices
In the Filmmaking Concepts and Practices course, students will explore the theory and practice of film production. Students will learn how to apply filmmaking concepts and theory to the practice of film production in terms of production design, cinematography, and film aesthetics. The course will also cover production planning techniques and professional practices in film production, with special attention given to the roles of the filmmaking team. Topics include creating images for film, psychology of film, film research methodologies, advanced composition, and performance design.
Prerequisite: COM 520
RTV 575
Experimental & Documentary Filmmaking
The Experimental Filmmaking course provides students with an overview of traditional and independent film production methods, but will focus on the nontraditional methods to visual storytelling. Students will research and explore experimental approaches to content, structure, style, and technology in filmmaking. Students will create concept scripts that must be shot with iPads, smartphones, still cameras, or any other recording device. By understanding these experimental methods of filmmaking, students will gain a deeper knowledge of visual storytelling, as well as how to utilize emerging technologies in the art of filmmaking. The use of mobile devices and mobile applications will be emphasized.
Prerequisite: RTV 560
RTV 580
Entertainment Law
This course explores advanced topics related to entertainment law, with an emphasis on entertainment contracts and intellectual property protection. Students explore, through lectures and case studies, how the digital revolution has impacted the entertainment industry, and learn strategies to protect and exploit rights within the digital domain, while focusing on the role of entertainment law in the industry’s evolution. Students also have the opportunity to understand the impact of entertainment law on their specific entertainment field and examine how evolving trends are affecting the way contracts are structured within their respective industry sector.
Prerequisite: COM 515
RTV 590
Business of TV
The Business of Film course integrates student’s technical and conceptual understanding of filmmaking with the practical dimensions of managing a career in the film industry. Students will examine current industry business models and develop plans to advance their careers in filmmaking. The course content will help students understand the marketing of films through film festivals and the preparation of supporting materials, including press kits, film trailers, and film art. The course will also examine sale licenses, the role of sales agents, and the process of negotiating a deal to represent a film. Upon completion of this course, students will have created a trailer for their film and presented an effective marketing strategy. Topics include networking, negotiation, film festivals, marketing, financing, and international markets.
Prerequisite: RTV 560
COM 550
Communications and Development
It explores relationship between communications media and human development, in areas such as education, the economy, public health, the environment, and political institutions, and the role of stakeholders. This course provides practical experience in communication campaign design and the application of research and theory to development issues.
Prerequisite: COM 515
COM 555
Studies in Intercultural Communication
The purpose of the course is to provide the student with the theoretical and practical tools necessary to understand and attribute meaning to communicative behaviors during the process of intercultural communication. Discussions will focus on how culture and cultural variations influences the communication process.
Prerequisite: COM 515
COM 560
Media Enterprises & Development
This course explores the complexities and strategies of internal and external communication in public, private, and non-profit organizations, for as a leadership tool, communication serves a political, informational, symbolic, and influential function. Organizational theory and research are core components of this course. Specifically, this course instructs students on how to do a critique and develop the fundamentals of vision and mission statements, strategic plans, white papers, annual reports, crisis communication, and marketing and promotional communication.
Prerequisite: COM 520
COM 565
Communication Strategy & Planning
This course teaches students how to think critically, express their reasoning clearly, both in written and oral communications; it also makes them understand the role of strategic communications in the historical development of the field of Communications. Through case studies and readings, students are exposed to ethical issues that arise in strategic communications; they will also furnish the students with the needed tools to argue and analyze the ethical dilemmas they will encounter in the real world.
Prerequisite: COM 530
COM 570
Communication & Government
This course introduces students to the practical applications of governmental relations. Through discussion, reading, guest lectures, and actual site visits, students gain valuable applied knowledge of the communication tactics of this influential business. The course is designed to teach the students the “how to” approach, with specific focus on how to successfully communicate with governmental officials, design lobbying campaigns, and review the foundations of governmental representation. This class conducts a detailed study on the structure of our government, ethical standards, influence methods, cultural appreciation, and the specific communication skills necessary of all advocacy professionals. The class explores various political and applied principals that are needed in practicing governmental representation. The course also gives students a practical understanding and unusual knowledge of the art of lobbying.
Prerequisite: COM 515
COM 575
Visual Communication Theory
This course focuses on exploring and clarifying the value and role of strategic visual communications within today's business context. Through a combination of readings, case studies, class discussions, simulations, and guest speakers, students will recognize the importance visuals play in effective communications, in building brand identity and in marketing messages; they will gain insight into how visuals can help them to communicate more clearly and effectively. The class will also examine the role visuals play in bridging cultural divides across the World Wide Web and in the global marketplace as a whole. In addition, students will build competencies in "the language of design" that will increase their effectiveness in selecting, briefing, leading, and evaluating design resources and their creative work. Students will work in teams throughout the course and will deliver a final project through which they demonstrate their understanding and application of the concepts they have learned in class.
Prerequisite: COM 515
COM 580
Ethical Issues for Communication
This course examines the role of communication in managing conflict in various relationships: interpersonal, inter-organizational, and international. Special emphasis is given to how the application of communication processes like negotiation can influence outcomes. Current cases are studied to reveal how organizational leaders in corporate ethical decisions, implement strategic communication to conflict and change management.
Prerequisite: COM 515
COM 585
Product & Artist Management
The Product and Artist Management course addresses management issues and scenarios that apply to artist management; it gives students tools and strategies to help resolve these issues. Students in this course also address product management and its unique issues, including the interconnectivity of artist and product management activities. Finally, students have the opportunity to apply these advanced management techniques to their specific entertainment field, and to examine how these principles can be applied to their business projects.
Prerequisite: COM 515
COM 588
Creative Writing for New Media
In this course, students study the universal themes of traditional storytelling as well as their applications to visual narrative design and new nonlinear and interactive forms of media. Students will analyze historical examples of visual narratives and then convey ideas and emotions through the use of images and traditional storytelling techniques in order to design new narratives in a variety of entertainment media formats.
Prerequisite: RTV 560
COM 590
Seminar on New Media
In this class students learn about 12 useful social media tools, including blogging, Twitter, social networking, podcasting, online video, and Digg. More importantly, students apply what they learn by developing a social media plan for a company or organization that they choose. They will be the student›s «Client.» Each week, students learn how to use a different social media tool to engage in conversations that help to tell their client›s story. Students also learn the theories behind why social and digital media is fundamentally changing the way that customers, advocates, and engaged consumers are interacting with brands. By the end of semester, students will be able to not just answer, but inspire, the inevitable questions being raised in every organization today: Why should we care about social media? How is it changing the way individuals and how organizations communicate? Where should we begin?
Prerequisite: COM 515
COM 592
Innovative Public Relations & Resources
Like the tools in a toolbox, different media techniques and technologies can solve different communication problems. In the Innovative Public Relations Tools and Resources course, students will examine the unique characteristics of popular technologies such as social networks (Facebook), real-time media (Twitter), and content sharing (YouTube, Flickr). Students will also investigate behaviors, including crowd sourcing, feed aggregation, and content curation. The role of technologies such as RSS, HTML5, and emerging mobile platforms will also be explored. The course will offer students a deeper understanding of the unique properties of each platform as well as examine the kinds of tactical and strategic problems each technology addresses in the context of a PR campaign.
Prerequisite: PRL 560
COM 593
Advanced Directing
In the Directing Talent course, students investigate the unique roles and responsibilities of the film director. The course will examine the scope of a director’s creative and operational tasks from pre-production, to the set, to post-production. The course will address the art of collaboration with actors and writers to achieve dramatic goals. Students will also learn how to evaluate the work with technical crew and producers when crafting scenes that must often meet dynamic artistic, budgetary, and scheduling constraints. This course explores these topics through the lens of production management and emphasizes hand-on, collaborative teamwork
Prerequisite: RTV 560
COM 594
News Broadcasting in the Digital Age
This course prepares students to work in the evolving media environment by introducing them to the theories, techniques, and skills used in online newsrooms and news-related websites. The goal of the course is for students to develop the fundamental skills necessary to take assembled journalistic content and distribute the content across integrated platforms in the format of a newscast or news report. The course provides students with the conceptual skills necessary to integrate interactive content and to present online journalism holistically.
Prerequisite: COM 530
COM 595
Digital Communication
The concentration in digital communication examines the strategic use of digital technologies for communication professionals. This concentration addresses how to use the Web and social media to reach out to diverse publics and how to incorporate digital with traditional communication campaigns. Courses include effective Web design and strategy, public relations in the digital age, using digital and social media, and devising a digital strategy for a non-profit organization. Digital communication tools are an important part of the modern communication workplace.
Prerequisite: COM 545
COM 596
Transmedia Storytelling
Transmedia storytelling is the practice of designing, sharing, and participating in a cohesive story experience across multiple traditional and digital delivery platforms - for entertainment, advertising and marketing, or social change. The course provides student with a unique, authentic, and industry relevant learning opportunity. Students will have access to current theory, industry examples and advice, and will undertake learning activities that will equip them with the tools needed to start developing their own ideas.
Prerequisite: COM 588
COM 597
Entertainment Business Finance
The Entertainment Business Finance course focuses on the financial decisions and issues that face the entertainment industry professionals. During this course, students identify and evaluate entertainment business opportunities and projects using financial principles; they also learn how to raise the necessary finances to fund an entertainment company and/or project. Students develop financial projections, including startup funds and pro forma income statements for their chosen business. Additional topics in the course include the development of financial decision-making skills, financial planning, capital management, operations expense management and personal finance.
Prerequisite: COM 545
COM 598
Research Project
This course provides an in-depth look at one or more research topics in communication. Students will become familiar with current research, acquire specialized communication analysis skills, and learn how to conduct research. The intent of the course is to provide students with considerable expertise in an area of measurement that is currently a focus of research. Topics covered may vary from term to term.
Prerequisite: Advisor's approval
COM 599
Research Thesis
A student accepted for the thesis option will work very closely with his/her thesis director. The student will have to examine a theoretical model related to communication, supported by an in-depth review of the relevant literature; the student should come up with research hypotheses or research questions. These hypotheses or questions will be examined/ tested through primary quantitative or qualitative research methods. The final draft of the thesis will be read and approved by a thesis committee. After the thesis is approved, it will have to be orally defended. All faculty members of the concerned department will be invited to attend the thesis defense. The final submitted thesis must be written in accordance with the style guidelines of APA publication.
Prerequisite: Advisor's approval

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