Department of Communication Studies

Students socialize and travel to and from class and other activities along Cougar Walk on APU’s East Campus.

Mission

The Department of Communication Studies develops creators, connectors, and change makers in a spiritually and intellectually transformative learning community rooted in Truth.

Overview

The Department of Communication Studies offers degree programs at the traditional undergraduate, professional, and graduate levels.

At the traditional undergraduate level, the department offers three distinct Bachelor of Arts degrees: communication management, journalism, and public relations.

The communication management major is an interdisciplinary, “next-level” degree program that trains students for promotion, management, and leadership. This degree program equips graduates with many skills needed for promotion and leadership in a variety of fields, such as business, health care, government, hospitality, and more. Communication management graduates are equipped in foundational theory and with expertise in conflict management, small-group decision-making and facilitation, understanding organizational cultures and functioning, relational communication, persuasion and social influence, intercultural communication, and much more.

The journalism major offers an in-depth study of journalism, cultivating practical experience in writing, reporting, editing, and publication production and management. Three concentrations are offered: News and Storytelling, Media Studies, and Sports Journalism.

The public relations major offers an in-depth study of the principles and practices of effective public relations across corporate and not-for-profit organizations, including the entertainment and sports industries.

At the professional level, the department offers a professional bachelor’s degree completion program in digital media and communication
 
At the graduate level, the department offers a Master of Arts in Strategic Communication.
 
The department also offers minors in communication studiesjournalism, and public relations.

GPA Requirement

Any student participating in Department of Communication Studies cocurricular activities, forensics, or media production must maintain a 2.5 cumulative grade-point average.

COMM 111, Public Communication, 3 Units

This course offers practical instruction in how to speak effectively and introduces the basic principles underlying effective communication. Topics range from the study of theoretical models of interpersonal and public communication to the fundamental skills of research, organization, and delivery of informative and persuasive discourse. Meets the General Education Requirement: Oral Communication. 

COMM 116, Intercollegiate Forensics, 1-3 Units

Students participate in directed activity in debate and/or individual events, including platform speaking, limited preparation events, and the oral interpretation of literature. Participation in intercollegiate speech competition is required. May be repeated for up to 6 units, but only three count toward the major.

COMM 200, Introduction to Mass Communication, 3 Units

This course provides a study of the forms, content, environments, and strategies of the mass media (e.g., newspaper, magazine, radio, television, film, etc.). Emphasis is given to an historical and critical understanding of media structures and functions.

COMM 201, Introduction to Communication Studies, 3 Units

This introductory course exposes students to the main areas of scholarship and research within the field of communication. Students are introduced to the fundamental issues and concerns involved in the study of rhetorical and communication theory and given an orientation necessary for future study. Emphasis is placed on approaches to communications employed within the field, current developments in scholarship, and the development of proper research techniques.

COMM 203, Communication Theory, 3 Units

This course introduces students to human communication theories, traditions, philosophical assumptions, and applications. It also examines basic theories of interpersonal, intrapersonal, small group, nonverbal, and intercultural communication.

COMM 211, Professional Communication, 3 Units

Improves students' professional communication skills and develops an understanding of vocational calling necessary to establish a professional identity. The course provides the structural skills necessary to deliver effective professional presentations using innovative technologies in a variety of contexts.

Prerequisite: COMM 111

COMM 225, Communication and Relationships, 3 Units

This course offers an analysis of interpersonal interactions in personal and professional life, from initial and developing relational sequences to the maintenance and dissolution of relationships. Topics such as attraction, intimacy, trust, and interpersonal influence are discussed, as well as current developments in interpersonal communication theory, research, and consulting.

COMM 230, Small Group Communication, 3 Units

This course gives students a theoretical and applied group participation and leadership. Students examine the antecedents, processes, and outcomes of group communication, including group development, leadership emergence, norms and roles, performance, cohesion, conflict, and decision making.

COMM 260, Intercultural Communication, 3 Units

Students in this course explore the dynamic processes involved in establishing a relationship between culturally diverse individuals. Respecting divergent cultural patterns is promoted, but not at the expense of salient spiritual, moral, and ethical issues involved in intercultural communication. Meets the General Education Requirement: Intercultural Competence. 

COMM 300, Research Methods in Communication, 3 Units

This course introduces students to the research process. It examines how research is planned and designed, explores both quantitative and qualitative methods, introduces students to processes of data collection and analysis, and gives them experience in conducting original research.

Prerequisite: COMM 203

COMM 302, Rhetorical Theory, 3 Units

Provides a survey of historical and contemporary rhetorical theories beginning with the Greek classical period. Emphasis is on forms of critical and theoretical analysis of human discourse in modern society.

Prerequisite: COMM 201

COMM 305, Writing 3: Writing for Communication, 3 Units

This course prepares students to participate in the discourse community of communication studies. It transitions students from classroom writing tasks, genres, and audiences to those that will be expected of them once they enter an academic field or profession. This includes researching in the Information Age, synthesizing information from sources, upholding communications industries' standards, and building identities as communication specialists. Portfolio-based assignments focus on writing for advanced study, strategic communication, media, businesses, online platforms, and professional contexts. Meets the General Education Requirement: Writing 3: Writing in the Disciplines. 

Prerequisite: Writing 2

COMM 315, Intercollegiate Forensics, 1-3 Units

Students participate in directed activity in debate and/or individual events, including platform speaking, limited prep events, and the oral interpretation of literature. Participation in intercollegiate speech competition is required. May be repeated for up to 6 units, but only 3 count toward the major.

COMM 335, Leadership Communication, 3 Units

This course teaches students the theoretical, empirical, and practical aspects of leadership communication by taking a distinct communication approach to leadership studies. Topics covered include leadership and followership communication styles and practices; various leadership theories and perspectives; power and influence; team/group leadership; organizational, crisis, and public leadership; diversity; ethics in leadership; and leadership development.

Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing

COMM 340, Argumentation and Advocacy, 3 Units

Students in this course analyze argumentation techniques used in formal and informal settings. Course material focuses on understanding and defining argument, and discovering argument in the personal community, the social community, and nontraditional places.

Prerequisite: COMM 203

COMM 341, Media Criticism and Theory, 3 Units

This course examines the origins and development of film criticism and theory through a close analysis of selected writings. Specialized critical approaches such as genre, auteur, feminist, and Marxist will be framed by a cultural studies approach giving an understanding of film as an expression of both art and popular culture.

COMM 345, Nonverbal Communication, 3 Units

This course introduces students to nonverbal communication as a vital factor in human communication by examining the research, practice, and principles underlying nonverbal behavior. The course focuses on several components of nonverbal communication, including touch, proximity, vocal quality, eye contact, facial expression, personal appearance, gesturing, and gender and culture differences in nonverbal behavior. Application of the theories of nonverbal communication is made to workplace, social, and family settings.

COMM 350, Rhetoric and Political Influence, 3 Units

This course provides a survey of the principles and practices of speech communication to examine political dynamics of rhetorical power. Students pursue a deeper understanding of the rich history and context of the unique communication phenomenon that is political rhetoric, as well as its areas of influence in cultural settings.

Prerequisite: COMM 201

COMM 360, Studies in Popular Culture, 3 Units

This course carefully examines popular cultural forms, institutions, rituals, artifacts, icons, communication practices, thought patterns, worldviews, value systems, and ideologies possibly created thereby. Topics range from the private and public experiences of popular culture in movies, television, and recordings to fast food, automobiles, and blue jeans, along with their relationship to wider cultural contexts and Christian faith.

COMM 420, Conflict Management, 3 Units

This course examines the process of communication to create, manage, and resolve conflict situations, and analyzes conflict on intrapersonal, interpersonal, group, and organizational levels.

Prerequisite: Junior or Senior Standing

COMM 430, Organizational Communication, 3 Units

Examines the nature and process of communication in and constitutive of modern organizations. Explores the pragmatic implications of organizational communication theories as they relate to understanding, shaping, and participating in organizations.

Prerequisite: COMM 300 and Junior or Senior standing

COMM 435, Family Communication, 3 Units

Offers an in-depth analysis of various family units and family functioning. Topics include family theories (i.e., systems theory, relational dialectics, and communication privacy management), specific family relationship types (i.e., sibling relationships, blended families, adoption, and parent-child relationships), and communication patterns in families, with emphasis on current development in family communication theory and research.

Prerequisite: Jr/Sr Standing

COMM 440, Persuasion and Attitude Change, 3 Units

Examines the basic theories and techniques of influence, providing the student with a critical awareness of the nature, function, and scope of persuasion. The class covers such concepts as attitudes, credibility, resistance to persuasion, ethics, logic and argumentation, and propaganda.

Prerequisite: Junior or Senior Standing

COMM 490, Communication Internship, 1-3 Units

This course gives students direct experience as they apply the principles and skills of communication theory while performing specific tasks, which may include career training and group leadership. Participants arrange their own internships, under the direct supervision of the instructor. Meets the General Education Requirement: Integrative and Applied Learning. 

Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing and instructor consent

COMM 491, Classroom Practicum, 1-3 Units

This course gives students practical experience in classroom teaching and tutoring. Students assist in classroom duties as well as complete assignments related to the development of a communication perspective. Three units must be taken for the communication major; an additional 3 units may be taken for credit toward graduation.

COMM 495, Special Topics, 3 Units

This course allows occasional offerings of diverse topics in communication studies not covered by regular department courses. Performance areas, emerging skills needs, contemporary issues, and trends in the field of communication studies, or special interests of faculty and students, may be targeted under this category. Performance areas such as forensics, as well as subject areas such as leadership communication, urban communication, and health communication, are some topics that may be taught in this course. Course may be repeated, but only 3 units count toward major elective credit. Additional units may be taken for credit toward graduation.

Prerequisite: Junior or Senior Standing

COMM 496, Communication Capstone: Ethics and Communication, 3 Units

This course helps students understand a biblical worldview of communication and the ethical dilemmas facing communicators in a variety of situations. Through the examination of a biblical metanarrative and various communication theories, students come to understand the powerful ways in which communication defines, creates, maintains, and/or changes social reality, and the ethical implications involved in each of these communication functions.

Prerequisite: COMM 300

COMM 497, Readings, 1-4 Units

Consists of a program of study concentrating on assigned readings, discussions, and writing arranged between and designed by a student of upper-division standing and a full-time professor. An independent study fee is assessed for each enrollment in this class.

COMM 498, Directed Research, 1-3 Units

This course provides instruction in research design and technique, and gives students experience in the research process. The 1-unit expectation encompasses no fewer than 30 hours of work with accompanying reading, log writing, and seminar presentation within the department or in a university research symposium. No more than 1 unit may be used to fulfill the preparatory readings requirement. An independent study fee is assessed for each enrollment in this class.

COMM 499, Thesis/Project, 1-4 Units

This is a senior-level, "capstone" type of independent study/research experience involving the student in a unique project with a sophisticated level of research, synthesis, analysis, and communication. The 1-unit expectation encompasses no fewer than 30 hours of work with accompanying readings, log, instructor discussions, and writing of summary analysis and conclusions. The thesis or project may result in formal thesis, published article, electronic media, annotated recital, or artistic creation of a material form. No more than 1 unit may be used to fulfill preparatory readings requirement. An independent study fee is assessed for each enrollment in this class.

Prerequisite: Upper-division writing intensive course or instructor consent; and Junior or Senior standing

COMM 500, Strategic Communication Theory and Practice, 3 Units

This course examines the history, theory, research, trends, tools, and practices of strategic communication, with special attention given to the use and influence of social and digital media. Students analyze realistic case studies as the applied understanding of how they design and execute strategic communication plans, and explore the role of strategic communication in business, government, not-for-profit organizations, and agencies.

Prerequisite: Acceptance into the Master of Arts in Strategic Communication program.

COMM 502, Writing and Media Content Development, 3 Units

This course examines the foundational and essential tools of writing across multimedia platforms, emphasizing effective content development and precision in writing strategically. The course encompasses principles and applications for branding, advertising, integrated marketing communication, public relations, and crisis communication, and the technologies for producing and disseminating effective content and engaging key publics. Students are required to master writing strategy, design fundamentals, typology, research, terminology, production techniques, pitching, digital platform development, and portfolio construction for actual clients and/or community partners.

Prerequisite: Acceptance into the Master of Arts in Strategic Communication program.

COMM 503, Research Methods, 3 Units

This course examines how professionals utilize research and data. Students gather, review, analyze, explain, and apply the methods and practices of popular and academic research in order to learn how to effectively achieve organizational goals and build relationships with publics.

COMM 504, Business and Organizational Fundamentals for Strategic Communication [Proposed], 3 Units

This course will explore the fundamentals of business functions in organizations of all sizes. Students will learn how to effectively integrate basic knowledge of finance, marketing, management, human relations, professional development, and strategic communication in the real-world business environments.

COMM 505, Ethics in Strategic Communication, 3 Units

This course helps students better understand the presuppositional thinking and faith-based foundations that guide their motivations and actions related to legal and ethical principles in the profession of strategic communication. Students also explore the role of corporate social responsibility and diversity in various types of organizations in a growing global marketplace.

COMM 506, Crisis, Risk and Reputation Management [Proposed], 3 Units

Issue management in strategic communication involves scanning the public environment, policy advocacy, media relations, local and global mobilization, coalition management, and organizational reputation maintenance. Consequently, students in this course will analyze case-studies, interact with multiple interpretations and thus equip themselves with practical skills need to shape and guide public opinion and advance organizational mission.

COMM 507, Case Studies in Strategic Communication, 3 Units

Students in this course analyze case studies as the applied understanding of how they design and execute strategic communication plans. Students design and produce a case study focusing on a communication aspect of their organization or another actual for-profit or not-for-profit client.

COMM 510, Communication Platforms (Social Media +) [Proposed], 3 Units

Course explores the sector of digital media platforms and the online marketplace with a focus on audience usability, content creation and placement, and models for social and commercial impact.

COMM 511, Transmedia Storytelling [Proposed], 3 Units

This course will help students develop the skills and techniques of creating and disseminating single stories across multiple platforms and formats using digital technologies.

COMM 512, Multi-Platform Video Integration [Proposed], 3 Units

This course examines the rapidly changing integration of video in multiple media platforms. Students will learn hands-on content creation and management with a variety of tools for a variety of medium for effective strategic communication impact.

COMM 513, Multi-Media Branding [Proposed], 3 Units

This course will explore the development of organizational identity in terms of standard work products like logos and web pages to the use of search engine optimization, institutional ethos, and aligned verbal and visual brand management.

COMM 520, Conflict Management and Resolution [Proposed], 3 Units

This course will require students to examine the process of communication and the conflict that often arises both at the interpersonal and organizational level. The skills learned in this class will be effective in managing the strategic communication team as well as client relationships.

COMM 590, Internship or Practicum [Proposed], 3 Units

This course provides an opportunity for directed experiences in applying the principles and skills of strategic communication theory while performing specific tasks in a job-related field with an organization. Internships are arranged individually with approval of the department advisor. The internship will be taken for three units which will involve 120 hours of on-site work, related assignments and submission of work product and deliverables that serve the client organization. (This is an option for those students not currently in the strategic communication field).

COMM 595, Special Topics in Strategic Communication, 3 Units

In this course, a topic of current interest to students is examined in depth. Students analyze and evaluate topics/issues to reach and express a position, enhance personal development and/or to develop a particular project. If students elect this course more than once during their program, each such course must address a different topic.

COMM 596, Strategic Communication Capstone Project, 3 Units

This course enables students to complete the M.A. in Strategic Communication program, and is reserved for students in the program. Capstone students must complete the requisite number of on-site hours and are regularly evaluated by the program director and site supervisor. Projects are presented at a symposium for faculty, industry professionals, and students.

Prerequisite: COMM 500, COMM 502, COMM 503, COMM 505, COMM 506

COMM 599, Readings in Communication, 1-3 Units

This course is an independent study vehicle through which students and their sponsoring faculty members may pursue approved investigations beyond those provided within regular course offerings.

JOUR 101, Journalism Skills, 1 Unit

This weeklong intensive workshop allows students to learn skills essential to basic journalistic news writing and reporting in a variety of media, with particular focus on print, broadcast and online venues.

JOUR 119, Converged Journalism Workshop: Introduction, 1 Unit

Students in this workshop develop a basic skill set and best practices as journalists in a convergent news environment, where they work collaboratively and individually with various tools to produce and create content for all four student media outlets.

JOUR 210, News Writing and Reporting, 3 Units

This course allows students to practice the basics of newspaper reporting. The focus is on techniques of researching and writing hard news stories and features.

JOUR 220, Press Theory and Democracy, 3 Units

Explores history, philosophy, and contemporary social issues through intensive reading such as race and gender, as they serve to help students understand the roles journalism can play in a democratic society. Meets the General Education Requirement: Civic Knowledge and Engagement. 

JOUR 230, Digital News Gathering, 3 Units

This course emphasizes the writing and production of news as it relates to digital platforms. Students in this course learn to record audio and video for electronic news stories utilizing the specialized tools necessary including digital voice recorders, digital video cameras and non-linear editing systems. Students learn how to use the various types of equipment in the field while producing news stories for broadcast on television and the Web.

JOUR 261, Audio Broadcasting, 3 Units

This course is designed to teach students the basics of audio broadcasting for radio, podcasts, and the internet, including writing for audio broadcasting ("writing to read"), basic audio recording interviewing techniques, voice performance, microphone theory and practice, audio recording theory and practice, audio postproduction theory and practice, and incorporating Christian faith and practice in audio art and journalism. Students learn about and use current digital audio recording devices and production programs to record and produce their projects.

Prerequisite: JOUR 230

JOUR 300, Editing, 3 Units

This course examines the question, "What does it mean to be an editor?" Emphasis is placed on copy editing, news and editorial writing, and layout and design. The course also examines some ethical and legal issues editors face.

Prerequisite: JOUR 210 or instructor consent

JOUR 305, Media Law and Ethics, 3 Units

This advanced course analyzes past and recent interpretations of freedom of expression as argued in state and federal courts and other forums. Issues of concern include libel, right to privacy, information gathering, protection of sources and state secrets, the FCC and FTC, obscenity, and propaganda. The struggle of the press to maintain its role in this democratic society is emphasized.

Prerequisite: COMM 200 or JOUR 210

JOUR 315, Multimedia Publishing and Design, 3 Units

This skills course teaches the journalism major how to create, edit, and design publications using software created for that purpose. As media convergence trends impact the industry, requiring reporters, editors, and designers to create visual stories and skillfully coordinate text and art, future media specialists must focus on these strengths. This course enables students to adapt stories for a variety of media, including the Internet, and develops the computer networking skills necessary for efficient publication production in today's market. Note: As this is an applied computer course wherein students develop journalistic publications, previous computer expertise is not sufficient to opt out of the course.

JOUR 319, Converged Journalism Workshop: Intermediate, 1 Unit

This workshop is designed to expand an intermediate skill set and continue to develop best practices as a journalist in a convergent news environment, where students work collaboratively and individually with various tools to produce and create content for all four student media outlets.

Prerequisite: JOUR 119, JOUR 210, and JOUR 230

JOUR 325, Newspaper Workshop, 1 Unit

This workshop allows students with earned credit in newspaper courses to develop skills and contribute to the production of the student newspaper. This course may be repeated three times for credit toward the journalism major and up to six times total.

Prerequisite: JOUR 210 or instructor consent

JOUR 326, Magazine Workshop, 1 Unit

This course allows students to develop writing and reporting skills and to contribute to the production of a student magazine. As a workshop, the instructional format is one of mentoring rather than formal instruction. Students compile a portfolio of published feature articles, page design, or photography for final evaluation.

Prerequisite: JOUR 210

JOUR 327, Radio Workshop, 1 Unit

Students achieve proficiency in selection, writing, and broadcasting of newscasts using Associate Press newswire and the AP Broadcasting Manual.

Prerequisite: JOUR 210

JOUR 328, Television Workshop, 1 Unit

Focuses on developing basic technical competencies in television news production. Students create a weekly news program called Capture and work in a variety of capacities to create content.

Prerequisite: JOUR 230

JOUR 335, Journalism Research Methods, 3 Units

This course allows students to explore the research process, examining how research is planned and designed for journalism and media studies. It introduces students to quantitative and qualitative methods, with an emphasis on the qualitative nature of media research. The course also explores how research data is used in journalistic storytelling, and prepares students to do that.

Prerequisite: JOUR 210

JOUR 340, Sports Writing and Broadcasting, 3 Units

In this course, students master the skills needed to be sports writers and broadcasters, focusing on article writing skills specific to sports media, including vocabulary and structure. Students are also equipped for conducting play by play of sports contests and creating sports story packages for TV. Additionally, the course provides a general overview of the structure of sports journalism in the United States.

Prerequisite: JOUR 210

JOUR 345, Sports Communication and Public Relations, 3 Units

This course introduces examples of real-world functions and strategies of sports communications and public relations as it relates to delivering information from a sports organization through media. Students develop an understanding of the role of public relations in professional and college sports, including best practices in communicating with media to reach a target audience. Students learn the various aspects of event management, including the compilation and dissemination of information and statistics through publications, press conferences, and storytelling. Students also compare and contrast communication strategies and the organizational structures of professional and college sports organizations that guide them, and learn how to capitalize on PR opportunities and handle a PR crisis.

JOUR 376, Television Journalism, 3 Units

This course emphasizes the writing and production of broadcast television news programs. It also forces students to critically analyze what is being produced in broadcast journalism today. Special attention is given to digital news gathering (DNG) techniques, including advanced video operations, broadcast reporting skills, and non-linear video editing fundamentals as they relate to the reporting and writing process.

Prerequisite: JOUR 230

JOUR 410, Global Journalism and Media Systems, 3 Units

This course combines practical journalistic skills in reporting world events with critical discourse on global media systems. In an increasingly globalized world, journalism and media studies students need knowledge of the forces driving world news and world events, understanding of how media function across cultures, and the ability to accurately gather and present foreign news. In this course, students examine the ethos of international newsgathering and reporting; identify the opportunities, challenges, and constraints media function under across cultures; compare media systems and philosophies; analyze differences in media professionalism; and cultivate competencies needed to help connect the world through effective reporting, analysis, and interpretation of international events.

Prerequisite: JOUR 210

JOUR 415, Communicating Sports History and Economics, 3 Units

This course gives student an in-depth look at the history of sports in America as well as the economic structure that supports it, enabling them to effectively communicate the key issues that make up the professional and amateur sports we see in the media. Special attention is given to Major League Baseball, the National Football League, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association, which directly affect college competition.

Prerequisite: JOUR 210

JOUR 419, Converged Journalism Workshop: Advanced, 1 Unit

Students in this workshop progress to an advanced skill level and solidify best practices as journalists in a convergent news environment, where they work collaboratively and individually with various tools to produce and create content for all four student media outlets. Course can be repeated for a total of 3 units.

Prerequisite: JOUR 319

JOUR 420, Entertainment, Religion, and Specialty Beat Reporting, 3 Units

Azusa Pacific University sits in the Greater Los Angeles area, one of the world's largest media markets. This course provides an understanding of the entertainment and religious media industries as well as other specialty beat reporting by focusing on reporting and writing techniques that will prepare students to thrive in such specialty areas overall as news beats. Students in this course analyze real cases of writing and journalistic reporting, as well as engage in producing their own professional samples. This course also covers religion and media, and provides students with a unique Christian worldview that will enable them to understand and report on these issues.

Prerequisite: JOUR 210 and JOUR 230

JOUR 425, Opinion and Editorial Writing, 3 Units

This course explores two purposes of journalism: providing a public forum for discussion and amplifying the current conversations in communities. Focusing on editorial pages, this course trains students to increase community conversations and amplify hot topics. The course emphasizes the fact-finding skills vital to op-ed pieces and focuses on writing structures and techniques that engage news consumers and cause them to think about issues more deeply and creatively. Beyond editorials, the course also analyzes the construction of various kinds of personal columns and reviews.

Prerequisite: JOUR 210

JOUR 430, Public Affairs Reporting, 3 Units

This course examines reporting on public institutions and programs that affect and impact the market area of the media organization. Topics covered include local, state, and national government; schools; tax-supported organizations; the military; and the programs affiliated with these institutions.

Prerequisite: JOUR 300

JOUR 435, Media Entrepreneurship and Economics, 3 Units

This course focuses on examining how innovation shapes the future of media, and teaches ways to create news, information, and other media enterprises to succeed in the Digital Revolution. The course also examines the impact of digital technologies on media in terms of production and consumption. Business and distribution models in media are surveyed, and students learn the fundamentals of formulating a media business, including writing a business plan.

Prerequisite: JOUR 210 AND JOUR 230

JOUR 440, Religion and the Media, 3 Units

This seminar in religion and media examines the role of faith in public life and culture. Included in the course is an examination of media that routinely deal with faith and values.

Prerequisite: JOUR 210

JOUR 445, Media Theory and Applications, 3 Units

This course examines theories of communication media from micro, cognitive-behavioral to macro, sociological and ecological approaches. It looks at evolutions in media theory and their applications in media research and practice. It analyzes theories of the media from both historical chronological and spatial systemic dimensions. It critiques the assumptions and foundations of key media theories, enables students identify real world applications of, and use the theories in conducting media research. The course will cover established and emerging media theories in light of changing the continuously evolving mediascape. Participants in this course will gain critical media literacy and analytical skills.

Prerequisite: COMM 200

JOUR 460, Advanced Public Relations, 3 Units

Requires students to apply knowledge and skills to a real-life public relations project. Students must think critically about public relations practices and develop innovative solutions to public relations problems while working for real clients with real issues.

Prerequisite: JOUR 250

JOUR 495, Special Topics, 3 Units

This course allows occasional offerings of diverse topics in communication studies not covered by regular department courses. Performance areas, emerging skills needs, contemporary issues, and trends in the field of communication studies, or special interests of faculty and students, may be targeted under this category. Performance areas such as forensics, as well as subject areas such as leadership communication, urban communication, and health communication, are some topics that may be taught in this course. Course may be repeated, but only 3 units count toward major elective credit. Additional units may be taken for credit toward graduation.

Prerequisite: JOUR 210

PRCO 111, Public Communication, 3 Units

This course offers practical instruction in how to speak effectively and introduces the basic principles underlying effective communication. Topics range from the study of theoretical models of interpersonal and public communication to the fundamental skills of research, organization, and delivery of informative and persuasive discourse. Meets the General Education Requirement: Oral Communication. 

PRCO 200, Introduction to Mass Communication, 3 Units

This course provides a study of the forms, content, environments, and strategies of the mass media (e.g., newspaper, magazine, radio, television, film, etc.). Emphasis is given to an historical and critical understanding of media structures and functions.

PRCO 210, News Writing and Reporting, 3 Units

This course gives students opportunities to practice the basics of news gathering and digital reporting. Focus is on techniques of researching and writing hard-news stories and features, and web story write-through in a digital-first and mobile reporting environment.

PRCO 211, Professional Communication, 3 Units

Improves students' professional communication skills and develops an understanding of vocational calling necessary to establish a professional identity. The course provides the structural skills necessary to deliver effective professional presentations using innovative technologies in a variety of contexts.

PRCO 230, Small Group Communication, 3 Units

Provides the student with both a theoretical and an active acquaintance with group participation and leadership. It examines the antecedents, processes, and outcomes of group communication, including group development, leadership emergence, norms and roles, performance, cohesion, conflict, and decision making.

PRCO 305, Media and Communication Ethics, 3 Units

This course equips students with best ethical practices in digital and print media environments, the evolving ethical challenges in digital news gathering and monetized news based on virality, training in Society for Professional Journalists code of conduct.

PRCO 310, Writing 3: Writing for Communication, 3 Units

This course prepares students to participate in the discourse community of communication studies. It transitions students from classroom writing tasks, genres, and audiences to those that will be expected of them once they enter an academic field or profession. This includes researching in the Information Age, synthesizing information from sources, upholding communications industries' standards, and building identities as communication specialists. Portfolio-based assignments focus on writing for advanced study, strategic communication, media, businesses, online platforms, and professional contexts. Meets the General Education Requirement: Writing 3: Writing in the Disciplines. 

PRCO 330, Writing 3: Public Relations Strategies and Techniques, 3 Units

This course helps students develop skills in writing and creative strategy in the public relations profession, with special attention given to news and persuasive writing in print, broadcast, digital, and social media platforms; key message construction; and writing for internal and external audiences. Course content also addresses professional standards, ethical issues, and critical thinking as part of the public relations writing process. Each student produces a personal portfolio of writing samples of public relations products, such as news releases, op-eds, media kits, interviews, scripted interviews, fact sheets, and online materials. Meets the General Education Requirement: Writing 3: Writing in the Disciplines. 

PRCO 335, Leadership Communication, 3 Units

This course provides students with opportunities to understand theoretical, empirical, and practical aspects of leadership communication by taking a distinct communication approach to leadership studies. Topics including leadership and followership communication styles and practices; various leadership theories and perspectives; power and influence; team/group leadership; organizational, crisis, and public leadership; diversity; ethics in leadership, and leadership development are examined.

PRCO 340, Journalism Research Methods, 3 Units

This course allows students to explore the research process, examining how research is planned and designed for journalism and media studies. It introduces students to quantitative and qualitative methods, with an emphasis on the qualitative nature of media research. The course also explores how research data is used in journalistic storytelling, and prepares students to do that.

PRCO 420, Entertainment, Religion, and Specialty Writing and Reporting, 3 Units

Azusa Pacific is located between the greater Los Angeles and San Diego areas, which comprise one of the world's largest media markets and the epicenter of digital entertainment media. This course helps students understand the entertainment and religion media industries, as well as other specialty reporting, focusing on reporting and writing techniques that prepare students to thrive in such specialty areas. Students analyze real cases of writing and journalistic reporting, and produce their own professional samples. Course material also addresses issues of religion and media from a Christian worldview, enabling students to understand and report on these issues.

PRCO 425, Conflict Management, 3 Units

This course examines the process of communication to create, manage, and resolve conflict situations, and analyzes conflict on intrapersonal, interpersonal, group, and organizational levels.

Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing

PRCO 430, Organizational Communication, 3 Units

Examines the nature and process of communication in and constitutive of modern organizations. Explores the pragmatic implications of organizational communication theories as they relate to understanding, shaping, and participating in organizations.

PRCO 440, Religion and the Media, 3 Units

This seminar in religion and media examines the role of faith in public life and culture. Included in the course is an examination of media that routinely deal with faith and values.

Prerequisite: PRCO 210

PRCO 495, Special Topics, 3 Units

This course allows occasional offerings of diverse topics in communication studies not covered by regular department courses. Emerging digital media forms, new media technology issues, social media, data base journalism or special interests of faculty and students, may be targeted under this category. Course may be repeated, but only 3 units count toward major elective credit. Additional units may be taken for credit toward graduation.

PRCO 499, Thesis/Project, 1-4 Units

This is a senior-level, "capstone" type of independent study/research experience involving the student in a unique project with a sophisticated level of research, synthesis, analysis, and communication. The 1-unit expectation encompasses no fewer than 30 hours of work with accompanying readings, log, instructor discussions, and writing of summary analysis and conclusions. The thesis or project may result in formal thesis, published article, digital portfolio. No more than 1 unit may be used to fulfill preparatory readings requirement. An independent study fee is assessed for each enrollment in this class.

PUBR 215, Public Relations and Social Media, 3 Units

Students in this course explore the application of public relations strategies and techniques to social media platforms, examining the different ways organizations can communicate with their publics through new technologies. Students learn through a hands-on approach to case studies and social media campaigns, and through a detailed study of social media platforms, social media trends, and communication theories applied to this new form of communication. A crucial element of the course is the design, development, and implementation of a social media consultancy project for a nonprofit.

PUBR 250, Introduction to Public Relations, 3 Units

Applies communication principles and theories to the field of public relations. Emphasis is placed on developing successful approaches to establishing and maintaining mutual understanding between organizations and their publics through successful two-way communication.

PUBR 325, Public Relations Agency, 3 Units

This course equips students with a realistic approach to daily life as a public relations practitioner. Because this course is structured as a workshop replicating the structure and organization of a public relations agency, students experience a working environment that prepares them for the professional world as they produce public relations materials for a variety of clients. A key component of the course is the development of a portfolio of work samples.

Prerequisite: PUBR 250

PUBR 330, Writing 3: Public Relations Writing for Campaigns, 3 Units

This course helps students develop skills in writing and creative strategy in the public relations profession, with special attention given to news and persuasive writing in print, broadcast, digital, and social media platforms; key message construction; and writing for internal and external audiences. Course content also addresses standards, ethical issues, and critical thinking as part of the public relations writing process. Each student produces an individual portfolio of writing samples of public relations products, such as news releases, op-eds, media kits, interviews, scripted interviews, fact sheets, and online materials. Meets the General Education Requirement: Writing 3: Writing in the Disciplines. 

Prerequisite: PUBR 250 and Writing 2

PUBR 340, Digital Storytelling, 3 Units

This course defines and develops the concept and process of storytelling in the context of digital media. Students explore the idea of storytelling from its inception to its delivery, identifying the components of a story, comparing different strategies used in the field, and developing their own digital storytelling. Students must connect and contrast different strategies utilized by public relations professionals when creating digital storytelling.

Prerequisite: PUBR 250

PUBR 400, Public Relations Management and Ethics, 3 Units

This course is the culmination of the public relations program, covering the advanced application of strategic public relations creative and management functions in organizations through the design, creation, development, and implementation of public relations campaigns for a variety of purposes (e.g., internal communication, media relations, crisis communication, social media, diversity, social corporate responsibility). A key component of the course is planning and implementing a public relations campaign for a local organization. Students also examine specific public relations contexts and analyze case studies that exemplify how organizations successfully apply communication to take advantage of public relations opportunities and solve public relations problems. Students also explore the ethical dimensions of the professional practice of public relations.

Prerequisite: PUBR 330

PUBR 420, Public Relations, Non-profits and Social Causes + Lab, 3 Units

Course instruction covers wide-ranging study and application for working and flourishing in communications for the non-profit sector. Learning skills need to prepare for this unique field include language nuance, effective story-telling, strategic networking, as well as an understanding of the similarities and differences existing between communication approaches used in the for-profit, government, and non-profit sectors. This course will also cover the particularities of faith-based non-profits.

PUBR 430, Innovation and Creativity, 3 Units

Students in this course study the creative process, learning the tools and resources for understanding the role of creativity and innovation in the field of strategic communication. Course material also covers the tools and techniques for fostering creative thinking in our everyday life and in the corporate environment. Special attention is paid to identifying how innovation and creativity are expanding the potential of strategic communication campaigns, and a vital component of the course is the final project, in which students identify a problem, develop strategies to solve it, and produce an innovative solution.

Prerequisite: PUBR 250

PUBR 440, Public Relations and Entertainment + Lab, 3 Units

We live in one of the world's largest media markets. This course will explore the entertainment industry and the public relations strategies and practices in the field. Students will learn about the structure of the entertainment industry, distribution channels, media relations and so forth. This course offers a very practical, hands-on workshop where an active professional offers students a series of case studies and challenges to be worked, discussed and solved in the classroom. Students will be exposed to the real life scenarios and will create a number of pieces for their professional portfolio.

Prerequisite: Junior or Senior Standing

PUBR 450, Public Relations International Experience, 3 Units

This course aims to explore the nature of international communication in a practical manner. This course will study the practice of social media, paying special attention to the creative process and industry trends. The course will be structured in two distinct parts, pre and post traveling. Before traveling, students will study the history, culture and socioeconomic context in order to be prepared for the places to be visited. Once abroad, we will meet with different communication agencies, social media startups and public relations professionals who will share their expertise on the topic. The practical outcome of the course will be the production of a video diary of the trip, where students will share their thoughts, reflections and lessons learned using one of the concepts previously discussed as the guideline for the visual narrative.

Prerequisite: Junior or Senior Standing

PUBR 495, Special Topics in Public Relations: Crisis Communication, 3 Units

This course studies the nature and origin of crisis and how organizations respond to them. Exploring in depth the connections between organizations, media and publics, this course reviews the industry's best practice and the theoretical framework for crisis management. Relying heavily on recent and relevant case studies, students will discover the diverse strategies and techniques and tools used by organizations when faced with crisis situations. As a practical outcome of the course, students will design and develop a full-scale crisis communication plan for an organization.

Prerequisite: Junior or Senior Standing

PUBR 496, Public Relations Capstone, 3 Units

This is a senior-level, "capstone" course structured in two distinct parts. The first half of the course discusses and explores the ethical issues that public relations practitioners will deal in their everyday life. Using the Public Relations Society of America's Code of Ethics, students will explore the ethical dimensions of the practice of public relations, and its intersection with a Christian worldview. The second half of the course covers more applied topics of professional readiness for students. As seniors prepare to enter the professional practice, this course will cover professional related topics such as vocation, resume preparation, industry knowledge, and portfolio preparation.

Prerequisite: Junior or Senior Standing

Faculty

Department Chair and Professor

Christopher Leland, Ph.D., Communication Studies

Program Director, M.A. in Strategic Communication

Mia L. Anderson, Ph.D.

Professors

Denise Edwards-Neff, Ph.D., APR, Public Affairs and Issues Management, Public Relations

Bala Musa, Ph.D., Communication Studies/Journalism

Associate Professors

Starla Anderson, M.A., JD, Communication Studies/Journalism

Mia Anderson, Ph.D., Communication Studies, Graduate Program Director

Marcia Berry, Ph.D., Communication Studies

Courtney Davis, Ph.D., Communication Studies

Ismael Lopez Medel, Ph.D., Public Relations

Ryan Montague, Ph.D., Communication Studies

Assistant Professors

Pamela Fisher, M.A.

Kent Walls, M.A., Journalism

Visiting Professor

W. Jim Willis, Ph.D., Journalism

Affiliated Faculty

Adam Lipson, M.A.

Allison Oster, M.A.

David Peck, Ph.D.

Adjunct Faculty

Jeff Carter, M.Div.

Laci Corzo, M.Div.

Fernanda De La O, M.S.

Jeremiah Kitchel, M.A.

Isaiah Granados, M.A.

Phillip Lollar, MFA

R. Neal Montgomery, M.Div.

Don Murray, D.Min.

Jeffrey Neu, M.A.

John Pate, M.A.

Brian Paulin, M.A.

Marion Pyle, M.A.

Faculty Emeriti

David C. Bicker, Ph.D., Communication Studies

Ray McCormick, Ph.D., Communication Studies