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Course Descriptions

CMD 100 Introduction to Media Communication

This course introduces students to a critical approach to evaluating the media and popular culture. Primary-source materials in the media will be examined. Students will analyze, interpret, and evaluate how a variety of media work and affect the culture. The genres examined include music, the internet, social media, TV entertainment, and news. The course will cover major issues concerning the media, including ethics, the history and power of the media in several genres, the economics of the media and other forces that may determine content, and political and cultural aspects of the media, including the global media system. (3)

CMD 101 Public Speaking

Students gain knowledge of principles and theories of oral communication regarding the design, creation, and delivery of several types of speeches; analysis of the audience and public speaking situation; and experiential practice in both public speaking performance and evaluation. (3)

CMD 102 Visual Communications and Design

This course provides an introduction to communication design theory and strategy. Students will learn techniques to incorporate principles and elements of design into digital visual communication. Students will develop an understanding of visual images, symbols, and messaging in art, photography, and digital media. Students will learn to apply these theories to design concepts and to analyze visual communications. The course will focus on the aesthetics of visual images and symbols for visual literacy. The cross-disciplinary nature of this course will foster understanding, innovation, and creativity in visual communication design. (3)

CMD 103 Adobe Photoshop

A hands-on introduction for new users to the main features and capabilities of Photoshop. (1)

CMD 104 Adobe Illustrator

A hands-on introduction for new users to the main features and capabilities of Illustrator. (1)

CMD 105 Video Editing

A hands-on introduction for new users to the basics of video editing. Use of video editing software will be covered. (1)

CMD 106 Motion Graphics

A hands-on introduction for new users to the basics of creating motion graphics. Use of motion graphics software will be covered. (1)

CMD 107 Media Techniques

Provides an opportunity for students to study emerging topics in communication media techniques and varies from semester to semester. Topics will include but are not limited to video lighting, video finishing techniques, and color printing. Students may enroll in this course more than once. (1)

CMD 200 Electronic Publishing

An introduction to the fundamentals of electronic publishing using Adobe Creative Suite software. Students integrate type and images to produce common business publications for print or use on the Internet. (3)

CMD 202 Illustration

An exploration of various illustrative techniques and technology for graphic application. Emphasis is on illustrative style and an introduction to digital illustration. Prerequisites: CMD 104 or prior experience with course software. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: DSINQ. (3)

CMD 203 Digital Photography

An exploration of various photographic techniques and technology for graphic communications. Emphasis is on photographic style and an introduction to digital photography. (3)

CMD 204 Video Production: Multimedia Communication

This course explores various techniques, digital technology, and equipment for video storytelling. Students experience hands-on preproduction, production, and postproduction techniques. Students plan and produce multimedia journalistic video stories. (3)


CMD 205 Video Production: Promotional and Informational Communication

This course explores various techniques, digital technology, and equipment for video production. Students experience hands-on preproduction, production, and postproduction techniques. Students plan and produce promotional video presentations. The course focuses on real-world solutions to video public relations and marketing communications needs for business, nonprofits, organizations, and institutions. (3)

CMD 206 Introduction to Public Relations

This introductory survey course emphasizes the basic concepts and principles of public relations; the theory and history behind the practice; the uses, tools, methods, and technologies of public relations. Also covered are the general types of public relations practices, including corporate, firm, institutional, nonprofit, government, political, sports, entertainment, and international. (3)

CMD 209 Contemporary Journalism

This course provides a broad overview of journalism as a communication medium with an emphasis on developing the reporting and writing skills required to work in the 21st century communication environment. The course will teach students to gather, organize, and write effective news reports on deadline and according to acceptable professional standards. The course will include discussions of current events and issues that arise in the news. Prerequisite: EN 102 or equivalent. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: DSINQ, WI. (3)

CMD 220 Intercultural Communication

Introduces students to the influences and effects of cultural variability on the communication process and its outcomes with regard to family, religious, government, education, health, and business institutions. Particular emphasis will be given to inseparability of culture and communication; intercultural theories; cultural and interpersonal adaptations; and ethnolinguistic, religious, and national identities. Content functions to aid the student in developing successful communication competencies, strategies, and skills necessary for increased contact with diverse cultures, as well as for success in international and multicultural societies. (3)

CMD 255 Typography

An introduction to the dynamics of digital typography for use in visual communication and design. Emphasis is on the historical evolution, typographic rules, letterform, and the application of type. Prerequisites: CMD 104 and CMD 200, or permission of instructor. (3)

CMD 300 Report Writing

An advanced course in writing aimed at the logical and orderly presentation of materials, development of ideas, and effective communication of secondary materials from professional fields. Prerequisite: EN 102. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: DSINQ, WI. (3)


CMD 301 History of Graphic Design

A study of graphic design history from the invention of writing to the Digital Revolution. This course examines the innovation in semantic and syntactic aspects of visual communications. Impact of individual designers and stylistic approaches to visual communications will be covered. Prerequisite: EN 102. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: WI. (3)


CMD 302 Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques

Focuses on the applications of public relations theory, techniques, and principles. Students learn the writing and style requirements of different media, including print, broadcast, web, and social media. They develop writing skills in preparing print and digital news releases, newsletters, and other print and social communication materials as part of publicity and promotion campaigns, as well as strategic planning and audience identification. Prerequisites: EN 102. (3)


CMD 303 Illustration II

A continuation of CMD 202, this is an exploration of developing design relationships between text and illustration and intermediate computer techniques for graphic applications. Prerequisite: CMD 202 or instructor's permission. (3)

CMD 304 Media Criticism

This course is designed to foster critical inquiry and analysis as students learn to use rhetorical criticism as it relates to media. Students will apply method(s) of rhetorical criticism to a wide variety of messages in our contemporary, increasingly mediated society—including, but not limited to, speeches, advertisements, news reports, television programs, films, songs, and music videos. Prerequisite: EN 102. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: DSINQ, WI. (3)

CMD 305 Publication Design

An intermediate study of the development and production of magazines, newspapers, and other serial and/or multipage publications. Emphasis is on narrative, consistency, structure, and clarity. The course covers information design issues and reinforces conceptual skills and integration of imagery and text. Prerequisites: CMD 200 and CMD 255.


CMD 307 Broadcast Writing and Delivery

This course focuses on gathering, writing, producing, and delivering news for radio and television. The course includes practice writing news for broadcast, working with taped material, and on-air performance. Prerequisite: EN 102. (3)


CMD 308 Web and Social Media Design

An introduction to the fundamentals of web and social media design and technology. Students write, design, and produce web and social media sites for organizations and promotions. Emphasis is placed on content, navigation, audience instructiveness, and design, including the effective use of copy, visuals, typography, color, and page layouts. Course activities focus primarily on the development of integrated organizational promotional web and social media sites. Working with internet service providers and computer programmers is also covered. Prerequisite: EN 102. (3)


CMD 310 Career and Professional Communication

Provides guided experiences that develop career-related oral communication skills such as listening, interviewing, communicating in small groups, and persuasion. Students practice these skills in classroom exercises and in videotaped sessions, and they explore how the skills are applicable in professional environments. Prerequisite: EN 102. (3)


CMD 315 Writing for Digital Media

Drawing from the fields of marketing, communication, sociology, and statistics, students learn about the social media tools that are currently shaping our lives and changing how we interact with the world. From Twitter to Facebook, participants learn how to manage these tools, for personal and professional use, as well as how to orchestrate a persuasive social media campaign. Because being effective and persuasive online requires excellent written communication skills, this course will be writing-intensive, both on the page and on the screen. Prerequisite: EN 102. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: WI. (3)

CMD 360 Communication and Design Studio

The course allows students to apply learned theories and methods for communication and media design in a working communication and media design studio. Students write, design, and produce media projects, including integrated marketing and promotional campaigns for NGOs, nonprofits, The Banner, BlueInk, etc. Students edit, art direct, and are responsible for project management. Prerequisites: Completion of CMD writing and presentation and digital media requirements. For media design majors with a graphic design emphasis, CMD 305 is also required. For media design majors with a media communication design emphasis, CMD 204 or CMD 205 or permission of the instructor is also required. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: DSINQ. This course is repeatable for up to six credits. (3-6)


CMD 400 Internship

Senior students may register for a field experience or an internship in a cooperating research or media communication agency in the Washington metropolitan area under the supervision of an instructor. Prerequisite: senior status and permission of the dean of Arts and Sciences. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: EXP. (3)


CMD 401 Public Relations Case Studies

Examines solutions to public relations problems through an analysis of actual corporate and association cases. Emphasizes successful public relations management and practice through the systematic application of defining, planning and programming, acting and communicating, and evaluating results. Prerequisites: CMD 206 and CMD 302. (3)


CMD 402 Organizational Communication

A study of communication research and its application to industrial and organizational systems. Particular emphasis will be given to organizational communication theory, message processing, networks, and channels of communication; leadership and managerial behavior; systems theory and organizational structures; climate and culture; decision making and managing conflict; diversity and globalization; and the communication audit. Prerequisite: junior/senior status or permission of instructor. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: DSINQ. (3)


CMD 403 Principles of Communication Law

Examines the historical development of communications-related law and the interlocking technological, economic, political, and social issues affecting policies that guide and regulate the nation’s media and communications systems. Emphases include First Amendment and Privacy Law and the Federal Communications Commission’s regulation of interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable. Prerequisite: junior/senior status or permission of instructor. (3)


CMD 404 Performance Media Lab

Enables students to explore the connections among the arts, humanities, science, and technology; create a product to illustrate their collaborative research and interdisciplinary study; and present their product to the community in a public forum. Prerequisite: junior/senior status within the communication or media design major. Prerequisites for non-majors: instructor approval. Evidence of a completed upper-level research course project is recommended. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: DSINQ. (3)


CMD 405 Portfolio

The fundamentals of preparing an entry-level online portfolio and the supporting social media for entry into the job market of communication and media design. Self-branding will be emphasized. Business cards, letterhead, and résumés will be created. Developing leads for employment and interviewing techniques will be covered. Prerequisite: senior status, including the completion of 36 credits in the communication or media design major. (1)


CMD 421 Project

An investigation of a selected topic in the major discipline. The project is intended to demonstrate the ability to conduct independent research and present the results as a communication and media design project with writing of commendable quality. Prerequisite: permission of the dean of Arts and Sciences. This course is repeatable for up to six credits. (1-6)


CMD 425 Senior Seminar in Communication

This capstone course synthesizes the topical areas and theoretical traditions in the discipline so that students begin to understand humankind’s capacity to fashion symbols and well-designed messages in a variety of situations, via any number of channels. Students will gain knowledge and understanding of communication theories, practices, trends, and problems; and will develop expertise in research methodology and in writing a major research paper. Prerequisite: senior status, including the completion of 36 credits in the communication major. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: DSINQ. (3)


CMD 433 Research

A student in this course will conduct collaborative research (scholarly work leading to new knowledge) under the direction of a faculty member. Prerequisite: application and approval of department chair. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: EXP. This course is repeatable for up to six credits. (1-6)
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