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Course Descriptions

Below is a sampling of the courses available for the B.A. in Communications program, with the number of associated credit hours beside the course name.

Course Listing

Please note: Course availability and descriptions are subject to change. Refer to the CSU Bakersfield Course Catalog for the most up-to-date information.

COMM 2110 Issues and Practices in Journalism (3)

Study of the problems and techniques of journalism, including audiences and resources. Overview of history and development of print and digital news media. Examination of news sources, interviewing, reporting, writing, and ethics. Frequent exercises in news gathering and writing and preparing copy for publication.

COMM 3000 Theories of Communication (3)

How theories are constructed. Survey of theoretical approaches to communication drawing on the social sciences and humanities. Prerequisite: COMM 2020 or the equivalent for majors.

COMM 3008 Technical and Report Writing (3)

Extensive practice in writing clearly and persuasively in technical and specialized forms such as reports of experiments, abstracts, business reports and proposals, letters, memoranda. Prerequisite: ENGL 1109 or the equivalent with a grade of “C-” or better and upper division standing. Satisfies General Education requirement GWAR.

COMM 3010 Mass Media Law (3)

Designed to broaden the student’s understanding of laws that pertain to the mass media. Philosophical appreciation of the legal framework within which the mass media operates and pragmatic familiarity with the legal problems most often encountered by journalists and related professionals is anticipated. The course will examine the development of the law regarding the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and such related legal areas such as libel, obscenity, censorship, privacy, free press and fair trial, journalist’s privilege, the right of access to government information, access to the press, the doctrine of commercial speech (advertising), and copyright.

COMM 3048 Art of Film (3)

Study of the principles by which film and video texts create meaning through screenings, lectures, and readings, with emphasis on major film theories and examination of narrative and documentary forms. Prerequisites: Completion of General Education Areas A, B4, and C and upper division status. Satisfies General Education Revolutionary Ideas and Innovations upper division Area C.

COMM 3058 Intercultural Communication (3)

This course is designed to enhance the student’s understanding of the importance of culture in human interaction and the linkages between communication and culture. Interdisciplinary approaches examine the influence different cultural backgrounds have on communication in everyday life, social service encounters, business, and international services. Satisfies General Education Sustainability and Justice upper division Area C.

COMM 3120 Convergence Journalism (3)

Study of contemporary journalism techniques and their influence on the audiences they serve. Exercises in news gathering, multimedia reporting, writing for the web, audio and video production, digital photography, and web publishing.

COMM 3130 Feature Writing (3)

Study of newspaper, magazine and online feature stories - their resources, their methods, and their appeal. Frequent exercises in the art of writing feature stories, with concentration on the human-interest feature. Prerequisite: ENGL 1109 or the equivalent with a grade of “C” or better and upper division standing.

COMM 3140 Public Affairs Reporting (3)

Detailed investigation of covering public affairs, including reporting on public and government agencies, researching public records, and writing clear articles. Students will be trained in Data Literacy. Study of structure and function of state and local government, state open meeting and public records laws, structure of judicial and criminal justice systems. Students will adopt a local government agency, attend meetings, establish news sources within the agency, and write articles about agency meetings and issues.

COMM 3160 Broadcast Writing, Reporting and Production (3)

Beginning broadcast news writing, reporting and production for radio, television and the web. Emphasis on developing news judgment, field reporting, script writing, vocal skills, video and audio editing, and producing broadcast news pieces.

COMM 3210 Public Relations (3)

A study of the theory and practice of public relations with an emphasis on two-way communication, the four-step process of public relations, publics in public relations, and settings for public relations including business, education, labor, government, and other organizations. Explores the roles of public relations professionals in their organizations and the importance of public relations in contemporary organizations. Introduction to the basic tools of the public relations professional including the news release and other forms of public relations communications.

COMM 3220 Public Relations Strategies and Tactics (3)

Study and application of strategies and tactics used in the public relations profession with an emphasis on written communication through news releases, brochures, newsletters, annual reports, magazines, media kits, and other public relations communication tools. Discussion of media relations and placement. Emphasis on the planning and execution of public relations communication. Discussion and application of communication theories that inform public relations writing and communication.

COMM 3230 Case Studies in Public Relations (3)

Detailed investigation of the theory and practice of public relations through study of major public relations cases and the development of a public relations campaign proposal for a client that requires research and planning of a public relations campaign. Examination of opportunities and constraints involved in research, setting objectives, designing and executing programs, and evaluating results. Analysis of cases as models for effective relations with media, internal audiences, community members, government agencies, investors, consumers, and special interest groups.

COMM 3260 Public Relations Management (3)

Analysis and application of public relations management strategies, with an emphasis on public relations research. Focus on the four-step process of public relations and current management practices in the profession including the use of research to identify organizational goals and objectives in public relations planning and research. Emphasizes crisis communications and issues management. Also addresses other important management elements of the profession and the advisor/counselor role of the public relations professional.

COMM 4908 Senior Seminar (3)

An advanced course in analysis and application of communication research methods. Specific topics will vary. Individual student research projects and reports. When possible, students contribute to ongoing faculty research. Students will submit a portfolio demonstrating skills and knowledge gained in the Communications major. Prerequisite: COMM 3000. Satisfies General Education requirement Capstone.

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