Courses & Curriculum
The Communication Studies major is grounded firmly in the liberal arts tradition. The Communication Studies curriculum reflects an equal interest in what is communicated within and between cultures and in how communication takes place in intrapersonal, interpersonal, organizational and mediated contexts. The department’s curriculum addresses three major facets of the academic study of communication: theory, criticism and professional skills.
In the Communication Studies program, students examine the dynamic nature of modern communication processes and technologies by emphasizing the theory, structure, function, value systems and effects of society’s communication institutions. In practical terms, students examine how we communicate as families, couples and friends. We study how we interact in work and corporate settings. How we persuade and are persuaded, as individuals, professionals and intended targets. And how we affect others through various media, from oral to written to electronic to digital. The program offers students a variety of opportunities to acquire professional knowledge, skills and production competencies relevant to diverse careers in many communication-related fields.
Recognizing the need to prepare students for productive lives in a changing world, the department aims at educating its graduates to welcome change. In a rapidly changing and highly competitive job market, the Communication Studies faculty provides the foundation on which to build meaningful roles in the contemporary world.
Qualifications for the major
Communication Studies majors must have a cumulative G.P.A. of at least 2.00, a minimum grade of C- in all communication courses, and a minimum overall average of 2.00 in all communication coursework. The performance of all majors is subject to review relative to their continuation in the program, using such criteria as academic record, demonstration of appropriate communication skills, co-curricular activity, interdisciplinary engagement and community involvement. Communication Studies majors select an academic sequence within the Communication major. They need at least 36 hours of communication courses (or 33 hours for dual majors).
Concentration and Sequence Courses in the major
Broadcasting & Media Studies
A concentration in integrated marketing communications is also available. Students who successfully complete this course of study will receive an award of completion from the Communication Studies Department.
Communication Studies Curriculum:
1. Core Curriculum Requirements:
View the Core Curriculum requirements. All students complete these requirements as part of their overall Canisius education.
|2. Major course requirements: (12 courses)||36 credits|
|A. Major Required Courses (6 courses)|
|COM 201 Oral Communication||3 credits|
|COM 202 Communication Theory||3 credits|
|COM 203 Writing for the Public Media||3 credits|
|COM 204 Interpersonal Communication||3 credits|
|COM 205 Mass Communication and Society||3 credits|
|COM 206 Introduction to Research Methods||3 credits|
|B. Sequence Courses (2 courses)||6 credits|
|C. Major Electives (4 courses)||12 credits|
Free electives are courses in addition to the Core Curriculum and major requirements sufficient to reach a minimum of 120 credit hours for graduation. Students may graduate with more but not less than 120 credit hours.
Internships and Independent Study
Internships awarding up to a maximum of 12 credit hours may be earned by qualified Communication Studies majors at approved locations in Buffalo or other cities. The internships are individually arranged, require department approval and are available only to junior or senior candidates with a cumulative G.P.A. of at least 2.50 and a Communication average of at least 2.70. Internships are taken on a Pass/Fail basis and are counted towards free elective credit. Students are encouraged to plan early to do internships during their Junior and Senior years.
Opportunity for independent study (three credits) is sometimes available for qualified upperclass students by arrangement with the Communication Studies chair and faculty supervisor.
Dual majors with Communication Studies are available with the permission and guidance of both chairs. Students complete a minimum of 33 credit hours of communication courses. Communication Studies dual major sequences allow several different choices; among those most frequently involved are digital media arts, political science, psychology, English, history, management/marketing and modern languages. The department participates in programs with Women’s Studies and Fine Arts, and also offers courses towards a minor in Child, Family and Community Studies. Photography courses listed in Fine Arts are limited to six credits in the Communication Studies major. Each Communication Studies and dual major is assigned a department faculty advisor for the purpose of planning an individual program that will satisfy the department’s requirements and the student’s personal goals. Course selections develop from communication major requirements, prerequisites, recommended sequences and communication electives.
Note: Additional Communication Studies courses may be offered each semester in both the day and evening. Students should consult the department.
Study and practice of concepts, processes and techniques of effective verbal communication in face-to-face, small group and public-address contexts. Speeches required.
Fundamental forms of communication theory and perspectives are explored and related to particular lines of research in interpersonal, group, organizational, public and mass mediated communication contexts.
Intensive writing assignments employing message-design principles provide opportunities to prepare news, features, press releases, advertising copy and opinion pieces.
Examines the theoretical and pragmatic aspects of interpersonal communication in various contexts to enhance self-awareness and effective self-expression in relationships.
Survey of mass communication processes and the mass media in terms of development, structures, functions, effects and interactive relationships with American society.
The fundamentals of the scientific method, especially, the basics of research methods, designs and hypothesis testing.
Our families are often a great source of support and stress. This course examines family communication patterns, theories, and research with special emphasis on improving family communication and relationships.
COM 311 Principles of Advertising 3 credits
The fundamentals of advertising, including history and development, advertising media, marketing, audiences, campaign objectives, budget, creativity and agency functions. DMA elective.
Study of techniques, tools and theories for generating innovative concepts and ideas. Emphasize application to advertising context. DMA elective.
Learn how to become an effective trainer! Students will learn how to assess training needs within companies & organizations, design training programs, and evaluate training programs. There is a strong need for good trainers when the economy is in hard times. Prerequisite: COM 201 or permission of instructor.
Bring your imaginations and come ready to play with words and ideas. Learn to develop the creative concepts and persuasive copy to basic print, television, web and radio advertising. During the semester you’ll also see your words come to life as we team up, on a few projects, with designers in DMA 393- Advanced Digital Design Prerequisite: COM 311 or permission of instructor.
Profiles and other human-interest features developed for newspapers and magazines. Free-lance writing introduced.
COM 323 Social Effects of Media 3 credits
The media continue to create much discussion and controversy over their potential influence. How do the media affect our behaviors, attitudes, and pictures of the world? In this course, students examine the social influence of media and review theories and research in media effects.
Focuses on theoretical approaches and practical skills enabling students to analyze, think critically and produce effective mediated messages in a variety of formats and specialized content areas. Service Learning Option DMA & JRN elective.
Examines gender as a variable of interest in social interaction with special emphasis on contemporary gender theories, concepts, and research. Understand the reasons why communication misunderstandings related to gender differences occur.
Think you have a good idea for a TV show or a movie? This course will help you take that idea and develop it into a teleplay or screenplay. Explore characters, story, dialogue and the business of screen writing. DMA elective.
Theoretical and practical perspectives on various forms of Public Relations writing. Students produce a portfolio of PR writing samples using a wide range of tools and techniques. Prerequisite: COM 312 or permission of instructor.
We will look at some common personality characteristics such as shyness, argumentativeness and aggression. This is a very good course for people who enjoy interpersonal communication. Prerequisite: COM 204
Survey of classic and contemporary humor theories, concepts and research. Special emphasis on research that highlights the benefits of humor in education, medicine, business and relational contexts.
Examines how communication plays a role in the health decisions people make from a variety of perspectives. Focuses on theoretical approaches to health communication, influence tactics, challenges associated with medical adherence/compliance gaining, caregiver-client communication, how personality affects health decisions, nonverbal and verbal factors in the health interaction, and social-cultural factors in health.
Explores ethics across mass media disciplines, through the work of professional communicators—journalists, broadcasters, advertising and public relations practitioners, as well as the new cyber-communicators. Develop practices of making crucial media decisions based on principles and idealism.
Account management is a critical component of marketing and communications. We’ll cover the practical aspects of planning, client-agency relationships, functioning effectively in a creative environment, working with media outlets and start to learn how to develop an integrated marketing communications program.
Examines classic and contemporary persuasion and social influence theories, models, concepts, and research. Students will become more effective in designing and delivering persuasive messages.
COM 355 – Advertising Media Planning/Buying 3 credits
Where should we advertise? Why? How often? And how much will it cost? Orchestrating the marketing mix is both an art and a science. We will explore the relationship between market research, consumers, and the media they read and watch. Learn about the newest tools media planners employ to reach these consumers. We’ll discuss traditional media such as TV, print and outdoor as well as the newest online media that are changing the marketing communication landscape.
COM 359 Communication and Sports 3 credits
Why do so many people enjoy playing, watching, and talking about sports? This course examines the significance of interpersonal communication in the context of sports. Communication interactions between coaches and athletes, athletes and teammates, coaches and parents, and parents and athletes are explored.
In this course students will learn how to design, draft and deliver effective health campaigns using a variety of message strategies. Students will work collaboratively to develop effective tools for a health communication campaign that bring about behavioral change among target audiences and influence health policy issues. Students will also learn how to develop evaluation techniques to determine whether or not their messages effectively reached and influenced the targeted population. Pre-requisite: COM 312 or COM 350.
Studio techniques, lighting, sound recording, set design, electronic graphics and editing, production of live and edited programs in studio. DMA elective.
COM 367 Broadcasting in America 3 credits
Examines the history and development, regulation, operations, programming, technology and economics of broadcasting, cable and satellite pertaining to both the radio and television industries in the U.S.
COM 368 Analysis of Daytime Television 3 credits
Daytime television used to be dominated by soap operas. While some of these daytime serials still survive, the daytime television landscape has changed significantly. This course examines the history, audience, and programming in this important daypart.
The development of cinema worldwide from World War II through the 1970s. Study, view and discuss films representative of major directors, genres and national cinema movements. DMA elective. Also accepted for Art History major/minor credit.
COM 376 – Film Genre 3 credits
Students who are interested in film professionally or personally are invited to view sequences from the finest motion pictures made in the past 100 years. The course will present an overview of the types (genres) of films, including: Action-Adventure, Animation, Avant-Garde, Biopic, Children’s Comedy, Crime, Cult Movies, Documentary, Drama, Film Noir Historical, Horror, Melodrama, Musical, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Serials, War, and the Western.
COM 382 Issues in Broadcasting 3 credits
What issues and controversies surround and shape the broadcast industry today? Explores issues of creativity, control, power, programming and more.
Designed as a capstone course for advertising students, this course examines current and classic advertising campaigns for technique and effectiveness. Students also have the chance to develop their own advertising campaigns.Prerequisite: COM 311 or permission of instructor.
Students will become familiar with a process for public relations problem-solving through analysis of PR cases in major areas of the field, including media relations, consumer/ investor relations and crisis communications.
In this seminar, students explore a range of contemporary issues surrounding the advertising industry including consumerism, effects, ethics, racism and sexism and trends. Prerequisite: COM 311 or permission of instructor.
Designed as a capstone course for public relations students, this course examines PR campaigns as the concerted efforts of an organization to build socially responsible relationships by achieving research-based goals through the application of communication strategies and the measurement of outcomes. Students produce an actual campaign. Prerequisite: COM 312 or permission of instructor.
Explore the world of movies beyond Hollywood. See award winning and critically acclaimed films from 15 different countries and cultures. Have your eyes, ears and minds opened to alternative ways of using the universal language of cinema to tell stories which represent life and the human condition from other national, artistic and political perspectives.
Student experientially learns communication functions in compatibly matched professional setting, locally or out-of-town. Faculty and on-site supervision. Seminar required. Pass/fail. May be repeated as COM 498; 12-credit limit for COM 488/498 combined. Prerequisite: Open to junior and senior majors with G.P.A. of at least 2.50 and Communication Studies average of 2.70 and approved by department faculty. Applications on Communication Studies Department website.
COM 491/492/493/494 Video Institute I, II, III, IV 3 credits
Students produce significant projects in video, film, and television. See Dr. Irwin or Professor O’Neil for additional information.
Sequel to COM 488 for students taking multiple internships. Each student is limited to a combined total of 12 credit hours for COM 488 and 498. Prerequisite: Same as for COM 488.
Student conducts original project or self-designed course of study under the tutelage of Communication Studies faculty member. Prerequisite: Open to junior and senior majors in good standing with consent of instructor, chair, and Associate Dean.
DMA 202 Digital Media Culture 3 credits
DMA 204 Digital Media Law 3 credits
DMA 205 Digital Graphics 3 credits
DMA 206 Interactive Multimedia 3 credits
DMA 310 Digital Audio/Music Production 3 credits
DMA 342 Introduction to Web Design 3 credits
DMA 385 Intro to Digital Filmmaking 3 credits
DMA 442 Advanced Web Design 3 credits
FAS 140 Introduction to Still Photography 3 credits
FAS 141 Digital Photography 3 credits
FAS 142 Travel Photography 3 credits
FAS 240 Color Photography 3 credits
FAS 241 Intermediate Photography 3 credits
JRN 310 Journalism I
JRN 311 Journalism II
JRN 322 Feature/Magazine Writing
JRN 336 Sports Journalism
JRN 363 Journalistic Editing
JRN 369 Television Features