Communication and Media Studies (BA)

Communication and Media Studies (BA) Curriculum

The Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media Studies is a broad program of study that prepares students to become competent communication professionals and engaged citizens. The program develops students’ abilities to engage in critical reflection and analysis of communication from multiple perspectives. In accord with the Barry University Mission, students learn about transformative and ethical approaches to communication. Topics explored in the program’s multifaceted curriculum include race, gender, and the interpersonal, intercultural, and organizational contexts of human communication. The media’s institutional, cultural, and economic effects on society are also examined, as well as the role they can play in promoting social change and creating a more inclusive society. Graduates leave the program with a broad, liberal arts-based education that emphasizes today’s highly sought-after communication skills. The minimum grade of C is required in all major and minor courses.

The communication and media studies curriculum is designed so that you will be able to:

  • Assess how human communication and media institutions shape key aspects of social life, including interpersonal relationships, gender relations, and culture.
  • Apply various communication theories in the analysis of texts, relationships, messages, and social settings.
  • Design communication strategies that meet ethical and professional standards in multiple contexts.
  • Demonstrate communication practices that pursue social justice and bring about social change.

Requirements in the major (39 credits)

Departmental Requirements (3 Credits)

  • This course provides an overview of the human communication discipline. Students will be introduced to various topics within Communication, including the rudiments of communication theory and a survey of communication contexts (e.g., interpersonal, small group, organizational, public, mass, and intercultural).

Media Theory (15 Credits)

  • Processes, systems, and effects of the printed and electronic media; the role of newspapers, magazines, movies, radio, and television

  • This course is designed to introduce students to the fundamental theories of mass communication and the role that these theories play in our understanding of the socio-cultural impact media have on society. It emphasizes the forms and effects of media and explains how these influence the structure and performance of media as well as the creation, reception and interpretation of mass media messages.

  • Introduction to research methodology for public relations and advertising. Includes planning, measurement, evaluation, and reporting of results. Prerequisites: MAT 152 or permission from the instructor and Junior or Senior standing.

  • Critical examination of the impact of advertising on society and culture. Advertising’s role in the formation of trends, social habits, and other patterns of behavior as they pertain to multiple groups within society. Prosocial uses of advertising will also be discussed.

  • Studies in the current laws governing the mass media. Role of the FCC, libel, privacy, and First Amendment issues.

Communication Requirements (12 Credits)

  • Study of self-concept, perception, language, listening, emotions, and conflict as they relate to person-to-person communication. Prerequisite: Eligible for ENG 111.

  • An introduction to the factors which influence communication among individuals of different subcultures. Both theoretical and practical problems of intercultural communication are analyzed. Prerequisites: Eligible for ENG 111 and SPE 101 or COM 104.

  • This course focuses on the establishment of identity at the intersection of physical and virtual community dynamics. Students will examine contemporary theories that relate to the key aspects of this establishment, including the distinction between public and private spheres, performativity, and phenomenological principles of being and embodiment. Students will apply the key concepts of the course to specific ethical, cultural and social variables at play in the digital arena, such as simulation, cyber bullying, privacy, virtual relationships, and issues related to race, ethnicity and gender. Prerequisites: COM 104 and COM 201 or Instructor’s Permission.

  • This course focuses on the nature and functions of communication in organizational settings. The course seeks to provide students with an understanding of the concepts and methods needed to assess and improve the nature of communication processes in organizations. Prerequisites: Com 201 and Junior or Senior standing.

Electives (6 Credits)

  • This course provides an overview of the role of communication in the construction of gender. Students will be introduced to various theories, including standpoint theory, grounded theory, queer theory, and performance theory, as they explore the process of identity formation from a communication perspective. Prerequisite: COM 201 or Instructor’s Permission.

  • This course explores the history and constructs of race and ethnicity from an interpersonal and intercultural communication point of view. It also examines the intersections of race and ethnicity within the contexts of globalization, media, and popular culture. Prerequisite: COM 201 or Instructor’s Permission.

  • This course takes a critical approach toward understanding the role of communication and communication technologies in the creation and dissemination of health messages in international development contexts. Pre-requisite: COM 201 or Instructor’s Permission.

  • Beginning with Aristotle, this course provides an historical perspective on how persuasion has evolved to modern times. Emphasis on factors such as attention, perception, needs, values, and credibility. Practice in presentation of persuasive oral and written communication. Emphasis given to persuasive campaigns. Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing.

  • Practical experience in communication in a professional setting. CR/NC grade; unpaid internships only.

Capstone and Integrative Experience (3 Credits)

  • A senior seminar in the identification and examination of selected topic(s) in communication. Limited to Department of Communication majors with 90+ credit hours and approved minors. Serves a Department of Communication integrative experience and includes service-learning, comprehensive examination and senior thesis. Prerequisite: Senior standing.

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