COM 101 (3 credits)

Composition and Research

Core writing requirement, reviews fundamental principles of rhetoric, grammar, punctuation and spelling. Requirements include a research paper using MLA documentation guidelines and several expository papers. Course is available only after placement by departmental faculty. Students must achieve “C” or better to fulfill core requirements.

COM 103 (3 credits)

Fundamentals of Speech

Basic course in the development of communication attitudes and skills with a view to enabling the student to feel comfortable and competent in public speaking ventures. Includes exercises in the oral interpretation of literature; the organization, delivery, and evaluation of various types of speeches; and participation in panels or symposiums.

COM 122 (3 credits)

Mass Media
 and Application

Introduction to interrelationships between contemporary American life and communication media. Includes a survey of basic theories, models, and practices of mass communication.

COM 131 (3 credits)

Writing for the Media

Introduction to writing styles and format requirements necessary to write for various American media. Emphasis on process of gathering and writing news for print and broadcast media.

COM 132 (1 credit)

Journalism Workshop

Workshop where students write for the College newspaper, the Alvernian, and are responsible for production assignments. Prerequisites or co-requisites: COM 131 or 330 or permission of the instructor. May be repeated.

COM 155 (3 credits)

Introduction to Acting

Principles of basic acting technique-given circumstances, tasks, facets of embodying and experiencing the portrayal of a character. Some attention given to physical and vocal characterizations. Cross-listed with THR 155.

COM 213 (3 credits)

Interpersonal Communication

An introductory survey of basic theories, models, and practices of interpersonal communication. Students learn interpersonal communication principles, sharpen awareness of own and others’ personal communication habits, and ultimately improve interpersonal communication skills.

COM 220 (3 credits)

Event Planning

This course introduces students to special event planning processes and techniques. Emphasis is on creating organizing, identifying sponsors, marketing and implementing community and business events.

COM 234 (3 credits)

Intercultural Communication

This course is designed to provide a survey of intercultural communication theory and practice and to develop a better understanding of human interactions theory and practice and to develop a better understanding of human interactions in global contexts. The relationship between the culture, behavior, and communication of individual and groups, both internationally and nationally, will be studied. Students will analyze and research how intercultural communication factors affect the way business, services, and communication ae handled in various settings. Course fulfills diversity requirement.

COM 240 (3 credits)

Public Relations and Advertising

Study of principles and applications of modern public relations and advertising. Emphasis placed on development of promotional campaigns. Topics include media relations, publications, media placement, copy writing, creative development and crisis management.

COM 247 (3 credits)

Fantasy, Folklore & Mythology

The course examines oral traditions in the unofficial cultures, folklore genres and folk life groups that shape the human experience. Special emphasis will be an oral literature, cultural customs and storytelling (folktales, fables, fairy tales, proverbs, riddles, songs, etc.) coventional beliefs and traditional lifeways. Topics vary from semester to semester. Maybe repeated under different topics. This course fulfills the Human Diversity requirement.

COM 250 (3 credits)

Interpretation of Film

Critical approach to analyzing film and its significance in contemporary society.

COM 251 (3 credits) 

Broadcasting and Electronic Media 

Overview of contemporary broadcasting and electronic media with an emphasis on television. Students study the history of broadcasting, development of technology, as well as the business and administrative aspects surrounding broadcast media. Students apply their textbook learning in an actual broadcast facility. At the facility, students produce video assignments such as PSAs (public service announcements) for non-profit organizations. Most of the sessions are held at a local broadcast facility.

COM 257 (3 credits)

Communications in the Cloud

The course explores the concept of "the cloud," the use of computing resources that are delivered as a service over a network (especially the Internet). In particular, this course addresses how the cloud is the backbone of social media and how the cloud facilitates business communication and collaboration. Technologies studied range from smartphones to tablets to virtualization to cloud services such as storage and telepresence. Social and ethical impact of cloud technology trends are discussed and debated.

COM 260 (3 credits)

Digital Storytelling

This course provides students the opportunity to develop basic techniques in digital storytelling. Students are introduced to best practices in using text, audio and video to create professional multimedia packages. The course provides opportunities for students to develop production skills using commonly available multimedia production programs. By the end of the course, students will have produced a diverse portfolio of work customized to serve their specific career goals.

COM 261 (3 credits)

Poetry Writing

Workshop in which principle forms of poetry are studied, with emphasis on developing student’s own ability to write poems.

COM 263 (3 credits)

Fiction Writing

Study of fiction styles/techniques aimed at developing student’s ability to write fiction.

COM 310 (1 credit) 

Tutoring Assistant

This course provides a theoretical and pedagogical framework for writing instruction. Students will conduct research as it relates to writing in their own disciplines and learn best practices for communicating in small groups or one-on-one settings. All students enrolled in this course are eligible to apply to work in the Writing & Learning Center or work as a Writing Mentor. participation in the course does not guarantee employment. Course is required for all English/secondary education majors and recommended that these students enroll in the fall semester; permission from instructor(s) required for all other students. Course may be repeated for credit.

COM 330 (3 credits)

News and Feature Writing

Thorough study of news writing techniques; emphasis on development of feature stories, investigative pieces, and multi-source news articles for newspapers and news magazines. Prerequisite: COM 131 or permission of instructor.

COM 332 (3 credits)

Multimedia Creation - Publications

Designed to introduce students to the processes involved in planning, designing, creating and publishing multimedia projects. Course focuses on basic photomanipulation, digital publishing technology, and a practical introduction to vector graphics. Part 1 of 2 but may be taken as a stand-alone course. Assumes no previous multimedia knowledge.

COM 340 (3 credits)

Advertising Workshop

Students plan and produce advertising programs for the college and/or non-profit organizations; workshop-styled atmosphere.

COM 342 (3 credits)

Social Media Marketing

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Linkedin and Pinterest - in order to stay competitive in today's world, companies and organizations need to implement social media into their integrated communications plan. This course will primarily focus on social media, but will also explore other facets of digital marketing. Topics to be covered include social media platforms, content development, multi-channel integration, organic and paid search, mobile opportunities, web analytics and measurement, legal and security issues, crises, best practices and trending issues. If offered as a service-learning class, students will receive hands-on practical experience by developing a social media marketing campaign for a local n on-profit organization.

COM 344 (3 credits) 

Writing for the Workplace

Advanced writing course oriented toward communication beyond the academic world. Assignments include correspondence, memos, resumes, proposals, oral presentations, and one or more major reports. Introduce students to current communication software, to familiarize with requirements of writing in their specific disciplines, and to help develop a clear, concise writing style.

COM 352 (3 credits)

Video Production

Study of the process of producing a creative work in the video medium. Students are introduced to basic concepts of video production and post-production editing. Most of the classes are held at a local broadcast facility.

COM 353 (3 credits)

Film Studies

An upper-level examination of film as a form of film narrative, a work of art, and as representative of popular culture. Topics vary from semester to semester; they may include specific study of genres, directors, time periods, techniques, adaptation. The course may be repeated under different topics.

COM 360 (3 credits)

Writers Workshop

Seminar for writers who wish to broaden and develop their creative writing skills. Offered as either a poetry writing, fiction writing or creative non-fiction workshop. Prerequisite: COM 261 or 263 or permission of instructor. May be repeated for credit.

COM 362 (3 credits) 

Multimedia Creation - Videos

Designed to introduce students to the processes involved in planning, designing, creating and publishing multimedia products. Course focuses on audio-visual production of podcasts, short videos, video collage, and basic video effects. Part 2 of 2 but may be taken as a stand-alone course. Assumes no previous multimedia knowledge

COM 420 (3 credits)

Law and Ethics of Mass Communication

Study of legal and ethical framework within which mass communication media operate. Examines legal philosophy bearing on the mass media, the development of freedom of expression, and privileges and restraints affecting the media. Topics include the study of libel, invasion of privacy, copyright, contempt and government regulation.

COM 422 (3 credits)

Social Impact of Mass Media

Investigates the principal research findings concerning the role of mass media in shaping the attitudes, values, and behaviors of our culture. Includes survey of advanced theories, models and practices of mass communication.

COM 432 (3 credits) 

Newspaper Production

Restricted to student editorial staff of the College newspaper, this course requires intensive application (80-100 hours) of skills as copy editors, business managers, or page design and layout editors. Course may be repeated for credit. Prerequisites: COM 131 and permission of the Alvernian advisor.

COM 452 (3 credits)

"The Campus Show" - Television Production

Students are responsible for putting together half-hour television shows that focus on Alvernia University. Students assist in all aspects of television production both in front and behind the camera including anchoring, reporting, producing, lighting, sound, camera and technical directing. Please note classes are held at a local broadcast facility. Course may be repeated once for credit. Prerequisites: COM 251 or COM 352 or permission of instructor.

COM 480 (3 credits)

Research Seminar

Qualified students may choose a creative writing project, a mass media or audio-visual production project, or an intensive study of a phase of communication that culminates in a significant research paper. For senior English or communication majors.

COM 481 (credits vary)


By special arrangement, a student may be granted up to 12 credits for an extended assignment involving in-depth work in some phase of communication. Such assignments might include an apprenticeship in a TV or radio station, a position as reporter at a local newspaper, internship in the communication division of a corporation or non-profit agency, etc. Prerequisite: 2.5 GPA or permission of department chair.