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Program Requirements

Students who complete the major requirements for a bachelor of arts (BA) in media studies will be be well-versed in the theory, analysis, and practice of communication with a deep understanding of the role of media in society.

Major Requirements

Course descriptions for all COMM classes are available at the bottom of this page.

36 semester hours (sh) of major courses:

  • Required theory and methods courses (20 sh) — COMM 2150, 2250, 3100, 3450, 3480, 4010; choose one from COMM 1910, 2140, or 2240
  • Writing and production courses (16 sh) — choose from COMM 2155, 2175, 2355, 3310, 3320, 3321, 3330, 3331, or 3355
  • Professional seminar (0 sh) — All upper-level students must register for 2 semesters of this course.

Notes:

  • Students must pass the introductory class (COMM 2150) with a grade of “C” or better to be accepted into the major and to enroll in courses beyond the introductory level.
  • Writing and production courses: Students must take a minimum of 4 sh in writing and 2 sh in production as part of this requirement.
  • COMM 2140, 2240, or 2250 can be used to fulfill the general education requirement in fine arts (2 sh), and COMM 2350 fulfills the general education requirement in cross-cultural studies (4 sh).
  • All students are encouraged to pursue and complete an internship in their field of interest.
  • Departmental Honors: Students may propose a project by May 1 of their third year and take 8 sh of COMM 4000 during their fourth year in order to earn Departmental Honors in Communication Arts.

Minor Requirements

20 semester hours (sh)
  • Require core courses (4 sh) — COMM 2150
  • Electives (16 sh) — Any COMM classes, including at least 8 sh at the 3000 level

Course Descriptions

Click on the links below for course descriptions of all communication studies courses. For a complete list of all North Park's programs and course offerings, review the academic catalog.

COMM 1610 – Theatre Production
TPS - An introduction to principles and skills for designing stage scenery, costume and lighting.

COMM 1910 – Public Speaking
CS - An introduction to the theory and practice of public speaking. Topics include types of speeches, types and uses of source material, organization, performance, and speech criticism.

COMM 2010 – Introduction to Communication Theory
CS - Introduction to theories of verbal and nonverbal human communication. Topics include intra- and interpersonal communication, communication in small groups, in organizations, and at the levels of public and mass communication. Required for admission to the Communication Studies concentration, and a prerequisite for most upper-level courses in that concentration.

COMM 2030 – Interpersonal Communication
CS - The theory, analysis, and practice of communication in the development, maintenance, and decay of interpersonal relationships. Topics include verbal and nonverbal communication, perceptual accuracy, and effective listening.

COMM 2070 – Group Communication
CS - An investigation of the principles and methods of small group communication, emphasizing decision making, problem solving, group structure, leadership, group dynamics, and effective group process.

COMM 2110 – Performance of Literature
An introduction to presentational approaches to interpreting texts through performance, with an emphasis on the analysis and staging of fiction.

COMM 2130 – Storytelling
An introduction to storytelling as a crucial way of knowing, and as a central means of creating personal and social realities. Emphasis on the solo performance of folktales, everyday stories, personal narratives, and ethnographic stories from various cultural groups in Chicago.

COMM 2140 – Introduction to Theatre
TPS - An introduction to theater as an art form with an emphasis on acting, directing, play analysis, and the collaborative process of theater production. Required for admission to the Theatre and Performance Studies concentration, and a prerequisite for most upper level courses in that concentration.

COMM 2150 – Introduction to Media Theory
CS, MDIA - A study of the history of the various media of mass communications. The course includes the development of print, radio, television, film, and internet. Required for admission to the Media Studies major, and prerequisite for most upper-level courses in the major.

COMM 2155 – Audio Production I
MDIA - The course will teach the basic skills for producing, recording, and editing a variety of material(music, voice) using a Pro Tools digital audio workstation. The course also covers basic principles of acoustics, and the basic laws of physics that affect sound.

COMM 2175 – Audio Production II
MDIA - Advanced projects in audio production.

COMM 2240 – Introduction to Performance Studies
TPS - This course is an introduction to the field of performance studies. The course will include aesthetic performances (literature, theatre, art, dance, and visual media), ethnographic performances (personal narratives and narratives of others), and other cutural sources. We will explore the relationship of performance studies to related fields, while placing an emphasis on performance and social change. We will attend live performances in Chicago.

COMM 2250 – Film Studies
MDIA - An introduction to film as art, business, and cultural force. It examines the Hollywood paradigm as the dominant form of storytelling in Western movies; explores the artistic elements involved in filmmaking; and examines major cultural issues reflected in film narratives. Students attend a major international film festival in Chicago.

COMM 2320 – Theatre Design
An introduction to principles and skills for designing stage scenery, costume and lighting.

COMM 2330 – Acting I
TPS - Establishes the foundation of acting technique through the genre of realism.

COMM 2340 – Directing I
TPS - Introduction to staging a play. Students conceive, workshop, and execute a short one-act play.

COMM 2350 – Intercultural Communication
CS - An introduction to major topics, major theories and direct experience of inter-cultural communication. Through readings, discussion, exercises and field trips, students prepare for encounters with different cultures.

COMM 2355 – Video Production 1 (Field Production)
MDIA - The production of documentary film using techniques of field production and linear video editing.

COMM 2650 – Scandinavian Film
A survey of films from Denmark, Norway and Sweden, with a critical analysis of actors and directors, narrative style, structure and content, social context and history. COMM 2250 is strongly recommended.

COMM 2750 – Latin America on Film
A study of recent films about Latin American experience, the influence from and resistance to the Hollywood model of filmmaking by Latin American directors, and other critical issues concerning cultural diversity, national identity, class, gender, religion, and politics. Films will be shown with original languages and English subtitles. COMM 2250 is strongly recommended.

COMM 2810 – Critical Reading, Writing and Analysis
CS - A writing course providing a review of writing basics, such as sentence structure and grammar, and emphasizing critical thinking and analysis.

COMM 3070 – Communication in the Workplace
CS - An investigation of the structure and function of communication in groups and organizations, including decision-making, leadership, conflict resolution, networks, building a resume, and interviewing. Highly recommended as preparation for COMM 4970.

COMM 3090 – Shakespeare
TPS - A study of Shakespearean drama, including selected comedies, tragedies, and romances. Cross-listed with ENG 3090.

COMM 3100 – Foundations of Media Industries
MDIA - This course addresses the development of major U.S. media industries, including newspapers, magazines, radio, television, the Internet, and social media. It focuses on the impact of media innovations on culture, and the ways established media adapt to innovations.

COMM 3200 – Ibsen & Strindberg
TPS - Analysis of representative plays of Scandinavia's two internationally significant dramatists. Cross-listed with SCAN 3200.

COMM 3230 – Acting II: Special Topics
TPS - Extends acting techniques learned in Acting I with a focus on Shakespeare and other classical styles improvisation, and stage combat. May be repeated for credit.

COMM 3240 – Storefront Theatre Practicum: Special Topics
TPS - Extends skills developed in other courses in the Theatre and Performance Studies curriculum and develops material for the One-Act Festival. May be repeated for 0, 1 or 2 credits. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

COMM 3310 – Media Writing
MDIA - The study and practice of writing in various television and video formats, including news, commercials, public service announcements, and documentary scripts. Emphasis on journalistic writing for televisual media.

COMM 3320 – Dramatic Writing I
MDIA, TPS - The study and practice of dramatic writing for theater and film. Focus on the writer's process, character development, story structure, and the completion of a one-act play or a short screenplay. Cross-listed with ENG 3320.

COMM 3321 – Dramatic Writing II
MDIA, TPS - Advanced study in writing the full-length stage play or full-length screenplay.

COMM 3330 – Journalism
MDIA - The study and practice of various forms of journalistic writing.

COMM 3331 – Multi-Media Journalism
MDIA - A laboratory-oriented newspaper reporting and editing course that utilizes the student newspaper (both print and online editions) as a hands-on learning environment for print, broadcast and web-based platforms. Students will be assigned specific stories and will write for the paper while also shooting and editing stories for the paper's website and creating a news blog. Field trips and outside speakers will provide direct exposure to the profession.

COMM 3355 – Video Production II (New Media)
MDIA - Develops skills in the production of digital media for the internet and other new media.

COMM 3410 – World Theater and Drama I
TPS - A study of the religious, political, and cultural sources of theatre; how theatre practice and dramatic literature developed in the Western tradition from the ancient Greeks through the medieval Christian, Renaissance and Neo-Classical periods, with a brief introduction to Asian and African performance traditions. Will attend performances in the Chicago area.

COMM 3430 – World Theater and Drama II
TPS - A study of plays, theatrical practice, and theory from the nineteenth century to the present. Special emphasis on contemporary issues, postmodern and post-colonial forms, performance art and the theatricalization of news, politics, and other aspects of contemporary culture. Will attend performances in the Chicago area.

COMM 3450 – Media and Society
MDIA - A study of the interaction of mass communication and society. Emphasis on critical and cultural theory, the interplay of programming, business, politics and other aspects of American culture. May include field trips to television stations.

COMM 3480 – Media Ethics
MDIA - Using case studies, this course explores a range of ethical issues confronted by media practitioners. A moral reasoning process is used to evaluate conflicting values, apply ethical theories, and evaluate to whom ethical loyalty is due.

COMM 3490 – Rhetorical Theory and Analysis
CS - An introduction to the theory and practice of rhetorical criticism, from classical to contemporary perspectives, including the analysis of a variety of contemporary public discourses.

COMM 3510 – Inside Hollywood
Los Angeles Film Studies Center. Offered through the Christian College Coalition, the LAFSC is located in Hollywood, CA, and offers a one-semester program for upper-division students who are interested in the work and workings of the mainstream Hollywood film industry.

COMM 3520 – Screenwriting

COMM 3530 – Faith, Film and Culture

COMM 3540 – Intro to Filmmaking

COMM 3545 – Hollywood Production Workshop

COMM 3550 – International Communication
MDIA - An examination of international mass media, including concentration of ownership, internationalization, diversification, New World Information Order, satellites, shortwave radio, film, and television.

COMM 3910 – Topics
Advanced seminars which examine broad issues in communication, media and performance studies. Recent Topics courses include: International Conflict Transformation, Political Communication, Intercultural Theatre and Film and Social Movements. Students will be expected to synthesize and extend their earlier work in this department.

COMM 4000 – Departmental Honors Communication Arts
CS, TPS - Honors students will write a major paper and/or produce a project at the honors level and make an oral presentation of the project at a Spring Honors Symposium.

COMM 4010 – Professional Seminar
Occasional gatherings, approximately four each semester, will enable students to complete departmental portfolios, and develop plans for post-graduate professional or educational work. Open to all students in the department. All upper-level students in the department must register for two semesters.

COMM 4910 – Independent Study in Communication Arts
Available to majors who seek to enhance course offerings with an in-depth study of a selected topic. Independent studies usually do not substitute for major requirements or departmental course offerings, but do count toward the total hours needed to graduate.

COMM 4970 – Internship in Communication Arts
Students are urged to take advantage of oustanding Chicago-area interships to develop skills, academic and professional interests. Internships may not substitute for major requirements or departmental course but do count toward the total hours needed to graduate. Please refer to the Internship section of the catalog for internship requirements and guidelines.

Program requirements