Course Descriptions: Undergraduate Communication Programs

The Institute for Communication, Entertainment & Media at St. Thomas University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Communications Arts. Click on the links below to view full course descriptions for these undergraduate Communication Programs.

(All courses 3 credits unless otherwise specified)

ART 201 Survey of the History of Art
A survey of art from pre-historic times to the modern era that emphasizes the Western experience, but also covers Africa, the Americas, and the Far East. Students will explore how the artistic medium, subject matter, and artistic style reflect social contexts.

ART 202 Enhanced Art Appreciation
An enriched participatory course taught in the university classroom and through field work in local art venues that include visual as well as performing arts. The focus is the evolution of modern art, from the end of the 19th century to the present.

ART 244 Introduction to Drawing
This course is designed to teach students with no prior drawing experience as well as the advanced student. The basic drawing techniques using line, shape, value, perspective, and composition will be explored. Through observation and interpretation of varied subject matter (still life and living forms), learning to “see” is the objective of this class.

ART 245 Introduction to Painting
The course is designed to provide both aesthetic and practical use of water-based techniques and skills to beginners and advanced students. The precept that art is an essential tool to the student’s emotional growth and stresses the importance of studio courses of art imagery and techniques.

ART 246 Elements of Design: Color and Composition
A studio-based course that focuses on learning the theory and practice of composition, color, and design. Students will investigate the potential and impact that design elements offer in the creative and communication process. Includes an examination of the history and artists that define color and composition. Prerequisite: ART 245 or Permission of Instructor.

ART 248 Photography
This course prepares students in the major areas of art photography including its history, basic camera techniques and appreciation of images. Learning activities include lectures, photo critiques, visits to photo galleries and Internet research. Students concentrate on shooting pictures by completing specific thematic assignments and will display their best works at an end of semester exhibit.

ART 249 Marketing of the American Artist
A research-based course that examines the history of marketing works of art. Students will investigate the historical development of artists’ works focusing on the distinct marketing strategies used for works of art where the artist and the artistic product are in the foreground and how those strategies have been practiced through different art periods.

ART 335 Visual Analysis through Contemporary Art
A survey of present day art forms, including art making techniques and contemporary art criticism. Students will visit local art venues and dialogue with local artists. Prerequisite: Any ART 200+ or Permission of Instructor

ART 344 Intermediate Drawing
This course elaborates on the techniques and tools of the Introduction to Drawing (ART 244) course and investigates new dry mediums and papers and how this affects drawing. Students will learn the value of understanding what they observe in nature and learn to translate their observations into a drawing. Prerequisite: ART 244 or Permission of Instructor

ART 345 Intermediate Painting
The course elaborates on the techniques and tools of the Introduction to Painting (ART 245) course. Students will investigate personal imagery and techniques and create images from life and other sources, and begin developing a body of work. Prerequisite: ART 245 or Permission of Instructor

ART 346 Mixed Media
This interdisciplinary art studio course provides the student with experimentation in a variety of media: oil or acrylic painting, tempera, wood block printmaking, drawing, collage, clay, mobiles or stabiles, and sculpture construction. Prerequisite: Any Art course 200+ or Permission of Instructor

ART 351 Introduction to Graphic Design
This course introduces the graphic design visual communication theory and practice: elements and principles of perception and design, typography, symbols, and desktop design.

ART 444 Advanced Drawing
This course is designed for students to create a body of drawings that reflects both a technical ability and theme. Students will research and experiment with different aspects of communication through the visual language. Prerequisite: ART 344 or Permission of Instructor

ART 445 Advanced Painting
This course is designed for students to create a body of paintings that reflects both a technical ability and theme. Students will research and experiment with different aspects of communication through the visual language. Prerequisite: ART 345 or Permission of Instructor


COM 102 Society and Mass Media
An acquaintance with mass media, especially as it influences various aspects of American society. A study of how the media perform the functions of information, entertainment, and persuasion. Outside assignments in media venues, oral and written reports.

COM 105 Speech
All aspects of oral communication are studied including vocal and physical delivery, methods of preparation, argumentation, and persuasion.

COM 107 Introduction to Creative Processes
This course is designed to introduce students to the nature of creativity, stimulate their own creative process and  highlight how creativity is an integral part of the communications profession. Students will engage in confidence building and risk taking creative exercises. The course will also familiarize students with the dynamics of the communication arts program.

COM 201 Theatrical Elements:  Foundations for Communications, Entertainment and Media Arts
This course illustrates how television and film have their motivational origins for dramatic and production values within theater's multiple elements. A total theater approach will cover tragedy, comedy, the various movements, and all aspects of theater production.

COM 203 Introduction to Film Art and Analysis
This course teaches students the critical thinking skills necessary to analyze film as a modern art form through analysis of film texts to discern the way meaning is conveyed through film production elements.

COM 208 Media Ethics
This course covers ethical issues and social responsibilities with which media professionals should be familiar and development of strategies for resolving ethical dilemmas that graduates may face in their professional environments.

COM 302 TV Drama: Past, Present, and Future
In helping students be their own critics of television drama, comparisons and contrasts of past and present productions will be stressed. Original TV scripts will be studied and kinescopes on videotape and teleplays of “live” presentations will be critically viewed.

COM 303 Writing for TV
This course focuses on how to write professionally for various aspects of TV, while also learning about the medium itself. Each student will write creative commercials, public service announcements, promos, and TV news copy. Actual professional script models will be utilized as part of the process. Prerequisite: ENG 102

COM 304 Speaking on Radio and TV
Professional standards will be used as a means of helping the student reach professional levels in radio and TV speaking. This course will be directed toward those students interested in broadcasting careers or in heightening their awareness of the contrasting oral approaches used in both media. Actual in-studio environs will be utilized. Prerequisite: COM 105 or Permission of Instructor

COM 306 Advanced Speech and Professional Speaking
An examination of the discipline of oral interpretation. It will be studied in terms of developing voice, articulation, and movement skills in relation to selecting, understanding, or orally presenting various forms of literature. Prerequisite: COM 105 or Permission of Instructor

COM 307D Global Media
A critical analysis of the role of media in the era of globalization. This course explores the challenges media practitioners face when embracing global media. Philosophies of media ethics and cultural perspectives are studied. Media practices across the globe are examined.

COM 310 Broadcast Production
This course allows the student to gain knowledge in the theory of television and studio production. Students also learn the language of television production and gain practical experience with studio equipment through the completion of three team projects. Prerequisite: COM 304 or Permission of Instructor

COM 343 News Reporting and Investigative Journalism
A comprehensive course in newspaper reporting. Attention will be placed on basic skills in news-gathering, interviewing techniques, covering speeches, writing the news story, and methods of research in general source materials. There will be a practical application of all types of news and feature writing through publication of student efforts in the university newspaper. Integrated with basic news skills will be techniques of headline writing, copy reading and newspaper design and layout. Prerequisite: ENG 102

COM 346 Message Design for Public Relations
Students will learn the underlying fundamental principles, skills, concepts, and methods of designing a message for public relations and how to convey that message in a variety of sectors including information industries, entertainment, and politics. Emphasizes the strategy of crafting and delivering a Public Relations (PR) message with special focus on pre-writing, preparation, and editing. Students will gain professional exposure to writing for a PR career. Prerequisite: ENG 102

COM 347 Message Design for Advertising
Students will learn the underlying fundamental principles, skills, concepts, and methods of designing a message for advertising and how to convey that message in a variety of sectors including information industries, entertainment, and politics. Emphasizes the strategy of crafting and delivering an advertising message with special emphasis on pre-writing, preparation, and editing. Students will gain professional exposure to writing for an advertising career. Prerequisite: ENG 102

COM 348 Photojournalism
An exploration of the relationship between written words and visual images, especially as they relate to contemporary news media. Prerequisites: ART 248 or Permission of Instructor

COM  349 Film Animation Critical Studies
This course will study the art of animation through an examination of its history, aesthetics, technical practices and cultural impact. 

COM 375 Screenwriting
A writing course that implements the foundation of film and television screenwriting with an emphasis on story, character driven action, and the structure of the standard Hollywood narrative film. Prerequisite: COM 203

COM 400 Critical Communication for the Professional World
Theories and process of oral and written communication and report writing. The problem and process of communication in all types of organizations will be covered. Prerequisite: ENG 102

COM 402D Youth and Media
An examination of the effects of television on children with emphasis on minority children. The course relates communication theories to children's television usage and their cognitive/social development.

COM 403 Power of Advertising
This theoretical course will examine the emergence and history of advertising as a form of communication, its influence on other forms of media, and its impact on culture and society, specifically gender, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation. Students will evaluate the effects of advertising, its place in our consumer culture, and how advertising fits into the structure of most industries from the perspective of communication principles.

COM 407C Catholicism and Film
A film criticism course that incorporates a Catholic perspective in the examination of popular films. Students review film criticism that addresses production techniques and content, are introduced to the Church's efforts in establishing production standards, and view a series of films from different eras with their different entertainment values. Prerequisite: COM 203 or Permission of Instructor

COM 409D Video Game Analysis
This course explores the history and artistry of videogames, with emphasis on the aural as well as visual aspects of the form. In addition, this course qualifies as a diversity course and will explore race, ethnicity, gender and class in terms of issues of representation and consumption.

COM 410 Advanced Broadcast Production (1-6 credits)
This course provides the opportunity to work in a professional setting in the student- managed campus channel. A one credit course which can be repeated up to six times. Prerequisite: COM 310 or Permission of Instructor

COM 440 Broadcast Journalism
A review of the basic tools and techniques of broadcast news including broadcasting via television, radio and the Internet and learn how news is gathered, writing news story for television and newsroom organization. Focuses on basic elements and applications of news broadcasting. Guest speakers currently working in the field will be invited.

COM 443 Advanced News Reporting and Investigative Journalism
This journalism writing course is for students interested in pursuing a career in print journalism and refines writing skills for magazines and newspapers. Prerequisite: COM 343

COM 448 New Media and Blogging
A comprehensive examination of the design and development of new media such as blogging and podcasting as well as emerging platforms. Includes the study of theoretical constructs underlying the designs, uses, and effects of new media and the different standards for blogging/podcasting and journalism. Based on this understanding, students will produce diverse electronic written and visual content and develop online communities through emerging electronic platforms.

COM 450D  Critical Survey of World Film
A survey of the history of the motion picture from its origin in the 1870's to contemporary developments and the Third World film. Students will critique selected motion pictures at the contextual, artistic, technical and informational levels.

COM 487 Leadership for Communications and Media
A capstone course that incorporates students’ acquired knowledge of critical thinking, written, production, oral, technological, multicultural, ethical, and leadership communication skills. These skills will be demonstrated through the development and execution of an effective communications project designed to assist a socially relevant organization or social problem. Prerequisite: Senior Standing and Communication Arts Major

COM 495 Special Topics in Communication
An intensive study of a major issue in Communication Arts. Depending on the topic offered, this course can help to fulfill critical, written, oral or production requirements for the Communication Arts degree. This course should be taken only once.

COM 497 Internship in Communications I (1-3 credits)
An opportunity for work-study experience in communications.

COM 498 Internship in Communications II (1-3 credits)
An opportunity for work-study experience in communications.

COM 499 Internship in Communications III (1-3 credits)
An opportunity for work-study experience in communications.

Questions or comments please contact:
Dr. Marcela Moyano, Director 305.474.6840
Administrative Offices: or 305.628.6645