Media & Communication Practice Courses


COM 216 - Communication & Public Relations

1 course unit

Explores public relations from a critical perspective with emphasis on communication theory and research into public relations practices.  Topics include the origins and development of public relations, its role in society, principles of public relations theory and practice, and the ethical issues raised by various philosophies and practices of public relations. 

   Prerequisite(s): COM 201 Media & Society.

COM 233, 234 - Introduction to Narrative Journalism

1 course unit

This course will introduce students to examples of award winning journalism covering the environment.  Students will read examples from newspapers, magazines and books, analyze the writing for best practices in reporting and critique writing style and storytelling technique through reflections and discussion. The course will culminate with an original reporting project with the goal of publishing it online

Meets general academic requirement when offered as 234.


COM 256 - Introduction to Interactive Web Design 

1 course unit

This course explores how (and what it means) to create, design, and build your own digital online cyberspace environment.  The class focuses on visual (game) encounters, virtual reality, and mobile media.  Students map out original project idea(s) learning and using multimedia apps and HTML code.  This course is for students exploring the convergence of art, music, film, and media.  Working on their projects, students learn the skills for conceiving, designing, and constructing a Web 2.0 (interactive) environment.  This class does not require students to have any pre-existing design skills or computer knowledge. 

Meets general academic requirement AR and is a cluster course.


COM 322 - Writing for the Media

1 course unit

Against the backdrop of today’s media environment, Writing for the Media will ground students in the practice of uncluttered and precise writing as it applies across media professions - from journalism to public relations. Practical advice from the instructor and guest speaker-mentors will play an important role. The Associated Press Style Guide and other industry standards will be used to assist students through writing exercises, with an emphasis on editing and revision. Students will learn to find stories and hone their interviewing, research, reporting and writing skills. Also will ground students in news values, and foster an awareness of legal and ethical issues essential to the success of any future media practitioner, as well as build awareness of the essential digital components of the trade, such as SEO.

   Prerequisite(s): COM 201 Media & Society or ENG 205 Introduction to Creative Nonfiction Writing or ENG 275     Theory & Methods of English Studies 
   Meets general academic requirement W.


COM 334 - Health Communication

1 course unit

Examines interpersonal as well as mediated dimensions of health communication, including theories and case studies that address issues in physician and patient communication; gender, race, and cultural constituents in health communication; social marketing techniques for the production, distribution, and assessment of health-care information; the design and implementation of public health campaigns; and the use of communication technologies in the production of health communications. 


COM 336, 337 - Environmental Communication

1 course unit

Explores theories, models, and strategies for production and assessment of environmental communications. Examines environmental media and campaigns; provides students with skills to identify and solve problems in environmental communications and in the production of environmental media.  Emphasizes writing. 

   Meets general academic requirement W when offered as 337.


COM 338 - Organizational Communication

1 course unit

Explores theories, models, and strategies for internal and external communication within organizations.  The constituents, constraints, values, practices, and media of organizational cultures are investigated from historical, cross-cultural, and contemporary practices.  Primary emphasis is on the corporate experience in the United States. 


COM 349 - Media Advocacy

1 course unit

This course introduces students to the strategic use of media to advance social and public health initiatives. Students will investigate principles, ethics, and theories underlying media advocacy; monitor and analyze framing and message development; and use both traditional and new communication tools to construct and implement media interventions, messages and/or campaigns to address public health problems and social justice issues. Students will participate in a service-learning opportunity in partnership with a not-for-profit organization in the Lehigh Valley. 

Meets general academic requirement IL.


COM 351 - Video Production

1 course unit

Refines an understanding of video/television concepts and operations through the application of advanced production techniques.  Provides hands-on experience beginning with the development of a professional project, treatment, script, and storyboard. Focuses on production tools and skills, class workshops, and outside exercises that facilitate becoming comfortable with camera and editing equipment and with the overall production process.  Conceiving, coordinating, shooting, and editing the project, production teams will encounter real-time pressure and problem-solving situations. 

   Required lab.
   Prerequisite(s): COM 251 - Introduction to Moviemaking.


COM 361 - Audio Production

1 course unit

Introduces the tools, techniques, and principles of radio production.  Students develop awareness of sound, the ability to structure information on the radio, and the capacity to sustain attention and build an audio documentary.  Students will plan, produce, and evaluate audio projects in a variety of modes, including news, documentary, dramatic, and commercial. 


COM 367 - Studio Workshop in Television & Film

1 course unit

Beginning with a survey of the promise and demands, historical, economic, and political circumstances surrounding community television, this course broadens students’ exposure to television formats beyond mainstream commercial media.  The course examines the history and innovation of community television in the United States and overseas.  It provides students an opportunity to explore how to channel ideas into practice by expanding students’ established skills (research, writing, scripting, producing, directing, multi-camera and audio strategies, staging and lighting, post-production).  Toward that goal, the course engages students in the production of a regular series of documentary, narrative, and experimental television and film projects that will be realized during a multi-week intensive studio experience.  Multimedia and interdisciplinary projects involving theatre, art, dance, and music will be welcome. 

   Prerequisite(s):   COM 251 Introduction to Moviemaking recommended.


COM 376 - Youth Media

1 course unit

This course introduces students to the theory, practice, and impact of youth media programs in local and international contexts.  Students will also use media production to participate in fieldwork activities that contribute to HYPE, a media/youth development program housed in the Department of Media and Communication at Muhlenberg College.  Class projects will document and explore the possibilities of media making to promote young people’s twenty-first-century skills of digital communication and critical literacy, and their participation as agents of community change. 

   Prerequisite(s): COM 201 Media & Society and COM 231 Documentary Research.
   Meets general academic requirement W when offered as 377.


COM 431 - Documentary Field Work

1 course unit

Develops advanced skills in documentary inquiry and practice.  Provides tools and opportunities for developing skills in interviewing for archival, journalistic (print and electronic), social scientific, and administrative purposes.  The course is organized around the design and development of individual or group documentary projects in selected media.  Completed project(s) will be exhibited in some campus or public forum, e.g. submitted to the campus newspaper, aired on-campus radio or television, or displayed on the department website. 

   Prerequisite(s): COM 231 Documentary Research or instructor permission.

Meets general academic requirement IL   


ENG 210 - Introduction to Narrative Journalism

1 course unit

This course will introduce students to the basics of long-form, magazine-style news writing with the aim of publishing an original article online or with the Muhlenberg Weekly. Students will learn how to pitch story ideas, research, interview experts and craft long-form non-fiction article. The class will focus on skills such as peer editing, writing to a word count, fact-checking and writing under a deadline to create an authentic news writing experience. Additionally, students will read examples of great long-form journalism from magazines and newspapers, analyze the articles for best practices in reporting and critique writing style and storytelling techniques through reflections and discussion. 

   Meets the general academic requirement HU