Courses in Communication Studies (Division 352)

101. The Mass Media. (4). (SS).

This course is designed to provide an introductory overview of contemporary mass media systems and an examination of the various factors historical, economic, political, and cultural that have shaped their development. The course begins with a description of present print and electronic media and examines their evolution. Attention is given throughout to the legal and ethical implications of mass communication systems and to comparisons between American media systems and those elsewhere in the world. Finally, it considers the probable future course of the media and examines possible alternatives. Cost:2 WL:1 (Thrall)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

102. Media Processes and Effects. (4). (SS).

This course introduces students to the contemporary research on mass communication processes and effects. Basic processes involved in the production, dissemination, reception, and impact of media messages are examined. The course investigates a variety of effects on individuals' knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors, as well as influences on the functioning of larger social systems. It proceeds in general from investigations of individual-level to societal-level impact. Critical reading and evaluation of research on media processes and effects, and of its application to social policy debates, is encouraged and developed. Cost:2 WL:1 (Metzger)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

111. Workshop on Managing the Information Environment. (1). (Excl).

Hands-on workshop intended to develop student mastery of the rapidly developing and expanding electronic information environment. Skills developed include the use of electronic communication systems, data base searching, word processing, data management, and various research uses of public computer networks and the information superhighway. The course introduces students to a range of campus computing resources, including local area networks and available software, and remote access to the Internet and the World Wide Web. Problem-solving assignments are designed to teach strategies used in finding information and evaluating its validity and utility. Cost:2 WL:1
Check Times, Location, and Availability

211(206). Evaluating Information. Comm. Studies 111. (4). (SS). (QR/1).

This course teaches the fundamental thinking skills necessary for critical evaluation of research-based arguments, especially those based on quantitative information. Such skills are required for one to be a competent mass communicator of information, a critical consumer of information relayed by the mass media, or an intelligent scholar of media processes and effects. The course introduces generic logical and statistical concepts through analysis and discussion of specific cases drawn from research reported in the mass media (e.g., health and business news, public opinion polls), research on the media, (e.g., the impact of media violence), and research for the media (e.g., audience research). Students' logical and quantitative reasoning skills are improved through a variety of "hands-on" exercises and projects (many involving computerized spreadsheet programs). The course is introductory in nature, and no prior statistical expertise is required. Cost:2 WL:1 (Traugott)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

305/Ling. 305/Poli. Sci. 305. Political and Advertising Discourse. Junior standing. (3). (Excl).

See Linguistics 305. (Heath)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

321(450). Undergraduate Internship. Junior standing, concentration in Communication Studies, and permission of instructor. No more than eight credits combined of Comm. Studies 321 and 322 may be elected. (1-6). (Excl). Offered mandatory credit/no credit. May not be used to satisfy communication studies electives in a communication studies concentration plan. No more than eight credits combined of Comm. Studies 321 and 322 may be elected. (EXPERIENTIAL). May be elected for a total of eight credits.

The internship is designed to provide Communication Studies concentrators limited credit for appropriate practical work experience. Time requirement for a 2-credit internship is approximately 12-15 hours per week for a 14 week term. Student evaluation is based on satisfactory completion of the internship and written recommendation of the internship sponsor. Internship credit is not retroactive and must be pre-arranged.
Check Times, Location, and Availability

322. Practicum. Permission of department. Practicum credit is not retroactive and must be prearranged. No more than eight credits combined of Comm. Studies 321 and 322 may be elected. (1-6). (Excl). Offered mandatory credit/no credit. May not be used to satisfy communication studies electives in a communication studies concentration plan. No more than eight credits combined of Comm. Studies 321 and 322 may be elected. (EXPERIENTIAL). May be elected for a total of eight credits.

The practicum is designed to provided Communication Studies concentrators limited credit for appropriate practical experience gained in other than an employment setting. Time requirement for a 2-credit practicum is approximately 12-15 hours per week for a 14 week term. Student evaluation is based on satisfactory completion of an analytical evaluation (e.g., research-based paper) of the experience, under direction of the practicum supervisor.
Check Times, Location, and Availability

351. Structure and Function of Media Systems. Comm. Studies 101 or 102 strongly recommended. (4). (SS).

This course examines research and scholarship focused on existing media institutions, their genesis and current lines of development, institutional arrangements, organization and operation, economic structure, and characteristic communications "output." Course topics may include: the history of media systems; media and government, including legal, regulatory, and free-expression issues; media economics; international media systems; technologies; media organizational routines; and the values and behavior of media professionals. The course investigates the ways in which institutional, economic, and organizational arrangements affect professional behavior and media content, with attention to media system changes over time and in comparative contexts. Cost:2 WL:1 (Ohmer)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

361. Processes of Mediated Communication. Comm. Studies 101 or 102 strongly recommended. (4). (SS).

This course examines general phenomena involved with the creation, dissemination, and reception of mediated information. Course topics may include: information processing, including message encoding and decoding; media priming and framing of evaluations and decisions; influences of message structure and communication modalities on processing; media use and reception, including interpretive processes; information flow and control, focusing on influences of communication networks, message diffusion, and information gatekeeping; and communicative processes of learning, persuasion, and social influence. The emphasis is on the development and testing of general theories explaining how mediated communication works, even though research examined will center on particular cases (e.g., studies of priming in political communication). Cost:2 WL:1 (Price)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

371. Media, Culture, and Society. Comm. Studies 101 or 102 strongly recommended. (4). (SS).

This course explores social and cultural approaches to the study of mass communication. Course topics studied may include: communication and social identity, including race, ethnicity and gender; media's role in defining and reflecting culture; the equity of community, state, and worldwide information systems, including debates over the "new world communication order," postcolonialism, and globalization; media audiences as interpretive communities; media and social movements; and the role of media in altering and maintaining political and social order. Research on mass communication is examined in connection with broader questions about the relations between cultural systems and social formations, and about the dynamics of social and cultural change and contestation. Cost:2 WL:1 (Douglas)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

381. Media Impact on Knowledge, Values, and Behavior. Comm. Studies 101 or 102 strongly recommended. (4). (SS).

This course critically evaluates research and scholarship focused on the impact of mass communication in a variety of substantive domains. Media impact is treated both in theoretical and applied terms. The research examined spans levels of analysis, including effects on individuals as well as society at large. Topics to be covered include media impact on: social values; educational development; political behavior; violence and aggressive behavior; consumer behavior; health; emotion and mood; and on children. Research on the use of mass communication in public information campaigns is also reviewed, as is the role of media research in providing guidance for social policy makers and media professionals. Cost:2 WL:1 (Harrison)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

439. Seminar in Journalistic Performance. (1-4). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of eight credits.

This course will evaluate media coverage of the U.S. Supreme Court, in the context of long-range factors affecting the ability of news media to function in a democracy. This seminar will examine the scope and content of news reporting on major cases before the court. How accurately, fairly and adequately do news organizations cover the cases as they proceed through the legal system? Do the media help the American public gain a broad public impact of each case? In addition to an overview of media coverage of the major current and recent cases, each student will select one new case under consideration by the court this term and study in detail how well it is being covered by the different media. Cost:2 WL:1 (Collings)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

441. Independent Reading. Permission of department. (1-8). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT). Comm. 441 and 442 may be repeated for a combined total of eight credits. No more than four credits may be included in a Communication concentration.

Intended for individualized instruction in subject areas not covered by scheduled courses. Must be arranged with the faculty member. Cost:2 WL:1
Check Times, Location, and Availability

442. Independent Research. Permission of department. (1-8). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT). Comm. Studies 441 and 442 may be repeated for a combined total of eight credits. No more than four credits may be included in a Communication concentration.

Intended for original, individualized student research under the direction of a faculty supervisor. Must be arranged with the faculty member. Cost:2 WL:1
Check Times, Location, and Availability

452. Media Law and Policy. Comm. Studies 351 or 371 strongly recommended. (3). (Excl).

This course covers the basic principles of media law and its applications in connection with media practice and regulation. Topics covered include First Amendment theory, hate speech, prior restraints, libel, indecency, obscenity and pornography, media censorship, rights to privacy, freedom of information and public rights of access, advertising and consumer regulation, and electronic media regulation. Cost:2 WL:1 (Metzger)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

453(400). The Media in American History. Comm. Studies 351 or 371 strongly recommended. (3). (SS).

This course places the development of American mass media in historical perspective. It surveys the evolution of the mass media from colonial times to the present, focusing on the development of contemporary forms: the newspaper, magazine, broadcasting, and motion picture. Changes in the structure of the media are examined in connection with historical and economic trends in American society. While there are no specific prerequisites, a general grounding in American history is recommended. Cost:2 WL:1 (Craig)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

459. Seminar in Media Systems. Comm. Studies 351 or 371 strongly recommended. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of 6 credits.

This course will investigate coverage of foreign news as a reflection of the structure and function of media systems. What factors influence decisions as to how much coverage to give to developments overseas, at the UN, and at the State Department? What criteria do the media use for deciding which events to cover and at what length, and how valid are these criteria? What value systems do they reflect? How successfully do the media make foreign news relevant to American readers and viewers? What special problems do foreign correspondents face? Cost:2 WL:1 (Craig)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

462. Social Influence and Persuasion. Comm. Studies 361 or 381 strongly recommended. Students who have taken Communication 310 in a previous term should not enroll in this course. (4). (Excl).

This course examines the capability of the mass media to persuade, and the basic processes involved. Both cognitive and social-psychological theories of influence are examined in detail, and in connection with a variety of persuasive phenomena, including advertising, media campaigns, and propaganda. Conditions that facilitate or impede the persuasive influence of media messages are investigated, as are the ethical implications of employing the mass media to influence audiences. Cost:2 WL:1 (Salomonson)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

464. Communication Processes and Technologies. Comm. Studies 361 or 381 strongly recommended. (3). (Excl).

A survey of the present state and future applications of interactive communication technologies, cable and satellite delivery systems, worldwide computing networks, and other new electronic media. The course examines the impact of these technological developments on basic mass communication processes, against the backdrop of research on the interplay of technology, society, and behavior. Topics include the impact of communication modalities on cognitive processing of messages, spatial and cultural "biases" of different media technologies, and the manner in which communication technologies are adapted and implemented for commercial purposes. Cost:2 WL:1 (Thrall)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

474. Mass Communication and Identity. Comm. Studies 351 or 371 strongly recommended. (3). (Excl).

This course explores the role of mass communication in shaping personal and social identity. Special attention is given to the ways in which the mass media can create, sustain, or alter ethnic culture and subcultures. Topics include the ethnic media in contemporary America, including the role of the media in immigrant communities, and the complex interplay of "mainstream" and minority cultural life. Cost:2 WL:1 (Wolfe)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

481. Media and Violence. Comm. Studies 351 or 371 strongly recommended. (3). (Excl).

This course examines the theoretical and empirical connections between violence in society and portrayals of violence in the mass media. The course explores the reasons for the prevalence of violent themes in television, film, and other popular media, and investigates the psychological and social mechanisms through which media portrayals might influence attitudes and behavior. Because one cannot fully understand the relation between violence and violence in society without first understanding the causes of aggressive and violent behavior, we will begin by examining the nature of aggressive and violent behavior and how it develops. In Section 002, we will discuss the role of the media as socializing agents in general. In Section 003, we will delve into the research and theory on the link between media violence and aggression. Finally, in Section 004 we will discuss societal and psychological approaches to controlling violence and the effects of media violence as well as issues of media policy. Cost:2 : WL:1 (Huesmann)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

484(420)/Pol. Sci. 420. Mass Media and Political Behavior. Comm. Studies 361 or 381 strongly recommended. (4). (Excl).

This course focuses on the role and importance of mass media in the political process. Topics include: how news is made; political advertising; relations between Congress, the President and the media; and the role of mass media in political campaigns. These topics are examined through a systematic review of research in both mass communication and political science. Primary emphasis is on the American political system, but comparisons are drawn with other advanced industrial democracies. Cost:2 WL:1 (Valentino)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

485(463)/Soc. 463. Mass Communication and Public Opinion. Comm. Studies 351 or 371 strongly recommended. (3). (SS).

This course explores enduring research questions concerning mass communication and public opinion. Important normative and conceptual issues (e.g., the role of the press in a democratic society; the susceptibility of citizens to media influence; the differentiation of mass, crowd, and public; the relationship of attitudes to opinions) are first identified and examined by reviewing writings in social philosophy and social science. These issues are then investigated further through a review of relevant research in sociology, political science, social psychology, and mass communication. Emphasis is given to recent research dealing with the impact of the media on public opinion. Cost:2 WL:1 (Craig)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

489. Seminar in Media Effects. Comm. Studies 361 or 381 strongly recommended. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of 6 credits.

This seminar seeks to explore phenomena related to the impact of Mass Communication exposure on the individualsí affective states. Toward this end, several topics will be discussed including the definition of mood, affect, and emotion and the impact of media presentations on each; an examination of how affect can influence the encoding and decoding of information, selection of content, priming and other cognitive information processing; and an overview of some recent studies conducted in the mass communication discipline and others which link affect and media exposure. Cost:2 WL:1 (Salomonson)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

491(590). Senior Honors Seminar, I. Comm. Studies 311 and admission to Honors. (3). (Excl). No more than 3 credits of Comm. Studies 491-492 may be included in a Communication concentration plan.

This is the first in a two-part Honors seminar sequence of seminars that Honors concentrators in Communication Studies must take during their senior year while writing a senior thesis. During this first seminar, offered only in the Fall, students develop thesis topics, decide on a choice of methods, and write a prospectus. To be eligible for enrollment students must be accepted as Honors concentrators during the second term of their junior year. Admissions as a Honors concentrators requires a cumulative GPA of 3.3, and at least a 3.5 in departmental course work, and a passing grade of B or higher in Communication Studies 311. Qualified applicants should meet with the Honors Advisor during the second term of their junior year to be evaluated for admission. Cost:2 WL:1 (Huesmann)
Check Times, Location, and Availability


lsa logo

University of Michigan | College of LS&A | Student Academic Affairs | LS&A Bulletin Index

This page maintained by LS&A Academic Information and Publications, 1228 Angell Hall

The Regents of the University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 USA +1 734 764-1817

Trademarks of the University of Michigan may not be electronically or otherwise altered or separated from this document or used for any non-University purpose.