Communication | MEDIA STUDIES


Media Studies Minor (17 credits)

The minor in Media Studies includes a mix of theoretical, critical, aesthetic and practical approaches to media content, systems, and institutions. Students may also create their own media content including films, documentaries, and multimedia products using traditional and emerging technologies.


( 3 credits)

COMM 230 Introduction to Mass Media

Study of the structure, roles and processes of the mass media. Primary emphasis is on radio, television and film. Examination of effects on society. CSUS Common Course.

Any of the following ( 6 credits)

COMM 227 Introduction to TV Production (or)

Introduce students to the terminology and workings of visual communication and broadcasting. Become acquainted with the structures and organization of TV stations and production houses. Practice basic hands-on production and storytelling and work across different media platforms. Learn about new trends in social media, run a youtube site and contribute to blogs.

COMM 228 Introduction to Digital Film Production

This course introduces students to filmmaking processes, techniques and technologies as powerful and creative tools for communication. Image creation, audio acquisition and post-production practices, conceive and investigate ideas, engage ina creative/critical process and utilize new media technologies to construct simple messages. Hands-on workshops, viewing of films and creating media.

COMM 231 Communication Technologies

Hands-on introduction of new technologies within this evolving field, utilizing and exploring communication and publication technologies for print and/or online channels. Participation in the creative process while developing needed technical skills tied to design and content creation.

COMM 255 Visual Communication (or)

Introduces the codes and conventions of visual communication through the study of photography, paintings, advertising campaigns, television, video, film and the web. Addresses the role of visual culture in a (multi)media immersed public domain.

COMM 220 Introduction to History of Film

Survey of 100 years of movies from all over the world. Emphasizes the development of film as a narrative art, using films that are breakthroughs in creative expression and audience involvement.

COMM 336 Media Literacy

A review of current changes in philosophy, content, and processes in media use and application as this use affects society and its value system.

Additional credits from the following list (8 credits)

COMM 315 Political Communication (3 credits)

Examines different theoretical approaches to gender and the implications these have for our understanding of communication theories and practices.

COMM 319 Filmic Narrative

Explores the most relevant elements used in filmic narrative to create meaning. The course further helps students identify ideological contents behind and beyond the audiovisual discourse.

COMM 327 TV Production

This course offers an introduction to field studio production. Foundations of television production (use of equipment, lighting, audio, scripting, new media, pre-production, production and post production editing).

COMM 328 Digital Film Production I

Expands and explores the creation of ideas, characters and conflicts through the production process. Students advance their methods of visual coverage, engage in audio acquisition, while also testing and developing their ideas through the pre-production, production and post production process. This course is geared for those interested in documentary production, independent filmmaking and/or commercial advertising.

COMM 329 Screenwriting

Development of critical thinking and debate skills as a basis for thoughtful and effective communication. Analysis of arguments and persuasive appeals.

COMM 332 Web-Publishing

Theoretical and practical knowledge tied to using digital technologies to create messages for different target audiences. Focuses upon the radical novelties that the Web introduces in the field of Mass Communication and the implication in the creation of meaning.

COMM 338 Analysis of News

Broad array of critical and interpretive skills that can be used to analyze the news. Examines economic, social and political underpinnings in the manufacturing of the news, and the processes affecting the formal and structural characteristics of the news. Substantial practical experience in the process of news analysis.

COMM 345 Writing for Electronic Media

How to research, create, write, and produce news stories and narratives for broadcast and web-based media.

COMM 380 Women in Film

How to research, create, write, and produce news stories and narratives for broadcast and web-based media.

COMM 382 American Cinema

Examines the film industry in the United States. The genres of Hollywood cinema and independent films will be studied as unique economic, industrial, aesthetic, and cultural institutions.

COMM 410 Public Opinion

Dissects the social-psychological phenomenon of public opinion to understand its nature as well as to explore its social function. Goes in depth into the most important public opinion research methodologies.  Three hours of class lectures and additional one-on-one work to develop and refine a research project.

COMM 420 Principles of Digital Photography for Convergent Media

Overview of the concepts, skills, and foundations of digital photography and its relevance and utility for convergent technologies such as the world wide web, streaming, podcasting, television production. Further explores its integration into media industries.

COMM 427 Studio Production

This studio-based course enhances production skills in both the field and studio. Emphasis on story conception, development and scripting . Enhance skills in cinematography, directing, lighting design, non-linear editing and audio acquisition in such genres as news, graphics, animation and other aspects of live television.

COMM 428 Digital Film Production II

Advance and diversify storytelling techniques, filmmaking skills and methods of collaboration through field production and scripted recreation. Confronting and overcoming complicated issues and obstacles of live production, while also incorporating aspects of directed work, develops a filmmakers technical, aesthetic and critical abilities within both documentary and fictional filmmaking. Students cast, collaborate, explore, interview and direct truthful, thematically relevant and visually rich recreations. This work also includes aspects of sound design, style and ethical issues related to interpretation.

COMM 431 Mass Media and Society

Examines the place of the mass media in society. Specifically, how the mass media affect and are affected by social, economic, cultural and political forces.

COMM 432 Media in Film

Using filmic fiction and theoretical works of mass communication, this course will analyze how advertising, public relations, television, and radio are portrayed in the media.  We will combine critical movies with other stories that deal with the subject in a more positive or ideal way, and reflect on the power of new media to establish virtual relationships.

COMM 436 Advance Multimedia Production

Strategies and techniques for integrating audiovisual messages in Web-projects. Explores the potential of Internet to integrate different media formats and enhance the interactivity with the audiences. Further studies the current use of Web-publishing in specific professional fields, such as public relations, political communication, journalism, or education.

COMM 485 Topics in Media and Culture

Knowledge, attitude, and behavior-change strategies related to environmental and natural resource conservation issues. Coercive, incentive based, and communication-based change strategies will be contrasted. Additional written work will be required for graduate students.

COMM 487 TV Documentary

Building upon a broad overview of the history of television documentary, both in the United States and overseas, the projects in the course are production centered: two mini documentaries will be produced by individuals in the class. Students are asked to also analyze chosen documentary examples to develop a deeper understanding of the subject matter.

COMM 435 Images of Gender in the Media

Examines media constructions and representations of femininity and masculinity. Focus on popular forms of media including television, film, and advertising.

COMM 445 Advertising and Society

Study of the relationship between communication and social change and the impact of socio-political and communication strategies on the achievement of effective community development and social change objectives. Additional written work will be required for graduate students.

COMM 455 Global Visual Communication

Examines visual communication and culture as well as visual competence and media literacy within a global perspective. Studies the impact of globalization on the circulation of messages via new technologies, and the circulation of consumer goods, brand packaging and the significance of gender.

COMM 488 Film Documentary

Course is an advanced level production class in which students create an original, individually conceived documentary video. Project development, production, and editing techniques that are specific to documentary. Students learn advanced techniques of shooting and editing, audio and microphone techniques, field lighting, interviewing techniques, and documentary story structure. Students also learn how to develop voice and point-of-view as well as understand how to work within the various documentary genres.

COMM 490/492 Internship (3 - 6 credits)

Work in approved organization. Series of consultations and assigned readings and a final paper describing practical experiences in relation to theory are required.

COMM 493 Seminar in Communication

This capstone course for majors provides students with a structured environment in which to complete an independent research and/or mediated project.  Students will engage in peer workshops, and reflect upon the knowledge they have acquired in the discipline while honing their research and/or communication skills.

COMM 496 Field Studies in Communication (3 credits)

This course normally involves travel outside the United States. May be repeated for a maximum of nine credits.

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