Department of Communication

College of Arts and Sciences

Nanette Hogg, Ph.D., Chair (308) 865-1574,

Tiffani Luethke, Graduate Program Committee Chair, (308) 865-8412,

Master of Arts in Public Communication

Public Communication - Master of Arts

JMC 801 – Social and Emerging Media     3 credit hours

History of media leading to the development of web based social media. Includes focus on critical analysis of new media technologies and strategies for using social media for public relations for corporate, social, or nonprofit purposes.

JMC 802 – Media Technology and Narrative     3 credit hours

Storytellers of all ages in the digital age have more tools at their disposal than ever before to create and distribute content. Today's professional communicators, whether involved in news/editorial, public relations, advertising, or related fields, need to tell stories in many ways, use different media technologies, and engage with many different audiences. This class is designed for working professionals and educators with minimal media production experience.

JMC 825P – Public Policy and the Media     3 credit hours

This course provides students with a systematic framework for ethical decision-making in mass communications. Ethics theory is examined in combination with the practice of ethics commonly applied by media professionals including print and broadcast news practitioners as well as those involved in the fields of public relations and advertising.

JMC 831 – Critical Approaches to Media     3 credit hours

This advanced course provides an exhaustive survey of the major concepts, methods, theories, scholars, debates, and changes in critical media studies. Students will work on developing questions that can provide insight into media texts, foregrounding an agenda that does the following: (1) fosters an understanding of contemporary media theory; and (2) allows students to think critically about the power and influence of the media as well as the construction and negotiation of social meanings therein. Students will produce a conference-ready paper that questions how a mediated phenomenon of their choice comes to make sense in a particular context at a given time.

JMC 835 – International Media and Society     3 credit hours

This course is focused on helping students understand how global media functions in our world today. Around the globe media is used as both a source of resistance and an ideological tool of regimes. By understanding media as an artifact, we can often learn about a culture by studying its popular media. Also, as our world becomes more connected, global media becomes more accessible. This often leads to cultural influence across borders. Global media literacy will only become increasingly more important for communication professionals in the future. This class will train students in the skills necessary to gain that literacy.

JMC 860P – Mass Media & Society     3 credit hours

An examination of the theories, issues and controversies surrounding the mass media. Particular emphasis will be given to press ethics, freedom, and media effects.

JMC 899P – Topics     3 credit hours

Selected topics and problems of current interest considered in-depth. Classroom or on-line discussions, course projects or research problems. Topics vary each semester depending on instructor; however, the purpose of the course is to offer an opportunity for students to study either fresh topics of particular timeliness or standard topics in more theoretical depth than appropriate in other existing courses.
Total Credits Allowed: 6.00

SPCH 801P – Special Topics in Speech Communications     1-3 credit hours

Course work on a specific topic of communication designed by the instructor. Topics vary per offering.
Total Credits Allowed: 3.00

SPCH 802 – Introduction to Graduate Study in Communication     3 credit hours

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the study of communication at the graduate level and to prepare students for success in the graduate program. We will focus on the nature of communication as a field of study; on skills which will assist you in future courses; and on the expectations and requirements for completion of the graduate program. This course is designed, in part, to familiarize students with the faculty in the graduate program and to assist students in identifying potential advisors for their thesis or practicum.

SPCH 803 – Strategic Communication     3 credit hours

This course will analyze and explore the multifaceted world of public relations and strategic communication. It will focus on the general characteristics and functions of the industry along with the specific responsibilities of PR and Communication professionals.

SPCH 804 – Health Communication     3 credit hours

This course provides an overview and introduction to health communication. We will cover the breadth of health communication, including interpersonal health communication, patient-provider communication, and persuasive health messaging. This course will give students a foundation in health communication research, exposing them to the breadth of the field. Through course readings and assignments students will explore health communication, including interpersonal health communication, patient-provider communication, and persuasive health messaging. Assignments in this class will include papers, tests, and application (designing theory-based promotions). By the end of the semester, students will be able to engage with health communication as a field, have a basic understanding of multiple theories utilized in health communication; understanding the basic constructs and be able to apply the theories correctly in both research and program design (health education/promotion programs), and will have a grasp at the complexity of health communication.

SPCH 805 – Administration and Direction of Forensic Programs     3 credit hours

Organization and administration of forensic programs in high schools and colleges, management of inter-school contests and tournaments, coaching of debate, discussion and individual events, and principles of judging.

SPCH 826 – Social Movements and International Media     3 credit hours

An exploration of theories and principles essential to understanding the communicative function and process of social movements. Special attention will be paid to understanding and learning how to construct persuasive messages intended to produce social change.

SPCH 830 – Teaching of Communication Studies     3 credit hours

The purpose of the course is to prepare the graduate student to teach communication courses, specifically Public Speaking, in an academic environment and/or training program of applied communication. To this end, time management, the learning environment, assessment, and current research in Instructional Communication will be presented and explored.

SPCH 841 – Science Communication     3 credit hours

Course examines science communication from multiple perspectives, including the exchange of ideas by science professionals; cross-disciplinary approaches for communicating science to broad audiences; perceptions of science as conveyed by mass media; and roles of science communication in society.

SPCH 845P – Diffusion of Innovations     3 credit hours

Diffusion of Innovations examines the adoption of innovations by individuals in a social system from the perspective of a communication based model. Examples of innovations include fashion trends, campaign slogans, communication technologies, hygiene practices, birth control, farming practices, hybrid powered automobiles, types of government rule (democracy) and genetically engineered foods. The diffusion phenomenon is examined emphasizing social and individual points of view. Class sessions are mostly based on lecture, with some discussion. Assessment tools include exams, case studies, and a final semester project. The final project will be presented to the class.

SPCH 846 – Introduction to Communication Research     3 credit hours

The purpose of this course is to broadly introduce students to qualitative and quantitative research approaches in the field of communication. To achieve this, students will read and interpret communication scholarship. Additionally, we will investigate ethical strategies for conducting research, including the issues of sampling, data collection, and data analysis techniques. Finally, we will discuss options for writing up and presenting research through exploration of various dissemination outlets.

SPCH 850P – Language, Thought & Action     3 credit hours

Students will study how people use language to exchange meaning, influence one another, and accomplish goals as a fundamental aspect of social interaction in any context. The focus of the course is on different theoretical perspectives used to understand language and different methods of examining social interaction.

SPCH 851P – Leadership Communication     3 credit hours

In today's dynamic, global work environment, leaders need to be able to communicate effectively with people located in the same geographical location or located anywhere across the globe. This course offers students an opportunity to evaluate and utilize numerous communication options to develop an authentic, powerful, leadership voice using interpersonal, technology-mediated, and intercultural communication competencies and techniques.

SPCH 852P – Advanced Organizational Communication     3 credit hours

Students in this course will investigate a variety of significant organizational communication issues that contribute to the development and maintenance of the organizational workplace. Students will apply theories through case studies and projects.

SPCH 853P – Interviewing     3 credit hours

Theories and techniques of interviewing, including information gathering, employment, appraisal, and persuasive interviewing.

SPCH 854P – Intercultural Communication     3 credit hours

Study of communication across cultures.

SPCH 855P – Communication Training and Consulting     3 credit hours

A study of how to plan, conduct, and evaluate communication training and development programs within the organization.

SPCH 856P – Rhetorical Theory     3 credit hours

A study of theories of persuasion in Greek, Roman, continental, and modern periods. Special emphasis on the works of Aristotle, Campbell, and Burke.

SPCH 860 – Directed Studies     1-4 credit hours

Independent research or special assignment in the student's major field.
Total Credits Allowed: 4.00

SPCH 875 – Public Communication Practicum     1-3 credit hours

Students will connect their graduate curriculum to professional experience in an effort to demonstrate an ability to apply coursework within an organization. Students will develop a completion paper that explains accomplishments in the practicum experience and connects these accomplishments to the graduate curriculum. Students will present their practicum findings to faculty.
Department Consent Required
Total Credits Allowed: 3.00

SPCH 875P – Internship     1-6 credit hours

Total Credits Allowed: 6.00

SPCH 876 – Public Communication Thesis     1-6 credit hours

In conjunction with their advisor, students will prepare a research project based on graduate coursework. The student's advisor and two additional graduate faculty will serve as the student's thesis committee. The committee will assemble for an oral defense of the thesis.
Department Consent Required
Total Credits Allowed: 6.00

SPCH 881 – Quantitative Research     3 credit hours

This class focuses on the introductory statistical techniques used in social science research. Students will be introduced to concepts such as reliability, validity, measures of central tendency, variability, probability, and statistical techniques including: t-tests (independent & dependent samples), Analysis of variance, Chi-square, correlation, and regression. Students are expected to take the material/concepts presented in class and apply them through a series of homework assignments and quizzes. The overall goal of the course is to help students understand the mathematical/statistical concepts presented and to assist in the application of these procedures.

SPCH 882 – Rhetorical Criticism     3 credit hours

This graduate seminar examines the use of rhetoric as a critical lens and a methodology to analyze artifacts. The class follows Kenneth Burkes approach of looking at life as drama (dramatism) that can be analyzed to better understand symbols and discourse around us. In addition to delving into theories of rhetorical criticism as a method (who gets to say what about what and to whom with what purpose?), we will also learn tools to examine the symbolicity of speeches, films, spaces, stories, culture, politics, etc. The class will take two approaches: to understand and critique exemplars of criticism and to give you the tools to perform criticism yourselves. In the dynamic space between subjective and objective, between author and audience, and between beauty and form lies the rhetorical critic.
Prerequisite: SPCH 856P or permission

SPCH 883 – Qualitative Research Methodology     3 credit hours

This course is focused on teaching students how to understand and conduct qualitative communication research. Special attention will be given to the philosophical assumptions behind qualitative research as well as the tools necessary to conduct. The class will also focus not only on the tools necessary to conduct research, but also on the epistemological questions of how knowledge is generated through research.

SPCH 890P – Theories of Interpersonal Communication     3 credit hours

A survey of major theories and research in interpersonal communication.

SPCH 892 – Seminar in Speech     3 credit hours

Concentrated study of selected topics in speech communication. (May be repeated for a total of 6 hours.)

SPCH 896 – Thesis     1-6 credit hours

This course provides guidance for a student to work on his/her master's thesis, which is the culminating experience in the UNK Public Communication program thesis option. Students will work with a Thesis Adviser to develop, research and prepare an original research project building on the curriculum. The project will conclude with a defense of the project to the student's thesis committee.
Department Consent Required
Total Credits Allowed: 6.00

SPCH 899 – Applied Communication Theory     3 credit hours

This course will cover the breadth of communication theory. We will discuss different philosophical approaches to theory; communication theories in a variety of contexts; and application of theories in every-day life. We will discuss communication theories in the contexts of intrapersonal, interpersonal, relational, group, organizational, mediated, and mass communication contexts, among others. The course will emphasize the application of theories to improve understanding of our own and others' communication and to assist in strategic communication planning.

SPCH 899P – Communication Theory     3 credit hours

A study of social and scientific theories of interpersonal, group, organizational, and mass communication.