Mass Communication

Mass Communication

Mass Communication is the mass production or mass distribution of news, art, entertainment, or persuasive messages intended for a large audience, in all media from print to corporate communications to independent online broadcasting – from the Wall Street Journal to Instagram. Our Mass Communication curriculum combines theory and practice to provide students with the breadth and depth of a Liberal Arts education and the hands-on production experience that will prepare them for the professional world.

If you enjoy writing, organizing information, engaging with media culture, and connecting with others, and aspire to a meaningful livelihood communicating ideas, proposals, and useful information to readers, listeners, viewers, and audiences worldwide from your company, computer, or community, Mass Communication is the career path for you.


What You’ll Learn from Us

  • How to inform, explain, influence, persuade, mediate, and negotiate
  • Critical thinking and precise reasoning in legal and ethical mass media issues
  • Effective oral, written, visual, and digital communication skills
  • Media literacy skills that will assist you in the analysis of the impact of mass communication on individuals and society
  • A historical understanding of the evolution of media industries and technology that will assist you in mapping cultural change and allow you to take an active and responsible role in shaping our contemporary media culture
  • The theoretical and practical principles of public relations and advertising
  • The theory and practice of publication design and layout (including the Adobe Creative Suite, Adobe Photoshop, WordPress)
  • The theoretical and practical principles of multimedia production (including the Adobe Creative Suite, Adobe Premiere)

Mass Communication majors will earn a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication from a university system with a stellar national and international reputation.  Their degree will prepare them to work in many fields of mass communication or to continue studies in a graduate program. 

In general, students will learn about the world of mass media, polishing verbal and writing skills, devising public relations campaigns, writing news stories, researching topics from advertising and politics to comic books and video games, or creating ads, magazine layouts, and even short films.

The first course, Introduction to Mass Communication, will survey all mass media and communication industries so students can decide to focus on the ones that interest them the most. Required courses in media writing, media law and ethics, mass communication theory, and research methods, will provide a professional foundation for any specialization studied through elective courses in advertising, broadcasting, journalism, media studies, or public relations.


What You’ll Do Here

Mass Communication majors will have many professional development opportunities, including (but not limited to):

  • writing for our digital campus newspaper Eagle Eye, or starting a multimedia blog
  • studying the history of American film and television and providing coverage of a film festival;
  • devising an advertising strategy for an area business;
  • producing short films or graphic design work to establish a professional portfolio; and
  • working in public relations to contribute to a Texarkana non-profit organization.

Graduates of our program have produced marketing materials for the university, programmed a weekly film series with guest speakers, contributed to an A&M-Texarkana graphic design showcase, and planned a trip to the Turner Classic Movies Film Festival in Los Angeles. And our Mass Communication Club has competed at the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association convention and been awarded Student Organization of the Year.

Mass Communication Careers

Advertiser                                  Filmmaker                                    Newscaster

Broadcaster                               Fundraising Manager                  Press Secretary

Communication                          Graphic Designer                        Producer

Consultant                                 Journalist                                     Public Affairs Analyst

Community Affairs                      Lobbyist                                      Public Relations

Director                                      Managing Editor                          Publicist

Copy Editor                                Marketing Manager                     Publisher

Corporate Communications       Marketing Researcher                 Recruiter

Director                                      Media Critic                                 Screenwriter

Documentarian                           Media Relations Director            Social Marketer

Editor                                          Media Spokesperson                 Special Events Promoter

Editorial Project Manager            Narrator                                     Teacher/Professor

Events Manager                          News Director                            and many more


Interested?

Please contact the Undergraduate Program Coordinator Dr. Drew Morton at drew.morton@tamut.edu or (903) 223-3033; or the Graduate Program Coordinator Dr. Kevin Ells at (903) 223-3040 or kevin.ells@tamut.edu.  You may also visit the Mass Communication website for additional information.

Degree Requirements

Students should refer to their DegreeWorks degree audit in their Web for Students account for more information regarding their degree requirements.

General Education Requirements42
MAJOR CORE REQUIREMENTS
***Students MUST earn a grade of "C" or better in all coursework in the MCOM major or minor***
MCOM 1307Introduction to Mass Communication 53
MCOM 2310Media Writing3
MCOM 300Mass Communication Theory3
MCOM 305Media Law and Ethics3
MCOM 350Mass Communication Research Methods3
MCOM 490Internship in Mass Communication3
Students must select 24 semester credit hours in Mass Communication electives from any of the following areas: 624
Strategic Communication
Introduction to Public Relations
Principles of Advertising
Advanced Professional Communication
Case Studies in Advertising
Public Relations Campaigns
Visual Design and Production
Introduction to Media Production
Publication Design and Production
Advanced Editing, Layout and Design
Advanced Video Production
News and Feature Writing
Advanced News Writing and Reporting
Photojournalism
Feature Writing
Copy Editing
Advanced Photojournalism
Film and Media Studies
Introduction to American Film History
Introduction to International Film
Concepts in Classical Film
Popular Culture and Mass Communication
Broadcast Production
Broadcast Radio News Production
Television News Production
Writing for Broadcast
Television Production
Other MCOM electives (not offered on a regular basis)
Film Appreciation
The Art of the Comic Book
Communication in Today's Media Saturated World
Independent Study
Research in Mass Communication
Special Topics in Mass Communication
***Students MUST earn a grade of "C" or better in all coursework in the MCOM major or minor***
MINOR REQUIREMENTS18
Minimum 18 semester credit hours in an approved, existing minor program from this or another college
ELECTIVES (as needed to satisfy minimum degree requirements including 45 semester credit hours of Upper Division Coursework)
TOTAL HOURS120
5

This course is a blanket prerequisite for all upper division MCOM courses, except when taken concurrently with instructor permission.

6

Must complete lower division courses as prerequisites for most upper division courses. See Course List for specific requirements.

Note: A minimum of 45 upper division hours are required for this degree.  Resident credit totaling 25% of the total hours is required for the degree.

Mass Communication Minor Requirements

MCOM 1307Introduction to Mass Communication3
ANY 2000-level Mass Communication course3
ONE of these 300-level courses:3
Media Law and Ethics
Mass Communication Theory
Mass Communication Research Methods
ANY 3 other Mass Communication courses (including at least 2 upper-division courses)9
***Students MUST earn a grade of "C" or better in all coursework in the MCOM major or minor***
18-hour total must include at least 9 hours in upper-division courses
Total Hours18

Undergraduate Courses in Mass Communication

MCOM 1111. Film Appreciation. 1 Hour.

Despite its longevity in our culture, the cinema is generally appreciated by the public as "successful" when it provides entertainment. This one-credit seminar will analyze film appreciation beyond "two-thumbs up" and the Rotten Tomato meter. While film appreciation is often subjective, it takes critical thinking, clear communication skills, and a historical understanding of the medium to provide it with substance.

MCOM 1112. The Art of the Comic Book. 1 Hour.

The American comic strip and its long-form successors - the comic book and the graphic novel - have only recently experienced a shift from the cultural gutter to the stars. This one-credit seminar will analyze this cultural evolution through a historical cultural emphasis while accounting for the narrative and stylistic developments of the medium.

MCOM 1113. Communication in Today's Media Saturated World. 1 Hour.

This one-credit seminar involves students in discussions and readings about media and communication in the 21st Century.

MCOM 1307. Introduction to Mass Communication. 3 Hours.

Introducing the fields of mass communication, this course surveys theory, law and ethics, history, social implications, and mass media industries.

MCOM 2310. Media Writing. 3 Hours.

Students will practice writing mechanics and apply writing skills to journalism, public relations, advertising, and broadcasting.

MCOM 2330. Introduction to Media Production. 3 Hours.

This course provides an introduction to video production in the context of film history and film as an artistic medium.

MCOM 2340. Introduction to Public Relations. 3 Hours.

Students will learn how to gather, analyze, organize, synthesize, and communicate information needed in the public relations profession.

MCOM 2350. Principles of Advertising. 3 Hours.

An examination of the role of advertising and how an advertising agency functions, this course surveys global issues impacting advertising and the increasingly global nature of advertising campaigns as well as the role of diverse cultures in selecting and targeting ad campaigns.

MCOM 2360. Publication Design and Production. 3 Hours.

A detailed overview of mass media publication design and production processes and techniques is provided in this course.

MCOM 2370. Introduction to American Film History. 3 Hours.

Students will study the technology, the industrial structures, the personnel, and the films that have marked the evolution of cinema in America from 1890s to the contemporary period from silent shorts, through the rise and fall of the Hollywood studio system, to the period of conglomeration and convergence that currently defines the industry.

MCOM 2380. Introduction to International Film. 3 Hours.

Students will study the technology, the industrial structures, the personnel, and the films that have marked the evolution of cinema internationally from the 1890s to the contemporary period from silent shorts to direct engagement and competition with Hollywood. Subtopics include Russian Formalism, German Expressionism, French Surrealism, Italian neo-Realism, the French New Wave, and the international rise of the art cinema in the 60s and 70s.

MCOM 289. Independent Study. 1-3 Hours.

This course provides individual instruction. Students may repeat the course when topics vary.

MCOM 300. Mass Communication Theory. 3 Hours.

This course investigates the dominant theories of mass and mediated communication processes and effects, and the functions of theories in social scientific research related to media. Prerequisite: MCOM 1307 with a minimum grade of C, or concurrently with permission of instructor.

MCOM 305. Media Law and Ethics. 3 Hours.

The influence of constitutional rights, statutory restrictions, court precedents, self-imposed and public restrictions on news coverage and ethics of journalism will be examined in this course. Prerequisite: MCOM 1307 with a minimum grade of C, or concurrently with permission of instructor.

MCOM 306. Broadcast Radio News Production. 3 Hours.

An introduction to techniques of gathering, analyzing, and writing news and features for broadcast, this course also offers practice in interviewing, observation, and use of documentary references that include computer information retrieval and analysis skills. Prerequisite: MCOM 1307 with a minimum grade of C.

MCOM 310. Advanced News Writing and Reporting. 3 Hours.

This course is an advanced study in the methods used in gathering and writing news. Prerequisite: MCOM 2310 with minimum grade of C.

MCOM 311. Television News Production. 3 Hours.

Reporting, preparing, and presenting news for television will be practiced, along with discussion and practice in writing, videotaping and editing news for TV. This course also analyzes the use of photographs and graphics as visuals, the use of sound in TV news, and ethical challenges of the TV reporter and editor. Prerequisite: MCOM 1307 with a minimum grade of C.

MCOM 312. Photojournalism. 3 Hours.

This introductory photojournalism course fosuces on the basics of light, camera operation, and the use of chemical and digital darkrooms, including spot news and feature photography as well as instruction in ethics, privacy and law. Prerequisite: MCOM 1307 with a minimum grade of C.

MCOM 315. Writing for Broadcast. 3 Hours.

Principles of writing for radio and television will be examined. Students will practice writing commercials, underwriter announcements, public service announcements and news. Prerequisite: MCOM 2310 with minimum grade of C.

MCOM 316. International Field Study in Journalism. 3 Hours.

Students will become familiar with media and political systems of another country. Ten-day travel to the country will be required. Course may be repeated one time for a different country of study. Prerequisite: MCOM 1307 with a minimum grade of C; course also requires travel outside of the United States.

MCOM 350. Mass Communication Research Methods. 3 Hours.

This course explains essential research skills required in mass communication professions, including fact-checking, source verification, interviewing, and basic statistical analysis. Prerequisite: MCOM 1307 with a minimum grade of C, or concurrently with permission of instructor.

MCOM 380. Advanced Professional Communication. 3 Hours.

As students progress in their professional careers, advanced public speaking and presentations may be key to their success. This course will help students prepare and deliver presentations typical of governmental, business, educational and civil settings with focus on interview skills and intercultural communication.

MCOM 410. Feature Writing. 3 Hours.

This course provides an introduction to the world of the magazine and what it takes to participate in that world as professionals with focuses on researching subjects in depth and long-form article writing. Prerequisite: MCOM 2310 with a minimum grade of C.

MCOM 411. Advanced Editing, Layout and Design. 3 Hours.

This course provides advanced layout and design skills required for Mass Communication professionals. Prerequisite: MCOM 2360 with a minimum grade of C.

MCOM 412. Copy Editing. 3 Hours.

This course covers editing for various media including the Web, broadcast, newspapers, magazines and corporate publications. Prerequisite: MCOM 2310 with a minimum grade of C.

MCOM 415. News Analysis and Opinion Writing. 3 Hours.

This study of editorials, commentary, reviews, news analysis, and criticism examines editorial boards, generating ideas for columns and writing books, theater and film criticism. Prerequisite: MCOM 2310 with a minimum grade of C.

MCOM 416. Television Production. 3 Hours.

The fundamentals of video production in a multi-camera studio and Electronic Field Production (EFP) environment are provided, including pre-production, production, direction and editing, including functions and responsibilities of the production crew and the equipment. Prerequisite: MCOM 1307 with a minimum grade of C.

MCOM 417. Advanced Video Production. 3 Hours.

This seminar deals with the theory of film and a practicum that results in a series of videographic criticism that brings together the theoretical readings of the course, a research subject, and film production technology. Students are expected to critically engage with readings in essay format and in in-class discussion and to utilize them as a philosophical foundation for their visual essay.

MCOM 418. Concepts in Classical Film. 3 Hours.

Theories of film that marked the first fifty years of the field of Cinema Studies are discussed in this course. Topics and authors include: film language and film form (Sergei Eisenstein, Andre' Bazin), the relationship between film and reality (Siegfried Kracauer, Bazin), Film as a narrative art form (Tom Gunning, David Bordwell), authorship and genre (Andrew Sarris, Peter Wollen, Thomas Schatz, Leo Braudy, Rick Altman, and Robin Wood), and psychology and ideology (Christian Metz, Laura Mulvey).

MCOM 419. Popular Culture and Mass Communication. 3 Hours.

Theories of media studies that have broadened the scope of the field in the past thirty years are discussed in this course. Topics and authors include: comics studies (Scott McCloud), fan culture (Henry Jenkins), gender (Lynn Spigel), new media (Lev Manovich), race (Aniko Bodrogkozy, Herman Gray), and television (John Caldwell, Raymond Williams).

MCOM 420. Advanced Photojournalism. 3 Hours.

Students will preapre for professional opportunities in print and new media. Students will learn to photograph news, portraits, features, and sports. Students will also become proficient in Adobe Photoshop. Prerequisite: MCOM 1307 with a minimum grade of C.

MCOM 425. Case Studies in Advertising. 3 Hours.

This course will introduce students to how paid advertising and unpaid media relations campaigns are planned, budgeted, and controlled. Prerequisite: MCOM 1307 and MCOM 2340, or MCOM 2350 with a minimum grade of C.

MCOM 430. Public Relations Campaigns. 3 Hours.

The development and presentation of a complete communication plan for a community organization is required in this course, with emphasis on researching public relation problems and opportunities, developing campaign objectives, planning public relations strategies and tactics, and specifying measures and approaches for evaluating campaign accomplishments. Theories, concepts, and techniques of public relations will be integrated into each campaign. Prerequisite: MCOM 1307 and MCOM 2340, or MCOM 2350 with a minimum grade of C.

MCOM 489. Independent Study. 1-3 Hours.

This course provides individual instruction. Students may repeat the course when topics vary.

MCOM 490. Internship in Mass Communication. 3 Hours.

This is a field-based course in which students have an opportunity to apply or demonstrate writing, editing, public relations, advertising, and layout and design skills in a real world setting. Prerequisite: MCOM 1307 with a minimum grade of C; enrollment limited to MCOM majors with senior status, except with instructor permission.

MCOM 491. Research in Mass Communication. 3 Hours.

This is a supervised course tailored to specific student interests. This course will give students opportunities for independent research, reading, and experimentation on relevant issues in mass communications.

MCOM 497. Special Topics in Mass Communication. 3 Hours.

Instructors will provide an organized class designed to cover areas of specific interest. Students may repeat the course when topics vary. Prerequisite: MCOM 1307 with a minimum grade of C.

Faculty

Dr. Kevin Ells

Associate Professor

Email: kevin.ells@tamut.edu

Dr. Drew Morton

Assistant Professor

Email: drew.morton@tamut.edu