BS in Communication and Media
Welcome to the Communication and Media Degree Program
Total Credits: 120
Communication and Media offers students one of the most vital liberal arts degrees in the Humanities and Social Sciences Department. The program aims to provide its graduates with crucial advantages to succeed in practically all fields now driving the current global economy forward.
Industries and institutions in both the public and private sectors continue to thrive on advanced understanding, creative insights, and professional experience in digital media and communication technologies. How we communicate and use media to distribute information remains a core element, affecting nearly every aspect of how our societies, communities, and cultural lives evolve.
All Media is Social
Situated in Newark, New Jersey, only 10 miles from New York City, one of the most richly diverse urban centers in North America, this program not only prepares you for a successful and rewarding career but strives to make you a top contender for management positions in just about every industry field, ranging from learning design and education, team building in today’s leading social media and consumer companies like X, Meta, Google, and Amazon to more creative explorations in the current explosion of new start-up experiments in AI-generated content delivery. The courses now being offered help you gain new UX design and software development strategies, as well as powerful rhetorical techniques for careers in public relations and community building. Here at NJIT in Communication and Media, students learn to stay ahead of the game in areas that have always relied on individuals with the confidence and vision to continually re-imagine what lies beyond the current moment.
COM 201. Introduction to Communication and Media
This course provides an overview of the history, theory, and practice of communication and media in various media contexts. Students will explore the role of communication and media in society and develop critical thinking skills to evaluate and analyze media messages and their psychological, attitudinal, and behavioral effects. Topics covered will include digital media landscapes, communication theories and media research, emotions and group portrayal in media, political and strategic communication, participatory and convergence culture, as well as media literacy and media ethics.
COM 240. New Media Technologies
This course introduces students to a variety of new and emerging media technologies including social media platforms, artificial agents and robots, virtual and augmented reality, and algorithmic systems. Students consider in particular the socio-psychological effects of utilizing those new media technologies and identify the perceptual, attitudinal, and behavioral impacts of these cutting-edge media technologies in various communication contexts from personal to professional.
COM 241. Sound Communication
The course offers students an effective, practice-oriented introduction into the science, technology, and cultural influence of how sound has been theorized and reproduced in a rapidly evolving variety of different media formats. We pay specific attention to recent digital enhancements in how sound media is reproduced and utilized to build new learning experiences beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries, while including instruction in the use of new sound-studio software and audio-recording devices.
COM 303. Video Narrative
Introduces various multimedia resources and environments in order to develop new strategies for both reading and writing within a visually-based, screen-oriented culture. Students will study different historical and theoretical lineages in videography, and learn hands-on techniques and technologies to produce independent media works of their own. This course satisfies the three credit 300 GER in History and Humanities.
COM 310. Organizational and Group Communication
This course surveys theory and research related to interpersonal communication. The course focuses on effectively managing personal and professional relationships. The course’s format consists of lectures, group discussions, experiential activities, and written assignments that require students’ active involvement. This course satisfies the three credit 300 GER in History and Humanities.
COM 318. Communication Theory and Practice
This course provides students with an opportunity to discover and critically employ communication theories through a wide variety of formats related to both professional and everyday environments including language, visual media, advertising, cultural issues, and social progress. Students gain experience conducting theoretically rigorous computer-mediated case studies and live field investigations to develop their understanding of how communication and media contribute to all sectors of society. This course satisfies the three credit 300 GER in History and Humanities.
COM 324. Podcast Practicum
This primary objective of this course is to guide students through the practice of preparing, organizing, and producing a series of thematically orchestrated podcasts, specifically focusing on teaching students to use the hardware and software that enables them to compose, edit, and publish online podcasts on subjects corresponding to their own interests and research. As a practicum, the bulk of the course emphasizes, and is dedicated to, applying the multiple compositional processes and audio engineering necessary to complete the tasks involved with creating works in this particular media format.
COM 336. Multimedia Journalism
This course trains students in the skills of interviewing and reporting which are essential to a career in communication and media. Class sessions are a combination of lectures and workshops and students receive detailed feedback as they develop their projects in the same way as an editor interacts with reporters in a professional setting. While the primary emphasis of the course is on producing written content, students enhance their work with infographics, photographs, audio, and video.
COM 337. Photojournalism
Through hands-on photography and writing supervised by the instructor, students develop competencies in discovering and creating interdisciplinary stories using a variety of photographic techniques and writing methods. Special focus on creating photographic narratives, supported by prose.
COM 341. Documentary Film and Media
This course explores the evolution of documentary filmmaking and investigates a broad range of genre-expanding contemporary work. As we look critically at the truth-promises that surround non-fiction media, we will engage with questions of ethics, power, representation, and the border between reality and fiction. We will also examine the emergence of new documentary forms on the internet and in museum/gallery spaces. Students will have the opportunity to develop their own documentary projects. This course satisfies the three credit 300 GER in History and Humanities.
COM 343. Social Media Analytics and Management
This course surveys the theoretical foundations and technical skills of social media analytics and management. Students will develop a comprehensive understanding of the principles and strategies for analyzing and managing social media in the social and behavioral sciences.
COM 346. Race, Gender, and Media
This course considers media practices that critique, disrupt, and reimagine dominant narratives about race, gender, class, and sexuality in the United States. Students examine the intersections of representation, power, aesthetics and politics across a broad range of media forms including film, video, performance, television, and online media. An exploration of our own roles and voices as spectators, scholars and media-makers will accompany our critical analysis of individual media objects and forms.
COM 351. Documentary Studies
This course brings an interdisciplinary lens to the study of documentary work across multiple media. As we investigate the ethical, political and aesthetic dimensions of work made by documentary filmmakers, photographers, writers, activists, artists, ethnographers and oral historians, we will simultaneously engage in producing our own documentary experiments.
COM 353. Applied Visual Communication
This course explores information structuring using traditional and contemporary techniques and introduces students to the principles of visual communication and provides hands-on practice in document design. The focus is on preparing and presenting information in both professional and popular contexts. Students learn about and work with concepts that enable effective use of graphics and text. This course satisfies the three credit 300 GER in History and Humanities.
COM 354. Designing Digital Media
This course explores how computer technology has influenced the presentation of information and the ways in which it is structured via digital media. Students learn how various web-based media platforms and tools are used to present familiar topics in ways that are both dynamic and that align with contemporary culture. Through guided interactive activities, the course develops techniques for presenting information for technical, commercial, and artistic use. Projects involve the use of HTML editors, NJIT networks, and graphical and animation software. This course satisfies the three credit 300 GER in History and Humanities.
COM 355. Digital Media Futures
COM 371 Social Network Theory and Analysis
This course develops theoretical, conceptual, and analytic issues associated with social network perspectives. It examines research on the science of networks in communication across a wide array of applications and offers detailed insights into theories, methods, and tools used to examine the structure and dynamics of networks.
COM 490/491 Communication and Media Co-op I and II
Senior Students complete the program with two internships that are set up with the program director to be facilitated and approved by the co-op office. These co-ops are designed to help our students gain professional experience and valuable references for their prospective careers in Communication and Media. Each course is completed separately and requires mandatory participation in seminars, department presentations, and the completion of a full report.
PSY 340. User Experience for the Humanities and Social Sciences
This course explores methodologies for understanding the user experience (UX) across various platforms that are essential for daily activities involving e- commerce, social media, and smart/automated systems. Research and practice in recent years has given rise to new user-centric approaches and the UX field now relies on an increasing array of intensive and advanced social science techniques including in-depth interviews and observational procedures. The course provides students with opportunities to envision, plan, and execute first-hand user-based research.
PSY 341. Computational Thinking in the Humanities and Social Sciences
This course surveys theoretical foundations and technical skills related to computational thinking. The course focuses on comprehensively understanding the principles and logic of computational processing, programming, and problem solving in the Humanities and Social Sciences.
STS 304. Qualitative Research Methods in the Social and Behavioral Sciences
Develop skills for collecting and evaluating social scientific data using qualitative research methods including content analysis, case study techniques, participant observation, ethnographies, interviews, survey design, and focus groups. The course also highlights essential issues pertaining to recruitment of research respondents and ethical fieldwork practices. This course satisfies the three credit 300 GER in History and Humanities.
STS 307. Quantitative Research Methods in the Social and Behavioral Sciences
Focuses on quantitative research methods in the field of science, technology and society including basic statistical techniques for empirical data analysis. The course provides instruction in hypothesis testing, data collection, selection of appropriate instruments and techniques, experimental design, and quantitative modeling using statistical software. This course satisfies the three credit 300 GER in History and Humanities.
UPPER LEVEL ELECTIVES
COM 311. Collaborative Leadership and Communication
This course surveys theories and research about interpersonal communication in organizational and group settings. The course focuses on comprehensively understanding and effectively managing communication behaviors and social relationships in organizational and group activities.
COM 315. Environmental Communication
This course concentrates on effective communication through a close study of contemporary writing and film about the environment. To refine and strengthen students’ abilities as sharp observers and effective communicators, the course will examine rhetorical decisions made across a variety of genres—including recent journalism, personal essays, documentaries, and digital works—centered on issues surrounding the environmental crisis. This course satisfies the three credit 300 GER in History and Humanities.
COM 321. Technology and Tactics of Sound
The course offers students an effective primer in the science of how sound has been measured and understood historically as a media format. This course satisfies the three credit 300 GER in History and Humanities.
COM 325. Special Topics in Communication
The precise topics to be covered, along with prerequisites, are announced in the semester prior to the offering of the course. This course satisfies the three credit 300 GER in History and Humanities.
COM 338. The Newsroom
This is an advanced journalism course. Students will work closely with the instructor in order to write news and feature stories, commentaries and critiques, and will be encouraged to publish their work in The Vector and other publications. This course satisfies the three credit 300 GER in History and Humanities.
COM 342. Media and the Body
This course is grounded in forms of audio-visual media — especially moving images — that represent and impact human bodies, those of both its subjects and its spectators. But at the same time, our field of inquiry will be broadened by thinking through the ways that the body is itself a mediating force. Medium, by definition, refers to something that’s “in a middle position” or “facilitates transmission” — a reminder that the study of media is, at heart, the study of states of between-ness, and can help us think through embodiment and representation in essential ways. The course probes the creative and theoretical possibilities that emerge when we move our bodies — as thinkers, readers, writers, media-makers and spectators — into the foreground.
COM 369. Digital Poetry
An investigation of activities taken up by poets who integrate computer technology in their works. Students discuss and evaluate virtues of the dynamics presented in an array of titles that include algorithmic programming, graphical artistry, videography, holography, hypermedia, and sonic design in order to build an understanding of the combined values of these disparate forms of expression. This course satisfies the three credit 300 GER in History and Humanities.
LIT 386. Science Fiction
Explores the distinctive characteristics of science fiction as a literary genre and its function as a social criticism. Special attention is given to the ways in which cultural gender coding surfaces in the text. Films and videos are used. This course satisfies the three credit 300 GER in History and Humanities.
PHIL 310. Logic
Teaches students how to reason critically, identify issues, construct and evaluate arguments. Improves students’ ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing. Examines topics such as meaning and definition; explanations and arguments; informal logic and fallacies; and formal logic, including modern symbolic logic, truth tables, formal fallacies, proofs, and quantification. This course satisfies the three credit 300 GER in History and Humanities.
PHIL 337. World Religions
An introduction to five world religions which make strong claims to be in some sense universal: Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam, with special attention to their impact on contemporary politics, gender, economics, and culture. Study of selected scriptures, major customs, representative figures, and one or two works of art from each religious tradition. This course satisfies the three credit 300 GER in History and Humanities.
STS 308. Globalization
This course will investigate the issues and problems inherent in the globalization of technology, economics, and culture in this new century. Introduces the important public issues that technology brings to the modern world, such as global trade, new energy technologies, and climate change. Emphasizes the close connections between science and technology, social institutions, and cultural values. Also analyzes today's "global village", the changing relations in culture and trade between East and West, North and South. This course satisfies the three credit 300 GER in History and Humanities.
STS 310. Technology and Human Values
Examines the interactions between science, technology and human values. Specifically, explores psychological, moral, and philosophical consequences of, and humanistic responses to, technological change. Readings, essays, fiction, and research articles treat such topics as the philosophical foundations of modern science, scientism, technicism; the impact of technology on images of humans found in modern literature; and the moral implications of various kinds of recent technology. This course satisfies the three credit 300 GER in History and Humanities.
STS 315. Sports, Technology and Society
This course addresses philosophical and sociological issues surrounding sports, especially questions that arise with advances in technology. For instance: How do advances in technology affect sports? Should sports limit technology, or should they adapt and change with advances in technology? Should performance-enhancing drugs be allowed in sports? What about other forms of technological enhancement? How should we judge sports performance, and how could technology help? Can technology make sports safer? How do various media affect sports? This course satisfies the three credit 300 GER in History and Humanities.
STS 342. Gender, Technology and Society
This course uses an interdisciplinary and intersectional approach to analyze how gender identities are constructed and contested in the world today, with special emphasis on gender issues in the high-tech workplace. Course topics include: essentialist and social constructionist theories of gender identity; transgender identities; the interrelationship between sexism, homophobia and racism; the historical contributions of women and underrepresented minorities in science, technology, architecture and design; issues facing women in technologically-developing countries; and communication in the workplace between people of different cultures and identities. Course materials include case studies and autobiographical narratives, films, novels, and short stories as well as historical and sociological research work. This course satisfies the three credit 300 GER in History and Humanities.
STS 347. Music and Society
This course is an overview of the role music has played in society, from ancient to present times, and considers various types: Western, Eastern, folk, world, classical, jazz, rock, and electronic. The course enables students to develop an informed and critical appreciation of the vast array of music available today and its importance in political and social discourse and influence. Also covered is the role that technology has played in transforming how we experience and create music, from the development of the earliest musical instruments to the Internet. Students will have extensive opportunities to listen to and write about music. This course satisfies the three credit 300-level GER in Cultural Literacy.
STS 349. Electronic Music in Practice
Students will learn the basics of notebook computer-based music composition and production. Emphasis will be on composition and making of music, learning the aesthetics necessary to get the most out of your machine. Course will require extensive work on your own laptop computer. Computer requirements: A PC or Macintosh system running Ableton Live. This course satisfies the three credit 300 GER in History and Humanities.
STS 351. Minds and Machines
An introduction to the philosophy of mind and cognitive science. Topics covered include the computational theory of mind; artificial intelligence; connectionism; embodied theory of mind; and dynamical theories of mind. Readings from recent and contemporary philosophy, psychology and computer science. This course satisfies the three credit 300 GER in History and Humanities.
STS 360. Ethics and the Environment
An examination of contemporary environmental problems from the perspective of ethics or moral philosophy. An analysis of the ethical presuppositions and value principles underlying environmental policy. The study of ethical theories and their application to the environmental crisis. This course satisfies the three credit 300 GER in History and Humanities.
STS 375. AI and the Human Mind
What does it mean for a machine to know? What does this say about the possibility of human knowledge? In this course, we will explore what artificial intelligence (or, AI) is, how it works, how the field has developed, how the specific technical implementations of AI influence and are influenced by sociocultural factors, what barriers exist to AI research, what threats AI development may pose, and what AI can tell us about ourselves. This is not a programming course, and although some attention will be paid to AI technologies and algorithms, no coding will be involved. This course is appropriate for students at any level of previous AI experience. This course satisfies the three credit 300 GER in History and Humanities.
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