Course Descriptions

MA in Communication

MCOM 6001 Principles and Practices of Communication

This course introduces new graduate students to foundational theories and essential concepts of Communication Studies and their application to everyday communication problems and unique communication practices they are likely to encounter in their professional lives. Course activities include introductions to the Communication Studies faculty and their areas of specialization, familiarization with key sources in the discipline and resources for accessing through the Florham Campus library, and application of course materials to contemporary discourses and naturally-occurring conversations.  

MCOM 6002  Professional Writing and Editing

Professional Writing & Editing will introduce students to writing techniques in the academic, professional, and workplace settings. Students will be required to communicate their intended message with clarity of thought, and appropriate tone and style. Students will demonstrate their professional writing and editing skills with the two major goals of this course being to acquaint students with this step-by-step procedure of inquiry and to provide students with an opportunity to develop and polish their professional and scholarly writing skills.

MCOM 6003 Presentation Methods

This course emphasizes the design and delivery of oral presentations by and for members of the corporate community. Focuses on the preparing and presenting of oral reports, summaries, analyses, studies, and statements that seek to inform and persuade. Lectures, discussions, and workshop sessions will consider such topics as brainstorming, audience analysis, gathering and organizing data, writing or preparing notes for a talk, and presentation techniques.

MCOM 6004 Executive Lectures

The Schering-Plough Executive Lecture Series is a forum in which communication experts and students explore skills such as collaboration, creativity, and problem-solving relevant to a wide range of corporate and organizational settings. Theories and their application to practice will be presented through readings, case studies, lecture and discussion. Students will actively engage in exercises and projects to develop and demonstrate comprehension of course content.

MCOM 6005 Group Communication and Leadership

Organizations function and survive according to the ability of their members, and in particular their leaders, to communicate effectively. This course is an in-depth study of current theories of message-processing in organizations: leadership and followership communication; service leadership; innovation and creativity, and more. Coursework includes experiential learning that allows students to explore practical applications of theory. The course is as much about developing personal leadership as organizational leadership.

MCOM 6006 Research Methods

Research Methods and Materials is a survey course examining both quantitative and qualitative approaches to investigating communication problems, practices, and phenomena. The course provides students with an introduction to and experience in a diverse range of research principles and methods appropriate for understanding issues in corporate and organizational communication. NOTE: This course is cross-listed with COM3022.

MCOM 6099 The Capstone Experience: Principles into Practice

The capstone experience seeks to blend knowledge/theory and application/action. Students will be expected to apply concepts learned during the course of the program toward the completion (i.e. action) of a communication-based project of suitable scope within their own workplace or within another appropriate organizational site. In addition to integrating knowledge gained from coursework, the project students elect to undertake must also demonstrate the oral and written communication skills expected of those nearing the completion of a Master of Arts degree in Corporate & Organizational Communication. The capstone experience is taught as a blended, 3-credit course, and students will complete their projects under the supervision of the course instructor. All graduate faculty will be involved in the review of project proposals and final projects.

MCOM 7001 Communication, Culture and Change

This course analyzes the relationship among communication, change management and organizational culture. Discussions and lectures include: definitions and types of organizational culture, methods for the study of corporate cultures, the essence and functions of organizational culture, diagnosis of corporate culture, managing and auditing communication and culture, perpetuating or reshaping cultures. In addition, the connection between effecting organizational change by transforming the culture is a dominant theme throughout the course.

MCOM 7002 International Communication and Culture (at Wroxton College)

This 12-day seminar offered at Wroxton College each summer and consists of invited speakers, case studies, site visits, and leisure trips to London, Stratford, and Oxford. The objective of the seminar is make students familiar with the cultural, historical, and political contexts in which professional and other interactions take place from a UK and European perspective. Students will also examine case studies conducted by UK media, advertising, and public relations practitioners which show how issues of culture, history, politics, and theory play out in actual corporate communication practice.

MCOM 7003 Communication and Globalization

This course examines communication in the intercultural setting, both domestic and international. The course focuses on (a) how culture influences the communication process and the development of relationships, (b) the dynamics of intercultural encounters and c) the impact of globalization on intercultural communication.

MCOM 7101 Communication and Technology

This course allows students to think critically about how digital innovations are shaping our future. This course aims to help students gain some perspective on the influences that our rapid transition to the Digital Age will have on almost every aspect of society. We will discuss where we are today technologically speaking (and ask how we got here), but we will spend most of our time trying to figure out what impacts emerging communication technologies have and are likely to have on the essentials of the human condition: on sense of identity as individuals, on how we form and regulate our communities (on and offline), and on how our nation and world function politically, socially, economically, and so on.

MCOM 7102 Narrative Communication

This seminar explores a variety of forms narrative communication takes in institutional and professional contexts (including myths, legends, rumors, cautionary tales, and jokes) and considers the multiple functions they may serve for individuals and institutions working under contemporary postmodern conditions. Students are guided through a selection of theory and methodology offered in required readings and the application of them to exercises and a research project analyzing the form and function of narrative communication addressing a contemporary problem or crisis found in contemporary public discourse.

MCOM 7103 Language and Communication

This course draws on contemporary theories of language and social interaction to examine how practices of human communication are designed and used to accomplish the work that people do in a variety of professions. Readings, exercises and assignments train students to analyze how language is used to constitute certain roles, relationships, activities, and responsibilities. The approach of the class is pragmatic, micro-analytic, and highly interactive.

MCOM 7201 PR in the Modern Organization

This course will explore the challenges that face the modern corporation and its communications executives and managers. Students will have the opportunity to analyze a range of communications situations to examine and apply appropriate research techniques necessary for effective campaigns. The course will put theory into practice by planning several campaigns and will expose students to the rigor of corporate standards, ethics and best practices in communications.

MCOM 7202 Crisis Communication

This course specifically examines the dynamic practice of crisis communication on the organizational level. It seems that we live in a culture of crisis - organizations must be proactive and reactive in their public relations practices. Topics discussed will include image repair strategies, options available to organizations facing crisis, crisis management teams, crisis management as a form of public relations, and examinations of case studies. Using the most recent scholarship, students will learn about this timely topic in an interactive and engaging environment.

MCOM 7203 Strategic Communication

This course examines practices of communication that are goal-oriented, deliberate, or purposive. Strategic communication will be studied in a variety of contexts and cases that demonstrate how it may be proactive, reactive, and consequential. Cases will be studied in which communication is designed and targeted to achieve goals such as running a campaign, building or repairing a reputation, or bringing about social, cultural or institutional change. Coursework will explore ways of dealing with real-world challenges in domestic and global contexts of professional communication.


This page last updated August 22, 2016, by Gary P. Radford.


Dr. Kate Dunsmore
MA Program Director
Tel: 973-443-8460

Department of Communication Studies
Fairleigh Dickinson University
285 Madison Ave - M-ZN2-02
Madison, NJ 07940

Fairleigh Dickinson University Mansion
Office Location
Office 250