Three Semesters: (Fall, Spring, Fall)

The sequence comprises 12 courses (48 credits) and includes a Master’s Comprehensive Exam. In some cases, students can prepare a thesis or professional project.

There are 7 required courses, 3 public relations electives, and 2 general electives.

Core Requirements 28 credits (cr)

COM CM 700: Financial & Strategic Management for Communication Professionals

4 credits

The focus of the course is on two critical domains of modern business: financial and strategic management. Through lectures, readings, case studies, and team projects, the course will introduce students to the complexity and challenges facing today's communications industry manager along with practical understanding of how businesses operate and even succeed despite the obstacles. The goal of the course is to help students understand the fundamentals of business enterprise with an emphasis on how these apply to the media industries. The course covers the fundamentals of a business plan, including revenue models, marketing, venture capital, finance, and accounting in the context of the media landscape. 4 cr, 1st sem.

COM CM 701: Contemporary Public Relations

4 credits

Foundations of professional principles and practice in public relations for corporate, governmental, and nonprofit organizations. Includes history, organization, and scope of the field; its roots in social science; types of campaigns and programs; and professional ethics. Theories, strategies, and tactics in current practice emphasized. Explores opportunities and requirement for work in the field.

COM CM 710: Communication Theory

4 credits

Examines origins, nature, and consequences of human communication. Reviews nature of verbal, nonverbal, and other types of group communication issues. Traces the development of speech, writing, printing, broadcasting, and digital media. Reviews theories of the process and effects of mass communication and how these theories apply to the work of media professionals.

COM CM 722: Communication Research

4 credits

Introduction to the methodology of communication research. Includes both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Attention to the nature of scientific logic, computer literature searches, research design, questionnaire construction, sampling, measurement techniques, and data analysis. Explores the use of focus groups, experiments, surveys, and content analysis.

COM CM 742: Media Relations

4 credits

Students learn publicity techniques used in media of mass communication, including daily and weekly newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and film. Practitioners invited to class to present publicity problems. Case study method and workshop sessions with informal discussion.

Choose one from the following:

COM CM 705: Writing for International Students

4 credits

Introduction to basic formats, including news releases, editorials, features, profiles, articles, and other forms of writing. Emphasis on basic copy quality in American English. Students learn to analyze and rewrite their own copy.

COM CM 707: Writing for Media Professionals

4 credits

Serves as introductory graduate level writing course. Exposure to a variety of off and online writing formats in communications including: news releases, e-pitches, blogs, features (off and online), microsites, websites, brochures, broadcast PSA?s, slide shows, videos, off and online writing (including social media) strategies, editing, and interview techniques. Extensive writing and rewriting. Develops comprehensive writing skills for public relations, mass communication and advertising majors. 4 cr, 1st sem

Choose one from the following:

COM CM 709: Corporate Public Affairs

4 credits

Monitoring sociopolitical environment, managing corporate crises and confrontations, analyzing issues, formulating political strategies, developing programs of advocacy advertising, constituency communications, and public involvement. Case studies used.

COM CM 715: Public Relations in Nonprofit Settings

4 credits

Principles and practices of public relations in social, health, educational, and public service institutions. Analysis of the structure, publics, public relations, communication, and marketing programs unique to nonprofit agencies. Attention to recruitment and management of volunteers, fund-raising, budgeting, and intra- and inter-agency relationships.

Public Relations Elective Credits (3 courses – 12 credits)

COM CM 507: Soc Act & Pr

4 credits

This course description is currently under construction.

COM CM 513: Investor Relations

4 credits

Students examine the challenges of marketing a company to the financial community. The course is broken down into three areas: the development of IR as a profession; the tools of the trade, such as bonds and stocks; and the field's communication techniques. Students prepare case analyses as a way of understanding various SEC disclosure requirements, communication with analysts and the media, and financial marketing techniques. Core public relations requirements should be fulfilled before taking this course.

COM CM 515: Community Relations

4 credits

A complete examination of the evolution of community relations, the theory behind it, and the techniques employed by its professionals. Using a case-study approach, students learn how to select a site for expansion; conduct a community relations audit; work with state, local, and federal governments; and develop sound relationships with the media and with advocacy groups in the corporate and nonprofit arenas.

COM CM 522: Managing Corporate Crises and Issues

4 credits

Review and diagnosis of major crises and issues affecting corporations. Case discussions of seven types of crises: technological, confrontational, malevolence, management failure, and management control. Examines appropriate management actions and communications before, during, and after a crisis. Reviews issues management: monitoring, analysis, strategy determination, and implementation.

COM CM 525: Public Relations Ethics

4 credits

This course will acquaint students with ethical standards and expectations society has for public relations practitioners. Through the study of case studies and other readings it will prepare students so they can adequately wrestle with ethical complexities, dilemmas and ambiguities so as to form persona ethical underpinnings for their future careers.

COM CM 528: Organizational Communication

4 credits

Develops both theoretical understanding and practical knowledge of internal organizational communication. Topics include motivation, leadership, organizational climate, formal and informal channels, management, and relational communication in an organizational context. Organizational communication assessment and change is emphasized.

COM CM 535: Political Campaigning

4 credits

Critical evaluation of political campaign strategies and tactics within the sociopolitical environment. The roles of campaign managers, media consultants, pollsters, press secretaries, and field operatives are studied. Analysis of the impact of press coverage, political advertising, and candidate debates on the electorate.

COM CM 722: Communication Research

4 credits

Introduction to the methodology of communication research. Includes both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Attention to the nature of scientific logic, computer literature searches, research design, questionnaire construction, sampling, measurement techniques, and data analysis. Explores the use of focus groups, experiments, surveys, and content analysis.

COM CM 723: Advanced Communication Research

4 credits

Provides an in-depth look at data analysis using the SPSS (the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences). Students get hands-on experience by carrying out actual analyses using real data sets. Techniques covered include descriptive statistics, correlation and regression, t-tests, ANOVA, and factor analysis.

COM CM 728: International Public Relations

4 credits

Structure and function of public relations and communication organizations in international settings. Consideration of levels of development, culture, and geopolitical variables affecting public relations and communication programs. Cases and examples drawn from the Middle East, Africa, the Pacific Rim, South America, the European Economic Community, and the former Soviet Union.

COM CM 730: Marketing Communications

4 credits

Addresses basic marketing and promotion principles used to increase awareness of and change in attitudes and buyer behavior about products, services, and organizations. Students learn to evaluate appropriate promotional mixes, examine the role of communications, and develop marketing communications strategies through the use of case studies and classroom discussion.

COM CM 738: Glob Mktg Comm

Var credits

COM CM 743: New Media & Public Relations

4 credits

Explores the effects of new media on the fundamental theories, models, and practices of public relations. Studies how websites, blogs, citizen journalism, social media, direct-to-consumer communication, podcasting, viral marketing, and other technology-enabled changes are affecting interpersonal, small group, and mass media relationships. Also covers and uses the interactive tools that are re-defining the practice of public relations. The course combines lecture, discussion, guest speakers, case study, and research to help students uncover and appreciate the power and potential of interactive media. 4 cr, both semesters. (taught with COM CM443)

COM CM 750: Advanced Writing for Media Professionals

4 credits

Building on the writing skills and formats presented in CM707, students work individually and in-depth on essay writing, analyses/critiques (drawing on The Best American Essays series), online feature editing strategies, blogs, direct mail package, microsite, and a presidential speech. Various writing workshops complete the course requirements. 4 cr, 2nd sem.

COM CM 809: Graduate Internship

Var credits

Students are placed in public relations, advertising, or communication departments of business, educational, philanthropic, or governmental institutions. Fifteen hours per week of supervised work. Students with a comprehensive report evaluating internship experience at end of semester. 2 or 4 cr., either sem.

General Electives (2 courses – 8 credits)

Note: Special courses (CM 561 or CM 562) may be used as a public relations elective with advisor and chair approval.

Some courses have prerequisites which are not listed above. All Mass Communication, Advertising & Public Relations requirements, prerequisites and course descriptions are listed on the Boston University Academics website.