Current Students

New COM Courses

We are excited to announce the following new courses. Please remember to check with your advisor to determine how these courses fit into your graduation requirements.

Summer 2014

CM561 SA2 | Special Topics Fundamentals of Design and Creative Software

For freshman and sophomores, summer I. Learn design essentials and creative software that will help you build industry-standard skills! This introductory course develops visual literacy that can apply to all forms of media. Through exploration of color, typography, imagery, layout, video, sound, and web development, you will learn and process fundamental design principles as we view examples, discuss strategies, critique and develop projects.

JO357 SA1 | History & Principles of Journalism

The history of this country is the history of journalism. Learn about the great journalists who made the nation what it is. From Sam Adams and Tom Paine through Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, through Tom Wolfe, Hunter S. Thompson and Maureen Dowd, JO 357 is a great window on American history and culture.

CM561 SA1/HI 280 SA1 | History of Rock n’ Roll

This course examines the role of popular music in American culture. It is not a music course, but more of an examination of the effects of recorded sound on popular culture. We will study the origin and growth of the recording industry in the United States, but focus most of our energies on tracing the threads of mainstream music during the 20th century.

Fall 2014

FT 201 A1 | Screen Language | Charles Merzbacher

Traditional education has stressed the “three R’s”— Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic. But what about the fourth R, the R in “scReen?” Today everyone— certainly everyone who works in fields related to film and television— needs to understand how to communicate effectively through a wide range of screen-based media. This course dives into the fundamentals of how to frame, record, edit and distribute your message on screens, large and small. (FTV students)

FT552 E1 | Animation Basics | Gabriel Polonsky

Fall 2014. FTV students, Prereq: FT353. From TV shows and feature films to webisodes, animation is more popular than ever, but how is it created? This fun yet intensive hands-on course teaches all the fundamental skills needed to create great 2D character animation, the way it is done by industry professionals, using Adobe Flash and Photoshop. Through progressive lessons and assignments, you will learn about storytelling, designing dynamic characters, and making them walk and talk. We will cover acting, timing, and exaggerated facial expressions; how to draw “keys and in-betweens,” compose scenes; create storyboards, color backgrounds, and more. The history of animation and current industry trends will also be discussed. You will complete numerous projects, including writing, designing, and creating an animated short film with sound. The valuable skills learned in this class can also be applied to 3D and experimental animation, filmmaking, art and design.

JO502 B1 | Computational Journalism *

Fall 2014. An introductory course for students interested in acquiring data acquisition, analysis and visualization skills to enable them to tell stories with datasets both big and small. Students will be introduced to “data narrative” storytelling by teaching key skills in how to identify government datasets that can produce news; how to “clean” that data for analysis; how to extract meaningful patterns through open-source tools; how to to create simple interactives; and how to write a compelling, multimedia narrative.
* see below for recommended, complementary computer science courses.

JO 502 E1 | Press>Play

Fall 2014. For information on enrolling in this course, write The course is taught by David Carr, the Andrew Lack professor at Boston University and “Media Equation” columnist for the New York Times. This class will explore the principles and practice of making and distributing narrative, non-fiction content in the fast-evolving media ecosystem we live in. The class will tap a number of guests from the publishing and technology world.

These Computer Science courses are recommended by the Journalism Department:

CS101 | Intro to Computing

Fall 2014. Questions include: What is a computer? How does computation happen? How is information represented within a digital computer? A good overview, but not necessary for JO students who want to acquire skills quickly.

CS103 | Intro to Internet Technologies and Web Programming

Fall 2014. Engage with the Web to understand what it is, how to use it, and how to contribute to it. Students learn to view the Web and the underlying Internet architecture as instances of the mathematical abstraction of a network. Learn basics of Web programming and by create a full-blown original website as an independent semester-long project.

CS105 | Intro to Databases and Data Mining

Fall 2014. Databases are everywhere. How do they work? Examine how data is organized, analyzed, and displayed. Topics include relational databases and the SQL query language, programs to analyze data, the principles of data visualization. At the end, students apply new skills to a real “big data” problem.

CS 108 | Introduction to Applications Programming

Fall 2014. What is computer software, and how is it developed? CS108 is an introduction to object-oriented and procedural programming that covers the fundamental constructs and patterns present in all programming languages, with a focus on developing applications for users. Learn to write “code.”