MSU Billings Course Descriptions
COMX - Communication (University)
[formerly COMT 130 Introduction to Public Speaking]
3 cr. (F, Sp, Su) Develops the student’s speaking abilities. Students acquire an understanding of basic rhetorical theory and its application in a variety of speech situations. Listening, speaking and critiquing abilities are emphasized. This course addresses the following topics: speech preparation and delivery, forming and fielding questions, audience analysis, listening skills, critiquing and speaker anxiety.
* COMX 115 Introduction to Interpersonal Communication
[formerly COMT 110 Interpersonal Communication]
3 cr. (F, Sp) Empowers students to understand and apply effective interpersonal skills to improve their communication and bolster relationships. This course examines several vital areas of communication and relationships, including self-concept, perception, listening, language, nonverbal communication, conflict management, and culture.
COMX 200 Exploring Communication Studies
[formerly COMT 200 Exploring Communication Studies]
3 cr. (F, Sp, Su) Explores the major strands of study in the discipline of communication while exposing students to the various contexts, methods, and expectations for the academic study of communication. The course is a prerequisite for all upper-level communication courses.
COMX 210 Communication in Small Groups
[formerly COMT 210 Group Dynamics]
3 cr. (F) Increases the student’s awareness of communication processes in small group discussions. The course should help the student to become more comfortable in group situations, to learn to observe discussions more capably, to listen carefully to the ideas of others, to develop techniques to facilitate group decision-making, and to become aware of the function of roles in communication situations.
COMX 211 Advanced Public Speaking
[formerly COMT 230 Advanced Public Speaking]
3 cr. Prerequisite: COMX 111 or Consent of Instructor. (Sp) Enhances the public skills of students who have already mastered the basic principles of oral communication. Emphasizes audience analysis and adaptive speech behaviors with the goal of developing speakers with polished skills for a variety of real world situations.
* COMX 212 Introduction to Intercultural Communication
[formerly COMT 160 Introduction to Intercultural Communication]
3 cr. (F, Sp) Examines communicative encounters among people of different cultural, ethnic, and minority groups. Local, national, and global in scope, the course also analyzes identity, verbal and nonverbal communication, popular culture, intercultural relationships, and multicultural communication in applied settings. Practical guidelines for enhancing intercultural interactions will be offered while noting the layers of complexity in communicating across cultural boundaries.
COMX 294 Seminar/Workshop
[formerly COMT 292 Seminar]
V1-3 cr. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. Provides students an opportunity to investigate intensively topics pertinent to the field of Communication and Theatre.
COMX 298 Internship: Media
[formerly COMT 290 Internship: Media]
V1-3 cr. Prerequisites: JRNL 270 and/or consent of instructor. Provides on-site observational opportunities with related forms of mass media.
COMX 298 Internship: Cooperative Education
[formerly COMT 296 Cooperative Education/Internship]
V1-9 cr. Provides university credit for a sophomore work experience in the area of Communication and Theatre supervised by faculty. Learning agreement must be completed prior to registration (restricted).
COMX 320 Principles of Organizational Communication
[formerly COMT 310 Organizational Communication]
3 cr. Prerequisite: COMX 200 or consent of department chair. (F, Sp, Su) Introduces material related to organizational socialization, structure, climate, leadership, power, and conflict management.
COMX 330 Principles of Media Studies
[formerly COMT 320 Introduction to Mass Communication]
3 cr. Prerequisite: COMX 200 or consent of department chair. (F, Su) Introduces students to each of the major media of mass communication, focusing on historical development, commercial functions, societal impact, cultural contributions, and contemporary controversies surrounding each. Media forms explored include television, radio, the Internet, magazines, newspapers, film, and recorded music. Media support industries (advertising, public relations), media regulation, and media ethics are also surveyed. For COMX majors concentrating in Media Studies, this class serves as the introduction to the “inner core” sequence of media study courses.
COMX 331 Theories of Media and Society
[formerly COMT 321 Theories of Media and Society]
3 cr. Prerequisite: COMX 200, COMX 330 or consent of department chair. (alternating Sp) Examines the role of mass media in modern societies and the effects and influences of media institutions and mediated messages on individuals, communities, societies, and culture. Presents and critically examines a range of theories, scholarly opinions, and research approaches regarding media-society interrelationships.
COMX 340 Visual Rhetoric
[formerly COMT 325 Introduction to Visual Communication]
3 cr. Prerequisite: COMX 200 or consent of department chair. (every other Sp & Su) Surveys the entire spectrum of visual media, and introduces students to the fundamentals of communication (theoretical models, the role of codes and conventions, etc.). Addresses formal developments in visual communication. Serves as a springboard to several of the more specialized offerings in the Mass Communication program.
COMX 341 History and Theory of Persuasion
[formerly COMT 330 Persuasion]
3 cr. Prerequisite: COMX 200 or consent of department chair. (F, Sp, Su) Explores the history, literature, and theory of persuasive communication affording students the opportunity to examine the dynamics of change in a variety of contexts.
COMX 351 Principles of Public Relations
[formerly COMT 322 Principles of Public Relations]
3 cr. Prerequisite: COMX 200, JRNL 270 or consent of department chair. (F, Sp, Su) Explores the fundamentals of the public relations field and develops the skills necessary for the public relations practitioner, providing the student with practical experience in the development of public relations materials such as brochures and press releases, as well as the skills to implement communication programs.
COMX 400 Communication Theory
[formerly COMT 465 Communication Theory]
3 cr. Prerequisite: COMX 200, consent of department chair or junior standing. (F, Sp) Provides the student with a theoretical/conceptual framework for understanding human communication.
COMX 414 Communication in Personal Relationships
[formerly COMT 410 Advanced Interpersonal Communication]
3 cr. Prerequisite: COMX 200 or consent of department chair. (Sp) Presents theoretical materials and case studies related to the communicational foundation of human relationships. Issues considered include: perceptual variances in cross-cultural and familial interactions, gender differences, elements of verbal/nonverbal communication, listening, developing/sustaining/struggling/ending relationships, conversing with friends, and interpersonal communication in the workplace.
COMX 420 Issues in Organizational Communication
[formerly COMT 414 Issues in Organizational Communication]
3 cr. Prerequisite: COMX 200, COMX 320 or consent of department chair. (F, Su) Presents material related to the relationship between corporations and public decision-making, the nature of democracy in the workplace, a multiple stakeholder model of communication, diversity, negotiation, organizational politics, and dialogic communication.
COMX 426 Leadership and Communication (crosslisted with COMT 516)
[formerly COMT 416 Leadership and Communication]
3 cr. Prerequisite: COMX 200 or consent of department chair. Offered ONLY Online. (every other Sp & Su) Presents material related to leadership theories, leader-participant relations, vision/mission/goals, structure and design, culture, capacity building, and social responsibility.
COMX 429 The Law of Public Communication (crosslisted with COMT 529)
[formerly COMT 429 The Law of Public Communication]
3 cr. Prerequisite: COMX 200 or consent of department chair. (alternating F) Examines major principles in communication law that influence media and public relations professionals. Students will become familiar with landmark court decisions and contemporary issues in first amendment jurisprudence.
COMX 431 Communicating Online (crosslisted with COMT 521)
[formerly COMT 421 Communicating Online]
3 cr. Prerequisite: COMX 200 or consent of department chair. Offered ONLY Online. (every other year) Examines the major principles influencing the construction and dissemination of online communication. May address topics such as the conventions of web page design, effective utilization of the internet as a communication channel, differentiating useful messages from spam, and identifying the strengths and limitations of online communication.
COMX 434 Political Communication (crosslisted with COMT 531)
[formerly COMT 431 Political Communication]
3 cr. Prerequisite: COMX 200 or consent of department chair. (even F) Explores communication methods and strategies employed by political campaigns to influence voters. Students will analyze political discourse produced by national, state, and local campaigns in order to understand the communication patterns and interactions that occur.
COMX 435 Media Criticism (crosslisted with COMT 525)
[formerly COMT 425 Media Criticism]
3 cr. Prerequisites: COMX 200, COMX 330, COMX 331 or consent of department chair. (every other year) Engages students in the in-depth exploration, analysis, and criticism of the media as foundational components of democracies, as economic institutions, as producers of text (rhetoric), and as meaning-making systems. Students will learn a variety of critical methods and apply them to the analysis of pressing contemporary issues of media and society.
COMX 436 Popular Culture and Cultural Studies (crosslisted with COMT 540)
[formerly COMT 440 Popular Culture and Cultural Studies]
3 cr. Prerequisites: COMX 200, COMX 330, COMX 331 or consent of department chair. (every other year) Provides an introduction to the history, theory, and practice of studying popular culture. Explores a variety of theoretical approaches to pop culture, including classical Marxism, the Frankfurt School, structuralism, feminism, and postmodernism. Throughout the course, theoretical methodologies will be illustrated through their ability to interpret and/or decode cultural objects ranging from HBO television to science fiction to hip hop. Students will be encouraged to take these applications as models for their own work in choosing, reading, and analyzing specific instances of pop culture.
COMX 438 Multicultural Mass Communication (crosslisted with COMT 561)
[formerly COMT 461 Multicultural Mass Communication]
3 cr. Prerequisites: COMX 200, COMX 330, COMX 331 or consent of department chair. (every other year) Explores and critically analyzes mass mediated communication in a multicultural world and the U.S. as a multicultural nation. Provides an understanding of the roles of media corporations and media texts in the construction of cultural, subcultural, and individual identities. Considers media as transnational businesses, as expressive forms, and as mirrors and shapers of culture. Investigates theories, practices, and outcomes of mediated cultural imperialism and the unique role played by U.S. media organizations and U.S.-produced texts.
COMX 452 Issues in Public Relations (crosslisted with COMT 522)
[formerly COMT 422 Issues in Public Relations]
3 cr. Prerequisite: COMX 200, COMX 351 or consent of department chair. (Su) Explores advanced public relations strategies and the role of public relations in society. Topics may include (but are not limited to) Corporations and their publics, Not-for-profit public relations, Socially responsible marketing, Public relations theory, Crisis communication, and Public Relations for Multicultural Audiences.
COMX 456 Case Studies in Public Relations (crosslisted with COMT 526)
[formerly COMT 426 Case Studies in Public Relations]
3 cr. Prerequisite: COMX 200 or consent of department chair. (alternating Sp) Uses actual cases to assess strategic decisions concerning internal and external publics and appreciate the accompanying ethical, legal, economic, psychological, organizational, political, and media impact of such decisions.
COMX 457 Public Relations Ethics (crosslisted with COMT 527)
[formerly COMT 427 Public Relations Ethics]
3 cr. Prerequisite: COMX 200 or consent of department chair. (alternating Sp) Explores ethical issues in public relations from a case study approach. Students will critically examine the structures, work, and business of the public relations industry and discuss the implications of ethical standards applied to the field.
COMX 480 Health Communication (crosslisted with COMT 580)
[formerly COMT 480 Health Communication]
3 cr. Prerequisite: COMX 200or consent of department chair. (every other year) Explores key findings in health communication research and practice, focusing on a wide range of media (e.g., brochures, posters, radio, television, telephone hotlines, Internet) and a wide range of health objectives (e.g., STD/HIV prevention, smoking cessation, cardiovascular disease prevention). We will examine the literature and key health communication campaigns to determine what are the key ingredients of successful or effective approaches in each medium, for different types of messages and target audiences.
COMX 481 Media for Social Change (crosslisted with COMT 581)
[formerly COMT 481 Media for Social Change]
3 cr. Prerequisite: COMX 200or consent of department chair. (every other year) Examines the application of commercial campaign technologies to the analysis, planning, execution, and evaluation of programs designed to influence the voluntary behavior of target audiences in order to improve their personal welfare and that of their society.
COMX 482 Women, Media and Society
[formerly COMT 482 Women, Media and Health]
3 cr. Corequisites: COMX 480, COMX 481. Provides students an opportunity to become familiar with feminist rhetorical scholarship, to be able to apply academic research to an original research project on a contemporary issue of topical importance, and to evaluate local community organizations and/or campaigns that appeal to women on the bases of ethicality and effectiveness.
COMX 491 Special Topics
[formerly COMT 488 Topics in Communication]
3 cr. Prerequisite: Senior class standing or consent of instructor. Provides Senior students with the opportunity to research, prepare, and present before the faculty a final project that exemplifies the culmination of their course of study as Communication and Theatre majors.
COMX 492 Independent Study
[formerly COMT 491 Independent Study]
V1-3 cr. Prerequisites: consent of instructor and chairperson of department. Provides an opportunity for students of outstanding ability to explore material not covered by regular Communication and Theatre courses.
COMX 494 Seminar/Workshop
[formerly COMT 492 Seminar]
V1-3 cr. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. Provides students an opportunity to investigate intensively topics pertinent to the field of Communication and Theatre. This course may be offered ONLY Online.
COMX 498 Internship
[formerly COMT 490 Internship]
V1-3 cr. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. (F, Sp, Su) Provides on-site observational opportunities.
COMX 498 Internship
[formerly COMT 490 Media Internship: Senior Project]
V1-3 cr. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. Provides onsite observational opportunities with selected forms of mass media.
COMX 498 Internship: Cooperative Education
[formerly COMT 496 Cooperative Education/Internship]
V1-9 cr. Provides university credit for a work experience in the area of Communication and Theatre, supervised by faculty. Learning agreement must be completed prior to registration (restricted).
COMX 499 Capstone
[formerly COMT 470 Capstone Project]
3 cr. Prerequisite: COMX 200 and consent of department chair. (F, Sp, Su) Explores how people apply their knowledge of communication in practical contexts. Addresses applied topics such as dealing with conflict, conducting meetings, leading effectively, managing rumors, advocacy, and political communication.