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Department of Mass Communications

Course Descriptions

Students must take MCO 201, MCO 211, MCO 221, MCO 322, MCO 323, MCO 328, MCO 363, and MCO 425.In addition, students emphasizing journalism must take MCO 321 and MCO 421. Those focusing on broadcast production must select two additional courses from MCO 324, MCO 422, MCO 423, and MCO 435.In addition to MCO courses, all students must take five required courses outside the department, called department core courses. These are BUS 204, ENG 211, INT 351, ART 190 or MUS 225, and one theatre course selected from among THR 161, THR 211, THR 212, or THR 226. Students must also complete all the university core courses, and complete a total of at least 120 credits, including a minimum of 21 elective credits.
  • MCO 201 Introduction to Mass Media (3).  Introduction to the principles, philosophies, policies and practices of the broadcast media and allied professions of advertising and public relations. Attention is also given to historical perspectives of broadcasting, its regulations, plus communication and change. (Prerequisite or corequisite for all other MCO courses)
  • MCO 211 Principles of Journalism (3) - Prerequisite: "C" or better grade in ENG 112.  An introduction to the basics of writing for the media in terms of style, structure, comprehension, and readability.
  • MCO 221 Reporting and Writing I (3) - Prerequisite: MCO 211.  Examines the fundamentals of newsgathering, news writing, interviewing, research, news judgment, and deadline pressures.
  • MCO 231 Introduction to Multimedia (3) - First part of course introduces important principles, philosophies, and industries of new media. The second half of the course will focus on applying principles learned through incorporation of introductory word processing, graphics, multimedia, and web design skills.  
  • MCO 321 Reporting and Writing II (3) Prerequisite: MCO 221.  A study of the principles, techniques and forms of gather and reporting news for broadcast media. Planning and producing for newscasts and public affairs programming are stressed. 
  • MCO 322 Radio Production I (3) - Prerequisite: MCO 201.  An introduction to the techniques and procedures in the creation, production, and direction of radio programs.
  • MCO 323 Television Production I (3) - Prerequisite: MCO 201.  An introduction to the techniques and procedures in the creation and production of television programs. Concentrates on studio production work.
  • MCO 324 Television Production II (3) - Prerequisite: MCO 323.  Theory and techniques of portable videotape production (ENG and EFP). Students gain experience in all phases of producing and editing.
  • MCO 327 Educational and Public Broadcasting (3) - Prerequisite: MCO 201.  The origin, organization, regulation, and responsibilities of non-commercial broadcasters, with attention given to programming and financial support.
  • MCO 328 Writing for Radio and Television (3) - Prerequisite: MCO 211.  Development of basic writing skills needed to produce copy for the broadcast media. Stresses the difference between media, contrasting the development of an idea for radio and television, and noting the adjustments necessary to communicate effectively with each.
  • MCO 331 Web and Desktop Publishing (3) - Prerequisite: MCO 231.  Medium to advance skills associated with publishing content in a variety of digital environments will be learned and applied by students taking this course. Particular focus is paid to graphics, work processing, layout software applications, and the principles and technologies of advanced web development.
  • MCO 335 News Editing (3) - Prerequisite: MCO 221, MCO 321.  Study and practice in copywriting, headline writing, and proofreading. Attention is given to editing terminology, page makeup, and use of computers in editing.
  • MCO 363 Broadcast Announcing (3) - Prerequisite: MCO 322 Training in articulation, voice projection, modulation, and quality, along with studio performance applied to radio and television news, sports, commercial, and music announcing. Emphasis is placed on laboratory experiences.
  • MCO 412 Research Methods in Communications (3) - Prerequisite: Senior status.  Study of the methods, techniques, and measuring instruments currently used in the analysis of communications.
  • MCO 421 Advanced Reporting Practicum (3) - Prerequisite: MCO 321, and MCO 322.  Application of principles learned in MCO 221 and MCO 32l to an actual professional situation. Students are placed with a local media organization to gain hands-on experience in news writing.
  • MCO 422 Radio Production II (3) - Prerequisite: MCO 322.  Advanced study of the process of studio and commercial recording for radio broadcasts through an examination of the principles of tape recording and editing. Participation in extensive commercial and studio recording projects is required.
  • MCO 423 Television Production III (3) - Prerequisite: MCO 324.  Application of concepts and practices learned in Television Production I and II. Students produce and direct studio and portable video exercises. Emphasis is placed on laboratory experiences.
  • MCO 425 Mass Media Law (3) - Prerequisite: MCO 201.  Study of laws, rules, and regulations governing the broadcast industry in the United States.
  • MCO 435 Electronic Media Management (3) - Prerequisite: MCO 201.  Focus on the principles and radio and television management, including economic, administrative, and organizational structures and procedures.
  • MCO 481-2 Seminar In Radio/TV (3) - Prerequisite: Advanced Student Status, Permission of Instructor.  Topics rotate.
  • MCO 485-6 Internship In Communication (1-6) - Prerequisite: Advanced Student Status, Permission of Instructor.  A practicum course that allows students to combine classroom theories with hands-on experience in an off-campus facility.
  • MCO 491 Independent Study (3) - Prerequisite: Senior Status, Permission of Instructor.  Special projects in advanced studies.