Upcoming Courses


COM 8001-001 Qualitative Research Methods

Qualitative approaches to communication research including phenomenology, ethnography, rhetorical criticism, and semiotic analysis. Emphasis on the performative turn in ethnography and alternative forms of ethnographic writing. Primary work consists of semester-long original study. With Departmental permission, this course can substitute for Senior Project.

Instructor: Way W 6:15 – 9:15pm;

COM 8001-DL1 – Distance Learning Option Available

COM 8009-001 Personal Promotion in Communication (one-credit seminar)

This one-credit seminar gives graduate communication students useful information and competitive advantages in many areas of self-promotion in communication. The course is perfect for those preparing to pursue internships as well as initial or enhanced professional employment. The course will include the following components: Promoting Yourself on Paper; Building the “You” Brand; and Creating Your Career.

Instructor: Cowen 

Friday, January 19, 2018 and Saturday, January 20, 2018


COM 8101 Performance Studies

Performance studies focuses on creating and analyzing aesthetic (embodied, creative, cultural) communication. In this course, you will be introduced to performance theory and practice through essays and performances by Performance Studies, Theatre, Rhetoric, and Cultural Studies scholars. We will examine performance as an object of study, a method of inquiry, and a product. To do so, we will explore performance across a variety of contexts, from our everyday performances of our social roles to the stories we tell about our lives and histories; from the knowledges produced in our bodies and the bodies of our ancestors to the ways performance can be used to understand Others; and from traditional staged performances to performance art and protest. We will investigate how everyday and staged performances can simultaneously maintain tradition and lead to social change. We will experiment with performative modes of learning, writing, and moving through the world. We will ask how performance theory and practice relate to other subdisciplines of communication. Most of all, we will aim to understand how performance(s) may contribute to our understandings of our “real” lives, relationships, careers, and senses of self. In this course you will also learn strategies for mindfulness and self-reflection, writing in your own voice, embracing your creativity, and engaging in qualitative research. No prior performance experience required—just a willingness to learn new ways of being in your body!

Instructor: MacDonald

Tuesday, 6:15-9:15


COM 8304 Journalism

This course covers principles of journalism through theoretical, methodological, critical, and practical lenses. The course is organized around three broad themes. The first—journalism as an institution—includes a treatment of the history, relationship to society, ethics, external influences, and industry structure. The second—journalism as process and product—includes coverage of news production, content and audiences. Finally, the changing dynamics of journalism will feature an assessment of the current and future state of journalism in a networked, digital world. 

Instructor: Ksiazek

Monday, 6:15-9:15


COM 8307 Visual Communication & Culture

This course introduces major theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of images as communicative phenomena.  Students explore the philosophical and strategic implications of these approaches for the analysis and production of visual communication in a variety of media and contexts, as well as consider the consequence of such practices for society.

Instructor: Coonfield

Thursday, 6:15-9:15


COM 8318 Developing Crisis Communication Materials-001

Essential strategies and tools needed by professional communicators. Proven techniques for crisis statements, talking points for media interviews, briefs for management and legal counsel, and message vehicles for the post- crisis environment. Agency teams formed to manage crises through developed materials.

Instructor: Cowen

Friday from 05:00 pm to 09:00 pm  2/2/18 and 09:00 am to 4:00 pm Saturday 2/3/18


COM 8401 Special Topics in Qualitative Research: Advanced Qualitative Data Analysis

This course provides an opportunity for students to engage in qualitative data analysis beyond what is offered in the qualitative methods class. It assumes students have a clear understanding of data collection methods and a preliminary background in qualitative analysis. Students will use their own collection of qualitative data texts and learn advanced techniques for analyzing and interpreting this data. The course reviews basic coding and analytic memo-ing and introduces the computer-aided qualitative data analysis software program NVivo. By the end of the module, students will be introduced to various qualitative analysis approaches, gain a working knowledge of NVivo and have the opportunity to analyze their own qualitative data in innovative ways that will advance course and conference papers, journal articles, and dissertations. 

Instructors: Amy K Way

Fri 4/6/17 from 05:00 pm to 09:00 pm and Sat 4/7/17 from 09:00 am to 04:00 pm

Location: TBA 

COM 8206 Diversity and Organizing

Explores the relational, axiological and cultural implications of communication practices in the negotiation of difference and social identity as central to the organizing process.

Instructor - Hall, Summer Session I, Thursday 6:15-9:15 pm

COM 8300 Public Relations Writing

Journalistic style of writing, media ethics, targeting audiences, practice in fundamentals, media relations techniques; create portfolio writing samples, e.g., industry standard news releases, pitch letters and features, Q&A documents, crisis statements and positions papers.

Instructor - Flanagan, Summer Session III, Tuesdays 6:15-9:15pm. Blended Model (in-person class meetings 6/6, 6/27, 8/1)

COM 8302 Advertising

Research process in advertising, creative platform, development and execution, media planning and buying, evaluating, advertising effectiveness, new and non-traditional advertising, internet and web-based advertising, client management, and advertising in a socially conscious marketplace.

Instructor - Minoff, Summer Session I, Mon/Wed 6-9pm

COM 8306 Media Production

Provides an overview of the video production experience for those who want to include media production in business, advocacy, research and education.

Instructor - Lewis, Summer Session II, Mon/Wed 6-9pm

COM 8002 Quantitative Research Methods

Fundamentals of quantitative communication research. After reviewing the philosophy and practice of scholarly inquiry, students engage in research design and execution, thematic and statistical inference, and the presentation of research results. With departmental permission, this course can substitute for Senior Project.

Instructor - Dr. Jie Xu, Monday 6:15-9:15 pm

COM 8100 The Communication Perspective

Grounds students in communication theory, orienting them to theoretical and ethical issues involved in strategic discourse. Beginning with controversies over rhetoric (public communication), the course then examines meaning-making, and its consequences in various contexts. Assignments include a midterm essay and final paper analyzing an instance of strategic discourse (i.e. public relations, advertising, or marketing campaign; in-house organizational communication; news coverage; health campaign; political discourse; films/television/internet).

Instructor - Dr. Billie Murray, Thursday 6:15-9:15 pm

COM 8301 Strategic Public Relations

Foundation, history and evolution of public relations, including media, management, and client relations, writing, research, ethical counsel and crisis communication. Students form “agency” groups to solve a client’s public relations challenges and present plan to leading public relations professionals.

Instructor - Dr. Bill Cowen, Tuesday 6:15-9:15 pm *This is a blended course, meeting in person 8/29, 10/17, 12/5 and the remaining weeks online.

COM 8303 Mass Media Industries

This course surveys media industries – newspaper, film/home video, broadcast television, cable television and the internet – focusing on how consumer demand, technology and government policies interact to affect industry behavior. Examines audiences as products of mass media industries.

Instructor - Dr. Emory Woodard, Monday 6:15-9:15 pm *This is a blended course, meeting in person 8/28, 10/16, 12/4 and the remaining weeks online.

COM 8314-001 Photoshop

This course introduces students to Adobe Photoshop, the worldwide standard in image editing and compositing software. Learn the fundamentals of image correction and manipulation, how to create layered compositions with multiple images, and how to output files for print, web and a variety of other media formats. 

Instructor: Mafodda

COM 8315-001 Video Shooting Lab

Designed to give students who already have a basic understanding of video shooting a chance to explore issues of lighting, framing, lens choice, white balance, and shutter speed (1 cr.)

Friday, Nov. 10, 6:00 – 8:00 pm; Sat. Nov. 11, 9:00 – 5:00 pm.

Instructor: Mafodda


Graduate Program

Dr. Thomas Ksiazek
Associate Professor
Director of Graduate Studies
Villanova University - Garey Hall

Contact          thomas.ksiazek@villanova.edu           610-519-6434


Our mission is summarized in the University motto: Veritas, Unitas, Caritas. An Augustinian institution, Villanova University values dynamic and diverse community members committed to learning, scholarship and service, and who can contribute to the University’s ongoing conversation regarding ethics, community, and social justice.