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School of Media, Culture & Design

Communication

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

Media Studies | Strategic Communication

The Communication program allows students to tailor their education in media studies or strategic communication. Students learn how to speak about, write about, promote and produce a range of communication media including print, television, film and social media, as well as media forms of the future.

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Media Studies

The media studies focus is for students who are interested in the relationship of communication to entertainment, media and cultural studies. Students engage in the research, critical analysis and creative production of traditional and emerging forms of media. They develop strong writing and analytic skills, as well as a broad-based knowledge of media in the historical, cultural and global context.

All communication students begin with a series of foundation courses at the 100 and 200 level, such as Introduction to Media Studies, Communication Advocacy, Media History, Principles of Human Communication and Media Ethics before choosing an area of focus in their junior and senior years. Media studies courses at the 300 and 400 level include topics such as Media Authorship, Film Genres, Stars and Celebrity, Communication and Gender, Surveillance and Culture, History of Documentary, TV Writing and more. Students who choose the media studies area of focus will be prepared for graduate study, as well as for careers in various entertainment industries.

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Strategic Communication

The strategic communication focus trains students to advocate for personal, political and/or organizational goals. Students develop strategies for communicating with diverse audiences while learning how to create, organize and deliver messages that inform, persuade and inspire. Students also learn how to communicate creatively, persuasively and strategically to build mutually beneficial long-term relationships between organizations and their constituents.

All communication students begin with a series of foundation courses at the 100 and 200 level such as Introduction to Media Studies, Communication Advocacy, Media History, Principles of Human Communication and Media Ethics before choosing an area of focus in their junior and senior years. Strategic communication courses at the 300 and 400 level include topics such as Social Media, Media Entrepreneurship, Digital Journalism, The Art of the Pitch, Marketing, Advertising and Branding, Political Communication and more. Students who choose this area of focus will be prepared for careers in advertising, marketing, management, law, public relations and other forms of social communication.

7500 Magazine

7500 is a student-run magazine encapsulating arts, entertainment and culture in the greater Los Angeles area, including Burbank, Hollywood, North Hollywood, Los Feliz, Eagle Rock, Pasadena, Downtown LA, and beyond. 

Print

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WU Radio

WU Radio, an internet station with a local focus and a global audience enables Woodbury students to get hands-on experience with broadcasting in the digital era.

 

 

 

Internships & Careers

Our students have interned at the following businesses:

  • Warner Bros.
  • Disney
  • KTLA television
  • KCRW radio
  • The Tonight Show
  • The Tavis Smiley Show
  • Indiewire.com
  • Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce
  • Tom Ford fashion design

Internships are a required component of the BA in Communication.

Our graduates are prepared for careers in:

  •  Film
  •  Television
  •  Radio
  •  Public relations
  •  Marketing
  •  Advertising
  •  Entrepreneurship
  •  Social media
  •  Journalism

Our graduates are prepared for graduate school study in:

  •  Law
  •  Psychology
  •  Sociology
  •  Education
  •  Communication
  •  Media studies
  •  International relations
  •  Business management
Nix Santos
Alumni Spotlight
Alumna (BA, 2018)

Nix Santos

Nix Santos was born in Manila, Philippines, and then moved to Rancho Cucamonga, CA at the age of ten. To say that this move changed her life would be an understatement – her whole world turned upside down, opening up infinite opportunities that she never thought were even possible as a young girl. After graduating from Rancho Cucamonga High School, she attended Pasadena City College for a few years until discovering Woodbury in 2015. All this time, her childhood love for film continued to evolve and flourish, writing as a film critic and interning at Everyman Pictures, all while receiving tremendous encouragement and support as a Communication major at Woodbury. Since graduating in December 2017, Nix has gone on to work for the prestigious film and television production company, Bad Robot. She currently works there as the receptionist and holds the ambition of becoming a writer-director.

Elizaveta Grigoryeva
Alumni Spotlight
Alumna (BA, 2018)

Elizaveta Grigoryeva

Elizaveta Grigoryeva was born and raised in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Throughout her middle school and high school she traveled around the world, exploring different education systems and cultures. One day, at the age of 17 she decided to move to the state of Maine, in the United States. In Maine she completed her high school degree and decided that she had had enough of the cold and snow. This led her to sunny Los Angeles, California where she attended Woodbury University as a Communication major. As a Communication student, Elizaveta learned an enormous amount of information that provided her not only with a background in the history and theory of communication but also with great practical skills that have been helpful in her current job as a Development Manager at an Institute for Education, Research, and Scholarships. While studying communication, Elizaveta developed an interest in event planning and writing. Today, Elizaveta is writing short stories that she shares with her close friends, and she hopes to write a book someday. Moreover, while writing her senior thesis on “Sustainable Music Festivals,” Elizaveta grew an absolute passion for sustainability. She tries her best to contribute to environmental protection through the recycling of plastic materials, volunteering for beach cleaning events, and in many other ways. She has become inspired to live a sustainable lifestyle and to become a vegetarian. Elizaveta believes that the Communication Department at Woodbury has the best professors who are kind, intelligent, and skillful mentors. With the guidance of her professors, Elizaveta has obtained more than skills and knowledge of communication, she gained a real experience that has prepared her for her future and made her a stronger individual. Elizaveta’s future plans are focused on becoming an event planner for sustainable networking and art exhibit events. She hopes also to use her communication skills to share awareness about the importance of sustainable lifestyles through her blog, short stories, and meetings with people all around the world during her travels.

“I had more questions walking away from the course than answers, though I am worlds more informed than I was before. That in itself is the point of college. ”


— Nico Madia, Communication Student

“I am grateful that the Communication department has allowed me to express myself and prepare for life after college with courses such as Writing for Media, TV Writing, and Digital Journalism.”


— Rick Diaz, Communication Student
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Facilities

  • Computer labs with Macs and PCs
  • Small classrooms
  • 45-seat state-of-the-art screening room
  • Postproduction facilities

Take a virtual tour of our campus

Communication Courses

The communication major is a Bachelor of Arts degree designed to prepare graduates to enter professional practice or graduate study. Students learn the analysis and practice of communication through media studies, cultural studies and advocacy. A Woodbury communication student engages in a sequenced curriculum that develops the expertise required to enter multiple areas of the professional world of entertainment and communication media.

Course Requirements

COMM 100: Intro to Media Studies
This course provides an understanding of the dynamic interactions that exist between the self, media, society, and culture. It is meant to impart a sense of the forces guiding our involvement in this nexus, and the accompanying consumption of media products like books, TV, radio, and even toys. We will learn about the history of media systems directed at mass audiences, the major trends in effects research, and the general impact of the large-scale industrial production of culture. Lecture.

COMM 101: Communication Advocacy
This course will introduce key approaches to the study of rhetoric, language, persuasion, and cultural processes across diverse contexts. Students will explore theories of advocacy, gain experience in the critical analysis of persuasive messages, and develop skills in creating and analyzing strategic communications. Lecture.

COMM 120: Public Speaking
This course provides a study of the oral presentation of ideas and feelings that blend contemporary communication theory with traditional approaches to public address. This course also provides experience in public speaking, interpersonal communication, and critical listening. Lecture.

COMM 121: Principles of Human Communication
This course provides a framework for thinking about how culture and society are constructed in our communication practices by exploring the technological, social, cultural, and aesthetic dimensions of human communication and introducing students to key topics in interpersonal, intercultural, and nonverbal communication. Lecture.

COMM 215: Media History
How do new forms of media and communication grow out of older forms? How do new media technologies alter the cultures from which they emerge? This course explores how major developments in media technologies have influenced history and how major historical and social changes have reshaped media forms. In so doing, the course draws connections between the ‘present’ and historically and culturally specific modes of communication. Lecture.

COMM 230: Research Methods
This course examines the complex relationship between the many scholarly disciplines that study communication and the theoretical and methodological divides that separate them. Students will acquire working knowledge of interpretive, historical, ethnographic, survey, and experimental research methods in historical context. The goal of the course is to help students develop tools for a rigorous, multi-method research practice. Lecture.

COMM 235: Media Ethics
This course will explore the origins of ethical behavior and actions within the media by looking at both classical and contemporary approaches to ethical decision making and applying them to modern media practices. Students will question media behavior, critique media practices, and search for suggestions that will most positively affect both the media institutions and the publics with which they interact. Lecture.

COMM 237: Media and Identity
This course examines the relationship between mediated forms of communication and the formation of individual and social identities, with a particular emphasis on identities related to race, class, gender, ethnicity, and sexuality. Through a combination of lecture, screenings, and discussion, students will examine the ways in which popular media serves to construct, maintain, reproduce and/or challenge the patterns of representation that shape our social and cultural understanding of identity. Lecture.

COMM 204: Public Relations
This course introduces messaging strategy using a combination of public relations theory and practical application. Lecture.

COMM 209: Advertising
This course introduces students to North American advertising techniques. Components of advertising campaigns are used to illustrate these techniques in both successful and unsuccessful marketing efforts. Lecture. 

COMM 210: Interpersonal Communication
This course fosters a dialogic view of interpersonal exchange, in which meaning is co-created. Throughout the semester, the course provides opportunities for students to improve interpersonal communication in their personal and professional lives. Lecture.

COMM 212: Intercultural Communication
This course provides and inter-, intra-, and cross-cultural analysis of processes and problems of communication as affected by ethnic or national identity; effects of differences in language, values, meaning, perception, and thought are examined. Lecture.

COMM 222: Film Studies
This course introduces students to the study of film form and culture by exploring a wide variety of issues related to the study of film, including aspects of production, distribution, reception, style, genre, and authorship. Lecture.

COMM 223: Television Studies
This course will analyze television as a medium of information, purveyor of mass culture, and form of aesthetic expression, tracing the development of television as both a cultural product and an industry. Lecture.

COMM 225: Writing for Media
In this course, students will develop writing skills specific to communication and media-related fields. Emphasis will be placed on writing structure and style, the importance of revising and editing, and the emergence of a writer’s voice.

COMM 310: Argumentation
This course focuses on the theory and practice of argumentation, with an emphasis on developing skills in argumentation and applying those skills to real world problems. Students will study a range of topics in argumentation theory as well as engage in argument in a variety of contexts. Lecture.

COMM 323: Cultural Studies
Cultural Studies is an academic discipline devoted to understanding and reading the world around us, particularly those elements we define as “culture.”  In this class, students will examine some of the different theories and theorists that make up the field of Cultural Studies, as well as various methods used to decode the objects and ideas that surround us. Lecture.

COMM 335: Media and Social Change
This course examines the relationship between media and social justice, first by exploring the theoretical/historical foundations of these connections, and then by putting theory into practice through media production projects. Lecture.

COMM 360: Media Professions
This course provides a window into various fields related to communication and media studies, and gives students the chance to examine future career options. Through guest speakers, field trips, analysis of media industries, and completion of student projects, students will gain a better understanding of the career opportunities and internship possibilities available to them. Lecture. 

COMM 485:  Senior Seminar|
This course is a capstone research seminar for students in the communication major.

COMM 490: Communication Internship
The purpose of this course is to integrate professional experience with a student’s intellectual and academic interests. Students will participate in an on-the-job practicum in a communications related field while completing academic work designed to create connections between practice outside the academy and the theoretical concerns of the discipline.

COMM 314: Digital Journalism
This course develops writing, editing, reporting, design, production and public relations skills through work on the Woodbury student digital magazine, 7500.

COMM 327: Gender & Communication
This is a gender studies course that draws from media studies and communication methodologies. In this course we will examine the social construction of gender in contemporary American culture. We will draw upon various theoretical approaches to gender, and we will look at a number of case studies that demonstrate how femininity and masculinity are constructed, disputed and debated in our culture today. We will examine the visual presentation of female and male bodies in media, how the media represents sexuality, and how stars serve to mobilize and manage spectator desire. Lecture. 

COMM 330: Social Media
This course looks at the channels of communication that make up the social media space, focusing specifically on how media technologies figure into practices of everyday life and the construction of social relationships and identities. Lecture.

COMM 337: Surveillance & Culture
This course will introduce students to a broad range of political, social, and cultural applications of surveillance technologies in the 20th and 21st centuries, paying particularly close attention to the ways in which film, television, and new media technologies structure the culture of surveillance in our daily lives.

COMM 338: History of Documentary
This course will survey the international history of documentary film and video with particular emphasis on the relationship between nonfiction practices and questions of truth, knowledge, history, politics, and ethics. Throughout the semester, we will investigate how the traditional concerns of documentary theory such as realism, authenticity, and commitment to public discourse have been redefined in contemporary times.

COMM 341: Film Genres
This course is an historical and theoretical survey of film genre as a stylistic and narrative device. It will focus on one or more genre as a case study for exploring genre’s significance in the historical, cultural and economic fabric of the film industry. 

COMM 342: Film Noir
This course explores the origins and evolution of the film noir, from its literary beginnings to its contemporary manifestations. Students will look at the loosening of censorship structures that allowed for noir’s emergence in Hollywood, the politics of post-war America that gave context to the films’ bleak cynicism, and the films’ distinctive style and character archetypes as they work to develop a better understanding of the genre’s significance within the history of cinema.

COMM 345: Media Authorship
What does it mean to be an “author” in the creative industries? How are artistic reputations constructed and understood? This course examines the complications of media authorship by studying the style, themes and development of one or more authors. 

COMM 350: World Cinema
This course offers a survey of narrative filmmaking outside of the United States from World War II through the beginning of the 21st century, focusing on various New Cinemas and other significant and influential film movements. The goal of the course is to examine the aesthetic histories of international filmmaking, while analyzing how particular film movements respond to local and global changes in political, social, and cultural climates over time.

COMM 305: Media, Self, and Society
This course provides an exploration of the techniques used in propaganda and the persuasive communication strategies that convert ideas into ideologies. These techniques and strategies are illustrated in several ways, including marketing campaigns, artistic efforts, and wartime propaganda. Lecture.

COMM 307: Rhetorical Theory
This course surveys major classical and neoclassical treatises on rhetoric. Works include those of Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Quintilian, St. Augustine, Blair, Burke, Whately, Toulmin, Campbell, Habermas, and other leading theoreticians. New units might look at African, Asian, and feminist approaches to rhetoric. Lecture. 

COMM 314: Digital Journalism
This course develops writing, editing, reporting, design, production and public relations skills through work on the Woodbury student digital magazine, 7500.

COMM 336: The Art of the Pitch
This course helps students become more persuasive speakers. It offers a history and context of the pitch process and documents the multiple formats of pitching across the design and business disciplines. Students also develop the analytical and critical tools necessary to evaluate the pitches of other students from multiple majors. It is intended for juniors and seniors and is preparatory for senior projects. Lecture.

COMM 330: Social Media
This course looks at the channels of communication that make up the social media space, focusing specifically on how media technologies figure into practices of everyday life and the construction of social relationships and identities. Lecture.

COMM 400: Philosophy of Communication
This course introduces students to some of the philosophical issues involved in human communication. Topics will include: the analysis of different types of communication; the relationship between communication and identity; the connection between communication and politics; the nature of language; and the role that symbols play in communication. These topics will guide discussions aimed at investigating the role of communication in larger philosophical issues, such as existential notions of being, and the production and dissemination of knowledge. Lecture.

School of Media Culture & Design Studio Faculty

Faculty Directory

Woodbury’s faculty are accomplished, caring academics and professionals dedicated to supporting the success of students throughout their academic journey. They bring their professional expertise to students and work closely with them to teach the skills and theory required to enter professional practice or pursue advanced study. Through this individual attention, Woodbury fosters close mentoring relationships between faculty and students in a supportive and encouraging environment.

FACULTY DIRECTORY

University accredited by:

WSCUC: Senior College and University Commission (formerly WASC)