901 West Main Street
Temple Building, Room 2216
P.O. Box 842034
Richmond, Virginia 23284-2034
Phone: (804) 828-2660
Fax: (804) 828-9175
robertson.vcu.edu

Hong Cheng, Ph.D.
Professor and director

Jeff South
Associate professor and director of undergraduate studies

June Nicholson
Professor and director of graduate studies

Natasha Long
Coordinator of student services

The Robertson School of Media and Culture prepares effective and skilled communicators through quality instruction, advising and student services, based on real-world applications. Through research, professional service and scholarship in applied communications, the school advances the knowledge and practice of a multidisciplinary and evolving media environment. The school values truth, ethics, creativity, innovation, collaboration, cultural diversity, shared governance and community engagement.

The school offers a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications with specialization in one of three concentrations: advertising, journalism and public relations. The school also awards the Master of Science in Mass Communications, with concentrations in the areas of integrated PR and advertising, multimedia journalism, and strategic public relations.

Undergraduate information

Admission guidelines and requirements

Incoming students can declare mass communications as their major through the last day of add/drop. VCU students in other programs who wish to declare mass communications as their major must complete MASC 101 with a minimum grade of C and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5. In addition, students planning to major in advertising must complete MASC 201 with a minimum grade of C; and students planning to major in public relations must complete MASC 210 with a minimum grade of C.

Full-time students can spend no more than two academic years in the foundation from the time of enrollment. If they have not advanced to a concentration, then they will be separated from the major.

Admittance to a concentration in the Robertson School of Media and Culture is contingent on meeting the following requirements: an overall minimum GPA of 2.5 in all courses and completion of the required mass communications foundation courses. Transfer students will be evaluated on an individual basis but generally will be required to meet the prerequisites for admission during the second semester they are enrolled at VCU.

Once admitted to a concentration, students must maintain a minimum cumulative and major GPA of 2.5. If a student’s GPA falls below 2.5, he or she will have one year to meet the GPA requirement. Students who fail to do so will be separated from the program. This does not preclude the student from completing another major at VCU.

Certification of these requirements must accompany a formal petition for admission to a concentration. At this time, the student must select a specialization in one of the school’s concentrations: advertising, journalism or public relations. Students selecting the advertising concentration must choose either the advertising/creative or advertising/strategic concentration. Students selecting the journalism concentration must choose either the journalism/broadcast or journalism/print-online concentration.

Students who have been separated from the major may appeal to the school’s Undergraduate Studies Committee by following the process described on the school’s website.

Mass Communications Scholars Program

The Mass Communication Scholars Program demands a rigorous course load and a high GPA. It prepares students for professional positions in the communications fields and for competitive post-graduate programs. The program supports the highest standards of excellence in education and is designed to enhance the education achievement of students through a variety of special opportunities, demands and programs.

The Mass Communication Scholars Program is open to undergraduate mass communications majors who have been accepted into the VCU Honors College.

To graduate as Mass Communications Scholars, students must:

  • Maintain an overall 3.5 GPA and a 3.5 GPA in the major.
  • Maintain good standing in the VCU Honors College.
  • Complete 18 credit hours in honors courses or “variants.” At least 15 of these honors credits must be taken in the school. At least three honors credits must be completed each academic year.
  • Attend at least four Honors-speakers events or colloquia each academic year for exchange of ideas.
  • Complete a capstone, three-credit thesis or project course, MASC   492.
  • Complete an approved international component.
  • Compile a dossier or portfolio of their work to document their educational career, major, interests and scholarly pursuits. The dossier will include an essay on how the student has become a well-educated individual deserving of Mass Communications Scholars designation.

The Robertson School of Media and Culture will offer at least two honors courses or “variants” per year. Variants are courses in which students may receive honors credit while in non-honors courses by meeting additional requirements such as more advanced readings, greater depth in research or project work or additional assignments as deemed appropriate by the instructor (and approved by the Honors College).

The Mass Communications Scholars Program is a departmental honors program linked to the VCU Honors College. Mass communications students will be able to graduate with mass communications honors and with university honors. Mass Communications Scholars will earn a distinctive designation at their graduation ceremony.

Honors courses and courses designated as variants will be listed in the Schedule of Classes for each semester. Students wishing to enter the Mass Communications Scholars Program should contact the program coordinator.

 

MASC 101. Mass Communications. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Open only to mass communications majors or media studies minors, or by permission of School of Mass Communications. A comprehensive overview of mass media which examines its history and evolution. Emphasis is given to the ways in which communications technologies have shaped and are shaped by society. Considers how digital and earlier technologies have led to increasing integration of world cultures and economies. Includes discussion of mass media law and ethics, including the origins and evolution of a free press and the legal framework of contemporary mass media practice.

MASC 151. Global Communications. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Explores how communication media and globalization drive each other and how they both impact the nation-state as well as international institutions. Examines how technology, the global economy and international media corporations influence culture, politics, business, law and other institutions in countries around the world. Explores the relationship between media systems and governments and how both are affected by technology and globalization. Crosslisted as: INTL 151.

MASC 201. Curiousness. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Study and practice of the first attribute for success in creativity: curiousness. Students engage in practical applications, readings, lectures, demonstrations and in-class exercises that build curiosity and help students identify and trust their natural curious nature. Provides advertising and non-advertising majors with rigorous and provocative challenges to stimulate further interest in creating for media.

MASC 203. Journalism Writing. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: MASC 101 minimum grade of C, UNIV 112 or both ENGL 295 and HONR 200 with minimum grade(s) of C, and minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5. Study and practice in fact gathering and development of basic writing skills for print, broadcast and online journalism. Focuses on journalistic storytelling, grammar, Associated Press style and knowledge of current affairs.

MASC 204. Story. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 1 lecture and 4 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: MASC 101 minimum grade of C and 201 minimum grade of C, UNIV 112 or both ENGL 295 and HONR 200 with minimum grade(s) of C, and minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5. Focuses on writing for advertising and consumer communications (the best advertising tells stories to which consumers can relate). Students study the parts of a story, what makes a story interesting and how to find those things. Practice includes looking for, finding and constructing a story. A survey of many different ways storytelling is involved in making advertising. Practice in applying storytelling skills to several advertising and communication projects.

MASC 210. Public Relations. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Introduction to public relations principles and practices, including analysis of tools, media, ethical responsibilities and emerging technologies. Special attention to the theory and research literature on rational and ethical persuasion.

MASC 251. Global Health and Social Media. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. An online service-learning class in which students explore the theory and practice of social media campaigns for global health issues and develop projects for nonprofit clients. The class will explore the following issues: theories and concepts of social media campaigns about global health issues; practical application of social media in health campaigns; targeting online audiences through social media; utilization of multimedia content for social media; and organizational strategies for social media to achieve social benefits.

MASC 261. History and Development of Journalism. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 101 with a minimum grade of C. An examination of the regulatory, technical, economic and creative foundations of print, broadcast and Web-based journalism. Historical, contemporary and ethical issues are also addressed.

MASC 290. Ethical Problems in Mass Media. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 101 minimum grade of C. Examination and analysis of contemporary issues and problems in conventional and new media. The philosophical foundation and principles of ethical decision-making are explored. Critical and unresolved issues are discussed within the legal and ethical framework of modern mass media practice. Students are required to design and justify resolutions to the issues and present defenses for the resolution proposals.

MASC 291. Topics in Communications. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. 1-3 credits. May be repeated once with different content. A study of a specialized topic in mass communications. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered.

MASC 300. Technical Prowess. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 204 minimum grade of C. For advertising students only. Examines the functions of visual and graphic communication in the print and electronic media. Focuses on mastery of graphics software and basic design principles used in advertising. Students gain hands-on experience with state-of-the-art computer graphics and layout programs. (May not be taken if student has taken MASC 301 or 334.).

MASC 301. Graphics for Journalism. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 203 with a minimum grade of C. For journalism students only. Examines the functions of visual and graphic communication in the print and electronic media. Focuses on creative typographic and layout design principles and integrates practice in editing, graphic creation, digital-image manipulation and professional publishing. Students gain hands-on experience with state-of-the-art computer graphics and layout programs used in newspaper and magazine journalism. (May not be taken if student has taken MASC 300 or 334.).

MASC 303. Reporting for Print and Web. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: MASC 203 minimum grade of C and UNIV 200 minimum grade of C or HONR 200 minimum grade of C. Detailed study in reporting and writing news stories for print publications and websites. Focus on interviewing, writing news and features and preparing for entry-level reporting assignments. Students also will learn online presentation skills, including photos, audio, video and interactive elements.

MASC 305. Copy Editing. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 301 minimum grade of C. Instruction and practice in basic newspaper and online editing with a focus on practical experience in editing local and news service copy for publication. Includes emphasis on headline writing, development of news judgment, accuracy and fairness, and potential legal problems for copy editors. Attention also will be paid to layout and design for newspapers and online.

MASC 317. Visual Acuteness. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 300 with a minimum grade of C. Enrollment is restricted to advertising majors. Study and practice of visual problem-solving and graphic design. This course uses design thinking, conceptual thinking and process. Topics include building harmonious systems, using the typographic grid and understanding the relationship between type and image.

MASC 333. Public Relations Writing and Media Relations. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: MASC 203, MASC 210, and UNIV 200 or HONR 200, each with a minimum grade of C. Enrollment restricted to public relations students. An intensive writing course focusing on researching and writing materials in support of the public relations function. Practice in preparing various collateral including news releases and advisories, story pitches, special events background materials, media kits, employee newsletters, community relations materials, and formal public speaking scripts. Explains the role and function of the news media and the unwritten rules that govern interaction with the news media. Students will learn how to construct an effective media relations strategy, how to be interviewed with skill and assurance and how to evaluate media relations within the organization’s public relations plan.

MASC 334. Public Relations Graphics and Production I. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 203 and MASC 210, each with a minimum grade of C. Enrollment restricted to public relations students or media studies minors. Study of the functions of visual and graphic communication for public relations practice. Focuses on basic design principles and skills in editing, graphic creation, digital-image manipulation, Web and interactive content. Students gain hands-on experience with state-of-the-art computer graphics and layout programs. (May not be taken if student has completed MASC 300 or MASC 301.).

MASC 335. Public Relations Graphics and Production II. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 334 with a minimum grade of C. Enrollment restricted to public relations students only. Continues development of visual and graphic communication skills acquired in MASC 334. Introduces development of additional multimedia skills to include photography, electronic newsletters and video storytelling. (May not be taken if student has completed MASC 300 or 301.).

MASC 336. Social Media in Public Relations. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 203 and MASC 210, each with a minimum grade of C. Enrollment restricted to public relations students. Covers development, trends and application of social media. Focuses on social media as a strategic tool for public relations professionals. Identifies and analyzes functionality and best practices, including audience engagement, benchmarking and appropriate metrics for social media monitoring, measurement and evaluation.

MASC 337. Public Relations Management and Case Studies. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 203 and MASC 210, each with a minimum grade of C. Enrollment restricted to public relations students. Through intensive review, study and discussion of public relations case studies, students will use and further develop their critical-thinking abilities to analyze how the public relations function was managed to serve organizational goals. Students will critique existing case studies as well as develop their own individual case studies.

MASC 338. Professionalism in Public Relations. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 203 and MASC 210, each with a minimum grade of C. Enrollment restricted to public relations students. Study of public relations careers, including in-depth examination of types of practice and industry choices for professionals. Includes development of job-seeking skills such as networking, resume and cover letter writing, interviewing, as well as professional skills such as impromptu and extemporaneous speaking, presentation development and effective meeting management. Focus on ethical practice and understanding of effective long-term professional development activities such as the Accredited in Public Relations and Accredited Business Communicator credentials.

MASC 341. Feature and Article Writing. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 303 minimum grade of C or 363 minimum grade of C. Practice in preparing articles and features for newspapers and magazines. Emphasis is on creative journalistic writing and development of writing skills.

MASC 359. International Media Coverage: The Middle East. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 101 or MASC 151 with a minimum grade of C. This interdisciplinary course explores the media's role in covering cultural, political, religious and other issues in the Middle East. Students will examine the role and impact of the media in both the United States and Middle East in shaping global and regional public opinion. Using webcam and online technology, VCU students will discuss cross-cultural perspectives with students from the other U.S. universities and universities in the Middle East. Crosslisted as: WRLD 359.

MASC 361. History and Development of Journalism. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 203 or 204 with a minimum grade of C. An examination of the regulatory, technical, economic and creative foundations of print, broadcast and Web-based journalism. Historical, contemporary and ethical issues are also addressed.

MASC 363. Introduction to Broadcast Writing. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 203 with a minimum grade of C. Corequisite: MASC 367. Students will concentrate on developing news writing and reporting skills for television and radio. Course work will include weekly writing assignments and the production of broadcast-quality radio and television stories. Knowledge of current events is essential.

MASC 367. Audio and Video Journalism. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 203 with a minimum grade of C. Corequisite: MASC 363. Open to mass communications majors only. Focuses on the purpose, function and execution of basic techniques of audio and video field and studio production operations, especially as they relate to news. Emphasizes the production of broadcast-quality media content. Fieldwork production, remote production and live production, along with audio and video recording and editing, are covered.

MASC 380. History of Advertising. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 203 or 204 with a minimum grade of C. A foundation survey, from prehistoric to present day. What is advertising? How did it get to be that way and what might it become? Advertising's place in society through several eras, with emphasis on U.S. advertising history, but attention also paid to the role of advertising in other countries. An overview of the creation of the ad agency, a summary of its parts, an explanation of its workings and its place in society. Understanding advertising as practiced from various viewpoints including the agency, public, clients and social and political groups.

MASC 381. Great Advertising. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 380 minimum grade of C. Explores the practitioner-oriented approach to the creation, preparation and evaluation of advertising, branding and communications. Views great advertising from the perspective of integrated marketing communication and utilizes case studies of advertising and branding campaigns for some of the world's best-known brands.

MASC 382. Acumen. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 380 minimum grade of C. Focuses on excelling in the business aspects of advertising, branding and communications. To understand an advertising client's business needs, one must understand how the client does business. Students will learn about advertising from within the context of marketing, business and commerce.

MASC 392. Perspicuousness. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: MASC 204 with a minimum grade of C and UNIV 200 or HONR 200 with a minimum grade of C. Intensive practice in choosing the right word for the right occasion. Study of the different types of advertising copy used by both local and national advertisers. Focuses on creative thinking and inspired writing for advertising, branding and communications.

MASC 393. Creativity for Television. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 380 minimum grade of C. For mass communications majors only. Learn the process of developing professional-level television advertising with a concentration in creative thinking and solutions. Students create TV commercials with attention to scripts, storyboards, talent, visual composition, editing, music, sound effects and direction.

MASC 394. Imagination. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 300 with a minimum grade of C. Study of art direction: practice in visualizing and utilizing media space aesthetically. Students complete assignments each week, ranging from traditional advertising to alternative media venues. Results are presented in front of the class for critique by faculty and fellow students.

MASC 397. Ubiquity. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 204 minimum grade of C. Using media to help achieve the client's ad objective. An intensive problem-based course on using mass, personal and social media to engage the consumer, to help communicate the brand's message and to add impact to a communications campaign. Students will study media planning and buying of all types of media (TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, outdoor, online and nontraditional).

MASC 398. Awareness. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 204 with a minimum grade of C. Understanding what advertisers can look for in their research and how they use research to connect with consumers. Through this intensive research practicum focused on account planning, students will learn to research consumers, competition and brands. Students will use quantitative (such as online surveys) and qualitative (such as focus groups, panel studies, one-on-one interviews) methods to research consumers and target audiences. Students will conduct competitive market research on brands.

MASC 399. Empathy. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 204 with a minimum grade of C. Focuses on managing client accounts, team management, group dynamics, negotiating and presentation skills. Students learn how to persuade through understanding of others, including how to make smarter decisions, spark innovation and solve problems more quickly, and how to create a culture of candor, trust, resilience and accountability in clients and in coworkers.

MASC 403. Advanced Reporting. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 303 minimum grade of C. For mass communications majors only. Capstone course for journalism/print-online concentration. Intensive study of the techniques of reporting meetings and news of public affairs. Attention will be paid to covering governmental agencies at all levels. Instruction in newspaper editing included. Quality of writing will be a paramount and continual consideration. Emphasis on fast-paced deadlines. This course may not be taken simultaneously with MASC 404, MASC 475 or MASC 496 without permission from the instructor.

MASC 404. Specialized Project Reporting. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 303 with a minimum grade of C. For mass communications majors only. Capstone course for journalism/print-online concentration. Provides news beat experience for students reporting on complex issues facing the public in the urban community. Emphasis also on editing, team reporting, in-depth research and interviewing techniques, and use of public records. This course may not be taken simultaneously with MASC 403, MASC 475 or MASC 496 without permission from the instructor.

MASC 408. Communications Ethics and Law. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 203 or 204 with a minimum grade of C. Study of ethical and legal issues affecting the practice of journalism and public relations. Examination and analysis of contemporary issues and problems in conventional and new media. The philosophical foundation and principles of ethical decision-making are explored. Critical and unresolved issues are discussed within the legal and ethical framework of modern mass media practice.

MASC 409. Truth and Honor. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: MASC 204 minimum grade of C and 380 minimum grade of C. For mass communications majors only. A survey of laws pertaining to the creation of advertising, such as trademark and copyright, and to the effects of advertising in the culture. A discussion of ethical questions pertaining to persuasion, communication and the effects of advertising in the culture.

MASC 415. Advanced Video Journalism. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: MASC 363 and 367, both with minimum grades of C. Corequisite: MASC 460. Students learn advanced field shooting and editing techniques as well as the inner workings of the television studio, including studio camera operation, advanced audio and video editing, visual storytelling, and advanced camera techniques.

MASC 423. Tourism and Hospitality Public Relations. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 203 and MASC 210, each with a minimum grade of C. Enrollment restricted to public relations students. Examines the role and practice of public relations in the tourism and hospitality industries. Students will learn how to use public relations strategies and tactics to stimulate interest among travelers in destinations and specific activities. Emphasis on media relations, special events, sponsorships/partnerships and social media.

MASC 424. Sports and Entertainment Public Relations. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 203 and MASC 210, each with a minimum grade of C. Enrollment restricted to public relations students. Examines the role and practice of public relations in the sports and entertainment industries. Students will learn the role of public relations in managing relationships with the news media, fans and fan groups, and other key audiences. Focus on media relations, social media, sponsorships/partnerships, promotions and community relations.

MASC 425. Public Relations Research. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 203 and MASC 210, each with a minimum grade of C. Enrollment restricted to mass communications majors. An introduction to the role of research in public relations, with primary emphasis on content analysis, focus group, survey and communication audit methods and the evaluation of quantitative research data.

MASC 433. Special Events. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 203 and MASC 210, each with a minimum grade of C. Enrollment restricted to public relations students only. Students learn the theory and organizational strategies of special events as a function of public relations. Topics include client consulting, objective setting, budgeting, sponsorships, vendor negotiations and follow-up procedures.

MASC 435. Crisis Communication. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 203 and MASC 210, each with a minimum grade of C. Enrollment restricted to public relations students. Students learn techniques for dealing with sudden and unexpected situations that have a negative impact on organizations and their images to key constituencies. Through case studies and crisis simulation exercises, students develop strategic solutions for crisis situations. Students are provided with the insights, confidence and practical expertise needed to manage the consequences of a wide range of possible crises in ways that maintain, or even enhance, their employer’s reputation.

MASC 438. Organizational Communications. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 425 with a minimum grade of C. Enrollment restricted to public relations students only. Focuses on the tools to communicate with employees, volunteers and special organizational internal publics, and how those internal messages are used to achieve the goals and objectives of organizations. Students learn the theories of organizational communication and the techniques used to conduct an internal audit of the communication climate in an organization.

MASC 439. Agency. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: MASC 333, 335, 336, 337 and 425, each with a minimum grade of C. Enrollment restricted to public relations students. Application of public relations theory and methods in the preparation of a plan for a public relations campaign. Special attention to the planning process including issues analysis, and application of public relations and research methods.

MASC 450. Style. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3-3 credits. Prerequisites: MASC 392 and 394, both with a minimum grade of C. For mass communications majors only. An advanced, intensive study of advertising style, forming one's own sense of style and the creative process. Emphasizing strategic and creative development of advertising campaigns. Students will conceptualize advertising campaigns, execute digitally produced, comprehensive advertisements and campaign materials, and assemble a final portfolio. Culminates in a formal portfolio review with professionals from the advertising industry.

MASC 451. Invention. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 450 with a minimum grade of C. For mass communications majors only. An advanced, intensive study of inventiveness in the creative process. Emphasis on strategic and creative development of advertising campaigns that builds on what students learned about advertising style in MASC 450. Prepares students for post-graduate work or study. Students will conceptualize and produce advertising campaigns and assemble a final portfolio. Culminates in a formal portfolio review with professionals from the advertising industry.

MASC 459. Judgment. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: MASC 398 and 399 and 6 additional credits of MASC electives, all with minimum grades of C). For mass communications majors only. Application and demonstration of inspiration, innovation, advertising knowledge and skills. Designed to help students in the strategic concentration compile a strong, comprehensive body of work used in brand communications. Students will develop competence in evaluating communication concepts, market situations and client and agency concerns.

MASC 460. Advanced Television Newsgathering. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: MASC 363 and 367, both with minimum grade of C. Corequisite: MASC 415. Television news practicum. Using the university and the city of Richmond as their classroom, students will report, write and produce television and multimedia news stories. Electronic newsgathering and editing equipment will be utilized to create professional-caliber projects.

MASC 461. The Documentary. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: MASC 303, 415 and 460, each with minimum grade of C. An examination of documentary concepts through analysis of radio, television and film documentaries. The course will center on the development, writing and production of a documentary in the medium (audio or video) of the student's choice.

MASC 462. Photojournalism. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: MASC 363 minimum grade of C and 367 minimum grade of C. Examination of theoretical, technical and practical use of photography in communications and reporting, along with theories and legal guidelines of photojournalism. Training in news photography (both still and video) and its application in converged media. Students must have their own manually operable 35 mm film or digital (minimum 3.2 megapixels) single lens reflex cameras with at least a 50 mm lens or a zoom lens capable of 50 mm shooting. Students will use departmental video cameras.

MASC 463. Advanced Radio Newsgathering. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: MASC 363 minimum grade of C and 367 minimum grade of C. Radio practicum. Using the university and city of Richmond as their classroom, students will report, write and produce radio news stories. Studio and remote equipment will be utilized to create professional-caliber projects.

MASC 465. Newscasting. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 1 lecture and 4 laboratory hours. 3 credits. May be repeated once for a total of 6 credits. Prerequisites: MASC 303, 415 and 460, each with minimum grade of C. Concentrates on developing on-air skills in radio and television studio and field situations. Emphasizes journalistic principles in delivery of news, public affairs, editorial and interviews. Stresses grammar, diction and broadcast writing.

MASC 466. Television Studio Production. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 1 lecture and 4 laboratory hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 203 or 204 with minimum grade of C. Instruction and practice in basic television and studio production. Supports the production of television broadcast journalism programming by broadcast journalism students and explores standards, contemporary technologies and best-practices techniques for modern studio video production.

MASC 467. Nonprofit Project Development. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 210 with a minimum grade of C or MASC 380 with a minimum grade of C. Students will be selected to work with area nonprofit clients to create and produce a wide variety of advertising and promotional materials. Students will develop strategy, write creative briefs, recruit teams to work with them during CreateAthon onCampus (a 24-hour creative event held during Spring Break), present work to clients and follow any deliverables through production. Strong emphasis on leadership and a commitment to working with nonprofits.

MASC 474. Diversity in the Media. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 101 with a minimum grade of C. Enrollment restricted to mass communications majors and media studies minors. Examines historical and contemporary issues associated with the presence and portrayal of selected groups in/by the media in the United States. Examines groups based on race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion and other characteristics. Issues related to diversity and diversity awareness in advertising, journalism and public relations are also explored.

MASC 475. Capital News Service. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 303 minimum grade of C. For mass communications majors only. Capstone course for journalism/print-online concentration. Advanced journalism students cover state government and politics, including the Virginia General Assembly, the governor, regulatory agencies and elections. Students produce content for publication by newspapers and other news outlets and for social media. Strong emphasis on fast-paced deadlines. This course may not be taken simultaneously with MASC 403, MASC 404 or MASC 496 without permission from the instructor.

MASC 480. Touch. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: MASC 398 minimum grade of C and 399 minimum grade of C. For mass communications majors only. Designing advertising strategies that touch the target audience and engage them in the brand. Students learn to understand the research, the consumer, the competition and the client's brand so that they can develop a strong communication strategy. This is an advanced study of the strategic side of advertising.

MASC 481. Completeness. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: creative advertising concentration: MASC 392 and 394, both with minimum grade of C; strategic advertising concentration: MASC 398 and 399, both with minimum grade of C. For mass communications majors only. Intensive study in the planning and preparation of advertising campaigns. Students develop complete advertising plans including research, media and creative strategies, sales promotion plans and merchandising plans.

MASC 485. Web Site Design. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 300, 301 or 334 with a minimum grade of C. Students will receive an introduction to the processes, principles and tools of website design, development and production. The course will focus on the development of strong interactive interfaces, animation, graphic images, text, and functional site design and organization. In this hands-on, computer-based course, students will design and develop a comprehensive site and launch it to the Internet. Increasing the students' knowledge of design principles and technical skills with Web development tools will be emphasized.

MASC 488. Strategic Communication of Health and Medical Issues. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 425 with a minimum grade of C. Enrollment restricted to public relations students only. Students will discuss the role of media and strategic communication in publics’ information-seeking behaviors and formation of attitudes, beliefs and behaviors about health and medical issues. Closes the gap of health information disparity and enhances the communication practice of health-related organizations. Topics examined include thorough case analyses, primary and secondary research and strategic health communication design projects. The principles of strategic communication are applied to areas such as health care public relations, health audience segmentation and messaging tailored for different media forms.

MASC 491. Topics in Communications. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. 1, 2 or 3 credits per semester. May be repeated with different topics for a maximum of 9 credits. Prerequisite: MASC 203 or 204, either with a minimum grade of C. An intensive study of a specialized field of mass communications.

MASC 492. Independent Study. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. Variable credit. Maximum of 3 credits per semester; maximum total of 6 credits for all independent study courses. Prerequisite: MASC 203 or 204 with a minimum grade of C. The course is designed for students who wish to study subject matter not offered elsewhere in the mass communications' curriculum.

MASC 493. Fieldwork/Internship. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. 1, 2 or 3 credits per semester. May be repeated with different topics; maximum total of 6 credits may be applied toward graduation. Prerequisites: MASC 203 or 204, either with a minimum grade of C, and permission of internship coordinator. Selected students will receive on-the-job training under the supervision of an instructor and the employer. Internships are available in newspapers, magazines, public relations, advertising, radio and television.

MASC 496. Mobile and Social Media Journalism. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: MASC 303, 363 and 367, each with minimum grade of C. Capstone course for print-online journalism students. Integrates journalism skills and concepts from previous writing and reporting classes and adapts them to mobile and social media. Students work in a newsroom environment to utilize mobile devices and social media platforms to identify compelling story ideas, effectively break news and report on important news events and issues while applying theories and concepts of online social networking to journalism. Students develop their own professional social media portfolios and build online communities. This course may not be taken simultaneously with MASC 403, MASC 404 or MASC 475 without permission from the instructor.