Classes

Classes are designed to challenge your thinking and develop your professional skills. You’ll leave each class with a unique set of tools to approach new communications challenges.

Tailor your experience to your career goals by focusing on one of eight areas of specialization. Use the search widget below to sort classes by quarter, specialization, instructor and degree track for each quarter. Get a comprehensive view of the full academic year in our Course Guide.

View the University of Washington Academic Calendar for important dates, including quarter start and end dates, registration dates and deadlines, and campus holidays.

Registration numbers (SLNs) are located on the Time Schedule. Please read the Department’s statement on internet resource requirements for access to courses.

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COMMLD 501: Leadership and Communities

(

Yasin

)

- Current Quarter | 2022-2023 | Autumn 2022

Track Neutral | Core Requirement | 2 Credits
Thursdays 09/29-12/08, 6:00PM – 8:20PM | PCAR 192
Registration SLN: 13009

Course Description:

This foundational class considers leadership development through the two lenses of story and community. Sustained community engagement in the service of a more equitable and just world requires strong leadership models. Personal history and cultural context influence leadership styles, so using cross-sector profiles and guest speakers, we will carefully consider a range of leaders, their life stories, communication styles, and how they connect meaningfully to customers, colleagues, and constituents. Credit/No Credit only

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COMMLD 503A: Practicum: UX Design in Action

(

Gordon

)

- Current Quarter | 2022-2023 | Autumn 2022

Track Neutral | 3 Credits
Mondays 10/03-12/05, 6:00PM – 8:20PM | Online
Registration SLN: 13010 (application required)

Course Description
In this practicum, students will work on a real-world design problem—forming a partnership among design students, instructor, and a client.  Students will work in a team-based context and apply their design-thinking skills to improve a business’ website by reducing user frustrations and helping the business reach its goals.

The final deliverable will be a client presentation highlighting what frustrations were discovered through research and testing, how the design thinking process was applied to maximize user and business needs, and will include a prototype to visually express the proposed solution incorporating the totality of the evaluation.

Credit/No Credit Only.

**Since this class takes foundational concepts to the next level, students who register must have either already taken one of our intro courses (511 or 512) or Psychology of UX (517) or have equivalent UX experience. Please fill out the application when it is available to the best of your ability. If your form is approved, you will receive an add code to register for the course. Note: applications will be time stamped, and qualified applicants will be added to remaining class spots on an equitable basis determined by time of application and remaining time in the program. The application is available here and will begin accepting responses on Tuesday, June 21, at 12:00pm PDT (noon).

About 503 Communication and Leadership Practicum
Communication and Leadership Practicum courses give students an opportunity to engage with and understand the uses of course concepts in contemporary professional practice by addressing the challenges of real-life organizations.
Each section of the Comm Lead Practicum focuses on a distinct professional skill or practice that is deemed essential across a variety of professional fields. Students can choose their section based on their interests and needs. Each section is matched with a client organization or group of client organizations who are interested in partnering with Communication Leadership students.

In the span of a quarter, students analyze the issues faced by the client organization(s), collaborate and brainstorm collectively in small teams, and with the support of their faculty mentor create a deliverable for the client organization(s) that relates to the specific practice. Students may also create creative samples as part of the project. In doing so, students can develop and enhance skills, build foundations of practice, and produce work that they can include in their own professional portfolios.

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COMMLD 503B: Practicum: Consulting and Client Management

(

Wilson

)

- Current Quarter | 2022-2023 | Autumn 2022

Track Neutral | 3 Credits
Tuesdays 10/04-12/06, 6:00PM – 8:20PM | Online
Registration SLN: 13011

Course Description

Grow It Forward Restoration connects volunteer gardeners to organizations working to restore native wildlife habitat. In this practicum, students will collect and analyze data, synthesize insights into coherent stories and produce a set of testimonials for the client that will provide relevant, engaging, real-life examples of how the program helped volunteers and habitat restoration organizations.

This practicum is designed to simulate a professional setting, where you may not be clear on what is expected of you and where you will succeed if you can learn to embrace ambiguity, see challenges as opportunities and demonstrate the ability to solve complex problems with aplomb. Students will examine the challenges faced by the client organization, collaborate with their team to manage a project, and meet with members from the client organization to report on progress and receive feedback on developing ideas and processes. At the end of the quarter, and with the support and feedback of the instructor, students will create a final deliverable for the client organization.

Credit/No Credit Only.

About 503 Communication and Leadership Practicum
Communication and Leadership Practicum courses give you the opportunity to engage in contemporary professional practice by addressing the challenges of real-life organizations. Each section is matched with a client organization or group of client organizations, and focuses on a distinct professional skill or practice that is deemed essential across a variety of professional fields. Students can choose their section based on their interests and needs.

Designed to mirror a professional setting, our Practicum offer you the opportunity to work at a higher level and with greater responsibility than what you might encounter in an internship or in entry-level work. In the span of a quarter, you will enhance highly-desirable professional skills, produce work that you can include in your own professional portfolios, and most importantly, leave with a story–your story – of what you did in this project to create value for your client.

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COMMLD 510: Leveraging Diverse Perspectives in Product Content Design

(

Davies

)

- Current Quarter | 2022-2023 | Autumn 2022

Track Neutral | 3 Credits
Wednesdays 09/28-12/07, 6:00PM – 8:20PM | DEN 212
Registration SLN: 13012

Course Description:

This course will guide students through a variety of techniques and processes to building experiences that are inclusive, and designed to directly serve their intended audience. This includes a lightweight look at understanding and defining your audience, testing for a variety of accessibility challenges, designing for inclusion, and an overview of ways to get feedback from your audience.Students will then be able to leverage these techniques to evaluate experiences to identify opportunities to improve.

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COMMLD 511: Introduction to User Centered Design

(

Joslyn

)

- Current Quarter | 2022-2023 | Autumn 2022

MCDM Elective | Meets Research Methods Requirement | 5 Credits
Sundays In-Person (10/9, 10/23), Online (11/6, 11/20), In-Person (12/4), 10:00AM – 4:00PM | CMU 104
Registration SLN: 13014

Course Description:

This course focuses on the fundamentals of user experience design, identifying the skills and concepts needed to successfully design products and services for humans. We will learn the principles of design thinking so that students come away from the class with a framework for understanding how to identify real user problems, design solutions for how to solve those problems, and then test those solutions with real people.

Meets Research Methods Requirement.

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COMMLD 512: User Research and UX Strategies

(

Levine

)

- Current Quarter | 2022-2023 | Autumn 2022

MCDM Elective | Meets Research Methods Requirement | 5 Credits
Wednesdays 09/28-12/07, 6:00PM – 9:50PM | CMU 104
Registration SLN: 23379

Course Description:

This course focuses on the design, implementation, and evaluation of user interfaces from a usability perspective. The aim of the class is to study the concepts, methods, and techniques of usability engineering, with a focus on the artifacts where user experience is essential. Historically, usability has covered aspects of efficiency, learnability, and ease of use. Today, a large number of other measures for success rely on elements such as playability, engagement, entertainment, immersion, and aesthetics.

The above concepts will be detailed with the expectation that by the end of the quarter, students will recognize the aspects of each of the following deliverables within Interface Design and User Research. At the completion of this course, students will have portfolio-ready, end-to-end work examples. The work examples are designed for students to demonstrate they can: understand basic principles of user interface design, implementation, and evaluation, design and conduct usability studies, select an appropriate evaluation method and articulate its advantages and disadvantages, establish useful test objectives, and prepare reports and presenting results.

Meets Research Methods Requirement.

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COMMLD 513: Content Marketing

(

Weaver

)

- Current Quarter | 2022-2023 | Autumn 2022

MCCN Elective | Meets Research Methods Requirement | 5 Credits
Saturdays 10/8, 10/22, 11/5, 11/19, 12/10, 9:00AM – 5:00PM | Online
Registration SLN: 13015

Course Description:

This course focuses on the approach and implementation of marketing programs that encourage community building and engagement. Content marketing is a special kind of content that you can use to build relationships with audiences, drawing new audiences or rewarding loyal fans. Our focus will be on how to give freely of our knowledge. We will explore a research-backed method for how to make content that educates and supports audiences, that complements advertising, mission-driven, or task-based content. 

To do so, we will learn the basics of a content strategy process. Our 6 part data-driven methodology includes working with secondary research: stakeholder goals and audiences. Conducting our own primary research in comparative and content review. Building from research, we’ll explore best practices and tactics for messaging, content planning, and delivering strategy concepts to clients or coworkers. Our final product focuses on building brand storytelling, effective messaging, and planning adaptable content for multichannel (physical or digital) environments. Final materials can be useful for portfolios. 

Meets Research Methods Requirement.

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COMMLD 517: The Psychology of User Experience

(

Haverly

)

- Current Quarter | 2022-2023 | Autumn 2022

MCDM Elective | Meets Research Methods Requirement | 5 Credits
Mondays 10/03-12/05 6:00PM – 9:50PM | Online
Registration SLN: 23514

Course Description:

Designers, product marketers, and entrepreneurs will learn the psychological constrictions of attention, perception, memory, disposition, motivation, and social influence that determine whether or not customers will be receptive to their digital innovations. This will give their innovations an edge on what are increasingly competitive platforms such as apps, bots, in-car apps, augmented reality content). Students will learn…

  • The psychological processes determining users’ perception of, engagement with, and recommendation of digital innovations
  • Examples of interfaces before and after simple psychological alignments that vastly enhanced their effectiveness
  • How to identify, apply theory, and develop consulting or research recommendations based on psychological theory
  • Application to their own business interests. A deeper understanding of common digital interfaces such as conversion funnels, display advertisements, and mobile notifications.
  • A broader understanding of the human context of digital ventures, and the ethical differences between alignment and meeting needs vs. exploitation and unsustainable design approaches

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COMMLD 523: Foundations of Branding: Social Media Communications and Strategy

(

Tang

)

- Current Quarter | 2022-2023 | Autumn 2022

MCDM Elective | 5 Credits
Saturdays 10/01, 10/15, 10/29, 11/12, 12/3, 9:00AM – 5:00PM | Online
Registration SLN: 13016

Course Description:

Communication on digital platforms and networks will be the forever norm of our society and human experience. In this course, we will learn, practice and investigate the fundamental principles of communication through digital platforms such as social media. We’ll identify strategies used by social media platforms to maximize their key metrics and apply them to business metrics that brands and organizations use to fulfill their objectives and goals. At the end of this course, you’ll be able to identify areas of opportunity on social media platforms to create interesting campaigns, analyze emerging social trends to stay ahead of the curve, and use the tools and best practices of the world’s most powerful brands to engage audiences.

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COMMLD 524: Copywriting Fundamentals for Marketing

(

Schiller

)

- Current Quarter | 2022-2023 | Autumn 2022

Track Neutral | Meets Professional Writing Requirement | 3 Credits
Sundays 10/2, 10/16, 10/30 9:00AM – 5:00PM | CMU 126
Registration SLN: 13017

Course Description:

This advanced marketing writing class is designed for students who can already write well, but want formal training in persuasive copywriting techniques – the kind that drive people to call, buy, join, or sign-­up. If you’ve ever agonized over finding just the right words to achieve your goals, this class is designed to get you there faster. It introduces some of the most effective and well-­tested methods used by professional storytellers to outsell and outrun the constantly changing market. Students will learn how to use techniques based in psychological research to get measurable lift in subject line open rates, landing page conversion rates, app store downloads, and more. Using a combination of readings, case studies and practical writing assignments students will learn the art and science of creating top-­performing marketing text.

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