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 530A: Engaging Interviews: How to Get What You Need from Interview Subjects & Clients

(

Dalch

)

- Current Quarter | 2022-2023 | Autumn 2022

Track Neutral | 2 Credits
Mondays 10/03-12/05, 6:00PM – 7:50PM | DEN 213
Registration SLN: 23585

Course Description:

Being a great interviewer takes a combination of preparation, presence, and curiosity––whether that interview is with a subject for a published piece or a fact-finding mission with a client. In this class you will learn how to prepare without over preparing, create rapport with your interview subject, and cultivate curiosity and presence while in an interview––so that you can get what you need while creating an engaging experience for both subject and listener/viewer.

The art of inquiry will be approached through a coaching lens in which the interviewer is both directive and actively listening/responding to allow for discovery. Students will also learn about different scenarios in which interviewing skills will be useful (eg, client consulting, podcasting, video, etc.) with guest speakers from various industries invited to add their unique perspectives.

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COMMLD 531: Foundations of Video Storytelling

(

Christensen

)

- Current Quarter | 2022-2023 | Autumn 2022

MCDM Elective | 5 Credits
Tuesdays 10/04-12/06, 6:00PM – 9:50PM | CMU 302
Registration SLN: 13020

Course Description:

The landscape of web-distributed video can be broadly divided into two motifs: Entertainment and Information. From YouTube to Facebook, AR to VR, Twitch to Facebook Live, online video is a storytelling revolution.

Storytelling has been part of the human experience since the formation of language. Today, the technology that surrounds the “tell” of a story (the modes and channels of communication) directly shapes the immersive experience felt by the viewer.

This course focuses on the decisions we make when we tell our stories. This course is both theoretical and practical. Students will be afforded the skills to create and distribute video stories. Additionally, students will be expected to display critical thinking around point of view, audience targeting, ROI success criteria, methodology, and production standards. You are expected to exercise the craft of content creation while at the same time critically evaluating and deconstructing content you see in the marketplace.

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COMMLD 535: Foundations of Audio Storytelling

(

Partnow

)

- Current Quarter | 2022-2023 | Autumn 2022

Track Neutral | 5 Credits
Tuesdays 10/04-12/06, 6:00PM – 9:50PM | CMU 322
Registration SLN: 13021

Course Description:

Whether gathered around a radio in a living room or walking plugged in with headphones, the medium of audio storytelling has always offered the opportunity to build a mindset-shifting community around content. This course traces the evolution of audio storytelling from radio to podcasting that links to communities for various purposes: to educate, to entertain, and to inspire action — and the new golden age of podcasting that we find ourselves in means that audio storytelling has the potential for broad reach and powerful impact. Consideration is given to the core characteristics of strong storytelling, observed through an auditory filter. Class materials are twinned with a selection of cross-sector guest speakers who bring their own craft perspective. Students will experiment with designing their own short audio pieces.

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COMMLD 538: Storytelling and Communication for Mission-Driven Organizations

(

Melograna

)

- Current Quarter | 2022-2023 | Autumn 2022

MCCN Elective | Meets Law and Ethics Requirement | 5 Credits
Sundays 10/9, 10/23, 11/6, 11/13, 11/20, 9:00AM – 5:00PM | CMU 242
Registration SLN: 13022

Course Description:

Nonprofits, NGOs, campaigns and social enterprises are driven by their desire to make the world a better place. As their storytellers, our job is to make sure their messages reach the right audiences and recruit those audiences to the cause. Keeping in mind that mission-driven organizations will often work on complex issues involving vulnerable populations, our job is to pursue this work within an ethical framework that centers the concerns and desires of the people whom our clients serve. Upon completing the course, students will be able to work with mission-driven organizations as their primary storytellers.

Meets Law and Ethics Requirement.

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COMMLD 540A: Building Teams and Community

(

Baltus

)

- Current Quarter | 2022-2023 | Autumn 2022

Track Neutral | 3 Credits
Mondays 10/03-12/05, 6:00PM – 8:20PM | CMU 126
Registration SLN: 13023

Course Description:

Building meaningful community around your work begins with your team. This course focuses on cultivating community from the inside out, in a series of concentric and overlapping circles. First it addresses ways to bring people together within the workplace and make sure they feel valued through rewarding opportunities to brainstorm, collaborate and critique. Then it explores what it means to set communication norms within an organization and how those norms affect an organization’s culture and identity. Finally, it provides a methodology for deepening connections with external audiences, conducting credible outreach, building load-bearing bridges and inviting widespread engagement that leads to social impact.

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COMMLD 540B: Strategic Marketing Communication: Creating Integrated Solutions for Responsible Impact

(

Keyes

)

- Current Quarter | 2022-2023 | Autumn 2022

Track Neutral | 5 Credits
Mondays 10/03-12/05, 6:00PM – 9:50PM PST | CMU 230
Registration SLN: 23517

Course Description:

How should a government agency respond in a Twitter war? How do you score a review for your new product in an online magazine? What’s the best way for a nonprofit to survive a communication misstep in our current cancel culture? This course is designed to help you obtain the knowledge and skills needed to apply a critical thinking approach to communication opportunities and marketing challenges. From creating mission statements to producing videos, this course will teach participants to anticipate the communication needs of an organization and develop effective solutions. We will use a variety of real-world scenarios, interactive discussions and guest lectures to provide practical insight, relevant theory and memorable learning. By the end of this class, you’ll have the knowledge, tools and techniques to understand the components of a strategic marketing communication plan and how to use it to get the right results and build your portfolio for future academic and professional endeavors.

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COMMLD 541A: Crisis Communication: A Survival Guide for Communications Professionals

(

Schwartz

)

- Current Quarter | 2022-2023 | Autumn 2022

Track Neutral | Meets Law and Ethics Requirement | 5 Credits
Tuesdays 10/04-12/06, 4:00PM – 7:50PM | Online
Registration SLN: 13024

Course Description:

The 24-hour news cycle, social media, and online reporting fundamentally changed how institutional leaders, executives, celebrities, politicians, and organizations address crises big and small. Effectively managing a crisis means not just employing PR strategies, but developing a comprehensive communications plan that disseminates actionable content and engages all stakeholders with equal focus across multiple and diverse networks.

This course will identify the key communication issues that must be addressed during an organizational crisis (real or imagined). We’ll examine implementation strategies to engage traditional and social media; digital networks; federal, state and local lawmakers; external and internal stakeholders; and consumers or constituents. As important, we’ll deconstruct and reinforce the personal ethics and behavior required by professionals in a crisis situation. This class uses current events, interactive discussions, real-time exercises, and engaging guest lectures to provide practical insight about effective techniques and lessons learned.

Meets Law and Ethics Requirement.

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COMMLD 541B: Crisis Communication: Response with Responsibility in the Digital Arena

(

Visneski

)

- Current Quarter | 2022-2023 | Autumn 2022

Track Neutral | Meets Law and Ethics Requirement | 5 Credits
Tuesdays 10/04-12/06, 6:00PM – 9:50PM | DEN 111
Registration SLN: 23675

Course Description:

Nothing is more dramatic than a crisis. When an organization, company, industry, or individual in the public eye is in a crisis, communication is one of the crucial routes back to normalcy. Oftentimes, organizations find themselves unprepared when a crisis hits and only then think “Oh goodness, we should get a crisis communications plan in place!” Trying to “spin” a bad situation can both be unethical, and ineffective, damaging reputation, and subsequently business.

This course will teach you how to be rapidly responsive, responsible, and to avoid common pitfalls in crisis comms. We will examine how organizations attempt to anticipate and recover from crises, how the broadcast and print media cover different types of crises, how crisis communications fails, and how it succeeds.

Meets Law and Ethics Requirement.

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COMMLD 544: Professional Short-Form Writing

(

Tomasic

)

- Current Quarter | 2022-2023 | Autumn 2022

Track Neutral | Meets Professional Writing Requirement | 3 Credits
Wednesdays 09/28-12/07, 6:00PM – 8:20PM | CMU 302
Registration SLN: 13025

Course Description:

This collaborative hands-on course explores the kind of short-form writing that dominates today’s rapidly evolving professional communications space — the digital space where lines between content and form increasingly blur and where always-on media feeds deliver a mix of advertising, marketing, public relations, human resources, personal brand-building and journalistic reporting and research. It’s a space that presents new writing challenges every day: professional emails, office memos, newsletters, website copy, funding proposals, executive summaries, op-eds, tweets, blurbs, blogs. Much of this material is badly done. Most of it is mediocre. The best of it, though, sings out and demands our attention, demonstrating mastery in the kind of critical thinking and dedicated practice that delivers copy sharply focused and sure in matching voice and material with form and audience. This course is part professional-communications criticism class and part writing workshop. It’s about learning how to identify good writing; it’s about understanding the process that produces good writing; and it’s about practicing that process yourself.

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COMMLD 558: Law and Policy

(

Baker

)

- Current Quarter | 2022-2023 | Autumn 2022

MCDM Elective | Meets Law and Ethics Requirement | 5 Credits
Tuesdays 10/04-12/06, 6:00PM – 9:50PM | DEN 213
Registration SLN: 13027

Course Description:

This course looks at how the law of digital media, interactive media and social media has facilitated the growth of multimedia storytelling, interactivity, and the explosion of collaborative consumption. Understanding when and how one can remix, reuse, republish, and remake content is critical to any organization’s successful advertising, content creation, distribution, and publication. This course will explore the legal issues surrounding free expression, content production and publication, intellectual property (with a special emphasis on copyright and fair use), and advertising. This course is designed both as a stand-alone course to satisfy the law and policy requirement of the program and as a companion to the data security and privacy law course offered in the Fall, which focuses more on data usage, privacy and security, FTC regulatory issues and intellectual property issues around data and analytics.

Meets Law & Ethics Requirement.

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