Course Descriptions

COMM300 Foundations I (3 units)

This is an introductory course to graduate program in the field of Communication. This course attempts to prepare students for their graduate work by introducing the history of the field and the position of Intercultural Communication in relation to other sub-fields. Students will also learn the academic writing convention of the discipline, get introduced to relevant campus resources (library, Moodle, etc.), and set up their personal portfolio space.

COMM301 Foundations II (3 units)

Building on to the Foundation I course, this course is designed to prepare students for their internship experience, whether abroad or domestic, as well as their thesis. Students will be matched with their internship organizations or countries for study abroad through this class. Students also learn about both professional and advanced study post-graduation options, and begin exploring both as they map their final year in the program.

COMM305 Applied Research Design (3 units)

This course is designed to focus on methods of data gathering. In this course, students will learn designs of quantitative and qualitative research, such as experiment, survey, interview, participant observation, and ethnography. Students design a project to address a particular intercultural communication phenomenon, and the importance of proper research design for professional applications, including project or training assessment and evaluation. Each student’s proposed research project will be executed in COMM306 Applied Research Methods course.

COMM306 Applied Research Methods (3 units)

This course prepares students to execute a research project using both quantitative and qualitative data analysis. The primary foci of data analysis include (M)ANOVA, regression, and mediation and moderation analysis for quantitative survey data and coding based on the grounded theory approach for the qualitative data. Continuing from COMM305 Applied Research Design course, students will collect and analyze the data and interpret and report the results.

COMM310 Communication and Culture (3 units)

This course investigates the relationship between communication and culture. Students will use case studies to apply a range of intercultural communication theories to analyze problems that typically arise in “real world” cross-cultural settings. Students are expected to make a clear connection between a communication phenomenon (e.g., current social issues) and intercultural communication theories as they work toward critical engagement with intercultural and cross-cultural communication competency.

COMM311 Identity and Intercultural Communication (3 units)

This course aims to develop a critical cultural consciousness. Students begin by examining their own cultural identities and then learn how to view interactions with others through the lens of intercultural communication. Through self-awareness and understanding how identity, culture, and communication work together, students learn critical skills to enhance their intercultural competence. Students work in groups to apply these insights by developing a diversity training activity grounded in theories of identity and intercultural communication.

COMM312 Interpersonal Communication (3 units)

This course is designed for graduate students as an advanced study and application of principles, practices, and theories of interpersonal communication. To that end, we will examine important interpersonal communication theories and trends in the study of interpersonal communication, with focus on research methodologies, critique, and practical application. The course will be comprised of readings, lectures and discussions, out-of-class assignments, and exams. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the communication process as it pertains to interpersonal relationships in various contexts (e.g., intercultural, workplace, romantic, family, conflict, etc.). 

COMM315 International Communication (3 units)

This course offers a review of our “global village,” which is dangerously divided not only by power struggles and interest conflicts but also by message flows that create confusion and justified or unjustified suspicion. Special attention is given to the role of the United Nations (and its specialized agencies dealing with communication) as a vital mode of cross-cultural communication among the leaders of nations, and to the role of the media in defining global policy issues. 

COMM380 Advanced Topic in Intercultural Communication (3 units)

A special topic course focuses on some aspects of intercultural communication. Courses may directly address intercultural communication between people from two or more social groups (e.g., intercultural conflict management, intercultural relationship development) focus on the influence of and influence on intercultural communication (e.g., stereotypes, communication and values in East Asia, neocolonialism, whiteness, hegemony, power, gender, race, class, sexuality), or take a meta-theoretical examination of culture or cultures. Advanced topic course can be offered as an undergraduate-graduate course.

COMM390 Internship (3 units)

Students are placed in an organization with an intercultural emphasis, either in the Bay Area or at a predetermined partner site abroad. In addition to gaining intercultural experience relevant to fieldwork and employment, students will apply prior learning on research design and data analysis by collecting intercultural data at their internship site for analysis as part of their MA Thesis. Students predominantly meet with their thesis advisor by individual arrangement to discuss the progress throughout the semester. This may include virtual meetings for students abroad. All students also participate in an online cohort forum for sharing and discussing their internship reflections.

COMM399 MA Thesis (6 units)

Students complete an original applied research project that they present and defend to their MA thesis committee composed of three graduate program faculty members by the end of May. Students predominantly meet with their thesis advisor by individual arrangement to discuss their progress throughout the semester. Thesis advisors also review students’ final portfolio and help customize it for either professional or advanced study audiences.

MA thesis is an original and collaborative work between the student and the advisor. It is research based, and the scope of the study must include intercultural communication as its core, with either a professional or academic emphasis. Students must defend their prospectus (including the purpose and significance of the study, literature review, and methodology) to a committee of three graduate program faculty members including the advisor. At the conclusion of the study, students must pass the final MA thesis defense evaluated by their MA thesis committee. Regardless of the option (i.e., academic thesis or professional project), all students’ projects must be theoretically grounded, data-driven, and methodologically rigorous. In particular, students who choose the traditional academic thesis will aim to have their project contribute to the scholarly conversation; on the other hand, students who choose a professional project may work with the organization they interned for and use data analytics to help solve an organizational problem. All students will be encouraged to submit their work for conference presentation and/or publication.

COMM302 January Term: Curriculum Development

This course focuses on the important professional skill of development of intercultural communication curriculum for classes and workplace trainings. It is also designed to prepare students to become mentors to the new cohort. Topics covered include mentoring, curriculum planning and development, classroom/workshop management, and Learning Outcome development and evaluation. This course also includes the application of Lasallian, liberal arts, and multicultural approaches in the classroom and workplace. Grading for this course is pass or fail. 

COMM303 January Term: Advanced International Externship

Students spend the month working in teams on an intercultural communication project in partnership with an international organization. After a week of on-campus preparation, students travel abroad in teams with instructors to do work on the ground for 10 days. They then have a week back on campus to finish the project. A course fees that covers the cost of traveling applies. Grading for this course is pass or fail.