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Emerging Communication Technologies Specialization


The Emerging Communication Technologies (ECT) specialization offers students opportunities to explore and investigate how people communicate and connect through, interact with, and are influenced by various forms of emerging media technologies.

Emerging communication technologies graphic posterAreas of studies include (but are not limited to)

  • mobile communication
  • artificial intelligence (AI)
  • robots and virtual agents
  • virtual/augmented/mixed realities (VR/AR/MR)
  • other immersive technologies.

Theoretically, students will study the social, behavioral, and psychological dimensions of the design, use, and effect of these emerging communication technologies in various areas such as business, healthcare, and social/cultural issues.

As a result, students will acquire professional insights of developing user-facing media strategies which is increasingly becoming a coveted quality sought after by the media, technology and entertainment industry. Students will also gain perspectives on how to use new media technologies to offer creative and innovative solutions to critical problems such as social justice, health disparities, and cultural competency.

A unique trait of this cutting-edge specialization in communication studies is that it offers interdisciplinary courses from a wide variety of academic disciplines, including

  • Journalism & Professional Writing
  • Design & Creative Technology from the School of the Arts and Communication
  • Marketing and Information Systems & Technology from the School of Business
  • Computer Sciences from the School of Science.

Core Course Selection for Emerging Communication Technologies Specialization (5)

COM 103: Introduction to Communication Theory

COM 117: (Introduction to Film Studies) or COM 118: (Introduction to Television Studies) or COM 172: (Introduction to Media Communication) or COM 242: (Interpersonal Communication) or COM 292: (Health Communication)

  • If not used for a core requirement, these courses may be used as electives.

COM 265: Emerging Communication Technologies

COM 345: New Media and Health Communication

COM 390: Research Methods

Specialization Electives (4, include at least 2 COM courses):

*Courses in italics – may be in process of curriculum update and/or approval.  Please consult PAWS for a current list of active coursework.

Communication Studies Computer Science Design & Creative Technology Journalism & Professional Writing Marketing Information Systems Technology
COM 201: Social Media: History, Theory, Practice CSC 102: Introduction to Computational Thinking IMM 120: Introduction to Interactive Computing (Crosslisted as CSC 101) JPW 250: Writing for Interactive Media MKT 370: Digital Marketing Strategy/Analytics IST 320: Database Management for Business
COM 212: Intro to Digital Filmmaking IMM 170: What’s New is Old: A History of Innovation JPW 301: Data Journalism IST 340: Web Design & Development
COM 270: Digital Advertising* JPW 322: The Future of the News
COM 310: Theories of Persuasion
COM 312: Intermediate Video: Art of Editing
COM 365: Communication Approaches to User Experience*
COM 411: Intercultural/Racial Communication
COM 460: Global Health & Risk Communication Campaigns: A Social Marketing
COM 487: Advanced Student-Faculty Research
COM 370 Special Topics: Advocacy Communication in the Digital Age
COM 370 Special Topics: Digital Technology & Relationships
COM 370 Special Topics: Editing for Social Media
COM 370 Special Topics: AI-Driven Conversational Agents*
COM 370 Special Topics: Virtual Reality for Social and Health Impact*

Communication Studies Electives (Pick 3 Communication Courses)

Topics in Communication Studies (COM 270 or 270), Internship (COM 399), and Independent Study (COM 391) may be taken to complete the major.

One unit each of internships or independent studies may count as electives toward the major.