Graduate Courses


This is a three-week course open only to master’s degree candidates in the ESTEEM program, 0.5 credits. This highly compact course offers a look at the principles and techniques involved in effective technical presentations for business audiences. Following a brief review of both theory and practice, students are asked to prepare a two-minute elevator pitch, summarizing their intellectual interest and business plan. That assignment is followed by a more comprehensive technology review for potential business partners.


Fall and Spring, Multiple Sections, 2.0 credits. This course will provide you with an opportunity to improve your spoken communication skills in a variety of settings from informal meetings to large, formal presentations. Speaking experiences include business briefings, informative talks, persuasive speeches and television news interviews. You will receive instructor feedback as well as peer review on every aspect of oral communication, including delivery, non-verbal behavior, content, organization, and visual support. Small sections promote personal student-professor contact and provide time for individual coaching.


Spring, Multiple Sections, 2.0 credits. Because the most important ideas in business end up in writing, and because writing can frequently become a career sifter, this course focuses on the written word as a principal means of implementing business strategy and solving managerial problems. This course will focus on the basics of written expression in a business context, including the communication process, critical thinking, audience analysis, message development, correspondence, and document design.


Fall and Spring, 2.0 credits. Every day we are bombarded with messages meant to influence us. This course introduces you to the dynamics of social influence.  Through class discussion, activities, and lecture, you will learn about classic and contemporary research on persuasion and how organizations are putting these findings into practice.  You will learn how to craft persuasive messages, how to evaluate the attempts of others to persuade you, and how to recognize unethical attempts at persuasion.


Fall and Spring, 2.0 credits. Few issues can affect stock price faster than a corporate crisis or a negative story in the news media. In the course of their careers, managers will confront a series of issues related to corporate communication, including reputation management, media relations, legislative and government affairs, employee communication, and crisis management. Other issues will include investor relations, corporate philanthropy, identity, image, and issue advertising. You'll examine the intersection of three separate yet related groups: the public, the press, and private enterprise. You will also focus on communication programs intended to improve and influence public opinion and public policy on behalf of companies, industries, organizations, and causes.


Fall and Spring, 2.0 credits. Conflict is a central feature of human behavior on interpersonal, organizational, societal, and international levels.  In this course, we explore the psychology of disputes, the nature and sources of conflict, and the ways in which conflict and human emotion can disrupt or make business organizations dysfunctional.  As we examine the nature of conflict, we'll explore behavioral responses and theoretical approaches to it, and offer a wide range of alternatives to working through conflict.  This course is highly practical and will offer you an opportunity to apply current research findings as you interactively participate in conflict resolution.


Fall and Spring, 2.0 credits. This course will prepare students for life and business in an increasingly global, multicultural world.  We'll examine the basics of culture: what is is, how you acquire one, how they change, the roles and functions they serve. We'll also look at the ways in which cultural factors, both domestically and internationally, affect private enterprise, NGOs, regulatory bodies, and global commerce. We'll also examine issues related to communication, culture and identity; culture and power; and the ways we apply our own cultural perspectives to achieve our goals in life.


This Spring Semester 1.0-credit hour course will explore issues, ideas, and trends likely to affect business and society over the next decade.  This course consists of a series of seven separate lectures which will take place on selected Friday mornings from 10:40 a.m. to 12:10 noon. No examinations or graded assignments.  Students must attend all lectures; no unexcused absences.


Summer, 1.5 credits. This highly compact course offers a brief survey of the communication processes, skills, theories and applications at work in the not-for-profit organizations of the North American marketplace.  You will examine authentic management problems in the NFP arena, including a broad range of organizations, business models, and missions.  Assessment of writing and speaking abilities, along with specific feedback to improve performance, are an important part of this one-week course open only to Master of Science in Administration degree candidates.


(MSM Program).  Fall, 1.5 credits. Only a fraction of a manager's communication time and effort is spent on writing, but without question, the most important issues in business end up on paper.  This seven-week course will help you to improve your writing, as well as your critical thinking skills. We look at a range of expression issues related to language use, style, tone, grammar, punctuation, and organization.  Students will learn to make decisions about document preparation, including format, layout, and design.  Students also will develop an understanding of the ethical dimensions of business writing.  One cannot become a better writer overnight, but this course can begin the process.


(MSM Program). Fall, 1.5 credits. More information is being passed orally in business than ever before.  This course can help students improve their speaking skills and overcome their fear of giving a speech.  This seven-week course explores the communication process and shows how success in business is related to one's ability to integrate speaking skills with communication strategy and theory.  Students will learn to research, write, organize, and present business briefings, informative speeches, and persuasive talks using PowerPoint technology.  Students will learn to confront and overcome their fears about speaking in public.