University of Southern California

Undergraduate Courses


BUAD 302 Communication Strategy in Business (4 units/required core)
This course is designed for you to acquire knowledge and skills in business communication. You will gain an understanding of business communication theory and apply this understanding to communications in a wide range of business and organizational contexts. Apply communication theory to develop business communication strategies, including evaluation of purpose, audience, context, and channel choice. Demonstrate the ability to analyze, compare and critique these strategies, and effectively communicate this assessment. In addition, this course prepares you for effective interviewing to succeed in your internship or job search.

WRIT 340 Advanced Writing for Business (4 units/required core)
The Advanced Writing for Business course is designed not only to help you write effectively in a business environment, but also to improve your general ability to research and analyze complex ideas, to appreciate and develop the skill of effective argumentation, and to write clear, grammatical, well-structured communications. With emphasis critical thinking, ethics, and issues of business and public concern, coursework is designed to increase your capacity to analyze audiences and tailor content and style to produce writing that communicates with confidence.

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Undergraduate Electives


BUCO 252: The Art of Case Analysis and Presentation
2 units | Fall, Spring
Develop analytical problem-solving and persuasive presentation skills to successfully analyze strategic business situations and convincingly argue your position in a competitive environment.

BUCO 260: Business Communication Across Cultures
2 units | Fall, Spring
Reflect and build on your LINC, GLP, or other overseas experiences – or prepare for upcoming USC international trips. Acquire intercultural communication competencies, analyze international business situations.

BUCO 333m Communication in the Working World: Managing Diversity and Conflict
4 units | Fall, Spring
Learn about communication strategies to manage workplace diversity and conflict. Examine historical, social, legal precedents and institutional barriers to diversity. Fulfills USC diversity requirement.

BUCO 425 Ethics and Professional Communication
4 units | Fall
Study the intersection between business and professional leadership, language, and ethics. Analyze and present results to public audiences through publications, professional conferences, ethics case competitions.

BUCO 445 Building Oral Communication Expertise
4 units | Fall
Achieve advanced professional speaking skills through a coaching model that focuses on persuasive business presentations, both in-person and via new media channels; emotional intelligence; and personal branding.

BUCO 450 Communication for Organizations: Exploring Creativity
2 units | Fall, Spring
Develop individual creative thinking and problem solving skills; enhance managerial communication skills necessary to foster workplace creativity.

BUCO 458 Managing Communication and New Media
4 units | Spring
Achieve interpersonal and collaborative success with new media in the workplace through creative assessment of e-culture management, including analysis of corporate use of YouTube, Second Life, blogs, Skype, and social media.

BUCO 460 International Business Communication
4 units | Spring
Understand cultures and global systems to deepen your interpersonal, cultural and organizational communication skills and prepare you to be successful in international business settings.

BUCO 485 Business Communication Management for Nonprofits
4 units | Spring
Explore the communication issues and challenges that nonprofit managers face. Design communication tools used to conduct fundraising and visibility campaigns, work with a board of directors, attract and retain volunteers, write grants and report on program outcomes, and demonstrate accountability to a variety of private and public constituencies. Fulfills elective option for completion of Marshall's minor in Social Entrepreneurship, SPPD's minor in Nonprofits and Social Innovation

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For MBAs: Personal Brand Development and Professional Communication Strategies


Graduate Courses


GSBA 502 Management Communication for Leaders (MBA core)
This course provides an integration of leadership, interpersonal and communication theory and practice with skill development to improve your ability to drive and lead individual, team, and organizational performance. This course focuses on the key processes (awareness, motivation, knowledge, opportunities and techniques) that will make you a more effective and efficient communicator and leader, and will drive your promotability and success throughout your careers. This course is also designed for you to utilize knowledge, as opposed to just acquiring it, and to build your skills as opposed to just learning about skills.

GSBA 542 Communication for Management (MBA.PM core)
This course is intended to help you to more skillfully move from employee to manager through an enhanced understanding of personal and organizational communication issues. You will examine how organizational members communicate; the discussions will include aspects of goal setting, motivation, and performance improvement through effective intra- and interpersonal communication throughout the organization.

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Graduate Electives


BUCO 503 Advanced Managerial Communication, Spring, Term 1 (M/W or S)*
(offered in Fall for MAcc and MBT graduates only)
Executive coaching model applied to individual interpersonal communication dynamics. Advanced skill development in the application of business communication theory to visual and verbal persuasion and presentations. This model includes initial assessment of skill level, and establishing an individualized goal plan to improve your interpersonal, relational, networking, interviewing, career advancement, and managerial communication skills. Course utilizes multiple delivery methods, including: lecture/discussion sessions; one-on-one and peer coaching sessions; class activities; video analysis; lab sessions; case studies; and experiential learning sessions.

BUCO 533 Managing Communication in Organizations, Spring, Term 2 (S)
(offered in Fall for MAcc and MBT graduates only)
Facilitate team dynamics through communication. Explore team communication through case studies and consulting projects relating to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Crisis Communication, and Business Ethics. This course focuses on exploring and enhancing team dynamics, team leadership, and group communication; it complements individual communication skills student have developed in other courses.

BUCO 599 Gender, Work, and Communication, Spring, Term 2 (M/W)
Understanding the implications of gender-based differences in communication in the workplace: This course particularly focuses on how students can optimize their individual communication styles and practices to achieve professional success and work/life balance. Drawing on readings from a range of theoretical perspectives, as well as on class discussions, experiential activities, and personal reflection, students will develop an understanding of how gendered identities are enacted through communication practices in the workplace, how these practices may either help or hinder their advancement as business leaders, and most importantly, how they may adapt or enhance their own gender-based styles to better manage their professional identities and become more competent communicators.

BUCO 599 Leading with Virtual Communication, Spring, Term 2 (M/W; hybrid-online)**
Exploring how leaders can communicate via new media to drive collaboration, increase employee engagement, build networked communities, and manage change: This course provides theory and practice in how leaders can communicate via social media and other forms of new media to achieve business goals. Students will build their abilities to lead and manage on new social platforms (Facebook-like platforms/intranets for companies) that organizations increasingly use as the hub of their communications. A constant theme throughout the course will be using new media to build professional credibility as a leader.

BUCO 504 Professional Writing for Business, Spring, Term 1-2, F
(meets once a week for 1.5hrs, hybrid-online)**
This course deepen students' understanding and ability of what it takes to create effective communication in writing by engaging them in creating professional documents and texts. Apply communication strategies in business writing to produce written persuasive, directive, informative, or descriptive documents in professional contexts essential for success in today's workplace. This course is project-based and focuses on practical application based on students' project preferences or needs. Students will determine and coordinate with the professor the project and/or documents they will be working on.

*M/W classes meet twice/week for 1.5 hours. Saturday classes meet once/week for 3 hours.
**Hybrid-online means that about half of the sessions are held on campus, and the rest will be conducted online via appropriate media. No special software, or tech knowledge required.

Additional Fall Electives will be published soon.

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Marshall Ph.D. Program: Communication for Doctoral Students


The CMC has developed a series of one- and two-units seminars, in addition to workshops, assessments, one-on-one tutorials and other activities designed to support Marshall doctoral students in developing the communication skills essential for their success as scholars and teachers.

To learn more about doctoral student support services and coursework, contact Prof. Lee Cerling at cerling@marshall.usc.edu