The Master of Science (M.S.) Degree in Communication offers advanced-level practitioner-oriented study in two emphasis areas: Corporate Communication and Mass Communication. Both emphases provide an advanced understanding of how communication effectiveness may be enhanced in a wide variety of contexts.
Students who choose the Corporate Communication emphasis typically have professional goals in business and industry, corporate training and development or communicating with various publics. Students who choose the Mass Communication emphasis typically have professional goals in broadcasting and electronic media, journalism, advertising, or mediated persuasion. An M.S. degree in Communication also allows students to teach communication courses at the technical/junior college level.
The curriculum provides a broad overview of communication as a field of academic endeavor. It also incorporates an advanced understanding of communication theory as it relates to message dissemination at the interpersonal, group, organizational, public or mass societal levels. The curriculum also incorporates course work in which students learn to collect, analyze and interpret data pertinent to a wide variety of communication-oriented applications. Specific topic seminars are offered for each emphasis.
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In addition to the application form, candidates must include a written statement of goals outlining their reasons for selecting a program of study in Communication. Two letters of recommendation also must accompany the application. These letters should come from individuals in a position to judge the applicant’s potential for graduate learning; letters from former instructors are highly recommended.
Students whose undergraduate academic performance would place them in a probationary entry status are encouraged to enroll as Noncandidates for Degree (NCFD) and to register for at most nine units of graduate course work in Communication (not to include 700 level courses). Entry into the Communication Degree program in good standing then may be possible with an NCFD grade point average of 3.00 (B) or higher.
Students admitted to the degree program must demonstrate an appropriate background through undergraduate course work or professional experience. Students found to lack preparation for advanced level course work will be required to complete undergraduate foundation course work as follows:
A. For both emphases, undergraduate course work in communication theory and communication research methods, or their equivalents, is required.
B. For students in the Corporate Communication emphasis who wish to concentrate on Corporate Communication, course work equivalent to COMM 327, Introduction to Organizational Communication, is required.
C. For students in the Mass Communication emphasis, course work equivalent to either COMM 232, Foundations of Electronic Media, or COMM 431, Mass Communication in Society (as determined by the graduate coordinator), is required.
D. Students must achieve a grade of C or better in a deficiency course. If a student does not achieve this grade, they may retake the course following the University of Wisconsin Whitewater’s undergraduate course retake policy. Students may not take the related graduate level courses (i.e. 785, 722, 629, 627, and 731) until a grade of C or better is achieved in the related undergraduate deficiency course.
E. Undergraduate deficiency courses must be completed before the student will be allowed to take more than 9 credits at the graduate level.
Foundation course work may not be taken for graduate credit.
A. Applicants with a completed baccalaureate degree whose undergraduate GPA (or equivalent) is at 3.0 or higher will be accepted into the Communication graduate program in “good standing.”
B. Applicants with a completed baccalaureate degree whose cumulative undergraduate GPA (or equivalent) is between a 2.75 and a 2.99 will be accepted into the Communication Graduate Program “on probation.”
C. Applicants who do not meet the above requirements for admission to the program [i.e. applicants with a completed baccalaureate degree whose cumulative undergraduate GPA (or equivalent) is under a 2.75] will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Such applicants MAY BE admitted into the program on probationary status based on credible evidence of ability to do satisfactory graduate work. Such evidence will be determined by the Communication graduate program coordinator in consultation with the department graduate faculty, and may include but is not limited to an exemplary postgraduate employment record; a satisfactory score on the Graduate Record Examination, GMAT or Miller Analogies Test; and/or the successful completion of 12 or more credits of graduate work with a cumulative 3.0 GPA level or higher at a regionally accredited institution.
Students admitted on probation must achieve a cumulative raduate GPA of 3.0 within the first 12 units of graduate credits attempted, including repeated courses. Those failing to do so will be ineligible to take further graduate work in the program.
D. Students who are not accepted to the program may enroll as a Noncandidate for Degree (NCFD). This category allows the student to enroll in graduate level courses and to receive graduate credit for this work. No more than 12 graduate units taken as an NCFD can be applied toward the completion of a graduate degree program at UW-Whitewater. Thus, before completing more than 12 units as an NCFD, a student is encouraged to reapply for the Communication degree program. Students who achieve a cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher in 9-12 credits of graduate level communication coursework (including repeated courses) taken as a NCFD may be accepted into the program on probation.
Thirty units of course work including one of the following:
For students choosing the thesis option, 3 units of Thesis Research (799) may count toward the 30 required units. For students choosing the Applied Communication Project option, 3 ACP units (789) may count toward the 30 required units.
Students pursuing the thesis option are encouraged to complete a thesis literature review by enrolling in Individual Study (798), prior to enrolling in Thesis Research (799), for 3 units.
Students pursuing the ACP option are required to complete an ACP proposal prior to enrolling in ACP (789) for 3 units. Students are encouraged to enroll in Individual Study (798) to facilitate their development of the proposal. Proposal forms are available from the Communication Program Graduate Coordinator.
A student may not carry more than three units of individual studies in a single term. For students choosing the thesis or ACP capstone options, not more than four units of independent studies, not more than three units of practicum credits, and not more than a combined total of nine units of individual studies, workshops, practicum, and capstone credits (i.e. thesis/ACP credits) may count toward the completion of the degree. For students choosing the written examination capstone option, not more than four units of independent studies, not more than three units of practicum credits, and not more than a combined total of six units of individual studies, workshops, and practicum credits may count toward the completion of the degree.
At least half of the degree course work in the degree program, and at least half the course work in the emphasis chosen, must be completed in courses numbered 700 or higher.
The program is designed to take four academic-year semesters (not including summer terms) if you are participating in the program on a full-time basis.