The Master of Science (M.S.) Degree in Communication offers advanced-level practitioner-oriented study in two emphases 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.
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.
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 credits 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 SPEECH 327, Introduction to Organizational Communication, is required.
C. For students in the Mass Communication emphasis, course work equivalent to either SPEECH 131, Introduction to Mass Communication, or to SPEECH 232, Foundations of Electronic Media, is required.
Foundation course work may not be taken for graduate credit.
Thirty credits of course work including one of the following:
1. an approved thesis and an oral defense.
2. an approved Applied Communication Project (ACP) and an oral defense.
3. a written comprehensive examination and an oral defense (Note: This option is unavailable during Summer and Winterim terms.)
For students choosing the thesis option, 3-6 credits of Thesis Research (799) may count toward the 30 required credits. The 3 credit course may be repeated once for a total of 6 credits. For students choosing the Applied Communication Project option, 3 ACP credits (789) may count toward the 30 required credits.
Students pursuing the thesis option are encouraged to complete a thesis proposal by enrolling in Individual Study (798), prior to enrolling in Thesis Research (799), for 3 credits.
Students pursuing the ACP option are required to complete an ACP proposal prior to enrolling in ACP (789) for 3 credits. 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.
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.