Current Graduate Students

Current Students

In consultation with graduate faculty, graduate students develop a program of study to foster their own learning objectives and career goals

A Program of Graduate Study

In consultation with graduate faculty, graduate students have flexibility to customize their focus Professional Communication or Applied Media Studies to foster their own learning objectives and career goals. 

  • Plan I:  Capstone Experience (requires a minimum of 33 hours of course work, of which 12 hours are the core courses).
  • Plan II: Thesis- This plan requires a minimum of 33 hours of course work, of which 9 hours are three of the core courses (does not include COMM 6050 - Communication Graduate Capstone Experience) and six hours are Thesis credit.

Note:  No more than six hours of graduate course work may be transferred from other universities to fulfill the degree requirements for the M.A. in Communication. With both plans, only three credits of COMM 9500 - Independent Study in Communication - Graduate and three credits of COMM 6020 Communication Research Practicum may be applied to the degree requirements as electives.

Coursework Requirements

Plan I (CAPSTONE - minimum of 33 hours credit) 

  • Four Core Required Courses (12 Credits)
  • Six Graduate Elective Courses in Communication (18 Credits)
  • One Graduate Level Course From Outside the Department (3 Credits)

Plan II (THESIS - minimum of 33 hours credit) 

  • Three Core Required Courses (9 Credits)
  • Minimum of Five Graduate Elective Courses in Communication (15 Credits) 
  • One Graduate Level Course From Outside the Department (3 Credits)
  • Six Hours of Thesis Credit (6 Credits)

Core Sequenced Requirements (Offered once each year as indicated)

  • COMM 5010: Communication Theories in Contemporary Contexts (Fall) 
  • COMM 6030: Research as Problem Solving (Spring) 
  • COMM 6040: Drawing Insights from Data (Spring)
  • COMM 6050: Communication Graduate Capstone Experience (Spring)
  • NOTE: COMM 6050 is not required with Plan II Thesis Option

General Elective Course Offerings

  • COMM 5050: Managing Social Media
  • COMM 5100: Advanced Public Speaking
  • COMM 5150: Communication, Teaching, and Learning
  • COMM 5230: Crisis Communication
  • COMM 5240: Seminar in Organizational Communication
  • COMM 5290: Communication, Sustainability, and Corporate Social Responsibility
  • COMM 5300: Ethical Issues in Communication
  • COMM 5330: Gender and Leadership
  • COMM 5550: Professional and Personal Relationships
  • COMM 5600: Virtual Teams
  • COMM 5690: Problems in Radio-TV and Film
  • COMM 5950: Seminar in Leadership and Organizational Change
  • COMM 5990: Multicultural Diversity and Workplace Communication
  • COMM 6010: Privilege and Oppression in Popular Culture
  • COMM 6020: Communication Research Practicum (Instructor approval required)
  • COMM 6090: Emerging Communication Technologies
  • COMM 6100: Communication Competence: For all Situations and Contexts
  • COMM 6140: Media Effects
  • COMM 6160: Communication, Training, and Consulting
  • COMM 6250: Problems in Communication (Topics vary by semester)
  • COMM 6350: Critical Analysis of Popular Culture
  • COMM 6740: Entertainment Theory and Research
  • COMM 6840: Health Communication: Interpersonal Perspectives
  • COMM 9500: Independent Study in Communication - Graduate Level (Instructor approval required)

Degree Progress Checklist

Degree Progress Checklist

Independent Study Guidelines

COMM 6020 - Communication Research Practicum

COMM 9500 - Independent Study in Communication

With both the thesis and the non-thesis degree plans, three credits of COMM 9500 Independent Study and three credits of COMM 6020 Communication Research Practicum may be applied to the degree requirements as electives. With the approval of the Graduate Director, a graduate student also may choose to take two 9500 courses OR two 6020 courses, rather than one of each.

The primary purpose of these two courses is to support graduate students, as they develop a personalized program of study to foster their own learning objectives and career goals for the M.A. degree. To accomplish the graduate students' goals, one or two of these courses may prove useful for their electives.

  • COMM 6020, Communication Research Practicum, is a project-based graduate course designed to involve students in communication research and/or creative work from the proposal stage through conference presentation, publication/production. Prerequisites: COMM 5010 and 5020 and/or instructor consent.
  • COMM 9500, Independent Study in Communication, is an individually developed and implemented project in communication. A student desiring independent study credit must present to the faculty a well-defined topic for the project. Prerequisites: Graduate status.

These two courses differ from one another in that COMM 6020 is primarily research-driven, including a major research component or a research study of the graduate student's choosing or developed in collaboration with a graduate faculty member. COMM 9500 typically focuses on teaching and pedagogy, or service, though it may involve some research. Topics for 6020 or 9500 may be initiated by a faculty member or by the graduate student.

COMM 6020 and 9500 both allow students an opportunity to explore educational opportunities outside the traditional classroom environment. They are not available as a substitute for core course requirements. Students may enroll for a research practicum or an independent study only after permission has been obtained from a Communication faculty member. The sponsoring faculty member provides the student with a permission number in order to register for either of the two courses. Learning objectives for 6020 or 9500 and a plan for their accomplishment are developed and agreed upon by the graduate student and supervising faculty member; the grade is determined by the faculty member.

Guidelines for MA Thesis Preparation

Guidelines-for-Thesis-2021.pdf

Related Links

Graduate School Association