May 27, 2024  
2009-2011 Graduate Catalog 

Communication Studies M.A.

Degree Requirements

All students enrolled in the program are required to complete core courses in their first year


Students have the choice of doing original research leading to the writing of a thesis or completing a program of course work leading to a comprehensive examination. Programs of study are designed to meet the student’s individual professional or personal objectives. Although an undergraduate degree in communication is not required for admission to the program, a student without a background in communication may be required to complete course work in addition to the minimum requirements.

Thesis Track

A student must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of approved course work plus six hours of thesis credits. The classes may include six credits outside the Department of Communication Studies. An oral examination on the thesis is required.

Examination Track

A student must complete a minimum of 36 credit hours of approved course work. No more than six hours may be taken outside the Department of Communication Studies. Students must pass a comprehensive written examination. The examination lasts eight hours and is given over two consecutive days. A Graduate Education Portfolio is also required of exam track students (the specifics of the portfolio are outlined in the Department of Communication Studies Graduate Handbook, which is available upon request). 

Scholarly Research Project Track (Approval Pending)

The Scholarly Research Project track entails the completion of 36 credits of course work, no more than six units of which may be taken outside the Department of Communication Students. Students construct a Graduate Education Portfolio, and develop an original research project for submission to a scholarly meeting and/or scholarly journal. Students prepare and defend a prospectus early in the second year of their program, draft the paper under the direction of their major advisor in the fall semester, revise the research paper and meet with the full committee by April 8 for a formal presentation and oral examination. Specifics of the project and procedures are detailed in the Department of Communication Studies Graduate Handbook, which is available upon request.

General Notes

  1. The Graduate Studies Coordinator will be the advisor for all entering students. Before completing 16 credit hours, the student should select a permanent advisor. The permanent advisor will work with the student through the completion of the program. The student’s advisor must approve all course work.
  2. All students must submit a program of study, including all proposed course work, to the Graduate College before the completion of 16 credit hours. The student’s advisor and Graduate Studies Coordinator must approve the program and any changes to the program.
  3. Acceptable course work is defined as any class in which a student receives a grade of B- or higher. Any course graded C+ or below will not be included in the candidate’s degree program.
  4. A student who fails the oral examination for the thesis or the comprehensive examination will be allowed to take another examination. There must be a period of at least three months between examinations.
  5. The Department of Communication Studies accepts applicants only in the fall semester of each year.
  6. Review of applications starts January 15.