A minimum of 36 credits is required to complete the master's degree program, including 15 credits of required coursework and 9 required elective credits. The remaining credits may be selected, with the adviser's approval, from the elective courses provided in the program. Candidates who wish to pursue a thesis may do so upon approval by the graduate committee. Up to 6 credits of related graduate work from an accredited institution may be transferred with approval of the candidate's adviser, if the course grade is B or better and if the work has been completed no more than three years before the request for transfer of credit.
Required Courses --- 15 credits
Required Elective Courses --- 9 credits
Media Production (select one)
Organizational Communication and Management (select one)
Applications (select one)
Elective Courses --- 12 credits
*May be used with permission of graduate chair to satisfy required electives.
A limited number of graduate assistantships are awarded each semester based on the applicants' scholastic records and their ability to assist faculty members in teaching and research. Financial assistance consists of two parts --- a tax-free scholarship and a taxable work-related salary. The appointment normally requires 8-12 hours of work per week. Graduate assistants are assigned to work with faculty in the Departments of Organizational Communication, Learning, and Design, Television-Radio, and Cinema and Photography; in the Professional Production Unit; or in the office of the dean of graduate studies. They assist with classes, tutor students, conduct research, supervise labs, and work in related professional areas such as organizing speaker series and producing media programs. Duties and responsibilities of each graduate assistant are arranged by the graduate chair.
The chair of the graduate program in communications serves as the academic adviser for all students enrolled in the program. Students writing a thesis select, with the approval of the chair, a thesis adviser and two readers from among the graduate faculty in the Park School.
Degree candidates must take all communication courses, whether required or elective, for a letter grade. The only exceptions are internships, which are only offered pass/fail.
The thesis option is designed for students who wish to pursue theoretical research and make an original contribution to knowledge in the field of communications. Students must receive approval from the communications graduate committee and show evidence of a detailed research plan as well as mastery of the research skills, tools, and concepts needed to conduct the proposed research. Upon approval by the graduate committee, the student selects, with the chair's approval, a thesis adviser and two additional committee members who then evaluate a thesis proposal. An oral defense of the thesis is required.
All degree candidates are required to pass a written comprehensive examination covering material from the required courses as well as current theory and practice. To be eligible for this examination, a student must have completed at least 24 credits by the end of the semester in which the exam takes place, including 223-64000 Designing Systems and Messages; 223-64100 Management of Organizational Communication, Learning, and Design; 223-64400 Communication and Organization Theory; and 223-64300 Research Methods in Communication.