A minimum of 36 credits is required to complete the master's degree program, including 18 credits of required coursework and 9 credits of the required elective courses, as listed below. 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 was completed no more than three years before the request for transfer of credit.
Normally, full-time students can complete the 36-credit program in three semesters or in two semesters and two summer sessions. Applicants interested in part-time study are also invited. All coursework must be completed within six years of matriculation into the program.
Required Courses -- 18 credits
Required Elective Courses -- 9 credits
Media Production (select one)
Organizational Communication and Management (select one)
Applications (select one)
Elective Courses -- 9 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 scholarship and a taxable work-related salary. The appointment normally requires 8-12 hours of work per week. Graduate assistants are normally assigned to work with faculty in the Departments of Journalism, Television-Radio, Cinema and Photography, and Organizational Communication, Learning, and Design. They assist with classes, tutor students, conduct research, supervise labs, and work in related professional areas such as organizing speaker series and coordinating media programs. Duties and responsibilities of each graduate assistant are arranged by the graduate chair.
Graduate Research Fellowships
A research fellowship may be awarded to one matriculated graduate student who is already enrolled in the program, based on demonstrated excellence in coursework and/or potential for scholarship. The research fellowship consists of a tax-free scholarship equivalent to a graduate assistantship (without the weekly work requirement).
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 on a pass/fail basis.
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.
Students enrolled in the thesis option who have completed all coursework except the thesis will be required to enroll in at least 1 credit of thesis each semester until they finish their degree. Students should work with their program advisers to plan an appropriate course and credit schedule. For international students this schedule will be reflected in the immigration paperwork.
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 a minimum 3.00 GPA and have completed at least 24 credits by the end of the semester in which the exam takes place, including
223-52000 Organizational Media Production;
223-64000 Designing Systems and Messages;
223-64100 Management of Organizational Communication, Learning, and Design;
223-64300 Research Methods in Communication; and
223-64400 Communication and Organization Theory.