Master of Science in Communications

A minimum of 36 credits is required to complete the master’s degree program, including 24 credits of required coursework, as listed below. The remaining 12 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 -- 24 credits

COMM 50100 Designing Communication Strategies
COMM 50300 Theoretical Foundations
COMM 50500 Visual Design and Organizational Media
COMM 53000 Communication Campaigns
COMM 53500 Workplace Learning and Performance
COMM 64100 Managing Corporate Communication and Training
COMM 64300 Research Methods in Communication
COMM 68000 Seminar: Theory in Practice

Elective Courses -- 12 credits

COMM 51000/51100 Contemporary Topics
COMM 60500 Organizational Media Production
COMM 61000 Organizational Culture and Diversity
COMM 62000 Communication Technology and Policy
COMM 63000 Corporate Communication Media
COMM 63100 Crisis Communication
COMM 63500 E-Learning
COMM 63600 Online Learning and Collaboration
COMM 65000/65100 Independent Study
COMM 66000/66100 Internship
COMM 69000/69100 Thesis

Pass/Fail Option

Degree candidates must take all courses that count toward the master of science in communications degree, whether required or elective, for a letter grade. The only exceptions are internships, which are offered only on a pass/fail basis.

Thesis Option

The thesis option is designed for students who wish to pursue theoretical or applied inquiry 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 plan as well as mastery of the skills, tools, and concepts needed to conduct the proposed study. 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 the thesis proposal. An oral defense of the thesis is required. The thesis process is described in greater detail in the Graduate Program in Communications Thesis Guidelines, available from the graduate program chair.

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 adviser to plan an appropriate course and credit schedule. For international students this schedule will be reflected in the immigration paperwork.