Oct 02, 2023
The Master of Science in Communication degree program prepares candidates to build on their undergraduate degree in communication or-for students who did not major in communication as an undergraduate-become a master in a discipline that touches every individual and profession. It prepares candidates for professional advancement, career change, or the pursuit of a Ph.D. degree.
The program offers two concentrations. Strategic Communication allows students to focus on advertising, public relations, and organizational communication issues. The Mass Communication concentration focuses on media and society. Both concentrations allow for a global perspective on communication issues. Students may choose from three tracks to complete the degree program: thesis track, professional project track, or comprehensive examination track.
In addition to the general application and admission requirements of the Graduate School, the M.S. degree program in Communication requires submission of writing sample that provides evidence of the candidate’s writing proficiency.
The M.S. degree program in Communication requires completion of 30 graduate credit hours and successful completion of a comprehensive requirement in the form of a thesis, professional project, or comprehensive examination capstone course. Students are required to choose one of three tracks as they complete the degree: Thesis Track, Professional Project Track, or Comprehensive Examination Track.
All students must complete the following 24 credit hours of required coursework:
In addition to the required coursework above, students must choose a track and complete the requirements as described below for each.
Thesis Track (6 credit hours)
Utilizing communication theory and one of the advanced research methods that the student took to complete their research methods coursework, thesis track students research, write, and obtain approval of a master’s thesis in their concentration area. The thesis is to be directed by a member of the Communication graduate faculty. The thesis committee must include two additional Communication graduate faculty members. In the process of producing a thesis, students must complete 6 graduate credit hours of CMCN 599 - Thesis Research and Thesis .
Professional Project Track (6 credit hours)
Professional Project track students research, write, and obtain approval of a professional project in their concentration area. Examples include, but are not limited to, public relations and advertising campaigns, long-form videos, training and development programs, and organizational management analyses. The professional project is to be directed by a member of the Communication graduate faculty. The project committee must include two additional Communication graduate faculty members. In the process of producing the professional project, students must complete 6 graduate credit hours of CMCN 595 - Professional Project .
Comprehensive Examination Track (6 credit hours)
Comprehensive Examination track students take one additional CMCN elective course (3 credit hours) at the 4XXG or 500-level that is not being taken to fulfill the core course or concentration coursework requirements. Additionally, successful completion of CMCN 596: Comprehensive Examination Capstone Course (3 credit hours) is required of students pursuing this track. Offered each semester, this course includes four parts - theory, two research exams, and a part covering the student’s concentration area. The student must pass all parts to satisfactorily complete the course.
See below for approved courses for each concentration:
Students are required to declare a track and concentration upon completion of twelve graduate credit hours as they apply for candidacy.
Some 4XXG courses may have undergraduate prerequisites that, even if required by the instructor, are not applicable toward the MS degree in Communication.
Students pursuing the thesis or project track are allowed a maximum of two 4XXG-level courses; those pursuing Comprehensive Exam tracks are allowed a maximum of three 4XXG-level courses.
Directed individual studies may not be used to substitute for core courses or concentration coursework requirements.
No more than six hours of transfer credit may be applied to the MS degree in Communication.
Students who have completed all required coursework but have not completed a thesis, project, or successfully passed the comprehensive examination capstone course are required to maintain continuous enrollment in CMCN 595 - Professional Project , CMCN 599 - Thesis Research and Thesis , or CMCN 596: Comprehensive Examination Capstone until all degree requirements have been met.