All students must complete a program of study of at least 33 credit hours of graduate course work, including a core of required courses. Students must culminate their M.A. program by either writing a thesis or taking a comprehensive exam. The department encourages all students to discuss their options with their committee members, though most M.A. students choose the exam option. It is possible for students to complete a project and oral exam rather than the traditional written and oral exam. This approach is sometimes desirable for people going into applied areas. Past projects have been done by students studying new communication technology and communication campaigns.
Each M.A. candidate is assigned a major advisor upon admission. In addition, the student is required to have two associate advisors who are also members of the department’s graduate faculty. These three faculty members comprise the student’s advisory committee which is responsible for approving the student’s proposed program of courses, approving the choice of exam or thesis option, and determining the acceptability of the comprehensive exam or thesis.
Core courses provide the student with exposure to the major research techniques central to the scholarly literature of communication. The basics of theory construction, techniques of data gathering and data analysis, and typical research projects in communication are covered. As a group, these courses provide a basis for advanced coursework offered by the department.
Core courses and the semester in which each should be completed are listed below:
COMM 5001 Introduction to Graduate Communication Research (1st semester)
COMM 5002 Communication Research Methods (2nd semester)
COMM 5003 Advanced Communication Research Methods (for Plan A Thesis option only) (3rd semester)
COMM 5010 Theory Construction and Research Design (for Plan A Thesis option only) (3rd semester)
The remainder of the student’s program will be determined in consultation with the student’s advisor and Advisory Committee. Students may include courses from other departments within the University with the permission of the Advisory Committee.
MA Program Tracks
COMM 5300 Mass Communication Theory
COMM 5200 Interpersonal Communication
COMM 5220 Group Communication Research
COMM 5230 Organizational Communication
COMM 5501 Nonverbal Communication & Persuasion
(Prerequisite to all following courses)
MKTG 5220 Strategic Marketing
MKTG 5625 Marketing for Global Competitiveness
MKTG 5230 Product and Innovation Management
MKTG 5635 Marketing for Non-profit Institutions
MKTG 5640 Integrated Marketing Communications (highly recommended)
MKTG 5660 Customer and Market Behavior
COMM 5100 Persuasion Theory and Research
COMM 5500 Nonverbal Communication
COMM 5101 Motivation
PSYC 5613 Industrial Psychology
PSYC 5703 Advanced Social Psychology