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Requirements for Degree

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Course Requirements


Thirty credit hours (essentially 10 three-credit courses) are required to complete the degree.

Fifteen of the 30 hours come from required courses focusing upon theory and methodology.

Required courses:

  1. The Theory and Epistemology of Communication (COMM601)
  2. Research Methods - Analysis (COMM604)
  3. Research Methods - Procedures (COMM603)
  4.  Theory of Mass Communication (COMM670)
  5. Theory of Interpersonal Communication (COMM630)

An additional 15 credits must be taken to complete the 30 credit requirement

  • Six credits may be taken outside the Communication Department in a related area (for both the thesis and comprehensive exam track)
  • Three credits may be taken as Independent Study (COMM666), where a student may study a topic of their choice (with the guidance of a willing faculty member) in depth. For the Independent Study Contract please click here
  • Students who select to write a thesis will fulfill six credits taking COMM869, the required MASTER'S THESIS course
  • Three credits may be taken as a graduate level Internship (COMM664), where a student can have a very important learning experience with a business typically within commuting distance of campus. For the Internship Contract please click here
Thesis or Comprehensive Exam?

The Department of Communication offers two alternative tracks for obtaining the M.A. Degree

The thesis and comprehensive exam differ in terms of:
  1. the ultimate goals and career direction of the student, and
  2. the exit project required of the student

The thesis option provides the student with a major research experience, generally in preparation for further graduate study at the doctoral level.

The comprehensive exam is designed for students who do not intend to pursue their education beyond the M.S. Degree.

Students should declare their intention to pursue one of these tracks at the end of the first year of their program.

Faculty Committee (for both Thesis and Comp Exam options)

​Students in both the thesis and comprehensive exam tracks will work with a faculty committee made up of a primary advisor and two additional members of the faculty.

  1. Students meet with the Graduate Director during the spring of their first year of study to review their program, to select the thesis or comprehensive track, and to discuss which professor would be the best choice to act as their primary advisor.

  2. Each student must then ask their selected professor to act as their primary advisor, and secure a commitment.  After a commitment is made between the student and their committee advisor, the student must continue to work with their advisor to determine the final membership of their committee.  Note: Faculty may not be available due to sabbaticals, a faculty member's over commitment, etc.
Resources for Thesis and Comp Exam

​For students opting to pursue the THESIS track please click here for guidelines. 

For students opting to complete the COMPREHENSIVE EXAM please click here for guidelines.


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Requirements for Degree