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The Department of Communication offers two alternative tracks for obtaining the M.A. Degree and students should declare their intention to pursue one of these tracks at the end of the first year of their M.A. program.
Thesis track: for students focused on scholarly social science research, generally in preparation for further graduate study at the doctoral level. The thesis typically is a research project in an area of interest to the student, employing social science methodology and analyses.
Comprehensive exam: for students who intend to use their social science research skills in settings other than academia. The comprehensive exam covers the entirety of the student's coursework, including the student's specialty area, and consists of both a written and an oral portion.
Students in both the thesis and comprehensive exam tracks work with a faculty committee made up of a primary faculty advisor and two additional faculty members who provide students with close faculty supervision and mentorship on their exit project.
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Thirty credit hours are required to complete the M.A. degree:
Twelve credit hours of core curricula, including six credits of theory courses, three credits of research methodology, and three credits of statistical methodology.
COMM 601 – Theory and Epistemology in Communication
COMM 603 – Communication Research Methods – Procedures
COMM 604 – Communication Research Methods – Analysis
COMM 606 – Foundations of Contemporary Communication Theory
Eighteen additional credit hours are required. The composition of these credits will differ based on whether you are in a thesis or comprehensive exam track.
Thesis track: Students in the thesis track will have twelve credit hours of electives and six credits of COMM 869, Master’s Thesis
Comprehensive exam track: Students in the comprehensive exam track will have eighteen hours of elective credit.
In either track, up to six of the elective credit hours may be taken outside of the Department of Communication in a related area of study with permission of the Director of Graduate Studies.
Students must enroll in the Communication Colloquium series every semester they are enrolled in coursework for a total of up to four semesters.