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Course Requirements

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

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

Required courses:

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

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) with course approval by the department's Director of Graduate Studies
  • 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. View the independent study contract.
  • Students who select to write a thesis will fulfill six credits of 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. View the internship contract. 

Thesis or Comprehensive Exam?

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

Students should declare their intention to pursue one of these tracks by 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 committee chair 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 committee chair.
  2. Each student must then ask their selected professor to act as their committee chair and secure a commitment.  After a commitment is made between the student and their committee chair, the student must continue to work with their chair to determine the final faculty members of their committee.  Note: Faculty may not be available due to sabbaticals, a faculty member's other commitments, etc.

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