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Graduate Program Overview

For Prospective Graduate Students

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​Communication grad student attends Teaching Assistant training

The mission of the Department of Communication at the University of Delaware is to both empower students in their personal and professional lives, and to provide an ethical compass for navigating the complexities of modern society.

I. Program Goals

Graduate work in the Department of Communication focuses on two goals:

  • Offering excellent training in social science, and
  • Placing COMM MA graduates in distinguished doctoral programs or professional careers.

II. Successful Ph.D. Program Placements

Department of Communication faculty have developed and maintained strong ties to the best doctoral programs in the field by consistently sending highly trained and talented graduates onto further study and scholarship.

III. Academic Areas of Study

There are two main areas of study:

  1. Interpersonal Communication
  2. Mass Communication

And four secondary areas:

  1. Advertising
  2. Organizational Communication
  3. Political Communication
  4. Public Relations

[Note: The UD COMM MA program does NOT include courses in journalism or broadcasting.]

IV. Full-time Program Schedule and Structure:

The structure of our program necessitates that full time students begin their course of study in the fall semester.

Thirty credit hours are required:

  • Fifteen of the 30 credit hours come from required courses focusing on theory and methodology.
  • An additional 15 credits hours are required, and up to 6 of those credits hours may be taken outside of the major in a related area of study.

Please see our list of graduate courses.pdf

V. Two Methods to Obtain M.A. Degree:

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 masters program.

  1. Thesis: for students focused on scholarly social science research experience, 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 historical, descriptive, analytical, field, or experimental procedures.
  2. Comprehensive exam: for students who do not intend to pursue their education beyond the Master's level.  The comprehensive exam covers the entirety of the student's coursework, including the student's specialty area, and consists of both a written and 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.

VI. Research and Collaboration Opportunities

Communication faculty are strongly committed to providing master's students with multiple opportunities to collaborate with faculty on research projects and to critically assess communication theories from the perspective of active researchers.

VII. Internships:

The Department of Communication also supports internship placements for students planning professional careers in business communication, media analysis, advertising, or public relations.

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Graduate Program Overview