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The mission of the Graduate Programs in the Department of Communication at the University of Delaware is to empower students in their personal and professional lives, enable them to be excellent social science researchers capable of addressing novel questions and societal problems, and to provide an ethical compass for navigating the complexities of modern society.
For more information about the Communication M.A. and Ph.D. programs, watch the Communication Graduate Open House with Chair Kami Silk; Professors Jennifer Lambe, Amy Bleakley, Dannagal Young, and Scott Caplan; and graduate students James Bingaman, Allie White, and Wyatt Dawson. Learn about the curriculum, student life, and opportunities to partner with Communication faculty using a collaborative, team-based approach to research.
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A graduate of our M.A. in Communication program will be able to:
Articulate the central theories, perspectives, principles, and concepts of the discipline
Apply communication science theory and methods to conduct research on complex questions and societal problems
Demonstrate a capacity to communicate research findings to academic and lay audiences
Incorporate ethical communication principles and practices into their subsequent work environment
Recognize the cultural basis of communication and acknowledge their own standpoint, with respect for the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion
Employ communication strategies to resolve challenges and empower people.
Academic Areas of Study
Students have the flexibility to work with their advisor and the director of graduate studies to tailor their program to their interests. However, our faculty have four key areas of expertise:
Two Tracks Available for the 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 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 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 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.
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 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.
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 hours.
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.
Graduate Funding Policy
The University of Delaware may provide tuition scholarships to full-time graduate students who are awarded stipends for an entire semester/academic year as a research, teaching, or graduate assistant. These scholarships are generally available in graduate programs that admit students with funding, regardless of funding source; details of commitment and duration are provided in offer letters. Graduate departments and programs select the recipients of these awards, where available, based on the students' qualifications.
The Graduate College at the University of Delaware is responsible for policies related to implementation of stipends and tuition scholarships. See the Graduate College Funding Opportunities page for more information.
Students who receive 100% of the minimum stipend and a 100% tuition scholarship are limited to an average of no more than 20 working hours per week within the University and may not hold additional employment on or off campus. The Dean's permission is required for any exception to this policy.