Oct 17, 2019  
University Catalog 2015-2016 “Final Quarter Catalog” (ARCHIVED CATALOG) 
    
University Catalog 2015-2016 “Final Quarter Catalog” (ARCHIVED CATALOG) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Communication Studies, M.A.


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The Master of Arts degree program in Communication Studies is available in two options: the Communication option and the Telecommunications and Film option. The option in Communication is designed to enable students to acquire an understanding of research methods and theories that explore the nature and functions of human symbolic communication in the areas of communication and rhetorical theory, interpersonal and organizational communication, public discourse, intercultural communication, and performance studies. The Telecommunications and Film option is designed to enable students to acquire an understanding of research methods and theories that explore industry structure, audience reception, as well as visual and structural examinations of media text. The program requires that students select and develop an area of specialization.

Admission to the Program

In addition to University requirements for admission to graduate study, students must have a 3.00 grade point average. Applicants must submit directly to the department, the completed departmental application together with official transcripts of all previous college work, copy of TOEFL score if applicable, a writing sample, a statement of purpose, and a minimum of two letters of recommendation by persons qualified to assess the applicant’s academic work. These materials must be received by the department by the following deadlines:

  • Second Friday in April for admission to fall quarter
  • Second Friday in October for admission to spring quarter
  • Only complete application files with all required supporting materials will be reviewed by the department and assessed for admission.

Students applying to the Communication or Telecommunications and Film Option and whose undergraduate major was not Speech, Communication or Television, Film and Media Studies may be admitted to the degree program in conditionally classified standing. Prior to beginning graduate work, conditionally classified students must achieve a minimum B grade in every course of a conditional study plan up to 30 units of undergraduate work in Communication and related fields or in Telecommunications and Film and related fields, as approved by the graduate adviser for their program.

The graduate adviser will assist students in designing a classified study plan suited to their individual interests and goals.

Requirements for the Degree (45 units)


A total of 45 units is required, with at least 32 in 500-level courses. Students may choose between two options: Communication or Telecommunications and Film.

For Communication, a minimum of 36 units in 500-level courses is required: 5 core courses (500, 502, 503, 550, 580), and 4 courses of choice. For Telecommunication and Film-Critical Studies, a minimum of 32 units in 500-level seminars is required: 6 core courses (500, 501, 505, 506, 507, 515), and 2 courses of choice.

Electives (3-13 units)


Select 400 or 500-level Communication courses (3-9 units) or Telecommunications and Film courses (7-13 units for the critical studies concentration) with adviser approval: a maximum of 8 of these units may be in related fields with approval of adviser and department chair.

Comprehensive Examination (0 units), Thesis (4-6 units)


Students should expect to take the comprehensive examination, COMM 596 (0), within two quarters of completing all course work and must comply with college and departmental requirements. The comprehensive examination is regularly scheduled for the end of fall and spring quarters (typically the seventh and tenth weeks). Communication students will complete examinations in communication theory, rhetorical theory, and an area of specialization selected in consultation with the graduate adviser. Telecommunications and Film students will complete examinations in critical methodology, media criticism, and an area of specialization selected in consultation with the graduate adviser. Students will be allowed a maximum of two attempts to complete the comprehensive examinations successfully. Failure to pass the comprehensive examinations, or any portion thereof, will result in disqualification from the program.

A thesis may be substituted for the comprehensive examination, with prior approval of the Communication or Telecommunications and Film area, based on examination of the student’s portfolio. Students authorized to submit a thesis must enroll in COMS 599  (4-6) for a cumulative minimum of 4 units.

Communication Option (45 units)


Telecommunications and Film Option (45 units)


Critical Studies Concentration (45 units)


Graduate Level Seminars (8 units)


With adviser approval, select a minimum of 8 additional units from the following 500-level seminars.

Electives (7-13 units)


Select 400-level TVF, 500-level COMS courses with adviser approval; a maximum of 8 units may be in related fields with approval of adviser and department chair.

Students may take a maximum of 8 units of COMS 598  and TVF 499  combined.

Comprehensive Examination or Thesis (0, 4-6 units)


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