Jul 16, 2024  
University Catalog 2020-2021 
University Catalog 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Communication Studies, M.A.

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The Master of Arts degree program in Communication Studies is housed in the Department of Communication Studies.The Communication MA 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, strategic and mass communication, public discourse, intercultural communication, cultural studies, health communication.

The program requires that students select and develop an area of specialization by choosing elective courses, with advisor approval, from either Option.  This enables students to pursue intellectual inquiries that interest them while gaining a broader understanding of the communication process.

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 the completed departmental application together with official transcripts of all previous college work, a copy of their 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 directly to the Department of Communication Studies. Only complete application files with all required supporting materials will be reviewed by the department and assessed for admission. See website for admission deadlines.
Students whose undergraduate major was not Speech or Communication 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 of up to 20 units of undergraduate work in Communication and related fields as approved by the graduate advisor for their program. The graduate advisor will assist students in designing a classified study plan suited to their individual interests and goals.

Requirements for the Degree (30 Units)

A total of 30 units is required.

Elective (3 units)

For those taking COMS 5960 (Comprehensive Examination) only:

  • Select one 4000-level COMM or 5000-level COMS course  or course in related field with advisor approval.
  • Students may take a maximum of 6 units of COMS 5980  and COMM 4990 combined.

Comprehensive Examination or Thesis (0, 3 units)

Students should expect to take the comprehensive examination, COMS 5960   (0), within two semesters 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 semesters. Students will complete examinations in communication theory, rhetorical theory, and an area of specialization selected in consultation with the graduate advisor. 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. Students authorized to submit a thesis must enroll in COMS 5990   for 3 units.

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