Master of Science in Communication

Program Rationale:

Graduate study in communication is designed to provide students with academic experiences that enable them to evaluate, develop, shape, and change the communication environment within organizations (organizational communication), as well as between organizations and their target audiences (public relations), using traditional and contemporary media technologies.

Program Learning Outcomes:

Students will be expected to:

  • understand communication processes, internal and external, of an organization;
  • demonstrate the ability to write appropriately in both academic and professional settings;
  • employ research methods in the diagnosis of communication problems within organizations and between organizations and their target audiences, including those resulting from intercultural differences;
  • apply problem-solving, decision-making, and negotiation strategies in complex relational situations within organizations;
  • examine the use and impact of information, communication, and new media technologies in the design and evaluation of public relations, strategic communication campaigns, and other organizational applications; and
  • develop and practice sound and ethical reasoning.

Course and Capstone Requirements
(33 credits):
The program comprises two sections, a 15-credit core of foundational courses and 18 credits of advisor-approved directed electives. A capstone experience consisting of Plan A (6-credit Thesis) or Plan B (Comprehensive Examination) or Plan C (Special Project) is required for graduation.
Core Courses (15 credits):
COMM 500 Introduction to Graduate Studies in Communication 3
COMM 501 Theories of Human Communication within an Organizational Context 3
COMM 503 Research Methods in Communication 3
COMM 505 Persuasive Communication 3
COMM 504 Organizational Communication Audits 3
COMM 507 Campaign Planning and Evaluation 3
Directed Electives (12-18 credits):
Students will select from the following courses approved by the faculty advisor. A planned program of study should be completed no later than 6 credits into the student's program. The student may specialize in either track or may select courses from both tracks. To specialize in a particular track, at least 3 courses must be selected from that particular track.
Organizational Communication Track
COMM 450 Communication Skills for Training and Development 3
COMM 504 Organizational Communication Audits 3
COMM 522 Corporate Communication 3
COMM 551 Policy Issues in Organizational Communication 3
COMM 562 Communication and High-Speed Management 3
Public Relations Track
COMM 451 Environmental Communication 3
COMM 454 Communication and Social Change 3
COMM 506 Case Studies in Public Relations 3
COMM 507 Campaign Planning and Evaluation 3
COMM 508 Public Relations Writing Strategies 3
General Electives
COMM 543 Intercultural Communication 3
COMM 544 Strategies in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution 3
COMM 585 Special Topics 3
COMM 590 Independent Study 1-3
Outside Courses
TM 464 Six Sigma Quality 3
TM 500 Product Life Cycle Management 3
TM 502 Human Relations and Behavior in Complex Organizations 3
TM 564 Quality Systems Management 3
STAT 453 Applied Statistical Inference 3
Capstone (0-6 credits):
Plan A:
COMM 590 Independent Study (3 credits)
and COMM 599 Thesis (3 credits)
Plan B: Comprehensive Examination
Plan C:
COMM 597 Special Project (3 credits)

To complete degree requirements, students have the option of a thesis (Plan A) or a comprehensive examination (Plan B) comprised of a written exam followed by an oral exam or a Special Project (Plan C). Programs will be designed jointly by the departmental advisors and the students to provide the greatest educational and career opportunities.

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