Upon admission into one of our graduate programs, students are assigned to our Graduate Program Director for advisement. S/he will be able to answer questions about the curriculum, degree requirements, and scheduling.
After students have been in the program for two semesters, students (in consultation with the Graduate Program Director) choose a new academic advisor from our list of graduate faculty. That faculty member will then serve as the academic advisor for the remainder of the student's progress toward graduation. (Students choosing the thesis capstone option will also choose a thesis advisor, but note that this person does not have to be the same as the student's academic advisor.)
Your First Classes in Communication
For students beginning their graduate coursework in the Fall semester, their first classes in the program will be COM 8008 - Orientation to Grad Study and COM 8100 - Strategic Communication Theory. Students taking more than one course during the Fall will also take COM 8001 - Qualitative Research Methods OR COM 8002 - Quantitative Research Methods as part of their course load. Students taking three courses during that semester will choose a third course from the semester offerings.
For students beginning their graduate coursework in the Spring semester, their first classes in the program will be and COM 8001 - Qualitative Research Methods OR COM 8002 - Quantitative Research Methods. Students taking more than one course during the Spring will choose additional courses from the semester offerings. Students beginning in the Spring will be required to take COM 8100 - Strategic Communication Theory in their second semester in the program, or prior to taking any additional advanced coursework.
M.A. and certificate students accepted for starting in the Fall semester CANNOT take summer classes during the summer prior to their fall start date (with the exception of COM 8008 - Orientation to Grad Study, a course which is required of all those beginning the degree).
Other Things to Note
For more specific details on the curriculum, please visit our page on the curriculum "at a glance."
Some other important policies:
- Any course outside of communication must be approved by the Graduate Program Director.
- Only 3 one-credit courses will count toward completion of the M.A.
- Only one Internship counts, in a student’s specific concentration.
- Students can use no more than 2 Directed Studies toward their degree requirements.
- No more than 6 credits from other graduate departments in the College (this includes any courses transferred into the M.A. from another program).
- Students who have completed our required classes plus 5 more courses (at least 24 credits total) may register for the comprehensive exam.
- Students planning to select the thesis capstone option should note that graduate faculty can only advise one directed study per semester and direct no more than two (2) new theses per year. Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Graduate Program Director.
- For students beginning their program after Summer/Fall 2007: Students choosing the thesis option can graduate after completing 27 credit hours plus 6 thesis credits (Thesis Direction I and II), and after successfully defending a Thesis proposal and Thesis defense. In order for a student to be able to register for either or both Thesis I and Thesis II credits, students must have completed at least 24 credits and must have composed an advisor-approved thesis committee which they indicate on the registration form for Graduate Director Approval. The Grade for Thesis I and Thesis II will be “IP” until the student has successfully defended the thesis. For thesis students there are faculty advisor and student guideline forms, some of which are available on this page.
Questions, please contact our Graduate Program Director, or your academic advisor!