To culminate studies toward the M.A. in Communication degree, students must complete a capstone experience by successfully completing either a comprehensive examination plus 5-6 additional elective course credits (students may opt to take two 1-credit courses along with Orientation (COM 8008) instead of a 3-credit elective course under the advisement of their graduate faculty mentor) or a written six-credit Master’s Thesis. The details of the capstone requirement are listed below.
Capstone Requirement Options
During the final semester, the student completes a comprehensive written and oral examinations under the supervision of an advisor, assisted by a committee of at least two other departmental faculty.
After completing a minimum of 21 credits, students may apply to complete a written take-home comprehensive examination. The examination includes questions from two areas: Research Methods (either COM 8001 Qualitative Research Methods or COM 8002 Quantitative Research Methods) and an elective course in the student’s area of specialization. Students may be invited to orally defend their written responses in order to demonstrate sufficient competency.
Students may apply for permission from the program to submit a written thesis and complete an oral defense as paritial satisfaction of the capstone requirement.
Work on the thesis will earn the equivalent of two courses (6 credits) toward the degree and also substitutes for the written portion of the comprehensive examination.
The thesis project will be designed and completed under the supervision of an advisor, who must be graduate faculty in communication, and who is assisted by a committee of at least two other faculty members or professional consultants, one of whom must be from Communication.
Students must have completed all required courses and a total of 21 credits and have formed a thesis committee approved by the program prior to registering for thesis credits.