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Communication Studies Master's Degree Requirements


Required Classes

Course Number Title Credit Hours
CMST 6000 Introduction to Graduate Studies 1
CMST 6010 Professional Development 1
CMST 6050 Seminar on Teaching Communication 3
CMST 6055 Teaching Practicum 1
CMST 6100 Communication Studies Research 1 3
CMST 6150 Communication Studies Research 2 3
CMST 6200 Seminar on Interpersonal and Relational Communication 3
CMST 6300 Seminar on Community and Cultural Communication* 3
CMST 6400 Seminar on Social Influence* 3
CMST 6500 Seminar on Organizing and Advocacy* 3
CMST 6600 Seminar on Facilitating Change* 3
CMST 6970 Thesis (If doing Plan A this course is required) 6
CMST 6920 Directed Study (If doing Plan B this course is required) 3
  An additional class will be required if Plan B is chosen 3
    33 Total Credits

A student may substitute one of the four seminars marked with a * with a graduate level course from another program with the approval of their graduate committee.

Coursework Descriptions

CMST 6000 Introduction to Graduate Studies
This is a one-credit, pass/fail course for incoming Masters-level graduate students. In the course, the students will be instructed on skills, competencies and approaches necessary for successfully completing a MA/MS program in Communication Studies. The course will be taught in three, five-hour days the week prior to the start of fall term.

CMST 6010 Professional Development
The purpose of this seminar is to explore the possibilities available to students pursuing a graduate degree in Communication Studies once they graduate. The seminar will focus on helping you to identify your career goals and empowering you with the steps to pursue them. Students will work on finding an appropriate field, developing their CV/resume, fine tuning their interviewing skills, and writing cover letters for jobs and/or for PhD programs. The course is also intended to give you an opportunity to work on the process of achieving your professional goals in an environment that is supportive and where they will get both faculty and peer feedback. 

CMST 6050 Seminar on Teaching Communication
The purpose of this course is to help graduate student instructors learn how to effectively teach college level communication studies courses. Specific focus will be placed on how to build constructive teacher-student relationships, create a learning environment the allows students to achieve learning objectives, and run effective learning activities and discussions in the classroom. Overall, this course will prepare graduate students to be the instructor of record for specific freshman or sophomore level courses. 

CMST 6055 Teaching Practicum
The purpose of this teaching practicum is to help graduate student teaching as instructor of record to explore issues of classroom management, grading, difficult conversations, mentorship, etc. while they are in the classroom. This course will also build up and apply in practice the theory and practice learned in CMST 6050. Students will reflect on their teaching efforts and implement plans for improvement. 

CMST 6100 Communication Studies Research I
This course takes a social science approach to communication research. It is designed to offer students with the resources to conduct, analyze, and critique post-positive research. Students will complete a social science based research project that analyzes original data. 

CMST 6150 Communication Studies Research II
This course will approach communication research from a rhetorical perspective, offering students the resources to critically engage public communication that structures our lived realities. We will examine persuasive public discourse including (but not limited to) speeches, protests, images, and media. Students will complete the course with enriched theoretical and practical understandings of public communication and its persuasive potency. 

CMST 6200 Seminar on Interpersonal and Relational Communication
The overall objective of this course is to provide an introduction to the various messages and message strategies that fall within the purview of interpersonal communication. In doing so, I also hope to provide you with an opportunity to reflect upon your own interpersonal communication patterns, to think critically about interpersonal theories and their various applications, and to compare and contrast what you “know” about yourself and others from personal experience with what empirical theory and research has to say. 

CMST 6300 Seminar on Community and Cultural Communication
The purpose of this seminar is to explore the relationship between culture and communication and the implications this relationship has for understanding community building and intercultural relations. The course is also intended to give you a feel for intercultural communication as a field of study as well as some resources for teaching others about intercultural communication. 

CMST 6400 Seminar on Social Influence
The primary goal of this course is to provide students with a solid grounding in theories, principles, and strategies of persuasion and argumentation as they relate to everyday life. The course emphasizes a “social scientific” approach to the study of advocacy. Students will gain familiarity with findings from empirical investigations on argumentation, persuasion, social influence, and compliance-gaining. Students will also become conversant with instructional practices for teaching a course on persuasion. 

CMST 6500 Seminar on Organizing and Advocacy
This course explores how individuals and groups collectively organize to create change in communities, organizations, and society. Readings and case studies will focus on how a constitutive view of communication helps people see how and why organizations and social movements are successful or unsuccessful in their efforts to improve the circumstances around them. This class will also focus on how such knowledge and understanding can be translated into successful practice. 

CMST 6600 Seminar on Facilitating Change
This course is designed to understand the dynamic and challenging process of creating change in oneself and others. We will focus on the barriers to change, skills needed to facilitate change, and the conditions that encourage it.

Sample Two-Year Course Plan:

Fall (year 1) 10 Credits
Introduction to Graduate Studies - 1 (one-week course taught before fall classes begin)
Communication Pedagogy - 3 credits
Communication Studies Research I - 3 credits
Seminar on Interpersonal and Relational Communication – 3 credits

Spring (year 1) 7 credits
Communication Studies Research II - 3 credits
Seminar on Social Influence – 3 credits
Teaching Practicum – 1 credits
 

Fall (year 2) 7 credits
Seminar on Facilitating Change – 3 credits
Seminar on Community and Cultural Communication – 3 credits
Professional Development – 1 credit
 

Spring (year 2) 9 credits
Seminar on Organizing and Advocacy – 3 credits
Thesis Hours tied to Plan A - 6 credits
Or additional elective graduate class and three project hours - 6 credits

Upon graduation, you will be able to:

  • assess and research interpersonal, organizational, and societal situations from many points of view.
  • facilitate new and dynamic perspectives for others through work that translates research findings in communication studies into practical knowledge and skills.
  • create new communication strategies, messages, interventions, and/or training programs to facilitate positive change.