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AREAS OF STUDY

While earning a Master’s degree in Communication, students choose courses across three interrelated and mutually-supportive pedagogical areas of study. Representing strengths across our department, graduate students are encouraged to take courses across these areas in support of a thoughtful and informed study of the broad field of communication. While some graduate students gravitate toward a particular area of interest, taking courses across these areas provides collaborative learning opportunities and supports an inclusive and well-rounded graduate community. 

Relational and Organizational Studies
Relational and Organizational Studies courses explore social interaction among individuals, groups, and organizations. Embracing communication as a constitutive practice, courses explore interpersonal relationships, organizational communication, collaborative engagement, discourse and identity formation, as well as communication pedagogy and training. These courses offer students a graduate-level understanding of relationship development and of communication as the essential practice for working and living well with others.

Critical/Cultural Studies
Critical/Cultural Studies courses engage in the critical exploration of social, political, and cultural practices from a communicative perspective. With a focus on power and reflexivity, courses explore critical theories, culture and communication, community and politics, gender and difference, as well as rhetoric and civic engagement. These courses offer students a graduate-level understanding of communication as a power-laden practice permeating everyday social interactions, varied forms of media, and participation in a vibrant public sphere.

Media Studies
Media Studies courses explore the complex role media and media institutions play in society. With a critical focus on the production and consumption of news, information, and entertainment in a democratic society, courses explore media theory and criticism, media and institutions, media power and politics, media law and ethics, and media aesthetics and culture. These courses offer students the opportunity to develop and apply a graduate-level understanding of the cultural and political influences of media.