The following are the graduate courses offered as a part of the M.A. in Communication:
Core Sequence Courses
COMM 501 RESEARCH METHODS (3-0-3)(F). Provides an overview of foundational methodological approaches to research in the field of communication and media studies. Introduces students to issues of epistemology, scholarly inquiry, and criticism as aligned with common approaches to the study of communication.
COMM 505 THEORY AND PHILOSOPHY OF COMMUNICATION (3-0-3)(S). Provides an overview of leading theoretical traditions in communication studies and the philosophy of communication. Emphasizes meta-theoretical issues and understanding communication theory and theorizing as a lens for understanding everyday communication practices.
COMM 598 SEMINAR (F). Provides an introduction to graduate studies in Communication.
Relational and Organizational Studies Courses
COMM 506 INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION (3-0-3)(F/S). Explores contemporary theory and research related to the practice of interpersonal communication. Addresses contemporary issues with relational development, maintenance, and decline as well as varied types of relationships and relational contexts.
COMM 507 ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION (3-0-3)(F/S). Explores contemporary theory and research associated with the practice of organizational communication. Emphasizes communication as constitutive of organization and communication as essential in creating, maintaining, and changing organizational structures, cultures, identities, and power relations.
COMM 520 COLLABORATION AND CONFLICT (3-0-3)(F/S). Explores contemporary communication theory and research on collaboration and conflict. Attends to issues of conflict, conflict suppression, decision making, participatory practices, and workplace democracy.
COMM 521 DISCOURSE AND IDENTITY (3-0-3)(F/S). Examines discourse as a way to explore the intersections of communication and identity. Addresses the ways communicative practices create knowledge of the self with attention to issues of gender, race, ethnicity, disciplinary power, bio-politics, consent, and control.
COMM 522 COMMUNICATION PEDAGOGY AND TRAINING (3-0-3)(F/S). Explores teaching and learning scholarship focusing on communication pedagogy and the practice of teaching communication. Helps prepare students to teach in academic and other organizational settings.
Media Studies Courses
COMM 508 MEDIA THEORY AND CRITICISM (3-0-3)(F/S). Examines a broad range of theoretical perspectives on media institutions, practices, and effects. Emphasis is given to the implications of media theory and research for citizens, members of civic or professional organizations who work with media, as well as media practitioners.
COMM 509 MEDIA LAW AND ETHICS (3-0-3)(F/S). Examines varied legal and ethical issues facing media practitioners and the public as consumers of media. Topics include First and Fourth Amendment, the right to privacy, censorship, libel and slander, copyright, and media and national security considerations.
COMM 530 MEDIA, POLITICS, AND POWER (3-0-3)(F/S). Explores the role of media in politics, governance and citizenship, with emphasis on the American media system. Focuses on the institutional relationships that control and influence media coverage of politics, campaigns, elections and policy making, and examines the impact of digital technology and the Internet on participatory democracy.
COMM 531 MEDIA AND INSTITUTIONS (3-0-3)(F/S). Explores the influences of social forces and institutions on media organizations. Topics include the ways advertising, public relations, social media, and legal, regulatory, and political systems influence media economics, content, and competition.
COMM 532 MEDIA AESTHETICS AND CULTURE (3-0-3)(F/S). Explores the philosophical and cultural implications of media theory through the lens of aesthetics. With attention to the historical progression of theory addressing the moving image, this course focuses on the mutually dependent relationship between form and content in understanding, analyzing, and interpreting visual media texts.
Critical/Cultural Studies Courses
COMM 510 COMMUNICATION, COMMUNITY AND POLITICS (3-0-3)(F/S). Explores the connections between theory and practice in communication studies, community organizing, and politics. Examines the exercise of power, conflicts between autonomy and control, and intersections between political and social life.
COMM 511 CRITICAL THEORIES (3-0-3)(F/S). Provides an overview of critical perspectives of media, society, and organizations by exploring the work of the Frankfurt School, postmodern perspectives, as well as feminist and other critical theories in the field of communication.
COMM 512 CULTURE AND COMMUNICATION (3-0-3)(F/S). Examines current issues and theoretical perspectives in the study of communication within particular cultural contexts. Topics include the history of the terms “culture” and “communication,” and the evolution of theoretical perspectives on both terms.
COMM 540 COMMUNICATION, GENDER, AND DIFFERENCE (3-0-3)(F/S). Explores the intersections of communication and gender. Attends to difference and diversity as communicative accomplishments and examines issues of identity, language, power, and hegemony.
COMM 541 RHETORIC AND CIVIC LIFE (3-0-3)(F/S).Examines the intersections of rhetorical theory and practice with civic life. Addresses issues of civic engagement, public sphere(s), rhetorical performance, citizenship, and the construction of (im)possibility.
Other Elective Courses
COMM 590 PRACTICUM/INTERNSHIP. Offers students the opportunity to engage in supervised practical application of previously studied theories.
COMM 595 READING AND CONFERENCE. Offers students the opportunity to conduct topical research, assigned readings, or literature reviews. The graduate faculty advisor and the student prepare and sign an agreement describing the amount and type of work to be accomplished.
COMM 596 INDEPENDENT STUDY. Offers students the opportunity to pursue advanced study of a specialized topic in which the student works with a high degree of independence to meet well-defined goals under the supervision of a member of the graduate faculty. An independent study cannot be substituted for a course regularly offered.
COMM 597 SPECIAL TOPICS IN COMMUNICATION. Provides instruction on a topic that is not included in the catalog of regular graduate courses in communication. If offered, a description of the special topics course is provided in the Schedule of Classes published each semester.
Graduate Culminating Activities
COMM 591 PROJECT. Execution of a substantial exercise that demonstrates the ability to successfully and independently carry out a professional activity similar to what is encountered in the professional workplace. The resulting project must be defended at a final oral examination.
COMM 593 THESIS. Independent research at the master’s level. The resulting thesis must be defended at a final oral examination.
COMM 690 MASTER’S COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATION. A culminating examination attempted after completion of all required core courses and admission to candidacy. Resulting exam responses must be defended at a final oral examination.