Online Master's Degree Requirements
The requirements for the master's degree are the same for all students accepted into the Communication graduate program. However, not all courses offered by the department are offered online. To facilitate the successful completion of degree requirements, the following courses are available in a rotation that may take up to three years to complete.
Upcoming course schedules can be viewed here.
Required Core (6 credits):
- COMM 700 - Research Methods in Communication (3 credits)
Introduction to research planning and design, methods of research, and presentation of research results.
- COMM 711- Communication Theory (3 credits)
Major theoretical approaches to the study of communication from social scientific and humanistic traditions.
Research Core (6 credits):
Choose two of the following courses.
- COMM 704 - Qualitative Research Methods (3 credits)
Introduction to qualitative methods used in social science research focusing primarily on participant observation, asking questions, case study, writing field notes, and on the transformation of these primary field data into written ethnographic documents.
- COMM 707 - Quantitative Research Methods (3 credits)
Introduction to quantitative methods used in social science research focusing on conceptualization, design, and statistical analysis useful for investigating communication processes and effects.
- COMM 767 - Rhetorical Criticism (3 credits)
Survey of critical methods of inquiry that may be applied to oral discourse and frameworks for critically evaluating communication processes and products.
Any other approved research methods course offered at the graduate level may be substituted, with permission of advisor and program director.
Electives (12-15 credits):
- COMM 602 - Contemporary Rhetorical Theory (3 credits)
Examination of the use of public address in the contemporary culture to identify styles of usage and ethical practices employed by communicators.
- COMM 621 - Issues, History of the Mass Media (3 credits)
A general introduction to mass media history, emphasizing development of United States media from the Persian Gulf War of 1991 back to the Colonial era.
- COMM 721 - Intercultural Communication (3 credits)
Advanced theories of verbal and nonverbal behavior, attitudes, and communication styles that affect interaction between cultural groups.
- COMM 725 - Communication and Change (3 credits)
Investigation of the methods by which innovations are communicated through the process of diffusion to members of social systems, and adopted or rejected by them.
- COMM 752 - Theory of Argument (3 credits)
Philosophy and theory of argumentation. Exploration of analytical methods employed in argumentation.
- COMM 755 - Rhetoric of Environmental Science (3 credits)
This course focuses on the communication (rhetoric) of science and how disciplinary conventions and ideological commitments shape the language of environmental science in understanding "external realities."
- COMM 761 - Survey of Rhetorical Theory (3 credits)
Historical/descriptive examination of rhetorical theory from the classical through contemporary periods. Exploration of the foundations and evolution of modern rhetorical theory.
- COMM 785 - Advanced Crisis Communication (3 credits)
Long- and short-term issues for managing communication related to organizational crises are discussed in the stages of pre-crisis, crisis and post-crisis.
- COMM 786 - Risk Communication (3 Credits)
Explores the relationship between communication strategies and risk perception, assessment, and management.
Paper/PROJECT OR THESIS (3-6 credits):
One option available for students completing their degree online is the designation of three major papers, drawn from three different courses in the program of study, to be compiled into a collection. This collection of papers, with an introductory chapter and "lessons learned" chapter at the end will be submitted for review to the student's supervisory committee, constituted from the professors of record for the courses from which the papers were drawn and an outside committee member assigned by the Graduate School. The collection of papers will be defended and submitted to the Graduate School for review and binding; and must be approved in order for the student to graduate.
The paper/project option requires three credits of COMM 797. The thesis option requires six credits of COMM 798.