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Communication (2002-2003)

Admission | Courses | Program | Requirements

Department Chairperson: Kenneth Hawkinson
Graduate Committee Chairperson: Peter F. Jorgensen
Department Office: Memorial Hall 300
Department Telephone: 309/298-1507 Fax: 309/298-2369
WWW Address:
Location of Program Offering: Macomb

Graduate Faculty

  • Professors
    • Judith Dallinger, Ph.D., University of Nebraska
    • Sharon Evans, Ph.D., University of North Texas
    • Dale Hample, Ph.D., University of Illinois
    • Ken Hawkinson, Ph.D., Southern Illinois University
  • Associate Professors
    • Mark Callister, Ph.D., University of Arizona
    • Peter F. Jorgensen, Ph.D., University of Arizona
    • Roger Sadler, Ph.D., Indiana University
  • Assistant Professors
    • Lisa E. Miczo, Ph.D., University of Arizona
    • Janis L. Edwards, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts
    • Marceline Thompson-Hayes, Ph.D., The University of Memphis

Associate Graduate Faculty

  • Associate Professors
    • Samuel Edsall, M.F.A., Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Assistant Professors
    • John Miller, M.A., Northern Illinois University
    • Michael Murray, M.A., Western Illinois University
    • Richard Ness, M.S., Iowa State University
    • Rebecca Parker, M.A., Western Illinois University

Program Description

The Master of Arts in Communication offers students the opportunity to study communicative processes building from theoretical foundations through a range of applications. Students may apply theory in various ways which may include analyzing and evaluating the impact of media on society, engaging in basic and applied research, developing and conducting persuasive campaigns, preparing for teaching at the college level, creating television and radio programs, planning and carrying out communication audits, and evaluating various forms of rhetorical discourse.

The program is designed for students who want to develop an advanced understanding of communication theories and applications and who want to do so through an intensive educational experience in small and highly participative classes and in one-to-one work with faculty members.

Graduates of the program choose to pursue professional careers in a broad range of media, business and educational organizations, or to continue their graduate education beyond the master’s level.

Admission Requirements

Students must have a 2.75 cumulative GPA or 3.0 GPA in their last two academic years. Those not holding at least an undergraduate minor in speech communication or broadcasting, or those deficient in undergraduate courses, skills, or advanced theoretical knowledge may be asked, upon evaluation of their transcripts, to make up deficiencies prior to full graduate standing.

International students must have an overall TOEFL score of at least 237 (580 paper score).

If and when deficiencies exist in the applicant's undergraduate curriculum, specific undergraduate courses will be assigned to such an individual until the candidate has demonstrated a sufficient level of competence in the designated areas of concern. Deficiency courses do not apply toward graduate credit. Possible deficiency courses include:

  • Broadcasting
    • BC 221 Fundamentals of Broadcasting
    • BC 223 Principles Radio/TV Production
    • BC 321 Broadcast Continuity
    • BC 323 Broadcasting and Society
    • BC 425 Broadcast Law
  • Communication
    • COMM 130 Introduction to Human Communication
    • COMM 247 Argumentation
    • COMM 311 Research Design in Communication
    • COMM 312 Rhetorical Criticism
    • COMM 343 Organizational Communication
    • COMM 344 Interpersonal Communication
    • COMM 356 Introduction to Persuasion
    • CSD 020N English for International Students

Each applicant will be evaluated on an individual basis; hence the nature and the number of courses to be made up (if any) will vary from student to student. However, within each discipline there are specific skills, advanced theories, and knowledge which are deemed essential for a successful graduate experience. The suggested menu of deficiency courses, therefore, should not be construed as all inclusive nor as specific.

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required for regular admission to the Communication graduate program.

Students entering the Communication program must enroll during either the fall or spring semester.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Arts degree in Communication requires a minimum of 33 semester hours of course work, to be distributed as follows:

  • Core Courses: 18 s.h.
    • COMM 500 Introduction to Graduate Study: 3 s.h.
    • COMM 504 Empirical Research in Human Communication: 3 s.h.
    • COMM 506 Message Production: 3 s.h.
    • COMM 547 Communication Technology and Change: 3 s.h.
    • Directed Departmental Electives (must be at 500 level, excluding COMM 520, COMM 596, COMM 601, COMM 602, and COMM 679): 6 s.h.
  • Exit Options (Select one)
    • Thesis Plan
      • Graduate Core: 18 s.h.
      • COMM 601 Thesis: 3–6 s.h.
      • Directed Electives: 9–12 s.h.
        TOTAL PROGRAM: 33 s.h.
    • Creative Project Plan
      • Graduate Core: 18 s.h.
      • COMM 602 Creative Projects: 3 s.h.
      • Directed Electives: 12 s.h.
        TOTAL PROGRAM: 33 s.h.

Course Descriptions

General Courses

500 Introduction to Graduate Study. (3) Provides instruction and experience in qualitative, philosophical, and bibliographical resources and research methods in the broadcasting, speech communication, rhetoric, and public address areas of the discipline.

504 Empirical Research in Human Communication. (3) Introduction to research design, statistics and empirical measurement as applied to the study of human communication. Prerequisite: COMM 311 or equivalent.

506 Message Production. (3) Investigation of contemporary theories of communication.

520 Research in Public Communication and Broadcasting. (1–6, repeatable to 6) Prerequisite: Completion of six-nine semester hours of core course requirements.

539 Seminar in Public Communication and Broadcasting. (3, repeatable to 6) Consideration of philosophies of communication and review of current literature in the field.

596 Graduate Internship. (1–3, repeatable to 3) Supervised applied experience at a work site outside the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences. Graded S/U. Prerequisite: Completion of at least 18 semester hours of Communication course work and approval of the graduate adviser and departmental supervisor.

601 Thesis. (3,6, repeatable to 6) Prerequisite: Completion of 18 semester hours of course work.

602 Creative Projects. (3) Prerequisite: Completion of 18 semester hours of course work.


420G Television Graphics. (3) Students design computer graphics and animation. Projects include news anchor boxes, graphic backgrounds, and animated feature introductions. Prerequisites: BC 322 or permission of the instructor.

421G Broadcast Writing. (3) Study and practical application of writing techniques for broadcasting. Special attention is given to longer fiction and documentary forms.

422G Television Directing. (4) Examination of procedures, techniques, and problems identified with the directing of television presentations.

423G Broadcasting Programs and Audiences. (3) History, development, and impact of broadcast programming. Attention to program creation, survival, and audience attitudes. Critical analysis of the current network television season.

424G Broadcasting Station Management. (3) Study of the social, economic and legal responsibilities involved in the management of broadcasting operation. Discussion of organizational leadership and control. Attention to managerial functions. Prerequisite: BC 323.

425G Broadcast/Cable Law and Ethics. (3) A study of the laws covering the broadcast/cable industry in America from the Communication Act of 1934 to the present. Ethical considerations faced by broadcasters and cablecasters.

426G TV Sports Production. (1-3, repeatable to 6) Theory and practice of remote television sports production and editing techniques. Prerequisites: BC 552, BC 321, and BC 322; ENG 180 and ENG 280.

427G Advanced Radio Broadcast Production. (3) Designing and producing major projects in news, features, and documentaries. Content and production excellence are stressed.

500 Introduction to Graduate Study. (3) Provides instruction and experience in qualitative, philosophical, and bibliographical resources and research methods in the broadcasting, speech communication, rhetoric, and public address areas of the discipline.

539 Seminar in Public Communication and Broadcasting. (3, repeatable to 6) Consideration of philosophies of communication and review of current literature in the field.

544 Broadcasting and Government. (3) Examination of policies and regulations which govern broadcasting. Emphasis on the role which the president, Congress, the FCC, the FTC, and other agencies play in regulating broadcasting media.

547 Communication Technology and Change. (3) An exploration of the changes in formal, informal, interpersonal, and group communication with the advent of electronic communication technology.


409G Communication and Conflict Management. (3) Study of the role of communication in conflict. Consideration of the major theories of conflict and conflict management.

410G Theory and Methodology in Interpersonal Communication. (3) Study of theory, concepts and methodology relevant to dyadic interaction. Examination of, and participation in, field, survey, and experimental studies of interpersonal behavior.

413G Advanced Organizational Communication. (3) Study of communication issues in organizational settings. Examination of organizational behaviors and case analyses contributing to the understanding and improvement of individual, group, and organizational communication. Prerequisite: COMM 343 or equivalent.

414G Communication Technologies in Professional Speaking. (3) Preparation and delivery of longer speeches and presentations in professional settings, utilizing advanced rhetorical principles and advanced communication technologies. Prerequisites: ENG 180, ENG 280 and COMM 241.

441G Classical Rhetoric. (3) Textual studies of Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Quintilian, and St. Augustine.

444G Communication and Relationships. (3) Focus will be on research and theories that describe communication in friendships, romantic relationships, and families. The class will cover how these relationships are created and sustained by communication as well as communication practices that are both unique to and shared by each relationship type. Prerequisites: COMM 344, ENG 180 and 280.

456G Persuasive Campaigns. (3) Study of the design and execution of persuasive campaigns.

480G Special Topics in Communication. (3, repeatable to 6, for different topics, with permission of department chair) This course deals with selected topics of interest in communication, such as nonverbal communication, intercultural communication, and family communication. Prerequisites: ENG 180 and 280; completion of at least 12 s.h. in communication.

501 Advanced Interpersonal Communication. (3) Examination and application of the major rhetorical and methodological approaches to interpersonal communication.

503 Communication and Attitude Change. (3) Examination of the major theories and related research dealing with communication and attitude change.

508 Rhetorical Theory. (3) Studies of historical and contemporary rhetorical theories. Prerequisite: COMM 312 or COMM 441 or equivalent.

510 Organizational Communication. (3) A study of research and theory in organizational communication. Prerequisite: COMM 343 or COMM 413 or equivalent.

538 Teaching Speech in College. (3) Guidance in planning units of instruction, writing objectives, devising strategies, teaching units, and evaluating speech performance in a college classroom situation. Includes practical application of principles and methods.

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