Master's Program in Communication

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1 General Information for Prospective Graduate Students Department of Communication, University of Colorado at Boulder Updated by Lauren Lipman Master's Program in Communication Graduate study in the Department of Communication focuses on communication- based problems arising from recent social and technological changes, especially problems associated with processes of interaction, collaboration and participation, deliberation and decision- making. The Department offers programs of study leading to the M.A. and Ph.D. in Communication. Areas currently emphasized in our program include: 1. Organizational communication 2. Rhetoric 3. Discourse & Society Other important themes include: Computer- mediated communication, new technology Communication and social theory Ethnographic, discourse analytic, and quantitative research methods Democracy, publics, and deliberation Teaching Assistantships are available. Opportunities for teaching include assisting faculty instructors and teaching stand- alone sections in a variety of courses, including: Perspectives on Human Communication, Communication and Society, Communication Theory, Rhetorical Foundations, Interaction Skills, Argumentation, Public Speaking, Interpersonal Communication, and Organizational Communication. The Master's program is intended to serve individuals for whom this will be a terminal degree, as well as those seeking ultimately to complete the Ph.D. either at CU, or at another institution. Students wishing to continue in the Department's Ph.D. program following completion of the Master's must re- apply at that time. Students accepted into the program are eligible to take all graduate- level courses (those numbered 5000 and above), which currently include: COMM 5210: Readings in Communication Theory COMM 5220: Functions of Communication Seminar *# COMM 5230: Applied Communication COMM 5300: Seminar: Rhetoric *# COMM 5310: Contemporary Rhetorical Criticism COMM 5320: Readings in Rhetoric COMM 5420: Readings in Discourse and Society COMM 5510: Seminar: Interpersonal Communication *# COMM 5520: Readings in Interpersonal Communication COMM 5600: Seminar: Organizational Communication *#

2 COMM 5610: Organizational Culture and Symbolism COMM 5620: Readings in Organizational Communication COMM 5720: Readings in Communication and Technology COMM 6010: Communication Research and Theory COMM 6020: Quantitative Research Methods COMM 6030: Qualitative Research Methods COMM 6200: Seminar: Selected Topics # COMM 6310: Rhetorical Criticism # COMM 6320: Rhetorical Theory # COMM 6330: Rhetoric of Science and Technology COMM 6340: Rhetoric and Civic Community COMM 6350: Seminar in Argumentation COMM 6360: Social & Cultural Theory COMM 6410: Discourse Analysis COMM 6420: Interaction Analysis COMM 6430: Communication in Family Groups COMM 6440: Grounded Practical Theory COMM 6470: Meetings, Their Practices and Problems COMM 6730: Collaboration and Decision Making in Organizations COMM 6740: Power and Control in Organizational Communication COMM 6750: Communication and Organizational Change COMM 6840: Master s Independent Study COMM 6940: Master s Degree Candidate COMM 6950: Master s Thesis Master's Program in Communication 2 * These courses meet jointly with their undergraduate senior seminar counterparts. # These variable- topic seminars may be taken twice for credit on different topics. Administration of the M.A. program conforms to all Graduate School rules regarding, e.g., residency requirements, time for completion of degree, maximum of transfer credits, etc. The M.A. program has two options for the completion of requirements: Thesis, and Coursework with Examination. Program Requirements: Thesis Option Students pursuing the Thesis Option are required to complete at least 33 graduate credit hours, including 27 credit hours of coursework and 6 thesis hours (including oral defense of the thesis). Course requirements include: Communication Research and Theory (COMM6010), at least one Methods course (currently COMM 6020 or COMM 6030), at least two Readings courses (currently COMM 5210, COMM 5320, COMM 5420, COMM 5620, or COMM 5720), and five additional graduate- level courses. Coursework completed for the thesis option may include a maximum of 6 hours of Independent Study. A maximum of 9 hours may be transferred from graduate work completed in other programs and/or institutions. A maximum of 9 credit hours of courses may be taken outside the Department. Transfer and Outside courses combined may not exceed 12 credit hours. Students choosing the Thesis option should select a graduate faculty advisor prior to completing 12 credits

3 Master's Program in Communication 3 of coursework. With that advisor, they should select two additional committee members; complete Program of Study form and a written proposal for the thesis. The Program of Study is a brief document that shows that the student has completed all requirements (see checklist below). The thesis proposal should be designed realistically so that Master s students can complete the thesis during their final planned semester in residence. After the student s committee has read the thesis, a final oral examination will be conducted in conformity with the rules of the Graduate School. The thesis must comply with the format rules of the Graduate School. Program Requirements: Coursework with Examination Option Students pursuing the Coursework with Examination Option are required to complete at least 33 graduate credit hours, a written comprehensive examination, and oral defense of the examination. Course requirements include: Communication Research and Theory (COMM 6010), at least one Methods course (currently COMM 6020 or COMM 6030), at least two Readings courses (currently COMM 5210, COMM 5320, COMM 5420, COMM 5620, or COMM 5720), and seven additional graduate- level courses. Coursework completed for the examination option may include a maximum of 6 hours of Independent Study. A maximum of 9 hours may be transferred form graduate work completed in other programs and/or institutions. A maximum of 9 credit hours of courses may be taken outside the Department. Transfer and Outside courses combined may not exceed 12 credit hours. M.A students choosing the Coursework with Examination Option should select a graduate faculty advisor prior to completing 12 credit of coursework. In consultation with that advisor, students select an additional committee member. All MA comprehensive exam committees have three members, with the Director of Graduate Study as the third member. By the beginning of the third semester of graduate work, students should complete the Program of Study Form that indicates when all course requirements will be completed and identifies a student s unique area of expertise for comprehensive exam testing. The comprehensive exam includes two standardized questions: a question about communication theory (90 minutes) and a question about research methods (90 minutes). In addition there is a 2- hour question that is unique to each student about his/her expertise focus. An 1- hour oral defense will be held within two weeks of the exam. Should the committee judge a student s written and/or oral performance unsatisfactory, he or she may be required to retake relevant portions of the exam (for a maximum of one retake). Prior to retaking the exam, the student may be required to complete additional coursework and/or research projects. Retaking the exam may include another oral defense. Financial Aid Teaching Assistantships (TA s) are available. Additional University Fellowship money is available to enhance the quality and diversity of our admissions, and limited Work Study funding is also available based on financial need. Summer teaching, although not guaranteed, is available. The academic year stipend for TA s was $13,345. In addition, we waive all tuition for TA s (out- of- state students are expected to establish residency after the first year). TA's in the masters program are normally promised two years of funding, contingent on good academic standing. Many, but not all, of our graduate students are funded as TA s. We welcome applications from individuals with personal, corporate, or institutional support for the costs of their graduate education.

4 General Information about Admissions Master's Program in Communication 4 We must emphasize that, while we welcome your application, meeting the stated admissions criteria cannot guarantee either your admission to the program, or the awarding of funding. We typically have many more qualified applicants than resources allow us to admit and fund. At the same time, not meeting any single admissions requirement does not necessarily eliminate you from consideration. If your record does not satisfy any of the stated requirements, we encourage you to explain the situation in the personal statement submitted with your application (see below). We are committed to making our Department a community in which diversity is a fundamental value. In selecting from the group of qualified applicants, additional consideration is given to prospective students whose presence will add to the diversity of the community. NOTE: Formal admission to the program is not required in order to enroll in graduate courses. Students wishing to complete graduate coursework prior to applying for admission (e.g., on an exploratory basis) may do so by enrolling through the ACCESS Program offered through Continuing Education. Students may complete up to 9 hours of coursework through this program before formal admission is required. Master's Application Instructions for U.S. Citizens To ensure full consideration, applications for Fall admission and funding should be completed and submitted no later than December 31. Decisions concerning financial aid are made in February and March for the following academic year. Final application deadlines are April 15 for Fall admission, and September 15 for Spring admission. Your application should include the following: 1. Graduate School Application Form (Part I and Part II). 2. A personal statement describing your background, interests, and qualifications. Please tell us why you think the match between this program and your particular background and interests is a good one. Also tell us if, and explain why, you wish to be considered for a teaching assistantship or other financial support. 3. Transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework. For admission to the master's program, a bachelor's degree or the equivalent is required. We expect a minimum Grade Point Average of 3.2 / 4.0. Special attention is given to grades in the major and in the last two years of undergraduate study. Although a major in Communication or a related field is preferred, other academic and professional experience will be considered based on its relevance to this program of study. 4. A report of GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores. We expect combined Verbal and Quantitative scores of at least 1100, with at least a 550 Verbal score. 5. Four reference letters. These will probably be letters from professors or employers who can comment on your problem- solving, critical thinking, and organizational skills.

5 Master's Program in Communication 5 Master's Application Instructions for International Students To ensure full consideration, applications for Fall admission and funding should be completed and submitted no later than December 15 th. Applications for Spring admission should be submitted no later than August 15 th. Your application should include the following: 1. Graduate School Application Form for International Students (Part I and Part II). 2. Your scores on the Test of English as an International Language (TOEFL) or acceptable equivalent examination. (If you have completed at least one year of full- time academic study at a U.S. institution at the time you apply, or if English is your native language, you are exempt from this requirement.) 3. A financial statement with the required documentation. 4. A personal statement describing your background, interests, and qualifications. Please tell us why you think the match between this program and your particular background and interests is a good one. Also tell us if, and explain why, you wish to be considered for a teaching assistantship or other financial support. 5. Transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework. For admission to the master's program, a bachelor's degree or the equivalent is required. We expect a minimum Grade Point Average of 3.2 / 4.0. Special attention is given to grades in the major and in the last two years of undergraduate study. Although a major in Communication or a related field is preferred, other academic and professional experience will be considered based on its relevance to this program of study. 6. A report of GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores. We expect combined Verbal and Quantitative scores of at least 1100, with at least a 550 Verbal score. 7. Four reference letters. These will probably be letters from professors or employers who can comment on your problem- solving, critical thinking, and organizational skills

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