Communication and Media Technologies Master of science degree

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Overview

A focus on the humanities and social sciences combined with marketing, information technology, digital publishing, or a discipline of your choosing, provides a solid framework to help you understand the evolving communication landscape.


Communication and the technologies for message creation and dissemination are at the center of dramatic economic, social, and cultural changes occurring as a result of technological development and global connectedness. The master of science degree in communication and media technologies is an advanced interdisciplinary program combining liberal arts courses in communication with course work in an applied or professional program. Students will become adept at the analysis of communication problems, the development of solutions, and the creation of messages as a result of their combined training in the social sciences, humanities, and applied technologies.

Communication courses rooted in the humanities and social sciences provide students with the opportunity to gain a broad, historical understanding of issues in communication, including the ethical, legal, and social dimensions. Additional courses give students advanced guidance in the creation of written and visual message content. Courses in applied technologies or professional programs provide opportunities for implementation and application. The required thesis combines knowledge, practice, original research, and application under the guidance of a graduate advisement committee.

Students are prepared to pursue careers as communication experts in commerce, industry, education, entertainment, and government, as well as for graduate work toward a doctoral degree.

Plan of study

The degree requires the completion of 36 credit hours of graduate course work. The program consists of five required courses, three communication electives, three applied professional or technical courses, and either a thesis, project, or a comprehensive exam.

Graduate committee

Full-time students create a graduate advisement committee by the end of their first semester of study. The committee is comprised of at least one faculty member from the department of communication and one faculty member from outside the department. The outside member should have a terminal degree. The committee advises and guides the student's elective course selection and course sequencing. With the guidance and approval of the graduate advising committee, students design and conduct a thesis or project appropriate to their course of study and their career goals.

Thesis/Project

A thesis or project is an option for all students in the program. The topic should complement the student's academic graduate interests and scholarly training. Topic selection and methods for implementing the thesis/project occur in consultation with the student's graduate advisement committee.

Comprehensive examinations

Comprehensive examinations may be taken in lieu of a thesis or project. Students are eligible to take these examinations after all course work has been completed. The graduate committee chooses the exam committee members from two areas: theory and methods. The student selects a specialty area within the communication elective courses with the consent of the faculty member who taught the course, and that faculty member will administer and grade the exam question(s). Specialization areas include the following: electronic, visual, international, strategic, and education. Exams take place at two times: intersession and in June. If students fail any portion of the exam, they receive one opportunity for a rewrite.

Industries


  • Internet and Software

  • Health Care

  • Food and Beverage

  • Non-Profit

  • Transportation and Logistics

  • Higher Education

Typical Job Titles

Marketing Specialist Marketing Manager
Communications Coordinator Digital Marketing Specialist
Account Coordinator Customer Sales Director
Communication Assistant Marketing Analyst
Digital Marketing and Communications Analyst Technical Writer

Curriculum

Communication and Media Technologies, MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
COMM-700
Survey of Media Technologies
This course focuses on significant media innovations from historical, societal, political, and cultural perspectives. Innovations such as print, radio, film, television, and digital technologies will be discussed. Milestone research and theory will drive the examination of each perspective on the media. The course concludes with the development of research questions for studying contemporary lines or research investigating media.
3
COMM-702
Communication Theories
This course focuses on theories of communication as they relate to mass media and other forms of human interaction. Theories based in both the humanities and in the social sciences that explain or predict the effects of interaction and communication technology on audiences will be examined.
3
COMM-703
Research Methods in Communication
An introduction to and overview of the methods and ethics of scientific, scholarly communication research including quantitative and qualitative approaches. The course focuses on methods of locating, critically analyzing, and conducting communication research, and leads to the development of a research proposal suitable for a thesis or project.
3
COMM-704
Media Law and Ethics
This course examines major principles and trends in communication law. The course analyzes a broad range of issues related to the First Amendment, intellectual property, and media regulation. Special attention is paid to discussing the major ethical perspectives and issues surrounding contemporary communication behavior.
3
COMM-720
Thesis Preparation Seminar
An introduction to graduate study and research in communication including the theoretical, conceptual, and methodological parameters of communication and its sub-disciplines. Participants will interact with the faculty teaching required and elective communication courses. Attention will be drawn to scholarly writing and research design. When possible, the course is organized in conjunction with the department’s colloquium series.
0
 
Communication Electives
9
 
Professional Core
9
Choose one of the following:
6
   COMM-800
   Communication Thesis/Project
A guided research project that focuses on designing, conducting, and completing a research project. The project culminates in a public presentation and defense.
 
   COMM-801
   Comprehensive Exam, plus two additional courses*
 
Total Semester Credit Hours
36

* Courses may be professional core courses, communication electives, or a combination of both.

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to the MS program in communication and media technologies, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Complete a graduate application.
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree (or equivalent) from an accredited college or university.
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work.
  • Have a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0.
  • Submit a personal statement describing the applicant’s goals for the program, focusing on their professional interests.
  • Submit at least two letters of reference from academic advisers, major professors, and/or supervisors or managers.
  • Submit a writing portfolio consisting of at least three writing samples, such as academic papers written for class, work-related brochures and pamphlets, or newspaper or magazine articles.
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum scores of 570 (paper-based) or 88-89 (Internet-based) are required on the TOEFL. A minimum score of 6.5 is required on the IELTS. This requirement may be waived for students who submit undergraduate transcripts from American colleges and universities.
  • Students are encouraged to submit scores from the GRE.

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