Degree Requirements

Research Thesis Track (a minimum 36-hour program)

30 hours of graduate coursework in communication and allied fields:

  1. 6 hours of core courses: COMM 6010 (Issues and Perspectives in Communication) and COMM 6030 (Research Methods in Communication). Students in the FVI studies track are also required to take the core COMM 6020 (Advanced Film Theory).

  2. 18–24 additional hours in communication courses designated by the area of emphasis  (film/video and digital, mass communication, and human communication and social influence). NOTE: All M.A. students with teaching responsibilities are required to take Communication Pedagogy in their first semester of teaching. In addition, all students teaching FILM 2700 must take COMM 6020 (Advanced Film Theory), and are also strongly encouraged to take COMM 6160 (Media Historiography).

  3. SARI Responsible Conduct of Research Requirement

  4. Optional 0–6 hours of allied coursework in another area of emphasis or outside the department as approved by the advisor

Approved research skill or proficiency in a foreign language. (Note: Credit hours  earned in this category may not be applied to B or C above.)

A successful prospectus defense

At least 6 hours of COMM 6990 Thesis Research

A Research Thesis and a successful thesis defense.

Creative Thesis Track (a minimum 36–hour program)

33 hours of graduate coursework in communication and allied fields:

  1. 6 hours of core courses: For students in film production, COMM 6155 (Media Expression) and COMM 6020 (Advanced Film Theory). For students in screenwriting, this is COMM 6260 (Adapting Literature to Film) and COMM 6020 (Advanced Film Theory). For other students doing creative theses: COMM 6010 (Issues and Perspectives in Communication) and COMM 6030 (Research Methods in Communication).

  2. 18–27 hours of courses designated by the area of emphasis. For production students only, this also includes COMM 6135 and COMM 6145 (Digital Editing).

  3. Optional 0–9 hours of courses outside area of emphasis or outside of the department as approved by adviser.

Coursework-intensive Option (no thesis)

36 hours of graduate coursework in communication and allied fields:

  1. 6 hours of core courses: COMM 6010 (Issues and Perspectives in Communication) and COMM 6030 (Research Methods in Communication). Students in the FVI track are also required to take the core COMM 6020 (Advanced Film Theory).

  2. 18–24 additional hours in communication courses designated by the area of emphasis  (film/video and digital, mass communication, and human communication and social influence). NOTE: All M.A. students with teaching responsibilities are required to take Communication Pedagogy in their first semester of teaching. In addition, all students teaching FILM 2700 must take COMM 6020 Advanced Film Theory, and are also strongly encouraged to take COMM 6160, Media Historiography.

  3. SARI Responsible Conduct of Research Requirement

  4. Optional 0–6 hours of allied coursework in another area of emphasis or outside the department as approved by the advisor

  5. Two additional approved elective courses, where the credit hours total to a full six hours substitution

Approved research skill or proficiency in a foreign language. (Note: Credit hours  earned in this category may not be applied to B or C above.)

Students pursuing this coursework-intensive, non-thesis option are required to submit to the department a sample of a significant research essay (such as might have been submitted as a final seminar or conference paper).

  1. 47 hours of graduate coursework in communication and allied fields:
    • 4 hours of Doctoral Proseminar (COMM 8111)

    • 1 hour of Doctoral Writing Proseminar (COMM 8112)

    • 3 hours of Communication Pedagogy (COMM 8035)

    • 27-30 additional hours in communication courses in an area of emphasis (Public Communication and Moving Image Studies courses can be in allied disciplines)

    • 9-12 additional hours in research tools courses
  2. At least 21 hours of Dissertation Research (COMM 9999)
  3. Written comprehensive examination with successful oral defense
  4. A successful prospectus defense
  5. A dissertation with successful oral defense

Other Important Coursework Requirements

No more than 16 hours of course work outside the Department of Communication may be counted toward fulfilling a student’s minimum course work requirements, but students are encouraged to take more than the minimum number of courses

No more than six credits (two courses maximum) of independent study may be counted toward fulfilling a student’s coursework requirements.

Only courses numbered 6000 and above may be counted toward fulfilling a student’s coursework requirements. Ph.D. students are expected to take almost all of their courses at the 8000–level.

Some students may be required by the department to complete preparatory courses (which may include courses numbered below 6000) as a condition of admittance into the Ph.D. program. These courses cannot be counted toward fulfilling a student’s 68-hour coursework requirement.

A grade of “B” or better in all required coursework.