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    Governors State University
   
 
  Oct 22, 2017
 
 
    
2017-2018 Governors State University Academic Catalog

Communication, M.A.


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The graduate major in Communication, offered through the College of Arts and Sciences, provides an in-depth study leading to specialized knowledge and skills. Students have the opportunity to receive a broad theoretical framework in their field as well as the specific skills needed in the professional world.

The major prepares students as working professionals through two sequences: Communication Studies and Media Communication.. The major also prepares students for further graduate study in the communication fields. Beyond taking the common required courses, students adapt the major to their individual needs and backgrounds by pursuing one of the two sequences and choosing appropriate elective courses. Students plan their specific programs in consultation with their advisors. Graduates of the program are in career areas such as advertising, cable TV, college teaching, consulting, customer service, film-making,   journalism, media management, media writing, public affairs, public relations, and TV production/direction.

The Communication Studies graduate sequence offers students the ability to understand themselves and the world they live in from the perspective of communication. It explores multiple aspects of human interaction in both private and public realms, assisting students to become effective citizens and leaders who exemplify ethical and professional communication practices. The graduate sequence in Media Communication facilitates advanced creative development and exposure to professional practices for students interested in the fields of television and cinema studies as well as multimedia writing, producing and directing.

Recommended Preparation

An undergraduate major in one of the following fields is recommended: business, education, media, multimedia, communications, English, psychology, sociology, linguistics, or liberal arts. In addition, students are expected to have demonstrable competence in written, verbal, and visual forms of communication.

Special Admissions Requirements

In addition to meeting the university admissions requirements, applicants must:

  1. have completed the following prerequisites (or equivalent) with a grade of "C" or better:
    1. Students pursuing the Communication Studies sequence - COMS - 4100 Communication Theory (3)  or comparable Upper Division Communication Theory course
    2. Students pursuing the Media Communication sequence - MCOM - 2520 Introduction to Media and Society (3) MCOM - 4740 Television Production (3-4)  or MCOM - 4702 Digital Film Production (3) , and MCOM - 4230 Reporting, Writing and Editing (3)  or MCOM - 4731 Screenwriting (3) .
  2. have earned a GPA of 3.0 or higher in the last 60 hours of undergraduate course work. Applicants who do not meet the GPA requirements or who have graduated from non-grade baccalaureate programs may be conditionally admitted. A GPA of 3.0 must be maintained for the first nine credit hours of work completed. If a 3.0 GPA is not maintained, the student must petition the Communication program for continued enrollment;
  3. submit a statement of purpose.In approximately 500 words, describe what has drawn you to graduate-level study in the discipline of Communication and please explain a communication theory (e.g., uncertainty reduction theory, expectancy violations theory) and/or concept (e.g., digital media, media production) that you believe has had special relevance in your life and/or school work. Cite at least three sources of scholarly information on that theory or concept. Please use APA style to cite your sources

Applications for the program should be completed by July 15 for the fall term, November 15 for the spring term, and March 15 for the summer term.

Admission to Candidacy

After admission as a degree-seeking student, a student also must apply for candidacy. To qualify for degree candidacy, a student must:

  • complete the prerequisite course work listed above (see Special Admissions Requirement #1) with a grade of "C" or better in each course;
  • complete 15 hours of course work in the major with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

More detailed candidacy information is available through the division office or the student's advisor.

Capstone Requirement: Internship, Thesis, or Project Options

As part of this degree program, students select between an internship, thesis or project capstone option, depending on the sequence chosen. Before enrolling in any capstone option, students must be admitted to candidacy (see above).

In internship option, students select an internship and develop an internship agreement (similar to a thesis or project proposal). The internship agreement must be approved by the student's committee (composed of the student's internship director, site supervisor, and a faculty member). Upon committee approval of the internship agreement, the student may register for COMS - 8970 Graduate Capstone Internship (3-6) . After successful completion of the internship hours, students must complete the internship report and portfolio.

In the thesis option, students develop a thesis proposal, carry out a formal research study under the supervision of the faculty member and a degree committee, and prepare a final manuscript. The thesis option is strongly encouraged for students who have focused research interests or who intend to pursue doctoral studies. Student may register for COMS - 8990 Graduate Thesis (3-6)  once the proposal has been approved by the student's thesis committee.

In the project option, students develop a master's project proposal, design and complete the project under the direction of a faculty member and a degree committee, and prepare a final report. Students may register for COMS - 8980 Graduate Project (3-6)  once the proposal has been approved by the student's project committee.

Degree Requirements


Students must meet all university requirements for a master's degree and complete required and sequence courses with a grade of "B" or higher in each course and maintain an average GPA of 3.0. Students are only allowed to repeat a course once.

If a student needs to repeat a course more than once or withdraws from a course more than twice, the student will be referred to the committee to determine their continuation in the program.  Students in this situation should see their faculty advisor for additional information.

The M.A. in Communication requires a common core of courses. The core concentrates on the essential connections between the sequences; awareness of the common aspects in research; and, finally, the application to various media and technology.

Some required and selective courses are offered only once per academic year. Students are strongly advised to register well in advance of the commencement of courses, and to consult closely with their assigned advisors upon entering the program to ensure individual study plans are aligned with the university schedule.

Required Courses (12 Hours)


Sequence Courses (15-18 Hours)


Select one of the following sequences:

Communication Studies Sequence


In consultation with an advisor, student select at least 15 hours from the areas below. Of those 15 hours:

  1. at least nine hours must be COMS Courses; and
  2. six hours must be at the 8000 level.

The following courses are suggestive of those that will fulfill this requirement.

Electives (9-12 Hours)


In consultation with the advisor, select 9 to 12 hours of graduate credit appropriate to the student's career interest(s).

At least six hours must be taken within the Communication program. A maximum of 3 hours of COMS - 5050 Communication Workshop (1-3)   or MCOM - 5005 Media Symposium (1)   can be taken to meet the electives.

Total - 36 Hours


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