The graduate major in Communication and Training, 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 three sequences: Communication Studies, Media Communication, and Human Performance and Training. The major also prepares students for further graduate study in the communications and training fields. Beyond taking the common required courses, students adapt the major to their individual needs and backgrounds by pursuing one of the three 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, human resource development, instructional design and development, journalism, media management, media writing, public affairs, public relations, TV production/direction, and training.
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. The Human Performance and Training sequence develops practitioners’ skills in assessing employees’ performances, determining performance gaps, designing and delivering training and non-training interventions and evaluating results.
It achieves these performance objectives by keeping up with corporate trends, such as delivering classes online using the latest technologies, in order to sustain the marketability of graduate students. HPT graduates work in all types of organizations, focusing on Performance Technology.
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:
- have completed the following prerequisites (or equivalent) with a grade of “C” or better:
- Students pursuing the Communication Studies sequence - COMS 4100 .
- Students pursuing the Media Communication sequence - MCOM-2520 , MCOM-4740 , or MCOM-4702 ; and MCOM-4230 or MCOM-4731 .
- 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 and Training program for continued enrollment;
- submit a Personal Statement. In this two-page essay, students should consider which of the three tracks (COMS; MCOM; HPT) they will be focusing on in their studies in the graduate Communication and Training program, and discuss their reasons for enrolling in the program and how they see completing the degree as beneficial to their life.
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 the Communication Studies and Media Communication 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 . 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 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 or HPT-8981 /8982 once the proposal has been approved by the student’s project committee.