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Degree Plan

Our master's in communication program offers you the flexibility of developing a professional communication project or producing a master's thesis on a topic that you are have become expert in.

Either way, you needed to complete our required core curriculum as well as your program-specific capstone. Whichever choice you find best for you, you should be able to complete our program in 30-33 semester hours (effectively 101-1 classes), plus any required prerequisites. That's about two years if you are able to register for full time instruction.

Core Curriculum

Every student in the program takes a 4-5 course core curriculum that will provide a  foundation to your master's level experience in communication.  Those courses are:

  • CMCN 500: Graduate Research
  • CMCN 501: Introduction to Graduate Studies and Teaching Pedagogy
  • CMCN 572: Communication Theory
  • CMCN 578:  Communication Law and Ethics  (Note, if you have successfully passed an undergraduate course in communication law within the last three years, you may substitute a different CMCN 400G or 500-level course. Only courses in communication law will be accepted.  Not law classes from other disciplines.)
  • CMCN 580: Communication Research Design and Analysis


In addition to your course coursework and specialization capstone, each student will take between one and four additional graduate-level elective courses in communication. Both 500-level and 400G communication courses may be taken as electives. This includes directed individual studies and the capstone courses for other areas of focus. This allows you the opportunity to develop a highly specialized focus, or to broaden your knowledge into several communication areas.

The number of electives required depends on several factors, including whether you are thesis or project track and if you have successfully passed communication law within the last three years.

Note: You are only allowed to take a maximum of 2 directed studies. Thesis track students are limited to a maximum of three 400G classes. Project track students are limited to a maximum of four 400G classes.

Capstone Specialization Courses

Each area of specialization cumulates in a two-course capstone that focuses on your area of specialization.  Your thesis/project chair should be from your area of specialization and your thesis/project should be in your area of specialization.  If you are doing a qualitative thesis or project, you should complete CMCN 581. The capstone courses are:

Thesis or Professional Project

All master's in communication students are required to complete either a research-based thesis or a professional project.

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