Master of Arts Degree in Communication Requirements
The Master of Arts degree program in communication is designed to be a comprehensive program reflecting the history and breadth of the communication discipline. Four objectives serve as measures for competent M.A. graduates of the program. First, all graduates will have a comprehensive understanding of the historical and philosophical assumptions of the communication discipline, as well as the various theoretical perspectives underlying scholarship in the discipline. Second, all graduates will recognize and be able to use appropriate communication strategies in formal, informal, professional, and personal contexts. Third, all graduates will understand quantitative and qualitative methods of research in communication. Fourth, all graduates will understand various communication perspectives and will have a clear understanding of their own personal perspective and ideologies.
Master of Arts Degree Requirements
The graduate program in communication is designed to extend the competencies of students in the study of human communication. Graduate teaching assistantships provide students with opportunities for financial assistance and additional educational experiences.
The graduate program in communication assumes undergraduate preparation equivalent to a California State University, Fresno major or minor in communication. The Communication Department offers a 30 unit Master of Arts degree with coursework in three areas of human communication: rhetoric and public address, communication, and applied communication. Coursework in these areas provides preparation for a variety of career opportunities including teaching and doctoral work in communication and rhetoric,* business and industry, public service, law, and government.**
Admission Requirements for Classified Standing. See Admission to Graduate Degree Programs with Graduate Standing in the Division of Graduate Studies of this catalog.
Electives (3-9 units)
Culminating experiences (0-6 units)
Select one of the following:
A. Comprehensive Examination (0 units; take at least 9 units of approved electives)
B. COMM 298: Graduate Project (3-6 units; additional approved communication electives if needed)
C. COMM 299: Thesis (3-6 units; additional approved communication electives if needed)
Minimum total (30 units)
* For those individuals pursuing careers in teaching and doctoral work, the Communication Department highly recommends selecting 12 units from among the following core requirements: COMM 205, 215, 242M, 243, 214, 263, 264M, 265, and 266.
** For those individuals pursuing professional careers such as business and industry, public service, law, and government, the Communication Department highly recommends selecting 12 units from among the following core requirements: COMM 205, 214, 215, 263, 264M, 265, 266, 268, 275, and 276.
- At least 21 units in the student's program of study must be in 200-level (seminar) communication courses.
- One methods seminar (COMM 242M or 264M) is required in every program.
- In order to fulfill the university's Graduate Writing Skills Requirement, students are asked to submit an academic writing sample for evaluation prior to advancement to candidacy. Consult the department's Graduate Handbook or graduate coordinator for further details on the policy.
- Elective requirements can be met by any approved communication seminar, upper-division undergraduate communication course, or appropriate course outside the department. Any undergraduate course counted toward the M.A. must include additional work to make it commensurate with a graduate-level experience; verification is the responsibility of the student and the student's graduate adviser. Elective requirements are approved by the student's graduate adviser and the graduate coordinator.
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