Communication Graduate Program
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The Department of Communication holds the position that social realities are constituted, maintained, and changed by the process of communication. Although communication is the latest social science discipline to emerge, it has an ancient heritage. Its emergence is connected with both the search for new perspectives on contemporary problems and the profusion of technologies of communication. This department represents communication as a discipline with a unique perspective informed by its own units of analysis and observation, its own traditions of research, and its own theories and applications. In short, this department studies communication as the primary social process.
The department offers programs leading to the MA and PhD degrees. The MA degree requires 30 credits of coursework and a 6-credit thesis, for a total of 36 credits. The PhD degree requires a minimum of 60 credits beyond the BA plus a research tool (minimum 6 credits, for a total of 66 credits) plus credits for the dissertation. Plans of study conforming to specific program requirements are prepared individually in consultation with faculty advisers.
Applicants to the graduate program should meet all requirements for admission to the Graduate School and should have a strong undergraduate background in communication or expect to take additional coursework without graduate credit or, in some cases, with credit. Applicants are encouraged to submit writing samples directly to the department.
The central goals of the curriculum are: to develop competence in observing, describing, and criticizing communication practices; to develop understanding of the history of communication and its policies, institutions, and culture; and to develop knowledge of communication theory, philosophy, and research. These goals are incorporated into studies of face-to-face and mediated communication, from dyads to large social groups.
Some foci of work being done in the department include: technologies of communication and the nature of social institutions; social interaction and the construction of personal identities and interpersonal relationships; communication and the production of cultural politics; media effects; the reproduction of cultural identities in conversation; teaching and learning as communication processes; the history of ideas concerning communication; globalization and media policy; and legal and institutional regulation of communication processes.
For more information see the Department of Communication.