Sep 24, 2023  
2018-2020 Graduate Catalog 
2018-2020 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Communication Studies, M.S.

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A minimum of 30 graduate semester hour credits is required for the completion of the Master of Science degree in communication studies. Applicants who do not have an undergraduate degree in communication/journalism or extensive professional experience in communications may be required to take additional undergraduate courses to make up this deficiency. All applicants must provide a professional resume, three professional references and a typed 400-to 500-word essay on the benefits to be gained by completing this degree. The essay must demonstrate writing skills acceptable to the department. All applicants who do not have an overall undergraduate quality point average of 2.75 or greater will be required to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the Millers Analogies Test (MAT) or have significant communications work experience. Special rules apply to international students.

All students accepted into the program must apply for candidacy status for the degree after completing at least six semester hours of graduate communications (COM) courses and any graduate deficiency courses specified by the department chair, provided he or she has earned at least a 3.0, B average in all courses completed. Applications for candidacy status may be obtained from the Communication/Journalism Department office and/or website.

The communication studies program is directed to the student seeking a professionally focused program for:

  1. The media professional seeking career advancement and further development of digital media and skills.
  2. The media professional seeking career advancement and further development of strategic public relations skills.
  3. The baccalaureate degree holder in another discipline who wishes to prepare for a career in the professional communication field.

Degree Requirements

Professional Tracks Required Core (6 Crs.)

(Students must select one option and complete both courses.)

Electives (15 crs. with advisement)

Students choose communications and related interdisciplinary courses to satisfy professional goals and personal interests. Students are limited to three interdisciplinary courses.

400 Level Courses

Students may include no more than 12 credits of 400 level courses in their degree program.


COM 609 Internship I  and COM 610 Internship II  may be taken by qualified students. Each internship requires a minimum of 120 hours of work at a mass media-related organization. The main objective of the internship is to provide the student with direct experience in the operation of a newspaper, magazine, radio station, television station, public relations/advertising office, or other approved media-related organization.

Professional Organizations

A variety of professional organizations supplement instruction. There are active chapters of the National Broadcasting Society (NBS), the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ). The department and many of its faculty belong to the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (AEJMC), the Broadcast Education Association (BEA), the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters, and Pennsylvania Journalism Educators.

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