Important: New Academic Organizational Structure in Effect July 1
As of July 1, the College of Arts and Sciences has split into two new colleges: the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Science. Learn more here.
College of Arts and Sciences

Graduate Program Goals

By completing the graduate program, students will:
  1. understand the depth and breadth of the discipline of communication.
  2. learn and appropriately apply communication theories and methods to solve human communication problems.
  3. learn advanced research skills in area of research interest.
  4. develop critical thinking and writing skills

Shared Learning Outcomes for all graduate students

By the end of the degree program students will demonstrate:
  • knowledge of the history, theories, and research practices in communication studies.
  • the ability to articulate, critique, or elaborate theories, methods, approaches or practices across a range of communication contexts.
  • the ability to design projects to solve communication problems by thinking analytically about communication problems, applying communication theory, and analyzing solutions.
  • facility with advanced research skills appropriate to the discipline
  • developed writing practices including coherent, logical, and persuasive arguments in the appropriate tone/voice.

Specific Learning Outcomes for each track

Comprehensive Exams

Students will:
  • demonstrate an awareness of the breadth and/or depth of communication theories related to their stated research interests.
  • synthesize and critique literature related to their research interests.
  • demonstrate and understanding and ability to apply appropriate methods to research relevant to their research interests.


Students will:
  • demonstrate an understanding of breadth and depth of research related to topic/s of study including current theories and methods.
  • demonstrate the ability to conduct independent research in crafting appropriate research questions/theses, designing and executing the appropriate method, analyzing data, discussing findings, and articulating the limitations of original research.
  • demonstrate ethical research and writing practices relevant to area of study.
  • complete thesis project demonstrating a mastery of writing and presentation of original argument relevant to area of study.

Professional/Creative Project

Students will:
  • synthesize strengths of various theories, models, and principles to communication applications.
  • critically analyze ethical issues related to creative or professional project.
  • demonstrate awareness of and analyze diversity issues related to creative or professional project.
  • demonstrate medium specific skill sets in the appropriate platform(s).
  • complete projects that show mastery of writing, producing, and/or management.