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College of Arts and Sciences

Degree and Course Requirements

Degree Requirements

Beginning with 2015-16, students accepted into the IPFW Communication graduate program fall under a new set of degree requirements. Consult the IPFW Graduate Bulletin for further details.

The new degree consists of 36 credits in approved courses and one of the following: a comprehensive examination, a professional project, or a thesis. Before the end of your first semester and to continue in the program, you must petition the Graduate Program Director in writing, identifying a graduate faculty member who has agreed to serve as your Advisory Committee Chair and who has signed off on your choice of non-course degree requirement for graduation. Please complete and submit this online form +, then print it off and submit it with signatures to the Graduate Program Director.

In addition to completing 36 credits in approved courses, students accepted who began the program before 2015-16 but after 2011-12 must complete a comprehensive examination and a 25-page synthesis paper not fulfilling any other course requirement. Students accepted before 2011-12 must meet identical requirements as those admitted before 2015-16, except for needing 33 credits in approved coursework.

Students enrolled in the IPFW Department of Communication graduate program are able to earn a Master of Arts (M.A.). In certain specific circumstances and only with prior approval from the Graduate Program Director, a student may earn a Master of Science (M.S.). Unless the Director determines a compelling reason for the M.S., the Program will automatically confer an M.A. at graduation, regardless of which degree option the student requested at the time of application. Purdue University awards all degrees.

International students are generally required to take (at least) 9 credit hours to fulfill their student visa requirements. If an international student has a teaching assistantship, that requirement is met with 6 credit hours.

Graduate students who earned an undergraduate degree from IPFW normally may not repeat 500-level Communication graduate classes to fulfill the Masters degree. Degree candidates may petition the Graduate Director in certain limited cases, such as when the student can show that the course topic will vary considerably. In such instances, the burden of proof is on the student, who may assemble a dossier for consideration by the Graduate Director. The dossier may include copies of syllabi, a statement from the instructor, and other materials showing that the course will be taught in a significantly different way.

Graduate students must create an Advisory Committee as you complete 15-18 credits in the program. Only Purdue-certified graduate faculty members may serve on the committee. Choose individuals who are familiar with the subject area of your interests, with the chair ideally being the most knowledgeable. This committee ultimately will evaluate your work beyond courses completed. Where applicable, the committee chair will administer comprehensive examinations as well.

Once you have your advisory committee and 15-18 credit hours, you will submit a Plan of Study for approval. Not simply a list of courses you have completed and plan to complete, the Plan of Study also lists the names and signatures of committee members who have approved continuation in the program and your choice of completing a non-course degree option requirement. Once your committee has approved your Plan of Study, the form then goes to the Graduate Program Director and the Director of Graduate Studies for their approval. In order to graduate, you must have an approved plan of study no later than two regular semesters, excluding summers, before the graduation semester. Once you are ready to complete the Masters Plan of Study form (GS-6), make sure you carefully follow these important instructions.

To be considered for graduation from an IPFW program, you must submit an application for graduation. If you do not apply for graduation by the deadline posted, you may not be considered for honors, your name may not appear on the program, and your spring degree may not be available at Commencement.

If you are finishing your degree... Graduation Application Deadline
Fall Session June 1
Spring Session November 1