Communication Degree Program (MS)

Master of Science

The Master of Science (M.S.) Degree in Communication offers advanced-level practitioner-oriented study in two emphasis areas: Corporate Communication and Mass Communication. Both emphases provide an advanced understanding of how communication effectiveness may be enhanced in a wide variety of contexts.

Students who choose the Corporate Communication emphasis typically have professional goals in business and industry, corporate training and development or communicating with various publics. Students who choose the Mass Communication emphasis typically have professional goals in broadcasting and electronic media, journalism, advertising, or mediated persuasion. An M.S. degree in Communication also allows students to teach communication courses at the technical/junior college level.

The curriculum provides a broad overview of communication as a field of academic endeavor. It also incorporates an advanced understanding of communication theory as it relates to message dissemination at the interpersonal, group, organizational, public or mass societal levels. The curriculum also incorporates course work in which students learn to collect, analyze and interpret data pertinent to a wide variety of communication-oriented applications. Specific topic seminars are offered for each emphasis.

Program Coordinator

Corey Davis
HE 416
Phone: 262-472-5026
Email: davisc@uww.edu

Department

Heide 400
Phone 262-472-1034
Email: communication@uww.edu

Additional Admission Requirements

In addition to the application form, candidates must include a 2-3 page written statement of goals outlining their reasons for selecting a program of study in Communication. Two letters of recommendation also must accompany the application. These letters should come from individuals in a position to judge the applicant’s potential for graduate learning; letters from former instructors are highly recommended.

Students admitted to the degree program must demonstrate an appropriate background through undergraduate course work or professional experience. Students found to lack preparation for advanced level course work will be required to complete undergraduate foundation course work as follows:

  1. For both emphases, undergraduate course work in communication theory and communication research methods, or their equivalents, is required.
  2. For students in the Corporate Communication emphasis who wish to concentrate on Corporate Communication, course work equivalent to COMM 327 is required.
  3. For students in the Mass Communication emphasis, course work equivalent to JOURNLSM 431 (as determined by the graduate coordinator) is required.
  4. Students must achieve a grade of C or better in a deficiency course. If a student does not achieve this grade, they may retake the course following the University of Wisconsin Whitewater’s undergraduate course retake policy. Students may not take the related graduate level courses (i.e. 785, 722, 629, 627, and 731) until a grade of C or better is achieved in the related undergraduate deficiency course.
  5. Undergraduate deficiency courses must be completed before the student will be allowed to take more than 9 credits at the graduate level.

Foundation course work may not be taken for graduate credit.

Admission Standards

  1. Applicants with a completed baccalaureate degree whose undergraduate GPA (or equivalent) is at 3.0 or higher will be accepted into the Communication graduate program in “good standing.”
  2. Applicants with a completed baccalaureate degree whose cumulative undergraduate GPA (or equivalent) is between a 2.75 and a 2.99 will be accepted into the Communication Graduate Program “on probation.”
  3. Applicants who do not meet the above requirements for admission to the program [i.e. applicants with a completed baccalaureate degree whose cumulative undergraduate GPA (or equivalent) is under a 2.75] will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Such applicants MAY BE admitted into the program on probationary status based on credible evidence of ability to do satisfactory graduate work. Such evidence will be determined by the Communication graduate program coordinator in consultation with the department graduate faculty, and may include but is not limited to an exemplary postgraduate employment record; a satisfactory score on the Graduate Record Examination, GMAT or Miller Analogies Test; and/or the successful completion of 12 or more credits of graduate work with a cumulative 3.0 GPA level or higher at a regionally accredited institution.
  4. Students admitted on probation must achieve a cumulative graduate GPA of 3.0 within the first 12 units of graduate credits attempted, including repeated courses. Those failing to do so will be ineligible to take further graduate work in the program.
  5. Students who are not accepted to the program may enroll as a Noncandidate for Degree (NCFD). This category allows the student to enroll in graduate level courses and to receive graduate credit for this work. No more than 12 graduate units taken as an NCFD can be applied toward the completion of a graduate degree program at UW-Whitewater. Thus, before completing more than 12 units as an NCFD, a student is encouraged to reapply for the Communication degree program. Students who achieve a cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher in 9-12 credits of graduate level communication coursework (including repeated courses) taken as a NCFD may be accepted into the program on probation.

Degree Requirements

Thirty units of course work including one of the following:

  1. an approved thesis and an oral defense.
  2. an approved Applied Communication Project (ACP) and an oral defense.
  3. a written comprehensive examination and an oral defense (Note: This option is unavailable during Summer and Winterim terms.)

For students choosing the thesis option, 3 units of COMM 799 may count toward the 30 required units. For students choosing COMM 789, 3 ACP units may count toward the 30 required units.

Students pursuing the thesis option are encouraged to complete a thesis literature review by enrolling in COMM 798, prior to enrolling in COMM 799, for 3 units.

Students pursuing the ACP option are required to complete an ACP proposal prior to enrolling in COMM 789 for 3 units. Students are encouraged to enroll in COMM 798 to facilitate their development of the proposal. Proposal forms are available from the Communication Program Graduate Coordinator.

A student may not carry more than three units of individual studies in a single term. For students choosing the thesis or ACP capstone options, not more than four units of independent studies, not more than three units of practicum credits, and not more than a combined total of nine units of individual studies, workshops, practicum, and capstone credits (i.e. thesis/ACP credits) may count toward the completion of the degree. For students choosing the written examination capstone option, not more than four units of independent studies, not more than three units of practicum credits, and not more than a combined total of six units of individual studies, workshops, and practicum credits may count toward the completion of the degree.

At least half of the degree course work in the degree program, and at least half the course work in the emphasis chosen, must be completed in courses numbered 700 or higher.

The program is designed to take four academic-year semesters (not including summer terms) if you are participating in the program on a full-time basis.

Communication Degrees

Communication Courses

COMM 526   COMMUNICATION AND GENDER   3 Units

Advanced study of interpersonal communication between and within the sexes. The focus of the course concerns examination of traditional gender ideals and analysis of communication styles that contribute to societal evolution. Sex differences in communication, theories explaining sex differences in communication, research on sex stereotypes, debates about language and sexism, and implications for inter-gender relationships in a variety of settings are among the topics considered in this course.

COMM 528   COMMUNICATION CONFLICT RESOLUTION   3 Units

This course provides a communications perspective of the nature and possible methods of resolution of conflict.

COMM 538   VIDEO PRODUCTION III: CORPORATE AND COMMERCIAL MEDIA   3 Units

The course will consist of advanced video and field production labor, lectures, outside reading assignments and exams. Each student will write, produce and direct a series of corporate and commercial productions and learn the importance of oral communication and proper client relationships. Each student will strive to improve existing skills with field equipment, non-linear editing, advanced software programs, and multi-media presentations. The work in the course will primarily focus on individual project efforts, unless approved by the instructor.

COMM 539   AUDIO III: STUDIO PRODUCTION   3 Units

An applied course using the knowledge and skills necessary for professional audio production with an emphasis on studio recording and aesthetics. Concepts include signal flow, processing, microphone selection and placement, mixing and mastering. Students will produce multi-track recording projects.
PREREQ: COMM 259 OR CONSENT OF INSTRUCTOR

COMM 617   COMMUNICATION AND NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS   3 Units

This course prepares students to better understand the traditional organizational frameworks and apply them in the nonprofit world. Specifically, the course will address communicating a strategic vision, stewardship, managing and understanding the relationships between boards and volunteers and staff, building and maintaining successful volunteer programs, event planning, fundraising and media and government relations through reading, lectures, case studies and a capstone project.
PREREQ: COMM 327, COMM 424, COMM 485

COMM 624   CROSS CULTURAL COMMUNICATION   3 Units

Study of cross cultural contacts and interactions when individuals are from different cultures. An analysis of verbal and nonverbal communication and related factors within and between various cultures, predictions of patterns and effects, and communication barriers.

COMM 627   COMMUNICATION TRAINING   3 Units

This is an advanced-level course that focuses on identifying, evaluating, and enhancing the communicative competencies behind the functioning of contemporary organizations.
PREREQ: COMM 322, COMM 327, COMM 424 AND COMM 485 OR GRAD COORDINATOR APPROVAL

COMM 640   NEW COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES   3 Units

This course examines the major innovations in the telecommunication industry. Students will explore alternative regulatory contexts in which these systems can develop and address the implications of these developments in a variety of social, institutional and philosophical contexts.

COMM 690   WORKSHOP   1-6 Units

Variable topics. Group activity oriented presentations emphasizing `hands on` and participatory instructional techniques. Repeatable.

COMM 691   TRAVEL STUDY   Repeatable   1-3 Units

Variable topics. Faculty-led courses abroad.

COMM 694   SEMINAR   Repeatable   1-6 Units

Variable topics. Group activity. An advanced course of study in a defined subject matter area emphasizing a small group in intense study with a faculty member.

COMM 696   SPECIAL STUDIES   Repeatable   1-3 Units

Variable topics. Group activity. Not offered regularly in the curriculum but offered on topics selected on the basis of timeliness, need, and interest, and generally in the format of regularly scheduled Catalog offerings. Prereq: Consent of Instructor.

COMM 701   INTRODUCTION TO COMMUNICATIONS STUDIES   3 Units

The student will be introduced to the nature of graduate study in the field of communication.

COMM 702   SEMINAR IN APPLIED PUBLIC COMMUNICATION   Repeatable   3 Units

The group will investigate special topics relevant to the strategic use of external/public communication by organizations (e.g., campaigns, issues management, advertising, public relations). Topics are selected on the basis of need, interest, or timeliness and may change each time the course is offered.
PREREQ:COMM 701 OR GRADUATE EQUIVALENT AS DETERMINED BY THE GRADUATE COORDINATOR

COMM 703   SEMINAR IN CORPORATE COMMUNICATION   Repeatable   3 Units

Investigation of communication topics that reflect the communication issues within an organiztion (e.g., superior-subordinate, conflict resolution). Topics ae selected on the basis of need, interest, or timeliness and may change each time the course is offered.
PREREQ:COMM 701 OR GRADUATE EQUIVALENT AS DETERMINED BY THE GRADUATE COORDINATOR

COMM 711   INSTRUCTIONAL COMMUNICATION   3 Units

This course focuses on the body of instructional communication research which, coupled with opportunities for observation and practice, will 1) enable students to analyze effective use of instructional communication principles in others and 2) demonstrate related skills during their own instructional demonstrations
COREQ: COMM 701 OR CONSENT OF INSTRUCTOR

COMM 722   ISSUES IN HUMAN COMMUNICATION THEORY   3 Units

Advanced study and analysis of communication theories from various disciplinary viewpoints. Theories are discussed in terms of their assumptions, claims, strengths, and weaknesses.
PREREQ: COMM 422 OR CONSENT OF GRADUATE COORDINATOR, AND COMM 701

COMM 731   EFFECTS OF MASS COMMUNICATION   3 Units

A course that examines the effects of mass media. Theoretical bases for assessing social, behavioral, and cultural influences are emphasized.
PREREQ: COMM 431/JOURNLSM 431

COMM 785   METHODS OF COMMUNICATION RESEARCH   3 Units

An advanced-level graduate survey of methodologies and issues relevant to the practice of communication research.
PREREQ: COMM 485/JOURNLSM 485 OR CONSENT OF GRADUATE COORDINATOR AND COMM 701

COMM 789   APPLIED COMMUNICATION PROJECT CREDITS   3 Units

Applied Communication Project (ACP) units allow a student to work with his/her project director and committee in further developing and completing the ACP, a capstone experience option emphasizing the application of communication theory and principles to solve a communication problem or meet a specific need relating to corporate communication or mass communication issues. ACP proposal forms available at http://academics.uww.edu/comgrads/forms.html or from the graduate coordinator. Note, Comm/JOURNLSM 799 Thesis credits and Comm/JOURNLSM 789 ACP credits may not be taken concurrently with Comm/JOURNLSM 798 Independent Study credits.
PREREQ: THE COMPLETION OF AN ACP PROPOSAL FORM AND COMPLETION OF 18 GRADUATE UNITS INCLUDING COMM 701, COMM 722 AND COMM 785

COMM 790   WORKSHOP   1 Units

Variable topics. Group activity oriented presentations emphasizing `hands on` and participatory instructional techniques.

COMM 793   COMMUNICATION PRACTICUM   Repeatable   1-3 Units

The Communication Practicum gives students, under the direction of a faculty advisor, the opportunity to apply their theoretical and research backgrounds in "real world" settings ranging from internships in organizations or agencies to other approved activities.
PREREQ: COMPLETION OF A PRACTICUM CONTRACT AND 18 GRADUATE CREDITS INCLUDING COMM 701, COMM 722, COMM 785

COMM 794   SEMINAR   1-3 Units

Variable topics. Group activity. An advanced course of study in a defined subject matter area emphasizing a small group in intense study with a faculty member.

COMM 796   SPECIAL STUDIES   1-3 Units

Variable topics. Group activity. Not offered regularly in the curriculum but offered on topics selected on the basis of timeliness, need, and interest, and generally in the format of regularly scheduled Catalog offerings.

COMM 798   INDIVIDUAL STUDIES   Repeatable   1-3 Units

Study of a selected topic or topics under the direction of a faculty member. Students must complete the Independent Studies Form located at http://www.uww.edu/commgrads/forms.html or available from the Communication Department office prior to registering for this course. The form requires signatures from the instructor supervising the independent study and from the graduate coordinator. Note: COMM 799/JOURNLSM 799 Thesis credits and COMM 789/JOURNLSM 789 ACP credits may not be taken concurrently with COMM 798/JOURNLSM 798 Independent Study credits.

COMM 799   THESIS RESEARCH   3 Units

Guided investigation of an approved thesis topic. Students may receive credit for research activities planned in conjunction with their advisors and leading to the completion of a master's degree. For students choosing the thesis option, 3 units of Thesis Reseach (COMM 799) may count toward the 30 required credits. For students choosing the ACP option, 3 units of ACP ( COMM 789) credits may count toward the required 30 units. Thesis prospectus forms are available from the Graduate Program Coordinator and the department website at http://academics.uww.edu/commgrads/forms.html. In addition, students must complete the Graduate School thesis proposal form available at http://www.uww.edu/gradstudies/thesisform.php. Note, COMM 799 credits may not be taken concurrently with COMM 798/JOURNLSM 798 credits.
PREREQ: COMPLETE 18 GRADUATE LEVEL UNITS INCLUDING COMM 701, COMM 722 AND COMM 785 AND SUBMIT A SIGNED THESIS PROSPECTUS DEVELOPED IN CONSULTATION WITH THEIR CAPSTONE FACULTY COMMITTEE

Journalism Courses

JOURNLSM 505   HISTORY OF MASS COMMUNICATION   3 Units

An overview of the origin, development, strengths and weaknesses, and achievements of mass communication in the United States, with particular attention to the interrelationship between mass communication and society.

JOURNLSM 620   LAW OF MASS COMMUNICATION   3 Units

Study of law as applied to the mass media with particular emphasis on freedom of information, libel, privacy, contempt, commercial speech, regulation of electronic media and copyright regulation.

JOURNLSM 630   COMMUNICATION AND PUBLIC OPINION   3 Units

The role of the mass media of communication in the formation of public opinion. Use of social science techniques for studying public opinion will be examined. Prereq: Consent of instructor.

JOURNLSM 631   MASS COMMUNICATION IN SOCIETY   3 Units

A course which examines the functions and effects of mass media in our society. Theoretical bases for assessing social, behavioral and cultural influences are emphasized.

JOURNLSM 691   TRAVEL STUDY   Repeatable   1-3 Units

Variable topics. Faculty-led courses abroad.

JOURNLSM 694   SEMINAR   Repeatable   1-4 Units

Variable topics. Group activity. An advanced course of study in a defined subject matter area emphasizing a small group in intense study with a faculty member.

JOURNLSM 696   SPECIAL STUDIES   Repeatable   1-4 Units

Variable topics. Group activity. Not offered regularly in the curriculum but offered on topics selected on the basis of timeliness, need, and interest, and generally in the format of regularly scheduled Catalog offerings.

JOURNLSM 704   CURRENT TOPICS IN MASS COMMUNICATION   Repeatable   3 Units

Investigation of issues relevant to mass communication theory and/or mass communication industries. Topics are selected on the basis of need, interest, or timeliness an dmay change each time the course is offered.
PREREQ: COMM 701 OR CONSENT OF GRADUATE COORDINATOR

JOURNLSM 789   APPLIED COMMUNICATION PROJECT CREDITS   3 Units

Applied Communication Project (ACP) units allow a student to work with his/her project director and committee in further developing and completing the ACP, a capstone experience option emphasizing the application of communication theory and principles to solve a communication problem or meet a specific need relating to corporate communication or mass communication issues. ACP proposal forms available at http://academics.uww.edu/comgrads/forms.html or from the graduate coordinator. Note, Comm799 or JOURNLSM 799 Thesis credits and Comm789 or JOURNLSM 789 ACP credits may not be taken concurrently with Comm798 or JOURNLSM 798 Independent Study credits.
PREREQ: THE COMPLETION OF AN ACP PROPOSAL FORM AND COMPLETION OF 18 GRADUATE UNITS INCLUDING COMM 701, COMM 722 AND COMM 785

JOURNLSM 790   WORKSHOP   1-6 Units

Variable topics. Group activity oriented presentations emphasizing `hands on` and participatory instructional techniques.

JOURNLSM 793   COMMUNICATION PRACTICUM   Repeatable   1-3 Units

The Communication Practicum gives students, under the direction of a faculty advisor, the opportunity to apply their theoretical and research backgrounds in "real world" settings ranging from internships in organizations or agencies to other approved activities.
PREREQ: COMPLETION OF A PRACTICUM CONTRACT AND 18 GRADUATE CREDITS INCLUDING COMM 701, COMM 722, COMM 785

JOURNLSM 794   SEMINAR   1-3 Units

Variable topics. Group activity. An advanced course of study in a defined subject matter area emphasizing a small group in intense study with a faculty member.

JOURNLSM 796   SPECIAL STUDIES   1-3 Units

Variable topics. Group activity. Not offered regularly in the curriculum but offered on topics selected on the basis of timeliness, need, and interest, and generally in the format of regularly scheduled Catalog offerings.

JOURNLSM 798   INDIVIDUAL STUDIES   Repeatable   1-3 Units

Study of a selected topic or topics under the direction of a faculty member. Students must complete the Independent Studies Form located at http://www.uww.edu/commgrads/forms.html or available from the Communication Department office prior to registering for this course. The form requires signatures from the instructor supervising the independent study and from the graduate coordinator. Note, Comm799 or JOURNLSM 799 Thesis credits and Comm789 or JOURNLSM 789 ACP credits may not be taken concurrently with Comm798 or JOURNLSM 798 Independent Study credits.

JOURNLSM 799   THESIS RESEARCH   3 Units

Guided investigation of an approved thesis topic. Students may receive credit for research activities planned in conjunction with their advisors and leading to the completion of a master's degree. For students choosing the thesis option, 3 units of Thesis Reseach (JOURNLSM 799) may count toward the 30 required credits. For students choosing the ACP option, 3 units of ACP (JOURNLSM 789) credits may count toward the required 30 units. Thesis prospectus forms are available from the Graduate Program Coordinator and the department website at http://academics.uww.edu/commgrads/forms.html. In addition, students must complete the Graduate School thesis proposal form available at http://www.uww.edu/gradstudies/thesisform.php. Note, COMM 799 credits may not be taken concurrently with Comm798 or JOURNLSM 798 credits.
PREREQ: COMPLETE 18 GRADUATE LEVEL UNITS INCLUDING COMM 701, COMM 722 AND COMM 785 AND SUBMIT A SIGNED THESIS PROSPECTUS DEVELOPED IN CONSULTATION WITH THEIR CAPSTONE FACULTY COMMITTEE