FACULTY: Antonova (Graduate Coordinator), Aregood, Conway, Cowden, Fiordo, Kalbfleisch, Ommen, Pasch, Rakow, Rendahl and Shafer
Degrees Granted: Master of Arts (M.A.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
The Communication Program offers graduate programs leading to the Master of Arts and the Doctor of Philosophy degrees. The Masters program in Communication strikes a purposeful balance between specialization and integration among the various approaches to the study of human communication. The Ph.D. program in Communication and Public Discourse provides the opportunity for specialized study in various aspects of communication. Both the Masters and Ph.D. programs provide a flexible array of advanced coursework and intensive research. For Ph.D. students, the program culminates in the doctoral dissertation. Both the Masters and Ph.D. programs offer the opportunity for students to develop a broad range of professional and scholarly competencies. The Masters program expands the professional options for graduates as well as prepares them for more advanced study. The Ph.D. program prepares graduates for positions in the academy, industry, and government. The student’s plan of study is prepared and directed in cooperation with the student’s adviser and faculty committee.
Details pertaining to admission requirements, degree requirements and courses offered can be found in the Degree section.
Master of Arts (M.A.)
Mission Statement and Program Goals
The Master of Arts program in communication strikes a purposeful and creative balance between the study and practice of human communication. The intent of the M.A. program is to graduate students with professional and scholarly competencies enabling them to be leaders in assessing and improving public communication and/or pursuing an advanced degree.
In the area of communication theory, M.A. graduates are expected to:
- Distinguish between and explain basic tenets of major theoretical positions in the field.
- Compare and contrast at least two models or definitions of communication.
- Demonstrate breadth of knowledge about at least two significant topics or concepts relevant to communication or depth in one topic or concept.
- Apply or develop a communication theory to frame a research project.
- Explain the development of communication studies as an academic discipline.
- Acquire particular expertise in an area of communication scholarship relevant to their career.
- Critically assess the implications of communication practices for civic discourse.
In the area of communication research, M.A. graduates are expected to:
- Demonstrate familiarity with the basic principles and issues of social scientific, humanistic, rhetorical, and critical communication research methods.
- Be conversant with the range of methodologies used in communication research, including quantitative/qualitative approaches.
- Identify the main scholars, scholarship, and journals applicable to their area of interest.
- Conceptualize and design an independent research project.
- Assess the strengths and weaknesses of published communication studies.
- Find and evaluate information relevant to an area of professional practice.
- Conduct research leading to usable research findings.
In the area of professional practice, M.A. graduates are expected to:
- Understand the possible relationships between practice and theory.
- Transfer and apply findings of communication research to professional practice.
- Display highly competent verbal and written communication skills.
- Integrate emerging communication technologies into the workplace.
- Serve the public interest by using communication theory and research to address practical, real-world situations.
- Exhibit competence in teaching (if applicable).
- Provide informed leadership in their area of professional practice (if applicable).
Communication and Public Discourse Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Mission Statement and Goals
The Ph.D. program in communication and public discourse provides the opportunity to explore the range of ways human symbolic activity affects the public sphere. The intent of the Ph.D. program is to graduate students with scholarly competencies enabling them to assume roles as intellectual leaders of the field of communication as well as public intellectuals stimulating discussion of significant communication issues.
In the area of communication theory, Ph.D. graduates are expected to:
- Understand the ontological, epistemological, and ideological principles and differences of major theoretical positions in the field.
- Contribute to critical discussion of models and definitions of communication.
- Demonstrate depth of knowledge about at least three significant topics or concepts relevant to communication.
- Be familiar with major scholars and works across the spectrum of communication studies.
- Conduct a comprehensive literature review of work relevant to a scholarly project.
- Generate new theoretical insights from critical reading, analysis, and research.
- Integrate theoretical insights into an in-depth analysis of an aspect of public discourse.
In the area of communication research, Ph.D. graduates are expected to:
- Understand the basic principles of social scientific, humanistic, rhetorical, and critical communication research approaches.
- Compare positions on the role of and relationships between theory and research.
- Contribute to critical discussion of research issues, methods, and ethics.
- Know the range of methodologies and their logic used in communication research.
- Demonstrate expertise in using at least two research methodologies.
- Design, propose, seek funding for, and carry out independent research projects.
- Describe the use, significance, and limitations of their research results.
In the area of professional practice, Ph.D. graduates are expected to:
- Be knowledgeable of the field of communication, its historical development, professional associations, and major debates and issues.
- Demonstrate teaching competency.
- Articulate a philosophy of service or engagement to guide contributions to the field, higher education or other professional setting, and the public.
- Be familiar with processes of submission, review, presentation, and publication of scholarly work.
- Have exemplary skills in writing and presenting scholarly work for a variety of audiences.
- Contribute to public discussion of significant communication issues.
Master of Arts (M.A.)
The Communication Graduate Faculty will recommend admission based on the following applications materials.
Master of Arts in Communication:
- A letter of application, including a statement of purpose answering the question of why one would be interested in advanced study of communication. This letter should also include an indication of a faculty member with whom applicant might work.
- Acceptable performance on Graduate Record Examination General Test.
- Completion of the equivalent of 20 undergraduate credits in speech communication and/or mass communication, journalism or related field, including at least 12 upper division credits.
- Provide a transcript with a minimum 3.0 undergraduate Grade Point Average.
- Three letters of recommendation.
- To be considered for a teaching assistantship, the student must submit a statement of teaching philosophy.
- Satisfy the School of Graduate Studies’ English Language Proficiency requirements as published in the graduate catalog.
- Optional materials, including writing or work samples.
Students seeking the Master of Art degree at the University of North Dakota must satisfy all general requirements set forth by the School of Graduate Studies as well as particular requirements set forth by the Communication Program.
Required core courses for all Communication Master’s students:
|COMM 501||Theoretical Perpectives in Communication||3|
|COMM 505||Concepts in Quantitative Communication Research||3|
|COMM 506||Concepts in Qualitative Communication Research||3|
Students choosing the thesis option must meet the following requirements:
- A minimum of 30 credits in communication are required if a minor or cognate is not chosen.
- The coordinator of graduate studies appoints a three-person advisory committee from the Graduate Faculty, normally drawn from the Communication Program and chaired by the student’s adviser.
- Candidates are administered written comprehensive examinations after the completion of 18 hours of graduate credit.
- Thesis topics must be approved by the student’s faculty advisory committee, with research conducted under the guidance of the student’s faculty advisory committee, then completed to the satisfaction of the faculty advisory committee with a final oral examination.
Non-Thesis Option with Professional Portfolio
Students choosing the non-thesis option whose final project is a professional portfolio must meet the following requirements:
- A minimum of 32 credits in communication are required if a minor or cognate is not chosen.
- The coordinator of graduate studies appoints a four-person advisory committee comprised of three Graduate Faculty, normally drawn from the Communication Program and chaired by the student’s adviser, plus an external professional member to the committee who serves in an advisory capacity only.
- Candidates will be expected to prepare a professional portfolio to be examined by their advisory committee.
- Portfolio content must be approved by the student’s advisory committee, completed under the guidance of the student’s advisory committee, with a review of the completed professional portfolio to the satisfaction of the advisory committee.
A Minor or Cognate Option
- If a minor or cognate is approved by a student’s faculty advisory committee, the student will be required to take the same amount of credits required for a major (30 credits for the thesis option or 32 credits for the non-thesis option with professional portfolio) with a minimum of 20 credits in communication and a minimum of 9 credits in a minor or cognate.
Communication and Public Discourse Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Admission Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy degree in the Communication Program include:
- Successful completion of a master’s degree.
- Statement of interest, including personal goals and the relevance of the Ph.D. in Communication and Public Discourse to those goals.
- Original academic paper, 10-15 pages in length, reflecting the student’s ability to articulate and synthesize ideas.
- Three letters of recommendation from sources familiar with the applicant’s potential as a doctoral student in Communication.
- Graduate Record Examination General Test (500 Verbal, 500 Quantitative).
- To be considered for a teaching assistantship, the student must submit a statement of teaching philosophy and letters of recommendation must address the student’s teaching abilities.
- Satisfy the School of Graduate Studies’ English Language Proficiency requirements as published in the graduate catalog.
Note: For both Masters and Ph.D. applicants, students whose native language is not English are not permitted to hold teaching assistantships unless they have attained a score of at least 50 on the SPEAK (Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit) or the TSE (Test of Spoken English). The test is administered at the University, after the student arrives on campus.
Students seeking the Doctor of Philosophy degree at the University of North Dakota must satisfy all general requirements set forth by the School of Graduate Studies as well as particular requirements set forth by the Communication Program.
Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree set forth by the Communication Program include:
- Completion of 90 semester credit hours beyond the baccalaureate degree. Thirty credit hours from a Masters degree in communication or related discipline may be applied toward the 90 credit hours. (30 cr)
- Core Requirements, including: (9 cr)
- Theory Requirements, including: (9 cr)
- Scholarly Tools Requirements, including: (9 cr)
- COMM 510 Advanced Quantitative Research Design or COMM 520 Criticism and Communication, offered alternatively as media criticism or rhetorical analysis
- Interdisciplinary Qualitative Tools, including one course selected from a menu of options
- Interdisciplinary Quantitative Tools, including one course selected from a menu of options
- Major Area Courses, including three courses, with up to one course outside Communication (9 cr)
- Elective Courses, including three courses, with up to one course outside communication (9 cr)
- Comprehensive Examination, taken over the student’s first 36 credit hours of coursework as a Ph.D. student.
- Dissertation (15 cr)
COMM 501. Theoretical Perpectives in Communication. 3 Credits.
Course provides a conceptual and historical overview of Communication Studies, paying special attention to questions of epistemology. F.
COMM 502. Research Methods in Communication. 3 Credits.
Study of the methodologies of historical, descriptive, survey and experimental research in communication.
COMM 503. Public Theories. 3 Credits.
Study of various theories of public and publicity and the relationships between communication, technology, democracy, and citizenship.
COMM 504. Semiotics and Visual Communication. 3 Credits.
Application of visual communication theories to the analysis, interpretation, and critical assessment of media images.
COMM 505. Concepts in Quantitative Communication Research. 3 Credits.
In the two-part 505/506 course, students focus on honing their understanding of the quantitative/qualitative paradigm in Communication research. While this course section focuses on the various methods that fall under the labels of quantitative, both portions of the course seek to identify possible points of connection and resistance across the spectrum of methodological choices and require participation in Communication Program colloquium series. F, odd years.
COMM 506. Concepts in Qualitative Communication Research. 3 Credits.
In the two-part 505/506 course, students focus on honing their understanding of the quantitative/qualitative paradigm in Communication research. While this course section focuses on the various methods that fall under the labels of qualitative, both portions of the course seek to identify possible points of connection and resistance across the spectrum of methodological choices and require participation in Communication Program colloquium series. F, even years.
COMM 507. Communication, Technology, and Media. 3 Credits.
An examination of the role of media technologies in shaping communication processes and of the way societies respond to technological change. Covers issues such as emerging digital technologies, technological determinism, technology transfer, access, and cost.
COMM 508. Rhetorical and Communication Theory. 3 Credits.
Surveys the principal rhetorical and communication theories associated with the communication subdisciplines of rhetoric and interpersonal communication with special emphasis on definitional and modeling issues.
COMM 509. Media and Mass Communication Theory. 3 Credits.
An examination of contemporary theories in mass communication and media studies, beginning with the mass society paradigm and ending with postmodern media studies.
COMM 510. Advanced Quantitative Research Design. 3 Credits.
Discussion of contemporary quantitative research methods in the field of Communication.
COMM 511. Advanced Qualitative research Design. 3 Credits.
Discussion of contemporary qualitative research methods in the field of Communication.
COMM 512. Communication Ethics, Law, and Regulation. 3 Credits.
Focuses on the ethical foundations of media law and communication public policy.
COMM 514. Research Design Special Topics. 3 Credits.
Closely examines an emerging approach to communication research. Course considers implications of the new method(s) and deploys the emerging method in a research project directed by the instructor. Can be repeated for up to 6 credits with change in topics. Repeatable to 6 credits.
COMM 520. Criticism and Communication. 3 Credits.
A study of various methods of criticism applied to several types of communication including: public communication, film, electronic media, and print media.
COMM 521. Perspectives on Media Writing. 3 Credits.
An analysis of historical and technological developments in contemporary media writing styles and content and a critical analysis of the cultural content of media writing with regard to serving diverse audiences with targeted messages. Examines the intended and real effects of persuasive forms of writing on intended audiences, including speech writing and writing for print and broadcast. Students write in a variety of media styles to improve their own media writing skills.
COMM 525. Interpersonal Relations and Communication. 3 Credits.
Face-to-face and mediated transactions between two people or people in small groups in diverse settings. Deals with inquiry, conflict management, interpersonal sensitivity, individuality, and conformity.
COMM 530. Gender, Culture, and Communication. 3 Credits.
An examination of how males and females from different cultural, ethnic and national backgrounds use, and are portrayed by, communication institutions and processes. Covers issues of representation, identity and difference.
COMM 535. Intercultural Communication. 3 Credits.
This course incorporates critical conceptualizations of identity, "the Other", and multiculturalism. It explores theoretical reflections of the symbolic systems of unfamiliar cultures, and the emergence of mutual understanding.
COMM 540. Communication and Organizations. 3 Credits.
Examines the general communication processes and dynamics within and among organizations and explores the dynamics in network organizations, with a particular focus on communication in interpersonal groups and inter-organizational working teams. Theories of power and politics in and among organizations, as well as of decision-making, conflict management, and strategic communication are explored.
COMM 545. Advocacy and Communication. 3 Credits.
Focuses on various communication strategies designed to influence audiences across contexts (e.g., advertising, journalism, public relations, social movements, grass root activities). Theories of public relations, rhetoric, mass communication, and persuasion are applied to specific cases of mediated and face-to-face advocacy.
COMM 550. International and Global Communication. 3 Credits.
An analysis of international media, comparative telecommunications systems and globalization. Covers issues such as transnational communication, global journalism, satellite broadcasting and communication in diplomacy and international affairs.
COMM 555. Film/Video as Communication. 3 Credits.
A view of film from analytical, promotional, and critical perspectives. Cinematography is addressed in historical, creative, semiotic, rhetorical, and technical contexts. Cinema, directors, genres, and problems from diverse nations are examined. Students write commentaries and promotionals for oral and print media sources.
COMM 560. Health Communication. 3 Credits.
Current theories and issues in health communication are explored, with attention given to the health communication issues for at-risk and marginalized populations, and to ethical approaches to conducting health communication.
COMM 565. Communication and Rural Community. 3 Credits.
This course addresses issues related specifically to communication in rural settings. Topics and approaches will vary. Can be repeated for up to 6 credits with change in topics. Repeatable to 6 credits.
COMM 570. Seminar in Communication. 3 Credits.
In-depth studies in specific communication areas such as relational communication, rhetoric and public discourse, intercultural/international communication. May be repeated for credit with change of topic (up to 15 hours). Repeatable to 15 credits.
COMM 591. Individual Readings and Research. 3 Credits.
Directed readings and research in speech communication and mass communication topics and issues. May be repeated to a total of 12 credits. 3 credit limit per semester. Repeatable to 12 credits.
COMM 996. Continuing Enrollment. 1-12 Credits.
Repeatable. S/U grading.
COMM 997. Independent Study. 2 Credits.
COMM 998. Thesis. 1-4 Credits.
4 credits required for thesis option. Repeatable to 9 credits.
COMM 999. Dissertation. 1-15 Credits.
Repeatable to a maximum of 15 credits. Repeatable to 15 credits.
Undergraduate Courses for Graduate Credit
COMM 310. Media and Diversity. 3 Credits.
Study of minority status within mass media organizations and in media content from historical, contemporary and speculative points of view. F.
COMM 401. Organizational Communication. 3 Credits.
Analysis of communication behavior in formally structured relationships as it relates to the organization and to individuals. Special attention given to organizational style, status, trust and conflict-management. Informal communication networks and rumoring are studied. S.
COMM 402. Intercultural/International Communication. 3 Credits.
This course will provide an overview of the study of intercultural and international communication. Topics addressed will include: history, literature, and culture of specific groups including racial, religious, and ethnic issues that affect communication patterns and outcomes. S.
COMM 404. Advertising and Society. 3 Credits.
Examines and evaluates the social, ethical and economic aspects of advertising. Attention is given to appraising the effects of advertising on the consumer and competition. F.
COMM 405. Social Implications of the Information Society. 3 Credits.
Considers and evaluates different perspectives on the information society, ranging from humanistic and Neomarxist critiques to the optimistic scenarios of some futurists. Examines the implications of new means of creating, storing, manipulating and disseminating information. Discussion of whether or not the potential benefits will be realized. S.
COMM 428. Media History. 3 Credits.
Origins and evolution of human communication, mass media and related technological innovations. Addresses mass media's historical influence on social , political and economic change, as well as on maintaining the status quo. S.