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Master of Science in Communications

The Master of Science in Communications program is an interdisciplinary professional program. It addresses the growing need for theory-grounded communication professionals in business, government and the non-profit sectors, including: public relations practitioners, advertising writers, educators, graphic designers, consultants, training and development professionals, media policy experts, print and electronic journalists -- and indeed anyone who must know how to create, manage and assess communication initiatives in a global environment. The MSC program offers students a strong foundation in communication theory and methodology, and encourages application in such emphasis areas as organizational, technological, instructional, and cultural communication.

The program is designed for career-oriented individuals who want to advance in their chosen fields or to move from their undergraduate programs to the competitive job markets. The MSC program's rigorous coverage of communication theory and methodology also provides a strong foundation for those intending to pursue doctoral studies.

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What will I study?

For detailed course lists and descriptions, please view the EWU catalog.

Core Courses (31 credits)

As an MSC student, you are required to take core courses as a foundation on which to build your interdisciplinary degree. These include:

Introductory Course

CMST 568 Introduction to Graduate Studies (2 cr)

Theory Courses

CMST 501 Advanced Communication Theory (5 cr)
CMST 502 Contemporary Trends in Com. Studies (5 cr)

Methodology Courses

CMST 520 Introduction to Communication Inquiry (5 cr)
CMST 521 Research Design and Analysis I (5 cr)
CMST 522 Research Design and Analysis II (5 cr)
Pre-requisite: Undergraduate Statistics Course

Technology Courses

TECH 504 Communication Technologies (4 cr)
Or CMST 504 Communication Systems (4 cr)

 

Interdisciplinary Component 26-27 credits

You will need to choose a minimum of two courses (minimum 8-10 credits) from at least two of the following four emphasis areas--organizational, technological, instructional, and cultural communication. Suggested course offerings for each emphasis area are given below. Deviations from the suggested offerings must be petitioned in writing to, and approved by, the graduate faculty advisor and the MSC Director.

ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS

Required

CMST 530 Communication in Organizations (5)

Electives

CMST 438 Topics in Leadership and Strategic Communication (5)
CMST 539 Special Topics (1-5)
CMST 550 Problem in Contemporary Public Communication (5)
CMST 569 Thesis Preparation (2)
CMST 578 Seminar in Consulting Processes (4)
CMST 598 Communication Seminar (1-5)
BADM 541 Managerial Communications (4)
CEDP 504 Theories of Human Development (4)
CEDP 541 Group Processes (4)
CEDP 544 Counseling Theory and Techniques (4)
CEDP 545 Advanced Appraisal Techniques (4)
JRNM 451 Intro. to Public Relations Theory (4)
JRNM 452 Advanced Public Relations Theory (4)
JRNM 453 Public Relations Writing (4)
JRNM 498 Seminar in Journalism Problems (1-5)
PADM 503 Concepts and Values of Public Service (4)
PADM 511 Public Sector Organization Theory & Dynamics (4)
PADM 517 Professional Employment (2)
PADM 525 Public Sector Grants-writing and Administration (4)
PADM 571 The Political Executive (4)
ENGL 568 Technical Communication (3)

TECHNOLOGICAL COMMUNICATION

Required

TECH 504 Communication Technologies (4)
or CMST 504 Communication Systems (4)

Electives

CMST 539 Special Topics (1-5)
CMST 569 Thesis Preparation (2)
CMST 598 Communication Seminar (1-5)
TECH 508 Designing Web Sites (4)
TECH 550 Computer Graphics (4)
TECH 463 Visual Communication Design III (4)
TECH 599 Advanced Web Design (4)
ENGL 503 Information Design (5)
ENGL 504 Software Documentation (5)
ENGL 556 Computers and Composition (5)
CSCD 539 Multimedia Techniques (4)
CSCD 498/539 Topics in Computer Science (4)

INSTRUCTIONAL COMMUNICATION

Required

CEDP 504 Theories of Human Development (4)

Electives

CMST 539 Special Topics (1-5)
CMST 550 Problems in Contemporary Public Communication (5)
CMST 569 Thesis Preparation (2)
CMST 598 Communication Seminar (1-5)
EDUC 505 Current Issues in Education (4)
EDUC 507 Philosophy and Organization of the American School (4)
EDUC 530 Foundations of Ed. Comm. and Info. Technology (4)
EDUC 533 Instructional Systems Development (4)
COIN 571 Survey of Post-Secondary Education (4)
COIN 572 Strategies for Teaching Adults (4)
CSED 590 Readings in Technology-Supported Education (1-2)
CEDP 502 Theories of Learning (4)
CEDP 503 Applied Learning Theory & Behavior Modification (4)
CEDP 515 Advanced Educational Psychology (4)
CEDP 541 Group Processes (4)
CEDP 544 Counseling Theory and Techniques (4)
CEDP 545 Advanced Appraisal Techniques (4)
CEDP 546 Group Counseling (4)
CEDP 581 Consulting Approaches and Applications (2)

CULTURAL COMMUNICATION

Required

CMST 570 Communication and Cultural Studies (5)

Electives

CMST 411 Negotiation Skills and Strategies (5)
CMST 414 Gender and Communication (5)
CMST 440 International Communication (5)
CMST 539 Special Topics (1-5)
CMST 550 Problems in Contemporary Public Communication (5)
CMST 569 Thesis Preparation (2)
CMST 598 Communication Seminar (1-5)
ENGL 555 Contemporary Composition Theory (5)
ENGL 573 History of Rhetoric (5)
ENGL 575 Contemporary Rhetorical Theories (5)
SOWK 555 Conflict Management (3)
WMST 410 Feminist Theory (4)
ENGL 568 Technical Communication (3)

 

Final Comprehensive Examination Options

Before the awarding of the master's degree, each student will successfully complete one of two options: (A) A thesis or other research project; (B) A written examination. Both options also involve an oral examination component.

 

Option A: The thesis or research project will be selected in consultation with the student's faculty advisor. Each student shall complete an oral examination, which will focus primarily on the master's thesis or project but which may also include questions to demonstrate competence in all areas included in the program of that student. Students will provide copies of their master's thesis or project to the oral examination committee at least two weeks in advance of the scheduled oral examination. The oral examination committee will consist of at least two graduate faculty members representing the interdisciplinary content of the student's program and a third member designated by the Graduate Office.  Students who select Option A are strongly encouraged to take CMST 569, Thesis Preparation.

 

Option B: The written examination is designed to test students' competence across the breadth of their program. Over the course of 4.5 hours, the student will address questions on theory (1.75 hours), methodology and method (1.75 hours) and one emphasis (1 hour). The student will approach prospective committee members to ensure they are willing to provide examination questions. The MSC Director will provide copies of the student's written answers to the examination committee at least two weeks in advance of the scheduled oral examination. The written and oral examination committee will consist of four graduate faculty members: two from Communication Studies, one of whom will chair the committee; one from a unit other than Communication Studies that contributes to the MSC; and a faculty member designated by the Graduate Office. 

 

For options A and B, the final oral examination will be open to interested faculty and students and may be open to questions from non-committee members at the discretion of the committee. The final oral examination for option A will be no longer than 2 hours. The final oral examination for option B will be no longer than 1.5 hours. With respect to option A, the oral examination will not be held over vacation periods or during summer quarter except by advance approval of all committee members. The same holds true for the written and oral examinations in option B.

 

Option A:

Required core credits 31 credits

Interdisciplinary component credits 26 credits

Research component 2-6 credits

Minimum total 63 credits

 

Option B:

Required core credits 31 credits

Interdisciplinary component credits 27 credits

Research component 2-5 credits

Minimum total 63 credits

 

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