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Communication Studies Graduate Program


The examining committee -- which is determined through consultation among the student, his/her advisor, and the Director of Graduate Study -- is normally composed of the thesis advisor and two other members of the Department's graduate faculty. A graduate faculty member from outside the department may be substituted for the third member of the committee, or a fourth member, either from inside or outside the department, if approved by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. 

To be eligible for the examination, the candidate must have finished their thesis and completed (or be currently enrolled ) all final course work with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Students must be enrolled in at least 1 credit hour in the semester in which they graduate. 

MA - Thesis

As a requirement of the thesis option M.A. degree, students must defend orally defend their thesis. The examination usually lasts 1 to 1.5 hours and includes content from the thesis as well as relevant coursework. See the department's thesis guidelines and procedures. 

Exam outcomes must be reported per the following: 

  1. Pass with honors, recommended for further graduate study
  2. Pass, recommended for further graduate study
  3. Fail, has not met degree requirements, not recommended for further graduate study

MA - Non Thesis

In their final semester, a degree candidate must satisfactorily complete both a written and oral examination. The written examination includes the following sections:

  1. Basic Communication Theory/Method (1 hour)
  2. Communication  Content Area 1 (2 hours)
  3. Communication Content Area 2 (2 hours)

The written examination is administered by the student's Comprehensive Examination Committee. Obtain specific instructions about the written comprehensive examination from the Director of Graduate Study. Once the candidate has passed all sections of the written examination, they are eligible for the oral comprehensive examination. 

The examination usually lasts 1 to 1.5 hours, and covers any aspect of the student's graduate program. The results of the examination will be reported either as "pass" or "fail." 

Request Procedures for all Oral Examinations

At least two weeks prior to any oral examination, the candidate must formally contact the Director of Graduate Studies, and submit a written request to their COGA advisor in order to request and schedule any thesis or non-thesis examination through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The Director of Graduate Studies will inform the chair of the committee whether or not the student is eligible to take the written and oral examinations. Students must consult the Master's Degree Checklist prior to scheduling any exam. All final exams require approval by the DGS and COGA advisor prior to taking place. 

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