DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNICATION
The department provides opportunities for advanced study in communication, both theory and applied. Work in the department can lead to the Master of Arts degree in communication. In addition, doctoral studies in communication theory are offered in partial fulfillment of the special field requirement for the Ph.D. degree in Sociology.
Programs Leading to the Master of Arts Degree in Communication
The Master of Arts in Communication provides broad exposure to the field of communication, while at the same time allowing students to emphasize either interpersonal interaction/cultural practices communication, political communication, or organizational communication. Students are expected to concentrate in one of those areas and to organize their studies toward the final requirement of a thesis or the final requirement of a practicum/seminar. An orientation toward the completion of a thesis leads most naturally toward doctoral studies, while an orientation toward a practicum/seminar leads most naturally to the application of communication theory in business or government.
Interpersonal communication involves the processes and effects of communication in personal relationships and between persons in groups and organizations. Political communication involves the methods of stating and defending policy, solving problems, assessing and responding to public opinion, and decision making that are essential in political organizations. Organizational communication involves processes of coordination within organizations and interactions between organizations and their social and economic environments. Communication research methods involve procedures for obtaining and analyzing data about conditions preceding communicative events, the impact of communicative events on beliefs, attitudes, and behavior, and the structure of communication interactions.
M.A. in Communication (33 credits, minimum)
Qualified undergraduates may apply for admission to the M.A. program and, if accepted, simultaneously work toward completion of the requirements for both undergraduate and graduate degrees. See Combined Baccalaureate- Master's Degree Programs for details.
Doctoral Study in Communication Theory in the Ph.D. Program in Sociology
The Department of Communication, in cooperation with the Department of Sociology, offers doctoral studies in interpersonal, organizational, and intercultural communication. Students in the Ph.D. program in sociology can elect a special field in communication theory. The research specializations of the faculty involved in the two departments include social structure and mobility; social networks, social psychology, particularly in theory and research concerning interpersonal interaction/cultural practices communication; social support; stress and health-related factors; general theory, including structural rules, causal systems and mathematical approaches; language and social interaction. The Sociology faculty offers wide-ranging experience in all aspects of quantitative research methodology, including measurement and scaling, sampling, survey and experimental design, field methods, extensive multivariate, mathematical and statistical analyses. In addition, several Communication faculty have expertise in qualitative methodology, including ethnography and discourse analysis.
Program of Study
The Ph.D. in Sociology with a Communication specialization area includes, as a minimum:
Students in the Sociology program with a specialization area in Communication must take the comprehensive examination in methods (unless it is waived by virtue of an A- average in Soc 509, Soc 522, and Soc 609). Students will also take two specialization examination administered by the Sociology Department. One of these exams will be in one of the three Communication concentration areas.