Jun 24, 2024  
2014-2015 EIU Graduate Catalog 
2014-2015 EIU Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Communication Studies

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Program Mission: The Master of Arts in Communication Studies provides students with an opportunity to engage in a multifaceted course of study which is grounded in a strong theoretical base but also recognizes the marketplace.  Students may choose from three areas of concentration, Human Communication Processes, Strategic Communication, or Critical/Cultural Studies.  The program prepares students to be more competitive in the work place or to continue studies in a Ph.D. program.

Admission Requirements: A limited number of students are accepted each year; admission to the program is competitive.  To be eligible for degree candidacy, applicants must meet all of the requirements for admission to the Graduate School (See “Admission to Graduate Degree and Certificate Programs”).  A minimum of 18 hours in communication studies with a grade of C or better is required in order to be admitted to the program.  An applicant must complete a written statement of goals, submit a writing sample and three letters of recommendation attesting to the potential for successful completion of graduate work. International applicants whose native language is not English must obtain a score of 600 or higher on the paper-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or a score of 250 of higher on the computer-based TOEFL.  While students may be admitted to the Graduate School with fewer than 18 hours in communication studies, any deficiency in undergraduate speech communication hours must be made up before the student will be admitted to degree candidacy in Communication Studies.

Degree Audit: The graduate plan of study is the EIU Degree Audit, which is generated automatically in the Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS) at the time of degree or certificate candidacy. Modifications of the standard EIU Degree Audit are submitted by the graduate coordinator to the certification officer in the Graduate School at the time modifications are approved. The Degree Audit serves as an unofficial summary of requirements for the program. Degree and certificate candidates are advised to review the comprehensive summary of the Degree Audit process specified on the “Requirements for All Degree and Certificate Candidates” section of the Graduate Catalog. Individual programs may require candidates to submit plans of study in addition to the Degree Audit, candidates should consult with the program coordinator.


Degree Requirements

The approved plan of study is the guiding document for each student’s course of study.  A student, in consultation with an advisor, develops a course of study with a minimum of 39 semester hours reflecting educational development and areas of specialization  The plan should reflect the following guidelines.

  • All students are expected to take a core of 12 hours composed of CMN 5000, CMN 5005, CMN 5030, and CMN 5240.
  • The total program (including the core but excluding CMN 5500) is a minimum of 36 hours. 

Core Courses

Students will complete a core of 12 hours composed of the following courses:

Concentration Area

Students will complete one of three concentration areas of 12 hours composed of the following courses:

Capstone Experience

Students must demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of the discipline in order to complete their degree. To do so all students must take and successfully pass comprehensive exams covering the core classes. Students may then choose between a thesis (CMN 5950) or a creative thesis (CMN 5940). Students considering doctoral work are encouraged to complete a thesis.


Financial Assistance

The department’s primary source of financial assistance for its graduate students is teaching assistantships in such courses as introductory public speaking.  Teaching such classes requires a deep familiarity with American culture and with the norms and patterns of communication embedded in that culture.  Consequently, teaching assistantships are not offered to applicants who are not native speakers of English before they have spent sufficient time in this country to become well-acquainted with American culture.

International students who believe they have the requisite language skills and culture knowledge for teaching communication courses to a largely American student body may ask to be considered for teaching assistantships.  To be considered, such students must provide evidence of proficiency in oral English.  One form of evidence is the attainment of a high score on the Test of Spoken English (TSE).  This requirement is in addition to the TOEFL score which is required for admission.

Applications for assistantships are normally due in February with the award for the following academic year.  Graduate teaching assistants must enroll in CMN 5500 in both the fall and spring semesters.

Graduate Assistantships

Information on graduate assistantships may be obtained by contacting the Coordinator of Graduate Studies or Chair, Department of Communication Studies, 1825 Coleman Hall, EIU.

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