Feb 25, 2024  
2016-2017 EIU Graduate Catalog 
2016-2017 EIU Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Communication Studies

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Program Mission: The Master of Arts in Communication Studies offers a program in advanced scholarship that reflects the development of historical and contemporary influences on communication theory and practice. Specifically, we offer concentrations grounded in a rigorous theoretical base that inform communication practices, therefore preparing students to enter into academic and workplace environments.

Admission Requirements: AA 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 submit to the department a personal/goals statement an academic writing sample, a CV or resume and three letters of recommendation attesting to the potential for successful completion of graduate work. International applicants whose native language is not English must achieve a score consistent with the requirements of the Graduate School on a test of English language.  While students may be admitted to the Graduate School with fewer than 18 hours in communication studies, any deficiency in undergraduate 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 36 semester hours reflecting educational development and areas of specialization. The plan should reflect the following guidelines:


  • Students are required to complete the four-course department core.
  • Students must complete the coursework associated with their chosen concentration area.
  • Semester hours generated from CMN 5500: Techniques for Teaching Assistants in Communication cannot be applied to graduation.


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

All students must complete a capstone project of 6 semester hours in order to graduate. Students may choose between an academic thesis (CMN 5950) or a creative thesis (CMN 5940) as a capstone experience. Students considering doctoral work are encouraged to complete an academic thesis.

Financial Assistance

To be considered for a Graduate Assistantship in the Department of Communication Studies, students must provide evidence of proficiency in oral English.  One form of evidence for international students is the attainment of a high score on the Test of Spoken English (TSE).  Such evidence is required in addition to the test of English language 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, 1260 Coleman Hall, EIU.

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