Master of Arts - Professional Communication Courses

In order to qualify for the masters degree, you must complete the Core Courses, the Master's Capstone and required electives. A minimum of 36 semester hours is required. Students are expected to maintain a 3.0 or better GPA in all courses.  

Graduation worksheets are available.

Curriculum

CORE COURSES: 18 Semester hours required

Course ID Title Credits Description
COMM 6000 Communication & Professional Development (must be repeated 3 times) 3 (Total) Students learn to successfully navigate graduate education, engage in research and professional activities, prepare portfolios resumes/CV's. Targeted to students at various stages in the program. Must be repeated each of the first three semesters. (P/F) (Fall, Spring)
COMM 6010 Applied Communication Theory 3 Using communication theory in real life. Introduction, research and written articulation of both basic and advanced concepts of theories examining the role of applied and professional communication in human, organizational, social media, strategic and mass media contexts. Prerequisite: Admission to program or Graduate Director permission. (Fall annually)
COMM 6020 Qualitative Communication Research 3 Students learn the fundamentals of various qualitative and rhetorical research methods, with their associated theoretical bases and specific applications. These methods include: 1) Generic, metaphor, narrative, and Burkean criticism; 2) Ethnography and participant observation; 3) Semi-structured interviewing; and 4) Grounded theory. Students have the opportunity to conduct and write up their own qualitative/rhetorical studies from the start (formulating research questions) to finish (interpreting the findings and drawing appropriate conclusions). Prerequisite: Admission to program or Graduate Director permission. (Fall annually).
COMM 6030 Quantitative Communication Research 3 Students will use relevant statistics to summarize data and explain certain human behaviors. Focus is on matching appropriate statistical tests to a given situation and providing relevant interpretations rather than on calculating the numbers. Using the IBM SPSS statistics program students will apply their knowledge to modern-day research and practical problems related to communication professions. Prerequisite: Admission to program or Graduate Director permission. (Spring annually)
COMM 6040 Professional Writing and Presentations 3 Students will strengthen and enhance writing and presentation skills with careful attention to advanced language use required in various professional communication contexts. Students will create training sessions, press releases, digital resumes, website, social media and marketing materials to help organizations manage their public face as well as learn how to establish and maintain their personal professional image in various contexts. Prerequisite: Admission to program or Graduate Director permission (Summer annually).
COMM 6900 Masters Capstone 3 A capstone experience demonstrating the ability to complete a professional thesis, project or internship working in consultation with a graduate committee. Students conceive, research, and produce a capstone in a relevant area of communication. Prerequisites: Most, if not all, coursework and approval from graduate committee. (Fall/Spring)

ELECTIVES: 18 Semester hours required

Course ID Title Credits Description
COMM 6110 Mediated Communication in Relationships 3 The study of interpersonal communication through technology-mediated contexts.  This course will explore the adoption, usage and management of the new technologies people use to communicate and interact with each other as well as examine how the different types of mediated communication technologies affect the communication process.  Prerequisite: Admission to program or Graduate Director permission. (Fall, even years)
COMM 6120 Organizational Communication Strategies 3 Students will explore communication strategy as well as leadership styles in various organizations by focusing on understanding culture, structure, practice, and decision making. Emphasis will be placed on current theory, relevant research designs and methods, including the communication audit. Prerequisite: Admission to program or Graduate Director permission. (Offered as needed)
COMM 6140 Communication & Popular Culture 3 Examines influential texts (e.g. YouTube, TV, Film, Advertisements) students consume daily. Focuses on ways these discourses create identity and collective understanding. Explores message forms like irony and cynicism and their implications for critical thinking and consumption. Prerequisite: Admission to program or Graduate Director permission. (Spring, even years)
COMM 6150 Visual Literacy & Application 3 Students will explore an image’s narrative on multiple levels (iconic, indexical, and symbolic meaning) and understand how our image comprehension and construction are inextricably linked to the visual languages of advertising and photojournalism. Using eye-tracking and VR technology, students will also learn how to measure attention to entire visual messages and intra-stimulus attention allocation to specific messages. . Prerequisite: Admission to program or Graduate Director permission. (Fall, even years)
COMM 6160 Communication & Digital Culture 3 Communication and Digital Culture interrogates the so-called “digital age” by paying analytical attention to the intersection of technology, culture, economics, and politics. We will trace both the social and technological history that has led to the current moment, from the beginning of the idea of ‘the digital’ to contemporary cultural practices surrounding social media. We will seek to define “digital” and “culture” individually and in combination. Our time will be spent critiquing various cultural texts, audiences, institutions, and technical systems as well as learning how to engage in the production of digital texts as practitioners. Course readings draw from a broad range of literature situated within media studies, philosophy of technology, visual communication, and critical-cultural studies. Prerequisite: Admission to program or Graduate Director permission. (Spring, odd years)
COMM 6210 Advertising & Public Relations Strategies 3 This seminar discusses advanced issues in advertising and public relations and how practitioners respond to and manage issues and events with emphasis on recent research and theoretical developments, case studies, and experimental/experiential approaches. Prerequisite: Admission to program or Graduate Director permission. (Fall, odd years)
COMM 6220 Contemporary Audiences Seminar 3 This course focuses on surveys, polls, and sampling procedures to generate information about targeted audiences and publics. Applications of select research methodologies such as ethnographic and psychographic research and other methods used to describe mass audiences. Prerequisite: Admission to the program. (Spring odd years)
COMM 6230 Professional Social Media 3 Examines the strategic use of major social media platforms. Topics include blogging, search engine optimization, content creation, storytelling, corporate messaging, use and development of visual content. Students will complete an integrated social media plan with objectives, strategies and tactics with key performance indicators and measurement. Prerequisite: Admission to program or Graduate Director permission. (Spring, annually)
COMM 6240 Current Issues in Communication (repeatable up to 6 credits) 3 Current issues in Communication Discussion of contemporary communication topics varying by semester. Repeatable with different topics up to 6 credits toward the master's degree. Check with department for upcoming topics. (Offered as needed)
COMM 6850 Individual Graduate Research 3 The project is individually arranged and negotiated with a faculty advisor to provide students an opportunity to gain experience in a communication field. The project is distinct from a capstone project. P/F Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. (As needed)
COMM 6891 Graduate Internship 3 The internship is individually arranged to provide students with an opportunity to gain professional experience in a communication field while working under and with practicing professionals. The internship is distinct from a possible capstone internship. P/F Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. (As needed)

*Selected courses from the MBA or other Masters programs offered at SUU may also be allowed. Contact your advisor or the Graduate Director for information.

Program Total: 36 hours