The Master of Arts in Communication Studies

Course Requirements for the Master's Degree: 30 units

Continuous enrollment is required. A maximum of 6 semester units of transfer and/or CSU, Chico Open University course work may be applied toward the degree.

Graduate Time Limit:

All requirements for the degree are to be completed within five years of the end of the semester of enrollment in the oldest course applied toward the degree. See "Graduate Education" in the University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements.

Students are expected to make reasonable progress by completing all courses on schedule. Students not adhering to declared schedules will be referred to the Graduate Coordinator for program review and recommendations which may include program modification or dismissal from the program.

Prerequisites for Admission to Conditionally Classified Status:

1. Satisfactory grade point average as specified in "Admission to Master's Degree Programs" in the University Catalog.

2. Approval by the department and the Office of Graduate Studies.

3. An acceptable baccalaureate in Communication Studies from an accredited institution or an equivalent approved by the Office of Graduate Studies.

An applicant who does not meet all of the prerequisites for admission to classified status (see below) may be admitted on a provisional basis as a conditionally classified student. This admission provides the student a trial period to demonstrate ability. Students are expected to carry at least 9 units of course work at the 400/500/600 level, make no grade lower than B, and finish all course work (no "incomplete" or "satisfactory progress"). Normally a decision to advance a student to classified status or terminate the student from the program will be made at the conclusion of the student's first semester in the program.

Prerequisites for Admission to Classified Status:

In addition to any requirements listed above:

1. An undergraduate major in Information and Communication Systems, Mass Communication, Journalism, Media Arts, Public Relations, Instructional Technology, Visual Communication, Speech, or Organizational Communication. In the absence of an undergraduate major in one of the above, and based on the individual student's background, the Graduate Coordinator may make recommendations for courses to be taken as prerequisites for classified status. Such prerequisite course work will not count toward the fulfillment of master's program requirements.

2. A grade point average of at least 3.0 (B) in all undergraduate course work.

3. Completion of the Graduate Record Examination or Miller Analogies Test.

4. A statement outlining the applicant's motivation, objectives, and expected area of emphasis in graduate studies.

5. At least three letters of recommendation from the applicant's former instructors or professional supervisors.

6. One article or paper authored by the applicant to demonstrate writing skills or one article or paper and a portfolio within the applicant's specialty to exhibit his/her skills, abilities, and talents in the expected area of emphasis.

Advancement to Candidacy:

In addition to any requirements listed above:

1. Classified graduate standing and completion at the University of at least 15 units of the proposed program, 9 of which must be in residence.

2. Formation of the Graduate Advisory Committee in consultation with the Graduate Coordinator. Normally, the committee will be formed during or immediately following successful completion of the student's second semester and will consist of at least three members. The chair of the committee and one other committee member must be members of the department offering the student's degree.

3. Development of an approved program in consultation with the Graduate Advisory Committee and with the approval of the Graduate Coordinator.

Requirements for the MA in Communication Studies:

Completion of all requirements as established by the department graduate committee, the graduate advisory committee, and the Office of Graduate Studies, to include:

1. Completion of an approved program consisting of 30 units of 400/500/600-level courses as follows:

(a) 24 to 30 units in the discipline of Communication, which must include the following 9-unit core.

CMST 601 Seminar in Communication Studies 3.0 FA
Prerequisites: CMST 330; CMST graduate standing or faculty permission.
CMST 602 Seminar in Communication Research Methods 3.0 FA
Prerequisites: CMST 332; CMST graduate standing or faculty permission.
CMST 603 Interpretive Approaches to Human Communication Research 3.0 SP
Prerequisites: CMST graduate standing or faculty permission.

(b) At least 24 of the units required for the degree in 600-level courses. With Graduate Coordinator and Graduate Advisory Committee approval, graduate students may take up to 6 units of 500-level courses at CSU, Chico.

(c) Not more than 6 semester units of transfer and/or extension credit (correspondence courses and U.C. extension course work are not acceptable).

(d) Not more than 15 units taken before admission to classified status.

(e) Not more than a total of 6 units of Independent Study (697) and/or Internship (489); and not more than 3 units of Master's Thesis (699T) or Master's Project (699P).

(f) Not more than 6 units in any one disciplinary area outside Communication Studies.

2. Completion of one of the following plans:

(a) Thesis or Project Plan. Requires 3 units of Master's Thesis (699T) or Master's Project (699P), plus at least 27 units of graduate-level courses. A public presentation and/or oral defense of the thesis or project is required. Students who are planning to continue their education to the doctoral level or who are interested in communication research are encouraged to choose the Thesis Plan.

(b) Comprehensive Plan Requires 30 units of graduate-level course work, including at least 24 units in Communication Studies. The Graduate Advisory Committee will administer and evaluate six hours of written comprehensive examinations, plus oral review, covering the student's major emphasis of study (e.g., interpersonal communication, rhetoric, organizational communication, or communication philosophy). All components of the exam must receive a grade of "pass" for the degree to be awarded. A failing grade will prohibit the student from continuing graduate work until the comprehensives are passed. Exams may normally be repeated only once, at the discretion of the committee, no later than the following semester. The committee may allow partial rewriting of the exam, but only once. A second failure will result in termination of the student's course of study.

3. Approval by the department graduate committee and the Graduate Coordinators Committee on behalf of the faculty of the University.

Course Requirements:

Students without an undergraduate degree in Communication and/or significant course work in speech, rhetoric, public address, communication theory and philosophy, interpersonal communication, organizational communication, small group communication, or intercultural communication may be required to take prerequisite course work prior to enrolling in graduate classes in Communication Studies.

Students must satisfy the Graduate Literacy Requirement before they may be advanced to candidacy, prepare a thesis prospectus, or schedule comprehensive examinations.

9 units required:

CMST 601 Seminar in Communication Studies 3.0 FA
Prerequisites: CMST 330; CMST graduate standing or faculty permission.
CMST 602 Seminar in Communication Research Methods 3.0 FA
Prerequisites: CMST 332; CMST graduate standing or faculty permission.
CMST 603 Interpretive Approaches to Human Communication Research 3.0 SP
Prerequisites: CMST graduate standing or faculty permission.

18-21 units selected from:

CMST 604 Seminar in Political Communication 3.0 F2

This course is also offered as POLS 604.

CMST 606 Seminar in Interpersonal Communication Theories 3.0 SP
Prerequisites: CMST graduate standing or faculty permission.
CMST 607 Seminar in Organizational Communication 3.0 FA
Prerequisites: CMST graduate standing or faculty permission.
CMST 608 Communication Theories and Philosophies 3.0 Inq
Prerequisites: CMST graduate standing or faculty permission.
CMST 609 Seminar in Health Communication 3.0 SP
Prerequisites: CMST graduate standing.
CMST 611 Seminar in Intercultural Communication 3.0 FA
Prerequisites: CMST 335 or equivalent; CMST graduate standing or faculty permission.
CMST 612 Seminar in Rhetoric and Public Address 3.0 S2
Prerequisites: CMST 451; CMST graduate standing or faculty permission.
CMST 613 Seminar in Rhetorical Criticism 3.0 S1
Prerequisites: CMST graduate standing or faculty permission.
CMST 614 Feminist Rhetorical Theories 3.0 F1
Prerequisites: CMST graduate standing or faculty permission.
CMST 698 Contemporary Research Problems 3.0 Inq
Prerequisites: CMST graduate standing or faculty permission.

Students selecting the Thesis or Project Plan are required to complete 3 units of CMST 699T or CMST 699P. Students selecting the Comprehensive Plan are required to take 30 units of course work.

Students selecting the Comprehensive Plan are required to have completed at least 24 units of their approved graduate program, including CMST 601, CMST 602, and CMST 603 prior to taking exams. Comprehensive Exams are administered and evaluated by the graduate advisory committee and the Graduate Coordinator.

Graduate Requirement in Writing Proficiency:

Writing proficiency is a graduation requirement.

Majors will demonstrate their writing competence both by articles or papers submitted as a requirement for admission to classified status and by their successful completion of the core courses for the degree (CMST 601, CMST 602, and CMST 603), each of which requires a research paper.

Graduate Grading Requirements:

All courses in the major (with the exception of Master's Study - 699) must be taken for a letter grade, except those courses specified by the department as Credit/No Credit grading only. A maximum of 3 units of Credit/No Credit grades (for CMST 699T or CMST 699P) may be used on the approved program. While grading standards are determined by individual programs and instructors, it is also the policy of the University that unsatisfactory grades may be given when work fails to reflect achievement of the high standards, including high writing standards, expected of students pursuing graduate study.

Students must maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average in each of the following three categories: all course work taken at any accredited institution subsequent to admission to the master's program; all course work taken at CSU, Chico subsequent to admission to the program; and all courses on the approved master's degree program.

Students not maintaining the required grade point averages will be referred to the Graduate Coordinator for program review and recommendations, which may include program modification or dismissal from the program.

Graduate Advising Requirement:

Advising is mandatory each semester for Communication Studies majors. Consult the Graduate Coordinator for specifics.