Communication, M.A.

School of Communication, College of Communication, Fine Arts & Media

Vision Statement

The School of Communication offers a Master of Arts degree emphasizing a broad theoretical knowledge of speech and mass communication. Graduate students achieve in-depth knowledge of communication processes and effects and acquire the skills needed to discover new knowledge through research and other forms of scholarly activity. They also acquire skills and knowledge needed for professional growth. Graduate students conduct original research for a thesis or project.

School of Communication graduate faculty offer an impressive blend of academic and professional media and corporate experience. Faculty are actively involved in the discovery of new knowledge through publication in top scholarly journals. The faculty seek to cultivate students’ breadth and depth of knowledge about communication, and to foster a spirit of free investigation.

Program Contact Information:

Dr. Barbara Pickering, Graduate Program Chair (GPC)

Arts & Science Hall (ASH) 107O

402-554-2204

bpickering@unomaha.edu

Program Website:

http://www.unomaha.edu/wwwcomm/gradstudents.php

Application Deadlines:

  • Fall: March 1
    If you are applying for a graduate teaching assistantship, both admissions and assistantship application materials must be completed by February 15.
  • Spring: October 1
  • Summer: N/A

Application Requirements:

  • Online Application
  • One official copy of transcripts for ALL institutions previously attended
  • Application Fee
  • If English is not the language of nurture, official test scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE exam are required
    • 500 on the written TOEFL
    • 173 on the computer-based TOEFL
    • 61 on the internet-based TOEFL
    • 5.5 on the IELTS
    • 44 on the PTE
  • Minimum GPA of at least 3.0 in undergraduate courses related to proposed major

Program-Specific Requirements:

  • International students are also required to have a minimum score of 550 on the TOEFL (213 if computer-based; 79-80 if internet-based; 53 on PTE)
  • Three (3) Letters of Recommendation
  • Statement of Purpose
  • The Statement of Purpose should be 500 words in length and should answer the following questions:
    • Why have you chosen the UNO School of Communication Master’s degree program?
    • What are your areas of scholarly interest and research?
    • What are your personal or professional plans after you complete the Master’s degree?
  • Resume
    • Identify Major and Minor field(s) of study, overall GPA, and GPA within major
  • Unconditional Admission may be granted to a student whose record includes at least the following:
    • Certification of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Documentation through official transcripts using a 4.0 grade point scale of having earned at least:
      • A 3.25 in communication undergraduate work, and
      • Either a 3.0 overall undergraduate average or a 3.25 average in the last half of undergraduate credit hours, and
      • Inclusion of at least 15 undergraduate semester hours of appropriate courses in communication, including sufficient advanced upper-division preparation in the area of graduate specialization
  • Provisional Admission may be granted for reasons of experience, maturity or other circumstances to a student who does not meet the unconditional admission standards. In no case may a student be admitted who does not meet UNO Graduate College provisional admission standards. If granted provisional admission, the student must complete the first 12 hours of course work with a grade of “B” (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) or better.
  • Applicants who have more than six hours of undergraduate deficiencies will be advised to remove them before applying for any type of admission
  • Before deciding whether or not to recommend provisional admission, the School’s graduate faculty may require any one or any combination of the following:
    • Completion of prescribed course(s) (not for graduate credit) with a grade of “B” (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) or better; and/or
    • Passing such test(s) as faculty members deem necessary in order to determine whether the applicant is adequately prepared for graduate study

MA-Communication Degree Requirements

MA-COMM Required Courses (12-15 hours):

Completion of Core Classes: The Core courses provide basic, intensive and broad coverage of communication as a field of advanced study. The Core integrates mass and speech communication theories and research methodologies. If a student fails to achieve an average grade of “B” (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) in the overall Core, the student may retake each Core course with a grade below “B” once, and must obtain an average grade of “B” or higher to remain in the program.

Graduate students entering the UNO School of Communication Master’s degree program must:

Complete either the COMM 8570 Foundations in Mass Communication or COMM 8470 Foundations Seminar: Communication Studies in the first semester of coursework

Complete either COMM 8020 Qualitative Research Methods or COMM 8010 Quantitative Research Methods before the third semester of coursework

Complete all 4 Core classes within their first 18 hours of coursework as a degree student (This requirement may be waived for students entering the Communication graduate program with approved graduate credits to be used in the plan of study.)

Thesis Option Required Core Courses (12 hours):

The 12 hours of required courses listed below must be completed with an average grade of “B” or better

COMM 8010Seminar in Communication Research: Quantitative Emphasis

3 credits

COMM 8020Seminar in Communication Research: Qualitative Emphasis

3 credits

COMM 8470Foundations Seminar: Communication Studies

3 credits

COMM 8570Foundations of Mass Communication

3 credits

Project Option Required Core Courses (15 hours):

The 12 hours of required courses listed below must be completed with an average grade of “B” or better

COMM 8010Seminar in Communication Research: Quantitative Emphasis

3 credits

COMM 8020Seminar in Communication Research: Qualitative Emphasis

3 credits

COMM 8470Foundations Seminar: Communication Studies

3 credits

COMM 8570Foundations of Mass Communication

3 credits

Those who select the Project Option must take an additional graduate-only seminar

MA-COMM Electives (Thesis, 12 hours; Project, 21 hours):

No more than 9 hours (Thesis option) or 12 hours (Project option) from outside the school may be counted toward degree requirements in consultation with the graduate program chair

MA-COMM Exit Requirements:

Thesis Option

COMM 8980Independent Study

1 - 3 credits

All candidates should carefully review the Graduate College requirements for forming the Supervisory Committee, Thesis/Thesis Equivalent Proposal Approval Forms and final approval and submission of the thesis.

Project Option

COMM 8970Graduate Project

3 credits

The project, in lieu of a thesis, is based on a proposal approved by the student’s committee. The student must complete a project which is defended orally before his or her project committee.

MA-COMM Specializations:

The School of Communication has compiled a list of graduate specializations. These specializations, while not required, are designed to enhance the depth and breadth of graduate student knowledge in specialized areas within the field of Communication. Students may also create their own areas of specialization based on personal interest or in preparation for specific careers.

Communication Law, Technology and Policy

BRCT 8346Media Regulation & Freedom

3 credits

BRCT 8396Media Management

3 credits

JOUR 8926Media Literacy

3

COMM 9400/ISQA 9900Seminar in Communication & Technology

3 credits

JOUR 8406Mass Media Ethics

3 credits

JOUR 8416Communications Law

3 credits

JOUR 8426Theories of the First Amendment: Speech and Press

3 credits

SPCH 8196Computer-Mediated Communication

3 credits

Conflict Resolution

SPCH 8156/SPCH 4150Corporate Training and Development

3 credits

SPCH 8536/SPCH 4530Intercultural Communication-US

3 credits

SPCH 8806/SPCH 4800Conflict Mediation

3 credits

SPCH 8516Persuasion and Social Influence

3 credits

SPCH 8706/SPCH 4700Interpersonal Conflict

3 credits

SPCH 8560Communication Teamwork and Facilitation

3

Possible Electives:

PSCI 8056The Judicial Process

3 credits

PSCI 8175Interest Groups

3 credits

SOC 8026Collective Behavior

3 credits

SOC 8556Social Diversity in Organizations

3 credits

SOC 8756Social Change and Globalization

3 credits

Interpersonal/Intercultural Communication

SPCH 8146/SPCH 4140Communication and Human Relationships

3 credits

SPCH 8516Persuasion and Social Influence

3 credits

SPCH 8536/SPCH 4530Intercultural Communication-US

3 credits

SPCH 8556Nonverbal Communication

3 credits

SPCH 8606/SPCH 4600Communication Theory and Application

3 credits

SPCH 8706/SPCH 4700Interpersonal Conflict

3 credits

SPCH 8806/SPCH 4800Conflict Mediation

3 credits

SPCH 8226Health Communication

3 credits

Possible Electives:

COUN 8520Counseling Multicultural and Diverse Populations

3 credits

EDAD 8710Interpersonal Relationships in Educational Leadership

3 credits

Instructional Communication and Training

SPCH 8156/SPCH 4150Corporate Training and Development

3 credits

SPCH 8166Communication for Instructional Settings

3 credits

SPCH 8186/SPCH 4180Communication Leadership and Power and Organizations

3 credits

SPCH 8516Persuasion and Social Influence

3 credits

SPCH 8536/SPCH 4530Intercultural Communication-US

3 credits

SPCH 8566/SPCH 4560Communication, Teamwork, & Facilitation

3 credits

Possible Electives:

EDAD 9650Program Evaluation for Educational Administrators

3 credits

PSYC 9620Industrial Training and Organizational Development

3 credits

TED 8050New Ways of Knowing & Education

3

New Media

COMM 8200/ENGL 8760Seminar in Popular Culture, Mass Media and Visual Rhetoric

3 credits

JOUR 8236Principles of Public Relations

3 credits

JOUR 8406Mass Media Ethics

3 credits

JOUR 8416Communications Law

3 credits

JOUR 8926Media Literacy

3

JOUR 8506Mass Communication and Public Opinion

3 credits

BRCT 8316Political Broadcasting

3 credits

BRCT 8396Media Management

3 credits

SPCH 8196Computer-Mediated Communication

3 credits

Total Credit Hours:27

Organizational Communication

SPCH 8156/SPCH 4150Corporate Training and Development

3 credits

SPCH 8176/SPCH 4170Organization Communication

3 credits

SPCH 8186/SPCH 4180Communication Leadership and Power and Organizations

3 credits

SPCH 8516Persuasion and Social Influence

3 credits

SPCH 8536/SPCH 4530Intercultural Communication-US

3 credits

SPCH 8556Nonverbal Communication

3 credits

SPCH 8566/SPCH 4560Communication, Teamwork, & Facilitation

3 credits

SPCH 8806/SPCH 4800Conflict Mediation

3 credits

Possible Electives:

BSAD 8310Managing Performance in Organizations

3 credits

BSAD 8320Seminar in Human Resource Management

3 credits

PA 8090Organization Theory and Behavior

3 credits

PA 8596Techniques Topics in NonProfit Management

1 - 3 credits

PA 8706Marketing in Public & Non-Profit Aviation Organizations

3

PSYC 8316Psychological and Educational Testing

3 credits

PSYC 9030Seminar: Topics in Industrial Organizational Psychology

3 - 9 credits

PSYC 9630Leadership Theories and Research

3 credits

Public Relations

JOUR 8246Public Relations Case Studies

3 credits

JOUR 8506Mass Communication and Public Opinion

3 credits

BRCT 8306Electronic Media Management

3

SPCH 8516Persuasion and Social Influence

3 credits

SPCH 8536/SPCH 4530Intercultural Communication-US

3 credits

Possible Electives:

BSAD 8450Seminar in Marketing

3 credits

PA 8596Techniques Topics in NonProfit Management

1 - 3 credits

PA 8710Fund Raising in Public and Non-Profit Organizations

3 credits

Total Credit Hours:7-9

Public and Political Communication

BRCT 8316Political Broadcasting

3 credits

SPCH 8110Seminar in Modern Public Address

3

SPCH 8116Rhetorical Theory and Criticism

3 credits

JOUR 8386Film Theory & Criticism

3

JOUR 8406Mass Media Ethics

3 credits

JOUR 8416Communications Law

3 credits

JOUR 8426Theories of the First Amendment: Speech and Press

3 credits

JOUR 8506Mass Communication and Public Opinion

3 credits

Possible Electives:

PSCI 8126Public Opinion and Polling

3 credits

PSCI 8165Political Parties

3 credits

PSCI 8176Constitutional Law: Foundations

3 credits

Technical Communication

JOUR 8879Technical Editing

3

JOUR 8856/ENGL 8856Information Design for Technical Communicators

3 credits

JOUR 8836/ENGL 8836Technical Communication

3 credits

JOUR 8816/ENGL 8816Digital Literacies for Technical Communicators

3 credits

Possible Electives:

JOUR 8896/ENGL 8896Capstone Course in Technical Communication

3 credits

SPCH 8196Computer-Mediated Communication

3 credits

 TOTAL CREDIT HOURS:

Thesis Option: 30 hours

Project Option: 36 hours

Other Program-Related Information:

Comprehensive Examinations

The exam will usually be taken following the completion of all course work. A student may, with the approval of his/her thesis or project committee advisor and GPC, take the comprehensive exam during the final semester after the core courses and area of specialization courses are successfully completed.

The comprehensive exam will be based upon the following three areas:

  1. Communication Theory
  2. Communication Research
  3. Specialized study in communication

When the student is ready to begin the comprehensive exam process, the individual will prepare a curriculum vita, a master list of all courses taken in his/her program of study. This list should include titles of all papers written, projects conducted, key texts read, plus other relevant information that will provide graduate faculty members with an overall view of the student’s graduate training.

Once the student has contacted and received confirmation from the three graduate faculty members who will write the comprehensive examination questions, the student should contact the Department secretary (402-554-2600) about possible dates to take the comprehensive exam. The student must file a Graduate Student Comprehensive Examination Form with the Department secretary and provide copies to the faculty who have agreed to write questions.

The exams must be taken on two consecutive days. Two hours per exam will be allotted, and exams may not begin after 2:30 p.m. More information about the comprehensive examination process can be found in the School of Communication graduate handbook.