2015-2016 Catalog 
    Jul 20, 2024  
2015-2016 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Communication, MA

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The Master of Arts (MA) in Communication at UCCS offers students the opportunity to engage in advanced study and develop graduate-level expertise for addressing complex communication problems in modern organizations and social systems. This program prepares graduates for careers in the profit and non-profit sectors, as well as in academia. Given the extent to which communication is ubiquitous, the mission of our graduate program is to help students develop an array of scholarly, personal, and professional communication skills suitable to a variety of contexts. Students are encouraged to develop expertise in professional (organizational) communication, media studies, or advanced studies with an emphasis on their own particular area of interest. With any of these three focuses, students learn to connect communication knowledge, theory, and research capacities to real-world situations. In addition, our program seeks to instill in students a passion for intellectual and theoretical discovery that transcends career objectives and course expectations. 

Learning Outcomes: Honoring Our Mission

Upon graduation, all of our students will demonstrate these competencies:

  • Broad-based and advanced knowledge and understanding of communication processes and theories related to professional (organizational) communication, media studies, and/or the student’s personal area of interest.
  • Well developed communication skills, including critical thinking and analysis, speaking, and writing, that prepare for success in the workplace or further graduate studies, including a doctoral program.
  • An awareness and motivation to use their communication knowledge and skills with sensitivity to critical issues such as ethics and inclusiveness in a diverse and technologically mediated global environment and society.
  • Proficiency in designing and conducting an original communication research study or a research-based training in their chosen area of interest.

A Personalized Program of Graduate Study

In consultation with graduate faculty, graduate students develop a personalized program of study to foster their own learning objectives and career goals. They are required to complete a set of core courses; and the organizational communication focus identifies four required electives. Thesis and non-thesis options are available.

  • Plan I is with thesis. This plan requires a minimum of 33 hours of course work, of which 12 hours are four of the core courses (does not include the capstone course) and six hours are thesis credit. 
  • Plan II is without thesis and requires a minimum of 33 hours of course work, of which 15 hours are the core courses.

With both plans, no more than six hours of graduate course work may be transferred from other universities to fulfill the degree requirements for the MA in Communication. With both plans, only three credits of COMM 9500, Independent Study, and three credits of COMM 6020, Communication Research Practicum, may be applied to the degree requirements as electives.

Coursework Requirements

Plan I (THESIS - minimum of 33 hours credit)

  • four core required courses (12 credits)
  • minimum of four graduate elective courses in Communication (12 credits)
  • one graduate level course from outside the department (3 credits)
  • six hours of thesis credit (6 credits)

Plan II (NON-THESIS - minimum of 36 hours credit)

  • five core required courses (15 credits)
  • five graduate elective courses in Communication (15 credits)
  • one graduate level course from outside the Communication department (3 credits)

Note:  Students accepted by graduate faculty for Plan I are not required to complete a comprehensive examination. Students in Plan II complete a comprehensive examination in the capstone course on three content areas chosen by the student.

Recommended Two-Year Schedule of Courses - Non-Thesis Option

Fall Spring Interim Summer Fall Spring

6040 (online)

(1) Elective Out of Department Course 6030 6050
5020 (1) Elective   (1) Elective (1) Elective (1) Elective


Admission Requirements

There are three types of admission to the MA program in Communication, as described below.  Any applicant not satisfying the requirements of any of these types of admission is reviewed by the Graduate Applications Review Committee, which is constituted of three members of the graduate faculty.

Guaranteed Admission 

This program is designed to offer outstanding University of Colorado Colorado Springs students enrolled in their final semester of undergraduate coursework guaranteed and expedited admission to the M.A. Program in Communication.  To qualify for guaranteed admission, a student must be a Communication major with a minimum GPA of 3.7 in all Communication coursework taken at UCCS.  A one-page admissions form is available from the Communication Department and a $60 non-refundable application fee is required.  The application form is also available on the UCCS Graduate School web page, under Current UCCS Undergraduate Students.

Standard Admission

This program is designed for students who are not eligible for Guaranteed admission.  To be considered for Standard Admission to the M.A. program in Communication, a student must first meet the general requirements outlined by the Graduate School at UCCS. Applications are evaluated by the Graduate Committee of the Department of Communication.  The committee bases its decisions on the following: 

  • Official transcripts from each college or university previously attended (an overall GPA of 3.0 is expected).
  • Recent GRE scores (a combined score of at least 1000 on the verbal and quantitative components is expected).
  • A statement indicating educational objectives and professional goals.
  • Four letters of recommendation from instructors or employers.
  • A sample of scholarly writing.
  • A check or money order for the $60 ($75 for international students) non-refundable application fee.

The online location to begin this process is available at the Graduate School website.

Admission of Non-Communication Majors

Admission is not limited to those with communication-related undergraduate majors. Those who have taken little or no communication or social scientific research methods coursework in their undergraduate programs will be asked, upon acceptance, to meet the following deficiency prerequisites:

First Year Courses

Students are advised not to enroll in more than nine hours of graduate level credit until all undergraduate deficiencies have been made up. Masters students have a three-year period in which to complete all degree requirements. Extension of the three-year time limit may be granted by the Graduate Director. All graduate students are advised to take both COMM 5010 - Introduction to Graduate Studies: The Communication Discipline and Theories  and COMM 5020 - Graduate Communication Research Methods , during their first year in the program. Masters students whose undergraduate degrees were not Communication should take the deficiency prerequisite–COMM 4000 - Rhetorical Dimensions in Communication –before or concomitant with COMM 5010.


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