Communication, Journalism and Media Department
Dr. Tim Thompson
The study of communication is important to virtually every profession that involves working with people – education, advertising and public relations, management and marketing, health care and social services, politics and public services, and other organizational and institutional contexts, public and private. The Master of Arts in Communication Studies (MACS) program seeks to develop a students’ specialized knowledge and skill in the following areas of emphasis: managerial and leadership communication, integrated marketing communication, intercultural and international communication, and public communication. Students also have the option of obtaining the Graduate Certificate in Conflict Management concurrently with their program of study. A Master of Communication Studies develops capabilities to initiate and advance his or her professional career in one or more of these areas, to work with and serve others in diverse communities with dignity and respect, and to understand the complexities associated with learning and communicating ethical and cultural values.
The Communication Studies program is highly flexible, allowing students to select from a broad range of courses to develop a plan of study to prepare them for careers in all aspects of communication. Students have the option of pursuing an informal concentration in the areas of Advertising and Sales, Interpersonal and Organizational Communication, Media Management and Criticism, and Political Communication and Public Advocacy.
The Journalism and Public Relations program allows students to focus on the study of news and information as it relates to both traditional and digital media platforms. The Digital Media Production concentration will prepare students to work and produce in online, mass media, information and corporate industries. The major will focus on developing multiple media literacies, analytic abilities, and narrative skilles in functional media contexts. In this program, students will develop media portfolios and capstone projects. The applied audio, video, graphical, and web skills that students learn will be informed by a foundation of writing, critical analysis, and creative development.
The Journalism and Public Relations program allows students to focus on the study of news and information as it relates to both traditional and digital media platforms. The Journalism specialization emphasizes traditional reporting and editing skills while ensuring that students are prepared to produce content for a variety of platforms. Students also have the flexibility to focus on specific areas of interest such as print, broadcast or digital publishing, and to work directly with the department’s campus media organizations and PRSSA chapter.
The Strategic Communication concentration synthesizes the professional practice of public relations with emphasis in corporate, crisis and conflict communication. It emphasizes the tactical communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their public and emphasizes the necessity of consistency and specificity in all forms of communication with internal and external stakeholders.
The Broadcast Meteorology minor provides students with a marketable applied skill set in both the broadcasting and meteorological professions. Students who complete the minor in Broadcast Meteorology will have working knowledge of technical television production skills, will develop presentation skills for a general public audience, in addition to a vocabulary and functional understanding of meteorological concepts and competencies.
The minor in Communication Studies offers students a flexible minor that will add value to any major degree. This minor will improve students’ critical thinking, speaking, writing, creativity, and leadership skills; all skills that employers seek in potential employees. Students may choose any six COMM courses totaling 18 credits.
The Digital Media Production minor will prepare students to use, analyze, and produce content for online, mass media, and organizational distribution from their primary occupational post. The minor will focus on developing multiple media literacies, analytic abilities, and narrative skills in functional media contexts. In this program, students will develop media portfolios. The applied audio, video, graphical, and web skills that students learn will compliment writing, critical analysis, and creative development.
The minor in Journalism provides students with a broad range of experiences in the basic elements of the craft. The program places students in practical work situations using campus media outlets; it provides classroom theory in reporting, presentation, graphics, editing, policy and ethics.
The interdisciplinary minor in Leadership Studies helps students develop fundamental skills,
capacities, and knowledge necessary to assume leadership positions in public, private, and
The minor in Public Relations Branding and Imaging combines effective messaging strategies with basic digital media production techniques. Students will develop marketable skill sets by producing media portfolios and projects that integrate applied print, audio, video, graphical, and web-based technologies. The purposed minor would be attractive to students in many majors, but would be especially valuable to students studying business, communication studies and related fields.