Communication (MA)

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Master of Arts in Communication

The Department of Communication offers a Master of Arts (MA) in Communication designed for those who are interested in pursuing advanced studies in Communication as a means of enhancing their professional and academic careers. The degree in communication is a broad- based and individualized degree program that addresses all of the essential dimensions of communication including organizations, interpersonal, intercultural, public relations, mass media, and communication theory.

  • Why UTRGV?

    • Ranked #79 among 300+ national universities by Washington Monthly in 2018
    • Accredited, cutting edge degree program
    • Experienced, dedicated faculty
    • Affordable tuition (ranked #1 in net price among national universities by Washington Monthly in 2018 and #3 most affordable university in America 2018 by BestValueSchools.com)
    • Demonstrated student success in research, professional certification and career advancement
  • Admission Requirements

    Step #1: Submit a UTRGV Graduate Application at www.utrgv.edu/gradapply. The university application fee of $50 ($100 for International Applicants) can be paid online by credit card or electronic check (in the online application). All application fees are nonrefundable.

    Step #2: Request your official transcripts to be sent electronically to gradapps@utrgv.edu or mailed to:

    The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
    The Graduate College
    Marialice Shary Shivers Bldg. 1.158
    1201 W. University Drive
    Edinburg, TX 78539-2999

     
    *Please Note: If you are a graduate of UTPA, UTB/TSC, or UTRGV you do not need to request an official transcript to be sent to the Graduate College.

    Review and submit all Program Requirements:

    • Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or a recognized international equivalent in Communication, Business, Social Science, or related field.
    • Undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0.
    • Official transcripts from each institution attended (must be submitted directly to UTRGV).
    • Personal  statement  (500  words)  detailing  professional  goals  and reasons for pursuing the graduate degree.
    • Three  letters  of  recommendation  from  professional  or  academic sources.
    • GRE General Test. GRE test scores are valid for 5 years. A waiver of the GRE requirement will be granted to applicants who show proof of completing a graduate degree (master’s or doctoral).

    Additional requirements for domestic applicants who attended foreign universities:

    • TOEFL or IELTS Language Proficiency Test with minimum scores: 550 on paper-based, 213 on computer based, or 79 on Internet-based for the TOEFL; 6.5 for the IELTS. TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for 2 years. For additional information, visit the Additional Documents for Domestic Applicants who Attend Foreign Universities section of our website.
    • Certified English translation of educational records.

    Additional requirements for international applicants:

    • TOEFL or IELTS Language Proficiency Test with minimum scores: 550 on paper-based, 213 on computer based, or 79 on Internet-based for the TOEFL; 6.5 for the IELTS. For additional information, visit the English Proficiency Exam section of our website.
    • Certified English translation of educational records.
    • Financial   Documentation  showing sufficient funds to cover all expenses (living and academic) for the first year of study. For additional information, visit the Financial Documentation section of our website.
    • Immigration  documents, including a current copy of your valid passport. For additional information, visit the Immigration Documents section of our website.

    UPDATE ON INTERNATIONAL ADMISSIONS FROM U.S. IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT:

    • SEVP regulations prohibit the issuance of a Form I-20 based on conditional admission, effective July 13, 2016. University officials can only issue a Form I-20 when students have met all standards for admission for the program of study listed on the Form I-20. These standards for admission include any English proficiency requirements.

  • Program Contact

    Program Coordinator: Dr. Aje-Ori Agbese

    Phone: (956) 665-3483

    Office: Edinburg Campus, LABS 147

    E-Mail: ajeori.agbese@utrgv.edu

  • Deadlines

    Deadlines:

    Applications will be accepted year round and prospective students are encouraged to apply at least 2 months before classes start to ensure a timely application review.  Applying early will also give prospective students the best opportunity to be considered for scholarships and other possible funding opportunities.

    *Note: This program only admits applicants during Fall, Spring, Summer I and Summer II semesters.

  • Course Requirements

    Required Courses 12
    COMM 6300: Communication Research 3
    COMM 6320: Seminar in Communication Theory 3
    COMM 6322: Culture and Communication 3
    COMM 6328: Applied Communication Research 3
     
    Choose one of the following options:
     
    Thesis Option
    Required Courses 12
    Chosen from the following:
     
    COMM 6319: Seminar in Communication Education 3
    COMM 6321: Seminar in Instructional Communication 3
    COMM 6323: Seminar in Interpersonal Communication 3
    COMM 6324: Seminar in Organizational Communication 3
    COMM 6326: Seminar in Nonverbal Communication 3
    COMM 6327: Seminar in Health Communication 3
    COMM 6329: Special Topics in Communication 3
    COMM 6330: Seminar in Consulting and Training 3
    COMM 6332: Mass Media Campaigns 3
    COMM 6333: Seminar in Media Psychology 3
    COMM 6334: Seminar in Conflict Management 3
    COMM 6339: Independent Research 3
    COMM 6351: Communication Technology 3
    COMM 6352: Media, Race, and Ethnicity 3
    COMM 6355: Professional Speaking 3
    COMM 6356: Seminar in Persuasion 3
    COMM 6360: Historical Studies in Mass Media 3
     
    Free Electives 6
    Any two graduate level courses (from any department)
     
    Capstone Requirement 6
    Thesis
    COMM 7300: Thesis I 3
    COMM 7301: Thesis II 3
    Oral Comprehensive Exam
     
    Total graduate hours for degree: 36
     
    Non‐Thesis Option
    Communication Designated Electives 18
    Chosen from the following:
     
    COMM 6319: Seminar in Communication Education 3
    COMM 6321: Seminar in Instructional Communication 3
    COMM 6323: Seminar in Interpersonal Communication 3
    COMM 6324: Seminar in Organizational Communication 3
    COMM 6326: Seminar in Nonverbal Communication 3
    COMM 6327: Seminar in Health Communication 3
    COMM 6329: Special Topics in Communication 3
    COMM 6330: Seminar in Consulting and Training 3
    COMM 6332: Mass Media Campaigns 3
    COMM 6333: Seminar in Media Psychology 3
    COMM 6334: Seminar in Conflict Management 3
    COMM 6339: Independent Research 3
    COMM 6351: Communication Technology 3
    COMM 6352: Media, Race, and Ethnicity 3
    COMM 6355: Professional Speaking 3
    COMM 6356: Seminar in Persuasion 3
    COMM 6360: Historical Studies in Mass Media 3
     
    Free Electives 6
    Any two graduate level courses (from any department)
     
    Capstone Requirement
    Oral Comprehensive Exam
    Written Comprehensive Exam
     
    Total graduate hours for degree: 36
     
    Course Descriptions
     

    COMM 6300: Communication Research               [3‐0]

    Major methods of research used in the various fields of communication. Each student is responsible for the successful completion of a research project.

    COMM 6319: Seminar in Communication Education              [3‐0]

    This course provides graduate students with helpful teaching tools and tips that can be applied in all areas of instruction. Students will learn how to develop and evaluate syllabi, assessments, assignments, teaching plans, and lectures.

    COMM 6320: Seminar in Communication Theory              [3‐0]

    Study of the major developments in communication theory. Emphasis is on the effects of human interaction and of the media on individuals and society.

    COMM 6321: Seminar in Instructional Communication              [3‐0]

    This course will examine interactions in educational contexts such as student/teacher interactions, student/student interactions and teacher/teacher interactions using instructional communication models and communication theories.

    COMM 6322: Culture and Communication              [3‐0]

    Study of the relationship between culture and communication with emphasis given to social, psychological, linguistic and nonverbal problems in and the development of strategies for the practice of intercultural and international communication.

    COMM 6323: Seminar in Interpersonal Communication              [3‐0]

    Current theories and research in interpersonal communication. Emphasis on symbolic interaction approaches to interpersonal communication and performance‐centered theories of interpersonal communication.

    COMM 6324: Seminar in Organizational Communication              [3‐0]

    Theories and models of communication in organizations, design and management of organizational communication systems.

    COMM 6326: Seminar in Nonverbal Communication              [3‐0]

    Review and analysis of theory and research in nonverbal communication, including relationship of nonverbal communication to oral communication. Emphasis on intercultural and international nonverbal communication.

    COMM 6327: Seminar in Health Communication              [3‐0]

    Provides an overview of theoretical and applied approaches to health communication. Students will be exposed to topics including delivery systems of formal care, health information sources, mediators and moderators of care and understanding, communication outcomes, research methods, and overarching issues in health communication.

    COMM 6328: Applied Communication Research              [3‐0]

    This course provides students with an understanding of the logic underlying empirical inquiry. Specifically, this course prepares students to effectively consume published

    research reports, competently design and justify a personal research project, and encourages students to develop and demonstrate an understanding of the specific requirements associated with quantitative or qualitative analysis.

    Prerequisite: COMM 6300 or permission of instructor.

    COMM 6329: Special Topics in Communication              [3‐0]

    Course will focus on current communication theory and research in specialized areas of the discipline. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies.

    COMM 6330: Seminar in Consulting and Training              [3‐0]

    This course explores communication training and development as a research and teaching focus for students interested in applied communication. Specifically, the course provides students with opportunities to identify and assess communication competence, to acquire the skills needed for developing training programs, and to gain an understanding of the theoretical and applied elements of adult education.

    COMM 6332: Mass Media Campaigns              [3‐0]

    This course will examine the elements of effective campaigns and will analyze the role of the mass media in a variety of social, health and political settings.

    COMM: 6333: Seminar in Media Psychology              [3‐0]

    This course examines the relationship between media and human thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Emphasis on ways that media has an influence on audiences, how audiences influence media content, how various groups are portrayed, and the impacts of these portrayals on audiences.

    COMM 6334: Seminar in Conflict Management              [3‐0]

    The objectives of this course are to provide the student with a theoretical understanding of the communication processes involved in conflict management, to enhance students’ critical analysis of a variety of conflict situations, and to develop techniques and strategies for managing those conflicts more appropriately and effectively.

    COMM 6339: Independent Research              [3‐0]

    This course provides the student with the opportunity for individual investigation of an advanced problem In Communication under the direction and supervision of a graduate faculty member. This course does not fulfill the requirements for any of the courses (COMM 7300, COMM 7301 or COMM 7101) for the thesis option.

    Prerequisite: With permission of instructor only.

    COMM 6351: Communication Technology              [3‐0]

    This course surveys emerging communication technologies and examines their social and behavioral impact on human interaction.

    COMM 6352: Media, Race, and Ethnicity              [3‐0]

    This course examines the historical and philosophical roots of the concepts of race and ethnicity, and their relation both to migration/immigration and personal/collective identity construction. It also examines the impact of mass media on racial and ethnic identity, using mass communication theory to understand the political and social dimensions of the concepts in question. Particular attention is given to racial and ethnic identity in the U.S.‐ Mexican border, and the media’s influence on conceptions and perceptions.

    COMM 6355: Professional Speaking              [3‐0]

    This course provides students with an understanding of the knowledge and skills used in business and professional situations. The emphasis is on the professionals’ use of oral communication as a tool to identify issues, solve problems and communicate policy.

    COMM 6356: Seminar in Persuasion              [3‐0]

    This course examines the theories, principles, models and research related to attitude change and social influence. The course takes a contemporary, interdisciplinary approach to persuasion.

    COMM 6360: Historical Studies in Mass Media              [3‐0]

    Historical study of cultural, legal and technical movements in print, broadcasting and recorded mass media. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

    COMM 7101: Thesis Research              [1‐0]

    Continuing preparation of thesis in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the master’s degree.

    COMM 7300: Thesis I              [3‐0]

    Preparation, completion and submission of an acceptable thesis in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the master’s degree.

    COMM 7301: Thesis II              [3‐0]

    Preparation, completion and submission of an acceptable thesis in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the master’s degree.