A Comprehensive Graduate Program
We offer both Master’s and Doctoral degrees in a format that encourages students to pursue a rich mix of disciplinary breadth and depth. Students in either degree program may enroll in any graduate-level COMM course, though each degree has distinct coursework requirements. Both masters and doctoral students select, during the first semester in residence, a graduate faculty member as primary advisor. In consultation with the advisor, the student clarifies his or her academic goals and develops an individual Plan of Study specifying coursework and other experiences the student intends to complete. Additional faculty are selected to form a committee to approve the Plan of Study. Further details are provided in the Department’s Policies and Procedures for Graduate Study, available upon request.
Communication Master’s Degree (M.A.) (more info)
The Master’s program serves individuals for whom this will be a terminal degree, as well as those seeking ultimately to complete the Ph.D. (either at CU, or at another institution). Students wishing to continue in the Department’s Ph.D. program following completion of the Master’s must reapply at that time.
In consultation with their advisor, students in the M.A. program may select one of two options for the completion of requirements: Thesis, or Coursework with Examination. For the thesis option, the student works with the advisor to develop a thesis proposal, which is approved by a faculty committee during the second year. The thesis is defended in an oral examination. The Examination option requires students to complete, in the Spring semester of their second year, approximately 6 hours of written examination, followed by a 1 hour oral defense. With normal progress (full-time), the master’s program can be completed in two years.
Administration of the M.A. program conforms to all Graduate School rules regarding, e.g., residency requirements, time for completion of degree, maximum of transfer credits, etc.
Communication Doctoral Degree (Ph.D.) (more info)
Our doctoral program provides graduate students with a solid core of advanced work in the communication discipline. Graduates earn academic positions at all levels of higher education, including research universities, liberal arts colleges, and teaching-centered universities. The degree is also appropriate for certain non-academic careers, such as consulting.
Doctoral students are required to complete coursework requirements, pass a comprehensive examination, be admitted to candidacy, and successfully defend a dissertation based upon original research. During the first semester in residence the student selects a graduate faculty member as primary advisor. In consultation with the advisor, the student clarifies his or her academic goals and develops an individual Plan of Study specifying coursework and other experiences the student intends to complete. Additional faculty are selected to form a committee to approve the Plan of Study. Upon the completion of coursework, the committee conducts a comprehensive examination and recommends the student’s admission to doctoral candidacy. The student then works with the advisor to develop a dissertation proposal. A dissertation committee is formed to approve the proposal and conduct the student’s oral defense of the completed dissertation. With normal progress (full-time), the degree can be earned in four years.
The doctoral program conforms to all Graduate School rules regarding, e.g., residency, time for completion of degree, appointment of examination and dissertation committees, etc.
For additional information on the Graduate Program:
Associate Chair of Graduate Studies
For additional information about application forms or status of an application:
Graduate Program Assistant
Links for application instructions: