Options for M.A. Program Completion
The Master of Arts program has three different routes to completion to meet individual students’ goals and plans.
In this option, students complete at least four hours of credit coursework in completing an original piece of academic research in mass communication. Students normally conduct and write a thesis during the last two semesters of coursework, culminating in a thesis defense before a three-member faculty committee.
This option is highly recommended for students who wish to go forward into a doctoral program, but is also beneficial for any student wishing to improve in research methodologies.
Students pursuing the professional project route also conduct research into specific mass communication theories, but the expectation is the final product will include some sort of project or plan that can be used by professional mass communications organizations and companies. In the past, students have completed television pilots, completed analysis and recommendations for a growing regional festival and rebuilt non-profit organization websites, among many others.
Professional projects are usually conducted during the last two semesters of study and are defended before a three-member faculty committee. This option is highly recommended for students wishing to advance in career paths, but is also beneficial for any student wishing to improve in research methodologies and professional skills.
In this option, students complete an extensive examination process that tests knowledge of mass communication theories, especially those within the particular student’s interest area. In the comprehensive exam route, students for a committee of faculty members, who prepare a list of readings for the student to complete before testing.
Comprehensive exams are usually taken during the last semester of coursework.