2022-23 Academic Catalog

Communication

Department Head: Dr. Terry Likes
Graduate Coordinator: Dr. Melody Fisher
130 McComas Hall
Box PF
Mississippi State, MS  39762
Telephone: 662-325-3320
Website: https://www.comm.msstate.edu
E-mail:  tlikes@comm.msstate.edu

The Master of Arts degree in Communication is a 33 credit hour program designed to meet the educational and preparatory needs for communication professionals looking to advance their careers, individuals preparing to become professional educators of speech, media and communication, and individuals planning to pursue a Ph.D. in Communication or related field of study. The program will provide students with a strong theoretical foundation in classic and contemporary communication theories; training in contemporary communication methods and their applications across contexts; allow students to explore and teach media history and best practices within and with contemporary media, mass media, social media, and digital media in different communication contexts and; equip students grounded examples, applied experiences, and research opportunities and insights to make them ready contributors to their organizations and communities. 

Admission Criteria

To be considered for regular admission to the Master of Arts degree program in Communication, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Statement of Purpose that demonstrates how the program will assist applicants with career goals
  • 3 letters of recommendation--at least one academic reference preferred
  • 79 TOEFL or 6.5 IELTS minimum score for international applicants
  • 3.00 overall undergraduate GPA
  • Resumes are preferred, but optional

Provisional Admission

The provisionally-admitted student is eligible for a change to regular status after receiving a 3.00 or higher GPA on the first 9 hours of graduate courses at Mississippi State University (with no grade lower than a C unless one course retake is approved per the Graduate Course Retake Policy). The first 9 hours of graduate courses must be within the student's Program of Study. Courses with an S grade or transfer credits cannot be used to satisfy this requirement. If a 3.00 is not attained, the provisional student shall be dismissed from the graduate program. Academic departments may set higher standards for students to fulfill provisional requirements; a student admitted with provisional status should contact the Graduate Coordinator for the program’s specific requirements. While in provisional status, a student may be limited in the type of funding that can be used for a graduate assistantship (eg, positions that are state funded). Colleges and/or departments make these funding decisions following the rules of the Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL).

Academic Performance

A graduate student should be placed on probation by the department when academic deficiencies occur but the student can potentially meet all degree requirements successfully. Examples of these situations include but are not limited to the following:

  • GPA falls below 3.00 required by the University;
  • Receives a third course grade lower than a B (one of these courses must be retaken and the student must earn a grade of B or higher); or
  • Fails to meet a departmental requirement.

A student may also be placed on academic probation if he or she falls short of any other standards for satisfactory academic performance established by their academic unit. Specific information relative to retaking of courses or completing remedial work will be established by the appropriate academic advisor, graduate committee, and Graduate Coordinator and shall be documented in written form. This remediation plan must specify a required date of completion. If the student intends to pursue the academic appeal process relating to the reason for being placed on probation, he or she must do so during the first probationary semester. If, at the end of the probationary period, the student has not met the requirements outlined in the remediation plan, she or he shall be dismissed. A student cannot take a comprehensive examination or defend/submit a thesis or dissertation during the probationary period without prior approval from the Academic Dean.

A graduate student shall be dismissed from the University if one or more of the following conditions occur:

  • He or she receives a second course grade of D or lower;
  • He or she receives a fourth course grade of C or lower;
  • He or she is found to be responsible for violating the Student Honor Code for a second time;
  • He or she was placed on academic probation and failed to meet the requirements for release from probationary status;
  • He or she failed a comprehensive examination or final thesis/dissertation defense two times in pursuit of an academic degree, unless the academic program has a different requirement; or
  • He or she falls short of any standards established by his or her academic unit, and the department recommends dismissal with approval of the Department Head (if applicable) and the Academic Dean.

A student shall be dismissed by the Graduate School for failure to meet University requirements as stated above after the academic unit confirms that there are no extenuating circumstances. A student can also be dismissed if the student's academic department recommends dismissal by submitting a Recommendation for Academic Dismissal form (a letter may be attached) from the Graduate Coordinator, approved by the Department Head (if applicable) and the Academic Dean, clearly stating the departmental requirements the student failed to meet. 

Program of Study

Major Required Coursework
CO 8203Communication Theory3
CO 8223Seminar in Communication Research3
CO 8333Seminar in Media3
CO 8243Communication Pedagogy3
CO 8753Special Project in Communication3
Additional Electives as Approved by Graduate Coordinator18
Total Hours33

CO 6043 Communication and Leadership: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. A study of communication as related to the functions and styles of leadership

CO 6053 Internship in Communication: 3 hours.

(Prerequisites: Communication majors only, junior or senior standing, consent of instructor). Practical field experience in student’s concentration area. For approval, the internship must be under the supervision of a skilled practitioner, appropriate to the major and meet departmental requirements

CO 6124 Topics in Film: 4 hours.

Three hours lecture. Two hours lab. Repeatable under different subtitles with advisor approval. An advanced investigation of specific topics in Film, Film History, Directors, Genre, and/or approaches to its production. Readings and discussions, supplemented by lectures/labs and film screenings. (Same as ART 4124/6124, EN 4124/6124)

CO 6203 Nonverbal Communication: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: CO 1223). Three hours lecture. Study of nonverbal cues as they affect the communication interface in numerous contexts including social events, political campaigns, and dramatic productions

CO 6213 Political Communication: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: CO 1223 and CO 1403). Three hours lecture. Analysis and evaluation of the verbal and nonverbal dimensions of the creation dissemination, and reception of political communication in the United States

CO 6223 Advanced Communication Theory: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: CO 1223). Three hours lecture. Analysis of twentieth century communication theories. A study of mass, interpersonal, and intrapersonal communication processes and effects

CO 6233 Gender and Media: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: CO 1403 or GS 1173). Three hours lecture. A critical exploration of discourses of gender and its intersections with sexuality, race, and class as represented in popular forms of media. (Same as GS 4233/6233)

CO 6243 Rhetorical Theory: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: CO 1223 and CO 1403). Three hours lecture. Survey and criticism of the major theories of rhetoric from antiquity and their application to contemporary contexts and scholarship

CO 6253 Elements of Persuasion: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: CO 1223). Three hours lecture. A study of the motivation of audiences and techniques of persuasive campaigns and communications

CO 6263 Gender Communication: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: CO 1223 or GS 1173). Three hours lecture. An investigation of the ways in which communication impacts the construction, performance, evaluation, and negotiation of gender. (Same as GS 4263/6263)

CO 6273 Intercultural Communication: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: CO 1223 and Senior standing). Three hours lecture. A study of how communication behaviors differ between cultures. Frameworks for studying intercultural communication will be provided by studying one specific culture

CO 6283 Health Communication: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: Junior standing or consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. A study of health communication, the contexts in which it occurs, and techniques used to create health messages

CO 6313 Mass Media Law: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: Junior standing). Three hours lecture. Study and analysis of laws and regulations significantly affecting newspapers, magazines, motion pictures, broadcasting and digital media in America

CO 6323 Mass Media and Society: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: Junior standing). Three hours lecture. The effects of mass communication on social and cultural institutions

CO 6373 Practicum in Television News: 3 hours.

(Prerequisites: CO 3333 with a C or better AND CO 3313 OR CO 3343 with a C or better). Two hours lecture, two hours laboratory. Theory and practice of producing a television news program

CO 6403 Journalism Ethics: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: Junior standing). Three hours lecture. Examination of ethical problems in contemporary journalism

CO 6433 Television Criticism: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: Junior standing or higher). Three hour lecture. Methods of television criticism

CO 6504 History of the Theater: 4 hours.

(Prerequisite: Junior standing). Four hours lecture. A survey of the theatre with emphasis on the physical structure, production problems and theatrical personalities

CO 6524 Directing: 4 hours.

(Prerequisite: CO 2524 and junior or senior standing). Three hours lecture. Two hours laboratory. Evaluation of dramatic styles and analysis of stage composition. Supervised hours in actual directing experience

CO 6533 Advanced Acting: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: CO 2503). Three hours lecture. Intensive study of the theories and techniques of acting in the various dramatic styles

CO 6573 Theatre Management: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: Junior standing). Three hours lecture. Business organization and management for the educational (secondary and university), community, and professional theatre, including budgeting, publicity, public relations, and box office principles

CO 6583 Playwriting: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: Completion of freshman composition and CO 1503). Three hours lecture. Practice in the fundamentals of dramatic composition. Reading, discussion, and analysis of written work

CO 6803 Research in Public Relations and Advertising: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in CO 3853, or Grade of C or better in MKT 4413, or consent of the instructor, or graduate standing). Three hours lecture. Theory and practice of research methods in public relations

CO 6813 Public Relations in Organizations: 3 hours.

(Prerequisites: Grade of C or better in CO 3813, CO 3853, CO 3863, and CO 4803). Three hours lecture. Studies in using various communication techniques for image building and campaign development for profit and non-profit organizations

CO 6924 Film Theory: 4 hours.

Three hours lecture. Two hours lab. This course will introduce students to major theoretical positions and modes of analysis used to understand the various frameworks in which to view, criticize, analyze, and (re)contextualize film. (Same as ART 4924 and EN 4924/6924)

CO 6990 Special Topics in Communication: 1-9 hours.

Credit and title to be arranged. This course is to be used on a limited basis to offer developing subject matter areas not covered in existing courses. (Courses limited to two offerings under one title within two academic years)

CO 7000 Directed Individual Study in Communication: 1-6 hours.

ours and credits to be arranged

CO 8000 Thesis Research/ Thesis in Communication: 1-13 hours.

Hours and credits to be arranged

CO 8013 Seminar in Communication and Leadership: 3 hours.

Three hours seminar. This graduate-level seminar focuses on the intersections of communication and leadership, teaching students how to communicate effectively with different audiences and how to use logical, persuasive techniques in writing and presenting

CO 8023 Health Communication and Campaigns: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. A study of how media and communication campaigns influence health

CO 8063 International Communication: 3 hours.

Three hours seminar. This graduate seminar examines the history of the field of international communication along with current theories of and research on international communication processes and effect and directions for future research

CO 8203 Communication Theory: 3 hours.

Three hours seminar. An exploration of major theoretical and research traditions in the field and study of communication

CO 8223 Seminar in Communication Research: 3 hours.

Three hours seminar. An exploration of the foundations and current practice in communication research, including quantitative, qualitative and rhetorical methods

CO 8233 Seminar in Rhetoric: 3 hours.

Three hours seminar. The study of classic and contemporary rhetorical theories, with a focus upon application, ethics and efficacy using varied media and social media platforms and with disparate audiences

CO 8243 Communication Pedagogy: 3 hours.

Three hours seminar. This graduate seminar introduces students to the theory and practice of engaged pedagogy in communication

CO 8283 Seminar in Relational Communication: 3 hours.

Three hours seminar. An exploration of the theories and skills of relationship development, maintenance, and repair; as well as the study of relationships and the critical role they play in shaping our lives, and the critical role that communication plays in shaping relationships and relational outcomes

CO 8333 Seminar in Media: 3 hours.

Three hours seminar. This graduate-level seminar focuses on the intersections of media, culture and society

CO 8353 Seminar in Digital Media: 3 hours.

Three hours seminar. The seminar will study the vast body of empirical research about both digital media content and media technology. The focus of the course will be on social and/or behavioral approaches of studying digital media

CO 8393 Media Law for Leaders and Organizations: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Study and analysis of laws and regulations significantly affecting media leadership and organizations, including newspapers, magazines, motion pictures, broadcasting, cablecasting, streaming and social media in America

CO 8743 Political Communication: 3 hours.

Three hours seminar. An exploration of the communication processes that shape and influence political messages and media coverage of politics and political campaigns. Theoretical and practical concerns of polling, political messages and messaging are included

CO 8753 Special Project in Communication: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. The culmination of the M.A. in Communication Program. It offers students the opportunity to build upon and further develop the research, writing, and analytical thinking skills they acquired over the course of the program

CO 8823 Seminar in Crisis Communication: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. The culmination of the M.A. in Communication Program. It offers students the opportunity to build upon and further develop the research, writing, and analytical thinking skills they acquired over the course of the program

CO 8873 Managing Messages and Media Relations: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Focus on the analysis, development, and implementation of messages with a focus on media

CO 8990 Special Topics in Communication: 1-9 hours.

Credit and title to be arranged. This course is to be used on a limited basis to offer developing subject matter areas not covered in existing courses. (Courses limited to two offerings under one title within two academic years)