MASTER'S PROGRAM INFORMATION
The Department of Communication Studies at the University of Montana provides
students with the opportunity to select from courses at the forefront of research and
practical application in the communication discipline. The faculty consists of a diverse
group of scholars with strengths in interpersonal and organizational communication,
rhetoric, and related areas (e.g., conflict management, language, communication and
cultures, communication and emotions, worklife, communication in families and personal
relationships, communication and gender, environmental ethics, communication and
development, and issues in globalization.) Students are encouraged to learn both
quantitative and qualitative research methodologies.
The department has a solid reputation for both
research and teaching. In addition, the University is located in an attractive city with
an outstanding recreational setting.
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As faculty members in the Department of Communication
Studies, we are committed to promoting the investigation, criticism, and practical
application of human communication. We educate students to be critical observers of social
problems, to participate effectively in public life as citizens, and to become involved in
culturally diverse personal and professional relationships in their communities.
- To encourage the development of students' critical and analytic abilities about both the processes and consequences of human communication.
- To create a stimulating learning environment based on mutual respect, support, and collaborative learning.
- To establish high standards of scholarship.
- To deliver a curriculum which integrates humanistic and social scientific perspectives on human communication.
- To make students aware of diverse cultures and ways of thinking.
- To improve students' communication skills.
- To encourage and support faculty in research, creative, and service activities for the discipline, the community, and society.
What Can I Do with a Master's Degree in Communication Studies?
The Department of Communication Studies serves
students preparing for doctoral study as well as students preparing for non-academic
careers. We do not offer courses that are tailored specifically to a particular
professional setting. Rather, the content is applicable to different contexts where the
focus is on interpersonal, organizational, public and cultural communication issues.
Students are given considerable latitude in pursuing their own applications of knowledge
Graduates from our program are employed in a wide
variety of occupations. Here is how some of our recent graduates are presently engaged:
They are professors at the University of Utah, Brooklyn College, Denver University, University of Massachusetts, Western Washington University, University of Idaho, Marshall University, and University of Montana.
They are instructors at Spokane Community College, Maricopa Community
College, and Juniata College.
They include organizational consultants in
California, and Washington, a human resource officer in Minneapolis; a college registrar, a strategic planner, a Director of
Residence Life, a teacher of English as a Second Language in Saipan (South Pacific), and
an instructor in mediation for the Portland secondary schools.
They are Ph.D. or Ed.D. students at Texas A&M University, University of Texas, Arizona
State University, University of Utah, University of Massachusetts, and University of
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The Department of Communication Studies is committed
to retaining a professionally active and dedicated faculty who receive university, state,
regional, and national recognition for excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service.
Members of the department have all received advanced
degrees and are widely respected among students and faculty for their excellent teaching,
research, and service. Professors in the department are always rated in the top of all
campus professors for their teaching effectiveness. Each faculty member has a field of
expertise and a commitment to the creation and dissemination of knowledge. Several have
achieved national and international reputations and have published widely in their fields.
See more about our faculty.
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GRADUATE COURSE OFFERINGS
Courses offered at the graduate level include:
- COMM 410 – Communication in Personal Relationships – This course offers an examination of the functions, types, and
historical context of close personal relationships with an in-depth study of the role of
communication in friendships and romantic relationships.
- COMM 412 – Communication and Conflict – This course offers an examination of the nature of
interpersonal struggles across a variety of contexts, focusing on styles, tactics, power,
goals, negotiation, and conflict intervention modes such as mediation.
- COMM 420 – Advanced Organizational Communication – Focus on one of aset of specific topics, which may include communication and quality of worklife, communication and power in organizations, communication and organizational socialization,
and communication and new technologies in organizations.
- COMM 451 – Intercultural Communication – This course utilizes an experiential learning approach to examine fundamentals
of cross-cultural human relations and inter-cultural communication. The course explores
the history of the field and studies the roles played by intercultural communication in
culturally diverse populations and international negotiations.
- COMM 455 – Rhetorical Criticism and Theory – Offered intermittently. Introduction to the study of rhetorical criticism
and theory. Current theoretical and
methodological issues and approaches including traditional criticism, experiential
criticism, dramatism, narrative criticism, feminist criticism, postmodern criticism.
- COMM 460 – Communication Research Methods – This course introduces students to the reasoning
behind scientific research and the major types of research methods that are commonly used
in the field of communication. Students typically do their own research projects in groups
in order to gain practical knowledge and experience.
- COMM 461 – Research Seminar – This
course extends and applies basic research methods taught in COMM 460, providing more
intimate familiarity with research issues and strategies in topical areas.
- COMM 480 – The Rhetorical Construction of "Woman" (Sometimes taught at the 500 level) - The
first part of this course focuses on the rhetoric of the early women's rights movement.
Topics addressed include the early women's rights conventions; debates over marriage and
divorce; "social feminism" and women's sphere; and the link between gender and
race. The second part of the course focuses on contemporary issues relevant to the
rhetorical construction of gender.
- COMM 481 – The Rhetoric of U.S. Women’s Activism, 1960-Present –
Offered intermittently. Explores the rhetoric
surrounding contemporary womens social activism in the U.S. Topics include womans rights, womens
liberation, reproductive rights, and intersections.
- COMM 510 – Seminar in Personal Relationships – The focus of this seminar changes from term to term. Possible
foci include "Communication and Emotion;" "Family Communication;" and
"Communication in Close Relationships."
- COMM 511 – Survey of Interpersonal Communication – A survey of the major theories
and research in interpersonal communication, including definitions of interpersonal
communication, its place in the field of communication, and methodological issues.
Emphasis is placed on foundational readings and recent research development.
- COMM 512 – Seminar in Interpersonal Conflict – An
overview of the major theoretical, empirical, and practical issues surrounding dispute
resolution. Involves readings from a variety of fields, including interpersonal
communication, relational communication, social psychology, family studies, and law.
- COMM 514 – Alternative Dispute Resolution – A study of the varieties of dispute
resolution outside the court process. Focus on a 40 hour component of practical skills training for the mediation practitioner.
- COMM 520 – Survey of Organizational Communication – An examination of theory and research in organizational communication. The course begins with definitions of organization and communication, and then reviews
theories that provide the foundation for current organizational communication research.
Several theoretical paradigms and research traditions are highlighted in order to examine
relational and systemic consequences of communication in organizations. Practical
applications also are discussed.
- COMM 521 – Practical Issues in Organizational
Communication – This course is designed to introduce students
to the theoretical and practical issues involved in communication training and
consultation. Following an introduction and overview of several theoretical models,
students will become familiar with the "nuts and bolts" of communication
training and consultation. Carrying out a consultation will sharpen both the theoretical
and applied issues explored during the course.
- COMM 540 – Seminar in Instructional Communication – This course is
designed to introduce students to basic concepts, principles, and skills employed in
effective classroom communication and instruction. The instructional procedures are
practically oriented, stress independent study and interest, while emphasizing the role of
teacher as decision maker.
- COMM 555 – Seminar in Rhetorical Criticism and
Theory – Offered intermittently. Introduction
to contemporary issues in rhetorical criticism and theory.
Topics include classical criticism, dramatism, close textual analysis, ideographic
criticism, narrative criticism, feminist criticism, and postmodern criticism.
- COMM 561 – Qualitative Research Methods –
Emphasizes the philosophy and practice of qualitative inquiry, the development
and use of descriptive frameworks, and gathering and testing qualitative data to develop
human communication theory.
- COMM 595 – Special Topics – This course is
offered periodically and involves topics relevant to the research or methodological
interests of the faculty. The course may also be taught by faculty visiting from other
- COMM 596 – Independent Study – The faculty encourage multidisciplinary programs, but students
without a strong communication background normally are required to take extra course work
(or do other preparatory work) in the Department. A course in elementary statistics also
is required and is a prerequisite for one of our methodology courses. This requirement can
be satisfied by prior course work and in most cases it is to the student's advantage to
complete the requirement as part of her or his undergraduate studies.
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APPLICATION POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
The Department of Communication Studies limits the size of the graduate program, so admissions depend on a student's rank relative to other applicants. In addition, the department's minimum requirements are a grade point average of 3.2 or better in undergraduate course work (assuming a 4.0 point scale), a combined score of 1000 on the verbal and quantitative portions of the GRE, and a minimum score of 3.5 on the analytical writing section of the GRE. Up to a point, lower GRE scores may be offset by a higher grade point average and vice versa. Other mitigating factors may be taken into account in individual cases. We do look carefully at all credentials.
To apply to the graduate program, please complete the online application at: http://ordway.umt.edu/AA/grad/index.cfm/name/applyadmission.
The following additional application materials should be sent directly to the Department of Communication Studies in one packet:
- Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.
- Three (3) letters of recommendation that attest to your academic abilities and past performance. Have the authors of your letters seal the envelope and sign across the seal.
- A one-page statement outlining the reasons for seeking a master's degree in communication studies.
- A writing sample: Any academic essay or report that you are especially proud of.
After you have gathered these items, place them in a single envelope and mail them to:
Steve Yoshimura, Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Communication Studies
University of Montana
Missoula, MT 59812
Applicants for Fall Semester are encouraged to submit their materials by February 1. Although applications received after this date will be considered, teaching assistantships (see below) are typically awarded to those applicants who submit materials by February 1. Applicants for Spring Semester should submit their materials by November 1.
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GRADUATE TEACHING OPPORTUNITIES
On the application form you are asked to indicate whether you wish to be considered as a graduate teaching assistant. TAs assist in teaching one of our two introductory undergraduate courses and receive a tuition waiver, a waiver of most fees, and an additional stipend.
TA's are perceived as "teachers in training" and hold a unique place in the Communication Studies Department. The department needs TAs in order to provide the multi-section, introductory courses that meet general education requirements for hundreds of students on campus. The contact of TAs with freshmen and sophomores is important because it often leads to recruiting new majors and because TAs act as departmental representatives to students in other majors.
Occasionally, alternative or supplemental teaching opportunities are available.
TA's unique place in the department extends to graduate students, too. In many ways you may act as a representative for graduate concerns because you have close working relationships with several faculty. You also have to balance the demands of being a student and being a teacher.
Graduate Teaching Assistantships are highly competitive. To be considered for a TA, you should submit your application by February 1. The department will notify you by late March or early April about admissions and TA positions for the following fall. You may apply at other times during the year, but we cannot guarantee that you will be considered as a teaching assistant.
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The Communication Studies Department is a regional program identified by the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education. As a result, students from Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming can enroll for in-state tuition.
For information about Graduate School policies and procedures, please see the University of Montana Graduate School's website at http://www.umt.edu/grad.
For answers to more specific questions about the program please e-mail Steve Yoshimura, Director of Graduate Studies at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (406) 243-4951.
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