The University of Texas at Arlington: Graduate Catalog 2007-2008 Graduate Catalog 2007-2008
Note: This Catalog was published in July 2007 and supersedes the 2006-2007 Catalog.

Department of Communication

department web page:
department contact:
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graduate contact:


Charla Markham-Shaw
118 Fine Arts

Courses: COMM

Areas of Study and Degrees


Master's Degree Plans

Non-Thesis and Thesis

Graduate Advisor

Tom Christie
270 Fine Arts Building, 817.272.5599

Graduate Faculty


Andresen, McCallum

Associate Professors

Christie, Ingram, Markham Shaw

Assistant Professors

Broadway, Cereijo, Clark, Grant, Jang, Segvic, Zwarun


The Master of Arts in Communication is designed to provide a means of career enhancement for Speech Communication, media and organizational professionals. The program includes the areas of Communication Studies, Mass Communication and Communication Technology and is designed to meet the educational needs of recent undergraduates, media professionals and organizational professionals who need to extend their knowledge of communication processes at the interpersonal, organizational, and mass media levels. The program is designed to be flexible so that specific needs and goals of students may be supported. All students complete foundation courses in communication theory and research methods during their first semester and work with the Graduate Advisor to select courses in communication, marketing, political science and other approved disciplines that support their goals. Specifically, the program's curriculum incorporates communication principles with the technology required in business and industry today and emphasizes the integrated nature of the communication discipline.

The program offers specialized education in the management of media resources, the changing role of the media in an information society, and a theoretical and ethical framework for considering the impact of the media upon society.

Organizational professionals can focus on working with both external and internal constituencies and communication processes of management, training and development, and human resources.

Admission Standards

Prospective students must apply for admission through, and supply all information required by the Graduate School. In addition, the following information will be considered in determining admission status into the program: undergraduate GPA, GRE scores, letters of recommendation and an essay. All criteria are considered together; no single factor will eliminate a prospective student from consideration.

The following table outlines specific requirements for unconditional and probationary admission.

Graduate Admission Standards

Admission Criteria
GPA on last 60 hours of Undergraduate Program
(as calculated by Graduate School of UTA)
3.0 [1]
3 letters of recommendation



[1] Minimum undergraduate GPA requirement for unconditional admission is a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Students not meeting unconditional criteria will be reviewed by a committee of Chair of the Department of Communication, Graduate Advisor, and Graduate Program Committee. The committee will review the following: a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.8 (in last 60 hours of undergraduate work); GRE scores (verbal, analytical and quantitative); letters of recommendation; and essay. An applicant who performs successfully on a majority of these criteria may be admitted on probation. The committee will make a final admission decision and document that decision for the student record.

Unconditional Admission

Criteria for unconditional admission status are designated in the previous table. Decisions on unconditional admission are made after considering the minimum GPA noted in the graduate admission standards and all other criteria noted in the preceding paragraph.

Probationary Admission

Criteria for probationary admission status are designated in the previous table. When on probation, students can make no grade lower than a 3.0 in their first 12 semester hours of graduate coursework.

Provisional Admission

An applicant unable to supply all required documentation prior to the admission deadline but who otherwise appears to meet admission requirements.

Deferred Status

Deferred decision is granted when a file is incomplete or when a denied decision is not appropriate.

Denial of Admission

An applicant will be denied admission if he or she has less than satisfactory performance on a majority of admission criteria listed in the previous table.

Fellowship Criteria

Fellowship selection will be based on the highest GPA in the last 60 hours of the bachelor's degree program. Candidates for fellowships must meet the following criteria:

  1. New students coming to U.T. Arlington in the fall of each semester.
  2. Have a GPA of at least 3.0 in their last 60 hours of their bachelor's degree program.
  3. Minimum 3.0 GPA in graduate credit hours.
  4. Enrolled in a minimum of 6 semester hours in the long semesters.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Arts in Communication degree offers non-thesis/coursework and thesis options. The non-thesis/coursework option will require 36 hours of coursework. The thesis option will require 30 hours that will include 24 credit hours of coursework and a 6-credit-hour thesis. A final comprehensive examination will be required of students in all options.

Courses required of all students in the proposed program in the first semester:

COMM 5300 Advanced Theories in Communication 3
COMM 5305 Communication Research Methods 3
Total 6

Courses students may elect to take:

Thesis Option: Select at least 9 hours from the following communication electives.

Non-Thesis/coursework Option: Select at least 21 hours from the following communication electives.

COMM 5310 Theories in Persuasion
COMM 5316 Corporate Communication Strategies
COMM 5320 Advanced Visual Communication
COMM 5321 Advanced Internet Marketing Communication
COMM 5323 Advanced Web Site Communication
COMM 5332 Advanced Professional Communication
COMM 5335 Global Communication
COMM 5341 Media Management
COMM 5345 Communication Campaigns
COMM 5392 Seminar

Graduate courses outside the department may be taken with the approval of the Graduate Studies Committee. Students should submit a letter to the graduate advisor including course title, course description, and statement of value to the program of study.

Non-Thesis Option. (36 semester hours total) 36 semester credit hours of coursework are given. The final comprehensive examination will consist of an oral exam covering the coursework. Additional remedial work may be required if deemed necessary by the student’s committee. Students failing the examination will not be allowed to test again.

Thesis Option. (30 semester hours total) 24 semester credit hours of coursework and a thesis, for which 6 semester hours are given. The final comprehensive examination will consist of an oral defense of the thesis prospectus and an oral defense of the thesis. Additional remedial work may be required if deemed necessary by the studentís committee.

The grade of R (research in progress) is a permanent grade; completing course requirements in a later semester cannot change it. To receive credit for an R-graded course, the student must continue to enroll in the course until a passing grade is received.

An incomplete grade (the grade of I) cannot be given in a course that is graded R, nor can the grade of R be given in a course that is graded I. To receive credit for a course in which the student earned an I, the student must complete the course requirements. Enrolling again in the course in which an I was earned cannot change a grade of I. At the discretion of the instructor, a final grade can be assigned through a change of grade form.

Three-hour thesis courses and three- and six-hour dissertation courses are graded R/F/W only (except social work thesis courses). The grade of P (required for degree completion for students enrolled in thesis or dissertation programs) can be earned only in six- or nine-hour dissertation courses and nine-hour thesis courses. In the course listings below, R-graded courses are designated either "Graded P/F/R" or "Graded R." Occasionally, the valid grades for a course change. Students should consult the appropriate Graduate Advisor or instructor for valid grade information for particular courses. (See also the sections titled "R" Grade, Credit for Research, Internship, Thesis or Dissertation Courses and Incomplete Grade in this catalog.)

Courses in Communication (COMM)

Topic assigned on an individual basis, covering individual research or study in the designated areas. Can be taken more than once. Prerequisite: permission of the department.

Advanced study of communication theories: interpersonal, organizational, mass media and intercultural.

Application of theory to the practices of teaching college courses in communication. Students will handle all aspects of the classroom including lecturing, conducting class discussions, issuing assignments, grading and assigning grades under the supervision of the course director. No unit credit will be allowed toward advanced degree.

Study and application of communication research, design and methodology. Students will apply statistics in communication research and complete a research project/paper.

A comparison of traditional with contemporary behavioral science theories of persuasive discourse and their supporting research.

Examines organizational communication strategies with special emphasis on how communication affects corporate constituencies. Corporate image and identity are linked to corporate advertising, press releases, financial communication, internal communication and crisis communication

Theory of visual communication in technical communication. Practice includes conceptualization, development and production

Study of the use of information technology to optimize advertising, promotion, public relations and sales functions. Examines an infrastructure of the Internet and how it affects information retrieval, Web design, Web site management and Web site security. Discusses research strategies, usage trends and social implications

Advanced study of mass media and organizational Web site information architecture, design, aesthetics, and Web site management; communication theory as applied to operational Web sites for profit and non-profit organizations

Advanced study of the theory and practice in written and oral presentations with emphasis on the application of communication theory in organizational and technical professions. Development of strategic communication plans to influence audience perceptions and evaluate changes.

Examination of verbal and nonverbal barriers to effective intercultural and international communication. Developing effective communication in advanced study of communication theories: interpersonal, organizational, mass media and intercultural contexts and exploring the definition and impact of global communication.

Study of media policy and regulation; media, cultural, and management theories; media economics; accounting and finance; business strategy, management and marketing

Advanced study of communication theories and research with the goal of developing strategic communication plans, including the selection of the appropriate vehicles and creative tactics. Team project required

COMM5392 - SEMINAR (3 - 0)
Special topics. Topic varies from semester to semester. May be repeated when topic changes.

COMM5394 - PROJECT (0 - 0)
Student completion of a project intended for a professional audience, or a professional media project intended for publication or distribution to a general or targeted audience.

COMM5398 - THESIS (0 - 0)
Student completion of a research project on a subject of primarily theoretical interest, intended for an academic audience. Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of coursework and consent of thesis advisor.

COMM5698 - THESIS (6 - 0)
Student completion of a research study on a subject of primarily theoretical interest, intended for an academic audience. Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of thesis proposal defense and consent of thesis advisor.

Courses in Speech (SPCH)


© 2007 The University of Texas at Arlington