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Communication Studies, MA

Course Description

Program Areas

Students in this graduate program have a core set of requirements in theory and method courses, which provide foundations in three research areas: Communication and Culture, Organizational and Interpersonal Communication, and Rhetoric and Political Discourse. In addition, students complete their plans of study, with elective courses from among any graduate courses in the department (see link below) or outside of the department, with the approval of their academic advisors.

Visit the website https://comstudies.ua.edu/graduate-program/


COM 500 Introduction to Graduate Studies. One hour.
The primary goal is to orient new graduate students to the expectations and procedures of graduate study in the department. Topics covered include developing the plan of study, thesis prospectus, comprehensive examination, and choosing advisors and committees.

COM 501 Introduction to Teaching Public Speaking. No hours.
The primary goal of this course is to facilitate the instruction of COM 123 Public Speaking. Students enrolled in this course will provide lesson plans for their classes and discuss options for improving classroom learning.

COM 513 Communication and Diversity. Three hours.
Study and analysis of issues of diversity as they relate to groups in society and in communication fields. Emphasis is on the media's treatment of various groups in society. Approved as a communication and cultural diversity elective.

COM 515 African American Rhetoric. Three hours.
A historical-critical investigation of African American public discourse from the Revolutionary era to the present, exploring rhetorical strategies for social change and building community.

COM 521 Political Communication. Three hours.
An exploration of rhetorical, media, and cross-disciplinary theories and literature related to political communication as expressed in campaigns and institutional governance.

COM 525 Gender and Political Communication. Three hours.
Study of the impact of gender on political communication activities. Topics include gender differences in political messages and voter orientation, masculine ideals of leadership, women’s roles and advancement in the political sphere, and media representations.

COM 536 Independent Study. Three hours.
Prerequisite: Written permission.
Students who want to count this course toward their Plans of Study must complete the official request form and submit it for the approval of their faculty advisor and the Graduate Program Director.

COM 541 Contemporary Rhetorical Theory. Three hours.
A survey of major contributions to rhetorical theory from the 20th century up to the present.

COM 545 Classical Rhetorical Theory. Three hours.
A systematic inquiry into the development of Greek and Roman rhetorical theory during the classical period (ca. 480 B.C.E.–400 C.E.).

COM 548 Seminar in Rhetorical Criticism. Three hours.
An examination of various methodological perspectives of rhetorical criticism. Specifically, the course aims to familiarize students with both traditional and alternative critical methods and to encourage students to perceive the rhetorical dimensions of all manner of public discourse, ranging from speeches, advertising, film, popular music to discursive forms in new media and the Internet.

COM 560 Group Leadership. Three hours.
An advanced study of small-group behavior, examining in detail theories of leadership as they relate to problem solving in group situations.

COM 550 Qualitative Research Methods. Three hours.
An introduction to qualitative research methods in communication, including data collection and analysis. The goals of the course are to provide exposure to a broad array of qualitative methods, help students learn to use some of these methods, and to help them to understand the role of research in our field. The course is designed to help student actually conduct research, resulting in two conference-worthy papers.

COM 555 Conflict and Negotiation. Three hours.
Negotiation is fundamentally a communicative activity. The main objective of this course is to understand processes of formal conflict management in mixed motive settings. Students will apply negotiation theory and skills to simulated negotiation cases that include buyer-seller transactions, negotiating through an agent or mediator, salary negotiations, deal making, resolution of workplace disputes, multiparty negotiations, international and intercultural negotiations, and ethical decision making and communication in negotiation. The skills and theory introduced in this course will help students manage integrative and distributive aspects of the negotiation process to achieve individual and collective goals.

COM 561 Human Communication Theory. Three hours.
A detailed review of selected theories of speech communication with a focus on the critical examination of the foundation of social scientific theories.

COM 562 Theories of Persuasion. Three hours.
A critical review of social-influence theories in the area of persuasion and human action.

COM 563 Relational Communication. Three hours.
Prerequisite: COM 220 or permission of the instructor.
Focused investigation of to communication in close personal relationships, with primary emphasis on contemporary concepts and theories of romantic relationships and friendships.

COM 565 Intercultural Communication. Three hours.
Survey and analysis of major concepts, theories, and research dealing with communication between people of different cultural backgrounds in multicultural and international settings.

COM 567 Seminar: Public Address. Three hours.
A topical consideration of individual case studies from public discourse, designed to probe problems of the nature of the audience, the ethics of persuasion, and the power of public advocacy in mass society. Topics may vary.

COM 569 Communication and Gender. Three hours.
Explores the role of communication in the construction of gender. Covers feminist theoretical approaches in communication and other disciplines, the intersections of gender with other marginalities, and the role of gender in various communication contexts. Approved as a communication and cultural diversity elective.

COM 571 Seminar in Organizational Communication. Three hours.
An introductory examination of historical and contemporary issues in organizational communication scholarship from a variety of theoretical and methodological perspectives.

COM 572 Organizational Assessment and Intervention. Three hours.
Examines the theoretical issues inherent in the study of organizational communication, the primary factors requiring assessment and intervention, the impact of on-going changes and new information techniques, current challenges facing the organizational consultant, and the practical application of communication processes for improving organizations.

COM 575 Technology, Culture, and Human Communication. Three hours.
Study of the complexity of technologically-mediated communication across cultures. This course combines literature and concepts from intercultural communication with human communication and technology and addresses the challenges of interacting with others via technology, working in global virtual teams and organizations, and participating as a citizen and consumer in the technology age.

COM 590 Internship in Communication Studies. One to three hours.
Prerequisite: Written permission from the graduate program director.
Proposal for supervised field experience in communication studies must be submitted and approved.

COM 595 Special Topics. Three hours. Topics vary by instructor.

COM 598 Professional Project. Three hours.

COM 599 Thesis Research. One to three hours.

Career Options

A Master of Arts degree in Communication Studies can offer many career options. Communication skills — oral, written, electronic — are now recognized as critical aspects in all major professions in the United States. Both in education and in the work force, there is a growing need for those who not only understand how human communication functions in its various forms, but also can analyze and advise others on ways to improve human communication. Graduates typically pursue one of three career paths: teaching public speaking, working in professional communication positions, or continuing with advanced academic study, such as in doctoral or law degree programs.

Find out how to apply here - https://comstudies.ua.edu/graduate-program/admissions/

Visit the Communication Studies, MA page on the University of Alabama website for more details!

Entry Requirements

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