Communication, MA

School of Communication, College of Communication, Fine Arts & Media

Vision Statement

The School of Communication offers a Master of Arts degree emphasizing a blend of broad theoretical instruction and application of the communication discipline in all its iterations.  Graduate students achieve in-depth knowledge of communication processes and effects and acquire the skills needed to discover new knowledge through research and other forms of scholarly activity and professional growth. Once coursework is complete, graduate students conduct original research for a thesis or project. 

School of Communication graduate faculty offer an impressive blend of academic and professional experience. Faculty are actively involved in the discovery of new knowledge through publication in top scholarly journals. The faculty seek to cultivate students’ breadth and depth of knowledge about communication, as well as foster a spirit of free investigation.

Program Contact Information

Adam Tyma, PhD, Graduate Program Chair (GPC)
107B Arts & Science Hall (ASH)
402.554.4877
atyma@unomaha.edu

Program Website

Admissions

Application Deadlines

  • Fall: March 1
  • Spring: October 1

If you are applying for a graduate assistantship, both admissions and assistantship application materials must be completed by February 1 (for Fall Semester) and October 1 (for Spring Semester).

Program-Specific Requirements

  • Three (3) Letters of Recommendation - (A minimum of 1 letter from a faculty member of the applicant's undergraduate program should be included if at all possible. Other letters should address an applicant's ability to do advanced-level academic work.)
  • Statement of Purpose - The Statement of Purpose should be 500 words in length and should answer the following questions:
    • Why have you chosen the UNO School of Communication master’s degree program?
    • What are your areas of scholarly interest and research?
    • What are your personal or professional plans after you complete the master’s degree?
  • Writing Sample - An academic or otherwise-demonstrative writing sample (e.g., term paper, senior thesis, or research paper) that demonstrates the applicant's strengths as a writer and researcher.
  • Resume or CV - Identify major and minor field(s) of study, overall GPA, and GPA within major, as well as all relevant experience.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) - There is no minimum score for acceptance.
  • Applicants are required to have a command of oral and written English.  Those who do not hold a baccalaureate or other advanced degree from the U.S., OR a baccalaureate or other advanced degree from a pre-determined country on the waiver list, must meet the minimum language proficiency score requirement in order to be considered for admission.

    • A minimum score of 550 on the TOEFL PBT, 80 if internet-based, 6.5 if IELTS, or 53 if PTE is required.

Admission Status

  • Unconditional Admission may be granted to a student whose record includes at least the following:
    • Certification of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Documentation through official transcripts using a 4.0 grade point scale of having earned at least:
      • A 3.25 in communication or undergraduate major work.
      • Either a 3.0 overall undergraduate average GPA or a 3.25 average GPA in the last half of undergraduate credit hours, and
      • Inclusion of nine (9) to 15 undergraduate (junior or senior level) theory and/or research courses in communication (e.g., communication studies, speech communication, broadcasting, journalism, mass communication, media communication or studies, rhetoric) or a related field as approved by the graduate program chair (GPC) and/or the graduate admissions committee.
  • Provisional Admission may be granted for reasons of experience, maturity or other circumstances to a student who does not meet the unconditional admission standards.  A student will not be admitted who does not meet UNO Graduate College provisional admission standards (a 2.75 GPA for both undergraduate major and minor).
    • The school's graduate admission committee may require any one or any combination of the following in deciding whether or not to recommend provisional admission:
      • Completion of prescribed course(s) (not for graduate credit) with a grade of “B” (3.0/4.0) or better, with course(s) approved in advance by the GPC and/or the graduate admission committee.
      • Completion of the first 12 graduate hours of coursework with a grade of "B" (3.0/4.0) or better as a non-declared student.

Degree Requirements

Required Courses

The core courses provide basic, intensive and broad coverage of communication as a field of advanced study. The core integrates mass and speech communication theories and research methodologies from all aspects of the discipline. If a student fails to achieve an average grade of “B” (3.0/4.0) in the overall core, the student may retake each core course with a grade below “B” once, and must obtain an average grade of “B” or higher to remain in the program.  The core courses must be completed within the first 18-21 credit hours of a student's program (This requirement may be waived for students entering the communication graduate program with approved graduate credits to be used in the plan of study).

Thesis Option

Required Core Courses
The 12 hours of required courses listed below must be completed with an average grade of “B” or better:
COMM 8010SEMINAR IN COMMUNICATION RESEARCH: QUANTITATIVE EMPHASIS3
COMM 8020SEMINAR IN COMMUNICATION RESEARCH: QUALITATIVE EMPHASIS3
COMM 8470FOUNDATIONS SEMINAR: COMMUNICATION STUDIES3
COMM 8570FOUNDATIONS OF MASS COMMUNICATION3
Graduate Only Seminar3
Students are required to take one graduate only (8xx0/9xx0 level with no undergraduate dual-listing) three credit seminar during their program. This course may either come from the School of Communication or another graduate program in consultation and advisement with the GPC.
Electives
Select 12 elective hours in consultation with the graduate program chair. These will be denoted as either; COMM, CMST, or JMC. No more than 9 hours from outside the school may be counted toward degree requirements. Electives must be completed with an average grade of "B" or better to maintain GPA requirements for program and university.12
COMM 8990THESIS6
Total Credits33

All candidates should carefully review the Graduate College requirements for forming the supervisory committee, submitting the Supervisory Committee and Thesis/Thesis Equivalent Proposal Approval Forms and final approval and submission of the thesis.

Project Option

Required Core Courses
The 12 hours of required courses listed below must be completed with an average grade of “B” or better:
COMM 8010SEMINAR IN COMMUNICATION RESEARCH: QUANTITATIVE EMPHASIS3
COMM 8020SEMINAR IN COMMUNICATION RESEARCH: QUALITATIVE EMPHASIS3
COMM 8470FOUNDATIONS SEMINAR: COMMUNICATION STUDIES3
COMM 8570FOUNDATIONS OF MASS COMMUNICATION3
Graduate Only Seminar3
Students are required to take one graduate only (8xx0 or 9xx0 level with no undergraduate dual-listing) three credit seminar during their program. This course may either come from the School of Communication or another graduate program in conusultation with and advisement with the GPC.
Electives
Select 15 elective hours in consultation with the graduate program chair. These will be denoted as either; COMM, CMST, or JMC. No more than 12 hours from outside the school may be counted toward degree requirements. Electives must be completed with an average grade of "B" or better to maintain GPA requirements for program and University.15
COMM 8970GRADUATE PROJECT3
Total Credits33

The project, in lieu of a thesis, is based on a proposal approved by the student’s committee. The student must complete a project which is defended orally before his or her project committee.

Exit Requirements

Students will take either six (6) thesis credit hours or three (3) project hours during the final semester(s) of their program.  These credit hours must be 1) taken either concurrently or after the student’s final semester of coursework and 2) must be taken and completed in order to successfully complete the program.  The thesis or project is considered the final part of the program.  With this in mind, coursework will be completed before or concurrently with the thesis or project (it is strongly encouraged that coursework is completed prior to the thesis or project).  Students will meet with the GPC to discuss which option consider.

Thesis Option

All candidates should carefully review the Graduate College requirements for forming a Supervisory Committee, Thesis/Thesis Equivalent Proposal Approval Forms and final approval and submission of a thesis. Theses are defended orally before the student’s committee once completed.

Project Option

The project, in lieu of a thesis, is based on a proposal approved by the student’s committee. The student must complete a project that is defended orally before the student’s project committee.