Public Communication and Technology

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Course Category: Master and Master of Science

Course Description
Course Description
  • Focus of Study

    The ever-changing world of new communication technologies has a profound impact on individual behavior, organizations, and society. As these technologies evolve, it is important to understand their influence on the different levels of society.

    Colorado State University’s Department of Journalism and Technical Communication is committed to developing communication professionals and communication scholars who can address such communication-related societal issues across a variety of situations.

    Course Description

    M.S. Course of Study

    The M.S. degree requires 30 credits of course work. The program typically takes full-time students at least four semesters to complete. Part-time students take longer and arrange school schedules that accommodate other responsibilities.

    Students select from two options for their program of study: the Research Thesis (Plan A) option or Research Project (Plan B) option. Recent students have completed theses and research projects on a variety of topics. Students are best served if they commit to one of the options no later than mid-term of their second semester of full-time study.

    Research Thesis (Plan A):

    The research thesis option enables students to work closely with faculty members to conduct original research on a communication-related problem or issue. The topic of the research thesis varies according to each student’s interest, but all students learn vital critical, conceptual, and analytical skills throughout the thesis research and writing process. Upon completion, students defend the thesis in front of their faculty committee.

    Research Project (Plan B):

    The research project option allows students to work with an outside organization, typically the organization that is currently employing them. In the research project, the student uses communication theories and methods to solve a particular communication problem for that organization. Upon completing their research, students write a professional report for the organization and defend the report in front of their faculty committee.

    Typical Coursework

    M.S. students are required to complete at least 30 credit hours of required and elective coursework. Required coursework includes a mixture of research methods and theory courses. These courses provide students with the foundational knowledge necessary to understand the challenges facing information transfer and new technologies in the twenty-first century.

    In addition to the required core of classes, students select elective coursework that is consistent with their goals and interests. For these elective courses, students may decide to take additional theory or research methods courses, or they may elect to take up to nine credit hours from 300- and 400- level skills courses (e.g., video production, website design) in the JMC department. The flexibility of this elective requirement enables students interested in both academic and professional careers to achieve their goals. A 3.0 GPA must be maintained throughout the M.S. degree.