School of Communication
Music and Communication 233
Dr. Gary Pettey, School of Communication Director
Dr. Cheryl Bracken, MU 223, 216-687-4512; Graduate Program Director
Areas of Study
Purpose, Objectives, and Career Information
The master’s degree program provides graduate education in communication theory and methodology for students who seek to: 1) apply communication strategies to work-related problems and 2) ultimately pursue doctoral studies in communication. The program is directed primarily toward the development of communication scholars and specialists, i.e., individuals who are able to apply communication theory and methodology to the analysis and solution of a variety of communication problems. The program emphasizes the ability to synthesize and interpret research in socially useful ways while also allowing for specialization in conducting research.
Communication techniques and problem-solving strategies are incorporated into this program to provide an effective background for individuals in careers such as corporate media or training, journalism, organizational communication consulting, promotional communication, and campaigning. Business or management personnel who need experience in communication problem solving will also find the program useful. Recent graduates of the program are employed in such diverse fields as advertising/public relations research, broadcast programming, corporate research, government, personnel/administration, and retailing. Others have continued with doctoral studies at major U.S. universities.
The key words “applied theory and methodology” emphasize that students are expected to utilize their education in the pursuit of their individual career objectives. For most students this occurs when they conduct a master’s thesis or alternative project.
Communication research involves the scientific study of communication in order to help individuals and institutions meet the changing needs of today’s society. The members of the department faculty have published hundreds of articles and book chapters, more than twenty books, and have received many grants and Fulbright Fellowships. Areas of expertise include communication technologies, corporate communication, conflict management, health communication, and media audience analysis.
Current faculty information can be located on the Cleveland State University Faculty Profile page.
The graduate program in Communication is focused on research, owing to the strong record of research productivity maintained by the faculty of the School of Communication. In 2013, the School of Communication ranked eighth in the United States in research productivity among graduate programs in Communication in which the highest degree awarded was the master’s degree (2013; www.academicanalytics.com; articles per faculty).
Graduate students are encouraged to work as research interns with faculty. Students also are encouraged to present their work at professional conventions and to coauthor papers for both scholarly and trade publications. Recent research projects involving graduate students include:
- The diffusion and use of new communication technologies,
- Mass media and interpersonal influences on career aspirations of teenagers,
- Bullying behavior in the workplace,
- Accounts of unexpected events in organizations,
- Media effect on political beliefs,
- Advertising influences on consumers cognitions,
- How TV violence affects ethnic and racial stereotypes,
- Effects of community characteristics on newspaper reporting styles,
- Use of Web sites for community integration, and
- Communication deficiencies in interpersonal and organizational contexts
Graduate students also work at the Communication Research Center on survey projects for clients that include regional and national marketing/research agencies.
Research and teaching assistantships are available. Assistantships are awarded based on merit as reflected in undergraduate records and letters of recommendation, as well as financial need. Graduate assistants must maintain at least a 3.0 grade-point average. Receipt of more than one grade below a “B” also warrants revocation of an assistantship. Graduate assistantships are awarded starting in April until all positions are filled.
Applicants for admission to the master’s program in Applied Communication Theory and Methodology must:
- Hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
- Have a cumulative undergraduate grade-point average of at least 2.75.
- Submit the results of either the Miller Analogies Test or the Graduate Record Examination.
Students with an undergraduate GPA of 4.0 are exempted from this requirement.
An undergraduate major in communication is not required for admission consideration. However, applicants without such a degree may be required to make up deficiencies either before being admitted or during the first semester of enrollment. No graduate credit is granted for making up deficiencies.
Applicants are screened by the Department Graduate Committee, which makes its decision based on:
- The undergraduate record.
- The career aspirations of the applicant.
- A statement from the applicant regarding the expected benefits to be derived from the program.
- Performance on the Graduate Record Examination or the Miller Analogies Test.
- Two or more letters of recommendation.
Students who enroll in the program should be interested in relating course work to career objectives, and to solving communication problems. Students may enter the program in fall or spring semester.
Apply Now: http://www.csuohio.edu/graduate-admissions/how-apply