2019-2020 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog
Master of Science in Communications
- Course Requirements for the Master of Science in Communications
- Suggested Order of Coursework for an M.S. in Communications
As the field of communications has matured, the value of empirically based decision-making has become increasingly clear. Communication professionals must be knowledgeable about acquiring and assessing relevant information and integrating the analysis of that information into the decision-making process.
The Master of Science degree in the School of Communications is a versatile program that meets the needs of various aspects of professional communication. Individuals in public relations, advertising, journalism, and broadcasting, to name a few, as well as those seeking a degree that will enhance their effectiveness and leadership skills within an organization, find this to be a rewarding and beneficial program. Communication professionals who become managers and decision-makers will increasingly be selected because they have leadership skills, knowledge of theory and research and their application, the ability to access information to solve communication problems, and the ability to effectively implement information into the decision-making process. The curriculum of the master's program is attendant to these skills.
The 36-credit master's program is designed with working professionals in mind. Courses are scheduled during evenings and offered at Grand Valley's Pew Grand Rapids Campus. Taken part-time, the Master of Science in communications is completed in two to three years.
Admission to the Master of Science in Communications Program
Applicants must provide all information required by the university. This includes official transcripts of all previous college/university coursework, a baccalaureate degree or equivalent international credential, and a 500-word essay that addresses the candidate's career goals and how the GVSU graduate program in communication is relevant to these goals. Please note the following additional criteria for admission:
- Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for the last 60 credits of undergraduate work.
- Applicants with less than a 3.0 may meet alternate admissions criteria such as professional work experience, personal interview, or academic success in specified courses.
- Background coursework in communication theory and research methods advisable.
- Two letters of recommendation.
- A telecommunications interview with a representative from the School of Communications.
Course Requirements for the Master of Science in Communications
The following courses (27 credits) are required of all students.
- COM 600 - Systems Theory and Communication Credits: 3
- COM 610 - Secondary Information and Analysis Credits: 3
- COM 620 - Empirical Methods in Communication Credits: 3
- COM 634 - Ethics in Professional Communication Credits: 3
- COM 641 - Emerging Communication Technologies Credits: 3
- COM 642 - Communication Law Credits: 3
- COM 660 - Communication Management and Cases Credits: 3
- COM 693 - Master's Project Credits: 3* OR COM 695 - Master's Thesis * Credits: 6
- PA 520 - Foundations of Public Service Credits: 3 OR BUS 631 - Leadership and Organizational Dynamics Credits: 3
Elective courses Credits: 6-9
Elective courses are selected from the list below, from 600-level courses in business, public administration, and from other programs for which students are eligible. See the School of Communications graduate program director for approval.
- COM 643 - Small Group Communication and Leadership Credits: 3
- COM 680 - Special Topics in Communications Credits: 3
- COM 699 - Independent Study Credits: 1 to 4
*Note: Students choosing to complete a project (COM 693) must complete a minimum of 9 elective credits. Students choosing to complete a thesis (COM 695) must complete a minimum of 6 elective credits.
Suggested Order of Coursework for an M.S. in Communications
The following schedule assumes that the student has satisfied all background courses. For more information about the program, contact the School of Communications.
- Elective course
- PA 520 - Foundations of Public Service (3 credits) OR BUS 631 - Leadership and Organizational Dynamics (3 credits)
- COM 634 - Ethics in Professional Communication (3 credits)
- Elective course
- Elective course
- COM 641 - Emerging Communication Technologies (3 credits)