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Degree Requirements – MS

Following is a brief overview of requirements for the Master of Science in Communication and Information and the Doctor of Philosophy in Communication and Information. Requirements for the Master of Science in Information Sciences are provided in a separate document.

Master of Science in Communication and Information

The Master of Science with a major in Communication and Information is intended for students who desire careers related to a variety of communication, information, or media fields, and those who seek a deeper understanding of the role of communication and information in organizations, media, and society. Both thesis and non-thesis options are available. Appendix A provides an overview of the steps in the process of earning the M.S. degree.

Required Hours

The M.S. program combines a cross-disciplinary core in theory and methods with a concentrated set of courses in a primary area and elective courses. Both the thesis and non-thesis options require a minimum of 34 hours of approved graduate work. A minimum of 23 hours must be at 500 or above. Up to nine hours of graduate credit may be accepted for transfer into the program, but these hours are subject to approval by the program advisor and the associate dean.  Students may be required to take up to 18 hours of pre-/co-requisite courses. Full-time students with minimal pre-/co-requisite or transfer credits are typically able to finish the degree in three to four semesters. See Appendix B for Program Planning Guides for the Master of Science in Communication and Information.

Core (7 hours). To be taken during the first two semesters of the student’s program.

  • Communication and Information 501 (Orientation, 1 hour) 
  • Communication and Information 540 (Theory, 3 hours)

           Select one of the following research courses:

  • Advertising 530 (note that Statistics 531 is a pre-requisite for this course)
  • Communication Studies 505
  • Information Sciences 540
  • Journalism and Electronic Media 512

Concentration (15 hours). At least 6 hours of the concentration must be at the 500 level or above. Concentrations are typically housed within one of the academic units. Students may also construct their own coherent set of courses for a concentration with the approval of the associate dean.  Following are the primary concentration areas: 

  • Advertising (thesis or project)
  • Communication Studies (thesis or project)
  • Journalism and Electronic Media – Research Track (thesis option)
  • Journalism and Electronic Media – Professional Track (project option)
  • Public Relations (thesis or project)

Approved Electives (6-9 hours)

  • Six hours of electives for students in the thesis option, or 9 hours of electives for students in the non-thesis option.

Thesis or Project (3-6 hours)

  • Six hours of thesis work – typically on original research that contributes to the academic body of knowledge
  • Three hours for a project – typically involves applied research and/or the application of academic principles to solving   an organizational/industry problem

Other Requirements

  • All students must take courses from at least two of the schools in the College of Communication and Information. 
  • Up to 18 additional pre-requisite/co-requisite hours may be required for students.
  • Students who plan to work in communication organizations and related career fields are strongly encouraged to pursue a project option. 
  • Students who anticipate entering a doctoral program will find that the master’s program is good preparation for additional graduate studies. Those students are strongly encouraged to pursue a thesis option.
  • There is no full-time residency requirement for completion of the master’s degree.

Courses taken at another institution may be considered for transfer into the M.S. program as determined by the student’s committee and approved by the Graduate School.  (See “Transfer Credits” in the Graduate Catalog for limitations on transfer credit.)

To be transferred into a master’s program at UT, a course must:

  1. Be taken for graduate credit.
  2. Carry a grade of B or better.
  3. Be part of a graduate program in which the student had a B average.
  4. Not have been used for a previous degree.
  5. Be approved by the student’s committee and the Graduate School on the Admission to Candidacy form.

Courses transferred to any graduate program will not affect the minimum residence requirements for the program, nor will they be counted in determining the student’s grade-point average. A maximum of 9 hours may be transferred. Transferred courses must have been completed within the six-year period prior to completion of the M.S. degree.

Candidates for the M.S. degree have six calendar years from the time of enrollment to complete the degree. Students who change their academic unit during the six-year period may be granted an extension after review and approval by the Dean of the Graduate School. In any event, courses used toward a master’s degree must have been taken within six calendar years of graduation.