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Being a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams ? it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.


We offer six courses each year. CS600 and CS601 are required courses. You must also register for CS695 or CS699 while working on your major research paper or thesis.

You are allowed to take up to 1.0 credit from other graduate programs with approval from the graduate coordinator. In the past, Communication Studies MA students have taken graduate courses in programs such as Cultural Analysis and Social Theory, English and Film Studies, and Political Science.

2016-17 Course Offerings

CS600: Graduate Seminar in Communication Studies (0.5 credit)

This team-taught course introduces students to the core concerns, theoretical concepts and research approaches in communication studies. Particular attention will be paid to the areas of research specialization of faculty. This mandatory course is designed to enable students to do the preparatory work necessary to their research projects.

CS601: Communication Studies Research Methods (0.5 credit)

This course will provide students with advanced training in the methods of research employed in the field of communication studies. Students study reactive or interactive research methods (participant observation, experimental designs, surveys and interviewing) and unobtrusive or non-reactive methodological designs (discourse analysis, semiotics, content analysis, and rhetorical and historical approaches). Students are encouraged to develop their major research paper or thesis research proposal as the final assignment for this course.

CS602: Mobilities (0.5 credit)

This course examines mobilities that involve the movement of people, media, information, ideas and capital. It considers how movement, whether too much or too little, whether authorized or unsanctioned, has become central to contemporary communication and culture.

CS603: Critical Discourse Studies (0.5 credit)

The course introduces students to discourse analysis as a method of critical inquiry by laying out the processes of doing discourse-focused research. Possible approaches would include genealogical/dispositif analysis (Foucauldian), Critical Discourse Analysis, and/or the Essex School of discourse analysis. The course will give students a toolkit for analyzing spoken and written text, images, material artefacts and music. Organized into four stages, the course will:

  1. introduce the basic principles the approach(es);
  2. survey data collection methods and choosing appropriate data;
  3. provide guidance to doing the actual work of analysis; and
  4. assist students in refining their approach and applying it to their own research.

CS604: Network Cultures (0.5 credit)

This course investigates cultural practices, institutional contexts and social implications of contemporary networked media, such as the internet, social media, mobile media and similar assemblages. The course will engage theoretical perspectives from fields such as cultural studies, critical internet studies, medium theory and political economy. Specific topics may include but are not limited to algorithmic culture, big data, digital creativity, digital media industries, hacking, internet infrastructures, remix culture, and social media and politics.

CS650: Visual Communication and Culture in Theory and Practice (0.5 credit)

This course examines the inter-related fields of visual communication and visual culture. The course addresses the origins and development of visual communication and visual culture as academic disciplines and fields of practice as well as contemporary approaches and perspectives on the visual. Diverse theoretical approaches are explored in conjunction with an investigation of distinct visual practices from areas such as film, the fine arts, photography, design, new media and architecture.

CS690: Directed Studies (0.5 credit)

A selected research project supervised by an individual faculty member.

CS695: Major Research Paper (1.0 credit)

A major research project to be undertaken on an approved topic and in accordance with the guidelines of the department.

CS699: Thesis (2.0 credits)

An independent thesis project to be undertaken on an approved topic based upon research connected with the discipline of communication studies and in accordance with the guidelines of the department.


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