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    Dec 05, 2021  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

College of Communication and Information

Michael O. Wirth, Dean
Virginia W. Kupritz, Associate Dean for Academic Programs

The College of Communication and Information fosters among students and the larger community a sense of the legal and ethical responsibilities of access to information and the exercise of expression in a democratic society. Additionally, the college serves the professional goals of preparing students for careers in the communication and information professions.

The college includes four schools – School of Advertising and Public Relations, School of Communication Studies, School of Information Sciences, and School of Journalism and Electronic Media. The college came together in its current configuration on July 1, 2003. The college offers two master’s and one doctoral degree.

The Master of Science with a major in communication and information is a college-wide degree that offers multiple concentrations. The four On-campus concentrations are closely aligned with specific disciplinary areas: advertising, communication studies, journalism and electronic media, and public relations. The concentrations have a core curriculum that focuses on theory and research. Students then take course work supporting the concentration as well as electives. They also engage in a capstone experience. Students are expected to be in Knoxville to participate in these residential concentrations.

The On-campus concentrations are 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. See catalog listings for the School of Advertising and Public Relations, the School of Communication Studies, and the School of Journalism and Electronic Media for information about these residential concentrations and the courses offered.

The four concentrations combine a cross-disciplinary core in theory and methods with a concentrated set of courses in a primary area and electives from outside the concentration. Both the thesis and non-thesis options require a minimum of 34 hours of approved graduate course work.

The Distance Education concentration in strategic and digital communication does not require students to come to Knoxville. The concentration is designed for career starters and career changers who want a flexible degree that is professionally oriented and that cuts across the college disciplinary areas. The Distance Education concentration is practitioner focused and provides stand-alone courses that are asynchronous and fully online. Courses build upon what all four Schools—Advertising and Public Relations, Communication Studies, Information Sciences, and Journalism and Electronic Media—bring to the contemporary job market.

The strategic and digital communication concentration requires that students select from the list of courses that are specific to this concentration. Twenty-four hours of graduate course work are required. The online concentration requires a minimum of 30 credit hours of approved graduate work. Students in the strategic and digital communication concentration are not allowed to take on-campus courses that serve the residential concentrations. However, students in the On-campus concentrations may be allowed to select courses from the strategic and digital concentration if those selections are approved by their advisor and the associate dean for academic programs.

The Master of Science with a major in information sciences is designed primarily for librarians and information professionals. That program is coordinated by the School of Information Sciences and involves both on-campus and distance education course work. This program is accredited by the American Library Association and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. More details on this major and degree are provided in the listing for the School of Information Sciences, which follows information about college-wide degrees.

The Doctor of Philosophy with a major in communication and information builds on core courses that focus on knowledge creation across the disciplines represented by the college. Additional required course work in a primary and cognate area will be selected by the student and his/her program committee. Communication and information is available as a secondary area for students majoring in other departments.

Facilities for research and service are managed by CCI’s Center for Information and Communication Studies (CICS).

Graduate Assistantships for College-Wide Degrees

  • Graduate assistantships are available for students in college-wide programs. Assistantships may be for teaching or research. Assistantships are highly competitive and carry a waiver of tuition and fees as well as a stipend and require that recipients work 10-20 hours per week in the college.

For information about College-wide graduate programs in Communication and Information, please visit our website ( Contact the CCI Office of the Associate Dean for Academic Programs at, at 865-974-6651, or at 302 Communications Building, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-0332.

School of Advertising and Public Relations

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School of Communication Studies

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School of Information Sciences

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School of Journalism and Electronic Media

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