Apr 16, 2024  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Communication and Information Major, Communication Studies Concentration, MS

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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. See catalog listings for the School of Advertising and Public Relations, School of Communication Studies, and the School of Journalism and Electronic Media for information about concentrations and the courses offered.

Campus Code

Knoxville Campus

Distance Education

Admissions Standards/Procedures

  • A bachelor’s degree is required for entry into the master’s program. Students lacking academic or professional experience may be required to take prerequisite courses. The following are normally minimal requirements for admission to full potential candidate status.
    • A 3.0 (4.0 system) grade point average in undergraduate studies.
    • The submission of Graduate Record Examination scores is optional for MS applicants.
    • Recommendation letters from at least three former teachers or professional colleagues.
    • A statement of the applicant’s goals and reasons for pursuing the degree. Professional experience in some field of communication and/or information is a highly desirable criterion for admission.
    • The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, requires all who teach to be competent in spoken English. The specific policy, as it relates to graduate students who teach, is as follows: Since a certain level of competency with English as a spoken language is necessary for effective communication and teaching, all Graduate Teaching Assistants and Graduate Teaching Associates whose first language is not English are required to demonstrate an appropriate level of comprehensibility for classroom teaching by taking the Oral Proficiency Interview by computer (OPIc) administered through the Graduate School. Students need to consult the ITA-OPIc website for more specific details on the ITA-OPIc, including test dates.
    • New students normally begin classes in the fall semester. Applications for both admission and financial aid are due on January 15.

Academic Standards

  • A student in the College of Communication and Information whose graduate grade point average is below 3.0 after the end of 9 hours of graduate credit will be placed on academic probation. A student will be allowed to continue graduate study in subsequent semesters if each semester’s grade point average is 3.0 or greater. Upon achieving a cumulative GPA of 3.0, the student will be removed from probationary status. A student must achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in order to graduate. A student who earns less than a grade of C in a required course will have his/her program terminated. A graduate student cannot repeat a course.

Communication Studies, Thesis and Project

Credit Hours Required

Minimum of 34 graduate credit hours

Required Courses

  • Core (16 credit hours) to be taken during the first two semesters
  • Concentration Electives (9 credit hours)
    • Take three graduate-level Communication Studies (CMST) courses to make a cohesive substantive concentration
    • Selected in consultation with the major professor and guidance committee
  • Approved Electives (3-6 credit hours)
    • Take 3 credit hours (Thesis option) to 6 credit hours (Project option) graduate courses from a unit other than Communication Studies (CMST) that enrich the substantive concentration. Courses are selected in consultation with the major professor and guidance committee
  • Capstone Experience
    • Thesis Option: CMST 500  (6 credit hours)
    • Project Option: CMST 590  (3 credit hours)

Non-Course Requirements

  • Thesis Option
    • After completion of the formal program of course work and research for the thesis option, the student must pass an oral examination conducted by his/her graduate committee.
    • Students interested in subsequent entry into a doctoral program are advised to pursue the thesis option and to take additional courses in communication theory and research, subject to advisor’s approval.
  • Project Option
    • The final comprehensive exam will include a written project and an oral defense of it.
    • Students interested in pursuing careers as communication and information practitioners are advised to complete a project.


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