Aug 11, 2022
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog
Communication and Information Major, Public Relations Concentration, MS
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.
- 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 3.00 (4.00 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.
- A student in the College of Communication and Information whose graduate grade point average is below 3.00 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 graduate grade point average is 3.00 or greater. Upon achieving a cumulative graduate GPA of 3.00, the student will be removed from probationary status. A student must achieve a graduate cumulative GPA of 3.00 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.
Public Relations, Thesis or Project
Credit Hours Required
Minimum of 33 graduate credit hours
The MS program combines a cross-disciplinary core in theory and methods with a concentrated set of courses in a concentration area and elective courses. Both the thesis and non-thesis options require a minimum of 33 credit hours of approved graduate work. A minimum of 23 credit hours must be at the 500-level or above. Up to nine credit hours of graduate credit may be accepted for transfer into the program, but these credit hours are subject to approval by the program adviser and the associate dean. Students may be required to take up to 18 credit hours of pre-requisite courses. Full-time students with minimal pre-requisite or transfer credits are typically able to finish the degree in three to four semesters. See the Appendix in the CCI Graduate Handbook for Program Planning Guides for the Master of Science in Communication and Information.
- Core (6 credit hours) to be taken during the first two semesters
- Concentration Electives (15 credit hours)
- At least 6 credit hours of the concentration must be at the 500-level or above
- Selected in consultation with the major professor and guidance committee
- Approved Electives (6 or 9 credit hours)
- Take 6 credit hours (Thesis option) to 9 credit hours (Project option) graduate courses from at least two of the schools in the College of Communication and Information and are selected in consultation with the major professor and guidance committee
- Capstone Experience
- Thesis Option: PBRL 500 (6 credit hours)
- Project Option: PBRL 590 (3 credit hours)
- 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.