Apr 16, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
    
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Communication and Information Major, 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 project 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.

Concentrations (Required) and Options Available


Advertising (Thesis Option, Project Option)
Advertising and Public Relations (Coursework Only Without Comprehensive Exams Option)
Communication Studies (Thesis Option, Project Option)
Journalism and Electronic Media (Project Option)
Journalism And Electronic Media Four Plus One (Coursework Only Without Comprehensive Exams Option)
Public Relations (Thesis Option, Project Option)
Strategic and Digital Communication (see Distance Education Programs)

Campus Code


Knoxville Campus

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 3.00 (4.00 system) grade point average (GPA) in undergraduate studies.
    • The submission of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) 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 10.
  • Journalism and Electronic Media Four Plus One concentration: For admission into the accelerated Journalism and Electronic Media concentration, students must have majored in journalism and electronic media and have graduated from the University of Tennessee within the past 3 academic years. The requirements for admission to full potential candidate status.

Academic Standards


A student in the College of Communication and Information whose graduate grade point average (GPA) is below 3.00 after the end of 9 credit hours of graduate coursework 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 cumulative graduate GPA of 3.00 in order to graduate. A student who earns less than a grade of C in a required course will have their program terminated. A graduate student cannot repeat a course.

Required Credit Hours


The MS program combines a cross-disciplinary core in theory and methods with a concentrated set of graduate courses in a concentration area and elective courses. Both the thesis and project options require a minimum of 33 credit hours of approved graduate coursework. 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 graduate 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.

Advertising, Thesis Option / Project Option


Credit Hours Required


Minimum of 33 graduate credit hours

Required Courses


Non-Course Requirements


  • Thesis Option
    • After completion of the formal program of coursework 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.

Advertising and Public Relations - Coursework Only Without Comprehensive Exams Option


The Advertising and Public Relations (4+1) concentration in the Master’s Communication & Information major allows students who graduated with an advertising or public relations major (within the last 3 years) the ability to earn a Master’s degree with a fifth year of graduate coursework (30 additional graduate credit hours). The concentration is designed to help students gain a deeper understanding of the major in which they graduated; and also gain knowledge related to the other major within ADPR. Students will take graduate courses from each of five blocks. There is no capstone requirement, but block 4 requires at least six graduate credit hours from a list of courses that focus on application of concepts. Students can also take school and college electives.

Campus Code


Knoxville

Admissions Standards/Procedures


  • A bachelor’s degree is required for entry into the master’s program. For admission into the Advertising and Public Relations concentration, students must have majored in either advertising or public relations and have graduated from the University of Tennessee within the past 3 academic years. The following are normally minimal requirements for admission to full potential candidate status.
  • A 3.00 (4.00 system) grade point average (GPA) in undergraduate studies.
  • The submission of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) 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.
  • 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 (GPA) is below 3.00 after the end of 9 credit hours of graduate coursework 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 cumulative graduate GPA of 3.00 in order to graduate. A student who earns less than a grade of C in a required course will have their program terminated. A graduate student cannot repeat a course.

Credit Hours Required


30 graduate credit hours

Required Courses


Communication Studies, Thesis Option / Project Option


Credit Hours Required


Minimum of 33 graduate credit hours

Required Courses


Non-Course Requirements


  • Thesis Option
    • After completion of the formal program of coursework 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.

Journalism and Electronic Media, Project Option


Credit Hours Required


30 graduate credit hours

Required Courses


Journalism and Electronic Media Four Plus One concentration


The Journalism and Electronic Media Four Plus One concentration is a 4+1 program that allows students who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Communication majoring in journalism and electronic media from the University of Tennessee (within the last 3 years) to earn a Master’s degree with a fifth year of graduate coursework (30 additional graduate credit hours). The concentration is designed to help students gain a deeper understanding of the skills they focused on during their undergraduate studies while gaining knowledge in other areas of the JEM degree. Students will take graduate courses from each of four blocks. There is no traditional capstone experience required, but the two-course Journalism Project sequence (i.e., Block 2) will focus on application of concepts.

Credit Hours Required


30 graduate credit hours

Required Courses


Public Relations, Thesis Option / Project Option


Credit Hours Required


Minimum of 33 graduate credit hours

Required Courses


Non-Course Requirements


  • Thesis Option
    • After completion of the formal program of coursework 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.

Five-Year Accelerated BS-MS Program – Communication and Information Major, MS (Advertising and Public Relations concentration) and the Advertising or Public Relations Major for the BS degree.


The department offers especially qualified students a Five-Year BS/MS program with a BS degree, major is Advertising or Public Relations and an MS degree, major in Communication and Information. The primary component of the program is that a qualified student may take up to 9 credit hours of approved graduate courses for their senior undergraduate electives and have them count toward both the BS degree and the MS degree. This program is designed for students pursuing their MS degree at UTK. Other universities may not accept these courses for graduate credit since they were used to satisfy requirements for the BS degree. Qualifications for admission to the program are:

  • Students must have an overall GPA of at least 3.40 to be admitted to the program.
  • Conditional admission may be granted after completing 64 hours of required coursework while full admission is granted after completing 96 hours of required coursework with a minimum overall GPA of 3.40 in required coursework.
  • Students must at least have conditional admission before taking graduate courses for both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
  • All courses taken for graduate credit must be approved by the departmental chair of the program. Students admitted to the dual program must submit the Senior Requesting Graduate Credit Form to the Graduate School to receive graduate credit.
  • Students interested in the accelerated program must follow the normal procedure for admission to Graduate School for the MS degree.
  • Admission of students into this program must be approved by the department and the Graduate School.