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MFAndash;Forensics degree approved
The first Master of Fine Arts in Speech Communication, with an emphasis in forensics (competitive speech and debate programs), will be offered in Fall 2003 by Minnesota State University, Mankato?s Department of Speech Communication.
The degree, which recently received approval from the Minnesota State Colleges and University (MnSCU) system, is breaking new ground in the communication discipline. ?To the best of our knowledge, this is the first MFA degree in Speech Communication in the country,? Dr. Daniel Cronn-Mills, MSU?s director of forensics said. ?We believe this program will open a new frontier for both speech communication and forensics.?
The MFAâ€"Forensics degree will continue the university?s tradition of excellence in competitive public speaking. The Department?s graduate program has a strong history of forensic involvement. The program has educated more than 35 forensics professionals at the collegiate and high school levels.
The MFAâ€"Forensics program will provide students who wish to teach and direct forensics at the college or high-school level with a tenurable degree. The intense study of communicative public performance will also prepare students for careers in communication consulting and training, as well as motivational speaking. The program is designed as a terminal, three-year program (48 semester credits). Cronn-Mills noted many colleges and universities already accept MFAs in Art, Theatre, and Creative Writing as terminal degrees.
An MFA in forensics is a natural fit for speech communication. The fine arts tradition in speech communication dates back to its Greco-Roman roots. According to Department Chair Dr. Warren Sandmann, ?From Gorgias to Aristotle and Cicero, public speaking and eloquence were emphasized as cornerstones of education.?
Application materials for the MFA program and graduate assistantships are available from the Department of Speech Communication at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Interested persons may reach the department by calling 507-389-2213.
The department has also prepared a FAQ (frequently asked questions) about the program. It is available online at: MFA--Forensics, FAQ page