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– Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Page address: https://www.mnsu.edu/supersite/academics/catalogs/graduate/current/commstudies.html

Department of Communication Studies
230 Armstrong Hall
507-389-2213

Communication Studies offers programs leading to the Master of Arts, Master of Fine Arts, and the Master of Science degrees. Programs are available for all students who have a bachelor's degree. Students must complete graduate courses in communication theory and research methods and may design the remainder of their program with the approval of the Graduate Coordinator in Communication Studies.

Admission

In addition to completing the minimum requirements for the College of Graduate Studies and Research, students must also have a GPA of 2.75 or better in overall undergraduate studies and a 3.0 for the last two years of undergraduate work. In one packet, students should submit the following items: three letters of recommendation from individuals qualified to judge competence in speech communication scholarship (e.g., a writing sample demonstrating research, sound analysis, organization and evidence such as a term paper, convention paper, professional report): and a statement of personal, educational and professional goals.

The Graduate Coordinator examines applications and determines if requirements have been met. If an applicant does not meet the requirements, admission may be provisional. Probationary status may be provided for applicants with an undergraduate degree whose GPA is below admission standards under the following conditions: Acceptable performance on the GRE and/or acceptance of a student petition and contingency of adherence to contract terms formulated by graduate faculty.

Students with a major in Communication Studies may repeat any course in the department in an effort to improve grades. A student may repeat a specific course only once. In exceptional circumstances, a student may appeal to the department chair for a second repeat of a course. The official grade for the course, listings on a student's transcript, and other matters related to course repeats will adhere to appropriate university policies.

A maximum of six (6) graduate credits from "NFL" courses may be applied toward satisfactory completion of the Master of Arts, Master of Science, and Master of Fine Arts-Forensics in Communication Studies. The limit may be waived with consent of a student’s graduate advisor.

Communication Studies MA

(Thesis Plan 33 credits)
(Alternate Paper Plan 35 credits)

Required Core (6-9 credits)

  • CMST 600  Seminar in Communication Theory (3)
  • CMST 601  Communication Research Methods (3)
  • CMST 602  Communication Pedagogy (3)
  • CMST 603  Strategies: Basic (0)*
  • CMST 650  Capstone Prospectus (0)

*required only of Graduate Teaching Assistants

Required Electives (12-15 credits)

Choose 5/600 level electives in consultation with an advisor

Required Supporting-Field Electives (6-9 credits)

Choose any 5/600 level related elective in consultation with an advisor

Required Thesis or Alternate Plan Paper (2-6 credits)

  • CMST 694  Alternate Plan Paper (2 credits)
  • CMST 699  Thesis (3-6 credits)

Appropriate research tools such as ethnography, critical analysis, language, statistics or others may be required by the department. No P/N credit is acceptable in fulfilling major requirements except in the case of theses, practicums, internships, in-service courses and individual study, and then only by special permission of the department. Fifty percent (50 percent) of all coursework must be at the 600 level, not including thesis or alternate plan.

Communication Studies MFA-Forensics

(Thesis Option - 48 credits)

The Master of Fine Arts Forensics degree is a terminal degree for forensic professionals. Students who wish to teach and direct forensics programs a the college level will find the MFA is appropriate, tenurable degree at many four-year institutions around the country. The degree additionally certifies intense study of the theory and practice of communicative public performance for those students whose career aspirations are outside of collegiate forensics and teaching. Those students will find the degree as appropriate training for careers as a communication consultant, a motivational speaker and a communication trainer.

Admission to the online MFA Program is contingent on approval from the Graduate Coordinator, Director of Forensics, and the Assistant Director of Forensics in the Department of Communication Studies.

Criteria used when granting admission to the online program:

  1. Significant experience as a forensic competitor and/or coach.
  2. Documented need to complete program online rather than on-campus.
  3. Documentation the student can complete the practicum course (CMST 630) with a forensic program the Director of Forensics approves as providing the necessary experiential components.
  4. Documentation of an “on-site supervisor” who can verify required hours for CMST 630.
  5. Number of students currently enrolled in the online MFA program.

Major Common Core

Note: 603 required only of Graduate Teaching Assistants.

  • CMST 509  Performance Studies (3)
  • CMST 535  Forensics Pedagogy (3)
  • CMST 600  Seminar in Communication Theory (3)
  • CMST 601  Communication Research Methods (3)
  • CMST 602  Communication Pedagogy (3)
  • CMST 603  Stategies: Basic (0)
  • CMST 630  Forensics Practicum (3)
  • CMST 650  Capstone Prospectus (0)
  • CMST 651  Comprehensive Exams (0)
  • CMST 699  Thesis (3)

Restricted Electives

Organization/Conflict
Choose 3 credits:

  • CMST 512  Organizational Communication (3)
  • CMST 545  Conflict Management (3)

Intercultural/Interpersonal
Choose 3 credits:

  • CMST 613  Advanced Intercultural Communication (3)
  • CMST 621  Advanced Interpersonal Communication (3)

Rhetoric
Choose 3 credits:

  • CMST 515  Topics in Rhetoric and Culture (1-3)
  • CMST 620  Modern Rhetorical Criticism (3)

Professional
Choose 3 credits:

  • CMST 605 Teaching Communication Studies Online (3)
  • CMST 633 Communication for Professionals (3)

Unrestricted Electives

Required Communication Studies Electives: Choose 9 credits from 5/600-level courses in Communication Studies in consultation with an advisor. 

 Required Supporting Field Electives: Choose 6 credits from 5/600-level courses in a supporting field  in consultation with an advisor.

Appropriate research tools such as ethnography, critical analysis, language, statistics or others may be required by the department. No P/N credit is acceptable in fulfilling major requirements except in the case of thesis, practicums, internships, in-service courses and individual study, and then only by special permission of the department. Fifty percent (50%) of all coursework must be at the 600-level, not including thesis or alternate plan.

Communication Studies MS

(Project Option - 36 credits)

Required Core (15 - 18 credits)

  • CMST 600  Seminar in Communication Theory (3)
  • CMST 601  Communication Research Methods (3)
  • CMST 602  Communication Pedagogy (3)
  • CMST 603  Strategies: Basic Course (0)*
  • CMST 650  Capstone Prospectus (0)
  • CMST 697  Internship (6-9)

*required only of Teaching Assistants

Required Electives (12 - 15 credits)

Choose 5/600 level electives in consultation with an advisor

Required Supporting-Field Electives (6 credits)

Choose any 5/600 level related elective courses

Certificates in Communication Studies

Graduate Certificate in Professional Communication
12-credit online program

Employers routinely cite the need for effective oral, interpersonal and group communication skills. The Graduate Certificate in Professional Communication, offered by the Department of Communication Studies at Minnesota State University, Mankato, integrates communication theory, research and practical skills to provide students with the necessary abilities to succeed in a variety of professional arenas.

Our program has been developed primarily for working professionals who are unable to enroll in a traditional face-to-face graduate degree program. The graduate certificate program is offered entirely online. Prospective students can complete our program while continuing to work, and need not travel to Mankato for coursework. There is no residency requirement for this certificate.

Our program meets the needs of working students who have a bachelor’s degree in a communication-related field and are employed in an occupation in which they are using communication skills. Our program provides these students with advanced training in communication skills for job enhancement, promotion opportunities, and/or career re-training.

The graduate certificate is 12 credits, all of which are available online and all of which will also transfer into the MA program in Communication Studies should students decide to continue. The program consists of two core courses, and then students may select two additional courses from four more offerings. The program is designed to be completed in two years or less. Each course listed below will be offered at least once every two years.

Core (6 credits) 

  • CMST 604  Communication Training and Development
  • CMST 633  Communication for Professionals

Required Electives (Choose 6 credits)  

  • CMST 512  Organizational Communication
  • CMST 515  Topics in Rhetoric and Culture
  • CMST 545  Conflict Management
  • CMST 601  Communication Research Methods


Graduate Certificate in Communication Education
16-credit online program

Designed for individuals interested in teaching at technical and community colleges. Minnesota and many other states have a standard requirement that community and technical college faculty must hold a master’s degree and a minimum of 16 credit hours in-discipline. This graduate certificate provides a means for anyone who holds a master’s in another discipline but also wishes to teach in speech communication/communication studies.

Common Core

  • CMST 633  Communication for Professionals (3)

Restricted Electives

Choose three credits:

  • CMST 602  Communication Pedagogy (3)
  • CMST 605  Teaching Communication Studies Online (3)

Choose 10 credits:

  • CMST 515  Topics in Rhetoric and Culture (3)
  • CMST 535  Forensics Pedagogy (3)
  • CMST 545  Conflict Management (3)
  • CMST 550  NFL-Pedagogy (1-3)
  • CMST 551  NFL-Introduction to Debate (1-3)
  • CMST 552  NFL-Advanced Debate (1-3)
  • CMST 553  NFL-Basics in Forensics (1-3)
  • CMST 554  NFL-Introduction to Interpretation (1-3)
  • CMST 555  NFL-Advanced Interpretation (1-3)
  • CMST 556  NFL-Introduction to Argumentation (1-3)
  • CMST 557  NFL-Advanced Argumentation (1-3)
  • CMST 620  Modern Rhetorical Criticism (3)
  • CMST 621  Advanced Interpersonal Communication (3)

Course Descriptions

 

CMST 503 (3) Gender and Communication

This course is designed to develop an understanding of how gender and communication interact. Students learn the basic theories and principles of communication as it applies to gender and develop skills to enhance communication between and among gender groups.

CMST 505 (3) Methods: Speech & Forensics

The course fulfills secondary licensure requirements for Communication Arts and Literature. The course covers teaching methods and materials needed to develop units for speech communication courses; and methods and techniques in the development of competitive speech programs in grades 5-12.

CMST 509 (3) Performance Studies

This course is an overview of key performance studies concepts, including cultural performance, performance of everyday life, theories of play, social influence, and identity performance. Students will develop and present performances as a means to understand theoretical concepts.

CMST 512 (3) Organizational Communication

This course is designed to develop an understanding of speech communication in the organizational context. The course will aid each individual in working more effectively within any type of organization through exposure to major theories and works in the area of organizational communication.

 CMST 515 (1-3) Topics in Rhetoric and Culture

Special interest courses devoted to specific topics within the intersecting fields of rhetoric and culture. Topics vary, and course may be retaken for credit under different topic headings.

CMST 516 (1-3) Topics in American Public Address

Special interest courses devoted to specific topics within the field of American Public Address. Topics vary, and course may be retaken for credit under different topic headings.

CMST 535 (3) Forensics Pedagogy

Course is designed to give students a theoretical understanding of competitive speech and debate.

CMST 540 (1-3) Special Topics

A course designed for students who have a general interest in communication studies. Content of each special topics course will be different. May be retaken for credit.

CMST 545 (3) Conflict Management

This theory and research-oriented course examines the relationship between communication and conflict, and is designed to provide students with knowledge and skills in dealing with conflict situations.

CMST 550 (3) (1-3) NFL- Pedagogy

Course reserved for graduate students taking online NFL modules.

CMST 551 (1-3) NFL-Introduction to Debate

Course reserved for graduate students taking online NFL modules.

CMST 552 (1-3) NFL-Advanced Debate

Course reserved for graduate students taking online NFL modules.

CMST 553 (1-3) NFL-Basics in Forensics

Course reserved for graduate students taking online NFL modules.

CMST 554 (1-3) NFL-Introduction to Interpretation

Course reserved for graduate students taking online NFL modules.

CMST 555 (1-3) NFL-Advanced Interpretation

Course reserved for graduate students taking online NFL modules.

CMST 556 (1-3) NFL-Introduction to Argumentation

Course reserved for graduate students taking online NFL modules.

CMST 557 (1-3) NFL-Advanced Argumentation

Course reserved for graduate students taking online NFL modules.

CMST 600 (3) Seminar in Communication Theory

An introduction to the communication field focusing on theory construction and the function of communication theory/models in the human experience. Contemporary theories of communication will be reviewed.

CMST 601 (3) Communication Research Methods

Graduate students will gain a basic understanding of the research process as it applies to the field of communication. Research designs, methods, and data analysis procedures will be explored. Students will research, prepare, and write a research document.

CMST 602 (3) Communication Pedagogy

Required for all graduate students in the Department of Communication Studies. Surveys traditional pedagogoical theories as well as critical pedagagical theories as they pertain to teaching communication courses.

CMST 603 (0) Strategies: Basic

Open only to teaching assistants of the basic course in Communication Studies. Covers course design, course evaluation, methodologies for skill development, and related topics.

CMST 604 (3) Communication Training and Development

This course focuses on preparing professional trainers and developers in communication teaching, training and development.

CMST 605 (3) Teaching Communication Studies Online

Course is designed to prepare students to teach communication courses online. This course is not intended to teach communication pedagogy, but rather to teach how to prepare units, modules, and courses for an online environment.

CMST 613 (3) Advanced Intercultural Communication

This course explores the reasons we have difficulty communicating with people from other cultures, why misunderstandings occur, and how to build clearer and more productive cross-cultural relationships.

CMST 620 (3) Modern Rhetorical Criticism

This course includes the skills in the analysis, application, and evaluation of argumentative communication.

CMST 621 (3) Advanced Interpersonal Communication

This course explores and critically examines interpersonal communication theory development, current research and leading theoretical perspectives, and potential applications in contemporary interpersonal communication contexts and relationships.

CMST 630 (3) Forensics Practicum

This course is designed to help prepare students for their professional roles as directors or assistant directors of collegiate or high school forensics programs.

CMST 633 (3) Communication for Professionals

This course is designed to enhance the communication skills of professionals. Students will learn theory and techniques of presentation for academic conferences, professional meetings, business and industry presentations, interviews, and group meetings. The use of technology in professional communication will be highlighted.

CMST 640 (1-3) Special Topics

This course provides both graduate students and faculty the opportunity to work together with a specific theme that is timely and relevant to the field. May be repeated for credit.

CMST 650 (0) Capstone Prospectus

Capstone Prospectus requires a student seeking an MA, MS, or MFA to complete a research proposal. The student defends the prospectus before their committee. See advisor for specifics.

CMST 651 (0) Comprehensive Exams

The course requires a graduate student seeking an MFA to successfully pass comprehensive exams. The student is required to enroll and take the exams at least one semester before graduation. See advisor for specifics on the comprehensive exam.

CMST 677 (1-6) Individual Study

Advanced independent study.

CMST 690 (1-4) Workshop

Topics vary as announced in class schedules.

CMST 694 (1-2) Alternate Plan Paper

Review and interpretation of a body of research.

CMST 697 (1-12) Internship

Provides first-hand experience in applying communication theories in the workplace under the direction of an on-site supervisor.

CMST 699 (3-6) Thesis

Original research which meets accepted research standards.