2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 
    Apr 20, 2024  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog [Archived]


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 Master of Art in Communication

Department of Communication
Gillum Hall, Room 342
Phone: 812-237-3244
Fax: 812-237-3217
E-mail: ISU-COMM@mail.indstate.edu

Web site: http://www.indstate.edu/comm

Department Interim Chair: Dr. Debra Israel

Phone: 812-237-3027




Hantzis, Darlene, Ph.D., Louisiana State University
Professor of Communication and affiliated faculty in Women’s Studies
Specializations: Performance and Gender Studies

Vincent, Richard C., Ph.D., University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Professor of Communication
Specialization: International Communication

Associate Professor

Kray, Susan, Ph.D., University of Illinois
Associate Professor of Communication and affiliated faculty in Gender Studies
Specializations: Media Theory and Criticism

Dr. Lori A Henson, Ph.D., Indiana University Bloomington                       
Associate Professor of Communication                    
Specializations:  Journalism and Communication Law

Assistant Professors

Shana C. Kopaczewski, Ph.D., University of Iowa                                                                            
Assistant Professor of Communication                                                                                                       Specializations:  Interpersonal Communication, Media Criticism

Haijing Tu, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Assistant Professor of Communication                                                                                                       Specializations:  Media Production and Media Theory


Natasha Barnett, Ph.D., University of New Mexico
Specializations:  Health Communication, Interpersonal Communication, and Conflict Management

Philip Glende, Ph.D. | University of Wisconsin, Madison
Director of Student Media
Specializations: Journalism and media history

Brian Johnston Ph.D., University of South Florida
Instructor in Communication
Specializations:  Rhetoric, Media Studies, and Instructional Systems Design


The Master’s program in Communication focuses on providing students a broad-based advanced degree which spans several areas of the discipline.  These areas include but are not limited to health communication, international communication, interpersonal communication, journalism, mediated communication, political communication, gender studies, and rhetorical studies.  Students are prompted to ask significant questions about communication and are equipped with the tools to answer these questions. Through a detailed study of communication theory and method, students develop an integrated perspective on the discipline and grow to appreciate the interrelationships among various areas of study in the field.  Graduates of this program possess the analytical, critical, and creative tools for competent specialization which may lead either to confident entrance into the profession or to further graduate study.


Graduate study involves higher expectations and a sharper focus than is expected at the undergraduate level, and it provides students with skills that prepare them for scholarly pursuits as well as for professional employment.

Graduate students are expected to demonstrate mastery of required course work. All students will demonstrate the ability to work independently and in teams, to design and complete research projects, to engage in interdisciplinary research, and to present their work competently in both written and oral forms. In addition, all students are expected to be aware of societal and ethical issues that surround the discipline and to act in accordance with ethical standards.

Measures for assessing the program’s success will provide data that indicate the extent to which the curriculum is meeting the following objectives:

1.     To develop an understanding of the central issues and current research important to the field of communication.

2.     To be familiar with the breadth and depth of conceptual and applied knowledge in the field of communication.

3.     To be able to communicate acquired knowledge.

4.     To be aware of ethical issues pertaining to the study and practice of communication.

5.     To develop the ability to design and present an independent and meaningful research project.

6.     To understand the relationship of communication to other disciplines.


In addition to application materials required by the College of Graduate and Professional Studies, graduate student applicants must: (1) provide two formal letters of recommendation, (2) submit a recent GRE score, and (3) write brief answers to a series of questions as conditions of admission to our graduate program in Communication. Please visit the College of Graduate and Professional Studies to apply.

The Department of Communication requires a recent (within the last 24 months) GRE score. GRE scores will be used as one measure, among others, to determine the applicant’s eligibility for acceptance into the program. There is no threshold GRE score that must be attained for admission. GRE scores should be reported directly to the College of Graduate and Professional Studies.

An undergraduate GPA of not less than 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is required. Applicants not meeting these minimal standards may be recommended for conditional admission by the graduate faculty of the Department of Communication. Interviews will be required of assistantship applicants.

Two letters of recommendation are required from college or university faculty who are acquainted with the student’s preparation in the area of study to be pursued in the graduate program.

International students must meet the TOEFL requirements of the College of Graduate and Professional Studies. The department may also require additional evidence of written and spoken English proficiency.

Applicants should provide a brief statement of purpose and answer the following supplemental questions:

1) How did you learn about ISU’s graduate program in communication?

2) Why do you want to pursue a graduate degree in communication?

3) Why do you want to pursue a graduate degree at ISU?

4) Please tell us about any of your experiences, skills, and academic interests that will help you to contribute to discussions in classes and seminars in our graduate program.

5) On what communication topics would you like to focus in your graduate work?

6) What are your professional goals? How do you think your work in our program will help you to carry out your plans for professional work or further study, after your studies here?

7) Describe an incident in your life, anything since early childhood, in which communication issues (problems, skills, or questions) played an important role. Explain the role this communication problem, skill, or question played in the incident.

Additional Information

Following a review of the applicant’s undergraduate transcript, a student deemed by the graduate faculty to lack adequate preparation in basic undergraduate course content may be required to enroll in undergraduate courses (concurrently with graduate courses) to remove deficiencies. The student will not, typically, receive graduate credit when enrolling in undergraduate courses to meet deficiencies.

As a general rule, the Department of Communication will accept in transfer no more than six credits of appropriate course work earned at other colleges and universities accredited for master’s or higher level study by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools or a comparable association. Applicants may petition the department graduate faculty for the transfer of additional credits.

As a general rule, all students should enroll in COMM 600 their first semester.


Graduate education is characterized by ongoing evaluation in graduate courses. Familiarity with the discipline of communication, competent course work performance, and participation in professional activities are key elements in achieving an advanced degree in this field.  Successful students will consistently demonstrate the ability to locate and synthesize information, to solve complex problems, to conduct and present original research, and/or to engage in creative production of communication products.

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