Jun 29, 2022  
2009-2010 Graduate Catalog 
2009-2010 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Communication Studies

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Dr. Terry Robertson, Department Chair
Dr. Carolyn M. Prentice, Graduate Director
Master of Arts in Communication Studies
Noteboom Hall, Room 318
414 East Clark Street
Vermillion, SD 57069



  Master of Arts in Communication Studies, Plan A and B

Areas of Study:

Organizational Communication
Political Communication
General Communication Studies


 Terry Robertson, Associate Professor, Ph.D., University of Oklahoma–Norman. Specialization: Media Studies, Political Communication, and Gender Studies.

Carolyn Prentice, Assistant Professor, Ph.D., University of Missouri-Columbia. Specialization: Family Communication, Group Communication.

Jill Tyler, Assistant Professor, Ph.D., University of Iowa, Specialization: Interpersonal/Relational Communication, Health Communication.   

Program Description

Communication Studies is the study of people’s verbal and nonverbal communication within the contexts of interpersonal relationships, small groups, organizations, and public address. The program emphasizes communication that invites and embraces diversity. Students who participate in the Communication Studies graduate program frequently have varied backgrounds and undergraduate majors, including communication, business, English, political science, mass communication, counseling, and education.

The Communication Studies curriculum prepares students for leadership positions in various organizations: business, public administration, non-profits, and education. Specific focus is on jobs in management, personnel, marketing, public relations, organizational consulting, human resources development and academic administration. The degree program also includes preparation for Doctoral work, and for teaching in the communication field at public secondary school or college level.

Principal Fields for Specialization and Research: Graduate students are encouraged to design individually tailored programs of study to meet their career goals. Course work is offered in three areas of emphasis: Organizational Communication, Political Communication, and General Communication Studies.

Within each of the above areas of specialization, a student pursuing a graduate degree may select between two options: Plan A (thesis and oral defense) or Plan B (comprehensive exam). Plan A is recommended for students who have an interest in research and pursuing a Doctoral degree in Communication Studies. The student should make this selection depending upon his/her future occupational/educational goals. 

Admission Requirements

  • An undergraduate degree from an accredited institution with a GPA of 3.0 or better based on 4.0 scale is required for full admission.
  • Scores from the GRE taken within the last 5 years must be submitted for full admission.
  • Master’s candidate must complete a minimum of 15 credit hours of undergraduate Communication Studies or a related discipline, as approved by the department.
  • International students must take the TOEFL test and have a minimum score of 89 (or 575 on the paper-based tests taken prior to Fall 2005) and have completed an ESL program. Additional requirements exist for international students.
  • A 2-4 page statement of purpose that includes the student’s personal philosophy regarding the value and goals of higher education.

- Subject to faculty approval, those who do not meet all of the criteria above may be admitted on a provisional basis.

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