The Interpersonal Communication track of the Communication MA focuses on theoretical and applied perspectives of interpersonal communication theory and research.
|Total Credit Hours Required:|
Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor's Degree|
The MA degree program in Interpersonal Communication is a four-semester program for full-time students. Part-time students may take up to seven years to complete the program. Both thesis and nonthesis options are offered and both consist of a minimum of 33 (nonthesis) or 34 (thesis) semester hours of work. By the end of their first 18 hours of course work, students should decide whether to pursue the thesis or nonthesis option. Proseminar in Communication must be completed with a passing grade within the first nine hours of study.
Required Courses—18 Credit Hours
- COM 6008 Proseminar in Communication (3 credit hours)
- COM 6046 Interpersonal Communication (3 credit hours)
- COM 6303 Qualitative Research Methods in Interpersonal Communication (3 credit hours)
- COM 6304 Quantitative Research Methods in Communication (3 credit hours)
- SPC 6219 Modern Communication Theory (3 credit hours)
- STA 5045 Statistical Analysis of Communication Data (3 credit hours)
Elective Courses—12 Credit Hours
In addition to the courses listed below, special topics courses, up to 6 credit hours of approved independent studies, directed research, internship, and graduate-level courses taken outside the Nicholson School of Communication may be counted as restricted electives, pending approval by the program director.
- ADV 6209 Advertising and Society (3 credit hours)
- COM 6025 Health Communication (3 credit hours)
- COM 6047 Interpersonal Support in the Workplace (3 credit hours)
- COM 6048 Communication in Close Relationships (3 credit hours)
- COM 6121 Communication Management (3 credit hours)
- COM 6145 Organizational Communication (3 credit hours)
- COM 6425 Symbolism in Terrorism (3 credit hours)
- COM 6463 Studies in Intercultural Communication (3 credit hours)
- COM 6467 Studies in Persuasion (3 credit hours)
- COM 6468 Communication and Conflict (3 credit hours)
- COM 6525 Communication Strategy and Planning (3 credit hours)
- MMC 6202 Legal and Ethical Issues for Communication (3 credit hours)
- MMC 6266 Communications Convergence and Media Planning (3 credit hours)
- MMC 6307 International Communication (3 credit hours)
- MMC 6407 Visual Communication Theory (3 credit hours)
- MMC 6567 Seminar in New Media (3 credit hours)
- MMC 6600 Media Effects and Audience Analysis (3 credit hours)
- MMC 6607 Communication and Society (3 credit hours)
- MMC 6612 Communication and Government (3 credit hours)
- PUR 6005 Theories of Public Relations (3 credit hours)
- PUR 6403 Crisis Public Relations (3 credit hours)
- SPC 6442 Small Group Communication (3 credit hours)
Thesis Option—4 Credit Hours
On average, students take about two full semesters to complete a thesis project, so students should begin the process about one year from their desired graduation date. Students begin the thesis process by selecting a thesis adviser who will serve as the Chair of the Thesis Advisory Committee. In conjunction with their thesis adviser, students will develop a topic and choose two additional members of the thesis committee. The thesis committee must be approved prior to enrolling in thesis hours. All thesis advisory committees in the Nicholson School of Communication must be chaired by a member of the NSC graduate faculty. At least one semester prior to the thesis defense, students will submit a thesis proposal. Copies of the proposal will be routed to members of their thesis committee and a proposal hearing scheduled. All students must pass a proposal hearing as well as a final oral defense of their thesis. Students who elect to write a thesis should become familiar with the university’s requirements and deadlines for organizing and submitting the thesis. More information about the thesis process is available in the program handbook.
- XXX 6971 Thesis (minimum of 4 credit hours, can be taken individually)
Nonthesis Option—3 Credit Hours
Students in the nonthesis option must take one additional elective for three credit hours.
- Elective (3 credit hours)
Students selecting the nonthesis option must take and pass comprehensive examinations. The exams will be scheduled once each semester near the end of the term. The examinations will cover quantitative research methods, qualitative research methods, interpersonal communication, communication theory (i.e., the program core), and two elective areas selected by the student. Internships, directed research, independent studies, and courses taken outside of the NSC are not eligible areas for examination. All exams must be written and graded by faculty in the Nicholson School of Communication. Students are eligible to take comprehensive examinations during the semester in which they are completing their sixth "comprehensive exam course," but must be within nine credits of graduation. Students must be enrolled at the university in order to qualify to take the comprehensive exams.
In order to fulfill the comprehensive exam requirement the student must pass all exams in the program core and at least one of the elective area exams. Once an exam in an area is passed, the student does not have to sit for that exam area again. Students are allowed three attempts to satisfy the comprehensive exam requirement.
Students who fail to satisfy the comprehensive exam requirement after the third attempt will be reviewed by a committee of the Nicholson School of Communication graduate faculty. The committee will consult the instructor(s) who prepared the failed exams and will determine a course of action for the student. This may include additional course work that is designed to strengthen the student’s knowledge and proficiency in areas where the comprehensive exam performance has identified deficiencies. The student will not be allowed to take the comprehensive exams again until he/she has satisfactorily complied with the committee’s recommendations.
Full-time students in the Communication MA program pay a $16 equipment fee each semester that they are enrolled. Part-time students pay $8 per semester.
INDEPENDENT LEARNINGStudents who elect the thesis option engage in independent learning through the design and implementation of original research in the thesis process. Students who pursue the nonthesis option with comprehensive exams experience independent learning through their individual preparation for each of six exams. All students engage in independent learning in every Communication core course. A research paper or project is required in each of these classes. The papers and projects provide independent learning by requiring students to design and carry out research projects and develop analytical papers, some of which are submitted to conferences and/or journals for peer review. Internships and independent studies are also common opportunities for independent learning in the Communication MA Program.
For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions section of the Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.
In addition to the general UCF graduate application requirements, applicants to this program must provide:
- One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended.
- Official, competitive GRE score taken within the last five years.
- Written statement outlining the student’s academic and professional goals.
The following information is required for those who wish to be considered for funding initiated by the Nicholson School of Communication, but is recommended for all applicants:
- Three letters of recommendation
- Resume or Curriculum Vita
Meeting minimum UCF admission criteria does not guarantee program admission. Final admission is based on evaluation of the applicant's abilities, past performance, recommendations, match of this program and faculty expertise to the applicant's career/academic goals, and the applicant's potential for completing the degree.
All application materials must be submitted by the appropriate deadline listed below.
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International Transfer Applicants
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Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see the College of Graduate Studies Funding website
, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information
section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.
Fellowships are awarded based on academic merit to highly qualified students. They are paid to students through the Office of Student Financial Assistance, based on instructions provided by the College of Graduate Studies. Fellowships are given to support a student’s graduate study and do not have a work obligation. For more information, see UCF Graduate Fellowships, which includes descriptions of university fellowships and what you should do to be considered for a fellowship.
The majority of financial assistance provided by the Nicholson School of Communication Graduate Program is granted through assistantships. Preference will be given to applicants who complete their application for admission prior to the January 15, priority deadline. It is the applicants' responsibility to ensure they have a complete application on file by the priority deadline. Applicants who have complete applications on file by the priority deadline will be e-mailed an application for assistantship. Current Communication MA degree-seeking students will also be given the opportunity to apply for assistantships at that time. Students on assistantship are paid a stipend, receive tuition support, and are eligible for health insurance. For general information regarding assistantships at UCF, refer to the Assistantships (www.students.graduate.ucf.edu/assistantships) section of the Graduate Students website.
The Nicholson School of Communication offers two types of assistantships:
- Graduate Teaching Assistants are assigned to work with faculty members and assist them with their teaching responsibilities. This includes assisting with large lecture classes, grading exams, compiling information for lectures, and working with students, as instructed, to help keep a class operating smoothly.
- Graduate Teaching Associates are graduate students who, after completing eighteen hours of their graduate program of study and the required university and department training, are assigned to teach their own sections of undergraduate courses. Typically, Graduate Teaching Associates teach SPC 1608 Fundamentals of Oral Communication or SPC 1603 Fundamentals of Technical Presentations.