Feb 25, 2024  
2021-2022 Graduate Bulletin 
2021-2022 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Communication, MA

The College of Communications and Information offers programs leading to the Master of Arts (either Plan A or Plan B) and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Communication. The program offers special opportunities for students to apply communication theory and research across many contexts. Students may develop a program of study emphasizing (or combining) research areas such as health communication, information studies, instructional communication, media and mass communication, risk and crisis communication as well as strategic and organizational communication. The program is designed to serve the needs of students whose goals may include teaching and academic research, professional research, or communication careers in the media or other organizations.  

Students pursuing work in health communication are encouraged to develop interdisciplinary programs involving the Department of Behavioral Science, the College of Medicine, as well as the Colleges of Dentistry, Health Sciences, Pharmacy, and Nursing. Communication also participates in interdisciplinary research programs with the Center for Prevention Research, the Sanders-Brown Center for Aging, and a variety of other health-related departments and institutes. 


Admission Requirements 

Students with an undergraduate degree from a fully accredited institution of higher learning and a grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale are admissible to the graduate program. Only students who have previously completed a master’s degree may apply for admission into the doctoral program. Master’s degree applicants are expected to have had at least twelve hours of appropriate undergraduate work in communication. Students with degrees in areas not directly related to communication are encouraged to apply, but they may be required to take course work without graduate credit. Should the Admissions Committee feel there is a deficiency in the applicant’s studies, it may require enrollment in specific undergraduate courses. Courses taken to remove a deficiency cannot be counted towards the master’s degree. In some cases, successful professional experience in a communication field will be considered in admitting students to the program.  

Applicants must complete the University of Kentucky’s Graduate School online-application and pay the application fee. Per the Graduate School’s instruction, all applicants are required to submit official scores on the Graduate Record Examination and official transcripts of all work taken at and beyond the college level. Students whose native language is not English must also submit an official score of at least 550 (or 213 on the computer version or 79 on the internet-based version) of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or a minimum of 6.5 of the International English Language Testing Service (IELTS). Additionally, all applicants must submit to the College of Communications and Information Studies Graduate Admissions office: (1) transcripts of all work taken at the college level (unofficial or photocopies are acceptable), (2) at least three letters of recommendation focusing on their academic abilities accompanied by the supplied Reference Form and (3) the completed Application Essay indicating why they want to pursue a graduate degree with their reasons for applying to the program. No additional forms are required for financial assistance consideration-all applicants will be considered for funding at the time of review.  

The Admissions and Financial Aid Committee will review only completed admission files after January 5 of each year. Applications must have their completed file on record with the Associate Dean for the Graduate Programs in Communication by the deadline in order to be considered for fall admission. New graduate students are permitted to enroll only during the fall semester. Exceptions will be made only because of circumstances beyond the control of the applicant. This deadline does not apply to: (1) UK undergraduate students in the College of Communications and Information Studies applying as University Scholars, who may be admitted for summer, fall or spring semesters, and (2) current students in the M.A. Program in Communication or the M.L.S., M.S.L.S or M.S. in ICT. 


Degree Requirements  

The M.A. program requires that every student become familiar with the important theories and concepts and the principal investigation methods used to expand knowledge of communication. All students are required to complete 30 credit hours to complete the Master of Arts degree. Students will be required to take 12 core credit hours consisting of Communication Theory (CI 651  ), and Communication Research Methods (CI 665  ), plus Statistics 570 (or its equivalent as determined by the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies). In addition, all students will be required to take either Interpersonal Communication (CI 631  ) or Mass Communication (CI 608  or CI 645  ). Students may choose from either the Plan A (Thesis option) or Plan B (non-thesis) options to complete their Masters degree requirements.  

Plan A: Students choosing Plan A will take a minimum of 24 credit hours of actual course work, and write a thesis (Note: the six thesis credits must be taken under CI 768   - Residence Credit for the Master’s degree). All students will also complete an oral examination in defense of the thesis. Students choosing Plan B, will take a minimum of 30 hours of course work, followed by a written and oral examination over the student’s program.  

At least 21 credit hours of the minimum requirements for the master’s degree must be from offerings within the College of Communications and Information studies (both Plan A and Plan B). Plan A students may include six hours of CI 768   in the 21 hours, since the thesis involves work in an area of communication. Also, at least 15 credit hours of the minimum requirements must be in courses at the 600 and 700 levels (both Plan A and Plan B). Plan A students may include six hours of CI 768   in the 21 hours. No more than three credit yours in Plan A and 6 credit hours in Plan B (of the minimum requirements) may be earned in directed study, directed reading, or internship courses (e.g., CI 696  , CI 700  , CI 781  , and CI 790  ).  

Students without previous course work in communication may be required to take undergraduate work that does not count toward graduate credit, as determined by the Admissions Committee. Individuals without significant practical experience are strongly encouraged to take CI 696   - Internship in Communication, which could include opportunities to work with external agencies and funded projects, both within and outside the university.