A Master’s Degree in Communication from The University of Memphis prepares students for success in the many professional opportunities in this field and success in pursuing a doctoral degree in Communication. Students have a choice of two concentrations: Communication Studies or Film and Video Production.
The Film and Video Production concentration combines technical instruction with courses in both motion picture and traditional communication studies to provide students with the tools and concepts necessary to function in the multifaceted world of audiovisual production. The approach to media practice is broad enough to address the needs of the independent artist, as well as those who seek to enter the industry.
All graduate students must comply with the general requirements of the Graduate School (see Admissions Regulations , Academic Regulations , and Minimum Degree Requirements ) as well as the program requirements of the degree being pursued.
Multiple criteria will be used when considering applicant admission, including, but not limited to, undergraduate and graduate grade point average, GRE scores, personal goals statement, relevant employment history, letters of recommendation, and quality of the applicant’s writing sample. The number of students admitted to the MA program will depend on availability of adequate faculty supervision and other department resources. More specific admissions criteria can be found on our department website. GRE scores are required for every applicant.
See the Department of Communication website for information on applying.
Initial Graduate Advising
Before registering for courses beyond nine hours of study, the student will form an MA advisory program committee consisting of three members of the department’s graduate faculty. One of these three (who must have full graduate faculty status), by request of the student and the consent of the faculty member, will serve as advisory committee chair.
Formation and Conduct of Master's Advisory Committee
Role and Duties of MA Advisory Committee Chair and Members: All decisions pertaining to a student’s program must be approved by a consensus of the MA advisory committee, including meeting to approve a plan of study and approving the content of independent studies. Changes to the plan of study require advisory committee approval.
- Successful completion of a minimum of 30-33 hours of graduate courses, depending on the degree completion option a student and her/his committee agree on; 70% of the minimum must be at the 7000 level or above.
- Completion of the degree requires one of the following options; however students in Film and Video Production must complete option C, Culminating Project:
- Written and oral comprehensive examination. Students must pass both a written and oral comprehensive exam during or after their last semester of course-work. The student’s MA advisory committee must approve the option and is responsible for evaluating the comprehensive examination. A pass on the written examination is necessary for admission to the oral examination. The quality of the comprehensive examination as a whole is determined at completion of the oral examination. Students who elect this option must complete a minimum of 33 hours of graduate courses.
- Thesis and oral comprehensive examination. Students who elect this option should familiarize themselves with the Thesis/Dissertation Preparation Guide before starting to write. On completion of the thesis, the student must successfully complete an oral comprehensive examination, which will include an oral defense of the thesis, administered by the student’s MA advisory committee. The thesis, defense, and examination must be acceptable to all members of the advisory committee and recommended to the Graduate School after a successful defense. Students who elect this option must complete a minimum of 30 hours of graduate courses, of which 3 must be COMM 7996 - Thesis . No more than 3 credits of COMM 7996 - Thesis may count toward the 30 hour minimum
- Culminating project and oral comprehensive examination. This project must be completed under the supervision of a member of the graduate faculty. The student’s MA advisory committee must approve the option, and the student must enroll in at least three credits of COMM 7994 - Culminating Project , during or after the last semester of course work. The culminating project provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate their ability to work independently, as well as their mastery of an area of concentration in an applied form approved by their advisory committee. The project may take one of several forms, including a community-based communication intervention, or in the case of FVP students, a film or video production. On completion of the culminating project, the student must successfully complete an oral comprehensive examination, which will include an oral defense of the project, administered by the student’s MA advisory committee. The project, defense, and examination must be acceptable to all members of the student’s MA advisory committee. Students who elect this option must complete a minimum of 30 hours of graduate courses, of which 3 must be COMM 7994 - Culminating Project .
- All students must have competency in two of three core areas: Communication Theory, Rhetorical Theory, or Media Theory. These competencies can be satisfied academically in a variety of ways in consultation with the MA advisory committee.
- All students with a concentration in Film and Video Production must take three credits of COMM 7892 - Film/Video Production , before beginning their final culminating project.
- Up to nine hours outside the department may be applied to the minimum hour requirement with the approval of the student’s MA advisory committee.
- Up to six semester hours earned at another institution may be applied to the minimum hour requirement with the approval of the student’s MA advisory committee.
- Graduate assistantships are available and are awarded on a competitive basis within the department. Assistantships are normally renewed for one year depending upon the performance of assistantship duties and the progress being made towards a degree.
- Further details are available on the department website.
All requirements for the degree must be completed in 6 calendar years.
At the end of every academic year, the graduate faculty in the Department of Communication evaluates the progress of every MA student in the program. For a student to continue in the program, he or she must maintain satisfactory progress. The student will be judged as NOT making satisfactory progress if:
- The student’s cumulative GPA drops below 3.0 and remains there for more than one semester or nine credit hours.
- The student has acquired more incompletes than he or she can complete during one semester of normal academic work.
Should a student fail to maintain satisfactory progress, the Graduate Committee, in conjunction with the department chair, can recommend to the CCFA Associate Dean for Graduate Affairs and the U of M Vice Provost of Graduate Programs that the student be dropped from the program. Moreover, students found by the Office of Student Conduct to have committed misconduct will be sanctioned by the University in accordance with the policies contained in the “Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities.” In these cases, the Department may also recommend to the CCFA Associate Dean for Graduate Affairs and the U of M Vice Provost of Graduate Programs that the student be dropped from the program.
Departmental MA Guidelines
Additional details and information are available on the department website.