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Communication Studies

Degree Requirements

MACTS Students in Greenville

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Our students select one of two options:

1. Thesis

Students may choose from two thesis options: Scholarly or Project.

A scholarly thesis is a traditional, original research project that results in a formal thesis document. Such a project should represent a significant contribution to the body of knowledge regarding the communication phenomenon that is the focus of the thesis.  

A project thesis is a creative undertaking such as a documentary, software application, performance, public event, archive, or digital project. However, this must be theoretically informed and include a significant written component.

The thesis committee will be selected in consultation between the student and his/her advisor and be comprised of faculty from the Department of Communication Studies, but may also include faculty representing associated disciplines on the Clemson campus.  A minimum of two of the committee members must be from the Department of Communication Studies.  A student must secure approval from the thesis committee for his/her thesis proposal before undertaking the thesis project. In order for a student to successfully complete his/her thesis, the student must participate in a public oral defense of the project.

Recent theses:

  • Dongni Wang: Women in Engineering: Identity Communication in Social Media
  • Colleen Dungey: Military Marital Relationships on Facebook: Associations Between Relational Maintenance Strategies, Relational Satisfaction, and Well-being
  • Sarah Arbogast: 140 Characters to Skinny: Social Support Provided by Commercial Weight-loss Programs via Twitter
  • Brandon Boatwright: Official and Viral Apologia: Participatory Culture and the Penn State Scandal
  • Beth Muckensturm: Using Dialogic Principles on Facebook: How the Accommodation Sector is Communicating with Its Consumers
  • Maddie Blair: Organizational Communication and the Meanings of Social Media as Cultural Mediums: A Case Study of Intramural Players’ Interpretations of Online Presence
  • Lauren Rauchwarter: The Millennial Church?: Defining the NewSpring Virtual Church

2. Comprehensive Exam

Some students may feel it’s to their advantage to conclude their degree with final exams. The exams may assess students’ knowledge of areas such as:  the history and distinguishing characteristics of the communication discipline, relevant communication theory, the range of research methods used in communication research, communication ethics as they apply to communication mediated by technology, how communication mediated by technology may be used to pursue long-term goals in communication (e.g., interpersonal, small group, organizational), the impact of communication technology on social and cultural level variables, as well as material representative of the student’s identified area of emphasis.

The exam committee will be selected in consultation between the student and his/her advisor and be comprised of faculty from the Department of Communication Studies, but may also include faculty representing associated disciplines on the Clemson campus.  A minimum of two of the committee members must be from the Department of Communication Studies.

In order for a student to pass his/her exams, the student must participate in a public oral defense of his/her exam answers.

Course of Study

Candidates for the MA in Communication, Technology, and Society must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours, including:

  • Five core courses: COMM 8010: Communication Theory I, COMM 8020: Communication Theory II, COMM 8100: Communication Research Methods I, COMM 8110: Communication Research Methods II, COMM 8030: Survey of Communication Technology Studies
  • Minimum of 18 credits in COMM courses at the 800 level
  • Minimum of six credits in COMM or another field; these courses must be selected in consultation with the student’s advisor
  • Up to nine credit hours can be thesis work 

The number of elective courses you take in a specialty area will depend on whether you are participating in the thesis option or comprehensive exam option. Your faculty advisor will help you select courses that meet your goals.

After completing your coursework, you will begin devoting time your thesis or preparing for your comprehensive exams.

Plan of Study:

    • Thesis Option

      Semester I:
      COMM 8010: Communication Theory I (3 credits)
      COMM 8030: Survey of Communication Technology Studies (3 credits)
      COMM 8100: Communication Research Methods I (3 credits)

      Semester II:
      COMM 8020: Communication Theory II (3 credits)
      COMM 8110: Communication Research Methods II (3 credits)
      COMM or other 8000-level elective (3 credits)

      Semester III:
      COMM 8910 Thesis Hours (3 credits)
      COMM or other 8000-level electives (6 credits)

      Semester IV:
      COMM 891 Thesis Hours (6 credits)
  • Exam Option

    Semester I:
    COMM 8010: Communication Theory I (3 credits)
    COMM 8030: Survey of Communication Technology Studies (3 credits)
    COMM 8100: Communication Research Methods I (3 credits)

    Semester II:
    COMM 8020: Communication Theory II (3 credits)
    COMM 8110: Communication Research Methods II (3 credits)
    COMM or other 8000-level elective (3 credits)

    Semester III:
    COMM or other 8000-level electives (9 credits)

    Semester IV:
    COMM or other 8000-level elective (3 credits)
    Final Exams

For more information about the program, please see the links at the left or email communicationstudies@clemson.edu with “MACTS” in the subject heading.

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