Graduate study in Communication Studies at the University of Rhode Island is based on an interdisciplinary philosophy designed to enhance options for graduates. The Department of Communication Studies offers a 30-credit-hour program leading to the Master of Arts degree. In consultation with faculty advisors, students develop a program of studies to foster their developing career needs. The curriculum prepares students interested in establishing or furthering their careers as professionals in communication or related fields such as personnel, business administration, or human services, or for continuing study in a Ph.D. program.
Specializations are offered in applied communication, interpersonal communication, media studies, organizational communication, political and public communication. In consultation with advisors, students prepare for careers in public and private industry, government, or academic areas. Students are encouraged to develop their course plans to foster their evolving career needs. Thus, one might advance specific interests and competencies in areas such as communication technology, conflict management, political media, organizational communication consulting, or public relations. Individual specialties can be developed within each of the specialization areas.
Graduate courses in Communication Studies are small interactive classes that average 10-15 students. Most of the classes offered in the graduate program in Communication Studies are offered in the late afternoon, early evening, mostly on weekdays. Some courses may be offered as week-long intensive seminars or over several weekends.Most courses are taught at the Feinstein College of Continuing Education in the Shepard Building, Providence, Rhode Island. Some courses are taught at the Kingston campus. Still other classes will be presented via multimedia technologies.
The graduate faculty in Communication Studies consists of 17 tenure-track faculty with Ph.D.s from prestigious research institutions. The faculty has well-earned reputations as outstanding teachers and productive researchers.
Graduate faculty in Communications from Rhode Island College supplement the graduate faculty from the University of Rhode Island. This cooperative process assures graduate students the best possible faculty for the specific courses offered.
The University awards a limited number of fellowships, including some for minorities. Generally, funding for graduate studies is available through loan assistance.
The Department strongly encourages teaching experience as part of the M.A. degree program and as a means of professional development and preparation. Many of our graduates choose teaching or related professions. Others go on to PhD programs where they are expected to teach. In fact, teaching experience is highly regarded when accepting students to PhD programs. Further, Com Studies graduate students enrolled in Com503 (Graduate Practicum: Teaching Communication) are strongly encouraged to teach Com100 as per course instructors or as graduate teaching assistants. Therefore, the teaching experience is critical to the graduate studies experience in the Communication Studies M.A. program.