The Department of Communication studies the process and analysis of human communication, with areas of specialization that include interpersonal communication, persuasion, communication technology, nonverbal communication, and media effects. The Department offers both a Master of Arts (M.A.) and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Communication. The M.A. program in Communication emphasizes the scientific investigation of human communication behavior, stressing developments in communication theory and research as they relate to society and the communication process. The Communication prepares people for entry into a number of fields that require analysis of communication situations. It also provides a solid foundation for Ph.D. work. The Ph.D. program in Communication offers students a unique curriculum that stresses the integration of theory and research in communication. Our program places strong emphasis on communication theory and a wide range of research skills and is designed to provide students with a rigorous course of study that will prepare them for careers in the academic, commercial, or non-profit spheres. Because our program emphasizes a balance between theory and application, alumni leave UConn with a dynamic skill and knowledge set, qualifying them for employment opportunities both inside and outside academia.

Master of Arts in Communication

All students must complete at least 33 credit hours of graduate course work, including a core of required courses. Required core courses are COMM 5001 and 5002. Core courses may only be waived in special circumstances. Students opting to write a thesis must also take COMM 5003 and 5010. The remainder of the student’s program will be determined by their chosen specialty area. A minimum of 30 credits in total (including core courses and thesis- or project-related courses, if applicable) must come from graduate-level COMM courses. Students must culminate their M.A. program by either writing a thesis, taking a comprehensive examination, or completing a Capstone Project (COMM 5979). The choice among these options is made in consultation with and subject to the approval of the student’s major advisor. Students pursuing a UConn undergraduate B.A. degree in Communication and who enroll in the accelerated M.A. program can apply to use up to 12 credits of graduate-level coursework taken as an undergraduate towards an M.A. degree in Communication.

Doctor of Philosophy in Communication

All students must complete a program of study of at least 60 credit hours of graduate coursework, which includes dissertation credits. Required coursework varies depending on the chosen track, but all students must complete several core courses. Core courses are COMM 5001, 5002, 5003, and 5010. Core courses may only be waived in special circumstances. The Ph.D. program has six tracks: Interpersonal Communication, Marketing Communication, Mass Communication, New Communication Technology, Nonverbal Communication, and Persuasion. As part of each track, students will take 6-9 credits in an area chosen to provide breadth or specialized skills. Students must pass COMM 6800, which entails participating in two research projects mentored by faculty. Students must take and pass the doctoral comprehensive examinations in communication theory and research methods. After passing both examinations, students must successfully defend their dissertation proposal. Students culminate their Ph.D. program by submitting and successfully defending their doctoral dissertation.

The programs are offered by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.