What is the overall focus of the program?
This program focus on both internal and
external organizational communication,
including employee communication, public
relations and integrated communication.
The program seek to help students
gain the knowledge, skills, and abilities
required to research, plan, implement
and evaluate communications activities
designed to achieve organizational goals.
For whom are the program intended?
Our graduate program have been designed for both career-oriented individuals who want to advance in their chosen fields and for graduate students interested in advancing to doctoral studies.
How can a student specialize in a particular area within the graduate program?
Students are expected to learn how to manage and appropriately integrate a variety of communication functions. Therefore, they are expected to be generalists in all facets of organizational communication and public relations by the time they graduate. Many students will come into the program with some degree of expertise in certain areas and will want to focus their graduate education on, what will be for them, "new" areas of communication. With this in mind, the master’s degree program is designed to allow students flexibility in customizing their degree program. Students should work with the program director to identify the best combination of courses to meet their specific needs.
Are courses offered after 5:30 p.m. to accommodate the needs of students who have full-time jobs?
All our required courses are offered after 5:30 p.m. Electives are offered at different times during the day but students may choose those courses that best fit their program of study and scheduling needs.
What are the guidelines for completing the required thesis?
Research indicates that for professional communicators to "break through the glass ceiling," regardless of their gender, research skills and the ability to evaluate programs and campaigns are essential. Consequently, we require all students, as a capstone learning experience, to conduct a sustained research project that allows them to develop these essential skills and abilities.
A master's thesis, conducted with a thesis advisor, prepares a student for doctoral program and may involve any appropriate form of scholarly research.
Students should not begin their thesis until all other coursework has been completed. Prior to the completion of all required coursework, students may ask a member of the graduate faculty to serve as her or his principal faculty advisor; but, the advisor cannot sign an approval form until all coursework has been completed.
Under an advisor's supervision, the student should prepare an appropriate proposal and, with the faculty advisor's consent, identify at least two other graduate faculty members to serve on the review panel. The proposal, its approval, and the first three chapters of the thesis are often completed in one three-credit course. Then, the remaining chapters and defense of the thesis are completed in one additional three-credit course.
Sometimes students need extra time to complete their thesis work and therefore enroll in a one-credit continuum. The final grade for the thesis is earned with the last of the six-credit coursework is completed and approved by members of the student's defense examination committee. Here are the set of courses required to complete the thesis:
MCOM 898 (1-6), MOM 898 can be taken twice for a total of six credits.
If the student cannot finish the thesis in two semester, the student must register for MCOM 899, Thesis Continuum, for one credit per additional semester.
The proposal for the thesis constitutes the first three chapters: 1) a complete statement of the problem and broad research questions; 2) a literature review that concludes with a much more specific set of research questions; and 3) a complete description of the methodology, including research instruments.
Click here for general TU graduate thesis guidelines.
What is the step-by-step approach to the thesis process?
Form Committee: Have members sign the thesis committee approval form. This form is in the appendix of the thesis guidelines and can be downloaded off the web. When this has been done, you will submit this form to the Dean of the graduate school for approval.
Present a proposal of your thesis to the members of your thesis committee. If they approve, you will get a permit to sign up for the thesis credits. (You have the option of registering for all 6 credits for one semester or 3 credits one semester and 3 credits the following semester). You will also register for one credit of Thesis Continuum if you do not finish your thesis after the initial 6-credit semester or the two-3 credit semesters. You will continue to take Thesis Continuum until you successfully defend your thesis. This policy is mandatory. Your thesis permits will be obtained from your department.
When your thesis is finished, you will defend your thesis. You will provide a draft copy to your committee along with the thesis approval page, which has been formatted as shown in thesis guidelines and is on the proper paper. If approved, your committee will sign the approval page. If you have corrections to be made, do this before number 4.
Hand in a (corrected) draft copy of your thesis to the Dean of the Graduate School. It will be reviewed for the correct formatting. Make the necessary corrections and hand in two final copies on the thesis paper (20 lb. weight and at least 25% cotton rag).
Insert one copy of your signed thesis approval page ii in each final copy and present to the Dean of the Graduate School.
You should manage the above steps so you can hand in your final copies before the last day of the semester.
What are the Department of Mass Communication and Communication Studies’ Thesis Guidelines?
To be completed as partial fulfillment of the Master of Science in communication management, students are to complete the following steps:
Complete all course work relating to your degree first. You may not begin work on your thesis until all other courses in your program are completed.
Find Thesis Advisor: Get written permission (email is okay) of a graduate faculty member to supervise your work on your thesis. This person will require, most likely, a draft conceptualization of your thesis.
Conceptualize Thesis: Working with your advisor write a 5-8 page conceptualization paper where you discuss: thesis rational, theoretical framework, potential data collection methods, and a bibliography of supportive literature.
Form Committee: Submit conceptualization paper to potential committee members for approval. Once approved, have members sign the thesis committee approval form. This form is in the appendix of the thesis guidelines and can be downloaded off the web. Register for 3 credits of thesis.
Write Proposal: Prepare a written proposal of your thesis and have it approved by your advisor and committee members. Your proposal is the first three chapter of your thesis and should contain the following items, which your supervising faculty member may add to:
Title page with space for approval signatures
Chapter 1: Introduction to the thesis.
Chapter 2: Synthesis of the scientific literature relating to your research question(s) including theoretical and conceptual foundations of your topic.
Chapter 3: Description of the research methodology to be used, with appropriate TU documentation (Approval for the Use of Human Participants in Research) if applicable placed in the appendix. All data collection instruments should be included in an appendix.
Please note that TU approval for conducting research involving human subjects must be obtained by the TU Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Participants prior to any data collection.
Proposal Defense: Present a proposal of your thesis to the members of your thesis committee. If they approve obtain signatures on your title page and keep for your records. Register for 3 credits of thesis. If you do not finish your thesis after the two-3 credit semesters, you will continue to take Thesis Continuum until you successfully defend your thesis. This policy is mandatory.
Complete Thesis: Write your analysis and conclusion chapters.
Thesis Defense: When your thesis is finished, provide a draft copy to your committee along with the thesis approval page 7 weeks prior to the end of the semester. The defense must take place within 3 weeks of your submission. If approved, your committee will sign the approval page (be sure it is printed on appropriate paper). If not, the committee may require you to resubmit and defend your thesis again.
Submit Thesis: Hand in a (corrected) draft copy of your thesis to the Dean of the Graduate School. It will be reviewed for the correct formatting. Make the necessary corrections and hand in two final copies on the thesis paper (20 lb. weight and at least 25% cotton rag). Be sure that your thesis conforms to the Towson University Graduate Thesis Guidelines.
You should manage the above steps so you can hand in your final copies before the last day of the semester. Normally, finishing a thesis takes at least two semesters - one to complete and defend the proposal and the second to collect and analyze data and to defend.