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Graduate School

    The University of Maine
   
 
  Dec 15, 2017
 
 
    
2008-2009 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


Communication



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The Department of Communication and Journalism offers an M.A. in Communication with two major areas of study: Communication and Mass Communication. Both areas of interest provide students with a) a broad understanding of historical and contemporary theories; b) the research skills necessary to explore and contribute knowledge; and c) the ability to apply their knowledge in varied settings. All students are expected to demonstrate a holistic understanding of theory and research and to be competent analysts of literature appropriate to their program of study. Both areas encourage the integration of knowledge from among diverse approaches. Both areas provide students with a broad foundation for doctoral study and for employment as communication specialists and professions.

Where undergraduate study tends to focus on receiving information, graduate study assumes a more aggressive stance toward seeking, critiquing, and creating knowledge about communication processes and practices. Thus, faculty expect active pursuit of information on an independent basis outside of class, and a rigorous, creative challenge to knowledge presented by instructors and students in class. UMaine faculty assist graduate students in challenging accepted theory and in creating new knowledge. Students may choose to pursue either a thesis or a non-thesis option in developing their program of study.

Program Requirements

The curriculum is designed to provide students with both a central grounding and a flexibility for developing individual interests in one of two major areas of study that are designated as Communication and Mass Communication. The program of study in each area is designed to be completed over two years of full-time enrollment, but may also be completed on a part-time basis over a longer time period. Each course is offered once in a two year cycle

Financial Information

In addition to University fellowships and scholarships listed elsewhere in this Catalog, the Department offers graduate assistantships to qualified students. Graduate assistants in the Communication sequence teach six credit hours a semester (three hours during the first semester of teaching) in basic interpersonal communication, public communication, or oral communication of literature courses. Graduate assistants in the Mass Communication sequence teach or assist with courses in introduction to mass communication, introduction to advertising, writing for the mass media, radio news, techniques of video production, or advanced electronic reporting and production. Teaching assistants are carefully supervised and develop instructional skills that prove useful in later professional careers.

Assistantships are nine-month appointments that include tuition waiver and monthly stipends. Applicants interested in an assistantship should so indicate in their initial application for admission and complete the graduate assistantship form that is available from the Department of Communication and Journalism. Additional information about departmental graduate work can be found in the Communication Graduate Handbook.

Communication Area

A broad understanding of communication requires a thorough grounding in theory and research. Students receive training in humanistic and social scientific theories of communication and in ways of conducting research and criticism.

Core Requirements:


Students are required to complete:

Area Concentration


In addition to core requirements, students develop areas of interest by selecting courses from their area concentration and from electives. Students must complete 15 credit hours from the following courses:

Program Electives


Students must complete an additional 6 credit hours of elective course work by taking any CMJ graduate (500 or 600) level courses including CMJ 690 Directed Research (for 1-3 credits) and CMJ 695 Internship (for 1-3 credits) and may, with the approval of the student’s advisory committee, include up to 3 credits of graduate level course work outside the department.

Mass Communication Area

A core knowledge of theoretical and research approaches to mass communication within historical and legal contexts is essential to a thorough understanding of the field.

Area Concentration


In addition to the core requirements, students further refine their interests by selecting courses from their area of concentration and from electives. Students must complete 12 credit hours from the following courses, including at least 9 credits from:

Program Electives


Students must complete an additional 6 credit hours of elective course work by taking any CMJ graduate (500 or 600) level courses including CMJ 690 Directed Research (for 1-3 credits) and CMJ 695 Internship (for 1-3 credits) and may, with the approval of the student’s advisory committee, include up to 3 credits of graduate level course work outside the department.

General Information


In the first semester, a temporary advisor will be appointed. Students work with this faculty member in developing their plans for the program of study. The official program must be turned in to the Graduate School after completing 12 hours of course work or prior to the third registration (i.e., during the second semester of a two-year or four-semester program). During the first year (semesters one and two) students select their official advisory committee for either a thesis or non-thesis program. Three faculty are required for the official committee; at least two must be members of the Graduate Faculty in Communication. The program of study must be approved by all members of the student’s official committee. Changes in the program, once it has been submitted, must also be approved by the official committee. Students may change members of the committee as necessary and appropriate.

Non-Thesis Option. This option requires the following:

  1. The student must prepare and present a research project. Although the non-thesis project is not as extensive as the thesis, the research paper must evidence critical thinking.
  2. A synthesizing exam and an oral defense will be scheduled during the student’s final semester.

Thesis Option. Students electing the thesis option enroll in CMJ 699 for a maximum of six (6) hours. A thesis prospectus must be approved by the student’s official advisory committee prior to undertaking the research. After the thesis is completed, the student defends the research in an oral examination.

Graduate Faculty

John Sherblom, Ph.D. (Maine, 1986), Professor and Chair. Organizational communication, communication technologies, research methods.

Sandra Berkowitz, Ph.D. (Minnesota, 1994), Associate Professor. Rhetorical criticism, feminist rhetorical criticism, and U.S. Jewish identity.

Paul Grosswiler, Ph.D. (Missouri, 1990), Associate Professor. International mass communication, culture and technology, media ecology.

Mark Kelley, Ph.D. (Syracuse University, 2004). Assistant Professor. Mass communication, television news, audience and educational media effects.

Kristin M. Langellier, Ph.D. (Southern Illinois, 1980), Professor. Aesthetic communication, women and communication, phenomenological methods.

Laura Lindenfeld, Ph.D. (University of California, Davis, 2003), Assistant Professor. Mass communication, media, and applied public policy.

Shannon Martin, Ph.D. (North Carolina, 1993), Associate Professor. Newsroom and government agenda setting, information distribution systems.

Kathryn J. Olmstead, M.A. (Wisconsin, 1967), Associate Professor. Cultural journalism, student journalism.

Eric E. Peterson, Ph.D. (Southern Illinois, 1980), Professor. Philosophy of communication, mass communication, semiotics, and cultural studies.

Michael J. Socolow, Ph.D. (Georgetown, 2001), Assistant Professor, History of mass communication, broadcasting, and radio.

Nathan E. Stormer, Ph.D. (Minnesota, 1997), Associate Professor. Rhetorical theory and criticism, medical rhetoric.

Claire F. Sullivan, Ph.D. (Washington, 1991), Associate Professor. Interpersonal communication, health communication.

Natasha Tolstikova, Ph.D. (Illinois, 2001), Assistant Professor. Advertising and society, advertising and consumer culture.

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