Communication Management M.S.

Degree: Master of Science
Program Director: Lingling Zhang
lizhang@towson.edu

The Master of Science in communication management offers both professional and research-oriented course work. Our applied courses help provide the knowledge and skills to research, plan, implement and evaluate activities designed to achieve communication goals in a variety of professional settings. Our theory and methodology courses provide students with the academic tools they need to complete the final components of the program—either comprehensive exams or a thesis. In addition to Mass Communication and Communication Studies courses, students will be able to choose from a wide variety of elective courses offered across the university.

The master’s program is appropriate for both career-oriented individuals who want to advance in their chosen fields and for students who intend to pursue further graduate studies.

Admission Requirements

This program admits fall and summer only with a February 1 deadline.

  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university** with at least 24 units of related course work in one or a combination of the following fields: mass communication; public relations and advertising; at least one advanced writing course; one statistics course; or equivalent professional experiences that are documented by the student and approved by the program director.
  • A minimum overall undergraduate GPA of 3.00 or higher for full admission.

Please complete the online application, including the following:

  • Completed application
  • Transcripts
  • Fees
  • One letter of recommendation
  • A résumé
  • A statement in 1,000 words or less (typed, double-spaced), based on your résumé, that
  • explains your professional and academic experiences with researching, planning, implementing and evaluating communication programs and campaigns; and
  • describes at least four learning objectives—what you want to achieve in this program and why
  • A cover letter expressing intent and/or interest
  • For international students, a TOEFL test is required. Students must score at least 100 on Internet-based TOEFL tests to be considered for full admission.

NOTE: All prerequisite courses must be completed before the student can enroll in any graduate class. A letter grade of B or above is required.

Non-immigrant international students: See additional admission information in Graduate Admissions

**See Exceptions to Policy in Graduate Admissions

Degree Requirements

Students in the Master of Science in Communications Management must meet the following degree requirements:

  • Completion of prerequisite courses.
  • Completion of a total 36 units of course work. All students will complete 15 units of required courses. Thesis students will complete 15 units of electives and 6 units of thesis coursework. Non-thesis students will complete 21 units of electives and take 3 comprehensive exams. A minimum of 27 units must be earned at the 600-800 levels.
  • Students may register for the thesis only after completion of all course work.
  • Students may take their comprehensive exams during their last semester of course work or after they have completed all the course work.
  • To receive a Master of Science in Communication Management, students may not have earned more than one C for any of the required or elective courses.

Non-Thesis Option/Comprehensive Exams

The students with an applied focus will be required to take 36 units of courses and pass three comprehensive exams to complete the program. These will be written, on-campus examinations in the following areas of the communications field: theory, research methods and a communication subject area chosen by the student. The examination questions will be approved by the graduate director and supervised by faculty who teach those courses. Only Mass Communication or Communication Studies graduate and associate graduate faculty can submit comprehensive exam questions. Students may take comprehensive exams after they have completed 30 units of courses or after they have completed all their course work.

NOTE: Students must pass all three comprehensive exams. To provide flexibility in faculty evaluation of comprehensive exam answers, there will be three categories of passing: Low Pass, Pass or Pass with excellence. If students fail an exam, they can retake it once. If students fail an exam a second time, they will be dismissed from the program.

Required Courses
MCOM 605COMMUNICATION THEORY3
MCOM 606PRACTICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS AND ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION3
MCOM 631QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS IN COMMUNICATION3
MCOM 632QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS IN COMMUNICATION3
MCOM 639MASS COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE3
Electives
Select 21 units (at least 9 units from COMM/MCOM) from the Electives listed below21
Total Units36

Thesis Option

Students with a research focus, or who plan to continue their academic studies past a master’s degree, can choose to take 30 units of courses and 6 thesis units. These students will be required to write a thesis under the guidance of a faculty adviser from the department and defend their thesis in front of a department committee. Students may register for thesis units only after they have completed 30 units of course work. The topic of the thesis should be based on students’ interests, but it must also be relevant to the communication discipline. The topic will have to be approved by the adviser and thesis committee.

Students must defend a thesis proposal, which will be approved by the thesis committee before the student can begin collecting his/her data for the thesis. Thesis students will sign up for 6 units of a thesis supervised by a member of the graduate faculty in Mass Communication and Communication Studies: MCOM 897MCOM 898; orMCOM 899. NOTE: If students fail the proposal defense (and/or thesis defense), they can retake it only once. If students fail their proposal or thesis defense twice, they will be dismissed from the program.

Required Courses
MCOM 605COMMUNICATION THEORY3
MCOM 606PRACTICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS AND ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION3
MCOM 631QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS IN COMMUNICATION3
MCOM 632QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS IN COMMUNICATION3
MCOM 639MASS COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE3
Thesis
Select 6 units from one of the following:6
MCOM THESIS
MCOM THESIS
THESIS CONTINUUM
Electives
Select 15 units (at least 9 units from COMM/MCOM) from the Electives listed below15
Total Units36

Departmental Electives

COMM 518COMMUNICATION TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT3
COMM 519ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION3
COMM 522CONFERENCE AND MEETING MANAGEMENT3
COMM 795INDEPENDENT STUDY IN COMMUNICATION STUDIES1-6
MCOM 502LITERARY JOURNALISM3
MCOM 507MULTIMEDIA REPORTING3
MCOM 533MEDIA ETHICS3
MCOM 543INTERNATIONAL ADVERTISING3
MCOM 547ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS3
MCOM 550PUBLIC OPINION AND THE PRESS3
MCOM 551PUBLIC RELATIONS FOR NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS3
MCOM 553STRATEGIC PUBLIC RELATIONS AND INTEGRATED COMMUNICATIONS CAMPAIGNS.3
MCOM 559PROFESSIONAL ISSUES IN STRATEGIC PUBLIC RELATIONS AND INTEGRATED COMMUNICATIONS.3
MCOM 603CRITICISM IN MASS MEDIA3
MCOM 617INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATION3
MCOM 621MASS MEDIA LAW AND REGULATIONS3
MCOM 638MANAGING COMMUNICATION IN A CULTURALLY DIVERSE SOCIETY3
MCOM 651MEDIA AND POLITICS3
MCOM 660CRISIS COMMUNICATION3
MCOM 670SPECIAL TOPICS IN MASS COMMUNICATIONS (More than one Special Topics course may be offered during the same term)3
MCOM 683COMMUNICATING IN SOCIETY: PERCEPTION AND REALITY3
MCOM 795INDEPENDENT STUDY IN MASS COMMUNICATION3

Electives from Outside the MCCS Department

ART 610ELEMENTS OF WWW DESIGN3
ART 620GRADUATE TYPOGRAPHY3
ART 641INTERACTIVE MEDIA CONCEPT AND THEORY3
ART 765GRADUATE DESIGN FOR THE WWW3
ISTC 541FOUNDATIONS IN INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNOLOGY3
ISTC 605WEB-BASED INSTRUCTION IN EDUCATION3
ISTC 633INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO3
ISTC 655MULTIMEDIA DESIGN3
ISTC 687COMPUTER-BASED INSTRUCTION3
PHIL 563BUSINESS ETHICS3
POSC 509COMPARATIVE POLITICAL SYSTEMS3
POSC 527POLITICAL THRY I3
POSC 528POLITICAL THY II3
POSC 530AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT3
POSC 585SEMINAR IN POLITICAL THEORY3
PRWR 617EDITING3
PRWR 619COMMUNICATION IN THE PROFIT/NONPROFIT SECTORS3
PRWR 621BUSINESS WRITING3
PRWR 623TECHNICAL WRITING AND INFORMATION DESIGN3
PRWR 625DESIGN LAYOUT & PRODUCTION3
PRWR 627MODERN RHETORIC3
PRWR 628DESIGNING CONTENT FOR THE WEB3
PRWR 670TOPICS IN WRITING 13
PRWR 677TOPICS IN WRITING 13
PRWR 713FREELANCE WRITING3
PRWR 729CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS CONSULTING3
SOSC 605AMERICAN POLITICS IN THE 21ST CENTURY3
SOSC 606SOCIOLOGICAL INSIGHT3
WMST 550B-MORE: BALTIMORE AND URBAN COMMUNITIES3
WMST 603THE DIVERSITY OF WOMEN3
WMST 605WOMEN IN AN INTERNATIONAL CONTEXT3
WMST 607ADVANCED FEMINIST THEORY3
WMST 611WOMEN, PUBLIC POLICY AND SOCIAL CHANGE3
1

Students in the Communication Management master’s program must have graduate director approval before signing up for a Topics in Writing course.

NOTE:

  1. Up to 6 units of graduate courses may be transferred from other approved universities, subject to approval by the graduate program director.
  2. No more than 9 units of 500-level courses can be taken.
  3. Some required and elective courses have prerequisites. Students are responsible for making sure they have met these prerequisites prior to taking the course.
  4. Some courses may not be offered each term. Students should consult each term’s schedule of classes when determining which courses to take.
  5. No more than two 3-unit Independent Study courses may be applied to the degree; and, all Independent Study courses need to be approved by the program director prior to enrollment.
  6. Students may take graduate-level electives not listed above only if approved by the graduate program director.

1. Students will be able to use and evaluate quantitative and qualitative research techniques in the gathering of research data appropriate to the field of communication.
2. Students will enhance and develop writing skills in established and emerging integrated communication venues including electronic, print and broadcast platforms.
3. Students will be able to identify appropriate communication based theories and apply them in the course of solving real world problems in the field of communication.
4. Students will understand and apply the communication process that connects organizations and audiences in mutually beneficial relationships.

Courses

MCOM 502 LITERARY JOURNALISM (3)

Literary techniques and dramatic structure for print and online journalistic media.

MCOM 507 MULTIMEDIA REPORTING (3)

Research and create multimedia news and feature articles incorporating hypertext and graphics and photographic, audio and video elements. Not open to students who have successfully completed MCOM 407. Lab/Class fee will be assessed.

MCOM 519 CORPORATE COMMUNICATION MANAGEMENT (3)

A survey of practical theories and applications that are related to corporate communication practices. Topics include group and individual behaviors in corporate environments, managing conflict, culture, change, and innovation; and leadership/management communication. The particular emphasis will be placed on advertising, public relations, or brand communication organizations and on developing a critical assessment on corporate communication practices and prepare a research paper on this topic. Prerequisite: Communication Management graduate students.

MCOM 533 MEDIA ETHICS (3)

Ethical principles, issues, dilemmas in mass communication; professional codes; interpersonal, small group, organizational and societal factors affecting mediated communication.

MCOM 543 INTERNATIONAL ADVERTISING (3)

Role of advertising and promotion programs in the world marketplace, consideration of global and local perspectives, key decisions in agency operations, creative aspects and media.

MCOM 547 ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS (3)

Application of advertising principles and practices to the development of campaigns and the preparation of plan books.

MCOM 550 PUBLIC OPINION AND THE PRESS (3)

Journalistic aspects of public opinion and propaganda; the impact of mass communication media on the formation of public opinion. Techniques of polling and testing public opinion.

MCOM 551 PUBLIC RELATIONS FOR NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS (3)

Fundraising and developing, implementing and evaluating public relations campaigns for nonprofit organizations.

MCOM 553 STRATEGIC PUBLIC RELATIONS AND INTEGRATED COMMUNICATIONS CAMPAIGNS. (3)

Research, planning, implementing and evaluating programs and campaigns.

MCOM 559 PROFESSIONAL ISSUES IN STRATEGIC PUBLIC RELATIONS AND INTEGRATED COMMUNICATIONS. (3)

Technical, managerial, legal, ethical and accreditation issues and concerns. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

MCOM 560 INTERNSHIP IN MASS COMMUNICATION (1-6)

Under faculty and Career Center supervision, students work as intern with a professional in the field of mass communication. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 units, but only 6 units will apply to the major. S/U grading. Prerequisites: Junior/senior standing, cumulative QPA of 2.75 and 3.00 in the major, completion of appropriate courses determined by the department; please check with Career Center for specifics.

MCOM 570 SPECIAL TOPICS IN MCOM (3)

Study of selected topics in the field of mass communication. Topics will vary according to instructor.

MCOM 603 CRITICISM IN MASS MEDIA (3)

Critical analysis of film and television with focus upon cultural, commercial and aesthetic values that affect these media.

MCOM 605 COMMUNICATION THEORY (3)

Examination and critique of contemporary communication theories. Prerequisite: MCOM graduate student or consent of instructor.

MCOM 606 PRACTICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS AND ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION (3)

Second in sequence of two courses that examine the body of knowledge in public relations, with a focus on the strategic management of communication, including marketing, case studies and field investigations. Prerequisite: MCOM 605.

MCOM 617 INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATION (3)

Media systems of the world compared relative to their political, cultural, sociological, economic, religious, historical and broadcasting and print structures. In-depth analysis of American global media efforts.

MCOM 621 MASS MEDIA LAW AND REGULATIONS (3)

Legal limits on freedom of the press, Constitutional guarantees, libel, contempt, obscenity, privacy, ethical problems and the right to know. Origins and concepts of freedom of information and its evolution in Constitutional law and judicial decisions: contemporary problems of censorship in publishing, broadcasting and film.

MCOM 631 QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS IN COMMUNICATION (3)

Introduction to quantitative research methods in communication. Development of quantitative communication research designs. Prerequisites: PSYC 212, or MATH 231 or equivalent, MCOM 605 (may be taken concurrently).

MCOM 632 QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS IN COMMUNICATION (3)

Introduction to qualitative research methods in communication. Development and execution of qualitative communication research design. Prerequisite: MCOM 605 (may be taken concurrently) or consent of the instructor.

MCOM 638 MANAGING COMMUNICATION IN A CULTURALLY DIVERSE SOCIETY (3)

Study of the complexities of managing integrated communication in a society composed of diverse audiences including cultural, ethnic, physical, life style, religious and racial diversity. Prerequisite: Student must have graduate standing.

MCOM 639 MASS COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (3)

Examination of the role of mass media and communication technologies in shaping culture and human agency. Emphasis on both historical and contemporary ideas about how media, culture, and communication technologies intersect to create social meaning. Prerequisites: MCOM 605 and one of the following: MCOM 631 or MCOM 632 or consent of the instructor.

MCOM 651 MEDIA AND POLITICS (3)

Relationships between the mass media and the political system. The influence of the media on political careers, the adversarial and support roles of the media.

MCOM 660 CRISIS COMMUNICATION (3)

Explores communication theories and techniques used in crisis communication and apologia. Topics include inoculation practices, crisis avoidance, bolstering, models of leadership and crisis management plans. Prerequisites: Graduate standing.

MCOM 670 SPECIAL TOPICS IN MASS COMMUNICATIONS (3)

Exploration of current media topics. Prerequisite: Varies with each topic.

MCOM 683 COMMUNICATING IN SOCIETY: PERCEPTION AND REALITY (3)

Examines historic and contemporary impact that communication has played in creating world cultures and societies. Areas of investigation will include public relations, advertising, electronic media, propaganda, the internet, and movies. Prerequisites: MCOM 605, MCOM 606, MCOM 625, and MCOM 631.

MCOM 795 INDEPENDENT STUDY IN MASS COMMUNICATION (3)

Directed study in production or research in selected areas through readings, projects, papers and/or seminars. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 units. Prerequisites: 15 units of graduate-level mass communication and/or communication studies courses, and consent of instructor.

MCOM 897 MCOM THESIS (6)

An original investigation using acceptable research method and design to be pursued under the direction of one or more faculty members.

MCOM 898 MCOM THESIS (3)

The previous course, MCOM 897, taken over two consecutive semesters.

MCOM 899 THESIS CONTINUUM (1)

Continuation of thesis research.