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Steps to Move Forward in the MA Program Links

Steps to Move Forward in the MA Communication Program

Film and Video Students: Your progression through the program is guided by Film and Video Production faculty, who make up your advisory committee. 

Your First Semester (first 9 hours) 

When you begin your program here, we will assign one of our faculty members to be your temporary advisor. That person will help you to decide what classes to take during your first semester and will clear you to register. You cannot register for classes until you have talked to your temporary advisor. 

Before registering for classes for your second semester (or immediately after completing nine hours in a part-time program) you must:

  1. Select a permanent advisor who is a member of the graduate faculty. You can begin the process of selecting a permanent advisor any time during the semester. Get to know the professors in the department. Ask them about their research and share your interests with them. This process will help you to find a good match. 
  2. In consultation with your advisor, select two additional faculty members for your Advisory Committee. At least one of the two additional members must be a faculty member in the Department of Communication. 
  3. Complete the MA Program Advisory Committee Form, with the appropriate signatures, and submit it to Rika Hudson, our graduate administrative assistant. 

    With help from your advisor and advisory committee, develop a Plan of Study. (See an example in the Forms section.) The purpose of the Plan of Study is to describe your goals for the program, the area you want to focus on, the courses you will take in the remaining semesters of your program, and the form your culminating project will take: Comprehensive Examination, Thesis, or Special Project. Click on each for descriptions and examples. 
  4. Arrange a meeting of your advisory committee to discuss and approve the Plan of Study. Give the final approved Plan of Study, with your committee members’ signatures, to Rika Hudson. Then send an electronic copy to each of your committee members. Be sure to keep the final version in your own files, as well.

Your Second Semester (or by the end of 18 hours)

By the end of the semester, work out your plans for your culminating project (exams, thesis, or special project) in conjunction with your advisor and advisory committee. 

Between Your Second and Third Semesters 

Write the proposal for your culminating project, the format and requirements of which will be determined by your advisor and advisory committee.

Your Third Semester (or by the end of 27 hours) 

Early in your third semester hold a committee meeting to obtain each member’s approval of your proposal. The timeline for part-time students for the culminating project should be worked out in conjunction with your advisor. 

As long as you have completed 2 of 3 core courses of the program, no particular courses are required for your third semester. However, you have the following options to begin work on your culminating project: 

  • Special Problems for COMM Students: COMM 7993 
  • Thesis Study for COMM Students: COMM 7996 
  • Comprehensive Exams for COMM Students: Speak with your advisor about the particular sequence of courses.

Your Final Semester (by the end of 36 hours)

  1. Check the schedule in the Academic Calendar (maintained by the Registrar’s Office) to make sure you have the correct deadlines for each stage of your work this semester.
  2. Submit Application for Admission to Master’s Degree Candidacy and Intent to Graduate Card. Both of these forms are submitted electronically.
  3. Special Project for COMM students: Register for COMM 7994, though you may also choose to register for COMM 7993 and 7994 concurrently in the final semester in consultation with your advisor.
  4. Thesis Study for COMM Students: Register for COMM 7996
  5. Comprehensive Exams for COMM Students: Speak with your advisor about the particular sequence of courses.
  6. Meet with your committee to set a date for completion and defense of your culminating project, which will be one of the following:
    • Comprehensive Exam (written and oral)
    • Defense of Special Project
    • Defense of Thesis
  7. Submit the appropriate results form (Comprehensive Exams for comps or for special project or Thesis Final Defense Form).

Requirements for the MA Program 

Steps to Move Forward in the MA Program 

Maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress 

Course Descriptions

Examples of Special Projects and Theses 

Graduate Programs Homepage

Current Graduate Students

PhD Program

Apply to the PhD Program

MA Program

Apply to the MA Program

Current Course Descriptions

MA & Ph.D. Requirements

Ethical Responsibilities


Graduate Faculty

Professional Organizations

UofM Graduate School

U of M Calendars and Deadlines

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Last Updated: 1/9/13