New M.A. in Communication Starts This Fall

Posted: June 22, 2001 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Michelle Nery

After two years of preparation and analyses of area master’s programs, the Communication Department developed a proposal for a master’s degree in Organizational Communication and Public Relations that was approved by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV). The new M.A., a modified version of the M.A.I.S. degree with a concentration in communication, begins this fall. At that time, applications for the M.A.I.S. communication concentration will no longer be accepted.

The M.A. in Communication will be more structured than the M.A.I.S. concentration and requires a communication research course. “Previously, students enrolled in the M.A.I.S. communication concentration had to take a research course from sociology or psychology, and it made it much harder on the students,” said Cynthia Lont, Communication chair. “This [research] course will give them everything they need to make themselves successful.”

The new master’s program will allow students to examine relationships between organizations and communication as situated in specific social, political, and economic environments. The degree can be focused in public relations; health, environmental, and risk communication; international and intercultural communication; gender communication and the workplace; or organizational communication.

Students in the M.A.I.S concentration with 15 or fewer credits will be able to transfer to the M.A. program.

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