Plan B Overview
Plan B is a non-thesis option that offers some flexibility for students who choose this track. Students can choose between an applied study option and a comprehensive exam option. Plan B requires candidates to complete either an applied research project or pass written comprehensive exams. Candidates must also pass a final oral examination based on their research project or written responses to the comprehensive exams. The advisory committee for an applied project or comprehensive exam will consist of an advisor and two graduate faculty members.
Applied Study Option
The applied study option requires a candidate to conduct a study designed to assess the state of affairs or test a problem-solving solution in a local organization. The study is expected to result in a written report, which must be submitted to and reviewed by the candidate’s advisory committee. The candidate must present their research results to the advisory committee and address questions of the study.
Comprehensive Exam Option
The comprehensive exams option requires a candidate to provide written responses to questions developed by his or her advisory committee. All candidates must respond to questions assessing their understanding of communication theory and research construed broadly. Additionally, candidates respond to questions specific to their individual course of study. Each member of the advisory committee will read and assess the candidate’s responses. At least two of the three committee members must accept the candidate’s responses in each topic area for the candidate to pass. Candidates must pass all three topic areas to complete the written comprehensive exams successfully. The entire comprehensive exams may be retaken only once. Individual items may be rewritten no more than two times. The candidate must also pass a final oral exam of the comprehensive exams in addition to passing the written portion.
Plan B Coursework Requirements
Students who select the Plan B track are required a minimum of 33 credit hours of graduate work. Of these credits, at least 27 must be completed in Communicology courses numbered 600 and above. Students who wish to undertake the non-thesis option are still required to take and successfully complete COMG 601 [Theories of Communicology] and COMG 602 [Research Methods in Communicology]. Courses from allied disciplines may be counted toward the degree only with prior approval of the graduate chair (see Petition Form for enrolling in graduate course outside of Communicology). On rare occasions, we may allow students to use an upper-division undergraduate course toward their M.A. in Communicology degree requirements (see Petition Form for enrolling in an upper-division Communicology course).