Communicating Arts

Graduate Faculty

Keith Berry, Assistant Professor
Martha J. Einerson, Professor, Chair
Cathy Fank, Associate Professor
Tara Kachgal, Assistant Professor
Brent Notbohm, Associate Professor
Stewart Platner, Professor
Mark Spitzer, Assistant Professor

Contributing Staff

Joel Anderson, Senior Lecturer
Tom Notton, Senior Lecturer 

Graduate Mission Statement
The Communicating Arts Department shares in the mission of the University of Wisconsin-Superior and the University of Wisconsin System. In particular, we share the goals of liberal arts education in blending interdisciplinary theory and practice in each program area (Media Communication, Speech Communication, and Theatre). We seek to broaden graduate students' liberal arts coursework, experience, and scholarship along with preparing these advanced students to enter professional careers and pursue advanced study. 

Master of Arts Degree in Communicating Arts

The M.A. degree program in Communicating Arts is designed to broaden the student's liberal arts background and to prepare those who wish to enter professional careers in schools, colleges, media industry, educational and community theatres, business, industry, government, and further graduate study. The three areas of emphasis within the program are Media Communication, Speech Communication and Theatre.

The Communicating Arts Graduate Program works closely with all graduate students to develop a custom program plan of study, dependent on individual student goals and career objectives. Each graduate student develops an individual program of courses in close consultation with his or her graduate advisor.  We offer a flexible curriculum including two required courses, Communication Theory (COMM 701) and Communication Research (COMM 702). Graduate students receive close, personal attention from our graduate faculty on specific research and creative projects related to their area of focus in Media Communication, Speech Communication, and Theatre. The Communicating Arts Graduate Program prides itself in free inquiry and appreciation for new ideas and perspectives, unimpeded by academic politics. Our graduate program comprises a diverse and lively group of faculty who are both demanding and supportive of students. Our overarching characteristic is a love of and dedication to learning, in the best Renaissance tradition.

Admission Procedure
Admission to the Communicating Arts Department begins with application for admission to Graduate Studies sent through the Office of Graduate Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, Belknap & Catlin PO Box 2000, Superior, WI  54880-4500, or by calling (715) 394-8295 , or online at Specific programmatic information will be enclosed with the graduate studies application. Students are encouraged to contact the department chair for programmatic advisement. 

Admission Requirements
Along with the application to Graduate Studies, the following are required for admission consideration:

  1. Students whose undergraduate education is not in communication or a related discipline may be required to complete undergraduate coursework during their first semester. 
  2. Two letters of recommendation sent directly to the Graduate Studies Office.
  3. A two- to three-page essay titled "Reason for Graduate Study" sent directly to the Graduate Studies Office. This essay will address the applicant's degree and career goals. It specifically will address how the Communicating Arts Graduate Program is a good fit for the student, as well as the applicant being a good fit for the program. Applicants should be specific by referring to coursework, faculty program areas, specializations, academic performance, and career goals. If an applicant has questions about the essay, he or she should contact the director of graduate studies in Communicating Arts.

International Student Applicants

A.         TOEFL 560, TOEFL IBT 90 minimum score; and,

B.         Telephone interview scheduled with Graduate Program Coordinator in order to assess conversational proficiency. 

Application Deadlines
Applications must be postmarked by April 1 to be considered for fall semester admission.  Applications must be postmarked by October 15 to be considered for spring semester admission.

Degree Requirements
A minimum of 30 graduate semester hours of approved coursework, with 15 credits at the 700 level.

  1. COMM 701 (Communication Theory) and COMM 702 (Communication Research) are required courses for all graduate students. 
  2. Twenty-four credits in Communicating Arts courses numbering 500 and above, with 15 credits at the 700 level.
  3. Six credits in approved courses from a cognate area not previously used in numbers four and five below. 
  4. Twelve credits (among the cited 24 credits) are within a specialty area, either Media Communication, Speech Communication or Theatre. 
  5. These 12 credits must be accomplished (earned) in coursework with a minimum of two Communicating Arts graduate faculty members represented in this instruction.
  6. Students choose a thesis (COMM 780) or non-thesis (COMM 798) option for at least three semester credits. If the thesis option is chosen, upon completion one copy is filed in the Communicating Arts office and two copies in the Graduate Studies office for transmittal to the library. The committee for thesis, research papers and production projects must be formed to include a minimum of two Communicating Arts graduate faculty members.