Wisconsin's Public Liberal Arts College

Communicating Arts Program


2012-2014 Catalog

Communicating Arts Program

Graduate Faculty

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


Contributing Staff

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 (Communication, Media, 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 Program Description & Admission Requirements

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, professional and community theatres, business, industry, government, and further graduate study. 

The three areas of emphasis within the program are Communication, Media 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 Communication, Media, 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 the University of Wisconsin online application for admission to graduate studies, available here. Specific programmatic information is available within the graduate studies application. Students are encouraged to contact Coordinator of the Graduate Studies in the department for programmatic advisement and to answer any questions.

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 Coordinator of graduate studies in Communicating Arts.

International Student Applicants:

  1. TOEFL 560, TOEFL IBT 90 minimum score; and,
  2. Telephone interview scheduled with Graduate Program Coordinator in order to assess conversational proficiency.

Application Deadlines:

Applications should be postmarked by April 1 to be considered for fall semester admission. Applications should 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 Communication, Media 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 exit project (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 one electronic copy is filed with 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.

Master of Arts - Communicating Arts Requirements

30 total credits

24 Elective credits; 15 credits numbered 700 or above required

Required courses (6 credits required):
COMM 701 Communication Theory -- 3 credits
COMM 702 Communication Research -- 3 credits

Communicating Arts Elective courses
COMM 501 Selected Topics in Film and Television -- 3 credits
COMM 520 Selected News Writing -- 3 credits
COMM 530 Advanced New Gathering and Reporting -- 3 credits
COMM 532 Communication in Conflict -- 3 credits
COMM 548 Screenwriting -- 3 credits
COMM 561 Narrative Video Production -- 3 credits
COMM 562 Documentary Video Production -- 3 credits
COMM 565 Theatre Direction I -- 3 credits
COMM 566 Theatre Direction II -- 3 credits
COMM 568 Criticism of Film and Television -- 3 credits
COMM 576 Group Communication Processes -- 3 credits
COMM 577 Special Topics in Theatre -- 3 credits
COMM 588 Elements of Design for Theatre -- 3 credits
COMM 592 Leadership in Training -- 3 credits
COMM 655 Theorizing Media Culture -- 3 credits
COMM 667 Intercultural Communication -- 3 credits
COMM 677 Media Law -- 3 credits
COMM 698 Independent Study -- 1-6 credits
COMM 708 Media Ethics and Criticism -- 3 credits
COMM 711 Graduate Practicum -- 1-3 credits
COMM 715 Selected Topics in Theatre History -- 3 credits
COMM 721 Advanced Design for Theatre -- 3 credits
COMM 775 Internship -- 3-9 credits
COMM 795 Special Topics Seminar -- 3 credits
COMM 799 Intern Teaching Communication -- 3 credits

Cognate Approved required courses (6 credits required--cannot be courses used above):

Any graduate level courses approved in consultation with student's Graduate advisor.

Specialty Area required courses (12 credits required in either Communication, Media or Theatre area -- may use courses listed above):

These 12 credits must be accomplished (earned) in coursework with a minimum of two Communicating Arts graduate faculty members represented in this instruction.

Thesis or Exit Project Required course (3 credits required):

If the thesis option is chosen, upon completion one copy is filed in the Communicating Arts office and one electronic copy is filed with 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.

COMM 780 Thesis -- 3-6 credits
COMM 798 Independent Study (exit project) -- 3-6 credits


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