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Communication Studies - Masters

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Curriculum
Our 30-credit hour Master of Arts in Communication Studies, offered through the KU College of Liberal Arts & Sciences' Department of Communication Studies, can help you develop skills that are at the core of career and personal success. The program’s coursework equips students with skills in evaluating messages and strategies in varied settings, helping them to become more effective in their work. Courses include organizational communication, new communication technologies, communication in coaching and leadership, training in organizations, personal relationships and communication technology.

The program’s coursework provides an alternative for those who seek a degree as flexible as the MBA, one that will remain relevant even as their career path evolves.

  • Our emphasis on practice develops students’ abilities in communication strategy and performance.
  • Classes that examine communication context—such as interpersonal, team, organizational, legal, and mediated—provide insights that set our graduates apart.
  • Our largely mid-career students bring a wealth of personal and work experiences to the classroom, enhancing everyone’s learning.

Students can complete all requirements for the degree at the Edwards Campus in evening courses taught by the same nationally recognized KU faculty who teach in Lawrence.

COMS 730: Writing & Speaking for Decision Makers
Theory and application of communication strategies for corporate communication. This course presents rhetorical analysis of organizational situations and audiences, focusing on corporate decision-makers. Included are informative and persuasive communications such as board presentations, requests for proposal and responses to RFPs, grant proposals, and persuasive presentations for adoption, implementation, or evaluation of organizational programs. Course is limited to Regents Center students only.
COMS 741: Seminar in Leadership: Organizing Identity, Identification, and Stigma
This class is strategically designed to deepen our knowledge of issues of identity, identification, and stigma in organizational communication. Seminar participants will generate new ideas and discoveries about identity, identification and stigma through writing, theorizing, research and analysis of organizing practices. This course will provide a communication lens that seminar participants can use to understand and articulate their own identities and the identities of others as professionals and organizational members.
COMS: 811 Applied Organizational Communication
Communication is the central process in all organizational endeavors, and it profoundly influences both organizational outcomes and member satisfaction. This class considers key communication contexts and processes, including development and maintenance of relationships with peers, subordinates and supervisors, trust, feedback, persuasion and dealing with change. It also addresses team and group processes, work across cultures and generations, and effective use of communication technologies. In examining the often taken-for-granted ways in which organizations operate, organizational members can heighten the chances of their own and their organization’s success.
COMS 859: Prosm in Communication Studies
An overview and integration of communication studies based upon an examination of selected basic writings in the discipline.
COMS 930: Communication and Organizational Change
This is a course designed to introduce the student to the concepts of communication with the process of organizational change. Specific course objectives include the following:
  • Understanding the organizational change process and the literature that reflects the most current research on successful change process
  • Understanding communication frameworks within organizational change processes and the role that communication plays in the change process
  • Understanding the critical role of stakeholders in the change process
  • Opportunity to interact with leaders who are in the process of affecting change in their organizations
  • Opportunity to design an organizational change research project
  • Opportunity to improve communication and information seeking skills through research, presentations, and writing assignments.

This course was co-taught with Dr. Marilu Goodyear of Public Policy and Administration and was co-listed as PUAD 839.

COMS 930: Communication and Systems
This course is concerned with the relationships among components of organizations and with the connections between organizations and their environments. We also will consider how concepts of self-organizing systems, complexity and chaos theories and emergence illuminate organizational stability and change. Throughout, we will focus on the role of communication as the means through which all these processes and relationships are created and enacted.
COMS 930: Stakeholders & their Organizations
Organizations are embedded in networks of stakeholders, any person or organization with a vested interest in them. Stakeholders may be internal – employees, for example – or external – customers, suppliers, regulators, competitors, and more. Pressures from stakeholders are important influences on decision making and on organizational success or failure. This course examines the relationships among organizations and their stakeholders, looking especially at
  • How organizations identify and address competing stakeholder expectations
  • How organizations present themselves, their relationships, their corporate social responsibility actions
  • Stakeholder challenges in organizational change
  • The influence of inter-organizational collaboration, integration and competition on local, regional, and global scales
  • How organizations and grand narratives of organizations and work affect society

The course focuses on how messages from organizations and their stakeholders interact with organizational structure, policies, activities, and outcomes.

COMS 930: The Dark Side of Communication
This course explores the negative and dysfunctional facets of human relations that often emerge even within the "best" relationships in our lives. Dark side scholarship covers a wide array of topics including but not limited to: social aggression (i.e. bullying); domestic violence; stalking; mental illness; infidelity and "simple" relational turbulence. Together we will examine the literature and work with community professionals engaged in real world struggles to understand what theories might help us explain the "dark side" of communication and explore how we turn our communication behaviors toward the "light."

Learn More — Request Info
Questions?

Michelle Reames
Coordinator of Graduate Advising
913-897-8510
michelle.reames@ku.edu

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