Communication

Major: Communication
Degree Awarded: Master of Science (MS)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Total Credit Hours: 45.0 (MS)
Co-op Option: None
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 09.0900
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code:
11-2011; 11-2031; 25-1122

About the Program

Drexel’s Master of Science in Communication program prepares students for careers in a wide range of professional activities. The program specializes in three areas:

  • public communication
  • technical communication
  • science and health communication

Public Communication

Public Communication has much to offer those looking to work in journalism, public relations and nonprofit organizations. Students can choose from courses such as Strategic Social Media Communication, Event Planning, Sports Journalism, Public Relations Writing, and Nonprofit Communication.

Technical Communication

Technical Communication provides skills in technical writing, computer documentation and training to prepare students for careers in a wide range of industries, from social networking to publishing to health insurance. Students choose from courses such as Technical Writing, Digital Publishing, Technical & Science Editing, and Technical Documentation & Software.

Science and Health Communication

Science and Health Communication leads to careers in medical, science and pharmaceutical communication. Students can choose from courses such as Science Writing, Medical Journalism, and Campaigns in Health & Environment. 

In addition, the program provides a strong foundation in ethics and theoretical approaches to communication. This theoretical basis is designed to ensure that, as the field changes, students will continue to have an intellectual framework for evaluating and implementing new technology and changing media.

The program emphasizes flexibility, encouraging each student, in consultation with a faculty advisor, to craft a particular course of study. Throughout the curriculum students may use electives to increase communication skills or to further develop areas of specialization.

Students can attend classes on campus or online, full-time or part-time, they can begin the program in any academic quarter, and they can complete all required coursework in the evening. The degree requires 45.0 credits of graduate coursework, and can be completed part-time in approximately three years or full-time in five quarters (just over a year).

The program accommodates students from widely varying educational backgrounds; many have backgrounds in science and mathematics, and an equal number come from humanities-related disciplines. Some students pursue their degrees while already working in demanding jobs.

For additional information, visit the MS in Communication web page.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must meet the general requirements for admission to graduate studies. Prospective students must also submit:

  • A 750-1,000 word statement explaining why they want to enter the program. The statement will be reviewed to evaluate each applicant’s writing skills and sense of purpose.
  • Two letters of recommendation from professional or academic references
  • Transcripts of all college-level coursework
  • A current resume

GRE scores are not required, but are recommended for applicants with an undergraduate GPA of less than 3.0.

For international students where English is not the official language, a TOEFL score of 100 (iBT) or equivalent IELTS score is required. for more information regarding international application, please see the International Students Admissions Information page.

Visit the Graduate Admissions website for more information about requirements and deadlines, as well as instructions for applying online.

Degree Requirements

Requirements

The MS degree requires 45.0 credits of coursework and six months of internship for those who lack significant experience in communication related fields.

Internship

An internship is required and may be completed at any time during the student's tenure at Drexel. Students who already have the equivalent of six months of professional experience may waive this requirement at the discretion of the Department's Graduate Director.

Required Courses
COM 500Reading & Res Communication3.0
COM 610Theories of Communication and Persuasion3.0
COM 698Creating and Managing Communication Professional Identities3.0
Electives *21.0
Required Concentration Courses15.0
Students must select and complete one of the following concentration options:
Technical Communication
Ethics for Technical, Science and Health Communication
Choose four of the following:
Technical Writing
Document Design and Usability
Digital Publishing
Technical Documentation and Software
Technical, Science and Health Editing
Software Development
Science and Health Communication
Theory and Practice in Health Communication
Science Writing
Technical, Science and Health Editing
Ethics for Technical, Science and Health Communication
Medical Writing
Medical Journalism
Public Communication
Ethics for Public Communication
Choose four of the following:
Digital Publishing
Strategic Social Media Communication
Foundations of Public Relations
Public Relations Writing **
Public Relations Planning **
Event Planning
Grant Writing
Nonprofit Communications
Telecommunications Regulation and Policy
Investigative Journalism
Total Credits45.0

Sample Plan of Study

Public Communication

Term 1Credits
COM 500Reading & Res Communication3.0
COM 563Event Planning3.0
COM 650Telecommunications Regulation and Policy3.0
 Term Credits9.0
Term 2
COM 610Theories of Communication and Persuasion3.0
COM 613Ethics for Public Communication3.0
Elective3.0
 Term Credits9.0
Term 3
COM 535Digital Publishing3.0
COM 543Public Relations Planning 3.0
Elective3.0
 Term Credits9.0
Term 4
Internship 
 Term Credits0.0
Term 5
Internship 
 Term Credits0.0
Term 6
COM 698Creating and Managing Communication Professional Identities3.0
Electives6.0
 Term Credits9.0
Term 7
Electives9.0
 Term Credits9.0
Total Credit: 45.0

Science and Health Communication

Term 1Credits
COM 500Reading & Res Communication3.0
COM 612Ethics for Technical, Science and Health Communication 3.0
Elective3.0
 Term Credits9.0
Term 2
COM 610Theories of Communication and Persuasion3.0
COM 670
or 673
Medical Writing
Medical Journalism
3.0
Elective3.0
 Term Credits9.0
Term 3
COM 520Science Writing3.0
CHP 672Theory and Practice in Health Communication3.0
COM 570Technical, Science and Health Editing3.0
 Term Credits9.0
Term 4
Internship 
 Term Credits0.0
Term 5
Internship 
 Term Credits0.0
Term 6
COM 698Creating and Managing Communication Professional Identities3.0
Electives6.0
 Term Credits9.0
Term 7
Electives9.0
 Term Credits9.0
Total Credit: 45.0

Technical Communication

Term 1Credits
COM 500Reading & Res Communication3.0
COM 612Ethics for Technical, Science and Health Communication 3.0
Elective3.0
 Term Credits9.0
Term 2
COM 510Technical Writing3.0
COM 610Theories of Communication and Persuasion3.0
Elective3.0
 Term Credits9.0
Term 3
COM 525Document Design and Usability3.0
COM 535Digital Publishing3.0
COM 570Technical, Science and Health Editing3.0
 Term Credits9.0
Term 4
Internship 
 Term Credits0.0
Term 5
Internship 
 Term Credits0.0
Term 6
COM 698Creating and Managing Communication Professional Identities3.0
Electives6.0
 Term Credits9.0
Term 7
Electives9.0
 Term Credits9.0
Total Credit: 45.0

Communication Faculty

Ronald Bishop, III, PhD (Temple University) Director, Undergraduate Programs in Communication. Professor. Investigative reporting, sports journalism, journalism history, journalism sourcing patterns, textual narrative and ideological analysis, cultural history of fame.
Joan W. Blumberg, BA (Pennsylvania State University). Instructor. Publishing, electronic publishing, publishing and communications, publishing and mass-media.
Karen Cristiano, MS (Temple University) Assistant Department Head of Communication. Teaching Professor. Journalism, medical writing, feature writing, copy editing, mass media and society.
Richard Forney Assistant Teaching Professor. Broadcast journalism technology and the effects of new technologies on personal and corporate communication skills.
Alexander Friedlander, PhD (Carnegie Mellon University) Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, College of Arts and Sciences; Interim Co-Director, Judaic Studies Program. Associate Professor. Rhetorical theory and practice, document design, writing and technology.
Ernest A. Hakanen, PhD (Temple University) Director, Graduate Programs in Communication, Culture & Media. Professor. Telecommunications policy, adolescent media use, communication theory and history, global media, and semiotics.
Barbara Hoekje, PhD (University of Pennsylvania). Associate Professor. Sociolinguistic theory, discourse analysis, applied linguistics (language teaching, learning, and testing).
Alexander Jenkins, PhD (Drexel University). Assistant Teaching Professor. Digital games, video games, emotion, morality, online fan communities, emerging media, convergence.
Hyunmin Lee, PhD (University of Missouri). Assistant Professor. Social media strategies for relationship and reputation management in public relations; media messages of public health issues and its psychological and behavioral effects on the public.
Julia May, PhD (Drexel University) Director, Professional MS Communication Programs. Assistant Teaching Professor. Political communication; international politics and its news coverage; public opinion; transatlantic relations; war, torture and human rights; debate in the public sphere.
Alexander Nikolaev, PhD (Florida State University). Associate Professor. Public relations, political communication, organizational communication, mass communication, international communications and negotiations, communications theory.
Rakhmiel Peltz, PhD (University of Pennsylvania). Professor. Judaic studies, Yiddish culture and linguistics, ethnography of communication, immigrant cultural studies.
Douglas V. Porpora, PhD (Temple University). Professor. War, genocide, torture, and human rights; macro-moral reasoning in public sphere debate; contemporary social theory moral and political communication; religion.
Rachel R. Reynolds, PhD (University of Illinois). Associate Professor. Sociolinguistics, ethnography of communication and discourse analysis; violence against women in mass media; political economy of migration; semiotics including the textual, the visual and multimodal.
Rosemary Rys, MA (Rowan University). Assistant Teaching Professor. Public relations and marketing.
Wesley Shumar, PhD (University of Pennsylvania). Professor. Digital media and learning; culture of higher education; entrepreneurship education; craft culture; semiotic of consumer culture.
Lawrence Souder, PhD (Temple University) Director, Drexel Edits. Teaching Professor. Science and technical writing, communication ethics, nonprofit communication.
Allan Stegeman, MA (University of Houston). Teaching Professor. Communication, technology and mass media, video.
Susan Stein, PhD (University of Wisconsin). Associate Teaching Professor. Science, environmental, and health communication
Scott Tattar, BA (York College of Pennsylvania) Faculty Advisor, Drexel PRSSA, Communication Department Recruitment Liason. Instructor. Public relations
Hilde Van den Bulck, PhD (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) Department Head of Communication. Professor. Political economy of media structures; media policies for digitized media ecologies; stakeholders and coalitions in media policies; digitization; convergence and legacy media; public (service) media; celebrity culture and industry; fandom and anti-fandom.
Asta Zelenkauskaite, PhD (Indiana University). Associate Professor. Social media; user-generated content; computer-mediated communication; interactivity; active audience analysis; mobile communication; gender and online identity; prosumer culture; internet of things; quantitative/qualitative research.
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