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: 09.9999
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

Technical communication is for those seeking employment as technical writers, computer documentation specialists, and training specialists.

Public communication leads to careers in journalism, non-profit communication, and public relations.

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 at demanding jobs.

For additional, 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

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
Technical Writing
Document Design and Evaluation
Digital Publishing
Technical, Science and Health Editing
Ethics for Technical, Science and Health Communication
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
Introduction to Public Relations
Public Relations Writing **
Public Relations Planning **
Event Planning
Grant Writing
Nonprofit Communications
Telecommunications Regulation and Policy
Investigative Journalism
Total Credits45.0
*

Any appropriate graduate course offered in the University can serve as an elective if the student has sufficient background to take the course. In addition, the program offers its own elective courses including special topics (COM T680). Qualified students may also pursue independent study for elective credit in special cases.

**

To enroll in this class you must first earn a grade of "B" or better in COM 541 Introduction to Public Relations or get permission from the MS COM advisor to waive this requirement.

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 Evaluation3.0
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). 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, MJ (Temple University) Assistant Department Head of Communication. Associate Teaching Professor. Journalism, medical journalism, feature writing, copy editing, mass media and society.
Richard Forney Assistant Teaching Professor. Broadcast journalism technology and the effects of new technologies, corporate communication.
Alexander Friedlander, PhD (Carnegie Mellon University) Interim Department Head of Communication; Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, College of Arts and Sciences. Associate Professor. Rhetorical theory and practice, document design, writing and technology.
Ernest A. Hakanen, PhD (Temple University). Professor. Consumerism/media studies, adolescent media use and communication theory.
Barbara Hoekje, PhD (University of Pennsylvania) Director, Undergraduate Programs in Communication. Associate Professor. Sociolinguistic theory, discourse analysis, applied linguistics (language teaching, learning, and testing).
Hyunmin Lee, PhD (University of Missouri-Columbia). Assistant Professor. Social media strategies for relationship and reputation management in public relations, examining media messages of public health issues and its psychological and behavioral effects on the public, communication theory and research methods.
Susan Magee, MFA (Bennington). Instructor. Social Marketing; Electronic Publishing; Technical Communication.
Julia May, PhD (Drexel University). 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.
Jordan McClain, PhD (Temple University). Associate Teaching Professor. Media framing and music journalism; relationship between television and music; American popular culture; celebrity, consumerism, and consumer behavior; branding, brand positioning, and advertising criticism.
Alexander Nikolaev, PhD (Florida State University). Associate Professor. Public relations, political communication, organizational communication, mass communication, international communications and negotiations, communications theory.
Rosemary Rys, MA. Assistant Teaching Professor. Public relations and marketing, event planning, public relations campaigns and strategies and public relations writing and editing.
Lawrence Souder, PhD (Temple University). Associate Teaching Professor. Science and technical writing, communication ethics, nonprofit communication.
Allan Stegeman, MA (University of Houston). Teaching Professor. Communication, technology and mass media, video, photography and editing.
Susan Stein, PhD (University of Wisconsin) Graduate Director. Associate Teaching Professor. Science, environmental, and health communication
Scott Tattar, BA (York College). Instructor. Public relations, media relations, technical communication, strategic communication.
Asta Zelenkauskaite, PhD (Indiana University). Assistant 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.
  • Schedule of Classes
  • All Course Descriptions
  • Co-op
  • Academic Advising
  • Admissions
  • Tuition & Fees
LEARN MORE