Communication

Major: Communication
Degree Awarded: Master of Science (MS)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Total Credit Hours: 45.0 (MS)
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 09.9999
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code:
11-2011; 11-2031; 25-1122

About the Program

The MS in Communication program, with a hands-on approach, prepares students for careers in technical communication, science communication, and public communication.

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 communication

Technical communication is for those seeking employment as technical writers, computer documentation specialists, and training specialists. Science communication has much to offer those who aspire to medical, science, and pharmaceutical writing. A concentration in public communication leads to careers in journalism and public relations. In addition, the program provides a strong foundation in 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.

Throughout the curriculum, in all the concentration options, students may use electives to increase communication skills, to broaden theoretical backgrounds, or to further develop areas of specialization.

Students can attend full time or part time, they can begin the program in any academic quarter, and they can complete all coursework in the evening. The program emphasizes flexibility, encouraging each student, in consultation with a faculty advisor to fashion a particular course of study.

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

Admission Requirements

Applicants must meet the general requirements for admission to graduate studies. Prospective students must also submit with their applications a 1,500-word statement explaining why they want to enter the program. The program's screening committee carefully reads the essays to evaluate each applicant’s writing skills and sense of purpose.

The program accommodates students from various backgrounds. For students without appropriate prior work experience, the program features a 6-month full internship. For students applying with appropriate work experience, the internship requirement may be waived at the discretion of the Department's Graduate Committee.

Degree Requirements

Requirements

The MS degree requires 45.0 credits of coursework, a professional portfolio of three to five items developed by the student, 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 need professional experience consult with their advisors and the program director to develop a suitable internship. Normally, this placement begins after the student has completed at least half the required coursework. Students who already have the equivalent of six months of professional experience or who gain the equivalent by working part time during their course of study can request exemption from this requirement.

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
Technical and Science Editing
Ethics for Science and Technical Communication
Software Documentation
Science Communication
Science Writing
Document Design and Evaluation
Technical and Science Editing
Ethics for Science and Technical Communication
Medical Writing
Public Communication
Ethics for Public Communication
Electronic Publishing
Telecommunications Regulation and Policy
Event Planning
Public Relations Writing and Strategies
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.

Sample Plan of Study

Public Communication

Term 1Credits
COM 500Reading & Res Communication3.0
COM 650Telecommunications Regulation and Policy3.0
COM 663Event Planning3.0
 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 635Electronic Publishing3.0
COM 682Public Relations Writing and Strategies3.0
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 Communication

Term 1Credits
COM 500Reading & Res Communication3.0
COM 612Ethics for Science and Technical Communication3.0
Elective3.0
 Term Credits9.0
Term 2
COM 610Theories of Communication and Persuasion3.0
COM 670Medical Writing3.0
Elective3.0
 Term Credits9.0
Term 3
COM 520Science Writing3.0
COM 525Document Design and Evaluation3.0
COM 570Technical and Science 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 Science and Technical Communication3.0
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 570Technical and Science Editing3.0
COM 630Software Documentation3.0
 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, MS (Temple University) Assistant Department Head of Communication. Associate Teaching Professor. Journalism, medical writing, feature writing, copy editing, mass media and society.
Richard Forney Instructor. Broadcast journalism technology and the effects of new technologies on personal and corporate communication skills.
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. Telecommunications policy, adolescent media use, communication theory and history, global media, and semiotics.
Barbara Hoekje, PhD (University of Pennsylvania) Director, English Language Center. Associate Professor. Sociolinguistic theory, discourse analysis, applied linguistics (language teaching, learning, and testing).
Frank Kelley, PhD (Temple University). Associate Teaching Professor. Corporate university systems online, power structure of media enterprises, public relations, event planning.
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). Assistant 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) Interim Director, Communication Undergraduate Programs. Associate Professor. Public relations, political communication, organizational communication, mass communication, international communications and negotiations, communications theory.
Rosemary Rys, MA. Instructor. Public relations and marketing.
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.
Susan Stein, PhD (University of Wisconsin) Graduate Director. Associate Teaching Professor. Science, environmental, and health 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