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Degrees and Requirements

Master of Arts in Communication

The Master of Arts (M.A.) in Communication program at La Roche University prepares students for the modern media and business landscape by exploring communication theory and applying it in practice. Students will explore communication research techniques and apply them towards understanding the role communication plays in organizations, digital technology, media and interpersonal interactions. The program emphasizes applying theory to real circumstances and using critical thinking to understand the broader implications of contemporary digital mediated communication. By completing this degree, students will be expected to:

  • Analyze current and emerging scholarship in communications, media studies, and social media
  • Apply communication theory into practice in professional settings
  • Understand and explore contemporary ethical issues in communication and social media
  • Employ qualitative research methods into communication practices in various settings, online and in situ
  • Explore media through the application of contemporary interpretive methods

Summary of Requirements

Required Courses: 31 credits

  • MCOM5010
    ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION

    MCOM5010
    ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    Organizational communication is a practice at the intersection of theory and working people. This course explores the history and practices of organizational communication with a focus on contemporary practice. Students discuss and evaluate concepts related to communication between coworkers, communication with management, internal messaging and inter-firm collaboration.

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  • MCOM5020
    COMMUNICATION RESEARCH METHODS

    MCOM5020
    COMMUNICATION RESEARCH METHODS

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    To be able to evaluate challenging and contemporary approaches to communication requires an understanding of how new research is made. This course explores a range of contemporary research methods that students will learn to apply in their own work and understand in the scholarship of others. The course positions research not as distant from praxis but rather its starting point. Students will design a comprehensive research proposal that could be implemented into a fuller project in the future.

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  • MCOM5030
    DIGITAL COMMUNICATION

    MCOM5030
    DIGITAL COMMUNICATION

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    The emergence of the Internet has upended many of the practices of human communication that preceded them. This course explores the nature of digital and networked communication and asks students to critique and adapt to this current environment. Students will explore the complexities of online communities and anonymous social interactions and analyze communication practices that facilitate communication through digital technology with a focus on the future and adaptability.

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  • MCOM5040
    MEDIA THEORY

    MCOM5040
    MEDIA THEORY

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    We live in a mediated society, watching, hearing, crafting and reading messages across media on a daily basis. This class explores how media communicate ideas and the importance of understanding mediated communication as communicators and as members of audiences. Students will learn various techniques used in analyzing media that will facilitate their abilities to critique and create mediated communication. This course provides a necessary theoretical grounding that students will need in order to effectively engage with contemporary media, media theory, and subsequent courses.

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  • MCOM5050
    COMMUNICATIONS ETHICS

    MCOM5050
    COMMUNICATIONS ETHICS

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    Communication is a powerful skill, and like all such things, it must be used responsibly. This course explores the philosophy and practice of ethical communication in various contexts. Students will learn and practice ethical communication in ways that can apply everywhere from interpersonal scenarios to the workplace. This instruction serves to introduce and reinforce principals that are central to establishing and maintaining an ethical world.

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  • MCOM6010
    CONFLICT MANAGEMENT

    MCOM6010
    CONFLICT MANAGEMENT

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    Conflict is inevitable, and communication is central to understanding and resolving it. This course will focus on the theory and practice of conflict management communication with a focus on developing student skills in effective and ethical conflict resolution. Students will apply theory-informed techniques that serve to make conflict-prone spaces more cooperative and supportive. Not only does the course offer the space to understand conflict in various forms through the social sciences, but it also calls on students to grow personally and professionally through the application of conflict management studies.

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  • MCOM6020
    INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION

    MCOM6020
    INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    An interconnected world leads inevitably to intercultural contact. This course explores the complexities of intercultural communication in personal and professional contexts. Students will develop and practice skills that prepare them for both communicating with others from various cultures and to be open and understanding of differences in ways that contribute to effective collaboration and dialogue.

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  • MCOM6030
    STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION

    MCOM6030
    STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    A plan is only effective if those implementing it understand it. This course focuses on the theory and practice of strategic communication: the ways organizations purposefully employ communication to meet specific objectives. The course focuses on developing strategies that bring complex plans to life for both subordinates and superiors. Students will work with actual organizations to constructively critique and compose public relations and social marketing campaigns, developing their abilities to respond to client needs effectively and ethically.

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  • MCOM6040
    SOCIAL MEDIA THEORY

    MCOM6040
    SOCIAL MEDIA THEORY

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    Social media is a key feature of the social and business landscape across the world, and understanding it is crucial to harnessing its potential. This course explores the sociology of social media and how social media can be used as part of communications strategies for personal and corporate purposes. Students will apply media theory to critique social media platforms, business strategies, and ethical concerns. This course will explore the relationships between social media platforms and the content that proliferates through them, and in so doing, students will learn to formulate effective social media communication.

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  • MCOM6050
    COMMUNICATION AND SOCIAL CHANGE

    MCOM6050
    COMMUNICATION AND SOCIAL CHANGE

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    Communication has the power to change the world for the better. This course explores how communication for social change is planned and implemented productively. The course draws together issues of ethics and effective strategic thinking and planning towards creating positive change in the world. Students will design and evaluate communication campaigns in service of the public interest through collaboration with nonprofit organizations.

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  • MCOM6090
    PRACTICUM

    MCOM6090
    PRACTICUM

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    This independent project serves as the opportunity for students to demonstrate all that they have learned throughout the program, drawing from various courses and skills to develop a project on the research or application of communication. The student will create a digital presentation that explores the student?s approach, methods, and results in ways that show they are prepared to take what they have learned into the next phases of their lives and careers.

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