Forensics & Communication (MFA)

The MFA is sought by students interested in the study of forensics. Forensics is a co-curricular speech and debate program offered at many high schools, colleges, and universities. Students interested in the MFA typically want to pursue teaching/coaching positions in an academic environment or want to pursue professional careers involving public speaking, training and development, or public service skills. 

Program Requirements

Common Core

This course is an overview of key performance studies concepts, including cultural performance, performance of everyday life, theories of play, social influence, and identity performance. Students will develop and present performance as a means to understand theoretical concepts.

Prerequisites: none

Course is designed to give students a theoretical understanding of competitive speech and debate.

Prerequisites: none

This course is designed to provide graduate students in Communication Studies with the theoretical foundations necessary to both participate in and critique arguments. Students will engage contemporary theories of argumentation and apply those theories in discussion and debate.

Prerequisites: none

An introduction to the communication field focusing on theory construction and the function of communication theory/models in the human experience. Contemporary theories of communication will be reviewed.

Prerequisites: none

Required for all graduate students in the Department of Communication Studies. Surveys traditional pedagogoical theories as well as critical pedagagical theories as they pertain to teaching communication courses.

Prerequisites: none

Open only to teaching assistants of basic course in Communication Studies. Covers course design, course evaluation, methodologies for skill development, and related topics.

Prerequisites: none

This course is designed to help prepare students for their professional roles as directors or assistant directors of collegiate or high school forensics programs.

Prerequisites: none

Research/Methods Course(s)

This course is designed to provide graduate students in Communication Studies with knowledge and skills necessary to evaluate qualitative research as it appears in scholarly writing and to perform qualitative research in the academic or organizational context with the rigor appropriate to that context.

Prerequisites: none

Restricted Electives

Organization/Conflict - Choose 3 Credit(s).

This course is designed to develop an understanding of speech communication in the organizational context. The course will aid each individual in working more effectively within any type of organization through exposure to major theories and works in the area of organizational communication.

Prerequisites: none

Intercultural/Interpersonal - Choose 3 Credit(s).

This course explores the reasons we have difficulty communicating with people from other cultures, why misunderstandings occur, and how to build clearer and more productive cross-cultural relationships.

Prerequisites: none

This course explores and critically examines interpersonal communication theory development, current research and leading theoretical perspectives, and potential applications in contemporary interpersonal communication contexts and relationships.

Prerequisites: none

Rhetoric - Choose 3 Credit(s).

Special interest courses devoted to specific topics within the intersecting fields of rhetoric and culture. Topics vary, and course may be retaken for credit under different topic headings.

Prerequisites: none

This course includes the skills in the analysis, application, and evaluation of argumentative communication.

Prerequisites: none

Unrestricted Electives

Cross-Disciplinary Connections - A total of 12 credits in Unrestricted Electives is required to complete the program.

Communication Connections - Choose 6 - 9 Credit(s).

Prerequisites: none

Companion Connections - Choose 3 - 6 Credit(s). Courses outside Communication Studies

Capstone Course

Capstone Prospectus requires a student seeking an MA, MS, or MFA to complete a research proposal. The student defends the prospectus before their committee. See advisor for specifics.

Prerequisites: CMST 611 or 612

The course requires a graduate student seeking an MFA to successfully pass comprehensive exams. The student is required to enroll and take the exams at least one semester before graduation. See advisor for specifics on the comprehensive exam.

Prerequisites: none

Original research which meets accepted research standards.

Prerequisites: none

Degree Plan

The Degree Plan is a model for completing your degree in a timely manner. Your individual degree plan may change based on a number of variables including transfer courses and the semester/year you start your major. Carefully work with your academic advisors to devise your own unique plan.
* Please meet with your advisor on appropriate course selection to meet your educational and degree goals.

First Year

Fall - 9 Credits

An introduction to the communication field focusing on theory construction and the function of communication theory/models in the human experience. Contemporary theories of communication will be reviewed.

Prerequisites: none

Required for all graduate students in the Department of Communication Studies. Surveys traditional pedagogoical theories as well as critical pedagagical theories as they pertain to teaching communication courses.

Prerequisites: none

This course is designed to provide graduate students in Communication Studies with knowledge and skills necessary to evaluate qualitative research as it appears in scholarly writing and to perform qualitative research in the academic or organizational context with the rigor appropriate to that context.

Prerequisites: none

Spring - 9 Credits

This course is an overview of key performance studies concepts, including cultural performance, performance of everyday life, theories of play, social influence, and identity performance. Students will develop and present performance as a means to understand theoretical concepts.

Prerequisites: none

Course is designed to give students a theoretical understanding of competitive speech and debate.

Prerequisites: none

Elective Course in Major * 3 credits

Second Year

Fall - 9 Credits

This course is designed to provide graduate students in Communication Studies with the theoretical foundations necessary to both participate in and critique arguments. Students will engage contemporary theories of argumentation and apply those theories in discussion and debate.

Prerequisites: none

Elective Course in Major * 3 credits

Elective Course in Major * 3 credits

Spring - 9 Credits

This course is designed to help prepare students for their professional roles as directors or assistant directors of collegiate or high school forensics programs.

Prerequisites: none

Elective Course in Major * 3 credits

Elective Course in Major * 3 credits

Third Year

Fall - 6 Credits

Capstone Prospectus requires a student seeking an MA, MS, or MFA to complete a research proposal. The student defends the prospectus before their committee. See advisor for specifics.

Prerequisites: CMST 611 or 612

The course requires a graduate student seeking an MFA to successfully pass comprehensive exams. The student is required to enroll and take the exams at least one semester before graduation. See advisor for specifics on the comprehensive exam.

Prerequisites: none

Elective Course in Major * 3 credits

Elective Course in Major * 3 credits

Spring - 6 Credits

Original research which meets accepted research standards.

Prerequisites: none