Communication and Composition (MS)

A multi-disciplinary program designed for individuals with an interest in teaching both communication AND composition at community colleges and technical colleges. Most states require a minimum of in-discipline credit hours to teach at community and technical colleges.

Courses in the master's degree may double-count in the Communication Education graduate certificate (Communication Studies) and the Teaching of Writing graduate certificate (English). Students are highly encouraged to apply for graduation in all three credentials. 

Program Requirements

Common Core

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

Course is designed to prepare students to teach communication courses online. This course is not intended to teach communication pedagogy, but rather to teach how to prepare units, modules, and courses for an online environment.

Prerequisites: none

Introduction to the major theories of the nature of composition and their pedagogical application.

Prerequisites: none

This course will examine current instructional practices used to teach writing in academic settings. The grade-level focus of the course (middle/high school, or college) will change each time it is offered.

Prerequisites: none

Research/Methods Course(s)

Choose 6 Credit(s). The research course in both disciplines is required.

This course is designed to enhance the communication skills of professionals. Students will learn theory and techniques of presentation for academic conferences, professional meetings, business and industry presentations, interviews, and group meetings. The use of technology in professional communication will be highlighted.

Prerequisites: none

This course will introduce methods of inquiry-based research for investigating writing practices and pedagogy; this research could be conducted in classrooms for the purpose of improving teaching practices, students' learning, and/or institutional curricular design and practices.

Prerequisites: none

Restricted Electives

Composition Electives - Choose 9 Credit(s). * Students are required to take ENG 555 for at least 3 credits to earn the degree. * Special topics courses are subject to approval by advisor. * ENG 622 or ENG 623 may be taken, with the permission of the instructor, as a substitution for ENG 655. * ENG 622 and 623 are only offered face-to-face.

Topics in Rhetoric and Composition will be a variable title course that explores special topics relating to the theory, history, and practice of one or more areas within rhetoric and composition.

Prerequisites: none

Advanced writing course emphasizing major contemporary public issues. Practice in and study of: the logic by which writers construct arguments; the various means that writers use to persuade an audience; the conventions of evidence, claims, and argument in persuasive discourses.

Prerequisites: none

Advanced interdisciplinary writing emphasizes critical reading and thinking, argumentative writing, library research, and documentation of sources in an academic setting. Practice and study of selected rhetorics of inquiry employed in academic disciplines preparing students for different systems of writing.

Prerequisites: none

This course is designed to familiarize students with current theories and practices of writing centers as well as to provide training in working with writers one-on-one. During the course, students will discuss best practices for teaching writing and examine the roles writing centers play in helping students negotiate the terrain of college literacy. The focus of the course will be to prepare students in the history of writing centers, to discuss the current scholarship and theory on best practices in writing centers, and to outline and provide interactive opportunities into the pedagogy of writing center tutoring.

Prerequisites: none

Introduction to theory and best practices of teaching second language grammar and vocabulary to a variety of English learners in multiple contexts - specifically focusing on content based teaching practices.

Prerequisites: none

Introduction to theory and best practices of teaching second language reading and writing to a variety of English learners in multiple contexts.

Prerequisites: none

Exploration of second language literacy as a situated social practice. Current second language literacy theories and practices are studied and applied to a variety of second language reading and writing instructional contexts.

Prerequisites: none

Topics relating to creative writing. May be repeated with different subject matter.

Prerequisites: none

This course examines the teaching of literature across collegiate levels and is designed for English graduate students. It is both practical and theoretical, examining topics such as: the purposes for teaching literature and teaching critical thinking; pedagogical approaches for teaching literature; and designing syllabi, lesson plans, and assignments. We will explore these topics through a variety of texts and perspectives. Assignments will include creating syllabi and lesson plans, reviewing scholarship on a particular topic related to the teaching of literature, and a conference paper on some aspect of the teaching of literature.

Prerequisites: none

This course will explore the theoretical and practical implications of integrating literature into the composition classroom.

Prerequisites: none

Argumentation is the study of how people justify their acts, beliefs, attitudes, and values, and influence the thought and actions of others, by providing good reasons for the claims they make. This subfield includes both descriptive study (what do people consider to be good reasons and what are they doing when they offer what they take to be justifications?) and normative investigation (under what circumstances should claims be considered justified?). This course addresses argumentation in general and argumentation in specific contexts such as law, business, science, religion, and public affairs, as well as the teaching of argumentation.

Prerequisites: none

Examination of instructional design principles and models, including research in theory and practice of instructional design for technical communicators in academic and industry settings.

Prerequisites: none

Communication Electives - Choose 9 Credit(s).

Prerequisites: none

Capstone Course

Choose 1 Credit(s). Only one discipline is required. Consult with your advisor. CMST 650 is required if selecting CMST 694 or CMST 697.

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

Review and interpretation of a body of research.

Prerequisites: none

Provides first-hand experience in applying communication theories in the workplace under the direction of an on-site supervisor.

Prerequisites: none

Independent capstone experience, focusing on secondary research sources; paper may have other guidelines specific to the program option.

Prerequisites: none

On-site field experience, the nature of which is determined by the specific needs of the student's program option.

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

Introduction to the major theories of the nature of composition and their pedagogical application.

Prerequisites: none

This course will introduce methods of inquiry-based research for investigating writing practices and pedagogy; this research could be conducted in classrooms for the purpose of improving teaching practices, students' learning, and/or institutional curricular design and practices.

Prerequisites: none

Elective Course in Major * 3 credits

Spring - 9 Credits

This course is designed to enhance the communication skills of professionals. Students will learn theory and techniques of presentation for academic conferences, professional meetings, business and industry presentations, interviews, and group meetings. The use of technology in professional communication will be highlighted.

Prerequisites: none

This course will examine current instructional practices used to teach writing in academic settings. The grade-level focus of the course (middle/high school, or college) will change each time it is offered.

Prerequisites: none

Elective Course in Major * 3 credits

Summer - 6 Credits

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

Course is designed to prepare students to teach communication courses online. This course is not intended to teach communication pedagogy, but rather to teach how to prepare units, modules, and courses for an online environment.

Prerequisites: none

Second Year

Fall - 9 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

Elective Course in Major * 3 credits

Elective Course in Major * 3 credits

Elective Course in Major * 3 credits

Spring - 4 Credits

Elective Course in Major * 3 credits

Capstone Course * 1 credits