The Master of Arts in Communication Studies offers a program in advanced scholarship that reflects the development of historical and contemporary influences on communication theory and practice.
Specifically, we offer concentrations grounded in a rigorous theoretical base that inform communication practices, therefore preparing students to enter into academic and workplace environments.
Graduate students in the Department of Communication Studies are highly active in the department, the university, and the field. Students consistently put together interesting projects that have been accepted at conferences around the country and have garnered awards on campus. They have been mentored by a theoretically and methodologically diverse faculty that encourages students to conduct research on important topics and to engage in applied projects, such as producing films and communication campaigns.
We offer two types of capstone experience: a traditional academic thesis and a creative thesis. A traditional thesis provides students an opportunity to engage in original research that can make an important contribution to the field.
Whether it's getting a professional job, a teaching job, or going on to a Ph.D. program, our students have been very successful after they graduate our program. Building on significant theoretical and methodological commitments, the graduate program provides the background necessary to be successful in numerous communication-oriented careers.
Our faculty and students actively engage with one another inside and outside the classroom. We also offer alumni and student mentoring programs to help students develop close relationships with their peers and professionals. Our mentorship program enables graduate students to:
In addition to students' area of concentration, our program offers a pedagogy option. This option provides further instruction and experience in collegiate level teaching for students interested in teaching communication at two-year or four-year institutions after they graduate.
The focus of the Strategic Communication concentration is the critical thinking and analysis necessary to develop and implement communication strategies that advance an organization’s goals and mission. Click here for more information on this program.
The focus of the Interpersonal Communication Processes concentration is to incorporate theoretical and applied perspectives on interpersonal communication. More specifically, we are interested in the construction and negotiation of social reality, focusing on the fundamental processes that occur during interaction. Click here for more information on this program.
The focus of the Media and Critical Studies concentration is to explore various literatures that highlight institutionalized and structural power differentials as they relate to rhetorical and discursive constructions of race and ethnicity, gender, socio-economic class, sexuality, and global/geographical location. Click here for more information on this program.
The Department of Communication Studies at Eastern Illinois University is proud to be one of the few programs in the region to offer graduate students an option area in communication pedagogy. As a department in a teaching-focused institution we have long valued the importance of training individuals to teach communication well and communicate well while teaching. Click here for more information on this program.
Rich has been recognized for teaching excellence by the Illinois Communication and Theatre Association, Eastern Illinois University, and the Rocky Mountain Communication Association. His philosophy of education is guided by the notion that the classroom is an entree to critical thinking, which prepares students to be engaged citizens who work for the public good.
“As a scholar of public relations, crisis communication, and organizational rhetoric, I analyze and critique organizational discourse and am interested in understanding processes of organizational message construction. More specifically, my work is located at the intersections of crisis communication, activist public relations, and corporate social responsibility. It is ultimately oriented toward developing communication frameworks and theories that can help a) organizations respond to activist stakeholders & crises ethically, constructively, and effectively and b) activist groups resist unethical corporate behavior and achieve change."
"My public relations classes helped, teaching me about promotional techniques. Courses I took as part of the Advertising minor were also helpful in developing important skills, especially learning to use Adobe Suite products."Lisa Schleef ('12)
"I really feel that my Communication Studies M.A., coupled with my experience as a graduate assistant, opened the doors to my career. At EIU, I was able to pair hands-on experience through my GA with in-depth research, analysis and writing through my studies. I attribute these complementary experiences to me landing the internship that led to my career."Catherine Bocke ('11)
"My focus on interpersonal communication has helped me to navigate my classroom. I also do advising and I tell my students interpersonal classes teach practical skills that help inside and outside the classroom. Students tell me they use the material in interviews."Miranda Stewart (‘12)
"My EIU professors were incredibly supportive of what interests I decided to pursue and provided invaluable guidance for me when I started to pursue them. These professors are not only willing to speak on my behalf… but have inspired me to realize I have the ability to pursue a degree I never thought possible. Their dedication to my scholarship and positive influence in my life, have carried me to the place I am today.”Tasha Rennels ('13)