Jan 19, 2022  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog


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Purdue Fort Wayne
Department of Communication
College of Liberal Arts

Neff Hall 230 ~ 260-481-6825

Michelle Kelsey, Chair
Steven Carr, Graduate Program Director

The Master’s program in Professional Communication serves students seeking career management and staff positions as communication specialists in industrial, service, governmental, and media-related sectors of the economy. The curriculum may also be used as preparation for doctoral programs.

Students prepare plans of study in one of two broad areas: communication management or media specialist. Students who pursue this program benefit from four distinctive features: (1) the curricular fusion of two respected academic traditions: rhetorical and communication theory; (2) a functionally proportioned study of rhetorical and communication theory and practice; (3) the complementary relation of the required core, which provides a coherent theoretical base, and the selections offered by the applied specialization and cognate options, which facilitate development of a plan of study tailored to personal career goals; and (4) the scheduling of offerings to accommodate part-time students, including employed professionals, and to expedite completion of the program in as little as two academic years.

Degree Requirements

The curriculum consists of 33 credits in approved courses, a synthesis paper, and a written comprehensive examination. Comprehensive examinations will be routine. Under exceptional circumstances, you may be exempted from taking your comprehensive examination by the advising committee. The circumstances will include: (1) achieving A’s in all graduate courses (if you meet the following two criteria regarding synthesis paper and conference paper/publication and have all A’s in courses up to your last semester, you are exempt from comprehensive exams even if you are taking courses that semester); (2) having the synthesis paper approved by the deadline for that semester; and (3) either having a single-authored competitive paper presented at a regional or national scholarly meeting or having a single-authored competitive paper published in a regional or national scholarly journal.

Teaching Assistantships

A limited number of teaching assistantships are available and provide tuition reduction and a stipend. The assistantship normally requires teaching two Fundamentals of Speech Communication courses or other duties as assigned; they receive a tuition reduction and a stipend. All recipients must be enrolled in two graduate courses during each of the regular semesters of the academic year. See pfw.edu/comm/grad for details.

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