The 33-hour thesis track requires the core of nine hours,18 hours of mass communication electives and six-hours of thesis credit. Students also have the option of taking 12-15 hours of mass communication electives and three to six hours of electives from graduate courses outside the school with the consent of the graduate adviser. The electives may allow students to select courses in areas that support their special research or career-related needs and interests.
The thesis will consist of original research that contributes to the body of knowledge in mass communication – a scholarly presentation of information about mass communication processes and systems. The thesis is a scholarly study of communication behavior, the purpose of which is to broaden understanding of what mass media communicators do through what media channels, how they do it, and with what effects. It may be quantitative, relying upon an experimental design, content analysis, survey data or another appropriate approach, or it may be qualitative.
The thesis track students are required to take and pass an oral comprehensive exit examination.