The 33-hour thesis track requires the core of 18 hours, 6 hours of thesis, and 9 credits of electives, unless they have a concentration. Students that select the thesis track and a concentration have no elective hours. 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. 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 or qualitative.
Students will enroll in Thesis A during the fall of their last year in the program. They work with their thesis advisor to produce a complete thesis proposal that includes the first three chapters of the thesis (introduction, literature review, and a complete method section). After having a thesis proposal meeting, students can then enroll in Thesis B during the last semester in the program. The students will collect the data, write the results and discussion section.
The thesis track students are required to take and pass an oral comprehensive exit examination.