Graduate Student Policies


Graduate Students are responsible for being aware of and meeting all deadlines and other requirements of the program.

Students receiving Graduate Assistantships or University Graduate Scholarships must carry a full-time course load (12 credits or more) each semester exclusive of audit credits. The number of years of eligibility for a graduate assistantship and a tuition scholarship will be a minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 2 years.

You must register for at least one (1) graduate credit hour each academic year between initial enrollment and graduation. If in doubt, check with your academic advisor.

All work for the Master's degree must be completed within five (5) years calculated from the registration for graduate credit.

The department assigns a faculty member to serve as an academic advisor for each first-year student. As students complete their first year of coursework and decide whether to work on a thesis or praxis research project in their second year, they will be responsible for identifying a faculty member in the Department who will serve as their lead adviser for that project. The student and lead adviser will then form a committee that includes the adviser and two additional faculty members (for a thesis) or one additional faculty member (for a praxis project).

Clearance for graduation will not be given until all keys or equipment which you have been using are returned to the department.

All graduate students in the Department of Communication are expected to conduct themselves maturely, ethically, and with respect for the rights of others. In many ways graduate study involves cooperative effort in classroom, in study, in teaching and learning. A positive approach can make your time of graduate study memorable!

If you have a problem with courses or other elements of the program, the chain of command to follow in voicing the issue should be as follows: (1) contact the professor; (2) contact the Graduate Director; and (3) contact the Department Head. If the issue is not resolved, the student should contact the Graduate School and/or the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences.


If a student's cumulative grade point average in all graduate course work falls below 3.00, the student will be placed on academic probation. The probationary period is intended as a warning to the student. Further, any student receiving university financial assistance (scholarship or assistantship) will be reviewed and may lose that financial support.

The student remains on probation for the period that the cumulative GPA is below 3.00, but will be allowed to continue in the program as long as grades in all graduate-level courses are above 3.00 for each individual semester. The student will be dismissed if grades for any semester while on probation are below 3.00.

Receiving an F in any course will result in immediate dismissal with no probationary period.

Receiving a GPA below 2.00 (excluding incompletes) for any specific grading period will result in immediate dismissal with no probationary period.

Students cannot enroll in and will not receive credit for COMM 9041 (M.A. Thesis) or COMM 8091 (Practicum in Communication) while on academic probation. Further, the student cannot orally defend the thesis or attain approval of the praxis project.

Students who do not successfully complete the proposal and prospectus after two revisions will be dismissed from the program.

A student dismissed from the graduate program may file a written petition with the Director of Masters Programs for readmission. In making a decision regarding readmission, the Review Committee (which will include the Graduate Director, the student's academic advisor, and the department head) may consider extenuating circumstances surrounding the unsatisfactory grades and the probability that the student can successfully complete the program with at least the 3.00 GPA required to graduate.

If a dismissed student wishes to be considered for readmission in the subsequent semester, a petition must be filed within three working days of receipt of the written dismissal notice.

If a previously dismissed student is readmitted, all previously earned grades will remain on the permanent record and will be computed in the overall grade point average.

We strongly encourage any student who is having trouble to reach out early to instructors, advisers, and the Graduate Director. Our goal is your successful completion of the program.


The purpose of the computers in 147 McMicken is to aid Department of Communication Graduate Students in their teaching and learning. The computers in the Graduate Office are solely for the use of Department of Communication Graduate Students. Please do not let your students/friends use the computers. The logon and password information is confidential and not to be posted publicly.

The Graduate Office computers are not personal computers. As a result, according to Richard Pestinger, former Director of Information Systems, the University has a more secure and less flexible operating system, Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2. These systems are locked down fairly tightly to prevent what continually occurred in the past -- dead systems.

The University tightly controls what goes on these computers in a hope that they will provide the students with a reliable, clean and legal computing environment.

Please note that food and drink are NOT to be kept at computer stations. Please leave all food and drink at your desk and away from the computers and printer.


1. You are NOT permitted to install ANY programs.  

2. MSN Messenger will NOT be activated.

3. You can still use all the WEB based emails, WITHOUT instant messenger.

4. If there are programs that need to be installed and the university has the appropriate licenses for them, then I will gladly request to install them. Send an email request to myself and Lindsey, (;

5. You MUST save ALL WORD PROCESSING and other personal files on UC Filespace, thumb drives, CD disk, or 3.5 hard disks -- not on the hard drive/desktop. Each lab computer will shut down after 30 minutes of non activity (i.e.: the mouse has not moved). Anything in progress or saved to the desktop, will be lost once the computer logs off, so please save your documents externally and log off when you have finished your work or before you leave the graduate office. ONCE AGAIN, TO REMIND YOU: THE COMPUTERS WILL AUTOMATICALLY LOG OFF AFTER 30 MINUTES OF INACTIVITY.