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Communication Studies - Masters

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Our 30-credit hour Master of Arts in Communication Studies, offered through the KU College of Liberal Arts & Sciences' Department of Communication Studies, can help you develop develop the communication skills and insights that drive career and personal success. The program’s coursework equips you with skills in evaluating messages and designing communication strategies for varied settings, helping you develop advanced influencing skills.

Courses will help you develop communication skills, including (but not limited to) 1) engaging more effectively with workplace diversity, 2) preventing and managing workplace conflict, 3) navigating workplace hierarchies and politics, and 4) effectively proposing and developing comprehensive workplace communication strategies for a variety of employee and external stakeholder groups. 

The program’s coursework focuses on the human side of business, providing an alternative for those who seek a degree as flexible as the MBA, one that grows in value as your career path evolves.

  • Our emphasis on practice develops students’ abilities in communication strategy and performance.
  • Classes that examine communication context—such as interpersonal, team, organizational, legal, and mediated—provide insights that set our graduates apart.
  • Our largely mid-career students bring a wealth of personal and work experiences to the classroom, enhancing everyone’s learning.

You can complete all requirements for the degree at the Edwards Campus in evening and online courses taught by the same nationally recognized KU faculty who teach in Lawrence.

COMS 730: Writing & Speaking for Decision Makers
Theory and application of communication strategies for corporate communication. This course presents rhetorical analysis of organizational situations and audiences, focusing on corporate decision-makers. Included are informative and persuasive communications such as board presentations, requests for proposal and responses to RFPs, grant proposals, and persuasive presentations for adoption, implementation, or evaluation of organizational programs. Course is limited to Regents Center students only.
COMS 741: Seminar in Leadership: Organizing Identity, Identification, and Stigma
This class is strategically designed to deepen our knowledge of issues of identity, identification, and stigma in organizational communication. Seminar participants will generate new ideas and discoveries about identity, identification and stigma through writing, theorizing, research and analysis of organizing practices. This course will provide a communication lens that seminar participants can use to understand and articulate their own identities and the identities of others as professionals and organizational members.
COMS: 811 Applied Organizational Communication
Communication is the central process in all organizational endeavors, and it profoundly influences both organizational outcomes and member satisfaction. This class considers key communication contexts and processes, including development and maintenance of relationships with peers, subordinates and supervisors, trust, feedback, persuasion and dealing with change. It also addresses team and group processes, work across cultures and generations, and effective use of communication technologies. In examining the often taken-for-granted ways in which organizations operate, organizational members can heighten the chances of their own and their organization’s success.
COMS 859: Prosm in Communication Studies
An overview and integration of communication studies based upon an examination of selected basic writings in the discipline.
COMS 930: Communication and Organizational Change
This is a course designed to introduce the student to the concepts of communication with the process of organizational change. Specific course objectives include the following:
  • Understanding the organizational change process and the literature that reflects the most current research on successful change process
  • Understanding communication frameworks within organizational change processes and the role that communication plays in the change process
  • Understanding the critical role of stakeholders in the change process
  • Opportunity to interact with leaders who are in the process of affecting change in their organizations
  • Opportunity to design an organizational change research project
  • Opportunity to improve communication and information seeking skills through research, presentations, and writing assignments.COMS 930: Organizational Socialization Practices
This course focuses on exploring the dynamic process of information exchange and relationship management organizational members engage in as they join organizations. Insights gain will help leaders, manager and team members develop communication practices that help strengthen organizational identification and build authentic, engaging workplace cultures.
COMS 930: Communicating for Inclusion: Engaging Workplace Diversity

This course unpacks the full range of diversity that exists in modern organizations, and explores the communication practices, cultural norms and everyday interactions that can create a sense of belonging -- or facilitate exclusion and conflict. The course provides research-based frameworks for thinking about and authentically engaging with multiple forms of difference in the workplace, and provides an opportunity to craft a program designed to enhance authenticity and inclusive communication practices in your own workplace.

COMS 930: The Dark Side of Communication
This course explores the negative and dysfunctional facets of human relations that often emerge even within the "best" relationships in our lives. Dark side scholarship covers a wide array of topics including but not limited to: social aggression (i.e. bullying); domestic violence; stalking; mental illness; infidelity and "simple" relational turbulence. Together we will examine the literature and work with community professionals engaged in real world struggles to understand what theories might help us explain the "dark side" of communication and explore how we turn our communication behaviors toward the "light."

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Jennifer Keleher-Price
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