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    University of North Texas
    May 30, 2024  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Communication Studies

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Main Departmental Office
General Academic Building, Room 309A

Mailing address:
1155 Union Circle #305268
Denton, TX 76203-5017

Fax: 940-565-3630

Web site:

Brian Richardson, Chair



Theory and research in communication studies examine communication in human affairs and the symbolic processes through which humans interact. The curriculum is designed to facilitate student mastery of theory and research, to develop student research capabilities and to enhance student preparation for a variety of careers or for further graduate study.

The department offers course work in rhetorical, performance and social science traditions. Students are afforded opportunities to explore communication from applied and theoretical perspectives using analytical, critical, quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Course work features the investigation of communication in interpersonal, organizational, aesthetic, health, cultural, intercultural, legal, political and international contexts. Students will encounter topics such as gender and diversity issues, social change, conflict and narrative. The graduate experience often is enhanced by opportunities to engage in consulting; conducting research with faculty members; participating in regional and national festivals and professional conferences, and/or internships with corporations, social service organizations, arts organizations and government agencies.

Teaching assistantships are awarded competitively to prospective students with excellent academic backgrounds and potential as effective classroom teachers. Interested individuals should contact the department office for application materials.

Graduates of this program should be able to demonstrate competence in making a public oral presentation or performance; demonstrate advanced knowledge of the field of communication studies by designing and conducting an original research project and presenting the findings and implications of that research in appropriate form; interpret, explain, present, and/or illustrate knowledge of theoretical concepts in communication studies; present an effective oral defense of arguments; explain the dynamic interrelationship among communicators, contexts and culture in the generation and processing of instances of communication; and demonstrate competence in written communication in terms of content as well as form.

The department also supports an interdisciplinary doctorate with a major in information science. See the College of Information  section of this catalog for more information.


Research interests of the faculty in the Department of Communication Studies include the following areas:

  1. rhetorical analysis and criticism of persuasive public communication in historical, political and cultural contexts;
  2. the role of communication in organizations, professions and groups, including planned social change, superior-subordinate-coworker communication, training and consulting, conflict management, interpersonal and professional relationships, and small group communication and decision-making;
  3. performance of texts, literary and performance theory and criticism, history of performance studies, intertextuality, phenomenology, and literary and rhetorical applications of narrative theory;
  4. interpersonal communication, including persuasion, communication apprehension, intimate communication, gender and communication, communication in the family, communication and aging, communication style and assertiveness, health communication, mediation, interpersonal conflict, human information processing and interpersonal influence;
  5. critical and cultural studies of communication, cultural values, ideologies and politics;
  6. intercultural communication; and
  7. narrative studies.

Admission requirements and procedures

Because of the interdisciplinary nature of much of the work done in the Department of Communication Studies, admission is open to many who did not major in communication as undergraduates. Applicants with fewer than 24 hours of undergraduate communication course work may request admission on the basis of communication-related courses.

To be considered for admission to the master’s program in communication studies, you must submit an online application, college transcripts, and GRE scores to the UNT Toulouse Graduate School ( In addition, you must submit additional supporting materials to the Department of Communication Studies. Only complete applications will be considered for admissions decisions.

The Department of Communication Studies encourages early applications. The department has a limited number of available slots in the program and an even more limited number of assistantships to award each semester. Applications received by the deadlines indicated below receive priority consideration.

For Fall semesters: application review for the Fall admissions begins January 15, and continue until available slots are filled.

For Spring semesters: application review for Spring admissions begin August 1, and continue until available slots are filled.

Please submit the following information for evaluation by the Toulouse Graduate School:

  1. An online application through ApplyTexas ( Graduate School application fee is due at the time of application.
  2. Official transcripts from all colleges and universities that you have attended.
  3. Verbal, quantitative and analytical writing scores for the Graduate Record Examination. (The department does not admit students who have not had GRE scores reported to the graduate school.)

These materials should be mailed to the Toulouse Graduate School via the U.S. Postal Service or via UPS/Federal Express. Please note that addresses differ depending on the method selected.

U.S. Postal Service

UNT Graduate School
1155 Union Circle #305459
Denton, TX 76203-5017

UPS/Federal Express

UNT Graduate School
1147 Union Circle, ESSC 354
Denton TX 76203-5459

In addition to the material submitted directly to the Toulouse Graduate School, please submit the following, additional supporting materials directly to the Department of Communication Studies:

  1. A signed letter of application that includes a statement in which you address your purpose in undertaking graduate study in the communication studies department. In addition to indicating the semester and year you would like to enter the program, include professional plans, career goals and areas of research interest.
  2. A current vita or resume in which you address each of the following areas (as applicable):
    1. educational background;
    2. previous work experience;
    3. publications, performances, exhibitions or other scholarly activities;
    4. previous research experience, including publications; and/or
    5. involvement in community activities.
  3. Two signed letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with your academic and/or professional abilities. At least one letter must be from a professor at the last academic institution attended; one letter may be submitted by a current or past employer. Academic references are preferred. The writer should submit his/her letter directly to the department.
  4. An essay or writing sample from a junior- or senior-level undergraduate course or an honors thesis. The writing sample must demonstrate your proficiency at conducting and reporting research.
  5. If you are interested in applying for a teaching assistantship, please fill out an application located on the important documents page of the department web site (

These materials should be sent directly to the Department of Communication Studies. Please note that addresses differ depending upon the method selected.

E-mail attachments

We encourage submission of supplemental materials to the department as attachments to e-mail. Please note, however, that we require signed letters of recommendation. These letters may be sent as e-mail attachments if the sender prints the letter, signs it and scans it as a .pdf file before attaching it to an e-mail.

U.S. Postal Service

Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Communication Studies
University of North Texas
1155 Union Circle #305628
Denton, TX 76203-5017

UPS/Federal Express

Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Communication Studies
University of North Texas
225 Avenue B
General Academic Building, Room 309
Denton, TX 76201

The Department of Communication Studies conducts holistic reviews in making admissions decisions. In examining application materials submitted, we seek a positive indication of potential success in the program. In addition to the materials listed above, the department may consider an applicant’s potential to enhance the intellectual diversity of the department and program, to enhance the diversity of the program or the university, and/or other factors that might provide evidence of potential success in the graduate program in communication studies.


    Master’s Degree


      Communication Studies

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