master's degree in communications
KINGSTON, R. I. -- December 3, 1998 -- There's a common thread running through most job
requirements nowadays and it is this: the ability to communicate effectively. Yet no
graduate degree in communications has been offered in the state. That is, until now.
The University of Rhode Island's master of arts program in communications studies
recently got a green light by the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education.
The program will offer two courses this spring: "Seminar in Media Studies" and
"Research Methods in Communications".
Designed with the working student in mind, generally courses will be offered in the
late afternoon, early evening, on weekends, or as intensive week-long seminars. Most
courses will be offered at the Feinstein College of Continuing Education in Providence,
some will be held on the Kingston Campus; others will be presented via multimedia
"We're very excited at the opportunity to be offering the first master's of this
kind in the state of Rhode Island. We think it will fill a definite need for graduate
students in this area," says Dr. Stephen Wood, chair of the URI's Department of
Wood says that approximately 4,000 masters degrees in communication are awarded
annually in the U.S. Furthermore, close to 200 undergraduate students graduate annually
from URI's Communication Studies program, URI's Feinstein College of Continuing
Education's Bachelor of General Studies degree in Applied Communications and Rhode Island
College's Communication program. The new degree program fills the vacuum for both in-state
and out-of-state graduates who haven't had a place to further their communication
education in the state.
The 30-credit program maximizes the cooperation and resources among URI's College of
Arts and Sciences and Feinstein College of Continuing Education and is being offered in
conjunction with Rhode Island College. No additional faculty will have to be hired.
Dr. Sandra Ketrow, director of the new program, expects the program will have broad
appeal whether the student is focusing on political communication, organizational
communication, training, personnel, conflict management, public relations, media,
advertising, or digital and electronic communication.
"The program offers a flexible approach as we suspect a number of those people
interested will be employed older-students looking to better their position in a current
organization or expand the possibilities to move to other organizations that demand or
reward graduate work in communications," says Ketrow.
To test the waters of interest, an inaugural course, "Communication, Change and
Chaos in Contemporary Organizations," is being conducted this semester by Dr. Agnes
Doody, founder of URI's Department of Communications Studies in 1967.
Ketrow says a study by the University of Michigan's School of Business points to the
importance of effective communication. Some 1,100 newly-promoted chairmen, presidents and
vice presidents in a variety of businesses were asked:
"Which courses best prepare one for business leadership?" Those surveyed
cited business communication courses most often-even over courses in finance, accounting,
business, and accounting.
"There's clearly a need for this program. People are looking for additional
knowledge and skill," says Ketrow.
Deadline for application for admission to URI's M.A. program in Communication Studies
is January 29 to qualify for financial aid for 1999. For more information, call Ketrow at
874-4733 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For More Information: Sandra Ketrow, 401-874-4733
Jan Sawyer, 401-874-2116