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Major Research Paper Option

The Major Research Paper (MRP) is the default option for admission. All students are accepted to this option and may apply to change to the thesis or coursework options after consultation with the graduate co-ordinator.

This option compresies the MRP plus 6 courses: the 2 core courses CS600 and CS601 and 4 electives. 

The MRP is an independent research project that presents an articulate, thoroughly substantiated argument on a topic within the field of Communication Studies. The MRP should demonstrate familiarity with the relevant academic literature and should be clearly situated in terms of one or more trajectories in Communication Studies research and theory.


MRPs should be 50-60 pages in length and follow the formal guidelines outlined below. Students may pursue any or all of interdisciplinary research, empirical research, and theoretical argumentation, and may also engage in creative projects (i.e. some students may want to create a film, web-based or print-based project that may be considered part of the MRP).

Although the form and content of the MRP will vary between students, a typical MRP includes the following:

  • statement of the problem / issue
  • theoretical and methodological framework
  • literature review
  • analysis and argument
  • limitations of the project and avenues for further inquiry

Graduate Advising

Dr. Jonathan Finn is your graduate co-ordinator as of July 1. 

To request information or an appointment, send an email to