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Thesis Option or Coursework Option

Thesis Option

Under exceptional circumstances, and subject to the approval of the graduate program committee, students may be allowed to write a Master of Arts (MA) thesis. Students wishing to write a thesis must consult with the graduate program coordinator during the fall term of their first year.

This option comprises a thesis plus 4 0.5 credit courses: the 2 core courses CS600 and CS601 and 2 electives. 

Thesis Abstract

A thesis abstract, of approximately 500 words, is due December 15 to the graduate co-ordinator. The graduate co-ordinator and the graduate committee will assess the abstract, along with the student’s academic record from the fall term.

If approved, a supervisory committee will be established. Students will be notified of the committee's decision within three weeks of the submission deadline. The committee will then decide upon a work schedule, using the MRP guidelines as a template.

Thesis Submission

Students who are permitted to register in the thesis option must submit a thesis written in satisfactory form, and based upon research on a topic connected with the discipline of communication studies.

The thesis, which must be approximately 100 to 120 pages in length, exclusive of bibliography and notes, must demonstrate the candidate’s capacity for original and independent work, and when appropriate it should include a critical evaluation of work that has previously been done in the field of research. The thesis should emphasize any new conclusions that may be drawn from the candidate’s own research.

If a thesis topic includes research involving human participants, approval for the investigation must be sought from the Research Ethics Board.

Oral Defence

On completion of the thesis, students will be expected to pass an oral defence of the work by an examining committee, which will be composed according to the regulations outlined in the academic calendar. The purpose of the oral defence is to demonstrate to the examiners that the candidate fully understands the work that was completed, how the research was completed, and the meaning and significance of the findings and conclusions. The candidate must have a clear understanding of how the work fits with the relevant literature and/or practice.

Graduate Advising

Dr. Nathan Rambukkana is your graduate co-ordinator. 

To request an appointment, send an email to

Coursework Option

Subject to the approval of the graduate program committee, students may choose a coursework only option that will consist of eight one-term courses. Course offerings may be explored in the Graduate Academic Calendar, but change year to year. Courses are generally offered in the fall and winter terms only, with occasional spring offerings, so students taking this option may need to take courses from other program during the spring or persue a CS660 Directed Study course. (Students in all options may take up to two 0.5 credit courses in other programs with the permission of the graduate coordinator and course instructor.)

This option has no major project, just 8 0.5 credit courses: the 2 core courses CS600 and CS601 and 6 electives. 

This option may be taken with co-op, but the student must take at least one 0.5 credit course in their final semester following the co-op term.

If you are interested in this option, please contact the graduate coordinator.