Elective Courses

Our generous elective hours and diverse topics allow for the freedom to explore research interests, exciting new career paths, or fine-tune current communication skills. 

Following registration of the three of four required Core Courses, students have an array of electives to choose from that will round out their remaining 27.00 credit hours of the degree program. Students must include 18.00 or more credit hours of Communication graduate (500-level) classes (COM prefix). Within these hours, students have the flexibility to tailor their degrees to their professional and/or academic goals. Note that:

  • 6.00 credit hours may be taken as COM 630: Independent Study (3.00 hours) or COM 650: Internship (3.00 hours), but not in the same academic year
  • 6.00 credit hours may be taken as COM 695: Thesis Research by thesis-track students as they work towards their dissertation; and
  • 9.00 credit hours may be non-Communication or inter-institutional courses that relate to a student’s area of focus as approved by their advisor or Committee Chair.
  • The program requires all coursework to be completed at the 500-level or above.  With the exception of English as a foreign language courses that are sometimes recommended for international students.

We also partner with other universities within the UNC System as well as Duke University. As an enrolled, degree-seeking student, you may register for classes within NC State’s Inter-Institutional Program. Paperwork is required, so speak with the Director of Graduate Programs and your advisor well in advance to get course approvals and start the process.  

Enrollment Requests from non-program Students

Students from other disciplines as well as non-degree-seeking students are welcome to request enrollment in, or to audit, Communication elective courses. Non-Communication graduate students cannot enroll themselves in department courses. Here is the process:

  1. Make note of the course name, course number, section number, and the instructor.
  2. Email the instructor (see our Faculty & Staff page for addresses) with the above details, along with your request to enroll. Provide a brief explanation for your interest in taking the class. 
  3. If approved, the professor must forward his/her approval in an email to the Graduate Services Coordinator (GSC), copying you.
  4. In turn, you will need to send the following information directly to the GSC in order to be enrolled:
    1. the name of the course, course number, section number
    2. your full name
    3. your Student ID#

Note:  Communication master’s students have priority enrollment over non-program students. There is a slight risk you could be bumped from your course of choice should enrollment reach capacity and non-program students are taking seats.

Communication Elective Courses

Not all subjects are taught every semester, so work with your advisor when planning your semester schedule and Graduate Plan of Work (GPoW). 

(Not listed: COM 541 [Communication Theory] – a required Core Course class.)

COM 514: History of Rhetoric
COM 516: Rhetorical Criticism: Theory and Practice
COM 521: Communication and Globalization
COM 522: Critical Approaches to Organizational Communication
COM 523: International and Intercultural Communication
COM 524: Political Communication in Organizations
COM 525: Communication and Decision-Making
COM 526: Media Ownership
COM 527: Seminar in Organizational Conflict Management
COM 528: Communication, Culture, and Technology
COM 529: Communication Campaigns
COM 530: Interpersonal Communication in Science and Technology Contexts
COM 532: Communication Consulting
COM 536: Environmental Communication
COM 537: Gaming and Social Networks
COM 538: Risk Communication
COM 539: Fund Development
COM 540: Critical & Interpretive Inquiry in Com (one of two required Core Course methods classes)
COM 541: Qualitative Methods (one of two required Core Course methods classes)
COM 542: Quantitative Methods (one of two required Core Course methods classes)
COM 543: Visual Content Analysis
COM 546: Nonprofit Marketing and Public Relations
COM 547: Mobile Technologies and Social Practices
COM 554: Contemporary Rhetorical Theory

COM 556: Seminar In Organizational Communication
COM 562: Communication and Social Change
COM 563: Public Relations Theory
COM 566: Seminar in Crisis Communication
COM / ENG 581: Visual Rhetoric: Theory and Criticism
COM 585: Teaching College Communication
COM 598: Special Topics in Communication
COM 598: Communication in Groups and Teams
COM 598: International Public Relations

COM 630 Independent Study (enrollment to be approved by Advisor or Committee Chair)
COM 650: Internship (contact Dr. Joann Keyton for details)
COM 685: Teaching College Communication (for Graduate Assistants or by permission of instructor)

Thesis Preparation Course

COM 695: Thesis Research (1.00 – 6.00 credit hours; fall and/or spring semesters)