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Graduate Studies Calendar 2023-2024 Program Descriptions Communication and Media Studies CMMS
Communication and Media Studies CMMS
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1. Degrees and Specializations Offered

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Master of Arts (MA), thesis-based

The MA degree may be completed on a full-time or a part-time basis.

2. Admission Requirements

In addition to Faculties of Graduate Studies and Arts requirements, the Graduate program in Communication and Media Studies requires:

Master of Arts

a) A statement of research intent (250-500 words).

b) Two samples of written work.

c) A detailed curriculum vitae.

d) A completed baccalaureate degree in Communications Studies, Culture Studies or related field.

e) Two completed Reference Forms.

There is no assurance of consideration for funding for part-time students.

Doctor of Philosophy

a) A statement of research intent (500-1000 words).

b) Two samples of written work.

c) A detailed curriculum vitae.

d) Completed baccalaureate and master’s degrees in Communications Studies, Culture Studies, or equivalent.

e) Two completed Reference Forms.

3. Application Deadline

The deadline for the submission of complete applications is available on the Future Students website:

Master of Arts:

Doctor of Philosophy:

4. Advanced Credit

Advanced credit may be granted to students admitted to the MA and PhD programs. Approval of the Graduate Program Director is required.

5. Program/Course Requirements

In addition to Faculties of Graduate Studies and Arts requirements, the Graduate Program in Communication and Media Studies requires the following:

Master of Arts (18 units)

a) Nine units: Communication and Media Studies 601, 613 and 615.

b) Nine units of electives.

Three units of the electives may be selected from other graduate programs; 3 units of the electives may be Communication and Media Studies 711, Directed Studies.

Note: Master's students must take 9 units in each of fall and winter terms in the first year of their program to be considered full-time.

Doctor of Philosophy (18 units)

a) Nine units: Communication and Media Studies 601, 615 or equivalent, and Communication and Media Studies 713.

b) Nine units electives.

Three units of the electives may be selected from other graduate programs; 3 units of the electives may be Communication and Media Studies 711, Directed Studies.

Note: PhD students who can show that they have taken Communication and Media Studies 601 or equivalent may substitute an elective.

Flexible Grade Option (CG Grade)

The program of Communication and Media studies in the department of Communication, Media and Film will not permit the Flexible Grade Option (CG Grade) for any course that is applicable to their degree.

Students may not choose the CG grade for a course taken extra to load.

The use of the CG grade will affect students' eligibility for internal awards.

6. Additional Requirements

Students are encouraged to attend seminars offered by the Department: Thesis 112 for MA students and Thesis 212 for PhD students. These seminars cover a variety of practical topics related to academic work and careers.

7. Credit for Undergraduate Courses

Credit for undergraduate courses toward a master’s program will be given only in the case of the course being developed for graduate-level work. Students in the doctoral program will not be given credit for undergraduate courses.

8. Time Limit

Expected completion time is two years of full-time study or three years of part-time study for the Master of Arts degree and four years for the Doctor of Philosophy degree. Maximum completion time is four years for the Master of Arts degree and six years for the Doctor of Philosophy degrees.

9. Supervisory Assignments

Students are not required to choose a supervisor before they are admitted. An interim advisor is assigned by the program in the first year. The student must choose a thesis supervisor by the beginning of the second year.

Doctor of Philosophy

By June of the first year in program, the student must submit their proposed field of research and the name of a proposed supervisor for approval by the program. The supervisory committee must be appointed no later than three months after the appointment of the supervisor.

10. Required Examinations

In addition to the Faculty of Graduate Studies requirements for Candidacy and Thesis Examinations, the Department requires:


Doctoral students must pass oral and written Fields of Study examinations. For complete details of the examination format and other candidacy requirements, see

Thesis Examination

Scheduling of the Examination
All members of the Supervisory Committee must have reviewed the student’s draft thesis document before an examination can be scheduled.

Composition of the Committee
The Internal Examiner may be internal or external to the home program.

11. Research Proposal Requirements

Students whose research involves human subjects must receive approval from the University of Calgary Conjoint Faculties Research Ethics Board before beginning data collection.

Master of Arts – Thesis supervisor must approve proposal.

Doctor of Philosophy – Students must submit a written thesis proposal, which is approved by their Supervisory Committee. See for further information.

12. Financial Assistance

Financial assistance may be available to qualified students. For information on Awards, see the Awards and Financial Assistance section of this Calendar and

Students applying for the Graduate Awards Competition must submit their applications to the Department of Communication, Media and Film Graduate Programs Office by January 15.