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Degree Requirements

MA

All students must complete the following six half courses:

  • Communication & Culture 6004 3.0: Communication and Culture: An Interdisciplinary Approach
  • Communication & Culture 6002. 3.0 Research Methodologies
  • Communication & Culture 6005 3.0: Research Specialization and Practice

Three elective courses offered by the Communication & Culture program; one in each of the three areas of specialization:

  • Media & Culture; and
  • Politics & Policy; and
  • Technology in Practice — Applied Perspectives

Students may complete the degree by Master’s Research Paper (MRP); Thesis, or Project.

Students must successfully complete:

  • 9 half courses plus a Master’s Research Paper:
  • 6 required half courses (as listed above); and,
  • 3 additional half courses selected from the list of elective courses offered by the program.

A maximum of two elective courses may only be taken outside of the program with permission from the program(s).

Candidates must undertake research under the direction of a faculty member appointed to the Joint Graduate Program in Communication & Culture on an approved topic and submit a paper of about 50-75 pages incorporating this research. The paper will be assessed by the supervisor and an arms-length second reader.

Students must successfully complete:

  • 8 half courses plus a thesis or project;
  • 6 required half courses (as listed above); and,
  • 2 additional half courses selected from the list of elective courses offered by the program, other elective courses outside the program may only be taken with permission from the program(s).

In addition to coursework, candidates must undertake an original research under the direction of three faculty members (normally at least one from each university). The principal supervisor must be a member of the Graduate Program in Communication & Culture. Candidates must submit a thesis (of about 100-120 pages) based on original research and in a Faculty of Graduate Studies’ appropriate thesis form. Candidates are required to defend the thesis at an oral examination.

In addition to coursework, the project option permits MA candidates to report on advanced work in non-traditional ways. Projects could include an audio, video, or multi-media production, a website or network design, a photo essay, technical manual, or strategic information plan, among many possible examples. The required project paper (about 30 pages) must document the work involved, place it in the context of theory and practice in the field, and explain its theoretical and/or methodological contribution to the field of communication and culture (i.e. demonstrate how it ‘breaks new ground’). The work is done under the direction of three faculty members (normally including one from each university). The principal supervisor must be a member of the Graduate Program in Communication & Culture. Candidates are required to defend the project/paper at an oral examination.

PhD

Students must take a minimum of six half–courses including:

  • Communication & Culture 7000 3.0: Perspectives in Communication and Cultural Studies; and
  • Communication & Culture 7200 3.0: Advanced Research Methodologies; and
  • Communication & Culture 7005 3.0: PhD Field Seminar: Disciplinary Practices

Candidates must select a major area of specialization: a minimum of two half courses as selected from in–program electives, and a minor specialization: a minimum of one half course [which may be taken in a related program only with permission of the program(s)]. In program–courses selected from:

  • Media & Culture; and/or
  • Politics & Policy; and/or
  • Technology in Practice — Applied Perspectives:

Upon completion of the above course work are required to complete their Qualifying Examination (also called Comprehensive Exams) as described in 'Qualifying Examination'.

PhD candidates must demonstrate an overall command of the field and of the major and minor areas of area specialization by passing a written and oral comprehensive examination. The examination is normally taken by the end of the second year of registration (or by the end of the third year for part-time students). The examination tests the student’s grasp of the history of the field, its central themes and debates, and the key theoretical and methodological issues. The examination will also reflect the diversity of perspectives in the areas of specialization and its interdisciplinary nature in general. Successful completion of both the written and oral components of the examination demonstrates that the candidate is qualified to teach at the university level and has the level of knowledge in her/his area of specialization needed to begin work on the dissertation.

The expected outcome of the qualifying examination is that the candidate will prepare a formal dissertation proposal, under the direction of an advisory committee of program faculty (at least one from each university). Upon completion of the qualifying exams, the formal proposal will be submitted for approval by the Thesis Committee and the Graduate Program Director.

In addition to coursework, candidates must undertake an original research under the direction of three faculty members (normally at least one from each university). The principal supervisor must be a member of the Graduate Program in Communication & Culture. Candidates must submit a thesis (of about 100-120 pages) based on original research and in a Faculty of Graduate Studies’ appropriate thesis form. Candidates are required to defend the thesis at an oral examination.

Learn More

The York & Ryerson Joint Graduate Program in Communication & Culture at York is an exciting environment to pursue innovative, socially engaging, career-ready education. Contact our Graduate Program Assistant to learn more.