Graduate Program

Master of Arts in Communication Studies

Graduate Program Areas of Study


Rhetorical studies offer a broad overview of research in the classical as well as contemporary rhetorical traditions. The department offers graduate courses in rhetorical theory and criticism, contemporary speakers and speeches, communication ethics, political communication in America, the rhetoric of controversy, methods of rhetorical criticism, theory and uses of argument, and rhetorical approaches to social movements. The seminars may focus on such topics as presidential rhetoric and communication and gender.

Media Studies

Media Studies at NIU offers a diverse range of coursework emphasizing critical, theoretical, and production methods at the graduate level. Typical seminars in the curriculum examine the documentary tradition, film history and theory, narrative scriptwriting, gender in film and television, computer mediated communication, and documentary production.

Interpersonal, Organizational, and Persuasive Communication (IOPC)

IOPC offers a wide range of graduate courses. A student may select to study interpersonal communication,organizational communication, group communication and persuasion. There are increasing opportunities to integrate these areas of study with interests in technology through the interactive media lab.


Journalism offers courses examining the role of print and broadcast journalism, photography, and public relations in society. Journalism seminars critically examine special topics of relevance to current affairs, global journalism, and new technology by highlighting significant legal and ethical issues in the fast-moving world of communication.