The Master of Science in Communication with a concentration in Public Speaking equips students with the skills of oral communication and presentation, which are essential across any organization in today's highly competitive environment. Through our interactive courses, you will develop the skills needed to speak and present clearly, coherently, and persuasively on a variety of scales: to an individual colleague or client; with small groups such as a team meeting; and before large audiences.
The MS in Communications with a concentration in Public Speaking is a flexible curriculum that advances students' professional interests and goals through hybrid and online formats.
The curriculum includes a capstone in which you can choose 1 out of 4 options: professional internship, comprehensive exam, thesis, or special study project.
The program is structured as followed:
- 36 credits are required, of which up to 6 may be waived based on prior academic work.
- 21 credits (7 courses) comprise the core offerings.
- 9 required concentration credits (3 courses)
- 6 related elective credits (2 courses) Students may take any courses offered at the graduate level to fulfill their elective credits.
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Professionals working in a variety of organizations often need to organize, develop, and deliver concise speeches that meet a target audience’s needs. This course will help students prepare and develop speaking and presentation skills, as well as critical and analytical skills that focus on how to organize a presentation, build an argument, and use creativity. Students will be required to prepare, deliver, and evaluate a variety of speaking presentations during the course.
In this course, students will be required to have some basic knowledge of Microsoft Power Point or Apple Keynote software. The course covers universal design principles of Power Point with regard to templates, colors, type faces, slides’ typography, photos, and making meaningful charts and diagrams. Also, students will look at how they prepare a speech; how to deal with fear and anxiety; voice, pace, and gesture-how to speak; and receiving feedback-how to interact with their audience and listen. By the end of the course, you should be able to explain complex ideas vividly and accessibly, design clear and compelling presentation slides, convey your passion for a topic while maintaining your professional credibility, and speak dynamically from notes and/or a manuscript. Learners will record presentations, providing and receiving peer feedback.
In the professional realm, we need to be able to argue without being confrontational. Whether addressing a crisis, fundraising for a nonprofit, pitching a business plan, or suggesting a change to company policy, a professional is creating and making arguments. In making the case for one’s topic, the speaker often want to raise awareness, identify a pressing problem, discuss appropriate solutions, and outline specific steps for the audience. To be persuasive, one must be clear (the audience may have little to no existing knowledge), one must be convincing (trying to sway the audience that the argument is valid), and one must be compelling (with the goal of motivating the audience to take specific actions). Persuasive speaking thus requires clarity, strategy, topic mastery, and a sense of style and presence. Students will record their speeches, and engage in providing and receiving peer feedback.
This course is designed to present students with a graduate-level overview of contemporary mass communication. We focus on the relationship between mass media and society and the ethical issues inherent in that relationship; in the process, we identify current trends, particularly in technology, that are changing the nature and function of traditional mass communication. Students gain insight into the influences of mass communication on business, government, politics, education, the home environment, and non-profit institutions, as well as related ethical issues.
This course focuses on both theoretical understanding and practical knowledge of the context and applications for organizational communication. Topics include: leadership, new technologies and their impact on organizations, organizational climate and culture, ethics, formal and informal channels of communication within organizations, management of diversity and conflict, relational communication (with interpersonal and group work), and issues of power and politics within the context of organizational settings
This course provides students with an understanding of the concepts, roles, processes, techniques, and strategies of communication research. The course examines research conducted in both the professional and academic settings, and includes quantitative (surveys, experiments, content analyses) and qualitative (focus groups, etc.) methods. The main goal of this course is to help students become intelligent "consumers" of research -- to provide the tools needed to evaluate and interpret research, as well as the ability to make knowledgeable decisions about the uses and benefits of research.
Managing media relations for organizations is the focus of this course. The course is intended to increase knowledge of the principles and methods of generating publicity as well as the basics of planning and writing media relations campaigns. The rapidly changing nature of global companies and the convergence of new information technologies are influencing the ways that communication professionals achieve their goals. Students work individually or in teams to plan a comprehensive media relations program, to communicate a clear message, and to evaluate the effectiveness of public relations strategies for a chosen client. Lectures, readings, group work, guest speakers, and class discussions focus on techniques useful in such areas as local & national publicity, special events, and in community and government relations for organizations.
This is a communication skills course designed to better understand the nature of conflict and its resolution through persuasion, collaboration, and negotiation. Students learn theories of interpersonal and organizational conflict and its resolution as applied to personal, corporate, historical, and political contexts. Students assess their own styles, skills, and values, and develop techniques to better resolve disputes, achieve objectives, and exert influence.
This course introduces students to the dynamics of social influence. Students learn the theories, strategies, and techniques of persuasion as a means of shaping public opinion and attitudes. The course examines how individuals, business, government, and institutions craft messages and communicate through the press, entertainment media, advertising, and public relations. Primarily through public opinion research, students can ascertain and understand the beliefs, attitudes, and values of groups and society. Students learn how to craft persuasive messages, how to evaluate the attempts of others to persuade audiences, and how to recognize and avoid unethical attempts at persuasion.
The comprehensive examination provides evidence of student knowledge of key concepts, skills, and other important materials related to the communication field. Preparation throughout the semester includes reading and analyzing case studies related to the major with the completion of two Mock Exams for which students review previous course materials in order to analyze relevant issues and concepts in various case studies. The timed half day Final Comprehensive Exam requires the student to analyze case studies in the major and/ or in the area of concentration, by developing written responses that integrate skills, concepts and an understanding of course materials, coursework and other educational experiences in the degree program.
Students completing a master’s thesis design, conduct, and report original research related to their concentration, working closely with a faculty advisor in the department and following detailed guidelines provided by the department. Prerequisites: COM795
The project can be a document, a video, or a multi-media presentation developed under the guidance of a Lasell College faculty member to applying communication skills and professional expertise derived from the student's program of graduate study. Such projects are designed to solve some problem in communication that is relevant to the student's area of concentration in public relations or integrated marketing communications.Prerequsite: COM703
The internship is a hands-on working experience in the student’s field of concentration requiring a minimum of 150 hours of placement under the supervision of both an employer and a faculty member. Beginning in the semester preceding the internship placement, the student identifies what type of organization they desire for their internship. The student holds primary responsibility for obtaining a field experience site and is responsible for setting up interviews with prospective internship sites. Students may not perform internships at their current place of employment without prior consent of the Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies. This course is taken during the student’s final graduate semester.
Candidates seeking admission to Lasell University's Communication graduate degree or certificate programs must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and demonstrate through academic background and/or work experience the ability to succeed in graduate studies. GRE/GMAT scores are not required for admission. The TOEFL may be waived for international applicants who have earned a bachelor's degree at an accredited college/university in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, or Canada. All other applicants must submit a TOEFL/IELTS score.
Admission Requirements Checklist:
- Online application
- Official transcripts of all college-level coursework*
- A one-page personal statement describing your goals, strengths, and potential for achievement in graduate school
*A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 is recommended for recent college graduates with fewer than 3 years of professional work experience.
Materials can be provided through MyPortal or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.