The graduate programs in the College of Communication and Information Sciences are administered by the associate dean for graduate studies, by various administrative divisions within the College, and by the Graduate School. The college has one PhD degree program. It is a multidisciplinary program that draws on all subdivisions of the College and is administered by the associate dean for graduate studies and by the graduate studies council. The College offers three Master of Arts degree programs, one Master of Library & Information Studies degree program, and one Master of Fine Arts degree program. These master's programs are administered by the associate dean and by academic unit heads.
The Graduate School of The University of Alabama administers admissions for the entire University. The Graduate School’s website has detailed admission policies, an electronic application, and other useful information for those considering graduate studies at the University. Graduate students in the College of Communication and Information Sciences must meet the admission criteria of the Graduate School. Specific graduate programs in the college may have additional admission criteria -- be sure to check the specific program sections of this catalog for more information.
See the Admission Criteria section of this catalog for more information.
This proseminar helps doctoral students explore methods and effective practices of teaching at the university level. Students examine how to employ different teaching modalities in an effort to engage students. Students discuss the varying teaching demands associated with class design (small classes, large lectures, and online courses). Students learn how to clearly communicate course expectations, deal with potential conflict, and construct and maintain a high level of professionalism. This one-hour proseminar builds on and extends the coverage of pedagogy provided in CIS 610 Foundations of Doctoral Study. It is recommended only for students who have completed CIS 610.
The course provides detailed study of quantitative research methods appropriate to the various areas of study in communication and information sciences.
This course is a survey of the foundational theories of mass communication and media processes and effects.
Survey of foundational cultural and critical theories in communication.
This course offers a survey of theoretical developments in the study of knowledge and information.
This course provides detailed study of the philosophical foundations of theory construction and current issues in theories of the nature of knowledge.
This course is an introduction to qualitative research methods in communication, yet with a doctoral level of sophistication and expectations. The aim is to introduce students to all primary forms of qualitative methodologies from a social science perspective; however, each method or approach described could easily be the subject of a course itself.
Founded on a logical conceptualization of knowledge creation, this course surveys eight modes of knowing in the humanities: philological interpretation, phenomenological interpretation, explanatory history, narrative history, aesthetic/technical criticism, cultural criticism, theoretical analysis, and theoretical synthesis. Treatment of modes includes investigation of theories and examination of applications. The course is designed to support disciplinary research and publication by participants.
Students develop familiarity with college graduate faculty members, their professional lives, teaching specialties, research interests, and service involvements. Students become familiar with the norms of doctoral life. Students develop their own unique approach to research, teaching, and service in the context of their area of expertise.
Topics vary. Course supports research in areas appropriate for advanced study and original research in communication and information sciences. Depending on the interests of participants and on the topic of the seminar, students may conduct research individually or may work together on research projects. May be repeated.
This graduate seminar explores the major interpersonal issues related to health communication, focusing on both classical and contemporary perspectives.
The examination of a wide range of mediated texts through the intersecting perspectives of cultural, critical and rhetorical analysis.
Focuses on both scholarly and commercial networked digital publishing within the context of the information cycle and information chain from the vantages of contemporary publishing and communication. The course is concerned with the numerous and varied problems/opportunities of electronic publishing and the accompanying paradigm shifts.
This course provides an overview of foundational theoretical and research perspectives focusing on communication and culture from functionalist (post-positivist), interpretive, and critical perspectives. Students study intercultural communication theories addressing the relationship between culture and communication, including theories related to identity (including race, gender, nationality, etc.), face negotiation, transitions and adjustment, pedagogy, and intercultural alliances.
Explores the major theories and issues related to health information seeking, focusing on the roles of mediated and interpersonal communication in seeking, understanding, and sharing health information.
This graduate course presents a focused investigation of communication in close personal relationships, with primary emphasis on foundational theories and concepts of relational communication.
This graduate seminar provides an overview of research in foundational and contemporary mediated interpersonal communication relations, reviewing modern conceptions of interpersonal relationships, communication, and mediated communication from a wide breadth of disciplines.
This course is designed to introduce students to research in interpersonal deception and to acquaint students with deceptive verbal and nonverbal behaviors and their motives and consequences, as well as with the research that has explored deception detection strategies.
This course covers the process of promoting health by disseminating messages through mass media, emergent media, and interpersonal communication. It covers the role of campaign designers in assessing consumer health needs and communication behaviors and in planning, implementing, and assessing campaigns.
Topics may vary. Study and analysis of the development and management of communication institutions and their place in society. May be repeated.
Theoretical and research perspectives on information policy, the set of interrelated principles, laws, and regulations guiding the oversite and management of the information lifecycle through its production, collection, distribution, use, and preservation.
Study and analysis of the persuasive function of communication through theoretical and/or strategic approaches. May be repeated.
Theoretical and research perspectives in social justice and advocacy in information studies and related information disciplines. This course explores information structures, contexts, technologies, institutions, and policies as structures and sites of power that shape inequalities. Students investigate what socially-just outcomes and interventions might look like for communities, institutions, and individuals in the information studies context.
Study and analysis of visual communication in its various forms, intended uses, and potential effects. May be repeated.
This course covers basic concepts of health communication within a mass communication and communications context. It covers methods and theories used to study health communication, the effects of health messages in the media, the content of health messages in the media, influences on conceptions of health and illness, and crisis communication in a health context.
Study and analysis of the formation and expression of public opinion and its relation to communication. May be repeated.
Historical investigations of communication through descriptive, evaluative, critical, and/or archival approaches.
This course examines the content, processes, and effects of communication within the American political system with a focus on the roles of human communication and media production and use. Students will learn about foundational theories and research central to political communication and consider normative theories of deliberative systems, the political economy of media and politics, and the complex relationship between media content and individual attitudes and behaviors. Students will critically examine the role of communication technologies in shaping political communication and civic life within today's hybrid media system.
Surveys the history and present landscape of sports media research. Students will read and critique existing published research while also learning how to conduct and advance original research in the topic area.
Theoretical and research approaches to the sociological study of media production. Students explore and analyze the many contexts that shape media practices and media content, including: political and economic systems and institutions; media organizations, professions and technologies; and human cultures and communities.
This course introduces basic computational approaches for social scientific research, emphasizing the use of R and Python to collect, organize, and analyze data. Students will learn how to create and manipulate variables, use conditional statements and functions, obtain descriptive statistics, develop a variety of visualizations, and perform both quantitative and qualitative analyses.
Covers widely used and emerging theories employed to understand media processes and effects. Considers the implications of theory in designing and conducting research in media processes and effects.
Provides students an opportunity to understand and use advanced quantitative research methods widely used in the communication and information science disciplines.
Covers widely used and emerging theories employed in the study of applied communication. Considers the implication of theory in designing and conducting research in applied communication.
Covers topics especially relevant in the current academic study of media processes and effects, typically focusing on a single theoretical or contextual issue.
This seminar covers specific topics relevant to the current academic study of Applied Communication, typically focusing in-depth on one theoretical or contextual aspect. Topics will vary by semester.
This independent study course is designed to allow doctoral students to pursue independent exploration of a particular field or topical area, under the guidance of an advisor. Material covered will be of an advanced nature aimed at providing students with an understanding of current developments within the field. Discussion and advisor guidance will be focused on readings and methodologies that allow students to develop their research capacity, independent thought, and the ability to interpret professional and/or research materials in their field.
This independent research course partially fulfills required doctoral-level research dissertation hours toward the Ph.D. degree in Communication and Information Sciences. The course is conducted under the guidance of the dissertation advisor. Material covered will be of an advanced nature aimed at providing doctoral students with an understanding of the latest research and current developments within the field. Discussion and advisor guidance will be directed towards readings of research articles and development of research methodology, with the aim of producing an original research contribution that represents a novel development in the field, or a novel perspective on a preexisting topic in the field.
A study of the laws affecting the media, decisions, and case histories that act as guides for the media. Independent readings and papers are required.
Study and analysis of issues of diversity as they relate to groups in society and in communication fields. Emphasis is on the media's treatment of various groups in society.
Nature, development, formation, and distribution of politically relevant attitudes and opinions; role of leadership, persuasion, and communication in opinion-policy process. Emphasis on the role of the media in the formation of public opinion and on how the media are influenced in turn by public opinion.
This discussion-oriented class examines the mass media through the lenses of race, ethnicity and gender. The course helps future media practitioners be aware of their roles in creating content that reflects increasingly multicultural audiences. Using current, contemporary and classic media texts, students critically analyze media messages and understand the importance of a diverse workforce.
This is an overview course that addresses game user research, theory and the ability to analyze for understanding usability, research, and play in the field, giving students an underpinning of the design and research approaches taken with video games. The course assists students who might employ the study of video games in health, advertainment, and journalism in their professional careers, and who may be expected to complete research relating to games.
This course will focus on the connections and engagement of social media within sports communication. This will include topics such as personal/professional branding, audience analytics, media campaigns and messaging.
This course is designed to synthesize work in mass communication to enable students to construct and critique arguments about modern sports media issues and controversies.
A survey of qualitative and quantitative methods in communication research.
A study of the development of selected theories of communication as they pertain to interpersonal, public, and mass communication.
This course focuses on the descriptive and empirical ways to develop and evaluate research related to the sports industry, individual accomplishments, fan participation, and social media. Emphasis will be placed on the way that sports media has influenced contemporary culture and values.
Special topics in mass communication theory and research. May be repeated.