2010-2012 Graduate Studies Catalog

The Department of Communication and Theatre

Dr. Sarah Keller, Chairperson
LA 600, (406) 657-2178

Professors:  Susan Balter-Reitz, Stephen Coffman, Daniel Gross
Associate Professors:  Sarah Keller
Lecturers:  Randall Pugh, Melinda Tilton
Emeritus:  Anneke-Jan Boden, Victoria Coffman, McDonald Held

The department offers and administers the following Graduate Degree program:

Master of Science in Public Relations (M.S.P.R.)

Courses and Credit Requirements

The maximum load for a student during a regular semester is twelve semester hours.  A student must be enrolled for nine hours to be considered full-time.  During each summer session, six semester hours may be taken.  A full-time load for each summer session is six hours.  Exceptions will be reviewed by the Chair of the Department of Communication and Theatre.

Courses for which a student has received a grade of  “C-” or less may not be used to satisfy degree requirements.  A graduate degree will not be awarded to a student who earns grade of “C” or lower in more than six semester hours of graduate-level work.  A minimum of a 3.25 GPA is required for graduation from the program.

Courses numbered 500 and above are graduate courses.  Courses offered at Montana State University Billings at the 400 level may be used as program electives with the approval of the advisor within the Plan of Study.

A minimum of thirty semester hours of graduate work is required for completion of studies leading to the Master of Science in Public Relations.

Student Progress – Academic Deficiency

Anytime a student’s cumulative GPA drops below 3.25, his/her performance will be reviewed by the Department of Communication and Theatre.  Determination of whether or not the student will be permitted to continue in the program will also be determined by this Department.  Students will not be allowed to graduate from the MSPR program with more than two “C” grades.  Students may retake a course once and are allowed to count this toward graduation.

Transfer Credits

Transfer credits are approved by the Chair of the Department of Communication and Theatre.  Two copies of official transcripts recording the transfer courses must be sent directly from the registrar of that institution to the Office of Graduate Studies.  No course credit may be transferred unless the grade received was at least a “B.”

If approved by his or her department, a student may transfer a maximum of six semester hours of approved graduate credit from an accredited institution.  Students may petition to the MSU Billings Graduate Committee, with the approval of the Department of Communication and Theatre, for additional hours to be accepted from other accredited institutions.

Correspondence courses are not accepted toward a graduate degree.

Admission Requirements

The number of students admitted to the program annually is limited.  Applicants will be evaluated according to the criteria listed in numbers 1-7 below.  If the number of qualified applicants exceeds the number of available openings, those applicants with the highest ratings will be given first consideration for admission to the program.  Applicants who do not meet the admission requirements in a given year may be considered for probationary admission.  Please see the Department Chairperson for further information.

  1. A bachelor of arts or science in communication or related discipline with significant coursework in communication.

  2. An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (on a 4 point scale) or higher.
  3. One of the following tests:  LSAT, MAT, or GRE.  Other tests may be accepted with prior approval of the department.

  4. Three letters of reference, with at least one from an academic source.
  5. A completed Graduate Studies Admissions Form.

  6. A letter of application stating the applicant’s purpose for pursuing a graduate degree in public relations.

  7. A current resume or curriculum vitae (CV).

NEXT: Master of Science in Public Relations

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