Course Requirements

The Master of Arts in Organizational and Multicultural Communication offers two separate tracks, Organizational Communication and Multicultural Communication, as well as the option for a dual concentration in both.
The Master of Arts in Organizational and Multicultural Communication also offers the option for a specialized concentration in Training and Development.

The M.A. in Organizational and Multicultural Communication requires 12 courses — three core courses, one methods course and eight Organizational/Multicultural Communication electives that include the option to earn a concentration in Training in Development. If preferred, two of the electives can be taken outside of the program with the permission of the graduate program director.

Core Courses

Students are required to take all of the following:​

Methods Requirement

Students choose one of the following:

Elective Courses

Eight elective courses are taken from a selected track; students electing the dual track take 3-4 courses in each track*

Organizational Track

Multicultural Track

Concentration in Training and Development

Completion of all three classes required to earn concentration:

* With approval of the graduate program director, students can take up to two relevant elective courses from other College of Communication graduate programs or relevant elective courses from other graduate departments/programs outside of the College of Communication.
 

Comprehensive Final Examination or Project/Thesis

Students in the Master of Arts in Organizational and Multicultural Communication complete their degree requirements by passing a comprehensive final examination. Students who attain a 3.7 GPA or higher and obtain prior approval from the graduate program director have the option to complete a culminating project or thesis instead of the comprehensive exam. Students completing a project or thesis will enroll in CMNS 599 as their 12th and final course in the quarter they defend their project/thesis.
 

Grade Requirements

Students must maintain a 3.0 average in their graduate work to remain in good standing. Students who drop below this average will be put on academic probation and expected to attain the minimum requirement within two quarters. Failure to meet the conditions of academic probation result in dismissal from the program.​

CMNS 501

COMMUNICATION IN CULTURAL CONTEXTS

Analyzes theories of the interaction between culture and communication. Investigates the facets of culture that influence communication in a variety of settings, ranging from corporate and educational realms to social and familial domains, particularly among people from different cultures. Examines how communication can serve to bridge gaps in a multicultural setting. Formerly CMN 501.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

CMNS 500

FOUNDATIONS IN GRADUATE COMMUNICATION STUDIES

This course provides an orientation and introduction to the Communication Studies Graduate Programs (Health, Relational, Organizational/Multicultural) in the College of Communication, as well as the larger field of communication studies. The course provides an orientation into graduate program policies, program faculty, DePaul resources, the broader academic discipline of Communication and potential career opportunities for graduates and resources in the field. In addition, the course provides a survey of research paradigms and methodologies, while offering students an introduction to areas of faculty specialization. Students will develop a personalized study plan and a literature review related to their area of research interest. This class will be primarily lecture/discussion based, emphasizing student participation, active learning, and diverse disciplinary perspectives. The course will take the form of several guest lectures, critical reading and reflection of research, and discussion. Students will be required to participate in small group discussions, and submit papers and other written assignments.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

CMNS 541

ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE

The central purpose of this course is to introduce students to the role communication plays in organizational life. Throughout the quarter, attention will be devoted to examining the various theoretical perspectives from which organizational communication can be viewed, and selectively surveying major content topics and current issues in the organizational communication literature.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

CMNS 581

QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS

Introduction to qualitative approaches to research in communication. The course includes a systematic review and application of ethnography, unstructured interviewing, personal document analysis, historical research, and critical practice. Addresses the rationale, method, and theory of each qualitative approach to research in addition to placing emphasis upon data collection and interpretation.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

CMNS 582

QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS

Introduces students to quantitative approaches to research and basic statistics. Topics include research design and control, survey construction, measurement and other general research issues, nonparametric statistics, correlation, the t-test and analysis of variance.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

CMNS 525

COMPARATIVE MANAGEMENT COMMUNICATION

Examines and contrasts the management philosophies of different cultures around the world, paying special attention to how European and Asian organizational practices influence structure, culture and communication within American corporations.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

CMNS 526

COMMUNICATION IN ORGANIZATIONAL ASSIMILATION

This class introduces students to the processes by which individuals join, become a part of, and exit organizations. The course structure closely parallels the popular organizational assimilation stage model outlined below, but takes an explicit multicultural perspective throughout. Specifically, in addition to discussing the traditional body of work on this subject, which often ignores issues of diversity, this course examines the organizational assimilation experiences for women, gays/lesbians, and ethnic minorities in the United States. Revealed here are some of the subtle and not-so-subtle ways which employees can be discriminated against at different stages of the assimilation process.

CMNS 527

ASSESSMENT AND INTERVENTION IN ORGANIZATIONS

Organizations are symbolic realities constructed by humans in communication. In other words, organizations are creations, and both organizational members and observers need to comprehend them as such. Communication 527 is devoted to preparing you to become communication professionals able to understand organizations through the anlaysis of organizational patterns of meanings and expectationbs. Communication professionals help organizations to improve communication by (1) identifying differences between actual and desired conditions of communication and (2) devising ways to close the gap between actual and desired states. The first function involves organizational communication evaluation (gathering, analyzing, and interpreting data about an organization's communication processes). The second function is referred to as intervention (actions taken to improve organization communication). People who perform organizational communication evaluation and intervention may be members of the organization or outside agents brought in to perform specific projects. This class will on the role of the communication professional in the maintenance and change of organizational communication functions, structures, and the communication processes that occur at various systems levels, including dyads, groups, intercultural and multicultural relations, and organization-wide network processes.

CMNS 529

TOPICS IN ORGANIZATIONAL AND MULTICULTURAL COMMUNICATION

The current historical moment increasingly defines itself through (for, against, and in multiple relations to) globalization. This course surveys interdisciplinary theories, discourses and practices of globalization with an emphasis on communication and culture. Through reading, writing, and attending to contemporary and historical moments of globalization we consider its productive force in its transnational relations and dynamics, relations of power and uneven flows, as well as resistances and collaborative imaginaries of social justice and sustainable practices.

CMNS 530

INSTRUCTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

This course is designed to assist students in understanding the principles necessary for effective design, delivery and evaluation of instruction based on recognition of situational learning styles, instructional content, the educational venue, and measured outcomes. The point of view of the course is that the instructional development process is a dynamic, unique, significant, and challenging concept that demands the attention of instructors and faculty in all educational settings, both academic and corporate. This course will help students reflect upon issues related to instructional development by emphasizing the realms of interaction within and about educational setting and the components that are recognized as critical in the development, delivery, and assessment of quality instructional experiences.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

CMNS 531

INSTRUCTIONAL DEVELOPMENT PRACTICUM

After completing CMNS 530, students have the option of taking CMNS 531. The course allows students to apply concepts learned in Instructional Development as they partner as a teaching assistant with a College of Communication instructor to prepare assignments, conduct teaching sessions, and grade.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

CMNS 542

MULTICULTURAL COMMUNICATION IN THE WORKPLACE

Multicultural issues affect the communication of organizational members on a day-to-day basis. This course examines multicultural issues in professional settings. It provides students with knowledge about co-cultural communication patterns, which will enhance their own ability to interact. Further, it demonstrates how multicultural communication can be an organizational asset.

CMNS 543

COMMUNICATION AND ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE

Change in an organization implies change in communicative processes at the individual, dyadic, group and systemic levels. Communication variables that define patterns of interaction within these organizational contexts will be examined as well as key issues that might cause communication difficulties.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

CMNS 544

POLITICS AND POWER IN ORGANIZATIONS

Examines political activities sanctioned and encouraged by organizations, subjective political activities initiated by individuals, bases of power within organizations (influence strategies), living and working with organizational politics (coping mechanisms).

CMNS 545

COMMUNICATION AND TECHNOLOGY

Communication and Technology explores the process through which technological and social systems co-create or invent each other. As such, this course not only examines the role that new communication technologies play in shaping our social systems and the organizations within them, but also looks at how social, cultural, economic and legal contexts influence the development and emergence of these technologies.

CMNS 547

COMMUNICATION IN CUSTOMER SERVICE

America's economy is currently driven by service industries. In this course we will explore the communicative dimensions of customer service. By reviewing the theory and research of customer service and exploring the research methods available for assessing service, students will be both better able to appreciate the service process and diagnose and change ineffective service systems.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

CMNS 548

TEAMS AND LEADERSHIP

Modern organizations are increasingly interested in shifting their organizational structures toward the goal of creating self-managed work teams. Therefore, the current communication graduate greatly benefits from knowledge and experience with two interdependent aspects of group dynamics: decision-making under conditions of uncertainty, and the philosophy and practice of developing groups into self-managed teams. The December quarter version of this course will combine a relatively brief period of lecture/discussion with a teamwork intensive action learning component towards the goal of making each student competent to either spearhead a change to self-managed work teams in their own organization (if called upon to do so), or to understand and weather this change in work mode without stress.

CMNS 549

SPECIAL TOPICS IN ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION

Course covers a variety of topics that address theories about organizational communication such as group processes, conflict management, and leadership.

CMNS 552

STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION

This course explores the process by which communicators attempt to accomplish their goals. In particular, this course covers theories of persuasion, strategic message design (creating messages that take into account multiple audiences and goals), and how the inferential process influences decision-making.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

CMNS 590

COMMUNICATION WORKSHOP (VARIABLE TOPICS)

This course allows students to sample a range of hands on, practical offerings in communication that can enhance their knowledge and expertise. Topics offered include survey design and focus groups.

CMN 591

INTERNSHIP

This graduate level course is designed to integrate the student's work experience at the internship site with a career-management curriculum that enhances internship success and increases employability.

CMNS 557

SPECIAL TOPICS IN TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT

This course varies on topics related to issues in training and development.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

CMNS 556

INTERCULTURAL CONFLICT AND NEGOTIATION STRATEGIES

This course focuses on the role of communication strategies in conflict negotiation, mediation, and resolution within a globalized society. Students will be introduced to core concepts in intercultural communication in order to understand differing value systems and communication strategies between cultures. The course will examine conflict situations in a variety of cross cultural contexts, e.g., conflict in interpersonal relationships between members of different cultural groups, conflict in multicultural organizations, and conflict at global political levels. Students will apply intercultural communication theories to various cross cultural conflict scenarios in order to obtain practical and theoretical understanding of conflict negotiation and resolution between cultures.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

CMNS 555

ADULT LEARNING THEORIES AND STRATEGIES

The relationship between effective communication in training contexts and principles of adult learning is explored. The adult learner wishes to function in an autonomous and self directed environment, and brings a foundation of life experience and professional knowledge to the classroom. Communication trainers must provide goal oriented instruction that is both relevant and practical to those with intellectual and professional resources from which to draw. Adaptation and adjustment on the part of the instructor to the adult audience necessitates familiarity with both appropriate instructional strategies and applications.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

CMNS 554

TECHNOLOGY & COMMUNICATION TRAINING STRATEGIES

This course explores how communication processes in training contexts may be improved via the effective use of technology. Because employees have limited time to participate in onsite training activities, online strategies for the presentation of information, relevant application, peer review of objective mastery as well as employee discussion and feedback will be explored. Special communication strategies are needed to animate employee interest in online education as well.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

CMNS 532

INTRODUCTION TO TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT

This course provides an introduction to training and its relationship to organizational problem solving. Basic and advanced training strategies are taught within the context of developing organizations. Organizations often have in house training and development specialists that facilitate on-going organizational change processes. The functions of such human relations specials are explored and the kinds of communication knowledge, competencies and skills needed to enact such functions are examined.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

CMNS 563

MULTICULTURAL MEDIA REPRESENTATIONS

This course examines both representational practices and theories that are informed by multicultural perspectives. It explores ways in which scholars and media practitioners have dealt with the epistemological problem of "difference" The course may take up topics such as race, class, age, and sexual orientation as categories of difference that have informed and continue to inform academic inquiries. The course also looks at historical and/or contemporary media texts, and analyzes them through these methods.

CMNS 561

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA

Examines the political economy of the global media, with attention to institutional, historical, and contemporary questions of ownership and program content, as well as representations by the U.S. commercial news media of the foreign other and the representation of Western culture and institutional life in non-Western contexts. Includes examination of issues in the mass media now debated within the international community, pursuing questions about the New World Information Order, the international marketplace of images, cultural imperialism and national culture, and types of programming aimed at an international audience.

CMNS 523

GENDERED COMMUNICATION

Examines research into the ways the various aspects of communication are affected by and affect the social construction of gender. Topics covered include language and language usage differences, interaction patterns and perceptions of the sexes generated through language and communication. (Cross-listed as MLS 445/WMS 440).
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

CMNS 522

RHETORICAL CONSTRUCTIONS OF IDENTITY

Focuses on the rhetorical theories and practices through which various cultural groups within the US. construct a sense of identity. The course examines different rhetorical forms and strategies through an analysis of the rhetorical situations, texts and artifacts of various cultural groups.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

CMNS 521

LANGUAGE AND POWER

Reviews the role of language and representation as social power. Topics include rhetorical form as strategy, semiotic analysis of power relations, language and the construction of subjectivity, and discursive structures of empowerment.

CMNS 509

SPECIAL TOPICS IN MULTICULTURAL COMMUNICATION

Course covers a variety of topics that address theories about multicultural communication such as culture, gender, sexual orientation, race, and ethnicity.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

CMNS 504

LANGUAGE, THOUGHT AND CULTURE

This course examines the interrelationship among language, thought, and culture. Reviews and critiques theories and research of how language or the use of symbols reflects culture and shapes reality for certain cultural/ethnic groups and organizations. Explores how language influences thought and action of the collective and of individuals in social, political and organizational settings.

CMNS 502

INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION THEORIES

The course provides an overview of different theories of intercultural communication. The course also prepares students to conduct pure theoretical inquiry and theory-driven research into intercultural communication practices, processes, and patterns.
​​​​​

CMNS 581

QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS

Introduction to qualitative approaches to research in communication. The course includes a systematic review and application of ethnography, unstructured interviewing, personal document analysis, historical research, and critical practice. Addresses the rationale, method, and theory of each qualitative approach to research in addition to placing emphasis upon data collection and interpretation.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

CMNS 582

QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS

Introduces students to quantitative approaches to research and basic statistics. Topics include research design and control, survey construction, measurement and other general research issues, nonparametric statistics, correlation, the t-test and analysis of variance.

CMNS 550

ORGANIZATIONAL DIVERSITY & LEADERSHIP

CMNS 592

INDEPENDENT STUDY

Students will be guided in the development of a special project that furthers their collaboration with an instructor and produces a report that demonstrates their mastery of critical content and competencies. The independent study option is intended for students who have demonstrated a mastery of course content, who would benefit from a sustained, focused collaboration with a relevant faculty member.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

CMNS 599

RESEARCH THESIS

Enroll in 599 during the term you plan to defend your thesis or complete your final project. This is a graded, 4-credit hour course. Tuition is charged. You must have a scheduled defense/completion date to be approved for this class. Your thesis/project advisor needs to communicate this date to the Graduate Studies Director for your program, before you are allowed to enroll. Loan deferment is allowed to those registered for this class.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.

CMNS 503

COMMUNICATION AND CULTURES IN TRANSITION

Explores the role of communication in facilitating and inducing cultural change on a national and international scale. Examines the interaction between culture and communication and the impact of interaction on cultural transition and transformation in contemporary societies. The course takes a case study approach to one international culture (eg. China, India, Latin American countries, Russia, Saudi Arabia) or of social issues and social movements in the United States (eg. women's liberation, civil rights, pop cultures). Formerly CMN 503.
Prerequisites:
Status as a Graduate Communication student is a prerequisite for this class.