M.S. Capstone Overview

STRC Research poster

STRC 9101 Capstone Thesis or Project in Communication Management (3 s.h.)

This course, which completes the M.S. degree, requires students to write an in-depth study of a professional issue of interest to them, either at their workplace or derived from public sources such as the internet or mass media. The capstone has two goals: (1.) to allow students to sum up their M.S. studies by combining ideas from their prior coursework with their own additional research; and (2.) to allow students to polish their expertise in an area that is especially relevant to their career.

The capstone project requires a review of prior work related to the topic chosen, combined with some form of original analysis (qualitative, quantitative, or both) of a specific situation, to advance expert understanding of the topic. The capstone project length is about 50 pages; it is expected to be completed in the final semester.

The project will be supervised by a full-time member of the STRC faculty, chosen by the student. In this sense, the capstone is much like an independent study. In addition, as the project nears completion, student and supervisor will choose two other members of a capstone committee. At least one committee member must be on the STRC faculty full time. The third committee member may come from within or outside of STRC. After the project is written, the entire committee will meet with the student to offer their comments and suggestions.

Students lacking relevant professional experience to complete a capstone may be required to take field experience (Directed Projects, STRC 9045, 9055) before undertaking the capstone study.

Find more information about Capstone guidelines and requirements.

Sample Timelines for Capstone Theses or Projects.

Some Examples of M.S. Capstone Theses or Projects

  • Megan Burke, “Emotional Intelligence and Organizational Leadership: Analysis and Case Study Presentation”
  • Liz Kimberlin, “Starting with Stories: A Theory-Based Model for Incorporating Storytelling in the Mission and Vision Development Process”
  • Robin Lyles, “Partnering for Success: Designing a Strategic Employee Communications Program that Contributes to Organizational Success”
  • Meredith Mychailysyzn, “Framing the Issues of Gambling and Casino Siting in Pennsylvania”
  • Maria de Fatima Oliveira, “Philip Morris in Its Own Words: CEO Speeches during a Period of Litigation”
  • Steven Ryan, “The Dao of Crisis Communication: Building Relationships, Maintaining Harmony, Cultivating Trust: A Study of Crisis Communication Expectations in Taiwan”
  • Ting-Yi Wu, “Dramas in Taiwan”
  • Jian Wang, “In the Office vs. Outside the Office: Supervisor-Subordinate Guanxi Maintenance Among Chinese and Foreign Managers in China”

Find more Capstone topics from previous projects.