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Appendix A – Steps in the MS Program

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The following list summarizes the primary steps in the process of earning a Master of Science in Communication and Information in the College of Communication and Information at the University of Tennessee. It does not substitute for the full details provided in this guide or other official university publications. 

  1. Identify appropriate entry adviser – typically this will be the director of the school where the concentration is located or his/her designee.
  2. Take required first-year courses:
    1. CCI 501 Orientation to Graduate studies (fall) 
    2. CCI 540 Communication Theory (fall)
    3. Research class designated for your concentration – some are in the fall, some in spring
  3. The following steps should be taken by April 1 of the first year:
    1. Finalize your program chairperson (may be the same or different from your entry adviser, but must be a faculty member at the level of assistant professor or higher and the person must agree to serve as your program chair)
    2. Complete the program planning form 
  4. The full program committee does not need to sign the program planning form, but you should begin identifying two additional faculty members for your committee as soon as reasonably possible. They will need to be familiar with your program and your thesis/project topic.
  5. File Admission to Candidacy form with the Graduate School one semester prior to expected graduation. Be sure to file a copy of this form in the associate dean’s office
  6.  Thesis plan students:
    1. Enroll in the 500 (Thesis) course in appropriate area of concentrated study.
    2. Prepare a preliminary thesis proposal and distribute to all committee members two weeks prior to a proposal meeting.
    3. Hold thesis proposal meeting and get committee agreement on your proposal.
    4. Conduct thesis study.
    5. Apply for diploma, pay graduation fees, and schedule oral defense of thesis.
    6. Deliver final draft of thesis to committee members at least two weeks before the examination.
    7. Oral defense of thesis; make corrections as required by committee.
    8. Check final draft with thesis consultant in the Graduate School.
    9. Get committee signatures on approval form.
    10. The final version of the electronic thesis needs to be uploaded into TRACE (see the Graduate School Thesis Consultant for guidelines on doing so.) 
    11. Deliver one copy of thesis to your chair and one to the associate dean’s office for college archives.
  7. Non-thesis plan students:
    1. Enroll in the 590 (Project) course in appropriate area of concentrated study. Project proposal is typically part of the requirements for the 590 course, but you should be sure that your project adviser and members of your committee are fully aware of what your project entails and approve of the approach you are taking for your project.
    2. Conduct project study.
    3. Apply for diploma, pay graduation fees, and schedule oral defense of project.
    4. Deliver final draft of project to committee members at least two weeks before the examination.
    5. File the “Recommended Arrangements for Final Examination” form with the associate dean’s office at least one week before the examination.
    6. Oral defense of project; make corrections as required by committee.
    7. Deliver one copy of final project to your chairperson and one to the associate dean’s office for college archives.