2008-2009 Master of Professional Communication (MPC)

Objectives | Admission | Program Requirements | Academic Probation and Suspension Policy | Graduation Requirements | MPC Course Overview | Degree Requirements | Certificates | Course Descriptions

Faculty: Fred Fogo, Scott Gust, Helen Hodgson (Program Director), Christine Seifert, Kim Zarkin

Program Goals

  • To enhance skills in a specific area of communication.
  • To develop an understanding of the use and application of technology essential in the communication field.
  • To develop a broader understanding of ethical and social responsibilities of professional communicators.
  • To improve oral and written communication skills.
  • To develop a deeper appreciation for effective visual design and to enhance abilities to apply design principles to communication pieces.

Objectives

The Master of Professional Communication (MPC) degree program is designed to prepare students as writers and communication experts for positions in business, industry, government, and other organizations where communication skills are a primary tool. Program participants have an opportunity to enhance their professional communication skills without interrupting their careers. People with undergraduate degrees in a variety of areas can develop important communication skills that can be applied to their current career path or prepare them for new careers. Some students will decide to pursue doctoral degrees after completing the MPC program.

Building upon a core that provides a conceptual and historical framework in communication ethics, visual communication, rhetoric, traditional and online writing, editing, web design, and oral presentation, the MPC program offers 11 two-course sequences that focus on aspects of communication. These sequences are grouped into four specialty areas—professional writing, communication and culture, multimedia and management, and strategic communication—and students may elect any two sequences in creating an area of specialization.

Admission to the Program

Admission to the program is based on an evaluation of undergraduate work and professional experience. Students may enter the program at the beginning of fall or spring semester or of the graduate summer term.

A candidate for admission must submit the following materials to the Office of Admissions:

  • A completed Application for Graduate Admission form with a $40 application fee
  • Evidence of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university or a recognized international college or university
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • A personal résumé detailing all job titles, work experience, duties, and related activities
  • An application letter detailing reasons for applying to the MPC program
  • A substantive writing sample that demonstrates ability to write clearly and effectively

When an individual’s file is complete, the application materials are evaluated by the MPC Admissions Committee. Once accepted to the MPC program, the applicant must submit a $250 tuition deposit, which guarantees a place in the entering class.

Note: International students with baccalaureate degrees from countries other than the United States must present a TOEFL score of 600 or above.

Provisional Admission

Following a committee review of unofficial documents, students with completed baccalaureate degrees may be provisionally admitted to the program, pending receipt of official copies of all necessary documents and completion of the admissions process. These students will be permitted to register for one semester while on provisional status but must complete their files and gain full admission before continuing the program in subsequent semesters.

Program Requirements for the MPC Degree

Students are required to take a total of 40 credit hours. A grade of C is the lowest passing grade for all courses taken in the MPC program. All courses must be taken for a letter grade, and students are required to earn a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in order to graduate. A minimum of 30 hours must be taken at Westminster College. Courses completed at other graduate institutions must carry a grade of B or better to be eligible for transfer credit.

Academic Probation and Suspension Policy

Students in the MPC program are expected to maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0. Students whose cumulative grade point average falls below 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. Students placed on academic probation must earn a semester grade point average of at least 3.0 the next semester in which they enroll. Probationary students who fail to earn a semester grade point average of at least 3.0 that semester will be suspended from the MPC program.

Probationary students whose semester grade point average is 3.0 or higher but whose cumulative grade point average still remains below 3.0 will continue on academic probation. Probationary students whose cumulative grade point average reaches 3.0 or higher will be returned to good academic standing.

Probationary students are required to meet with the MPC program director prior to enrolling for the upcoming semester.

Appeals for Readmission

Suspended students may petition the MPC Suspension Review Committee for readmission at any time prior to the beginning of the semester in which they wish to enroll; however, unless extenuating circumstances exist, suspended students are required to remain out of the college for at least one semester before appealing for readmission. Students who feel extenuating circumstances contributed to their failure to meet minimum grade point requirements may choose to appeal for readmission immediately following the suspension.

To appeal for readmission, students must submit a letter to Professor Helen Hodgson, MPC program director, giving evidence that supports the request for readmission. Petitioning students will be notified of the review committee meeting and will be given the opportunity to present their cases in person. Decisions of the MPC Suspension Review Committee are final. Students readmitted through the appeals procedure are placed on continued probation and must meet the minimum 3.0 grade point average requirement that semester.

Students who have been out of the college for more than two semesters must also submit an application for readmission to the Admissions Office. Students readmitted after more than two semesters will be required to meet program requirements for the catalog in effect at the time of readmission.

Graduation Requirements

Candidates for graduation should apply to the Registrar’s Office approximately two regular semesters prior to planned completion of graduation requirements. Applications for December graduation are due in September, and applications for May and August graduation are due in October. Please see the Academic Calendar for more specific dates. Candidates are notified of remaining degree requirements within four weeks after applying for graduation.

To be eligible for a master’s degree or graduate certificate, students must satisfy the following conditions:

  • Meet all credit hour and other course requirements.
  • Maintain an overall grade point average of 3.0 or above.
  • Be enrolled at Westminster College during the semester in which they wish to graduate.
  • Maintain good academic standing.
  • Earn a grade of C or higher in all graduate courses.

Note: Only graduate-level coursework may be applied toward degree or certificate requirements.

The final responsibility for being informed about, and adhering to, graduation requirements rests with the individual.

MPC Course Overview

Because of the program’s orientation toward the practical, most courses incorporate some kind of field experience or contact with outside professionals. This might take the form of papers or projects based on existing situations in businesses, or it might involve working with clients in the community. Another possibility is the participation of speakers and communication practitioners from the local community in classroom situations.

Master of Professional Communication Courses

MPC 600 Communication Ethics and the Democratic Process (3)
MPC 601 Visual Communication (3)
MPC 602 Rhetorical Theory and Practice (3)
MPC 603 Advanced Rhetorical Theory and Practice (3)
MPC 605 Communication Theory
MPC 609 Basic Editing Principles (3)
MPC 610 Professional and Technical Writing (3)
MPC 611 Public Relations Writing and Planning (3)
MPC 614 Writing Technical Publications for High-Tech Industry (3)
MPC 615 Advanced Professional and Technical Writing (3)
MPC 616 Writing for Popular Publications (3)
MPC 617 Writing for Peer-Reviewed Journals (3)
MPC 618 Advanced Professional Editing (3)
MPC 619 Grant Research and Writing (3)
MPC 620 Organizational Communication (3)
MPC 621 Leadership Communication (3)
MPC 622 Intercultural Communication (3)
MPC 623 International Communication (3)
MPC 633 Writing for New Media (3)
MPC 635 Design Principles and Desktop Publishing (3)
MPC 636 Multimedia Systems (1)
MPC 637 Web Design and Production (3)
MPC 638 Digital Image Editing (3)
MPC 639 Advanced Web Site Design (3)
MPC 640 Communication Measurement and Evaluation (3)
MPC 642 Project Planning and Management (3)
MPC 643 Public Relations Writing and Planning (3)
MPC 644 Integrated Marketing Communication (3)
MPC 645 International Public Relations (3)
MPC 646 Health Communication (3)
MPC 652 Effective Presentations (3)
MPC 656 Communication Law (3)
MPC 660 Publication Design (1)
MPC 661 Introduction to 2D Computer Illustration (1)
MPC 662 Introduction to Web Multimedia Production (1)
MPC 664 Field Project Proposal Writing (1)
MPC 665 Public Relations Writing for Broadcast (1)
MPC 666 Business Aspects of Freelance Writing and Editing (1)
MPC 668 Directed Studies (1-4)
MPC 670 Managing Issues and Crises in the Organization (1)
MPC 674 Electronic Information Retrieval (1)
MPC 675 Writing Public Science (1)
MPC 680 Special Topics in Professional Writing (1-3)
MPC 681 Special Topics in Communication and Culture (1-3)
MPC 682 Special Topics in Multimedia and Management (1-3)
MPC 683 Special Topics in Strategic Communication (1-3)
MPC 690 Field Project (3)
MPC 699 Continuing Registration (0)

Approved MBA Elective Courses

MBA 510E International Marketing (3)
MBA 610C Data Analysis for Decision Making (2)
MBA 645C Value Creation and Delivery (2)
MBA 650C Leading Dynamic Organizations (2)
MBA 659E Special Topics in Management Information Systems (3)
MBA 664E Organizational Development and Change (3)
MBA 665E Strategic Marketing (2)
MBA 670E Training and Development (3)
MBA 672E Marketing Research (3)
MBA 674E Special Topics in Marketing (3)
MBA 677E Development and Future of Management Thought (3)
MTECH 631 Industry and Market Dynamics in Technology (2)
MTECH 641 Organizations, Technology, and Society (2)

Degree Requirements

Writing Emphasis

Credit Hours

I.

Required Courses

25

MPC 600 Communication Ethics and the Democratic Process
MPC 601 Visual Communication
MPC 602 Rhetorical Theory and Practice
MPC 609 Basic Editing Principles
MPC 610 Professional and Technical Writing
MPC 637 Web Design and Production
MPC 652 Effective Presentations
MPC 664 Field Project Proposal Writing
MPC 690 Field Project

3
3
3
3
3
3
3
1
3

II.

Sequences

12

Choose two of the following sequences:

Professional Writing Sequence

Technical Writing
MPC 615 Advanced Professional and Technical Writing (3)
MPC 618 Advanced Professional Editing (3)

Writing
MPC 616 Writing for Popular Publications (3)
MPC 617 Writing for Peer-Reviewed Journals (3)

Specialized Writing
MPC 619 Grant Writing and Research (3)
MPC 680 Special Topics in Professional Writing (3)

Communication and Culture Sequence

Persuasion and Argumentation
MPC 603 Advanced Rhetorical Theory and Practice (3)
MPC 605 Communication Theory (3)

Organizational Communication
MPC 620 Organizational Communication (3)
MPC 621 Leadership Communication (3)

Diversity Communication
MPC 622 Intercultural Communication (3)
MPC 623 International Communication (3)

Multimedia and Management Sequence

Graphic Design
MPC 635 Design Principles and Desktop Publishing (3)
MPC 638 Digital Image Editing (3)

New Media
MPC 633 Writing for New Media (3)
MPC 639 Advanced Web Design (3)

Project Management
MPC 640 Communication Measurement and Evaluation (3)
MPC 642 Project Planning and Management (3)

Strategic Communication Sequence

Public Relations
MPC 643 Public Relations Writing and Planning (3)
MPC 644 Integrated Marketing Communication (3)

Specialized Public Relations
MPC 645 International Public Relations (3)
MPC 646 Health Communication (3)

Project Management
MPC 640 Communication Measurement and Evaluation (3)
MPC 642 Project Planning and Management (3)


III.

Electives

3

Additional approved courses

3

TOTAL HOURS FOR THE MPC DEGREE

40


Graduate Communication Certificates

Graduate certificates are provided as an alternative program of graduate communication study for individuals who meet the following criteria:

  • Currently possess a bachelor’s degree and wish to pursue graduate certification in a specialized area of communication with or without the completion of an MPC degree.
  • Have earned an MPC degree but wish to update or enhance skills in a particular area.
  • Are enrolled in the MPC program but desire an additional specialization.

Certificate in Professional Writing

Requirement Description

Credit Hours

I.

Required Courses

18

MPC 615 Advanced Professional and Technical Writing
MPC 616 Writing for Popular Publications
MPC 617 Writing for Peer-Reviewed Journals
MPC 618 Advanced Professional Editing
MPC 619 Grant Writing and Research
MPC 680 Special Topics in Professional Writing

3
3
3
3
3
3

TOTAL HOURS FOR THE CERTIFICATE IN PROFESSIONAL WRITING

18
Plus relevant prerequisite coursework

Certificate in Communication and Culture

Requirement Description

Credit Hours

I.

Required Courses

18

MPC 603 Advanced Rhetorical Theory and Practice
MPC 605 Communication Theory
MPC 620 Organizational Communication
MPC 621 Leadership Communication
MPC 622 Intercultural Communication
MPC 623 International Communication

3
3
3
3
3
3

TOTAL HOURS FOR THE CERTIFICATE IN COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE

18
Plus relevant prerequisite coursework

Certificate in Multimedia and Managment

Requirement Description

Credit Hours

I.

Required Courses

18

MPC 633 Writing for New Media
MPC 635 Design Principles and Desktop Publishing
MPC 638 Digital Image Editing
MPC 639 Advanced Web Design
MPC 640 Communication Measurement and Evaluation
MPC 642 Project Planning and Management

3
3
3
3
3
3

TOTAL HOURS FOR THE CERTIFICATE IN MULTIMEDIA AND MANAGEMENT

18
Plus relevant prerequisite coursework

Certificate in Strategic Communication

Requirement Description

Credit Hours

I.

Required Courses

18

MPC 640 Communication Measurement and Evaluation
MPC 642 Project Planning and Management
MPC 643 Public Relations Writing and Planning
MPC 644 Integrated Marketing Communication
MPC 645 International Public Relations
MPC 646 Health Communication

3
3
3
3
3
3

TOTAL HOURS FOR THE CERTIFICATE IN STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION

18
Plus relevant prerequisite coursework