Nov 26, 2020  
2013-2014 CU Denver Catalog 
2013-2014 CU Denver Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


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Chair: Stephen J. Hartnett
Associate Chair: Brian Ott
Graduate Director: Lisa Keränen
Program Assistant: Michelle Médal
Undergraduate Advisor: E. J. Yoder
Internship Director: Suzanne Stromberg
Office: Plaza Building, 102
Telephone: 303-556-2591
Fax: 303-556-6018


Brenda J. Allen, PhD, Howard University
Sonja K. Foss, PhD, Northwestern University
Stephen J. Hartnett, PhD, University of California at San Diego
Associate Professors:
Larry Erbert, PhD, University of Iowa
Lisa Keränen, PhD, University of Pittsburgh
Brian Ott, PhD, Pennsylvania State University
James F. Stratman, PhD, Carnegie-Mellon University
Omar Swartz, PhD, Purdue University
Assistant Professors:
Hamilton Bean, PhD, University of Colorado
Yvette Bueno-Olson, PhD, University of Miami
Kristy Frie, MA, Regis University
Diann Logan, MA, University of Colorado
Kathleen Pounders, MA, University of Colorado
Suzanne Stromberg, MA, Regent University
E. J. Yoder, PhD, University of Denver

The Department of Communication at the University of Colorado Denver enriches understanding of the roles of communication in everyday life, organizational settings and public affairs. While the roots of the study of communication trace back to the ancient arts of philosophy, rhetoric and aesthetics, its contemporary practices speak to the opportunities and dilemmas of participating in a globalized, mediated and multicultural society. A major in communication develops knowledge and skills that are required for many different fields, including advertising, business, international relations, education, public service, government and politics, health care and public relations. Because college graduates are expected to change careers approximately seven times over the course of their lives, and because employers across a wide variety of fields primarily seek applicants with strong oral and written communication skills, a degree in communication is a versatile and timely choice. 

The department’s classes are organized in six pathways, including community service and public affairs, health communication, legal communication, media studies, organizational communication and public relations, and political communication and government.

Across these pathways, students are encouraged to merge theoretical studies with practical applications, including in-service learning courses, travel study, internships, social justice projects and other experiential modes of learning. The Department of Communication therefore provides students the skills, knowledge and opportunities to use communication to help create a more humane and civil world.



Academic Honors

Academic honors are conferred at graduation on students whose achievements are above those required for the bachelor’s degree. Three levels of honors are available to students. Cum laude honors are automatically earned by communication majors with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a GPA of 3.5 in 39 hours of communication courses. Magna cum laude and summa cum laude honors require the completion of a semester-long project during the senior year. Additional information about academic honors may be obtained from the undergraduate advisor in communication.

Undergraduate Internships

Internships are opportunities for students to work in communication-related positions in the community and to receive academic credit for that work. These internships provide a way for students to maximize their communication background and their understanding of concepts, theories, models and frameworks within the communication discipline.

To qualify to register for internships in communication, undergraduate students must be communication majors and have a cumulative GPA of 2.75.

Students typically receive 3 hours of academic credit for a one-semester internship in which they work between 15 and 30 hours a week. Communication majors may complete up to 6 hours of internship credit (CMMU 3939).

For further information about internships, contact Suzanne Stromberg at 303-556-6662 or



Undergraduate Certificates



Grade and Residency Requirements for Certificates

A grade of B or better must be earned in each course completed as part of the certificate (B- is not acceptable). All semester hours for a certificate must be earned at CU Denver. Applications for certificates must be submitted to the department before graduation.



Grade Requirements

Students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher across all courses applied to a graduate degree or to a graduate certificate.

Course Transfer Policy

A maximum of 6 semester hours of relevant graduate course work may be transferred from another university. Students cannot receive credit for transferred courses in which less than a B grade was earned. Course work transferred from another university must be approved by the director of the MA program.

Time Limits for Completion of Degree

Students have seven years from the date of the beginning of their course work to complete all requirements for a master’s degree in communication.


Application Procedures for U.S. Citizens

Students must submit the following materials to apply for admission to the MA program:

  • letter of application explaining career plans and reasons for interest in the degree
  • graduate admission application
  • application for graduate admission—part II
  • three letters of recommendation, preferably from university faculty (those writing the recommendations must use the request for recommendation form and their own letterhead stationery)
  • two official transcripts from every college or university attended
  • minimum 3.25 undergraduate GPA
  • resume or vita
  • academic writing sample
  • GRE scores
  • $50 application fee (nonrefundable)
  • international students need TOEFL scores in addition to GRE score

The online application form is available at the communication department’s website.

The deadline for application for the fall semester is February 1, for spring semester October 1. All application materials should be sent to:

Graduate School
University of Colorado Denver
Campus Box 163
1380 Lawrence Street, Suite 1250
P. O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80217-3364

Application Procedures for International Students

Students who are not U.S. citizens should begin the process of application to the MA program in communication by contacting the Office of International Affairs at CU Denver. This office will assist students in compiling their application materials, which then are submitted to the communication department. See the Information for International Students  chapter for further information.


Graduate Certificate

Grade and Residency Requirements for Certificates

A grade of B or better must be earned in each course completed as part of the certificate (B- is not acceptable). All semester hours for a certificate must be earned at CU Denver.


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