Graduate Program Advising

Dr. Matthew Spangler, matthew.spangler@sjsu.edu, serves as the initial advisor for all communication studies graduate students. Meet with the Graduate Program Coordinator early in your studies to discuss your interests, possible coursework, and mentoring. A graduate student handbook and other forms are available on our forms page

Should you elect to write a thesis or project after completing the comprehensive exams, the Graduate Program Coordinator will help you identify a member of the Communication Studies graduate faculty to serve as your mentor.

Students admitted prior to Fall 2012 complete either a thesis (Plan A), exams (Plan B1), or a special project (Plan B2) as a culminating experience. Students admitted in Fall 2012 or after may elect to write a thesis or conduct a project after passing the comprehensive exams. In either case it is necessary to find an advisor and constitute a thesis or project committee. 

For Plan A (thesis), the first step is to assemble a thesis committee that includes an advisor and two other members. Once you have found a member of the graduate faculty to serve as your thesis advisor, you can work with your advisor to assemble an appropriate committee. The second step is to complete a thesis proposal in consultation with your committee and submit it for approval to the Graduate Committee. Consult with your advisor about additional steps. 

For Plan B1 (exam option for students admitted before Fall 2012), the first step is to assemble an exam committee that includes an advisor and two other members. Once you have found a member of the graduate faculty to serve as your exam advisor, you can work with your advisor to assemble an appropriate committee. The second step is to complete an exam proposal in consultation with your committee and submit it for approval to the Graduate Committee. Consult with your advisor about additional steps. 

Note: Only students admitted to the program before Fall 2012 can elect Plan B1. All students admitted Fall 2012 and after must complete the comprehensive exam

For Plan B2 (special project option), the first step is to assemble a project committee that includes an advisor and two other members. Once you have found a member of the graduate faculty to serve as your project advisor, you can work with your advisor to assemble an appropriate committee. The second step is to complete a project proposal in consultation with your committee and submit it for approval to the Graduate Committee. Consult with your advisor about additional steps.