Learning Outcomes

All graduate curriculum offerings are designed to integrate and provide meaningful connections between three areas:

  1. Conceptual Foundations (paradigmatic, theoretical, and ethical underpinnings of the discipline)
  2. Inquiry and Research (methodologies used in the study of communication)
  3. Professional Practice (advanced application of communication foundations and methods in professionally applied contexts).

A significant part of your learning, both in individual courses and your entire program of study, will consist of achieving a level of mastery in integrating these three levels around specific content objectives. As such, the graduate curriculum is designed to enable students to be communication theorists, researchers, and practitioners with particular subject matter expertise.

The Graduate Program goals and learning objectives are:

Conceptual Foundations

Students will be able to identify, explain, and critique the major paradigms, theories, and conceptual frameworks for understanding communication, and demonstrate an appreciation of the significance of ethics and social responsibility as they engage in communication.

Conceptual Foundations learning objectives:

  • Paradigms and Theories of Communication: Students will be able to identify, explain and critique the major paradigms and theories that have shaped the field of communication, including their historical development and current trends.
  • Ethics: Students will be able to articulate the ethical and social responsibilities in communicating with others in different social contexts (i.e. interpersonal, organizational, intercultural, mediated, and public).

Inquiry and Research

Students will be able to analyze and evaluate published research, and design and conduct communication research studies using quantitative social science, interpretive, critical, rhetorical, and/or performative methods.

Inquiry and Research learning objectives:

  • Research Methods: Students will be able to interpret and critique research methods used in published communication research studies.
  • Research Design: Students will be able to design and conduct scholarly research using one or more method of inquiry.

Professional Practice

Students will be able to demonstrate advanced competency in scholarly writing, oral communication, and the application of conceptual foundations and research methods in professional contexts by designing and conducting applied communication activities.

Professional Practice learning objectives:

  • Advanced Communication Competence: Students will be able to articulate in-depth understanding of conceptual foundations and research methods through advanced scholarly writing and oral communication.
  • Theory and Research Applications: Students will be able to design, facilitate, and evaluate applied communication activities (i.e. presentations, workshops, forums, trainings, group discussions, etc.) in professional contexts utilizing conceptual foundations and research methods. 


Explore SJSU's University Learning Goals.